Why You Have To Be Brave To Live Here

Stephanie Strom writes for the New York Times:

In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”

By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”

Judging by Memeorandum, this is the hottest news item on the blogosphere right now. The wingnuts are spewing about Bush Derangement Syndrome. “Shut up and play cards” is a common suggestion.

The players have been stunned by the reaction to what they saw as a spontaneous gesture, “a moment of levity,” said Gail Greenberg, the team’s nonplaying captain and winner of 11 world championships.

“What we were trying to say, not to Americans but to our friends from other countries, was that we understand that they are questioning and critical of what our country is doing these days, and we want you to know that we, too, are critical,” Ms. Greenberg said, stressing that she was speaking for herself and not her six teammates.

The controversy has gone global, with the French team offering support for its American counterparts.

“By trying to address these issues in a nonviolent, nonthreatening and lighthearted manner,” the French team wrote in by e-mail to the federation’s board and others, “you were doing only what women of the world have always tried to do when opposing the folly of men who have lost their perspective of reality.”

Jimmie at the Sundries Shack disagrees.

What these ladies should have done is reminded the Bush-haters that they were at a bridge tournament and not a political convention and that good manners prohibit the discussion of politics at a table where it is not welcome. I’m fairly sure that reminding your fellow bridge players of their manners would have solved the problem.

Then you beat the stuffing out of them and taunt them relentlessly from the winners’ podium. Maybe you even stack the losers up in a pyramid and have one of your team point at them and laugh while you take pictures.

I assume that last bit was another attempt at levity. But what this tells me is that wingnuts don’t get out much. These days, for Americans, to go abroad is to be treated with, at the very least, caution. We may look normal on the surface, but at the least provocation we may grow tusks and root up the shrubberies.

But these ladies appear to have run into some outright hostility, and they were trying to diffuse the situation. Any emotionally mature person might have done the same thing, which is why wingnuts don’t understand it.

Gateway Pundit writes,

Did they not notice they were playing cards in Communist China?

China- The same country that harvests prisoner’s body organs- The same country that jails Christians and people of faith- The same country that murdered 30-40 million of its own citizens less than 50 years ago.

Do these pampered loons have any perspective of history?

Standard wingnut moral relativism — whatever we do is OK, because China is worse. But in the real world, people who claim a higher standard had better live up to it or face the snarking.

The bridge lady might have written this on her menu instead:

It is not fair for bridge players to criticize GWB. He exemplifies something essential to playing every hand of bridge.

The dummy.

But what does it say about a nation that allows a dummy to be its head of state for eight years?

7 thoughts on “Why You Have To Be Brave To Live Here

  1. Bridge? Nothing like taking advantage to give the game a shot in the arm! Black gloved,barefeet and a kotex on her head? She make the president’s list of dissenters. Hell, I voted for the spuf, I’ve been depressed ever since. Post voter distress syndrome.PVDS& back to my beer!

  2. Beside their noted inability to laugh, especially at themselves, wingnuts definitely don’t get out of their hermetic bubble. When you mention countries around the world that think differently than us, they immediately think “France” and that’s the end of list, in their minds. I’ve actually experienced this first-hand, and the blank look on their faces is something to behold.

    I’m reminded of those studies that were done on inner city school kids versus affluent kids, the ones that graphically showed their mental maps of the world. I think the studies simply had the kids draw maps of the world, filling in the locations as best as they could. The poor kids, not surprisingly had limited knowledge of the larger world, and their maps were simple and spare. The affluent kids draw maps that encompassed far more terrain, but were lacking in details, especially when it came to mentioning poor neighborhoods.

    I don’t think I need to complete this thought – you know where I’m going with this. I’m constantly amazed at my wingnut acquaintances and relatives who have absolutely no interest in traveling beyond the USA. George W Bush, for all his advantages, never went anywhere beyond Mexico before he became President, and he is the archetype of wingnut narrowness, ignorance and belligerance.

  3. I used to enjoy the feeling of moral superiority in knowing that my country didn’t torture people. Those were the days when I was proud to be an American. It’s a shame that Bush dragged our country into the gutter.
    Bush is a sick and immoral bastard…” we don’t torture”..Yeah, right..we use “enhanced” interrogations.

  4. Remember when accusations were being made that liberals are angry, foul-mouthed people? There is some footage of a foul-mouthed, rightwing woman referring to Hillary as a witch, except that she got her b’s and w’s mixed. I have seen the footage and am appalled. The woman looks like she is proud she said that. McCain laughed and called it a good question. KO had a discussion with Dana Milbank on Countdown tonight; and, Milbank basically said IOKIYAR. All I have to say to the Republicans and their rabid rightwing supporters is a quote from Joseph Welch: “Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

  5. Three thousand eight hundred sixty-five of our soldiers dead in Iraq as of today. Tens of thousands of our soldiers maimed for life. One fourth of our homeless are vets.

    Barack Obama just outlined a sweepingly bold federal government IT plan to structurally secure the essence of democracy and thwart the cancerous secrecy that has become debilitating in Washington, DC.

    The Republicans, with the help of the MSM, are succeeding in replacing the upcoming election’s hottest issue from the Iraq War [hallmark of Republican collusion with GWB’s secret plotting and unitary executive imperialistic behavior] with the issue of immigration.

    Meanwhile, the masses on either side of the political divide are offered highly flavored tidbits about outrages [bridge player’s sign, calling someone a b**ch] to keep the deeper hungers at bay.

  6. I heard recently that the numbers of combat casualties for Iraq II is the same as Vietnam at its peak. The only difference is that more of them are dragged away before they die or receive extraordinarily expensive care to keep them alive. The former is a crime, the latter is admirable, for those who don’t come home to commit suicide.

    Suicide and lower-level mental illness among returning veterans is hardly a new phenomenon, but it tends to get ignored as inconvenient truth in all wars. In the past, the vet was expected to come home, shut up, and get on with it, with many long-term consequences invisible to the outer world. Now, with more help available, he and she are still expected to remain unhelped and invisible, even with many more tools available. No photo ops for people with broken minds, unlike the weekly parade of prosthetic-wielding soldiers we see on TV.

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