The Right Hates You

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The cartoon at left is from the cover of the April 2008 issue of Reason magazine. Reason is a libertarian publication with the motto “Free Minds and Free Markets.”

The cartoon, of course, shows three of the front-running presidential candidates pandering to a slob, with John McCain attempting to keep Ron Paul from squeezing into the room. What fascinated me about this cartoon at the time was the slob. The slob represents the American voter.

What does this tell us about the conservative/libertarian worldview? IMO it reveals a mindset that pretends to value freedom but is unconsciously authoritarian and elitist. (Which makes Reason‘s calling Sonia Sotomayor an “authoritarian” especially rich.) How dare the hoi polloi expect government to pay attention to them?

When I heard about Michelle Malkin’s absurd “cheese” comment, the cartoon sprang to mind. Malkin seriously believes that unemployment benefits keep people from going out and finding a job.

If you put enough government cheese in front of people they are just going to keep eating it and you’re just kicking the can down the road and just to hammer this point about the unemployment benefits extension again it was Larry Katz, who’s a chief labor economist under the Clinton labor department who came out with a study and there are a lot of these economists who say this that if you keep extending these “temporary” unemployment benefits you’re just going to extend joblessness even more.

Larry Katz said nothing of the sort, of course, as Paul Krugman explains. I say the Right’s inner elitism also is coming through loud and clear in their condemnation of the “cash for clunkers” program. My favorite criticism of the program comes from Representative Jeb Hensarling, R-TX: “Maybe we should have a ‘Cash for Cluckers’ program and pay people to eat chicken?”

23 thoughts on “The Right Hates You

  1. From “Who Will Tell the People” by William Greider – Introduction, “Mutual Contempt.” “The mutual contempt that divides the governed from the governing authorities is the attitude underlying everything else in modern politics, both a symtom of the decay and an active agent in furthering deterioration. In many private quarters of Washington, Alexander Hamiliton’s derisive dictum – ‘The People! The People is a great beast!’ has become an operating maxim. Survival in office requires a political strategy for herding ‘the beast’ in harmless directions or deflecting it from serious matters it may not understand.”

    It’s a great book for someone who wants to understand how and why our country is an ugly shadow of what it promised to be in 1787.

  2. That Malkin is an idiot is well known to anyone with half a brain.
    What was amusing to watch was the reaction of the others on the ABC panel. The look on their faces was hysterical. It’s the look you give to someone who brings their nasty, cursing, falling-down drunk, robe-wearing Uncle to your fancy dress dinner party. It’s like they’d never read a word she’s ever written.
    She thought the “Government cheese” line was a winner because her Cheeto-engourged, nitwit readers loved that line. And she thought the panel would love it, too. Instead, they were about as aghast as village media members could be.

    BTW – Let’s have a “Cash for Cake” program. I’ve paid cash in the form of taxes and gotten virtually nothing (no f’in cake) for it in the last 30 years. And if we don’t start to get to eat any cake soon (Health Care, jobs), maybe we look to the French as inspiration for our next Revolution.

  3. This was just being discussed on another blog I visit. I don’t think this country has been this polarized since the Civil War. It is nearly impossible to have civil discussion about politics anymore – it inevitably devolves into a shouting match or a fistfight.

    Welcome to the Divided States of America!

  4. The left has its elitist attitudes too, but it’s rarely as vicious and contemptuous as the right’s. The fundamental difference is the right’s inability to empathizer or identify with anyone outside their tribe. And so anyone not in the charmed inner circle becomes the enemy, something to be manipulated and used. And so progressives spend countless hours debunking and wading through a blizzard of lies and manipulations. Deception, both toward others and especially toward themselves is all the right really has.

  5. How much money does Malkin think people get from unemployment benefits? I drew unemployment for 2 months in California in the Reagan recession of the early 1980s. the benefits were HALF — get that, HALF of your earnings, up to some maximum that I now forget, and you could not get benefits until your application had been processed, which took a week, and there was a statutory one week without benefits even after you were approved. IN other words, your income was cut to 1/4 for your first month of unemployment, and cut in half for the months after that. Try living on that. It’s horrible.

  6. The wing-nuts are really starting to get a little scared; cash for clunkers is just the beginning. They cannot permit anything Obama and the “liberal” government propose to succeed. They know that if any of these programs that Obama has signed onto succeed it spells more bad times for them. FAUX (the originator of all wing-nut talking points) is already floating “the reason the stock market is up is because Obama’s poll numbers are down”. They (the wing-nuts) really screwed up when they completely locked themselves out of the stimulus or any programs aimed at helping the economy. I mean everyone with half a brain could see the economy will at least stabilize and possibly start to expand again before Obama’s term is over, with or without any government intervention. It’s a recession, they always end and whoever is in office at the time will always take the credit.

    The wing-nuts and FAUX news want the US economy to continue to tank, they want people to lose healthcare, they want the elderly to be fearful that the government will have them put to sleep, they want ordinary citizens to be afraid of their government, they want the USA to fail. Unless of course they are in charge, then it’s USA all the way, red-white and blue, were the patriots, etc. They are just bunch of bully fucking hypocrites.

  7. Typical Malkin! Her stock in trade is provocative and outrageous rhetoric. She knows how to rattle people with her asinine comments because nobody can be that dense to think that receiving unemployment benefits is a desirable financial state. Ya, everybody is a freeloading deadbeat looking for the government gravy train except hard working Malkin. I pray that misery overtakes her…Oh, it all ready has..I’m mean financial misery.

  8. The cash for clunkers legislation was signed by Obama on June 26, 2009. Take note the wing-nuts only started to decry the bill with the help of our media this week, after it was obvious the program is working. The purpose is to stimulate the car industry while getting less fuel efficient cars off the road. Once again the wing-nuts are caught with their pants down, all they could do was hope it wouldn’t work, no that it has worked they can only attack it as more “socialism”.

    Another thought, how can the commercial broadcast media be trusted to deliver fair coverage on the healthcare debate when they profit by having the whole process derailed. Both sides are gearing up to spend millions on ad buys over the August recess, that is cash the network heads would have never seen if the debate hadn’t been derailed by the right wing-nut fear mongers and their corporate media enablers. Quite a scam!

  9. What everyone else said. I ate some government cheese a couple of years ago, during a 3-month stint on unemployment. I like cheese and all, but it wasn’t paying my rent. (I mean, as much of a nonstop party it was stretching unemployment to pay for my Brooklyn apartment and also some crazy things like food and the phone bill.)

    Also, I am all for any government programs that provide me with free cake.

  10. While I agree with the point about the cartoon, ask yourself this: What do government programs which rob people of gaining self-esteem and learning personal responsibility say about liberal’s view of Joe Citizen? Government worshippers have messed things up so hugely that we might have to go back to taking a look at basics. See:

  11. The guy running the group CPR (conservatives for patients rights) name is Rick Scott. He a thief from way back. You won’t hear his name on any broadcast anywhere. He has dropped over 20 million so far and intends to spend alot more to defeat any sort of reform. Why isn’t this a big story? Not even on “liberal” CNN and MSNBC? Money talks, like I said quite a scam!

  12. uncledad wrote:
    I mean everyone with half a brain could see the economy will at least stabilize and possibly start to expand again before Obama’s term is over, with or without any government intervention. It’s a recession, they always end and whoever is in office at the time will always take the credit.

    I only wish it was true. Obama’s solution to the economic (give literally trillions of dollars to the rich) is mostly a continuation of Bush’s policy. It’s nice that Obama wants some sort of universal health care, and he’s not trying to privatize social security, but to think that the recession is going to end during his term is wishful thinking. This is not a normal recession. We are headed into a depression, 1930s style. Just as in the 1920s, the USA squandered all its wealth in gigantic Ponzi schemes, and the nation is truly bankrupt. We need another Roosevelt to lead us out of this mess, but so far Obama is proving to be another Hoover.

    The Republicans will do all they can to prevent Obama from succeeding, but really they needn’t bother. Obama will fail just fine all on his own. And the Republicans will of course blame the depression on Obama, without acknowledging all they did to bring this disaster about.

    In 2012, when millions will be living in tents and under freeway overpasses, I am not sure if the American public will be stupid enough to vote another Republican back into office. But voters would be wise to get rid of Obama. Just who they could replace him with, I have no idea – by that time, things will be so bad that I’m not sure anybody will be able to piece America back together again.

    Perhaps the saddest thing is how few people understand what has really happened. Rush Limbaugh has convinced about half the American public that the collapse was caused by Jimmy Carter over-regulating the banks. And the other half of the public that knows better still thinks we will recover thanks to Obama’s stimulus program.

  13. What do government programs which rob people of gaining self-esteem and learning personal responsibility say about liberal’s view of Joe Citizen?

    What programs would those be? I realize that not all government programs turn out well, but I’ve yet to see one that has the effects you describe. Oh, except according to right-wing propaganda.

    Sorry about your URL.

  14. Christian Prophet, so you’re a libertarian? When you decide to get serious about what Jesus taught – see Matthew 25 – let us know.

  15. It’s always a bad sign when someone calls him- or herself “Christian Prophet.” I used to assign similar sobriquets to myself when I was 14 years old and not taking my meds.

    Worst “gummint program” of the past 35 years would be the invasion of Iraq. Nothing else comes close for the waste of blood and treasure. So where were the libertarians during the Bush II years? Still under their rocks, to be sure.

  16. With all due respect, Joanr, a large portion of the libertarian party was and still is in opposition to the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan/ Uzbekistan.
    (it’s bigger than we imagine!) is my first blog visit every day, and it’s a libertarian site. ( Mahablog is my fave!, as are your comments)

    During my years in the PileDriver’s union in So.Cal, there were several times when I was laid off and went to the unemployment office to file a claim. I was very lucky, and usually got back to work at or near the 2 week waiting period.
    Some of my union brothers weren’t so lucky.
    When I was a child, my parents divorced when I was 7, mom was on county aid several times. It was temporary (and humilating for me), but a necessary thing in times of extreme stress. My right wing friends don’t appreciate this, because they had a traditional family life with two parents, and an abundance of money.
    Being poor does not make you evil.

  17. “What do government programs which rob people of gaining self-esteem and learning personal responsibility say about liberal’s view of Joe Citizen?”

    I would say that the practice of fundamental Christianity has robbed more people of their self esteem, than any government program ever did. And personal responsibility, give me a break, all you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your savior and all is forgiven right? Now that’s some personal responsibility.

  18. “Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth […] no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.”

    – William Gibson, Idoru

  19. “What do government programs which rob people of gaining self-esteem and learning personal responsibility say about liberal’s view of Joe Citizen?”

    I took a tour of the Grand Coulee Dam last weekend. I learned that seven thousand (otherwise unemployed) laborers had their self-esteem stripped away for 8 years building the damn thing, and all it does is provide billions of dollars worth of power and water for thousands of factories, farmers and Joe Citizens each year, which no private consortium could have accomplished. Damn that FDR. Damn him straight to hell.

    What? You were talking about the Cash For Clunkers program? Unemployment insurance? Affirmative Action and Sotomayor? My bad.

  20. erinyes – for six years, the libertarians were remarkably silent. A website isn’t opposition; action is opposition. If all the hypocrites who now call themselves “libertarians” had opposed the war, we never would have invaded. (And it’s amazing how many people are libertarians now that a black man, perceived as liberal, is president.)

  21. “I only wish it was true. Obama’s solution to the economic (give literally trillions of dollars to the rich) is mostly a continuation of Bush’s policy.

    I agree with some of what you say (but your outlook is so grim I almost puked, sorry). I differ in the interpretation of how Obama’s administration will hopefully come to grips with the shit pile he and his buddies willingly signed on to correct.
    So far I think they are keeping their heads above water. They should not of (my opinion) have passed the stimulus, it was poorly written, not specific enough, and had over 15 billion in home renovation winterization bullshit, (I actually watched Waxman’s poorly organized committee’s, it was a fucking joke and I’m a liberal.). It was what can be commonly referred to a fucking boondoggle!

    I think today we saw Obama start to realize, he’s got the money out there, and he needs to be flexible how it is spent. He offered the people in Elkhart a hand up in revitalizing their economy.

    Obama needs to stand up and say: you know we passed 787 billion for stimulus, and we have spent less than 10% of it. And Today the economy is starting to turn. Today we have a better picture of how this recession is manifesting itself. So I am pleased to propose that half of the stimulus (still unspent) will not be needed. This will lower the deficit by almost 1/2 trillion dollars. What would the blue dogs, and the wing-nuts, and the just say no crowd do? Their fucking heads would absolutely explode. Obama would continue;
    Our plan is to ratchet back the proposed spending that was needed to as low of a level as is fiscally prudent.

    I appreciate the trust the good citizens of this country have bestowed upon me, and I intend to repay them with careful leadership and well informed activism.

  22. One of the things I’ve always thought was that one of the problems government spending that conservatives don’t like is the lack of clarity about how the money is spent. Why can’t the government do a better job at advertising or highlighting how taxes are spent? I think reasonable people have figured out people aren’t really out of work because they love the government providing them Cheetos, but fact people don’t know enough about how the government is spending taxes means people like Michelle Malkin can say silly things and have quite a few people agree with her!

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