19 thoughts on “What the Right-wing Assault on Women, Unions, the Environment, Health Care and PBS Is All About

  1. Over on the right-wing blogs right now, they’re all up in arms about “union thugs” who are supposedly threatening the Wisconsin Republican legislature, which decided to run away:


    Incidentally, this same blog was cheering when Tea Partiers showed up at Democratic town hall meetings brandishing assault rifles.

    I’ve made numerous attempts to talk rationally and calmly to these Tea Party types. It just isn’t possible. They’re purple with rage, threatening to kill you if you don’t agree with them 100%. All the while they’re claiming how it’s the “liberals” who are violent – after all, they read it on Michelle Malkin’s web site, so it must be true.

    The USA appears to be headed for a civil war. The most positive thing I can say is I’m glad I’m not there. Of course, I do realize that even over here in Asia we will feel the impact of America’s collapse – that’s a feature of globalism.

  2. Last year, when I read THE FAMILY, I gained much insight into the mentality behind the “conservative” movement of the last 70 years. Now, when the much-hyped Prayer Breakfast is held, i just want to throw up. The failure of the Democratic Party to hew to an effective line of communication in the face of an obvious communication attack says to me that they are not the answer, even if they are all we have at the moment. What we have now is a corporatocracy than needs only the right Reaganesque preacher-leader to demolish the remnants of freedom. Sorry to start your Sunday on such a downer, but I’ve heard so much Faux stupidity infiltrating the news on budget issues that I am a little down.

  3. “The USA appears to be headed for a civil war”
    That is exactly what I said to my wife Thursday night, althoughI don’t believe it will be a “shooting” war. I believe there will be growing hostility towards liberals and progressives, mostly on a social plane. My right wing friend recently explained to me that progressives are communists. He saw that on Glenn Beck’s show, so it must be true.When I said I consider myself to be progressive, he freaked out, because he knows that I work very hard and he knows my wife and daughter and how special they are.He has been told over and over that progressives are lazy, angry liberals with no morals.(code words: Hippies and niggers)
    Beck and the rest of the right wing talking heads prattle on about Christians being under assault, the growing threat from Muslims and Sharia Law, the danger of Atheism, the collapse of the dollar, hoarding weapons, ammo, and food.
    It is psycho talk, but there are plenty of hungry listeners awaiting validation.
    When I contacted my state rep. last week, I asked the intern if they were getting hateful emails and phone calls, he said he was not allowed to comment on that ( the rep is a Republican who supports high speed rail). Our County buildings now have metal detectors, and anyone wishing to attend a commission meeting must now be screened for weapons. We have become a nation of scared hostile serfs.There is a growing wall between politicians and those they serve. Many long term politicians are retiring, I think the reason is they are being threatened, mostly wilh hostile emails, because any asshole can sit in his or her home and bang out threats thinking they are anonymous. Who wants to deal with that? Especially after what happened in Arizona, and even more so because most of our congressmen are already millionaires; they don’t need a dangerous job when they could be out playing golf.
    I go to Lewrockwell’s site daily because there are interesting and useful articles posted , but I’m troubled that a number of articles are about survival in urban areas. These articles project a “road warrior” mind set, NOT one of community, which will be the way to survive and flourish should things go very bad.
    I do believe we will see a wave of political assassinations, office bombings, increased security, and social discourse.We are about to have sharp increases in food and fuel prices which will make things very uncomfortable.
    I remember the Bush quote “there ought to be limits to freedoms”, well, I suppose that doesn’t apply to crazy-assed end times preachers, prophets of economic doom, or the Beck /Limbaugh/ FOX axis of insanity.The right wing talking heads are like stupid little boys playing a chemistry set. What could go wrong?

  4. Oh, I can see a civil war.
    What Lakoff’s describing is the old white Jesusy Daddy trying to prove not just he’s still relevant, but that he’s still a force to be reckoned with – for a long time.
    The demographics are against them, they know it, and they know that their time, or their last chance, to consolidate long term power is here, and it is now. Now, or never.
    And here’s where the civil war may come in – if they do regain power, as they might, they will be neither kind nor gentle with their “enemies,” but brutal. And if they don’t get power, they will perceive themselves as wanting to go down fighting. Violence is part of their credo, and they will lash out.
    So, if they win, they will brutalize those who disagree with them. I don’t want to go all ‘Godwin’ on anyone, but I think you know the precedent. And if they continue to lose, they will up the violence that we’ve already been seeing, and escalate to political assassinations, and politicla killings of people who disagree with them. Violence is part of their nature.
    These will not be fun times. But if they do win, I very well may ‘see you in the gulag.’
    I hope that I’m completely wrong on all points.

  5. In Madison yesterday for the protests. Any estimation of the Teabaggers that puts them as more than 1,000 is wildly inaccurate. And I think I am being generous. They were almost to a person, douche bags. One woman, a pro-Walker teacher, had her teen-age autistic son with her who was taking his Scott Walker sign and literally shoving it into people’s faces. When he got the response that anyone would get when something is shoved into your face, she became indignant saying how the behavior of the protestors was ‘out-of-control’. The poor kid should not have been there, autistic kids hate noise and any time the crowd would cheer or chant he would take his hood and put it over his head and pull the drawstring tight until you could only see his nose and mouth. I could write several lengthy posts on WI, but suffice it to say that I believe democracy is in the balance which really doesn’t have anything to do with the Walker bill. It is the concerted effort of this governor to concentrate power in his office (and there are several examples of this), a legislative branch that has completely capitulated to his cause under threat of recalls from, get this, their own party. And then the defunding of unions to thwart Democratic money. Soon, here in WI, we will have a voter ID bill being taken up and passed further disenfranchising a large part of our electorate. It is frightening and reminds me more of the Roman Empire with its powerless senate, than the Roman Republic, with its powerful Senate. I would think that would make any REPUBLICAN cringe, especially those that are fearful of a powerful government. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

  6. Pop math quiz:

    How many million dollars are there in 107 billion dollars?

    Calculation aids:

    1) there is 1,000 million in a billion = 1,000,000,000.
    2) we’ll be spending 107 billion dollars in Afghanistan next year

  7. I’ve gotten so sick of the masses of propagandized idiots who are down on unions, that I actually found a couple choice rebuttals (from comments on Daily Kos) that I’ve taken to pasting into reply boxes (saved to my desktop). I didn’t save who created them in the first place, and customize them as you see fit:

    “Everyone of you absolutely intent on seeing all Unions as corrupt and a blight…then I fully expect…

    …For you to give up all your sick days
    …Give up your vacation
    …Give up your overtime
    …Give up your personal days
    …Give up your right to have a voice at your place of employment­.
    …40 hour weeks
    …Weekend­s off

    These are just a few. You are not allowed to benefit from what Unions have done or from the people that have died to force change, so that you are treated at least like a human being…in­stead of slave labor.

    If this gave you a chuckle…­then you’re only a parrot repeating what you’re told and not the least bit interested in standing behind your conviction­s.

    Talk is cheap. Step up and show the 70,000+ plus people protesting in Wisconsin, that you don’t need any Union enacted benefits provided over the years.

    Go for it. I dare ya.


    “Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.”

    President Eisenhower (R-KS)


    Great and to the point article by Lakoff, btw.

  8. Thanks Moonbat. I was there and I was singing. I’m the one with the Red shirt 😉 If nothing else the demonstrations keep the media attention off of the WI 14 sitting in Illinois. The longer they sit there, the better off all of us are.

  9. From Madison Observations:

    …I live in Milwaukee, and today I drove to Madison to take a look at the ongoing demonstrations….

    …Then the most compelling moment of the afternoon happened for me. I read a Tea Party idiot’s sign which said, and I paraphrase: “My insurance costs $860 a month. How much does yours cost?” The meaning was that teachers and other union members have it too good, that they’re whining when their benefits were far better than the sign holder’s benefits.

    That sort of crystalized it all for me. This is the Tea Party mindset. They’re miserable, sorry people who think everyone should be as oppressed, depressed, and repressed as they are. $860 a month for medical insurance is an outrage, and the guy carrying the sign knows it.

    But rather than make an effort to join our side and make everyone’s life better, rather than opposing Walker’s attempts to turn us all into serfs, rather than supporting “Obamacare”, he thinks everyone else should be dragged down to his level of unhappiness. The point of the labor movement in the United States has always been to give workers a larger slice of the pie, but it’s also always been to make the pie bigger. We want the employer to make a profit and thrive, but we also want to reap some of the benefits of that success. We want the state to have a balanced budget, but we also want the state to provide necessary services and we want the state employees who provide those services to receive good pay and good benefits, so as to attract the very best people to public service.

    The wingnuts, or at least the ones of moderate means, the non-plutocrats among them, have been sold on the idea that they only deserve to make seven bucks an hour, that they don’t deserve medical benefits, and that they don’t deserve paid vacations. Basically, they’ve willfully chosen to be hostages of The Man. They’ve chosen Stockholm Syndrome rather than freedom, a servile version of political and economic cowardice rather than the courage to stand up and fight and organize. It was the first time I’ve felt sorry for one of their crowd. I don’t feel sorry for the aristocrats, for the puppetmasters, of course. But I feel sorry for the working men and women who agree with corporate fatcats that workers deserve to be treated like livestock….

  10. A friend sent me the link an hour before I saw it here. This article is one of the best full frontal assaults on the neo-con ideology I’ve seen to date. I’ve long admired Lakoff as one who understands how many have become influenced by the rights careful and studious framing of the issues.

    Over on the right-wing blogs right now, they’re all up in arms about “union thugs” who are supposedly threatening the Wisconsin Republican legislature…

    It would have to come to this Candide. It had to become real and less imaginary. When “the other” is nameless and faceless it’s easy enough to trick others into directing their bile in an imaginary way. But those are people just like us in Madison which makes it harder, especially for those in Wisconsin to turn on a neighbor who is now a real person.

    The sooner it becomes real the less likely it is that violence will occur. It’s something we have to get through.

    This impresses upon us how there are so many battles that must be fought locally instead of in front of a TV or PC. Is there anywhere I can send money to help their immediate cause in Madison? To buy meals to keep them going? Do anything to help the people out there doing what they’re doing? Does anyone know?

    The GOP agenda represents the end of empathy as we know it…. which has been clear enough from those who want the 10 commandments etched in stone on public buildings but no trace of charity, Jesus primary teaching, reflected in government by the people. I just mention Jesus as one among many because so many tea partiers claim his mantle.

    I had an discussion with a conservative who was absolutely “certain” that government should not help anyone. I replied that this seemed a little ironic because every single person in Congress will tell you they’re helping someone. They only differ by who they are helping. It’s sometimes hard for me to guess at what is so difficult to understand about economies being zero sum games? Reward to one is penalty to another.

    Thus the government can spend money to protect the market and promote market values, but should not rule over it either through (1) regulation, (2) taxation, (3) unions and worker rights, (4) environmental protection or food safety laws, and (5) tort cases.

    But this is thinly veiled authoritarianism because it cedes control from government without an examination of where control, limits, law and decisions comes from. That’s precisely the cliff those who want to drown government in the bathtub march towards that I’ve referred to as ignorance of those who want to kill government and have something else rush in and fill the vacuum — they cannot elaborate on what rushes in to take governments place. They speak only in terms of what to eliminate or crush which is unhinged.

    I increasingly believe that the vision they cannot elaborate on is Italian style fascism. The corporations are eliminating the threat of regulation by government and at some point would just merge with government. It has been tried before with dismal results…always good for those high in the corporate ladder, the new royalty, and bad for most everyone else. Benito Mussolini expressed this idea succinctly:

    Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.

    This is the America that conservatives really want. Budget deficits are convenient ruses for destroying American democracy and replacing it with conservative rule in all areas of life.

    …and they do this be carrying the idea of a cut to prohibition of anything that threatens their predominance and that of corporate rule. Is this not regulation? They want to regulate but not be regulated themselves. Actually they take it further than that they want to take away the rights of people to regulate themselves — which is what collective bargaining does…it allows people to speak and act with one voice, together…

    Democrats help conservatives by not shouting out loud over and over that it was conservative values that caused the global economic collapse: lack of regulation and a greed-is-good ethic.

    The silence on this matter is deafening and turning the tea party against their fellow citizens has been a major distract and what has led to these latest bold measures. After the economic collapse that the corporate elite got away with they believe they are invulnerable and can do anything who why not this?

    In my opinion We’ll continue our downward spiral in America until education is as sacrosanct, inviolable and immune to cutting as defense. One is investment in humans, culture and quality of life and the other in investment in death. But it’s the same ideology that Lakoff details that gets in the way of this too.

    Anyone but an obtuse dullard should be aware of the dystopian vision embraced by today’s GOP. They seek power over people not power to the people. Our collective imagination can’t seem to look even a half-step ahead.

    Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.

    Good one Moonbat. From the American Presidency Project’s Republican Party Platform of 1956 comes this:

    Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration. In 1954, 1955 and again in 1956, President Eisenhower recommended constructive amendments to this Act. The Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked these needed changes by parliamentary maneuvers. The Republican Party pledges itself to overhaul and improve the Taft-Hartley Act along the lines of these recommendations.

    How far todays GOP has slid from their once lofty goals and desire to help average Americans…

  11. Here is the line in Lakoff article that I liked; but, wish he had been more specific on what he was talking about:

    “Eighty percent of the talking heads on tv are conservatives. Talk matters because language heard over and over changes brains.”

    The other word for this is brainwashing. That is what is wrong with the conservatives; they are brainwashed. The Democrats need to study how to undo brainwashing; but, it may be too late. Also, I am 65 and fought my battles in my 20s and 30s. It is now up to the youth of this country to start fighting for the country they want. I have no more energy.

  12. “If you give up the bible then you’ve given up the possibility of knowing anything”

    I guess that statement explains my terminal stupidity.

  13. Grover Cleveland, 1887, vetoed a bill passed by Congress to provide financial aid to the poor explaining himself with, “the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.” So, the people have a responsibility to support the government but the government has no responsibility to support the people? Seems a bit one-sided?

    Individual responsibility apparently applies only to the individual and not to the corporation – GE and Exxon Mobile, to name only two of many, pay no federal taxes even though they could not do business without the necessary infra-structure etc. paid for by the rest of us. Irresponsible? You bet. Free-loading? You bet.

    I’ve heard that Republican ‘line’ for years and for years what I’ve processed is that they just want it all for themselves and to hell with everybody else, even though without everybody else contributing to their comfortable life-style, they wouldn’t have one.

Comments are closed.