By now you’ve heard that NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned at the request of NPR’s board of directors because an outgoing NPR executive was caught on video expressing personal opinions that angered the teabaggers.
As Sean Paul Kelley said, “There is absolutely zero political courage in DC.” John Cole adds, “This approach of bending over and taking it every time you upset the wingnuts is proving to be really successful.”
This episode also proves that the teabaggers believe they have an absolute right to punish anyone who says anything they don’t like. They also believe they have an absolute right to destroy any institution they don’t like, by any means, honest or dishonest, including means outside the law or political processes. A propaganda campaign already destroy ACORN, and now they’re going after Planned Parenthood and NPR.
Remember when Clarence Thomas whined about a “high-tech lynching?” What Odious Toad [and accused hamster rapist] O’Keefe and the teabaggers are doing now amounts to a high-tech kristallnacht.
It’s especially galling that NPR is punished because somebody who believed he was speaking privately expressed commonly held and demonstrably accurate opinions. Yes, the exec also bit his tongue and did not refute outrageous statements being made by the disguised provocateurs, but at the time he was being offered $5 million for NPR.
As Jack Shafer said, “If you’ve ever hung out with rich people, you know they have a lot of crazy ideas and aren’t afraid of expressing them. … we’d last about 15 seconds in the fundraising business if every time a potential donor said something crazy or offensive, we told them to shut their pie hole.”
Getting back to what former NPR exec Ron Schiller said about the GOP being eaten by evangelicalism, check out Dana Milbank. The current model “centrist” among the presidential candidates, Tim Pawlenty, is channeling the ghost of Jerry Falwell.
At the Faith & Freedom event, he [Pawlenty] was dropping g’s all over the place, using “ain’t” instead of “isn’t,” and adding a syrup to his vowels not indigenous to Minnesota. He didn’t utter the word “jobs,” made only passing reference to economic woes, and instead gave the assembled religious conservatives a fiery speech about God, gays and gynecology.
“We have people in Washington, D.C., who believe the unborn do not have a right to life,” he roared. “Yes, they do! We have people in Washington, D.C., who say marriage will be defined however we feel like defining it. No, it won’t!” His central theme: “We need to be a country that turns toward God, not a country that turns away from God.”
Get this —
The Tea Party is morphing from an economic movement into a conventional moral crusade.
That pivot was best articulated by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in his speech at the Faith & Freedom event. “It’s not the economy,” he told the crowd, warning about gay marriage. “If we get the culture right, the economy will be right eventually,” he said to applause.
A similar message was offered by Rick Santorum, another presidential hopeful. “Everyone wants to talk about the economy, and it’s important,” he said. “But what’s the mission? What’s the what-for?” Santorum’s what-for was abortion. “Any child born prematurely, according to the president, in his own words, can be killed,” Santorum alleged.
The group’s chairman, Ralph Reed (formerly of the Christian Coalition), told the crowd that if the government violated the people’s God-given rights, “it was our duty and moral obligation to replace that government, by force if necessary.” Even aspiring candidates Newt Gingrich and Buddy Roemer, who between them have had six wives, spoke about moral values.
Yep, Ralph Reed is still with us. After Reed’s sleazy association with Jack Abramoff a sane audience would howl him off the stage for uttering words about “moral obligation.” And the fact that Newt Gingrich can stand in front of an audience and shamelessly talk about moral values is proof he has no moral compass whatsoever. A normal person who had lived Newt’s life would be ashamed enough to shut his pie hole.