Scared and Stupid

I had hoped to find something interesting to write about that is entirely removed from the Boston bombers, but have not succeeded. Michael Tomasky has a must-read piece on the conservative reaction —

As usual, conservatives are rushing to judgment, shredding the Constitution, using the bombing as an pretext for derailing immigration reform, and generally seeking any excuse to reimpose their paranoid and authoritarian worldview, which needs fear like a vampire needs blood, on the rest of us.

That’s scared, so let’s go on to stupid. Power Tool John Hinderacker provides a textbook example of bigotry as a strategy for conserving cognitive resources. He ridicules speculation about the Tsarnaev brothers’ possible motives. All you need to know, he says, is that they were eeeeeevil and Muslim. As if slapping a label on someone is the same thing as understanding. (Clue, Tool. It isn’t.)

But fear does love ignorance, so I can understand why the Tool is eager to short-circuit attempts at knowledge. And fear is what it is all about.

Conor Friedersdorf ties together our themes of scared and stupid by reminding us that war-on-terror hawks have no credibility.

The self-assurance of War on Terror hawks is one of the most peculiar phenomena in our politics. You’d think that the failure to foresee or stop the biggest terrorist attack ever carried out on U.S. soil would’ve caused guys like Dick Cheney to question their own geopolitical prescience. Instead, they immediately began urging the invasion of Iraq they’d long desired, insisting it was necessary to keep Americans safe. They got their war. As efforts to “keep us safe” go, it was a spectacular failure: Almost 4,500 Americans died in Iraq. More than 30,000 were wounded. Despite deaths and casualties far greater than on 9/11, the hawks insist to this day that Iraq was a prudent war. They’re ideologues who can’t see or won’t admit failures, facts be damned.

Don’t forget that.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon, the War on Terror hawks are speaking out with characteristic bluster. An uninformed observer might easily mistake their certainty for wisdom or competence. There is, in fact, no reason to trust their judgment on foreign policy or counterterrorism. Their dearth of self-doubt should be unnerving, not reassuring. And most Americans will recognize as much, so long as they’re reminded of the catastrophic policies the hawks unapologetically advocated, the many times their predictions have proven wrong, and the logical flaws in the arguments that they’ve been making in response to last week’s terrorist attack.

Be grateful we don’t have a Republican president, or we’d have declared war on somebody entirely unrelated to the Tsarnaev brothers by now.

18 thoughts on “Scared and Stupid

  1. I don’t know that if I walked around all day with my tit’s in a constant state of uproar, my knicker’s always in knots, and my Depends full, from fear and loathing, that I’d be willing to show my face in public.

    When did our Conservatives become such wussies?
    I guess they have been for a long time.

    JFK went on PT Boats, which was practically suicidal, while Richard M. Nixon was playing cards, fleecing the rubes, back in the Officers Clubs, far away from the action.
    And John Kerry was off earning Purple Hearts in Vietnam, while Dick Cheney and his wife were back in Montana, desperately banging away, hoping to provide him with yet another deferment.

    Also, if I was wrong about virtually every foreign policy issue, pre-dating WWII, I might hesitate before I opined in public again.

    I know that our “brave” Conservatives, who’ve been desperately praying on their knees daily for a domestic terrorict act ever since President Obama beat America’s sh*ttiest fighter pilot and Snowbilly Barbie, are trying to make hay while this sun of domestic terrorism is still shining, let’s please remember that “only” a few people died, and 140 got injured in Boston, and we didn’t lose almost 3,000 lives, 4 planes, the WTC buildings, a chunk of the Pentagon, and some field in PA, because W was diddling around with cutting brush back in Crawford in the summer, ignoring all sorts of warnings, and then on 9/11, when the terrorist event happened, was off reading some goat story to kiddies in the state where his brother was able to finagle the election for him by eliminating black Democrats from the voter rolls, and monkeying around with ballots in Palm Beach County.

    So, let’s keep this in some context, shall we, you whining and simpering band of fraidy-cats?
    “Man-up” as you so often like to say!
    It was a terrorist act.
    And what is a terrorist, but a criminal with a political, religious, or some other, agenda?

    The surviving brother should be treated like the mass-murderer and criminal that he is.
    Make sure he gets a fair trial, and if found guilty, then lock the stupid and malevolant SOB up in a Super-Max for the rest of his life.

    I like to walk around with my tit’s calm, my knickers un-knotted, Depends-less, thank you very much – but your mileage obviously does vary – but do, please, try to stop getting everyone else as scared as you amoral cowards.
    Do it for the children.

    Remember children?
    20 of them died a few months ago, and you simpering cowards couldn’t even allow a vote on a [email protected]$$ed Senate bill that over 90% of the people in this country wanted passed.
    Yeah, so forget the children…

    I don’t understand how almost 50% of the people in this country vote for simpering cowards like this.
    Oh yeah – they ratchet-up the fear, like they’re trying to do here.

    The only solution, is to mock Republicans and Conservatives.
    Mock them loud!
    Mock them long!
    And mock every single of of them who’s been so wrong so often, every single time they open their mouths.
    How do we expect the MSM to start doing that, until we do it ourselves?

  2. As efforts to “keep us safe” go, it was a spectacular failure: Almost 4,500 Americans died in Iraq. More than 30,000 were wounded. Despite deaths and casualties far greater than on 9/11, the hawks insist to this day that Iraq was a prudent war.

    This doesn’t even count the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed or injured overseas as a result of this criminal action. All of that blood is on our hands, both those who promoted the war, and those of us who silently went along with it. I include myself in that latter category – I thought about war resistance – not paying my taxes for example – but that’s as far as it went.

    There are people who view this war as being merely incompetently executed, versus others, like myself, who view it as hugely morally wrong, which is in another category entirely. It’s not for nothing that Rumsfeld and a few others of his cabal cannot travel to certain other countries for fear of being detained for war crimes. The general consciousness here in the US is just too dull to recognize this for the crime it is, is my view.

    The hawks – who regard all these people as our enemies or at least as irrelevant “collateral damage” – never seem to get the blowback this inevitably creates, eventually in the form of Tamarlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. It’s a spectacularly ineffective policy that does nothing but create more enemies, who will then burn with desire to get revenge. It doesn’t matter that the Tsarnaevs were Chechnyan/Dagostanian, Tamarlan was quoted as saying he was upset with America’s actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The hawks never seem to mind the police state their own actions require to be imposed on America, to protect us from the natural results of their own fear and moral blindness.

  3. When we moved to Alabama in 1987, I got a real education in the conservative use of “labelism:” Throw a label at something in order to end all discussion about it. It is still a major right-wing tactic.

  4. I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal enmity against the mind set of the fear inducing wingnuts – Swami

    OK, maybe it’s not exactly all original,but you get my point.

  5. Well, background checks for the purchase of pressure cookers seems reasonable in light of our present terror threat. At least for any 3 quarts or larger.

    When it comes to al Qaida terror threats, and the wingnuts war on Terra..I think they’ve milked that cow dry. For some reason, the ecomony and jobs seems to be my main concern. Go figure?

  6. moonbat …One of the biggest hurts I experienced for Bush’s excursion on the world stage was the fact that Bush and his cronies decided to make torture an element of our national character..I was never decieved that America was lily white and a bastion of justice and decency,but to see our nation openly embrace torture with an eagerness really hurt.
    I guess in some respects it made Bush and Cheney more Christ like, in that they are now despised and rejected among men.

  7. So I spent some time today surfing around rightie land sites like beck hell, ect. I was struck by the number of comments about how “Shelter in place ” was a test by the government to see how people would react in the future when marshal law is imposed.
    Many remarked that the residents were wrong to “allow it” . Or what? What , I wonder, would they do? It was frightening to me, as someone DEAR as hell to me did his job to think someone like that would open fire on a crowd of police officers just doing their job rather than let the police make sure they were safe.Do you think those cops wanted to be chasing a guy with bombs? What these people suggested was cause a problem, a danger to themselves, potentially to others– I would NOT be pleased if my neighbor was more worried about cops than hiding a guy with bombs next door to me..
    The comments suggested they would have resisted and went out in large groups of armed men despite the police asking people not to, but that Boston folks were all anti gun pussies to handle their own. So many said things like “they wouldn’t have needed any police in texas” — BUT THAT IS THE POINT !!!! We have questions for this jack ass that getting answers to kinda require that he be ah, you know– alive? The very last thing we need EVER is roving bands of armed citizens roaming the streets lookin for suspects with bombs on their own holding the cops up from finding morons like the asshole bomber.

    And screw my rights! If I think that a bomber is in my house hiding …I WANT THE COPS TO COME IN AND RESOLVE THAT! We won’t need a warrant ..Really ? They think a bomber is in your area and you wanna take the crap shoot he may be hiding in your attic? And maybe the gun crowd wants to load for bear and be rambo up to their own attic..and this douche bag had bombs? There was the potential to level a neighborhood full of people. Don’t these people see how dangerous their cowboy justice is? It is going to end badly.

    Finally I read “Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither” As they steal all of our liberty for the false sense of security of the guns of a few. That quote applies DIRECTLY to the gun crowd.

  8. Well, thank FSM they didn’t use crock pots. There are so many of those that we’d never get them all registered. I have five, so I’d be investigated for stockpiling arms, I suppose.

    If the wingers ever realize there is already a registry of self-identified Republicans, they’ll burn every courthouse in the nation. By their logic, they should just be able to walk in someplace and vote without any lousy government knowing who they are, if they think guns are a model for avoiding overregulation.

  9. Although none of them will admit it, what’s got the wingnuts so upset about this Boston bomber case is that Obama is in office, and the police did an efficient job at killilng/capturing the terrorists (less than 48 hours). If Bush/Cheney had been in office and they bombed the city entire killing thousands of civilians to get the terrorists, the wingnuts would have no problem with it. “That’s collateral damage but it can’t be helped, we must support the president, if you’re not with us you’re against us, do you want to terrorists to win?” But Obama is in office, and even though you really can’t credit him directly for this particular police investigation, Obama kept his cool and stayed out of the way, ditto for the citizens of Boston, the police did an efficient job, and the situation was quickly resolved – the wingnuts just hate this. They wanted some kind of KKK-style lynching, and they didn’t get it – no wonder they’re angry.

  10. Last week I saw a strange psychological quirk at work, for both left and right. The quirk is: people would rather be unhappy than uncertain. Therefore people projected their biggest fears onto the bombing. We all fantasized what we least desired.

    So people on the right were convinced, prior to evidence, that it was Al Qaeda; which would of course have meant that their terabuck wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were completely worthless. People on the left, including myself, saw tax day and patriot’s day and the ricin as evidence that it was white supremacists; which would of course have meant that a race-war was on.

    Fate toyed with all of us. They were white, yes, but also Moslem; and to top it off, they were loner losers. So we were all right, and all wrong.

  11. I saw Lindsey Grahman’s little press conference on C-span about the need to try suspect #2 as an enemy combatant..He didn’t use the term war on terror,but instead he said we are engaged in a war with radical Islam; in an attempt maintain the fear and control that the repugs have had over the the American public for the past 11 years.

    What struck me as strange is the fact that now the repug’s trump card has been reduced down to targeting a specific element of Islam. Terror in and of it’s self no longer serves as a cover for the intentions of political control and manipulation that it previously had. Now it’s becoming more in focus as a holy war against Islam in the effort to maintain control.

  12. Right,Paradoctor.The lesson here is to be objective.In these times, its easy to find a “news” source to validate one’s opinion rather than to seek the truth.Especially when the truth is not what we want to believe.

  13. justme,
    It’s easy for them to play big, bad, armed, tough guys, on their keyboards,

    But in reality, if they actually lived in Boston, the only thing they’d be carrying around fully-loaded, is their Depends, while they cowered in their basements.

    Any many of these same people cheered on our wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, while safely banging away on their laptops, far from the action they could have voluteered for, but didn’t.
    Because they are cowards, not patriots – COWARDS!

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