Tag Archive: protests


16 September 2009

Is there a literary equivalent for having your jaw drop?  Do my fingers fall to the ground mid-typing?  Is it a screen-freeze on my monitor?

I haven’t posted for days on end, and certainly not because there hasn’t been anything to write about.  No, it’s some kind of jaw-drop reaction to the right wing craziness on their hot-button issues:  health care… or taxes… or big government… or government at all… or something?  As the protests over the last few weeks have ramped up, it’s been more and more difficult to get a fix on exactly what the “tea party” folks are aiming to achieve.

It been pretty bizarre.  My last post on the town hall/health reform/evil government contingent was when Barney Frank used his “dining room table” comparison.  I think he was having a jaw-dropping moment, but manage to pick his up off the floor and respond, sort of in-kind.  Since that post, things have moved along alarmingly.  Just off the top of my head

* A finger was bitten off in another heated Town Hall exchange

* Light was shed on The Family and the C-street house

* Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck

* Orly Taitz-isms continue to provide background noise

* The latest Texas secession rally actually gets attention

* A big ol’ flurry over Obama’s speech to school kids: indoctrination? or….

* Joe Wilson yells “You Lie!” during Obama’s speech to Congress

* The Nine-Twelvers held a healthy but over-rated rally in DC

And all though this mess, of course, like an annoying squeaky wheel (say a small one, on a child’s red wagon) the hysterical extreme right continues to blather on about their fears: socialist/ communist/Muslim/ foreigner/ fascist/ death panels/ internment camps and coffins for tea partiers/ etc etc etc, on and on, a never-ending whine of crap based on nothing but paranoid fantasies about the communists, and/or heathens, and/or darkies taking over, pardon my french. 

Gawd.  It makes me tired just re-living it.

As if this endless stream of dangerous fantasy wasn’t paralyzing in and of itself, a few days back, Frank Schaeffer posted a great piece on the extreme religious right, how the decades of growth of the politicized religious right led to the Nine-Twelvers.  He shares what he believes these folks really want in American politics, how it shapes the bizarre thinking that sparks cries of “socialism” and considers the bulk of American society as agents of Satan.  Literally.  I value Schaeffer’s perspective, as an religious right insider from childhood, who late in life left the flock after realizing how crazy his isolated world view had become.

But it scares me – knowing what’s going on down deep in the thinking of the Christian extremists – and Schaeffer’s piece on the Nine-Twelvers ramped up my immobilization, my writers block, if you will. 

I guess the Joe Wilson thing broke the gridlock for me.  I moved from jaw-drop to thinking again, in actual words and sentences  instead of the white noise of my cacophony of outrage.  Because it is outrage – outrage that people are so far gone in how they think about our society, casting the events around them in a light which has nothing to do with facts, and everything to do with fear.  Fear, I think, of change, and of the Other.  Add the adrenaline rush of Being Part of a Movement!!! … I guess some people just can’t resist the cocktail of fear and adrenaline and a sense of Doing Something, anything, to gain an illusion of control.

One thing I know:  I have to resist the immobilizing jaw-drop experience, or I’ll cave to despair.  Venting – here or elsewhere – is just the medicine I need.

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22 August 2009

Dear Barney Frank,

God love ya!  Days later, I’m still chuckling over your sharp and sweet retort to the Obama/Hitler flyer bearing woman at your Town Hall Meeting.  I confess, like a lot of people, I thought you were kind of rude to the poor ignorant citizen, but I just can’t be mad at you.  She was so much ruder, after all, as have been so many of her fellow protesters, to suggest some bizarre connection between Hitler and Obama’s health reform.  Some things are just beyond the pale, you know, and deserve to be called out.  Finally, some one did, and hopefully it will spill over to a lot of people holding those smear-wielding wing nuts accountable for what they are saying.  One blogger already has, articulating his objection both personally and a politically.

So anyway, Mr. Frank, thanks for speaking out, for cutting that blithering idiot off before she could get started, for naming her ridiculous question for what it was: vile contemptible speech.  Thanks for equating trying to hold reasonable discussion with someone who asks their questions from such a bizarre world view as no more worthy than discussing something with a dining room table.  And actually, the table might provide better company.

6 Aug 2009

If you pay any attention to the news lately, you can’t miss the hollering, rude fools interrupting Town Hall meetings around the country.  They don’t just voice their opinions, they shout them, and they often keep anyone else from being able to voice their opinions in these gatherings.

schoolhouserockbill2 But if that’s not bad enough, their understanding of how Congress does things is appalling.  I’m thinking we need to start mandating Civics classes again.  In the meantime, perhaps people should be required to review choice episodes of School House Rock, or at least the one on How a Bill Becomes a Law

Where the screaming stops long enough for these otherwise disruptive people to voice a somewhat coherent point, they seem clueless about how government works.  One questioner grilled her representative on whether he would vote on the health reform law, whether he had read it, basically trying to pin him down with a commitment that the bill would be voted on exactly as he had supposedly read it.  The poor representative tried to explain that there were already about 70 amendments to the proposed bill, and that it was still in process.  The poor gal didn’t really seem to understand that this is normal, that bills go through many changes on their way to hopeful passing by both houses of Congress.  It’s not to create subterfuge, or to trick the public – legislation changes as it moves through the process.

Hence my feeling that How a Bill Becomes a Law should be required viewing for all Americans.

It’s times like these that I don’t feel much faith in my fellow citizens.  In fact, they kind of scare me.  In fact, they kind of seem like flocks of big, misled sheep, or maybe it’s cows, because they’re all stampeding towards the edge of a cliff, mooing and moaning desperately about something completely imagined.

Maybe we need some wolves to turn the stampede?  Hmmmmm.

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