Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Monday, August 30, 2010

T's the Season for Witch-Hunting: Just Ask Any Republican

President Obama isn't the only Democratic president who has been a target of vicious Republican witch-hunts, proving once more that the GOP has no intention of working to solve the serious problems facing our country today. It's so much more fun to be destructive and obstructive, to bring the government to a screeching halt.

Paul Krugman reminds us of how distinguished players on the right "accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of everything from drug smuggling to murder."
. . . once Republicans took control of Congress, they subjected the Clinton administration to unrelenting harassment — at one point taking 140 hours of sworn testimony over accusations that the White House had misused its Christmas card list.
Krugman asks where the rage is coming from, why it's flourishing and what it will do to the country.
What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals — even very moderate liberals — legitimate. Mr. Obama’s election would have enraged those people even if he were white. Of course, the fact that he isn’t, and has an alien-sounding name, adds to the rage.
I interpret this to mean that one of the motivating factors behind the ugly name calling, the grotesque pictures and the tacky misspelled signs we've been hearing and seeing over the last two years just might be attributed to racism?

Krugman mentions Jane Mayer's recent article in The New Yorker about the super rich Koch brothers, their war against Obama and how they use their power and money to exploit and promote the rage on the right. He notes that Mayer points out "only the scale of their effort is new: billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife waged a similar war against Bill Clinton."

Take all the Tea Party rallies where men and women in silly hats with bags of tea bouncing around in front of their eyes were bussed in from the hinterlands to disrupt town-hall meetings. And take this past weekend when some 2500 Americans for Prosperity Foundation activists ate and got high on Koch on the eve of Beck's religious revival.
Few among the rank-and-file recognized the billionaire David Koch -- heir to the fortunes of Koch Industries -- or knew him as the man who bankrolls their activism, whose largess subsidized many of their trips to the nation's capital to take part in AFPF's organizing conference, and the Beck rally the following day.
"The right-wing media are replaying their greatest hits," writes Krugman. "Limbaugh used innuendo to feed anti-Clinton mythology, notably the insinuation that Hillary Clinton was complicit in the death of Vince Foster. Now, as we've seen, he's doing his best to insinuate that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." But there's an extra level of craziness these days: "Mr. Limbaugh is the same as he always was, but now seems tame compared with Glenn Beck."

Krugman asks the question so many Independents, Democrats, liberals and progressives have been asking over the last two years: where are the responsible Republicans, "leaders who will stand up and say that some partisans are going too far? Nowhere to be found."

He reminds us that after 9/11 former President Bush "tried to soothe religious hatred, declaring Islam a religion of peace." Angry mobs are protesting the building of mosques all across the country but where is Bush?
Where are the statements, from the former president or those in his inner circle, preaching tolerance and denouncing anti-Islam hysteria? On this issue, as on many others, the G.O.P. establishment is offering a nearly uniform profile in cowardice. (emphasis mine)
If, God forbid, Republicans win control of the House, Politico acknowledges they are gearing up for a repeat of the 1990s, with a "wave of committee investigations." Several of these alleged scandals are bogus as we already know, writes Krugman.
We can expect the G.O.P. to play chicken over the federal budget, too; I'd put even odds on a 1995-type government shutdown sometime over the next couple of years.
It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither. In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get. (emphasis mine)
Krugman ends on an even more discouraging note, advising the president to offer major new initiatives, particularly on the economic front. "But my guess is that the president will continue to play it safe, all the way into catastrophe."

I don't know if my outlook is any more optimistic. I just feel, and very strongly so, that the devil would be a better alternative to the Republicans.


  1. "where are the responsible Republicans"?

    There are none. They have all become Democrats or Independents. There is nothing responsible about the current crop of republicans.

    Even many of the "responsible conservatives" disavow the past (the Bush crime family) and current republicans. Unfortunately, they have nowhere to go.

  2. Leslie:

    Thank you for this big old dose of reality.

    As we have seen from the past, propaganda can very successfully manipulate the masses. A USA Today/Gallup poll just rolled into my email inbox, stating that Republicans now hold a 10-point lead over Democrats (51 to 41 percent) for the midterm election – an unprecendented lead in its polling history.

    About all those wealthy backers of attacks against liberals and Democrats: read “Blinded by the Right” by David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, who was one of Richard Mellon Scaife’s key hatchet men against the Clintons. (Scaife is so opposed to Obama that his newspaper endorsed Hillary in 2008.)

    A friend sent me an article yesterday with the headline, “Democrats need to tell their story.”

    That feat must involve:

    1) A message which inspires hope to a nation wallowing in hopelessness – something we thought we achieved with the election of Obama. Apparently not.

    2) Getting Americans to listen. From a personal perspective, this second task just seems to be something we cannot do. I am very guilty of writing about the crazies on the right when I should be “accentuating the positive.” Remember the list I posted of almost 100 accomplishments during Obama’s first year? Right-wing propaganda has trumped them all.

    Gloom and doom? Just check the polls.


  3. But that's actually never been their business, you know.

    Not these guys anyway.

    Maybe if you go all the way back to Eisenhower, but there again, he tried to get rid of Nixon and warn us about the military-industrial complex when he saw the natural implications of what they were really up to.

    Keep up the great reporting.

    You rock!


    proving once more that the GOP has no intention of working to solve the serious problems facing our country today

  4. JC: I'm becoming a little uneasy that many of those Republicans who migrated away from are now returning to the folds of the GOP.

    BJ: As you know, I'm not much on polls. I've seen too many "63%" against turn to "67% for" on election day. McCain was given the presidency right up till the polls closed practically.

    Yes, we must get a message of hope and accomplishment out. We must start accentuating the positive (but not to the extent that reality is ignored).

  5. Suzan: We Dems have to find a way to counteract the Koch machine and those in Congress who are tearing us apart - not by their actions but by their inaction.

    And Lordy, what to do about the MSM!

  6. Trust me, I have never ignored reality! BJ

  7. Wow! I sure like these new comment options on Blogger. You can go to your dashboard, click on "Comments." You get ALL comments on your blog with the latest first. Best of all, after you click on the comment(s) of choice) you can select "SPAM." (or "Delete" or "Remove Content.") heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

  8. I really and truly despise being scared and I despise the people who are scaring me. Where, oh where, are the people who elected this president? Where are the young people who supposedly drove that election? And where the hell will we all move to when the feces overwhelms the fan blades?

  9. SPAM:

    Blogger now filters comments that are likely spam comments to a Spam Inbox, much like the spam folder in your email. When someone leaves a comment on your blog, it will be reviewed against our spam detector, and comments that are identified as possible spam will be sent to your blog’s Spam Inbox, found at Comments | Spam. heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

  10. Nance: We'll make it. Maybe we've become the Silent Majority. Truth and human decency will win out over deceit and hate. And my fellow Democrats who've been pissing and moaning for the past year better wake up and smell the coffee - ungrateful ingrates. A little redundancy never hurt anyone.

  11. Good God this is sobering.
    I had forgotten the Right wing committee-polooza of the early 1990s.
    Nothing left to do but start making more phone calls and acting like the Liberal nut they always said I was.

  12. I wish I could sound a positive note here, L.P., but I just don't feel it. After the majority choices of 1994 and 2004, especially, my confidence in American voters getting it right is a weak shadow of what it once was.

    One thing Democrats need to tell voters straight to their face, especially in red states, is that they, the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 voters, the Gingrich, Armey, DeLay and DeMint voters, etc., are the ultimate authors of the misery they're feeling now. (To a lesser extent, Clinton voters too.) That's true from our hollowed-out, shattered economy that favors the rich, crushes the middle class, marginalizes the working class and punishes the poor for being poor to our deadly, costly no-win wars, plus all the race baiting, wedge-issue, hatchet-mouthed clowns in the spotlight who we know as the political right.

    Think of this telling of inconvenient truth as the political equivalent of a hail-Mary pass. Or maybe a better analogy is one of those movie scenes where someone confronted by a hysterical person ends the hysteria with a sharp slap across the face.

  13. SJ: They'll probably have a hearing on whether or not Obama deserved this last vacation.

    SW: I hate to say it but I'd like to slap a few people across their faces right now. Line 'em up. ; ) On a more serious note, I feel very strongly that we cannot just duck and run; it's almost our patriotic duty to fight these wing-nuts to the bitter end. The alternative is more than I can fathom.

  14. Tnlib your right in that there already planning out how to destroy Obama. The Tan Man makes no bones about that. Right now the Republicans have a 10% lead over the Dems in the upcoming elections. MSM, well I haven't any faith in them and I won't until the call out Fox for what they are. I like the fact your unto the Koch brothers. I'm in the middle of writing about them. Daddy Koch (pronounced Coke) was one of the founding fathers of the John Birch Society. They had a run for political office and were soundly defeated. They regrouped and decided to buy elections.The movement of the Birch society morphed into the teaparty which is funded by them. So much for grassroots huh. Anyway the more people know about the Koch brothers the better. Maddow has been on this for over a year now. Good stuff.

  15. People who think we're going to have a repeat of either 1994 or 2004 are overlooking a couple of real important things: the demographic has shifted somewhat dramatically from 1994, and the Rushpubliscums were not nearly as blatantly racist in 2004 as they are now.

    I'd bet my next meager paycheck it just ain't gonna happen. that's no reason, of course, to sit on your hands.

  16. Tim: Good for you and I'm working on something about the Koch's as well. The more exposure the better - as long as it's not laudatory. Here's an article I wrote about the JBS:

    And I did a 4-part series based on a paper I wrote in 1964. It's called Menace from the Right: The John Birch Society. You can search for it on my little ole blog. ; )

    JR: I don't think it's going to happen either but you're absolutely right that we can't sit on our hands. And frankly, we have to do more than just blog. We need to get pro-active.

  17. I love it when you write a good post! You write and research so well and always hit the point.
    We do have to be pro-active. The right is trying to make Obama look inept, and that might work if we don't keep the facts in their face.

  18. FROM DARLENE via email.

    Since Elders vote in bigger numbers than any other demographic, I think the Democrats need to keep repeating that the Republicans want to do away with Social Security and Medicare. Maybe we need to gather the forces of our blog world as a start. Email all our friends with the word including quotes from the Right Wing. Lets fight fire with fire this time. This is no time to become complacent.

    If anyone can figure out why she can't leave a comment on my blog, I wish you'd contact her or me. She is the only person who is having this problem and thinks it has something to do with my server. I can leave comments on her blog:


  19. TOM - Thanks so much for your kind words. I enjoy and learn from all of you who stop by here.

    People have every right in the world to disagree with me, to think what they want and to criticize the president. I just get discouraged when I see the same people always doing the criticizing. We ask what does it take to please the right, to convince them that Obama has accomplished a significant amount, that he has made changes, etc. I'm prepared to ask the liberals the same questions. I'm at the point where I think the far left is as narrow and rigid as the far right and the left is working equally hard to make Obama look inept. That's not a good thing in my opinion.

    I may lose readers over this and I'll hate it, but that's life.

  20. Hi Leslie!

    My comment previously didnt post ... I dont know why? I didnt do anything out of ordinary. I will try again here.

    I actually read this post the other day, just didnt complete it and got interupted ... it is so deep. As far as who said or done this or that, I dont know .. I mean .. I am really concerned in our economic condition. And frankly I think American's overall are not even aware of the fincial situation this country is in. And this isnt to hammer republican's at all. But the fact is, what American's should be concerned with, is unfair trade and finance, offshore investment's, especially where all their money went with the last administration... just do a tracer on it, dont take my word for it. To replace this current administration with a rep one and just think next year will be fine, is insanity. President Obama as I stated time and again, has been doing everything possible to make this cesspool which took year's to create work more efficiently. Dont expect either, that you can just create 8 million lost job's, no matter who is in office ... if we spent as much time trying to actually get result's and work for real, without throwing up obstacles and roadblock's or giving second and third helpin's to the President everytime he tries to make a move, maybe we would see more progress. Nothing against the GOP here, I have voted GOP alot myself year's back. But they HAVE NO SOLUTION'S to even a shred of our problem's and are too far in debt to even the offshore corporate sector, they cant even get their own party together at this time, and have resorted to freakshow's to distract American's from the real issue's. None of the mess can be fixed overnight ... and frankly ... we are alot better off overall the last year than we were prior. Want to see the reality on job creation ... listen to Suze Orman/ financial advisor(YouTube). This whole situation is a mess, and not one bit of it, is the fault of this administration. Folk's whine that he is taking us into socialism? This is silly, with over 300 million, and this type of global economic's transition ... you have to socialize something. If McCain was in office, do we realize he would have done everything he can to privatize SSI? Yes ... to the same oversight's that whined for bailout's. Do a tracer and see where all that money went. As far as the left/ right thing, or who's right/ wrong ... all I can say is ... it is importante to re-elect this President, and to keep all his posse on board and give them enough time to get the job done.

    Thanx Leslie, and I hope that back strain feel's better Grrrlll ... if I was there, I could give ya a good therapeutic massage/ rub down ....

  21. Leslie: Just wanted to drop this off, even though it is not left/right bashing, it is about the condition that we are up against, in this post I done, but a video here where Orman put's it straight to the point on economic's and job's.

  22. RC: Thanks for the link and comments. I know and understand about as much as Palin when it comes to finance and the economy, which adds up to nothing. I have to stay away from it.

    I've found that when my comment doesn't go through, it is often because I haven't signed in or, instead of clicking on "Post Comment" I hit that little X in the top right corner. And sometimes my fingers just touch something (?) on the keyboard that makes it disappear.

    Back better but not great. I've had upper back surgery and would rather have 10 babies at one time than go through that again.

  23. Leslie,

    Well basically to put it short what I am saying and simple ... is many american's do not realize how much more worse the economy could get if we have a republican majority, simply because they will privatize and deregulate everything they can if they have full power, I am sure of this, TRUST ME, I have looked closely at what they "believe" the problem's are, and their method to save the economy is to privatize everything they can, but not of small business/ and bank's ... but of the largest offshore and global ... they are ECONOMICALLY DANGEROUS (domestically) in this era of problem's. Palin is one of the most ruthless of the bunch .. she is downright deadly, is what folk's dont understand, they dont see what I see, and look at her as a clown or dummy, she may sound dumb, yes ... but she is like a grim reaper to democracy and especially the economy, that no one pay's attention to, you damn sure dont want her running the show, either.

    I didnt know of the surgery I reckon, or dont recall reading about it. Sorry ... I was thinking more of a strain or something which is common daily stuff. Hope well for it.

  24. All you have to do is look at what the republicans have do to see what they will do if they get in power.

    Here is how they operate:
    1. Deregulate
    2. Produce a bubble
    3. Burst the bubble
    4. Get government to bail out
    5. Put Democrats back in power to clean up mess
    6. Blame mess on Democrats to get re-elected
    7. Repeat Steps 1 - 6.

  25. RC: Upper back surgery 25 yrs ago. This is in the lower back, however I am looking at eye surgery asap.

    JC: I think you have a valid point. Frankly, if some stupid Republican approached me and told me I was beautiful, I wouldn't trust them. ; )

  26. Leslie,

    I had surgery once when them cop's busted my cheek, nose structure and such in my face with nightstick's as I posted about, over 25 year's ago actually ... that's it though beside's stitch work on stab wound's and such only. Never had any vision problem's, or glasses or anything, but I sometime's wonder if that may be credited to all the carrot's I ate and pot I smoked? ... I alway's heard that both were good for your eye's .. could be a myth for all I know. But I hear alot about this eye surgery now ... this lasik surgery is such a huge market actually ... like in and out and perfect vision the same day or such! Also .. as far as your back surgery Leslie ... it is probably alot smoother these day's than it was back 25 year's ago, with the newer tech's too.

  27. Heard about the carrots but not the pot. Lead me to it.

  28. Leslie,

    I have tried to look up the thing on pot being good for the eye's ... and I couldnt see anything off hand to lead/ link to you, because there are hundred's of opinion's and studies it look's like ... I never tried to look into it before, which is why I figured it could be a myth. But it appear's that marijuana is used in treating some eye disorder/ disease(?) called "Glaucoma" ... I seen alot on that. Perhap's that was what folk's who say that was refering to. Yes ... I smoked alot of pot and love carrot's ... but I also love and ate alot enchilada's too! as well as has an addiction to extreme hot pepper's, and a number of other thing's, so I cant be "sure" of a thing. I do know I never had any trouble vision wise, or needed glasses( I wear sunglasses on real suuny day's ) or anything, far, close or anything though, and recently eye tested to renew my driver's liscense too. I havent smoked pot in several year's though , although I alway's keep a lil at home in case a guest would like some, as well as a small bar, yet I dont even hardly drink at all either, just mostly for other's if they want, drinking relaxes me too much these day's, slow's me ... and I dont like getting too relaxed, you know? I mean ... staying on the edge keep's you sharp. But I stopped smoking pot, only because it started to make me cough when I wake in the morning ... I know because when I stopped smoking pot, the morning coughing completely stopped in only a couple week's. But I am a cigarette smoker too, currently ... and no ... never once tried to quit, but cig's dont make me hack either, understand that the "tar" in pot is 20/ 30 times more than per cigarette too. I probably smoke about a half pack a day ... I buy ... Marlboro Light 100's in the Box, as far as my brand. I mean ... I'll be 55 in a few month's ... so maybe one day I will try quitting ... not sure, or maybe go on one of them special food diet's or some of the other stuff folk's get into when they get older, I basically eat anything too.