Tuesday, January 10, 2012


These days, saddled as we are with a lousy president who calls himself a Democrat, I find it hard to come up with reasons to call myself a Democrat.

Perhaps my motivation for continuing to use that label comes down to this: Most Democrats still feel comfortable in the real world. If you talk to a Democrat about an Obama policy you find detestable -- the refusal to renegotiate NAFTA, the continuation of a hopeless war in Afghanistan -- your verbal sparring partner will probably accept your premise, even if he or she does not agree with you. The two of you will share a foundational reality.

Moreover, your verbal sparring partner probably will not attempt to distract you with myths, anti-issues and hallucinated pseudo-problems. A blinkered Obama supporter (yes, there are a few left) may make you grit your teeth and clench your fist, but at least he won't start talking about a war on Christmas.

By contrast, consider these words from Skydancing:
Yes, it’s that time of year when Republicans try to convince us that everything old, disproved, and thrown out is shiny, patriotic and new again. Angry sky gods, debunked scientific hypotheses, and myth trump rule of law, science, and reason.
The Economist must feel that we are so confused about the role of religion in the founding of our country, that they must to show us and the rest of the world that our founding fathers weren’t fundamentalist crusaders. They have a special Religion in America section up about how the founders were trying to avoid having Rick Santorum moments.
Modern fundamentalists are rewriting history in the same way they like rewriting science. They place dinosaurs and modern people in their garden of Eden panoramas. Some now argue that the founders didn’t like “Darwinism” which wasn’t even around at that time Of course, that doesn’t stop Texas putting that kind’ve nonsense in textbooks. This also explains Michelle Bachmann’s odd notion that the founding fathers fought against slavery.
Well put. (Except for that "kind've.")
Another example of reheated nonsense popping up in the current Republican primaries is Ron Paul’s obsession This is a completely debunked set of economic philosophies and musings roughly associated with Fredich Hayek who had a few good ideas about the pricing mechanisms of the market that were completely contorted by some fascists. If you ever hear any one say anything about Mises, cover your ears. It’s basically akin to learning astrophysics from a flat earther who denies the theory of gravity. No amount of historical data deters these people.
...in all my years of education, I would never believe that so much debunked tripe would form the central arguments of so many people running for president.
Since we're on tripe alert, take a look at the video I embedded at the top of this post. What we have here is a 2007 Romney commercial with a laugh track added. The guffaws help us to understand that the Mittster was lying out of his ass when he warned us about the great plot to install a "caliphate" that would rule the entire globe. The claim flies in the face of all evidence, and he knew it.

Although Bin Laden was an evil bastard, you can't point to a single authentic text, audio or video in which Bin Laden says: "Here's what we're fighting for: The establishment of a caliphate in the United States." Bin Laden's goals were always pretty clear. He didn't like Israel, he didn't like the American bases in Saudi Arabia, he considered the Saudis and other Arab potentates to be corrupt lackeys of the west, and he wanted to turn existing Islamic nations into salafist nightmares (just as Christian dominionists want to establish a fundamentalist nightmare in the U.S.). But to the best of my knowledge, Bin Laden never talked about establishing a caliphate in the U.S. or in any other non-Islamic country. If Bin Laden had said such a thing, the quote would have been repeated endlessly.

Alas, the "caliphate" myth has established a hammerlock on the right-wing imagination. Millions of people believe it to this day.

That 2007 campaign commercial isn't the point of this post, because even Republicans know by now that Mitt is an insincere opportunist who will say pretty much anything to get elected. (He's the Mormon Obama.) The ad is, however, symptomatic of a larger problem. Democracy can't work if half the country insists on battling ghosts and leprechauns. Democracy can't work if the facts of history, science and economics must do continual battle with fairy tales and fakelore.
If you prefer voting for a party which ignores you, compared to one you don't agree with, then you vote based on fascination alone. Not on choice. And that means the democratic system is broken.
I think you're being hyperbolic, Matteo. It just means we have a bad Democratic president. This has happened before. LBJ. Carter. Well, I like Carter better than I ever liked LBJ, but I still think he was not successful.
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