Andrew Sullivan

… to enlighten the rest of us damned to the eternal hellfire types.

It’s easiest just to dismiss this little girl as a callous whack-job who’s been so thoroughly indoctrinated in what passes for Christianity in the United States these days that she will likely never see the hypocrisy in her words or her own insensitivity in posting her witnessing to a social media site.

When I was teaching in Des Moines, I ran across this shallow vindictive type of Chrisitianism (as Andrew Sullivan as aptly termed it) quite frequently, so while I would like to be shocked, I’m not.

It doesn’t even make me sad or disgusted.

It does make me wonder why, if there is really a God, he doesn’t smote the world and be done with the sorry, stupid, ungrateful, blind as the three mice and nearly as irredeemable as Hannibal Lector species that he bothered to create in the first place.

I am reminded, slightly out of context, of an exchange between Scrooge and The Ghost of Christmas Present about the worth of humans and who should really arbitrate on the matter.

Ebenezer Scrooge: [on Tiny Tim] Tell me, Spirit… Will he live?
Ghost of Christmas Present: I see an empty place at this table. I see a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.
Ebenezer Scrooge: No. Say he’ll be spared.
Ghost of Christmas Present: If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here. But if he is to die, then let him die…! “AND DECREASE THE SURPLUS POPULATION!”
Ebenezer Scrooge: You use my own words against me?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Yes! So perhaps, in the future, you will hold your tongue until you have discovered where the surplus population is, and WHO it is. It may well be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than MILLIONS like this poor man’s child.

sarah palin's political hit list

Though it’s not actually clear that Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC “targeting” of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ, incited the gunman who shot her in the head at point-blank range earlier today, it is clear that a sizable portion of the population in Arizona is bat-shit crazy.

A reader of Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish reported overhearing the following conversation shortly after word of the shooting began to spread through Tucson:

I am standing in the aisle at Costco when I found out my Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, has been shot dead up on the north side.

While I’m scrambling with my phone, two couples in front of me are talking about it and suddenly I hear one of the women say, “Well, that’s to be expected when you’re so liberal.”

And the other woman says, “Ohh, so we get to appoint a Republican?”

I did not trust myself to speak. I’m a Soldier. Please remind me what country I am fighting for? At least seven people are dead. She happens to be the only member of Congress married to an active duty military — he’s a Navy officer serving as an astronaut.

Giffords herself, in a eerie moment of prescience, about the dangers brewing in her state during the midterm elections that inspired Palin to “target” Democrats in close races had this to say,

“They really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up, and, you know, even things for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, you gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”

A friend, (via my late husband) who lives in Tucson, had this to say about the shooting when someone asked her why she was worried that Democrats would retaliate,

“Because that is why she got shot. Not because she is a Dem, it is the issues. She supports liberal immigration views and most of AZ does not. She supports the healthcare reform and many are violently against it. The border of Mexico is very close to Tucson and many shots have been fired over this already, just never on a public figure. They have put other politicians and figures under protective custody on both sides of the debate.”

It’s the issues, stupid.

But not really. They claim it’s about immigration and being forced to go along with health care reform, but it’s heart is that the American Dream – built on unlimited acquisition and unsustainable upward mobility, whose heart is unlimited acquisition – is gone.

Not that it – the Dream – ever really existed. The whole thing was the ultimate cliché, a house of cards built on a sandy beach. But those in the middle bought in and those just below them were semi-content to pretend that with the right pair of straps on their boots they could move up too, and the illusion took root and grew in soil that has long since played out.

This last decade oversaw the last gasp and the bitch known as “payback” has moved in for good.

Because the shooter is in custody, his MySpace page and YouTube vids shutdown, it’s unlikely that the public will ever really know the truth. Which serves both sides. The GOP and Fox News can claim that he was a disturbed individual and that their courting of the lunatic fringe known as The Tea Party had nothing to do with the attempted assassination of Giffords, the death of an Arizona judge or the snuffing of an innocent nine-year old girl, while the Democrats can underplay and conciliate, letting their own liberal loony lap-dog fringe scream and cry conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the people, who have no fucking idea of what is really going on, will take uneducated sides and continue to give away their rights and trust in the wrong people. They have spent so much of the last couple of decades blindly rubber stamping the theft of their freedom that they haven’t any idea where they actually stand on the playing field anymore.

Immigration and health care are distractions. There are real, credible threats afoot, and it’s the people who are fiddling among the burning ruins of an America that never existed in the first place. It’s hard not to admire the brilliance and scope of what is going on, even while recognizing that something wicked continues its inevitable march our way.

I guess the revolution might be tweeted after all.

Something happened last week that made me stop, again, and ponder the American landscape. More specifically, the people who litter the landscape with their ignorant misguided views on the economy, health care reform, Sarah Palin and President Obama – just to pick a few out of the multitude of things they whine worry about.

First, I got unfriended on Facebook. Again? That’s hardly new and earth-shattering. True, many of my old high school acquaintances find my political and social views to be of the radical bra burning sort. Given that I don’t wear bras, perhaps I am more old school femi-nazi than I think, but my position is that they are willfully misinformed wusses. Fox News is no substitute for reading and thinking, and in these interesting times, only the informed and forward thinking are going to emerge the least scathed. Our old Civics teacher, the wonderful Kenny Herbst, must rue the time he wasted trying to instill democratic principles in some of us.

My old acquaintance is a tea-bagging sort though he lazily tweets the revolution via his home page rather than take the time away from his middle class pursuits to walk Glenn Beck’s talk.

Like so many of what passes for middle class Americans anymore, he views life entirely from the viewpoint of a toddler.

How does this affect me? What’s in it for me? If my life isn’t in a constant state of material growth – then my government isn’t doing its job! Where’s the expansion? What happened to my prosperity?! It’s the liberals’ fault! Socialism, Will Robinson!!  Socialism! Vote them out! Vote them out!!

I am too harsh? Here is a quote I found via Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish. Jill Dorson is a writer, and a former small business owner  thanks to the recession, who voted for Obama and now has buyer’s remorse.

It was clear after just 90 days what a mistake I’d made. My taxes have gone up and my quality of life has gone down. Hope has given way to disgust and I see now that change is simply a euphemism for “big government.”

Like many others, my view is narrow. I vote for the candidate I think will be best for me. I often define myself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. But above all, I want to feel safe and I don’t want to feel that I am being ripped off. I want a president who inspires me and cares about my contribution to the fabric of the country. I want a president with experience and savvy, a Commander in Chief who puts our country and its citizens first.

I only hope the Republicans can find him the next time around.

Sullivan deemed her a big baby. One of the hordes of the “gimme, gimme” types that make up the lunatic fringe that passes for the Republican party and infects many Independents these days. Newsweek wonders if Americans haven’t become “ungovernable”, a population screaming for change as long as it comes at someone else’s expense.

Ask them not to do for their country because the country exists only to do for them. And that’s not socialism. No sir. Funds and programs directed at the unworthy are socialist. Tax cuts for smallish sized businesses and hard-working middle class ( it still puzzles me how they can ALL be middleclass) people is the American capitalistic way of the Founding Fathers. It says so in The Constitution.

Sullivan points out that there isn’t much one can say to people who view the current economic realities from an enraged teenaged-like narcissism. And Dorson admits that she is just like most people in that she really only cares about how things affect her and what is important to her. Like most of my fellow adults, she has no concept of the greater good or that the long-term is just that. Long.

I am no fan of Obama. I was a Clinton supporter. I still resent the way the Obama campaign never made a play for us, simply expecting us to suck it up and follow him. I never for a minute expected him to swoop into Washington and change the system. The White House changes its occupants, not the other way around. But he was all there was by way of viable options, and I hoped he’d be more of a leader than he’s been so far. Set an agenda. Follow through on more than a few of his promises. If this were “normal” times, I would not be worried. It can take time to find one’s presidential feet, but he has never had the time luxury, and he’s rapidly approaching “time’s up”, I fear.


Because of my former FB buddy and people like Julie. They don’t have the stamina required to adjust to harder times that are likely to deteriorate a lot bit more in the coming year.

FB Bud threw regular status bar fits about gasoline prices. Clueless about what drives prices, or that gasoline is not oil’s only end product, all he knew was that the cost curtailed his leisure spending. The boat couldn’t be out on the river as often and visits to the casinos were less frequent. His middle-class entitlement lifestyle took a hit.

It was Obama’s fault or Nancy Pelosi’s or the health care reform bill, that “no one needs or wants because health care is something a person needs to take care of himself”. And when he wasn’t thanking God for Glenn Beck and the access to real news at Fox, he harassed those who supplied him with facts by labeling them liberals, whether they were or not. Being informed is a one of the Four Horsemen of the Socialist Apocalypse. News gleaned from factual reporting might be contagious and spoil the milk or kill the neighbor’s cow. Salem nonsense from a constituency that thinks Dan Brown is a great novelist.

Simply being realistic and pragmatic marks a person as liberal or socialist. Or a Nazi.

Expecting the government to keep up entitlements like the Bush tax cuts, Medicare, Social Security or that the states  support services without raising taxes is different. Different indeed. American Infantile Entitlement Syndrome.

This was Sullivan’s summary:

What you have here is big babyism. After the worst downturn in memory, bequeathed a massive and growing debt, two failing wars, a financial sector threatening to bring down the entire economy, Obama has betrayed this person by preventing a Second Great Depression.

We will hear more of these non-sequiturs; the 24-hour news cycle prevents any memory past the last six months; the easy, lazy meme of Obama-the-lefty will be pressed home by FNC/RNC and the MSM will grab onto it because it’s a narrative they can understand and that helps insulate them from charges of bias. That none of this has any direct relationship with economic and political reality is barely relevant.

Tea-baggers, Palinites, ordinary “folk” who believe that if their fair share is dwindling than somehow the system has abandoned them and gone socialist. Americans have gone toddler. Look for it in the straight to DVD section soon.