In Search of Whitey’s Brain

This piece made me laugh, as well:

About 12:01 on the afternoon of January 20, 2009, the white American mind began to unravel.

It had been a pretty good run up to that point. The brains of white folks had been humming along cogently for near on 400 years on this continent, with little sign that any serious trouble was brewing. White people, after all, had managed to invent a spiffy new form of self-government so that all white men (and, eventually, women) could have a say in how white people were taxed and governed. White minds had also nearly universally occupied just about every branch of that government and, for more than two centuries, had kept sole possession of the leadership of its executive branch (whose parsonage, after all, is called the White House).

But when that streak was broken—and, for the first time, a non-white president accepted the oath of office—white America rapidly began to lose its grip.

It is seriously weird, as someone who was a Republican and really not paying attention to politics during the Clinton years, to watch a large portion of the country totally lose their shit. Add to it that a small but vocal minority in the Democratic party have decided that the object lesson from the 1980 election was that Ted Kennedy was right to undercut his own party, and we’re all getting a refresher course on Democratic idiocy.

62 replies
  1. 1
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The tea-partiers are vocal and have friends in the media, but seriously what percentage of the population do they represent?

  2. 2
    General Stuck says:

    Add to it that a small but vocal minority in the Democratic party have decided that the object lesson from the 1980 election was that Ted Kennedy was right to undercut his own party, and we’re all getting a refresher course on Democratic idiocy.

    Like Wile E. Coyote finds Roadrunner in a wheel chair and offers to push.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    “What’d he say?”

    “He said, “The Sheriff is Near…””

  4. 4
    You Don't Say says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Agreed. And some white folks went pretty bat-shit crazy when Bill & Hillary occupied the White House.

  5. 5
    maya says:

    Well, duh! The Tea Partiaires started their rant one day after Obama took office. Hardly enough time to find legitimate performance fault with the guy. But it was time enough to realize that kneegrowths were now actually using the WH toilets instead of just cleaning them and that’s a fighting concept whitey can wrap his brain around.

  6. 6
    JR says:

    Technically, that was a premature explosion: the President’s term ends on January 20th at noon, but it begins upon swearing of the oath of office. Obama didn’t take the oath until about 12:07, meaning that for the seven minutes prior to that Joey Biden was technically the acting President. (Some nuts think that Biden would actually have been acting President until the evening of January 21, when Obama re-took the oath following the Inauguration Day flub).

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Watched a little of Andrea Mitchell today (I know, I know), and she was animated in making sure Tim Kaine understood that the Tea Party (AKA, the GOP base) was HIGHLY motivated.

    This kills me. So, the GOP’s base is going to vote. So what. Does the media have to cover them to the exclusion of nearly everything else?

    Apparently, yes.

    Do they all still just get to vote once? Again, yes. So, if Dems quietly turn out and vote in good numbers, without massive media coverage, the TV talking heads will eat a big shit sandwich, right? Oh, I guess not. They still get paid.

  8. 8
    sherifffruitfly says:

    (shrug) It was all there in the Clinton campaign, when her supporters started birtherism.

    It isn’t new. It’s about the furthest thing from new.

  9. 9
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @BGinCHI: I don’t have cable anymore, the political news channels and their breathless coverage of non-stories was driving me crazy, so we got rid of cable this summer. So I no longer have to see Andrea Mitchell etc.

  10. 10
    cyntax says:

    …and we’re all getting a refresher course on Democratic idiocy.

    I’m just waiting for an election when this isn’t the case. Mind you, I’m not holding my breath.

  11. 11
    Paula says:

    looolerz. Don’t know if this phenom is a new thing, but that Voice piece is a fuckin’ HOOT. Hope their servers don’t drown in a flood of hate e-mail.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: We’ll find out in 5 weeks, won’t we. This election will either set the narrative that the Tea Parties have no power, or that we’re now a center-tea-party nation.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    (shrug) It was all there in the Clinton campaign, when her supporters started birtherism.

    Yes. I totally agree. This is all Hillary Clinton’s fault.
    /facedesk

  14. 14
    gnomedad says:

    Unsurprisingly, many of the comments after the article exhibit black-belt levels of avoiding getting the point.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    But when that streak was broken—and, for the first time, a non-white president accepted the oath of office—white America rapidly began to lose its grip.

    This is spot on, and the lizard brain racist faction saw the weakness, and what looked to us as suicidal politicking of tea tards sporting Obama witchdoctor signs, was really a subliminal message into the brain stem of unwashed white folk that the new black sheriff ain’t like them. And base human nature fears the different, always has.

    Not really racism, imo, but alarm bells that closes the door to common sense, and opens it for accepting all sort of nonsense for consideration.

  16. 16
    Sasha says:

    It is seriously weird, as someone who was a Republican and really not paying attention to politics during the Clinton years, to watch a large portion of the country totally lose their shit.

    If you had been paying attention in the ’90s, you’d definitely recognize that we’re currently listening to a piss-shit poor cover to a song that was craptastic to begin with.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You are so in trouble. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

  18. 18
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    but seriously what percentage of the population do they represent?

    Alex, I’ll take the category “All signs point to John Rogers’ 28%”, for $500.

    per the linked article:
     

    Today, Newsweek has found, nearly a quarter of Americans believe that Obama is a Muslim, with barely 42 percent of the nation accepting his claim that he’s a Christian. CNN finds that a quarter of Americans also believe that Obama was “probably or definitely” born in another country.

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    @Sasha: It’s like Tom Delay bit all the stupid people on the neck and they all turned into his Army of the Night.

  20. 20
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @BGinCHI: Oh noez!

  21. 21
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Looks to me, that these are exactly the same people who thought that Bush was a wonderful President till the very end of his term.

  22. 22
    Mark S. says:

    Somewhat related, do people agree with Weigel that voting for TARP is the kiss of death for gooper presidential candidates? Personally, I think what animates teabaggers is their hatred of Democrats (and especially Muslim ones), not TARP. They were pretty quiet during FinReg.

  23. 23
    General Stuck says:

    @Mark S.:

    In the tea tard brain, Democrat = Government = TARP

    the details don’t matter much

  24. 24
    JG says:

    It’s important to distinguish between undercutting your party because it supports abhorrent policies and undercutting your party for other reasons.

    It’s fun for people on this site to childishly lump in the entire “vocal minority” with Jane Hamsher but it’s certainly not the case that those people’s beliefs are accurately represented by her.

    It’s one thing for bloggers to browbeat the base to be more excited but I’m not sure it’s an effective strategy to win elections.

  25. 25
    BGinCHI says:

    @General Stuck: Exactly.

    This is why I hope the Dem base (or at least the solid 30%) quietly says “hey WH, we ain’t whining, we’re just not playing circus today” and “hey teatards, shut the fuck up” then calmly shows up to vote and the sign-wielding idiots can go back to watching Red Dawn.

  26. 26
    Nick says:

    We got a racist letter in the mail today from a guy in a (mostly white) Queens neighborhood who was upset the (N word with one g)s were moving in (they’re apparently Haitian refugees) and their n son was going to school with his children and his children were bringing this n boy home. He was upset because that n will one day rape his daughter and he said he told his daughter to stay away from him because he was rape her.

    He signed the letter, gave his address and everything. My editor called him and told him he wouldn’t run the letter because it was overkill and he got mad and said he was “proud to stand up for his rights”

  27. 27
    BGinCHI says:

    @Nick: I hope his children are learning a valuable lesson.

    Whitey is fucking scared and crazy.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    @JG:

    But when that streak was broken—and, for the first time, a non-white president accepted the oath of office—white America rapidly began to lose its grip.

    We deal in the blogosphere here, the so called “netroots” is overwhelmingly to varying degrees populated by ideologues that we mock here. And BJ is like a small but consistent thorn in the side of people who believe they are “the base” and when obama doesn’t fulfill their every wish, that he is dissing or disappointing “the base”.

    It is a lie, that the nutroots is anything more than a tiny sliver of the national dem base, and they require way more maintenance than their numbers suggest. That is the problem, and most, or many here have similar or identical positions on issues, it is the inflated sense of entitlement that is objected to. And an unwillingness to account for the requirement of compromise in a democracy.

  29. 29
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    Wow, that was wrong blockquote, too late to change though.

  30. 30
    Hamilton-Lovecraft says:

    @JR in 6, If you actually read the relevant bits of the constitution, you’ll find that the president’s term begins at noon regardless of the swearing-in; and that he may begin executing his office after taking the oath.

    (Furthermore – and I know you didn’t claim this – even if you stretch the plain reading of the constitution to say that you’re not president until taking the oath, that would apply to the VP and the rest of the succession as well, so neither Biden, Pelosi, or your mom was president between 12:01 and 12:07.)

  31. 31
    cat48 says:

    This article was the only thing worth reading so far this week. Loved the part when he talked about Paladino’s history vs. if Obama had done the same things.

  32. 32
    Kryptik says:

    As much as the firebaggers and the ‘professional left’ or whatever the derogatory name for the out there left is these days piss me off, I still find myself amazed how much ink and gigs and time and decibels are wasted on wondering if they’re the real reason the Democratic party is in so much goddamn trouble.

    Simple answer to a stupid question: they aren’t. Nowhere near it. Yes, they don’t exactly help, but the real reason Dems are so screwed? Lets just say the ‘professional left’ ranks plenty below the Democratic Party itself. Or to be more exact, the braying assholes of the Democratic party that decide that the best way to serve as a Democrat is to agree with Republicans wholesale all the time and expressly hippie punch their own party leaders (who are hardly flaming firebaggers themselves) out of pantswetting fear of the Tea Party or simply because they weren’t exactly Democrats to begin with.

    I’m annoyed at the folks and the ‘so-called base’ as much as others here, but good Christ, compared to Blue Dogs, weak-ass leaders, a scorched earth campaign by the TeaOP, and freakout of the wealthy over an extra 2% tax rate, and we ready the nooses for the ‘professional left’ first off? Ghhhh…

  33. 33

    There’s that old anonymous joke:

    In my country, we have two parties. The stupid party, of which I am a member, and the evil party, which we oppose vehemently.

    Sometimes my party wins, in which case we get lots of stupid legislation. Sometimes the other party wins, in which case we get lots of evil legislation.

    Occasionally, the parties act together in what we call ‘bipartisanship,’ in which case we get legislation which is both evil and stupid.

  34. 34
    merrinc says:

    @Nick:

    his children were bringing this n boy home.

    So his kids aren’t prejudiced but by god, he’s going to make sure that shit changes. Reminds me of Denis Leary and his angry, chain smoking mini rants on MTV back in the day. I paraphrase: ‘Children aren’t born prejudiced, they have to be taught to hate. I have a four year old. You know what he hates? Naps. End of discussion.’

  35. 35
    Jrod says:

    @Kryptik: Thank you for saying this, but I hope you’re prepared for a downright blistering barrage of assholes calling you a firebagger for as long as you post here.

    Christ, I’ve stated many times that I don’t like Hamsher and I don’t read FDL, but no matter. Because I don’t hate the perfeshunal left with enough vehemence I’m a firebagger. Just ask that useless shitbag Stuck about it sometime.

  36. 36
    merrinc says:

    @cat48:

    That part jumped out at me, too. More proof that hypocrisy is ingrained in the Republican DNA and that there is no amount of cognitive dissonance that will cause one’s head to explode.

    By now, just about everyone has seen the precious moment in MTV’s 1996 Sex in the ’90s when O’Donnell made this monumental discovery about masturbation: “If he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?” Fourteen years later, it doesn’t really seem to be dawning on the still-unmarried O’Donnell that she’s not “in the picture” and might never be. But that, apparently, isn’t going to stop her waging war against the sex lives of everyone else.

    That article was just chock full of win and I was reading parts of it aloud to my husband until he got a business call. And then I had to leave the room to finish reading it because I kept cracking up.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    @Jrod:

    Jackass, firebagger. They all look alike to me.

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jrod: God damn man, did they bust you all the way out of the armed services?
    From SGT to GEN now to nothing?
    Was it DADT?

  39. 39
    Jrod says:

    @Corner Stone: It turns out the armed services frown on stealing cookies. Who knew? (Actually, I’m on a public terminal on campus, and I didn’t feel like coming up with a clever name. Or a dumb one, as the case may be.)

  40. 40
    MikeJ says:

    @merrinc: I would have quoted Oscar Hammerstein expressing the same sentiment in 1949.

  41. 41
    JR says:

    @Hamilton-Lovecraft: The 20th Amendment begins:

    “The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”

    We both get to be right on that point. But if the Vice President has been administered the Oath (which Biden was at 11:47, IIRC), and the President has not, then only one seems to be sworn into office IMHO.

  42. 42
    Elie says:

    @General Stuck:

    Not really racism, imo, but alarm bells that closes the door to common sense, and opens it for accepting all sort of nonsense for consideration.

    But what is racism but a short cut around the thinking brain right to the amygdala — FEAR CENTRAL!!

    Throw in an economic downturn, a couple of other catastrophes and you completely bypass the old branola altogether and move it back 80K years in evolution. Some folks are proving evolution right before our eyes by demonstrating its reverse in short order. Only a matter of a few weeks to see what proportion of the population have heavy browridges, sloping foreheads and the ability to use weapons but not much else.

  43. 43
    Paula says:

    @Kryptik:

    Well, the likes of Peter Daou and Jane Hamsher certainly claim to speak for YOU … and that has nothing to do with Balloon Juice.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....29031.html

    http://peterdaou.com/2010/09/l.....residency/

    And, my gawd do they think you ROCK this BITCH.

  44. 44
    General JAFO Willibro says:

    On the article: It’s nice to see that mainstream centrist publications like the Village Voice are now aware that identifiable niches within the ecosystem known as the American electorate are overrun with racist redneck borderer assholes. I’m sure that’s total news to BJ readers who haven’t left their spiderholes since birth. But there’s no evidence whatsoever that this fact will be the cause of any Dem defeat in November. If so, then Obama wouldn’t have won in 2008.

    As for the blog post: You know, I don’t actually give much of a shit what Teabaggers and ex-Republicans of recent vintage (hi John!) think about intramural Democratic politics. I’ve been a registered Dem my whole life and we don’t run our party like Republicans, thanks. If the Democratic midterm candidates and the leadership can’t manage to keep their own labia and testicles out of the fire when this has been their game to lose since 2006, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

  45. 45
    General Stuck says:

    @General JAFO Willibro:

    Every election has it’s own climate, and that is largely the result of who is in power at the time. I stay out of my spider much of the day and only sleep there, and maybe take a shit once in a while. The reason dems will lose seats this election is because they are in power and it is the first mid term of a new dem president, historical, near like clock work. Because anger toward Obama from the right is inversely related to the laws he passes that pisses them off, or liberal soshulist laws they call it.

    While climates are different each election, it is likely to help dems get motivated from apathy and go vote if reminded the climate just two years ago. Maybe not the noblest of motivators, but who cares, if it works.

  46. 46
    Elie says:

    @General JAFO Willibro:

    Spiderholes? Us?

    Man, you have a little mean on you don-chu

    We fully acknowledge that democrats are not like repubs (thanks be). We don’t, however, mind pointing out our fellow dems who seem a bit weak in the knees or have forgotten to show the right ‘spirit of fellowship’ with other dems

    What axe ya gotta grind withat, bro? And the snarky aside ’bout our brother John? Don yu wan converts to the democratic cause? Now we all gotta be BORN as Democrats or sumptin? That seems to be “electoral stupid shit” to me, cause aint we supposed to be increasing our numbers and such to promote that wondrous PROGRESSIVE VALHALLA, that Jane Hamsher and so many have pointed to…

    You sound almost like a right wing trouble maker coming here to stir things up because you are bored and have been having to sit in your sitz bath for too long after your hemmorhoid surgery… Hey — been there. You might want to try some Johny Walker instead and stay away from posting till all that inflammation dies down…

  47. 47
    Elie says:

    @General Stuck:

    Now there you go again trying to be rational…

    sigh

  48. 48
    Mumphrey says:

    @gnomedad:

    I saw that. It’s always the comments that show up after pieces like that that make me lose faith in our country faster than anything else. I can deal with the thought that there are ignorant, hate-filled losers stewing away in their bitterness alone and impotent (in all senses of the word) in their houses, watching Fox and listening to Limbaugh. That doesn’t really scare me all that much.

    It’s the racist, angry assholes who are motivated enough to write in that scare me. They’re the ones I f ear, since anybody who cares enough to justify their own hatred and bigotry enough to spend the time writing a more or less grammatical answer to an article like that might well be dedicated enough to go try to make a difference by voting or even doing campaign work, and there seem to be so many of them. They write into the Washington Post by the hudreds, it seems.

  49. 49
    Elie says:

    @Mumphrey:

    Well, it IS the racist assholes who are motivated…

    They are afraid and want reassurance that their fear is:

    1. justified (the bogeyman IS REAL FOR GODS SAKE!)
    2. others (the correct others, that is) feel it
    so
    3. SOMEONE will do something about it (preferrably non-violent, but removes the cause of said fear — ya know, cleanly and quickly)

  50. 50
    Nied says:

    Add to it that a small but vocal minority in the Democratic party have decided that the object lesson from the 1980 election was that Ted Kennedy was right to undercut his own party, and we’re all getting a refresher course on Democratic idiocy.

    It’s like I said down in the Rolling Stone thread: These people seem to think the ending quote from the old story about FDR wasn’t “Now make me do it.” but “Now go home and pout until I do it for you.”

  51. 51
    numbskull says:

    @Nied:

    “Now make me do it.”

    I’m curious. What would that look like? How would “Now make me do it” play out? Making the President honor his campaign promises and/or pushing “Democratic” values?

    Wouldn’t it at least include “The Base” complaining about timidity and ranting for stronger action?

    Isn’t that what is happening?

    And just to spray around the prophylactic bug juice: I don’t read the Hampster or Glenzilla, much less “follow” them.

  52. 52
    Brachiator says:

    @Kryptik:

    As much as the firebaggers and the ‘professional left’ or whatever the derogatory name for the out there left is these days piss me off, I still find myself amazed how much ink and gigs and time and decibels are wasted on wondering if they’re the real reason the Democratic party is in so much goddamn trouble.
    __
    Simple answer to a stupid question: they aren’t. Nowhere near it.

    Well put.

  53. 53
    General JAFO Willibro says:

    @Elie: Not even makin’ sense, sweet-hort. Maybe ya oughta try somea them midols. And see a speech therapist about the lamentable dialect.

  54. 54
    General JAFO Willibro says:

    @General Stuck: I see. The Historial Inevitability of Midterm Losses argument, right up there with Hegel’s argument that the number of solar planets must be 10 because they could not be more or less.

    Whatever. Good luck on motivating a base that the entire Democratic party insist on demotivating at every opportunity. Me, got better things to do with my shovel.

  55. 55
    daveinboca says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Including Democrats and Independents, probably over 40% of the Florida electorate, INCLUDING blacks and Hispanics [largely Cuban]. And if anything, this estimate may be a bit conservative, or rather, tea=party sympathizers may be way over 50% and they are growing rapidly as this Village Voice dude and other Demonrats, including Obama, go off the rails screaming “racist, racist.” Go ahead and imitate Bill Maher, a wise-ass low-IQ shitass with a fucked up attitude. And while you’re at it, fuck yourselves, each and every one…!

  56. 56
    General Stuck says:

    @General JAFO Willibro:

    Take your shovel and shove it up your sexist ass. Ratfucking douchebag.

  57. 57
    bob h says:

    At the time of the inauguration, an America expert at a Russian think tank predicted that our country would proceed to unravel. How prescient he was!

  58. 58
    Mumphrey says:

    @daveinboca:

    If you really don’t like being called a racist–and who does?– then maybe you shouldn’t spout racist things or hang around with and vote for people who do.

    And as for your suggestion at the end, thanks, but I have other plans for today, and I’m guessing everybody else here does, too.

  59. 59
    Sasha says:

    Via Chait, a worthwhile article by Kevin Drum in Mother Jones explaining that since the 1930s, “Tea Party”-like movements, always wearing the same the trappings, fluoresce whenever a Democrat is elected President.

    The only thing notably different this time around is the degree to which the current incarnation has almost completely taken over the Republican Party.

  60. 60

    “Add to it that a small but vocal minority in the Democratic party have decided that the object lesson from the 1980 election was that Ted Kennedy was right to undercut his own party, and we’re all getting a refresher course on Democratic idiocy.”

    Priceless. And sadly, very very true.

    The worst part about this? They think that it’s going to send a message. Except that the message is, “I don’t give a $@#) if the country goes off the f@&*ing cliff, I want my ideological purity!”

    Man…Ellison was right–the two most common elements in the universe _are_ hydrogen and stupidity. Problem is that the second element exists in large amounts in the majority of Republicans and sadly, some Progressives.

  61. 61
    Sebastian Dangerfield says:

    @Kryptik:

    As much as the firebaggers and the ‘professional left’ or whatever the derogatory name for the out there left is these days piss me off, I still find myself amazed how much ink and gigs and time and decibels are wasted on wondering if they’re the real reason the Democratic party is in so much goddamn trouble.

    [Rough summary of what follows: They aren’t; actual elected Democrats and their operatives are.]

    This. (And the “This.” comes to you from a member of the “out there left” whose views would likely piss you off.)

    Stated another way, whether or not one is even partially on-board with the substance of the “out there left[‘s]” criticisms of the administration and the putatively Democratically controlled Congress, an honest assessment of the needless kowtowing and unforced errors committed in the past 18 months of executive/legislative shenanigans would lead to the observation that the catcalls from the firebagger/professional-left contingent are symptom not a cause of the Dems’ difficulties. Hell from a pure how-the-game-is-played perspective (i.e., a perspective unconcerned with the trivial matter of enacting good policies and motivated entirely by the desire to score against the other team), the sheer political malpractice should be enough to have the hackiest party loyalist boiling with rage.

  62. 62
    General JAFO Willibro says:

    @General Stuck: Same to ya, General.

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