Here Is A Barrel of Fish, for Your Shooting

So Dave Weigel, at Slate, posted this youtube on Wednesday, under the heading “Democratic Consultant + Video Camera + South Carolina Tea Party Rally = Oy“:

Remember those interviews with racist Democratic voters in West Virginia back in 2008? Remember the interviews outside McCain-Palin rallies — that nice gentleman with the toy monkey who called it “little Hussein”? Yeah. Things are not better now. And there aren’t any Democratic primary rallies at which conservatives can record competing videos.

Thing is — possibly because I am a Democrat, and lacking in the single-minded savagery essential to modern political WINNING! — this video just makes me feel sad, and slightly creeped out. These people are, no argument, ignorant racist low-information serfs who in Plato’s ideal society would not be permitted to vote, or exist. If they were my personal relatives, I would lie about it to my friends. They’re old, and ugly, and mostly could not win an argument against a moderately well-prepared farm animal. But they are victims, and laughing at them… just ain’t right.

Joe Bageant died recently, and I have been dog-earring Deer Hunting with Jesus with the idea of writing an appreciation. Bageant’s people are the Permanent White Underclass, people like the poor souls in the video, smart enough to know they’ve been cheated but not smart enough not to be cheated again and again by the same rotating cast of thugs, grifters, sociopaths, and Republicans. People like Dottie:

Dot’s life has been every bit as hard as Patsy’s. Harder really, because Dot has lived twice as long as Patsy Cline managed to, and she looks it. By the time my people hit sixty, we look like a bunch of hypertensive red-faced toads in a phleghm-coughing contest. Doctors tell us that we have blood in our cholesterol, and the cops tell us there is alcohol in that blood. True to our class, Dottie is disabled by heart trouble, diabetes, and several other diseases. Her blood pressure is so high the doctor thought the pressure device was broken. And she is slowly going blind to boot.
__
Trouble is, insurance costs her as much as rent. Her old man makes $8 an hour washing cars at a dealership, and if everything goes just right they have about $55 a week left for groceries, gas and everything else. But if an extra expense as small as $30 comes in, they compensate by not filling one of Dot’s prescriptions — or two or three of them — in which case she gets sicker and sicker until they can afford the co-pay to refill the prescriptions again. At fifty-nine, these repeated lapses into vessel-popping high blood pressure and diabetic surges pretty much guarantee that she won’t collect Social Security for long after she reaches sixty-three, if she reaches sixty-three…

I grew up in a Northern city, not the rural South. But Dottie’s people were my people — we come from the same stock. I can say with conviction that the main difference between me and Dottie were an extra decade of social progress, Griswold v. Connecticut and a Pell Grant. It was not the result of good planning on my part, or my parents’, just luck. Luck, and good government, because access to birth control and college not only improved my own little life, it has enabled the government to collect many times in taxes & ‘productivity’ the cost of that seed grant.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t argue with these Tea Party folks. Or fail to point and laugh at the slick grifters standing on the podium misleading them further down the road to their own ruination — Nikki Haley, Michele Bachman, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes and all their ilk. Extremely mock-worthy, all these candidates, and their puppeteers even more so!

But I don’t see mocking someone like the lady in the red cowboy hat, who’s so happy to be accepted — so grateful that people are willing to give her their discards, to eke out her Social Security — as a winning strategy. If you have an argument in opposition, I would be interested in reading it.

152 replies
  1. 1
    aimai says:

    Great post, Annie Laurie.

    aimai

  2. 2
    HoneyBearKelly says:

    It is sad.
    But what can you do about people who constantly vote against their own self-interest?
    Not much other than tell them to stop voting for assholes.

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    I wish the interviewer had asked them if they were currently getting social security and medicare.

  4. 4
    OzoneR says:

    But they are victims, and laughing at them… just ain’t right.

    Oh I don’t laugh at them, this is no laughing matter, I pity them, and I express disgust at them.

    are the Permanent White Underclass, people like the poor souls in the video, smart enough to know they’ve been cheated but not smart enough not to be cheated again and again by the same rotating cast of thugs, grifters, sociopaths, and Republicans.

    Then we really can’t do much to help them.

  5. 5
    JCT says:

    Aimai beat me to it — great post.

    No obvious answers, but it illustrates how deep-seeded the problems are and why simply trying to “inform and educate” folks who seemingly vote against their own self interests (again and again) seems to be a fool’s erand.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    This issue was touched upon briefly in the comments to the “Revolt of the Real Murkins” thread last night. Pointing, laughing, and calling people stupid is never going to convince them to vote for the left. If we think that someone has a stupid position, we need to argue against that, but not against the person. If not, we will never see the majorities we need to get things done. I will say, however, that some of these people are lost to us and to sensible discourse, but we need to fix things for them as well. They may not deserve it and may even work against progress, but, if we don’t make sure everyone is included, we are screwed. Finally, the leaders who these people follow need to be attacked viciously every chance we have, as do the positions and policies for which they act.

  7. 7
    Emma says:

    I feel the same way. Sometimes I can’t even bear to watch those videos. I think the only way to fix it is to keep moving the safety net outwards a bit at a time. When social security was introduced it was viewed with suspicion; now it’s a right. Same for health care. If we manage to get it going, in another generation, it will be a right.

    We can never change their minds but we can change their circumstances.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    It’s always disturbed me that one of the terms of opprobrium for the teabaggers has been the hoveround brigades, or similar formulations. The argument has never been that these hoverounds were paid for by the government they are protesting, the argument has been that they need such devices, therefore these people are shit.

  9. 9
    Donut says:

    Weigel wants us liberals to show up at our Congress-people’s town hall meetings and yell at these poor fellow human beings, who are obviously the victims of a persistent, decades-long propaganda onslaught, which has only intensified in the last decade or so since Fox News ramped up.

    In Weigel’s mind, I guess that would be a very serious sign that we take the 2012 election seriously.

    I mentioned this yesterday, but fuck Dave Weigel. Fuck him in the ear.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Finally, the leaders who these people follow need to be attacked viciously every chance we have, as do the positions and policies for which they act.

    This is key.

    These are people who, alas, need to be led. They’ll follow, rather blindly, anyone who plays to their prejudices. Overcoming those prejudices is difficult, to be sure.

    Most of them lack critical thinking skills. They don’t have a knowledge of the past that allows them to understand their situation in the present, and their prospects for the future. They think that “regulation” was imposed specifically to frustrate them, not because of past bad acts that required action to address.

    It’s very much an education issue, but most of these people will never advance beyond basic Maslow. The Galtian overlords work hard to make sure that situation does not change, because if it does, these people will turn on them.. and assholes like the Kochs know it.

  11. 11
    OzoneR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    that some of these people are lost to us and to sensible discourse, but we need to fix things for them as well.

    sure and we try to, but as someone once told me “If you handed them a check for a million dollars, they’d think you were kicking them out of those house”

  12. 12
    Phoebe says:

    @OzoneR:

    Then we really can’t do much to help them.

    Maybe not, but I think the point was possibly to not laugh at them. Not big world saving plan, economically, but a point that I was happy to see made, anyway. Thank you, A L.

  13. 13
    OzoneR says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    These are people who, alas, need to be led. They’ll follow, rather blindly, anyone who plays to their prejudices.

    which is why before the era of civil rights, the economic progressives were also racists.

  14. 14
    El Cid says:

    __

    These people are, no argument, ignorant racist low-information serfs who in Plato’s ideal society would not be permitted to vote, or exist. If they were my personal relatives, I would lie about it to my friends. They’re old, and ugly, and mostly could not win an argument against a moderately well-prepared farm animal. But they are victims, and laughing at them… just ain’t right.

    Well, especially in formal public discussions or by prominent individuals.

    But let me tell you something: when you do grow up in “the South” (or whatever rural-ish backwards white right wing area which is your analogue), you certainly can summon up the gumption to see the widespread arrogant, nose-cutting-to-spite-face ignorance and authoritarianism and racism and so forth in its historical context.

    And how god-damned ridiculous it is that people have to come up in a world in which the sources of information most available to them — news, cultural, etc — constantly lie and create an imaginary world.

    But when you put up with this shit enough directly, and especially when you get tired of hearing people around you who are the type that just won’t shut up about this shit, then, yeah, mockery’s a fine option.

    You’re not an “elite” just because you’re not ignorant. Plenty of these types quoted above are strongly middle and upper-middle class, have higher incomes than I do, probably grew up with more money than my family did.

    Yet too often we act like somehow the fact that I have spent an amount of time looking up information from different sources than the most common these types see, or that I’m more willing to take into account basic logic and empirical evidence of what the world actually is like, somehow makes me an ‘elite’ and these poor white Southern nitwits around me are uniformly the downtrodden.

    So it’s always and inevitably contextual how to react to this or that. Yeah, you don’t want to be going out and cruelly mocking the desperately poor. Yet among the desperately poor, they’re not all screaming loons themselves. I’ve known a number of people barely surviving yet who get tired of hearing others they know in similar straits spewing out a bunch of bullshit.

    It’s always a balancing act. And if you want to choose a role such as an organizer — I’m sorry, in all nasal tone, ‘community organizer’ — or political leader or educator, then, yeah, you generally want to be the above-it-all type.

    To me it’s like discussing evolution or religion with a fundie friend or relative — of course you deal with them (if they are indeed such) as decent people, and maybe if it’s that kind of relationship, then even get in heated arguments etc.

    On the other hand, it’s very different when you’re not interested in hearing from them about that at the moment, or if you just can’t get away from lots of loudmouth types surrounding you, the community organizer approach isn’t the right one. I.e., in a car repair shop’s waiting area when the louder of the white employees and customers keep bitching about Obama this and how he’s destroyed and destroying this or that.

    If you were judicious enough, there really wouldn’t be that many people in your life or the broader civic life you’d judge worthy of mockery.

    I think Orwell’s rule is mostly helpful (at least I think I read this from him): the point of satire is for the weaker to target the more powerful; if you reverse it (i.e., the entire conservative movement), it’s simply cruelty, not satire.

    But who’s “powerful” in any particular circumstance varies — you might have a whole congregation of broke folks in a poor neighborhood and/or county, but some of them will still be dominating, boorish a$$-holes. So even within a situation of an abuse of power (even informal) by those who are relatively far lower on the power scale of the rest of society, satire & mockery’s still okay.

    No upperdown answer for me.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    Like you, AL, I live in a part of the country that is not the South, but which is filled to the brim with people like this. At the club the other night (the VFW, not the country club) and conversation began with outrage over the Ryan Plan but soon dissolved into screeds from the very same people against “Nobama” and how awesome Sarah Palin is. How the hell are they smart enough to know they’re getting fucked by the GOPers but not smart enough to see that the president has their backs and Caribou Barbie is just fleecing them? I despair for the country when I hear these people.

  16. 16
    OzoneR says:

    @Donut:

    Weigel wants us liberals to show up at our Congress-people’s town hall meetings and yell at these poor fellow human beings, who are obviously the victims of a persistent, decades-long propaganda onslaught, which has only intensified in the last decade or so since Fox News ramped up.

    No, I took it as he wanted liberals to show up and yell at their Republican congressmember.

  17. 17
    Mark B says:

    I’m related to some of these people. Not the people in the video, but people who talk and think just like them. Sometimes I speak my mind at family gatherings and try to confront the more overtly racist pronouncements, but that just makes them angry and confused. They don’t understand how someone they consider nice and intelligent wouldn’t buy into the old racist birther lies they consider self-evident. They just think somehow I was brainwashed by going to college [Pell grant, cheap state tuition, etc.]

    But after the last shouting match with my Mother about this in 2008, I’ve just declared a truce about it. She was raised with abhorrent racist views, her Father was in the KKK and never hesitated to use the N-word at the dinner table. As much as I want her to escape her racist past, I’ve come to the realization that in order to help her (she’s in her 70s and has health issues) I just have to ignore the worst of it and just change the subject when she starts talking about the crazy shit she sees on Fox News. I can’t help her if all we do is argue about … not politics … but the crazy conspiracy theories which substitute for politics for today’s right wingers.

    I always tell her that watching Fox News is going to rot her brain, but the truth is, her brain was rotted by the racist society she grew up in, and Fox News simply provided more reinforcement for it. Fox News just reinforces the rot and keeps it active. I think that’s the real tragedy of the ‘conservative’ movement. In the 70s, I feel like we as a nation were making progress against racism, but Reagan turned it around in 1980 and eventually Fox News showed up to provide daily propaganda reinforcement.

  18. 18
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @MikeJ:

    The argument has never been that these hoverounds were paid for by the government they are protesting,

    That’s the argument I’ve generally seen, it goes along with snark over the “Government Out of Medicare” signs.

  19. 19
    MonkeyBoy says:

    The sad thing is that many of those people believe that the Negros elected Obama so that Obama would give them things to make them better (or better off) than white people.

    They believe this because it is a fact of human nature. This assumption implies that white people elect white leaders to make the bottom level of white people at least better than Negros. However in this case such a social policy is “natural” because whites are naturally better than Negros while the notion of any Negro being superior to any white is unnatural.

  20. 20
    Blanche says:

    Thanks for the interesting post.

    I read Deer Hunting with Jesus a few years ago and found it really interesting. I think there was a chapter in it describing the town where the “Leash Girl” of the Abu
    Gharib photos grew up. I think another chapter explained the absolute losing economics of buying a trailer home.

  21. 21
    El Cid says:

    @OzoneR:

    which is why before the era of civil rights, the economic progressives were also racists

    Well, maybe also because non-racism in white US and European and Latin American and Asian societies toward black Africans and African Americans was pretty much non-existent.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    I would like to ask that bearded, tricorner-hatted guy if he collects Social Security and what he would do if he didn’t get the support. I’d ask him if he uses Medicare. He needs to be asked how much he lost in the stock market when his investments tanked a few years ago and if he could work now to support himself or what he’d do if there was no safety net. Would his church be able to give him full financial support; does he have children who could give him full support?

  23. 23
    Alex S. says:

    These people are afraid that someone might take away the little they’ve got and give it to minorities.

  24. 24
    Mark B says:

    @Mark B: BTW, my mom who believes that government is evil uses the hell out of Medicare and is collecting social security. I’d say that’s pretty typical for a tea partier.

  25. 25
    cathyx says:

    @Mark B: So tell me, I’m seriously curious, why do some people who are raised in that environment grow up and realize that that way of thinking is just not right, and others embrace it and continue to think that way?
    I think of my 12 year old and how easy it is to convince her of anything if I show her “proof”. But she hasn’t developed her critical thinking skills fully yet. Hopefully by the time she is an adult, she will, and she will need more than my “proof” to convince her of something.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Cid:

    It’s an evolutionary process.

    Ideas that today would be considered horribly racist a century ago were held by the “progressives” of the time.

    These things take time. Getting past the surface to the humanity within is not quick or easy, and humans on average don’t see the changes happening fast enough. It’s frustrating, but as it’s always said, Rome was not built in a day.

  27. 27
    Mark B says:

    @cathyx: I dunno how some children turn out different. I had a speech impediment as a child so I never felt like I fit in. I spent a lot of time on my own figuring things out, but I never truly escaped from it until I got a small scholarship and went to a relatively big city (Austin) to go to college. A lot of it comes from the parents. I have a feeling your daughter will be fine.

  28. 28
    Buck says:

    They don’t have to wait for republican leadership to take away their benefits. They could refuse/decline using these socialist services all on their own.

    Listen to me…. I made a funny!

  29. 29
    El Cid says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: No, I get that. Colonialists too proclaimed that they were doing what was needed to do to uplift the races they controlled, all for their own benefit, though sadly of course there was only so much such types could ever achieve.

    And there’s never any lack of individuals, movements, power blocs, and so forth who are convinced that their project (whatever it is at the time) really is in the best interests of the poorest in its path, and the fact that it massively screws them in the short term is just, well, short-term thinking.

    I.e., ‘sure a bunch of people will lose X,000’s of these certain types of jobs’ given some new trade regime, but ‘you know, they’ll get retraining and other jobs somewhere from somebody doing something or other, like, I dunno, high tech or maybe financial innovation, nobody can say yet, but they will be better off because well they will be’.

  30. 30
    Uloborus says:

    I find this issue complicated. For one thing, educating them will not help. Making the facts and good arguments available in general is useful, but it will not help these people. They get suckered because they act on their gut, on what they were raised to believe, on their instincts and habits and prejudices and want to be true. They get riled up by issues that match all the things above and satisfy how they feel right now. It’s easy for them to believe that Democrats are cutting Medicare and Obama isn’t a real American and almost impossible for them to believe that Democrats are trying to help the middle class.

    Logic won’t convince them. Facts won’t convince them. Very rarely something so utterly obvious will hit one of their most deeply held attitudes that they’ll turn against the people manipulating and abusing them, but they’ll always return eventually because they know in their hearts the Republicans are the good guys.

    Pointing and laughing might actually be the best method to deal with them, because people who think on this level find bullying and social intimidation easy and powerful to understand. I don’t know. Whatever will work, it will be an appeal to their instincts, not their reason.

  31. 31
    Jay C says:

    @MikeJ:

    The argument has never been that these hoverounds were paid for by the government they are protesting, the argument has been that they need such devices, therefore these people are shit.

    Really, dude? Can you maybe provide some links to any quotation where the term has been used that way?

    Most of the pejorative use of the term “hoveround brigade” I have seen in the blogosphere has been to 1) Point out the generally advanced age of the Teabagger demographic: which skews way older than the general population and or 2) To underline the hypocrisy, double-standards (or just plain ignorance) of the Tea Party crowd regarding “government interference in healthcare”.

    The need for mobility assistance isn’t correlated to either personal validity, NOR political leanings: an “Obama 2012” sticker will fit on the back of a scooter just as well as a “Don’t Tread On Me” snake.

  32. 32
    WereBear says:

    Anne Laurie is right. And these are my people too. But while compassion is in order, I don’t know how we can ever win them to our side.

    Because Republicans will lie to them, and we cannot.

    Look at all the jumping up and down liberals and progressives do about Reality. And that’s the problem; while I haven’t done very well financially, (due to a lack of Obamacare, BTW) I am not as badly off as my relatives, entirely due to the fact that I have explored the worlds of art and writing and computers; good friends and a devoted life partner, and a few obsessive hobbies.

    Unlike them, I actually have a Life of the Mind. The only life I can afford, but a lovely one.

    That’s Reality, and folks like this cannot face it. So they will vote for the sweet seductive lies that support their dream worlds; and reject our harsh reality that says, “I’m the reason you aren’t dying in the gutter.”

    They aren’t going to vote for that. I don’t think they can.

  33. 33
    Donut says:

    @OzoneR:

    On the fine point of actually yelling at these individual people, you are correct. But I just re-read the original Weigel piece on Democratic anger, and I think I’m correct on the general idea. Weigel barely refers to the Democratic Party itself in the piece. He goes on about what does it take to get people to show up at Congressional town halls and yell and act like total idiots – and the subtext is, that’s what is gonna get the traditional media’s attention. Fuckin’ news flash, the traditional media is going to ignore just about everything Democrats do, no matter how much we stamp and yell about Medicare privitization. Weigel is pissing into the wind on that point. The point being, he wants a side show. Don’t we call that Clown Shoes around here? I don’t want that. I don’t think it’s worth trying to stage that crap. I think there’s plenty of anger and fear simmering, and the last thing you need to do right now is see it boil over. This fight, in my opinion, will not be decided this year. * Edit to Add* Obama will not let Medicare privatization escape veto this year – no way in hell. But it will be won by people knocking on their neighbor’s doors and talking to them rationally throughout the 2012 election season. That and lots and lots of negative advertising. My two cents.

  34. 34
    cathyx says:

    @Uloborus: I agree that all that is true, but why? Why won’t logic and facts convince them otherwise?

  35. 35
    Judas Escargot says:

    @HoneyBearKelly:

    But what can you do about people who constantly vote against their own self-interest?
    Not much other than tell them to stop voting for assholes.

    These folks think they’re voting in their interests, at the expense of others. Plus (watching the video) almost all of them have that particular air of ‘smugness’ that only the profoundly stupid can exhibit.

    Born into the greatest, richest nation that ever existed, and what did they do with it? Suck it dry like an overripe fruit, and not even a dried-out husk left for the rest of us (if they can help it).

    I feel no pity or sympathy for these people. In fact I hate them, and I hate them with a clean conscience.

    Happy Easter!

  36. 36
    Buck says:

    @WereBear: Good post.

  37. 37
    "Serious" Superluminar says:

    How the hell are they smart enough to know they’re getting fucked by the GOPers but not smart enough to see that the president has their backs

    Because they’re not sure the President does have their backs?

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Uloborus: I don’t think pointing and laughing will work. I do think, though, that a lot of these people know they have been screwed over. They are angry. The thing to do is to help them redirect their anger at those who actually screwed them over and towards doing something about it.

  39. 39
    OzoneR says:

    @Mark B:

    I just have to ignore the worst of it and just change the subject

    I think this is another problem…those among us that have gotten to the point of “we can’t change it, move on to something else”

    If we’re going to be able to implement change, we’re going to have to change minds. I think what weakens the left as a movement is the fact that we’ve all seen people like this and decide to “change the subject.” We get cynical and fall into a “Forget it Jake it’s Chinatown” mentality that demotivates us no matter who is on the ballot and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    And when we do win, Republicans know if they just stick it out long enough, they can force our leads to either fail or compromise, both of which will demotivate the left even more.

  40. 40
    Corpsicle says:

    It’s really sad to see the degree to which society has failed these people, and hard to see how they could be changed after 50 or 60 years of ignorance and stupidity. Mostly I view them with pity, but there is some contempt as well. Lots of individuals grow up in the same environment and manage to be decent human beings.

  41. 41
    ellie says:

    Jesus, that was depressing.

  42. 42
    JD Rhoades says:

    You won’t ever convince people like those in the video. But you know, for years, the right wing has succeeded in making liberalism a bad word, in part because they’ve been able to paint a picture of liberals in people’s minds: weak, easily duped, book-smart but reality-foolish, condescending, etc. They’ve made a lot of people think being a liberal makes you not just wrong, but silly. It’s a powerful message to send to those who may be wavering: “Do you want to be like THOSE people”?

    But it can work both ways.

  43. 43
    Mark B says:

    @OzoneR: All well and good, but when you have an elderly relative who relys on you for care, you can’t get into a shouting match every time you meet. I’ve made my feelings clear, but at the same time I have to be able to get close to this person to help her when she needs help. After several years, I’ve determined I can’t change her mind, but I’m not at the point where I can completely cut off all interaction. It may look to you like the path of least resistance, but to me it looks like an uncomfortable compromise I need to make in order to keep the necessary relationship with an ailing elderly relative.

  44. 44
    bystander says:

    @cathyx: You might find this piece in Mother Jones interesting:

    The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science

    It’s not perfectly analogous, but I think aspects of it can be “translated” into the circumstance Anne Laurie describes.

  45. 45
    OzoneR says:

    @Donut:

    He goes on about what does it take to get people to show up at Congressional town halls and yell and act like total idiots – and the subtext is, that’s what is gonna get the traditional media’s attention.

    He’s right.

    You may be correct that the media is going to ignore whatever the left does, but the left needs to do whatever it can to get that attention, even if it’s forced to get it.

  46. 46
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    and yet….this blog continues to front page a glibertarian grifter and Obama concern troll.
    You are exactly right Anne Laurie.
    You are “those people” with a college degree.
    You just get scammed by a more sophisticated class of grifter.
    Libertarians.

  47. 47
    Uloborus says:

    @cathyx:
    Because they’re human, just like we are. The only thing psych research is really, really clear on is that humans are not naturally rational animals. We’re able to use logic and abstract thinking, but it’s not our default. It’s something you learn, and honestly it’s very hard. Even the most intelligent people are often easily suckered by what they think SHOULD be true.

    These are the people who never learned. If you’re a selfish con artist with no scruples about lying (you know, any Republican politician) they’re terribly easy to manipulate. Because one of the most powerful and basic non-logical instincts is tribalism they’re not even listening if they think you’re a Democrat. And above all they’ll support someone who they THINK is like them. They trust that kind of person. They even trust that kind of person when they know flat-out that they’re being lied to. Feelings override reason.

  48. 48
    PanAmerican says:

    @Uloborus:

    Pointing and laughing might actually be the best method to deal with them, because people who think on this level find bullying and social intimidation easy and powerful to understand.

    Amen. Suppressing turn out among these morons in Nov 2012 is the only potential “win” on the table.

    The idea that there is some magic combination to get them to see the light and vote their interests as defined by the progressive blogsphere is stupid and patronizing.

  49. 49
    RossInDetroit says:

    Well, they’re old. They vote Red but some day they’ll cast their last one. For their individual families and loved ones that will be a tragedy. But statistically it’s trending in favor of Blue.
    The GOP is like Cadillac in the ’80s: every year the average age of their customers went up by 0.9 years. It will be interesting to see how they try to reinvent to attract new blood.

  50. 50
    Cat Lady says:

    Another great chronicler of the type of folks in that video is Carolyn Chute. Maine is the other end of the Appalchians. She’s been extremely effective at helping these folks understand that it’s not left v. right or white v. black, it’s up v. down, and it’s pretty easy in whitest of whitey Maine to blame “those” people.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Speaking of fish in a barrel… Your understanding of issues rarely goes beyond the superficial, your sense of decency and compassion is virtually nonexistent, and your obsession with a few topics is almost creepy. You add nothing to any conversation anymore. It is simply pathertic.

  52. 52
    Donut says:

    @OzoneR:

    Well, I guess we should agree to disagree. I think there’s plenty going on at local events where members of Congress are talking to their constituents. Even Weigel later in the day on Friday started posting links and comments from other bloggers showing some of that anger. My point is, I believe (admitting I could be wrong, I don’t have the Answers, just voicing opinion) that we will do better in the end if we push back exactly like we did in 2006 when Social Security was the topic. You also agree that the trad media will ignore (implicitly disapprove) of Democratic anger. So why pursue that strategy? It’s a waste of effort further to stoke it further, IMO, because it’s already simmering. It’s not going away. It doesn’t need to be ramped up high this year – that will be peaking too soon, IMO. People are showing up on their own and asking their Congresspeople about it. I think we’re better of using the Wisconsin model – showing, through direct human conversation (and advertising) enough people who might otherwise be Center-Right or very Center how the GOP plan will fuck them and their families.

    ETA – it’s no accident that the GOP dragged out health insurance reform so that the final votes took place in 2010. We should do the same – while we have a Democrat in the White House – and let this drag out into 2012.

  53. 53
    OzoneR says:

    @Mark B: maybe not so much your mother, but everyone else.

    Liberals need to be louder, faster, and stronger. They’re at a natural disadvantage.

  54. 54
    Phoebe says:

    @Mark B: I bet your speech impediment helped you, not to sound ridiculously presumptuous. I think that lots of times (not all of the times) being different in some concrete way, especially if it’s a difference not always, uh, applauded by the people around you, sometimes gives people a perspective the others don’t have, and a reason to question things that others don’t have. Others in the same family/town/pool, that is.

    In fact, maybe I think this about speech impediments in particular because I’ve come across two examples of this featuring stuttering in the last month or so:

    1. The stuttering Jaguar Guy (listen to the Moth Podcast linked at the bottom of this page),

    2. Bill Withers. Thank you to Balloon Juice readers, in fact, for pointing me to this documentary, which is fantastic.

  55. 55
    OzoneR says:

    @Donut:

    I think we’re better of using the Wisconsin model – showing, through direct human conversation (and advertising) enough people who might otherwise be Center-Right or very Center how the GOP plan will fuck them and their families.

    the Wisconsin model isn’t exactly working wonders yet either…Dems weren’t able to oust an obviously sexist incumbent judge and almost as many Dems are being recalled as Reps.

  56. 56
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: well, BJ has totally developed my understanding of libertarian economics.
    Its a pile of crap.
    Market-based policies are a recipe for failsauce, except for the richies.
    Libertarianism is an empty purse, exactly like conservatism.
    And you are being grifted just like the teatards, only you have a higher class of grifters.
    Libertarians.

    And im not gonna pull punches and hold hands in a kumbayah circle with assclowns like gg and EDK.
    I’m going to fight.
    At least until i get banned again.
    ;)

  57. 57
    Mark B says:

    @OzoneR: Well, in most cases I avoid interacting with racists completely. Unfortunately, we have a few in my car club and I have pretty much used my veto power from them putting right wing political stuff into the newsletter and/or car show materials. These are also people whose mind I can’t change, but I can at least show that it’s not socially acceptable to express such sentiments in polite society.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzoneR: Do you have any idea what the normal trajectory of a judicial race is? What happened with Kloppenburg was amazing. Recall petition with plenty of signature have been file wrt three Republicans. None have been filed, as far as I am aware, against any of the Democrats. That is a significant difference.

    ETA: Factual error above. Four GOP and three Dems have had petitions filed. I withdraw that part of my comment.

  59. 59
    Mark B says:

    @Phoebe: I’ll agree with you, my stuttering was something that was a very important factor in my development. Not that I would wish it on anyone else, but it helps to develop an inner life when it’s difficult to speak.

    [Edit] Another performer who had a stutter was Mel Tillis, who was(is?) a great songwriter. ‘Mental Revenge’ is one of my all time favorites.

  60. 60
    OzoneR says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Recall petition with plenty of signature have been file wrt three Republicans. None have been filed, as far as I am aware, against any of the Democrats. That is a significant difference.

    5 Republicans, 3 Democrats…the Dems are challenging the petitions against the Dems

    http://content.usatoday.com/co.....wmakers-/1

  61. 61
    Woodrow "asim" Jarvis Hill says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Could you PLEASE STOP DERAILING EVERY DAMNED THREAD?

    My God, go get a life!

  62. 62
    OzoneR says:

    @Donut:

    We should do the same – while we have a Democrat in the White House – and let this drag out into 2012.

    well we are.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @OzoneR: See my edit.

  64. 64
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @El Cid: Many times this. I don’t watch these videos because I find them sad, discouraging, and hateful.

    I know many of these people are frightened, ill-informed, whatever, but they are active participants in that. They CHOOSE to be ignorant and deceived, even if it’s not a logical or even all-conscious choice. And, as El Cid noted, many of them are middle class or upper middle class.

    No amount of arguing with them will change their minds. Therefore, I have no desire to interact with them. It’s how I feel about anyone who is not interested in having an honest debate. It’s a waste of my time.

    And, frankly, it sets my teeth on edge to be told that I am the one who has to be understanding of or compassionate to these racists when they are perfectly happy to denigrate me and mine. The best I can do is feel some modicum of pity for them for living such fearful, pathetic lives.

    @Omnes Omnibus: The Dem recalls, though, are rife with possible-fraudulent activity, such as trading booze for a signature.

  65. 65
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill –
    Im not derailing anything. I’m pointing out that liberals have their very own set of grifters.
    Libertarians.

  66. 66
    bystander says:

    @Cat Lady: Thanks for that link. Awesome!

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    @El Cid: Bravo to that. I’d like to emphasize a couple of points:

    First, it’s a mistake to assume that these people represent the white lower-middle-class, blue-collar, whatever. That’s much of the Republican base, true. But the Tea Partiers have been shown to be largely from educated, upper-middle-class backgrounds. Along with that, much of the growth in Republican representation in government has been due to the suburbanization of America. Suburban/exurban areas are predominantly Red districts.

    Secondly, as PanAmerican points out, it’s patronizing to feel sorry for the poor deluded voters. They are autonomous individuals, responsible for their own lives. In addition, they each have a responsibility to be a critically-thinking American citizen. If I am to have respect for them, then any willful foolishness on their part will require me to be angry with them.

  68. 68
    gene108 says:

    I found the guy, with the big beard, sun glasses and cap, who said he didn’t think highly of interracial marriage but voted for Nikki Haley to be the biggest example of cognitive dissonance I’ve seen from the right.

    You ramble about how the Confederate flag is misunderstood and basically vent a bit about the White Man’s burden in trying to educate blacks for the last 100 years, state you don’t think much of interracial marriage and vote for a Punjabi woman, who married a white man?

    Why? Because Sarah Palin told you Nikki was da’ bomb?

    Talk about sheeple….

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @asiangrrlMN: You know, the ones who are doing okay and have had an education and all of that, those people are probably lost causes. There are people out there though who are ignorant and could learn. They might still have prejudices that I find appalling but if we can convince them that their interest lies in supporting liberal principles (even if it means that blacks, browns, weirdo moral degenerates, and pointy headed intellectual elites benefit too) then we win. If they continue to think they are better off and screwed over rather than supporting us, winning is harder. The key is to get convince them that tolerance and decency is the price they have to pay for security and prosperity.

  70. 70
    RossInDetroit says:

    In defense of low information voters, I don’t have a wide variety of news sources and I’d guess that most other people don’t. With the proliferation of sources in the broadcast media and the rise of internet political sites it’s easy to feel informed yet have exposure to a very narrow range of the spectrum of opinion.

  71. 71
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Citizen_X: Even moar better, your second paragraph. You fleshed out my point that they are active participants in their delusion. You have to seriously work to think half of the shit they do. That pisses me off.

    @Omnes Omnibus: You can have at it. I find it very self-indulgent to believe all that crap when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And, yeah, I take it personally that a lot of these people want to ship me back to my home country, even though I was born and raised in this country. Because many of them cannot see their ideology is based on racism, they will not change. Anyone who believes Obama was not born in America is not someone with whom I want to waste my time.

  72. 72
    PIGL says:

    The problem is universal suffrage. Plato was right, the enlightnment was naive. These people should not be voting.

    Robert Heinlein’s Starship Trooper contained the kernel of a solution, despite his reactionary tendencies and military fetish. In his political utopia, only people who had completed military service or equivalent could vote or stand for office. The opportunity to fulfill this service was open to anyone…the point in fact was not military service as such, but rather to prove that one was capable of putting collective interests ahead of personal interests.

    There, I think, is the kernel of a good idea. Except, my gold standard would be quite different. I would require proof that a would-be enfranchised citizen was capable of changing their mind on a subject when presented with new evidence. If only there was a reliable assay for this trait.

    I seriously don’t think our civilisation can survive without some such system replacing the one we have. Our present electoral systems must always ratchet downwards, as we are seeing. The reason is, equivalent groups of viscious idiots always can be brought into existence in large numbers, and exploited.

  73. 73
    vtr says:

    That is the worstest Patsy Cline video I ever saw. But one of the quasi-humans hit the nail on the point: We spend far too much on education!

  74. 74
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @asiangrrlMN: Ran out of time on my edit box.

    I just wanted to add that I believe the former group you described to be the majority rather than the latter group. I don’t see many people who are simply ignorant rather than willfully so.

  75. 75
    sukabi says:

    @geg6: they are having a “transfer of power” from the slightly larger head on their shoulders to the much smaller, more reactionary head between their legs…

  76. 76
    Citizen_X says:

    @PIGL:

    the point in fact was not military service as such, but rather to prove that one was capable of putting collective interests ahead of personal interests.

    Stop making Ayn Rand cry!

  77. 77
    Stillwater says:

    @Uloborus: I don’t know. Whatever will work, it will be an appeal to their instincts, not their reason.

    How does anyone ever change their mind about general principles or worldviews? These are often part of a person’s self-identity, part of who they are, so changing their beliefs means changing how they think of themselves. That’s a sticky problem. And the Ultimate Goodness of Conservatism is an article of faith for alot of these folks, a part of how they define themselves.

  78. 78
    Uloborus says:

    @gene108:
    Trust is much more powerful than truth. I found this out viscerally when I was younger. I was very fond of the game Diplomacy. My best friend Billy (His given name. Ah, Kentucky.) and I almost always won. So we started playing the opposite sides of the board where we had little reason to ally. I was very good at the strategy part of the game, and he’s very charismatic. And overwhelmingly, people sided with him, even though he was seriously conniving and backstabbing.

    So I talked to one of my friends after a game and asked her why she allied with him. Surely she knew that I was making her the better offer and was telling her the truth and he was lying to her. She said yes, she knew I was telling the truth and he was lying, but she trusted him and not me.

    This left me well prepared to study psychology.

  79. 79
    El Cid says:

    @Citizen_X: Depending on what you’re doing, it’s often a lot more profitable to focus on the smaller # of individual whites who are actually amenable to your appeals than to attempt to change everything to futilely attempt to appeal to those who hate you.

    That is NOT the same as ‘preaching to the converted / congregation’. But there’s a reason actually existing churches do that: it’s how churches get established, survive, grow, and profit.

    If an actual church were to take the view that their own membership was to be taken for granted and you should only value pursuit of those who disagree or simply do not belong, it’s collapse pretty quicklike.

    That’s why it makes perfect sense to focus on activating ‘the base’ — as long as there’s an actual sane, fact-based definition of ‘base’, rather than just the most prominent of active individuals and groups. Most actual Democratic and liberal voters are not in that latter category.

    Most “independents” are simply votes unregistered with a party, and the vast majority of them either vote strongly conservative OR strongly liberal.

    Reworking everything to appeal to a tiny number of fickle undecided “independents” gets you a likely result of failing to get the votes (and turnout) of people likely to vote for you.

  80. 80
    Uloborus says:

    @El Cid:
    The question often becomes ‘Who is the base?’ People who think they are the base and are speaking for the base, I’m finding, are often extremists rather than the actual core of regular voters. And for the Democrats there’s no easy demographics to label.

  81. 81
    Citizen_X says:

    @El Cid: Amen to all of that.

  82. 82
    debit says:

    Please, people, ignore MC, no matter what she changes her name to. You just help her in threadjacking and give an attention whore exactly what she wants. I suggest the pie filter.

    @ thread: I am sorry, but you cannot help or change these people. You can only wait for them to die and hope they don’t fuck up their kids and grand-kids too much before then.

  83. 83
    OzoneR says:

    @Uloborus:

    And for the Democrats there’s no easy demographics to label.

    Democrats don’t have a base. They have different bases in different regions or states. Democrats where I grew up in Indiana wouldn’t be caught dead in the same room as Democrats where I live now. They have absolutely nothing in common except party label, and mutual hatred of George Bush post-2005.

    The Democrats back home certainly don’t think Obama is too conservative or too corporatist. They think he’s too liberal, and Democrats here in Brooklyn certainly don’t think he’s too liberal.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @asiangrrlMN:Actually, that racist group are probably among the lost causes. Birtherism and a number of other things can serve, for me, as signals that I am wasting my time having any kind of conversation with a person. I believe there are reachable people out there. We need to reach them and, at the same time, defeat and marginalize the assholes.

    ETA: I am, at heart, an incurable optimist.

    ETA II: I need to get ready to go a family Easter dinner. Have fun everyone.

  85. 85
    Cermet says:

    These people are dying out, thank god. That and the rising population of non-whites offers hope. But be warned, hell on earth is fucking coming and these asswipes will be here then and the fuckers in congress – the thugs and demorats will push the corporate interest as we are bleed to death. Peak oil isn’t here despite the fun of fast rising gas prices like we have never seen – the Saudi’s are either helping or unable to pump enough and know this – the times have changed. Still, peak oil has a few years more to go before it bites but the “we have” twenty years bullshit – reserves are determined by the very people who profit off the numbers (in other countries where our government does not have independent observers to confirm their numbers) and as such, I don’t believe their numbers and if you want to, dream on – Wall Street has a bridge to sell you. Alternate energy is just too late- it will get ugly and people like this will form the core hate groups that will make sure we all suffer except the wealthy who will continue to feed on the dying middle class – fools.

  86. 86
    RossInDetroit says:

    @debit:

    Please, people, ignore MC

    Okay. Now I get it. Thanks.

  87. 87
    Shalimar says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: You are the Sarah Palin of the internets. Every post is a word salad with libertarianism and EDK mixed in somehow whether those are the topics others are discussing or not. Your stalkerish obsessions are extremely creepy. You should consider psychiatric help.

  88. 88
    Joel says:

    I liked Joe Bageant and am sorry to hear that he’s passed. I remember reading Dear Hunting For Jesus and a lot of what Bageant wrote rang true for me.

    I don’t typically like these types of “ambush” videos. I want to add, and I’m sure others have done the same, that there’s a clear line between empathy (which every decent person should feel for the subjects of this video) and sympathy. Plenty of good people suffer and we should, as individuals and a society, do our best to help our fellows out. However, very few of these suffering people embrace such brazen evil, for lack of a better word. To compare Dot, whom Joe Bageant wrote about, with the hateful subjects of this video is an insult to Dot and the many, many people like her.

  89. 89
    debit says:

    @Joel: I wouldn’t call this an ambush video at all. He asked each of them straightforward questions, they answered. The weren’t tricked, or duped, rushed or pushed into their answers.

  90. 90
    Fred says:

    Yea, things like OKeefe’s totally fabricating stories with edited video that get good people fired from their jobs is so much more on the up and up!

    Oy vey! That article should have been immediately discredited. But instead here we are talking about false equivalencies again like it’s the same thing.

    Oy vey!

  91. 91
    Cassidy says:

    Bullshit. These people deserve to be mocked. They deserve to feel small and pathetic. They had a lifetime of opportunity with the safety net to catch them. Now, they want to erase it and their racist little hearts are overjoyed to say what they feel. Fuck’em. I hope they die of a painful from of cancer and can’t afford the pain meds.

  92. 92
    Joel says:

    I will add that it’s funny, in a sense, that Weigel would be at all upset by this, considering that its how he made his bread.

  93. 93
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Shalimar: Not relly.
    I am pointing out that liberals have their own grifter class, and you don’ liek me saying that.
    Greenwald, EDK, Kuznicki are just a few of your grifters.
    Saying Weigel is “usually reasonable” or that Sully has “changed” are just ways of denying to yourselves that you are falling for the same old scam.
    So don’t sneer at the teatards.
    You are not superior to them.

  94. 94

    @Citizen_X:

    i agree with this.

    there is an instinct to revenge that overrides even self preservation. i think, even if these people are wrong, and can see they are wrong, they will continue to be wrong, if being wrong punishes the right people.

  95. 95
    Cacti says:

    Lest anyone think this video unfairly targets a few cranks…

    I lived next door to South Carolina for 10+ years. These folks are typical of the body politic there.

  96. 96
    eemom says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    they are active participants in their delusion. You have to seriously work to think half of the shit they do. That pisses me off.
    I find it very self-indulgent to believe all that crap when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    wholehearted agreement here. It takes very little intelligence to turn around and see exactly WHO it is that’s fucking you in the ass. These people are ignorant because they choose to be. And therefore

    @debit:

    you cannot help or change these people. You can only wait for them to die and hope they don’t fuck up their kids and grand-kids too much before then.

    this, as well.

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    “If they were my personal relatives, I would lie about it to my friends.”

    That sentence, right there, is Awesome Sauce.

  98. 98

    Fuck this shit, Anne Laurie. These are the same assholes who have been screwing this country over since 1980- when they were in their 30s and 40s- and loving it. No matter how you treat them, they will always remain the 27%. The more mockery, the less chance that that number balloons.

  99. 99
    Julie says:

    Blanche, I’m glad you made the point about trailer homes because I think liberal mockery of people who live in trailer homes is counterproductive. Every single blue-collar person I know under age 40 has lived in a trailer before or still does. So when I see a liberal blogger or commenter use the term “trailer trash” I always cringe.

    First I want to mention that I have purchased 2 trailers. Both were in well-kept, pleasant and clean trailer parks populated with predominantly young working people, mostly white and hispanic, and a few retirees. For my husband and me, buying trailers was a good economic decision. We bought them with cash, then sold them a few years later for a little more than we paid, even considering the costs of the small improvements we made to them. In the meantime, we were able to live in houses much bigger than apartments (both had 2 baths, the second had 4 bedrooms), keep our dogs, which was very important to us, and have extras like a carport, small fenced yard, and tool shed (my husband is a mechanic and like many blue-collar people needs to own a lot of tools). We got all of that for a lot rent (which included water, sewer, trash) of about $250-270 dollars a month. When we sold the second one, we used the cash to buy a “real” house, which we were able to buy with a 15-year mortgage.

    Now I will admit that taking out a loan to buy a trailer is not a good idea, but many people we knew also paid cash for their trailers, and weren’t planning to live there long-term. It’s just a much better place to live than your average low-cost apartment complex. A lot of our neighbors had small children and they thought the overall environment was better and safer for kids, as well.

    Well, that was my little trailer park apologia. I hope I have convinced someone here to stop making fun of a whole group of people just because they live in low-cost housing.

  100. 100
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    @Uloborus: Re: Diplomacy. Similar to the plot to Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, which I just saw on Fri. Makes the same point. Excellent movie.

  101. 101
    Citizen Alan says:

    I fail to see how mocking troglodytes like this is any worse than condescendingly saying we should respect their feelings because it’s not their fault that they grew up ignorant and racist. Bullshit. These people worship ignorance. What I mean by that is that they aren’t just personally ignorant — they actually consider ignorance as a state of being to be preferable to being knowledgeable. We see their attitude poison every debate, from economics to health care to the environment to evolutionary theory to sexual politics: an attitude that assumes that the considered opinions of learned individuals who have devoted their entire lives to some field of study are less important than what some hillbilly “feels” to be true in his gut.

    It says a lot about why liberalism is on the ropes right now that, when confronted by a class of profoundly un-American people who represent an existential threat to the future survival of our nation and possibly our species, we are actually debating whether or not it is unacceptably mean and cruel to make fun of them by simply quoting them verbatim. Put me down with those who hope all these fuckers get the nastiest form of cancer out there.

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I don’t have much sympathy for people like this and, frankly, I resent that they leech off _my_ (modest) contributions to the public good. They think black people and lazy people are taking their stuff. Well, backatcha, douchebag. I think these people are the reason why we can’t have nice things. When they die, things will be better. Until then, we’re stuck. But every passing moment weakens them further. In twenty years, we’ll all be much happier.

  103. 103
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Fuck this shit, Anne Laurie. These are the same assholes who have been screwing this country over since 1980- when they were in their 30s and 40s- and loving it.

    what Max said. I’m up to here with you gimp kumbayah mothafuckahs.

    Point and laff at the teatards, and do it to the libertarians too.
    They both deserve it.

  104. 104
    Cassidy says:

    we are actually debating whether or not it is unacceptably mean and cruel to make fun of them by simply quoting them verbatim.

    My only debate is stopping at the intense look of personal hurt that comes to their eyes, or continuing until I’ve made someone cry and contemplate suicide.

  105. 105
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Julie:

    There’s nothing wrong in principle with owning a trailer, but I emphasize the word “own” and make damn sure you own the land underneath it too. I do a lot of bankruptcy work, and I am continually astonished at the number of people who, through bad decisions and lax standards in loan refinancing, manage to owe $90,000 or more on a trailer that’s falling apart and worth barely $20,000. The fact that a person lives in a trailer doesn’t make them a bad person in my book, but it is a strong indicator that said person is probably very poor and likely uneducated, and it sounds an alarm bell warning that the person is very likely a financial illiterate who could find himself homeless literally at any moment and not even know it. Fred Clark at Slacktivist has spoken often about the problems facing trailer park residents.

  106. 106
    Svensker says:

    @El Cid:

    Beautifully said, as always. Thanks E.C.

  107. 107
    fhtagn says:

    My view is that the victims of the Tea Party fraud are the same people as the marks at the casino. They lose some money, and double down because they can’t believe that they won’t get lucky next time. The key is to show them that their friendly advisers are the same people as the ones rigging the game, and what little they win is just enough of their losses to keep them coming back until the orange is sucked dry.

  108. 108
    fhtagn says:

    My view is that the victims of the Tea Party fraud are the same people as the marks at the cas.ino. They lose some money, and double down because they can’t believe that they won’t get lucky next time. The key is to show them that their friendly advisers are the same people as the ones rigging the game, and what little they win is just enough of their losses to keep them coming back until the orange is sucked dry.

  109. 109
    pk says:

    There is no changing them and there is no hope for them. You can feel sorry for them if so inclined, but remember if they ever have the power, they will hate you, deny you reproductive rights, deny civil rights to blacks, deny education to children, healthcare to the poor, hate the muslims, wish death and war on other nations. They follow other charlatans and evil because it reflects their own inner ugliness. I never feel like laughing at them, they make me angry and sad.

  110. 110
    ABL says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m with Flip. These people aren’t victims. They are willfully ignorant racist assholes. I’m not going to feel sorry for them. Not one single bit. If you’re getting your news from your neighbor who gets his news off the computer, you’re a dumbass who needs to be marginalized. Sure, I’ll help pay for the Medicare and Social Security you so stridently believe is socialist because Fox News told you so, but I’m not going to feel sorry for you, and I am going to mock you until I have no mock left in me. These people can’t be reached and I’m not going to bother trying.

    The real victims are people like the pregnant teens who got arrested in Michigan for wanting to go to school, or the homeless mother who was arrested and order to pay 16K for sending her kid to a school that wasn’t in her “district.”

    The people in that video are jerks.

  111. 111
    Julie says:

    Citizen Alan, I agree with you that taking out a big loan is not a good idea, but we didn’t own the land our trailers were on, and were still able to resell them for a small profit. After buying/selling the trailers, our total cost was just the lot rent, and a lot of people who live in trailers do the same thing we did. That was just my point–that everyone who buys a trailer is not being duped.

  112. 112
    fhtagn says:

    @ABL:

    These people aren’t victims. They are willfully ignorant racist assholes. I’m not going to feel sorry for them. Not one single bit. If you’re getting your news from your neighbor who gets his news off the computer, you’re a dumbass who needs to be marginalized.

    You realize that they probably feel the same way about you? Marginalizing and hating these people isn’t going to get you anywhere. Nor will it make life better for anyone in this country. At the end of the day, they are human, just as you are.

  113. 113
    Cassidy says:

    At the end of the day, they are human,

    Uh, no. They have no humanity. They are nothing more than bipedal animals who can make small words. The sooner they wither and die, the better.

  114. 114
    fhtagn says:

    @Cassidy:

    Uh, no. They have no humanity. They are nothing more than bipedal animals who can make small words. The sooner they wither and die, the better.

    Even when the Tea Partiers say the vilest things, they remain human, fellow citizens, and we need to accept them as such, while fighting against their beliefs. You may think differently, but I didn’t become a liberal just to sign up with some politically correct hate group.

  115. 115
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Julie:

    The big problem with not owning the land is that if the landowner goes under you’re screwed, because in most states, a trailer owner has no recourse if the land is seized by a creditor except to move. And if that trailer is too old to be moved safely and reliably, then you have essentially lost your house and investment and gotten nothing in return.

  116. 116
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @fhtagn:

    You realize that they probably feel the same way about you?

    gawd i fuckin hate bulshytt kumbayah false equivalence.
    No they don’t feel the same way about ABL. They think ABL is a blackityblack jumpedup porchmonkey that got through law school on a diversity quota and is bent on stealing their swag and giving it to other jumped up porchmoneys.

    You are pretty l33t on economics but you fucking sukk at moral equivalance.

  117. 117
    fhtagn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    I realize you don’t understand most of the words you use, and that logical argument is a closed book to you, but even you ought to grasp that hatred of one human being by another is no way for citizens to interact, much less to achieve a better society. Both sides are wrong here – the Tea Parties are wrong in their beliefs, wrong in their hatred of liberals, but we are wrong when we hate them, dehumanize them, refuse to grant them any of the compassion we demand for ourselves. It’s easy to join in the chorus and yell the requisite tribal slogans, and it achieves nothing except to cheapen and degrade us all. Hatred is no better when motivated by a “liberal” cause than when motivated by a “conservative” cause.

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    @fhtagn: Cry me a fucking iver of false equivalence. Stop being such a fucking pansy.

    politically correct hate group.

    What are you? A child? Serioiusly, that is a steaming pile of naive, false equivalence bullshit. Grow up.

  119. 119
    Citizen Alan says:

    @fhtagn:

    They are human in the same sense that the Nazis were human, the same sense the Confederate slave-owners were human, the same sense the Aztec priests who performed human sacrifices were human. They are monsters who seek nothing less than the total negation of everything that I would call human decency. It is likely that they have already succeeded where the Nazis and the Confederates — thanks to their relentless opposition to any efforts to address our environmental problems, I think it likely that the United States will cease to exist in its present form within 100 years.

  120. 120

    @ABL:

    The real victims are people like the pregnant teens who got arrested in Michigan for wanting to go to school…

    This, mostly.

    Here’s the caveat: It was a sit-in. They meant to get arrested in order to publicize the plight of their school. It still took a while to get the publicity: They were arrested on the 15th, and Maddow didn’t cover it until the 21st or 22nd.

  121. 121
    jaleh says:

    This made me feel really sad, sad that they are allowed to vote.

  122. 122
    fhtagn says:

    @Cassidy:

    No, just someone who thinks that other human beings ought to be treated as human beings. If this upsets you, think of the way that dehumanizing others worked in the South, in Germany, in Russia. It’s not a path that any human being should take against another, even if the rush of anger and self-righteous rage feels good at the time.

  123. 123
    Svensker says:

    @fhtagn:

    Demonizing and dehumanizing is so much easier.

  124. 124
    fhtagn says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    No, not monsters, but human. Nor does comparing them to other groups change that fact. They are not Nazis, slave-holders or Aztec priests by the way, which is why your analogy is unfair. Yes, they are misguided, yes, they say hateful things, yes, they are on a bad path. That does not mean we should take an equivalent path by hating them, dehumanizing them, wishing that they could not vote.

  125. 125
    Cassidy says:

    dehumanizing others

    They dehumanized themselves. I’m simply accepting the lack of empathy and anything resembling decent human behavior.

    Fact is this: there are people on this planet who are no better than a virus or cancer. They are toxic, and they don’t belong here. I’m not advocating death camps or anything; just looking for the day their empty husks finally wither up.

  126. 126
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    Asperger syndrome or Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @Shalimar:
    I’m not the most socially skilled person myself, so when reading m_c I try to keep the above definition in mind and not get too annoyed. She mentioned that she had this a little while back.

  127. 127
    fhtagn says:

    @Svensker:

    Yes, easier, emotionally satisfying, and profoundly wrong. What is our cause or belief worth, if it leads us to hate, demonize and denounce fellow human beings like this? I don’t believe that a true liberal regards other human beings as anything but fellow human beings, people who are our kin, our co-workers, sometimes our friends, misguided though we think they are.

  128. 128

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Well, Anne Laurie has a way of looking at her fellow Scots-Irish and empathizing.

    I see my fellow micks acting like this, and I have no problem reminding them that their immigrant ancestors were subject to this same type of racism, and that they’re assholes for pissing on those on the rung below, rather than offering a hand up. Do unto others and all that…

  129. 129
    fhtagn says:

    @Cassidy:

    These people haven’t dehumanized themselves. They think differently from you and me, but they have families, friends, co-workers, just as we do. They wake up in the morning and worry about their future, and the future of the country. They listen to different politicians, celebrities, thinkers, yes, but they remain as human as we are. We can’t dehumanize them, wish for their deaths, and then say they deserved it without making ourselves as bad as some of them, maybe even worse. It’s easy for us to make excuses and say our cause was just, so we get to slide on things like hating other people, but the truth is that we are running away from our own failure in this regard.

  130. 130
    ruemara says:

    @OzoneR:

    That is factually incorrect on both counts. We took a candidate for judgeship from 35% to 50%, allowing a recall due to some seriously messed up shenanigans from a partisan county clerk. We have 5 valid recall petitions for 5 Republicans and 0 valid recall petitions for Democratic seats. There may, may, be about 1 that will last through the petition challenge period (my partner has done tons of those, so I get the mechanics of it by osmosis). Wisconsin has been way better than you think.

  131. 131
    Cassidy says:

    @fhtagn: Whatever. They wake up and willfully hope that them uppity n*ggers will go away. They wake up and willfully hope women will get their pregnant asses back in the kitchen and stop being such sluts. They willfully wake up and listen to vile, hate-filled TV and radio. Yeah, they worry about their country. Problem is they don’t want it to be anyone else’s country. Fuck them. They have no humanity. I hope they die…soon, and that it is painful. And yes, when they are burning in whatever version of hell they believe in, I will say they deserve it, because that’s what you get for a being a pile of shit.

    So, seriously, take that false equivalence, kumbaya shit and save it for the commune. It may make you feel better and “above it all” but really just makes you sound like a jerk. Your method isn’t working.

  132. 132
    fhtagn says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’d say one of us is throwing insults and hating other people, dehumanizing and stereotyping fellow citizens and generally behaving like the worst kind of racist under the cover of “being liberal”. Your proposed methods have been tried many times in human history, and have achieved a good deal of misery, a lot of dead people, and an increase in hatred, resentment and conflict. Think about that.

  133. 133
    Cassidy says:

    @fhtagn: What methods? I said very clearly I’m not advocating death camps or genocide. Just stocking up on party hats for when they take the express route to hell.

  134. 134
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @fhtagn

    :any of the compassion we demand for ourselves.

    we have compassion. Just not for old intransigent racist low information Real Murrikans and their venal libertarian/conservative handlers and manipulators. We have compassion for the victims of these stupid old racist fucks.
    test me.
    I know all my defs and all internet traditions.

  135. 135
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @fhtagn: When people persist in being ignorant bigots, it strains my capacity to sympathize. I can believe in tolerance without feeling like that requires me to tolerate intolerance.

  136. 136
    Citizen Alan says:

    @fhtagn:

    Do you honestly think the average Teabagger would balk for one moment at the idea of concentration camps for people they dislike (gays, Muslims, illegals, whatever)? These are the people who say, in complete and utter seriousness, that we should just cut to the chase and nuke the entire Middle East.I see no meaningful distinction at all between a Teabagger and a Nazi other than in the object of their respective hatreds and in the fact that the latter doesn’t seem to have a uniform fetish.

  137. 137
    Svensker says:

    @fhtagn:

    I’m with you on that. It is easy — and addicting — to hate other folks. It’s harder to accept their humanity when they are assholes or worse. But it is important, at least in picture stuff, to do so. Dehumanizing only leads to bad things.

    I have a friend — a born Jewish retired cop (already, he’s weird) who became a mystical Quaker and really deeply believes in the Quaker peace testimony and that all of us, ALL of us, are children of God, no exceptions. You should hear him talk to assholes — he loves them to death. He may not turn them 100%, but he can almost always get them to calm down, listen, and accept that perhaps there is a different view that could be acceptable. It is inspiring.

  138. 138
    Cassidy says:

    @Citizen Alan: Isn’t that what Sheriff Joe’s camps amount to.

  139. 139
    Svensker says:

    @Svensker:

    BIG picture stuff. FYWP.

  140. 140
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Cassidy:

    Yeah, we really dodged the bullet there. If Arpaio were twenty years younger, I suspect he’d be Governor of Arizona today and one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination in 2012. And the fucking Teabaggers would LOVE him.

  141. 141
    Maineiac says:

    Great post Anne Laurie. It’s true, you can work the edges if people like this respect you. Confusion to your enemies.

  142. 142
    jrg says:

    @fhtagn:

    They are not Nazis, slave-holders or Aztec priests by the way, which is why your analogy is unfair.

    Have you ever been to rural SC? I have. I went hunting down there with a friend of mine in college. We stayed at a family farm. One of his cousins was living down there… He had all kinds of pro-Nazi books, paraphernalia, etc, etc.

    Obviously not all people in SC are like that. Most are not. But saying they are not slave holders is hopelessly naive.* I can promise you some of them would be if the law permitted it.

    *Edit: by this, I mean they are not slave holders because they have a moral code that would not allow it

  143. 143

    @fhtagn:

    No, not monsters, but human. Nor does comparing them to other groups change that fact. They are not Nazis, slave-holders or Aztec priests by the way, which is why your analogy is unfair. Yes, they are misguided, yes, they say hateful things, yes, they are on a bad path. That does not mean we should take an equivalent path by hating them, dehumanizing them, wishing that they could not vote.

    I wish I could remember the quote about the Nazis that spoke of the mundanity of evil…But when it’s on your doorstep, it won’t have horns or a forked tail. The people in that video may be kinda dumb and silly individually, but collectively…

  144. 144
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    You are “those people” with a college degreeYou just get scammed by a more sophisticated class of grifter.
    Libertarians.

    Never been a libertarian, and you know godsdamned well I am not responsible for Kain, you cudlip.

  145. 145
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Never been a libertarian, and you know godsdamned well I am not responsible for Kain, you cudlip.

    I didnt say YOU were a libertarian, i said you get scammed by libertarians.
    that cudlip really burnt you didn’t it?
    and you read greenwald.
    Any person that claims to be a libertarian is imho a grifter.
    Yah, you are not “responsible” for EDK. and at least you don’t wet nurse him like mistermix and DougJ.
    But I don’t see you pushing to offload the little prick either.

  146. 146
    russell says:

    The difference between dottie and me is that my redneck old man got sent to NYC for some mechanical training during WWII, met my mother there, and so I grew up in NY instead of rural GA.

    Fate’s fickle.

    Props to you Annie Laurie for not wanting to pile on these folks. I just wish they wouldn’t fucking vote.

    Not that I want to deprive them of the the franchise. I just wish they’d go fishing that day instead.

  147. 147
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Sadly, an aunt of my wife is one of the types of people that will improve this earth by her absence one day from natural causes. She’s a sweet, petite old lady who will smile, bake you cookies and talk all day with you.

    If you’re white. If you’re brown she wants you shipped back to your country of origin. Now. On a visit one day the conversation turned to terrorism and the change that came over her face was something to see. The hate was there, as easy to read as a child’s book. While she literally seethes with anger and hatred for Muslims, she has plenty more on tap for every other skin color that isn’t pasty white. She despises slavery only because that brought “them” over here.

    Luckily we were literally saved from further conversation by someone coming to her door, requiring her to turn her charm back on. When she returned my wife quickly changed the topic and that was the end of it. When we left she commented that she was amazed at how angry her aunt was and I agreed. We never saw that in her in the past, never, but it was there under the surface the whole time.

    There’s no convincing people like her of anything they don’t believe in. You may be able to teach an old dog a trick once in a while but changing the mind of someone like her would be mission impossible.

    Her family will miss her dearly when she passes but I think our country (and the world) will be a little bit better for it. I hate even thinking it but that’s the truth of the matter.

    Sad.

  148. 148
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    Great post. I live amongst these people and can get tired of hearing about Glen Beck’s latest brilliance when I’m at a church breakfast. Gaining their confidence and educating them does work if you’re patient. One Beck fan has a severely disabled son and was concerned that NY State was not going to provide reduced admission for the disabled at state parks any more. Among all the state’s spending reductions, they did not cut this program – to this persons’s relief. Self awareness is not one of their strong points.

  149. 149
    Quora says:

    What are the defining characteristics of the Tea Party?…

    Leaderless? Grass Roots? Hardly. It’s the same easily led 27 percent that has always existed. It’s John Birch. It’s Goldwater voters. It’s a well-funded political operation meant to appear street level. Rudderless? Definitely. Leaderless? You’ve g…

  150. 150
    Triassic Sands says:

    But they are victims, and laughing at them… just ain’t right.

    Trust me, Anne, when I see and hear people like this, the last thing in the world I want to do is laugh.

  151. 151
    Paul in KY says:

    @Svensker: That would be an interesting person to meet.

  152. 152
    t1 says:

    “But they are victims, and laughing at them… just ain’t right.”

    Who’s laughing?

    These people are racist, mean, and ignorant. They want to keep gay people from marrying one another, prevent blacks form marrying whites, close down every government program that does anything good in this country — and I’d bet that they would like to force children to pray to jeebus in school every day.

    These people are evil.

    Here’s the thing, they’re too fucking stupid to be educated – they are a lost cause. All you can do is to hold them up the ridicule (not the same thing as laughing at, btw) they deserve and make it clear to the people in the middle that they’re either with the nuts or with us.

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  1. Quora says:

    What are the defining characteristics of the Tea Party?…

    Leaderless? Grass Roots? Hardly. It’s the same easily led 27 percent that has always existed. It’s John Birch. It’s Goldwater voters. It’s a well-funded political operation meant to appear street level. Rudderless? Definitely. Leaderless? You’ve g…

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