Dangerous liaisons in Texas

We’ve seen this coming for a while.

A teabagger Republican congressional candidate in Texas says he sees no problem with a violent overthrow of the government if the midterm elections don’t produce a change in leadership.

The candidate, Stephen Broden of South Dallas who’s running in Texas’ 30th congressional district, made the comment in a television interview.

Broden is the token regular guest on schizoidcokehead-in-chief Glenn Beck’s televison program.

As troubling as Broden’s remarks are, the comments on the Dallas Morning News’s Web site involving the story are scary. Instead of outright condemnation, the comments include such gems as:

“Anyone who has truly studied the Constitution, the Founders, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers IN DEPTH, will know that Broden is exactly right.”

“If the country continues on its present course–so be it.”

“Our nation was founded by ‘violent over throw of the government’. It always has been and always will be on the table.”

Dallas was the site of a violent overthrow of government 47 years ago.

Meantime, in Houston, a voter registration group targeted by Texas teabaggers has received threats and emails containing racist slurs.

These are dangerous times.

Fowl play

Somehow, I missed this when it first came out earlier this month: a video of Donald Duck listening to Glenn Beck. This makes my head hurt: watching a hot-tempered, unstable, ranting cartoon character driving Donald Duck to violence.

From the site Rebellious Pixels: “Right Wing Radio Duck

NOTE: Meanwhile, in the real world, Talking Points Memo says Fox News’s schizoidcokehead-in chief suspects this is a government plot.

Still crazy after all these years

This week’s New Yorker examines the Tea Party’s roots in a piece called Confounding Fathers.

It’s common knowledge that much of today’s Tea Party rhetoric is a rehash of the paranoid ravings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right-wing group known in the 1960s for seeing Communists behind every door and in every government action. The group was so extreme, even FBI director J. Edgar Hoover thought it was wise to keep an eye on them.

Today’s Tea Party also traces present “conspiracies” back to the early 20th century and President Woodrow Wilson. (It’s too crazy to explain.)

Anyway, according to the New Yorker story, one of the people responsible for keeping the right-wing fringe in check decades ago was noted conservative William F. Buckley Jr. “By 1961,” his biographer John B. Judis writes, “Buckley was beginning to worry that with the John Birch Society growing so rapidly, the right-wing upsurge in the country would take an ugly, even Fascist turn rather than leading toward the kind of conservatism National Review had promoted.”

So who’s responsible for the renewed push of Birch-flavored rhetoric? Fox News’s schizoidcokehead-in-Chief Glenn Beck. The story note that when Beck had a show on CNN, he brought on a spokesman for the JBS as a guest and said: “When I was growing up, the John Birch Society—I thought they were a bunch of nuts.” But now, he said, “you guys are starting to make more and more sense to me.”

Beck now is the prominent voice for American conservatives. No other conservative leaders have done anything to debunk the revived JBS message in the way Buckley did with his magazine the National Review, and Buckley, the bane of liberals for decades, was as conservative as they came.

The New Yorker story ends with this warning:

For the moment, though, it appears that the extreme right wing is on the verge of securing a degree of power over Congress and the Republican Party that is unprecedented in modern American history. For defenders of national cohesion and tempered adversity in our politics, it is an alarming state of affairs.

Psycho killer. Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Let’s say an ex-felon goes on a gun rampage on a major highway and shoots a couple of cops. Think about the questions that follow when the public finds out that the gunman’s original plan was to go to a nearby big city to shoot up the offices of a community group and the ACLU.

First you say: The guy’s obviously a nut. Then you ask: What set him off?

This happened a couple of months in California, when a guy named Byron Williams got into a gunfight with highway-patrol officers on an Oakland, Calif., freeway, wounding two cops. Williams was driving erratically, which is why he was stopped. Then he just started shooting. He didn’t die in the gunfight with 10 officers because he was wearing ballistic body armor. He was prepared for a shootout. He said he was on his way to kill people at liberal organizations: wanted to start a revolution.

Which brings us to America’s favorite schizoidcokehead-in-chief  Glenn Beck. Williams said he was inspired to venture out for a killing rampage because of “conspiracies” he heard about on Beck’s Fox News show. An extensive report on this appears on the Media Matters Web site.

Now Beck will say that he’s not responsible for a nutcase going off the deep end. We know this because every time a nut case goes off the deep end, Glenn Beck goes on the air and says he’s not responsible.

Like here:

And here:

So, Beck’s not to blame? His constant diatribes on all the “plots” against America are just benign musings? OK, whatever Glenn says.

You see, the shooters are just a bunch of psycho paranoids hearing the voices in Glenn’s head.

Tea and crackers

That’s the headline on Matt Taibbi’s incisive, and very disturbing, look at the Tea Party in the latest edition of Rolling Stone.

Using the Rand Paul phenomenon in Kentucky, Taibbi gets into the party’s heart of darkness and explains why it’s impossible to reason with a group that abandoned all forms of logic. How else do you explain a Palin rally where a good portion of the audience consists of Medicare recipients “railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment.”

He points out the common statements you can expect to hear from teabaggers describing themselves:

One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. (“Not me — I was protesting!” is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with “people who do not cherish America the way we do” is that “they did not read the Federalist Papers.”) Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views — despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill “cracker babies,” support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called “White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo,” checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.

And Taibbi points out the teabaggers aren’t really in control of their movement but are tools of big business and the Republican establishment. Billionaires use the movement to stop government regulation of their corporate interests: interests that in essence harm the well-being of the teabaggers.

All the teabagger greatest hits are there: the crazy rhetoric dished out to them by Fox News’s schizoid-cokehead-in-chief Glenn Beck and half-term baked-Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin. We hear constantly, though Taibbi doesn’t mention it, that teabaggers are quick to declare that everything being done by Democrats is the equivalent of  the rise of Nazi Germany.

Then maybe teabaggers should consider the words of Joseph Goebbels: If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

How to organize a rally

Workers are planning a huge labor rally at the European Parliament in Brussels tomorrow. It’s estimated 75,000 people are going to show up, and police are on the alert over the possibility of vandalism and violence since several anarchist groups are planning to participate (since anarchists and organized rallies don’t mix).

Why do I know this? Because I’m still on a mailing list with the U.S. embassy in Belgium, and I regularly get “demonstration notices” that tell Americans to stay away from certain areas when the locals organize marches and protests. Rallies are pretty common in Brussels, since that’s the base for the European Union. Folks pour in from all over the continent on a regular basis, with some grievance or another.

Back in June, European truckers took a convoy into town and disrupted traffic. The day before, German, French and Belgian farmers drove their tractors to Place Schuman, the site of the European parliament. Both protest were tied to rising fuel prices.

My favorite protests were when the dairy farmers came to town. They brought their cows and chickens with them. Last October, they sprayed riot police with milk and hay and let their cattle and poultry run loose through town. You have to give them credit for being creative.

Farmers are probably the most subsidized sector in Europe, but when they have a grievance, they immediately rally. Note, though, that as crazy as it all seems, no one is really out of control. There is hardly any property damage, and cleanup usually involves hosing the street down. Chances are if you hosed American riot police with milk, all hell would break loose.

When labor in Europe gets riled up, it will take action immediately. Remember that during soccer’s World Cup this year in South Africa, the French football team when on strike during the planet’s biggest sporting event after the coach sent a player back to Paris in a dispute.

Contrast that with a recent American rally in Washington to “take back America” led by a former coke head and a half-term governor of a state with a hell of a lot more land than people.

European demonstrators want action. American demonstrations turn into Bible studies.

America Is a Joke

Host Jon Stewart in the studio of The Daily Sh...

Image via Wikipedia

At least that’s the headline on New York magazine’s profile of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show.” This excerpt came as a surprise:

Glenn Beck is an even more frequent Daily Show presence—as a target. The Fox News star takes a different view—surprise, surprise—praising Stewart while dismissing him as mere entertainment. Even as he’s built an enviable political base, Beck knows he’s a showman, and he thinks that makes Stewart a kind of brother.

“Jon Stewart is very funny, and if I were in his position, I’d be doing a lot of the same things. In fact, a lot of the jokes I’ve heard before, either from my staff or myself,” Beck says by e-mail. “He takes things out of context (no worse than most of the other mainstream media) and is more interested in being funny than trying to actually understand the key messages in [my] show … But I don’t think he’s looking for a Pulitzer … People like Jon, his ratings are good. Good for him, keep doing what he’s doing. People seem to like watching my show as well, and hopefully that continues for both of us for a very long time.”

America Is a Joke.