Hi. I'm Jim and this is the SuperSized 13th issue of The Weekly Tendown; last week, I talked about Obama slapping around some Republican congressmen, Tim Tebow not being so good at football, the conviction of Scott Roeder, and the end of Better off Ted. What - what do you suppose we'll talk about this week?
First: If Sugar's Bad For You, Why Did Jesus Make It Taste So Good?
Daily Kos, this week, commissioned a poll of self identified Republicans, among the results:
39% say Obama should be impeached
63% say Obama is a socialist
24% say Obama wants the terrorists to win
31% say Obama is a racist who hates white people
23% say their state should secede from the US
73% say openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools
77% say the book of Genesis should be taught in public schools
31% say contraceptives should be outlawed
O'Reilly hit the poll for being biased, without explaining how it was the poll was methodologically flawed - but that's not the beef I'll pick with Bill - watch the clip - why would it be that Bill O'Reilly would criticize these findings?
Republicans think Obama's a socialist. Republicans believe Obama's a racist. Republicans believe Obama is on the side of the terrorists.
Now, why ever would they think such things? Well, it took me all of five seconds to google Glenn Beck + socialism and come up with nearly 2 million hits, including this from last month where he took Julian Bond's correctly referring to Martin Luther King as a "critic of capitalism" and deduced that meant both King and Obama were "radical socialists" (it's telling that Simple Jack equates anything short of full throated laissez faire with radical socialism, and telling that, as literally every industrialized country on the planet has a more advanced social welfare state than we do - that as opposed to then associating "radical socialism" with, well, the normal behavior of everyone else for most of the past hundred years, he just pins it on totalitarian regimes and Democrats) - Beck's criticism of MLK Day as having replaced Washington and Lincoln's Birthdays didn't make any news cycle, which is testament to it being a drop in the deluge of "Obama is a socialist" talk that rains from the right.
While I'm picking on Simple Jack, here he is saying Obama's a "racist" who "hates white people."
And here's Limbaugh calling Obama "the greatest living example of a reverse racist."
Here's Hannity's studio audience voting that Obama should be tried for treason.
I wonder where anyone could have gotten the idea that Fox News endorses those viewpoints?
Hell, just this week Tom Tancredo opened up the Teabagger Convention by standing in a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee and saying that the reason the first African-American President in US history was elected was because we don't have literacy tests at the polls.
No, seriously. But if the Daily Kos has a poll asking Republicans "should we bring back literacy tests as a qualification to vote' - and 43% say yes - O'Reilly will say the left is just making up stuff again.
This element has been able to stay under the wire, but Parks and Recreation has been able to sneak in a progressive message or two this season; this week in a town hall meeting over the decision to privatize the snack concession at the city parks came the following citizen comment, "if sugar's bad for you, why did Jesus make it taste so good."
Those arguments, the volume of those arguments, and more importantly the corporate dollars which benefit from those arguments were able to carry the day in Pawnee, but they aren't a comedic construction - that's the level of debate from the right to which we've been subjected since the election of the first African American President in US History (and the first Democrat from above the Mason-Dixon Line elected since JFK). Just this week, Simple Jack offered the following erudite deconstruction of the President's psyche:
He chose to use his name Barack for a reason -- to identify, not with America -- you don't take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical?
They're not serious minded people making serious minded concerns, they're McCarthy-ite hacks looking to line their pockets with the dollars of the faithful and they create a hermetically sealed world in which conservatives are pounded with:
Democrats intentionally caused the financial crisis.
The Haiti earthquake is made to order for Obama
And everyone is told to bend over and grab their ankles for one reason or another.
And that's just Limbaugh.
There is a not small number of Republicans who believe this country has two political parties - Real Americans and Communists - and any chance we get to see that in its full flourish is a truth we need to face.
That's the best thing from this week - after the jump - the rest of the Tendown