Probably the most distressing thing about the malevolent actions of the Right Wing…the hate speech, the deliberate misunderstanding of the motives of the Obama Administration, the mischaracterization of important populist legislation, e.g. reforming the fraudulent banking system…is that these actions are so often, literally and figuratively wrapped in the flag.
You see some hick with a brand new Army fatigue cap, purchased at an Army-Navy surplus store, with a shirt made out of material with the stars and stripes on it. He’s carrying a gun in a way that indicates he never marched anywhere anytime. He certainly hasn’t marched anywhere recently carrying his 50 lb. belly along with an automatic rifle that he learned how to use in some farm field rather than on a disciplined military weapons range.
It must strike some people as somewhat strange that this “patriotic,” gun toting hick, can wear the stars and stripes, desecrating our flag in the opinion of a lot of people who actually did spend a lot of years serving our country. And yet this same guy supports having a confederate flag fly over his state capitol. There can be only one reason that there is no dichotomy here for this person…besides plain stupidity that is.
He’s a southern white bigot. He believes that African-Americans should still be slaves. Or he believes African-Americans never should have been allowed education, equal rights, jobs, college educations, health care, or dining privileges with whites at their 10,000 calorie, hog-fat, barbecue joints. He believes that he, merely because he is a white man, is superior to the much better educated, much more intellectually capable, President.
If you think that these comments are meant to be insulting, you are absolutely right. Because anyone who is not insulted by the racial hatred, so blatantly evident in the actions of tea party members is either a fool, blind and deaf, or a racist.
During the Clinton impeachment debate, someone said, “When people say ‘It’s not about sex’…guess what…it’s about sex.” So when people in the tea party rallies carry signs with photos of the President of the United States appended with a Hitler mustache or sitting cross-legged, in an African witch doctor’s costume, or when the President of the United States receives four times as many death threats as any previous President, or when a talk radio scum bag commentator like Rush Limbaugh can call the President of the United States, “Barack the Magic Negro,” or when Glenn Beck can say, “the President is a racist,” a President whose father was black and whose mother was white and whose grandparents who raised him were white…then, folks, it’s about racism and bigotry.
We had a President, George W. Bush, who was so dumb that he couldn’t pronounce “nuclear” that he said “dis-assemble” for “dissemble” who almost died simply trying to eat a pretzel and watch television at the same time. He cast aside questions about terrorists in an impromptu session with reporters, and then said, “Now, watch this drive,” as he hit a golf ball. And very shortly thereafter 3,000 Americans died horrifically in a terrorist attack.
Was he respected? No. There was a web site where he was depicted as a chimpanzee. He was ultimately the subject of a degrading television cartoon called “L’il Bush.” He was depicted as the Alfred E. Newman face on the cover of Mad Magazine. He was ridiculed and lampooned by Saturday Night Live and every other nighttime talk show host.
Was that–as despicable as some of it was–racism? Was he black? Were those who attacked him all African-Americans? What is the difference between the political attacks on George W. Bush and the attacks on Barack Obama?
Well, first, let’s say that depicting the President of the United States as a chimpanzee is going too far at this point in the evolution of satire. That’s not satire. That’s an insult. This is 2010, not 1910. But George W. Bush was not an intellectual. He clearly knew less about not just some but many subjects than did the reporters asking him the questions. So satire was going to come. Saturday Night Live satire moved easily and gracefully from Clinton’s peccadilloes to Bush’s mispronunciations and malapropisms.
So what is the difference between Bush criticism and Obama criticism? It is calculated and it is clear. Who are the supporters of the Neocon-Republican Party? Start with the basics. Who voted for whom? The Neocons are the former segregationists from the southern states. Senator James DeMint of South Carolina said, within days of Obama’s being sworn in, that he wanted to “destroy” Obama and his agenda. He’s a clear racist. He didn’t even know what the upcoming legislative program was at that point.
The offhand slights, the imputing of “dictatorial” motives to a man who is clearly—without any possible mistake—far, far too concerned with what a bunch of white, southern, segregationist Senators want—can only be motivated by race. And of course, as so often happens under the bullying of men in positions of authority, too many weak Republicans make themselves racists by going along with the comments rather than pointing out real differences in policy.
Take the financial reform program. Who, in his or her right mind, does not want to stop what is still going on…the reckless trading of securities by banks and the acting like banks of speculation-oriented investment firms? We have to stop this wild gambling with pension funds and 401K money before we get hit again. But the Republicans went to Wall Street and said…already…that they will defend the very same procedures for banks that caused the Recession in the first place.
The Neocon-Republicans have already said that they will obstruct any legislation that regulates the gamblers on Wall Street, just as they promised the health insurance companies they would. They will do so apparently no matter what kind of bill is introduced …mild, like the Dodd bill…or heavy like imprisonment…if not firing squads…for what they have already done, which is what most Americans want.
John Boehner has gone so far as to tell two huge lies about the Democratic proposals to regulate Wall Street. And they make your head spin. First, he says that the Republicans will not support a bill that has in it provisions for the taxpayers to bail out Wall Street. The Democratic proposal makes the banks do that and makes them establish a fund to pay for it.
Even this private fund is not a “bail-out” fund. Only when a bank or investment firm is clearly going bankrupt and cannot be saved by being purchased by another firm or some other means, only then will this private fund be used, and then only to handle the liquidation, not a bail out. Boehner knows this. But he still calls it a “taxpayer bailout.”
Next, he and Senator McConnell go back to the health care language…their lies (that’s what they are, so what should we call them…fibs?) about health care. This Dodd bill and the House of Representatives bill make the industry police itself and put procedures in place to make sure that…private firms are regulated. Why? Well not because of a “government takeover” which is the same lingo used by Neocons to describe the health insurance industry reform but because these firms are, have been and will be private, not government, businesses.
In fact, just six banks and investment companies, private firms on Wall Street, have total assets equivalent to 63% of the entire GDP of the United States. If those six firms go down at the same time, it would not be an exaggeration to say that in a short matter of months this country would become a replica of Central America if not Somalia.
Remember this. When money goes out of your pocket, it goes somewhere else. It doesn’t evaporate. It flows. It flows from you to your auto dealer; from the dealer to the manufacturer; from the manufacturer to the steel, glass, rubber and plastics manufacturers; and always and inevitably and everywhere along the line…to the banks.
The banks are supposed to hold the money, and are allowed to make money to support themselves by investing it…not gambling with it. When investment firms become banks, they see no difference between investing your savings right along with money given them by other gamblers called investors into various projects.
When money goes out of banks into fraudulent securities that are worth nothing but sell for something, then the money goes to those who sell the securities and the ones who buy the fake securities have nothing. There was no “there” there. The buyer loses. He perhaps goes out of business, or has to sell something because he bought something that was…nothing.
The sellers, the financial institutions have given the money to those who sold the fake securities, and they made millions. That’s where the money is now. The institutions who bought fake securities have nothing to show for it and that is why they went broke. They took your money and gave it to people who pocketed the money…hundreds and hundreds of billions…and they got nothing in return.
Investment firms bought and sold. The ones who sold made money and paid their people lots of money. The people who bought had no money because the securities were worthless. Their people are out of work. Some of the firms did both. If they bought more than they sold, they became the ones who needed to be bailed out. If they sold before they bought, then many of their people made money and then the firms went broke.
The Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress is trying to say to all financial firms…enough of this…be more prudent. Don’t gamble with depositors’ money. Instead invest it using the kinds of economic and financial guidelines that reduce risk, not increase it. Many citizens would indeed like to see this Moderate Democratic President be much more of a “government takeover” type President. So the idea that an experienced Neocon politician would have the nerve to say that the President is acting like a “dictator or a “tyrant” is simply spreading misinformation, “dis-assembling” as George W. Bush would call dissembling…telling a lie.
But it all goes back to the man wrapped in the flag, the “patriot,” the Johnny Reb with the wrong-way rifle, parading as one who really cares about the country…this sick joke of a citizen. He believes that the President is carrying out a “government takeover” of banking (and health care) because he does not care about the truth. For him it is all about the fact that he must acknowledge that a Black man is not only smarter and better than he, but has been welcomed as President by 54% of the American people.