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Know Thine Enemy

31 October 2008
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

What’s wrong with the media?  Once again, some one has dodged my bullet and turned in an outstanding performance.  Rachel Maddow, this is for you.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Last evening Rachel Maddow conducted an insightful interview of Barack Obama where she asked him probing questions that exposed a great deal about where he intends to go and what he wants to do once he gets there.  It seems that Barack Obama, despite the sniping of the far right and pundits like Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan, is a lot more centrist in his thinking than those on the left or right may think.  I believe we should take a page from our leader and heed his good advise.  We cannot get along if we don’t talk to each other, no matter how heated that may become.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann

Rep. Michelle Bachmann

That brings me to the REAL inspiration for my blog today.  Mrs. Jack and I had a very spirited discussion this morning about Michelle Bachmann, the outrageous Republican Representative from Minnesota.  Seems Mrs. Jack ran across a blog yesterday requesting people to sign a petition to convince Congress to censure her for her remarks.  Mrs. Jack was for it; I was against it.  We wrangled quite a while on the issue before I could get across my point, so I decided I would try to explain it to others of you out there who might want to burn the witch at the stake.  God knows she deserves it!

Hurricane Katrina Survivors - No Help For a Week

Hurricane Katrina Survivors - No Help For a Week

If things go the way it looks, in four long days we will elect a gifted Democrat to the Presidency of the United States, and gain control over both houses of Congress in a sweeping repudiation of the Republican view of America.  But let us not get carried away.  We are only two to four years from blowing it all over again if we aren’t careful about how we conduct ourselves.  Do not forget that Karl Rove was waxing poetic about the demise of the Democratic Party and 40 years of Republican rule in the US just four short years ago.  Why didn’t that happen?  An incomplete laundry list would include Terri Schiavo, Hurricane Katrina and the recent economic meltdown, not to mention the growing displeasure with the Iraq War, which we were lied into.  In short, the Republicans over-reached their “mandate” from the American people and started paying for it two years ago and are going to continue making payments this year.  Let us not be too foolish and drunk with our success and fail to learn from their mistakes.

Bachmann on Hardball

Bachmann on Hardball

That brings us to the “lovely” Michelle Bachmann.  Her vitriol was laid bare for the nation and the world to see by one appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews.  Revved up by the rhetoric coming straight from the mouth of Sarah Palin and name calling by those at Palin’s rallies, Representative Bachmann was emboldened to join the lynch mob against Barack Obama and those evil Democrats.  It was vile!  It was unimaginable that a member of the Congress of the United States would say such a thing on a national news program.  But she did, and I’m glad!  Why am I glad?  I would always rather know my enemy.



If we will take the broader view of this issue, we will see that Representative Bachmann and Governor Sarah Palin, and even John McCain by his tacit acceptance of their behavior, have done a great favor to this nation and the Democratic Party.  For years the leadership of the Republican Party has been embracing this fringe element to help build a majority for their nationwide elections, but they have also been denying that they exist.  It has been very frustrating for those of us who live among the radical right to watch their existence being swept under the rug by their leaders.  But we on the left have, in many ways, brought this upon ourselves.  How can I say that?  Because it is true.  We have been pushing this idea of “political correctness” that curtails such outbursts of truth from a very dangerous element in our society.

Matthew Shepard memorial

Matthew Shepard memorial

It’s never pleasant to be called a name by someone else.  It hurts, and it is particularly difficult for children.  But let’s all think back to the schoolyard playground where such things, even in the segregated schools of my youth, were commonplace.  Like it or not, children can be cruel.  It’s always been true and will continue to be true, I will wager.  But at least when some one called me a name, I knew they weren’t my friend.  If they had been prohibited from doing so, I might have put myself into a dangerous situation without even realizing it.  Don’t forget the tragic case of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was lured to a remote location by a couple of guys he thought were interested in him in a friendly way, but instead perpetrated a hate crime upon him resulting in his cruel death.  Was that the fault of “political correctness”?  No, not really, but it could have been.

Sen. Joe McCarthy and aide Roy Cohen, 1954

Sen. Joe McCarthy and aide Roy Cohen, 1954

If we gag our opponents and require them to pay lip service to our ideals, just because we are in charge now, they will simply take their hate underground where it can grow beyond our ability to confront it before it becomes too strong to stop.  Michelle Bachmann is a relatively unimportant member of the House of Representatives.  Her powers are limited, to say the least – NOW!  But what if she had been able to keep her hateful views concealed long enough to see a return of Republican domination of the House and secured for herself a powerful chairmanship like Senator Joe McCarthy did?  Then she would REALLY be dangerous!  The same applies to Sarah Palin.  Due to her hateful words gleefully uttered on the campaign trail this year, it will be impossible for her to sneak up on anybody four or eight years from now.  We are much better off knowing about these two women now when they haven’t grown their teeth, so to speak.  Down here in these parts it is a terrible thing to walk up on a rattlesnake.  But if you do, it is much better if it is a baby rattlesnake than if it’s full grown.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann

Rep. Michelle Bachmann

The thing about politicians is that they get better and better at deceit the longer they stay in the “business.”  We’re better off to let them spout off when they are too inexperienced to know better.  Believe me, when Sarah Palin comes back, and she will come back, she will be the model of moderation.  Thank God, we have all this videotape of her being herself right now when she doesn’t know better.  As for Ms. Bachmann – because that’s who she will most likely be at the end of this year – her political career is most probably over.  She embarrassed herself and her party to the point that they won’t want her front and center again.

Katie Couric, CBS

Katie Couric, CBS

Always remember that free speech was put into our Constitution by our Founding Fathers for a very good reason.  We don’t want to be like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney trying to limit free speech when it disagrees with us.  We want to cherish it as a right for us to disagree publicly.  And we also want to understand that it is a treasure trove of information about another whenever they open their stupid mouth.  We learn a lot more about people by letting them speak their minds than by limiting it because we don’t like what they say.  Even Katie Couric got this.  If you do not believe it, watch how brilliantly she sat back and let Sarah Palin hang herself.  I’ve never been a big fan of Ms. Couric, but she was magnificent.

That’s it for today.  I would say, “just four days to go,” but the word “just” doesn’t quite fit my anxiety level around the situation.  Keep fighting the good fight.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    31 October 2008 6:35 pm


    This is a particularly odd comment coming from you. I went to your blog and was greeted by the biggest bunch of unfactual BULLSHIT I have seen in a very long time. Lady, you need to get your “facts” straight.

    The spreading of lies to advance a political agenda is something we should all be afraid of. Since you seem non-plussed by the KKK, perhaps you will enjoy a little light reading about the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. There’s some real facts for you!

  2. 1 November 2008 11:17 am

    Wonderful point, and spot on as usual. I was glad that Chris Matthews just let Bachmann talk. He didn’t try to talk her down but rather simply let her expose herself for what she is. I saw something similar with Rick Sanchez’s interview with Michael Goldfarb on CNN. Sanchez simply asked for specifics to back up his outrageous claim and Goldfarb was left flopping aroung, gasping for air like a fish out of water.

    Could it actually be that the media is finally beginning to resume its proper role? If so, they’re doing it in a very smart way. Were they to become hostile, the right would have additional ammo in their tirade against the “liberal” media. And people would rush to the defense of those who are being attacked. This way it’s the same sort of jujitsu that Obama has used so effectively. I think both the Bachmann and Goldfarb interviews have gotten far more airplay because of the way they were conducted than had Matthews or Sanchez gone for the jugular, as tempting as that may have been.

  3. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    1 November 2008 12:22 pm

    @More Light Than Heat

    Thanks for bringing up the Sanchez-Goldfarb interview. I had kind of let that one slip my mind. I saw it also. Sanchez was probing yet patient as he fed Goldfarb enough of his own words to allow him to choke on them.

    I truly hope that the media is finally getting back to doing their job. That’s all I have ever asked for. If that means my party gets caught “spinning” out of control, so be it.

    It’s high time these spokes-drones be held accountable for their spewed talking points.

  4. 1 November 2008 10:02 pm


    I really wish that I had the time to comment on the last to wonderful posts that you have made, but I am really pressed for time. I am busy getting ready to leave on my trip tomorrow but I just wanted to let all you wonderful people know that my heart will be here with you, hoping and praying that we will all come out of this OK.

    I was at a small dinner party tonight with some friends who are all mainly Republicans. I tried to broach the subject delicately but at one point I just came out and said that I had already voted for Barack Obama. The room fell silent and I waited in anticipation for what was to come next. There were the usual talking points and even the word “socialism” popped up a few times. I wanted so badly to just scream at all these people but I held my tongue in the knowledge that my reasoning went so far beyond theirs that no amount of words could ever make them understand.

    I will be watching very closely and wishing that I were here with you to share in our victory. If I can find my way to a computer I will try and check in. God bless us all and may we celebrate in victory for a new beginning…

  5. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    2 November 2008 9:18 am

    Dear Willlpen,

    Bon voyage! I will miss your comments while you are gone. But please enjoy your trip to Spain. Don’t worry about things back here, we have all pretty much done what we can at this point.

    Living in Texas I know the feeling of being surrounded by Republicans. They see things their way; we see things ours. At least, thanks to the wonderful efforts of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, there are now more Democrats than Republicans registered to vote nationwide. We’ll just have to keep faith that things will go our way.

    My post today will deal with the fact that even here in rural Texas I haven’t seen one single John McCain sign in a yard or alongside the road. It’s quite strange. On the other hand I have seen some Obama signs. That’s really strange.

    Enjoy your trip and keep the faith!

  6. 26 April 2009 12:56 am

    I notice you critcize Nancy’s article on Ayers as being “unfactual BULLSHIT.”

    But you will not, and most probably cannot, refute a single one of her facts.

    Typical liberal Maobama worshiper.

    While her article presented irrefutable facts, yours is nothing more than a regurgitation of the liberal litany of epithets: “outrageous, fringe, radical, etc.

    Has your opinion changed now that you’ve had a chance to see how our Kenyan usurper is just another tool of the international banking power elite?

    And, Mr. free-speech advocate. How do you like Napolitano’s attempt to brand every American who disagrees with the new administation’s policies, as potential terrorists who need to be watched by the local police?

    • 29 April 2009 2:33 pm

      Dear Blue Eyed Devil:

      You are a devil indeed. But here are your opinions. Welcome to free speech — or is that freedom of the press? I think this week’s polling data indicates that about one fifth of all Americans are convinced by your arguments.

      As for Secretary Napolitano’s concerns about right-wing nutjobs that might resort to terrorist tactics, I have a name for you: Timothy McVey. I’m from Oklahoma City and had the sad experience of standing at the site of his handiwork against our government. It doesn’t matter to me what kind of terrorist you are. IT’S ALL THE SAME!

      Thanks for stopping by. I welcome the crazy words of The Right. They help illustrate my point!


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