Saturday, January 24, 2009

GOP Follies: Mighty Whitey Brings The Stupid

"So it's historical because of his skin tone? Isn't that a racist idea?"
- Tom Hoefling, of America's Revival

"Obama is a cult."
- Rush Limbaugh

"When he's inaugurated and the lame don't walk and the blind don't see, there's going to be some gravely disappointed Starbucks baristas out there."
- Tucker Carlson

Oh, where to begin?!

The rage on the Right over their wholesale drubbing in the last election is almost - not quite, but almost - overshadowed by the utter stupidity of their rhetoric. Or perhaps even more so by their ignorance and prejudice about the American people. Or their sheer nastiness and hatred of the new President and those who elected him. Or by their selective amnesia.

Take your pick, America.

Ever since the "referendum on Socialism" - you know, the presidential election - the fever pitch of the anger on the losing side has been approaching health-threatening decibel levels. Ulcers abound. Medicine cabinets are disgorging their palliatives, their headache remedies, their sleep aids, all across Red America.

In these new days of hope, the dysfunction on the Right presents an embarrassment of riches to the alert observer. But since our retirement accounts are gone, our investments aren't worth the paper upon which they're printed, and our basic necessities are costing more and more every day, these may be the only riches we see for awhile. Unfortunately, you can't eat schadenfreude.

But let's continue.

The stupidest and most inane of the above statements, although they are all infinitely and therefore equally stupid, might be from Tucker Carlson.

Carlson is a famous celebrity, a multi-millionaire with glamorous friends, access to the best tables in the finest restaurants in the world, and every luxury and every convenience money can buy at his fingertips. But he's not an elite. The thirty-year old coffee pourer down at Starbucks, struggling to make ends meet on ten bucks an hour, is. This ridiculous meme once held magic, and Joe the Plumber had a grand old time hating a coffee shop worker instead of the robber-barons who bled his country dry.

Fine. No latte for you, Joe Six-Pack. Have another Bud Lite. And by the way, they come in thirty-packs now. No need to gas up the Hummer.

The idea that Democrats and Liberals are elites while jackasses like Tucker Carlson, Billionaire cigar connoisseur Rush Limbaugh, and Ivy-League blue-blood George W. Bush are the Salt of the Earth is so factually wrong, so entirely stupid, that only a dyed-in-the-wool True Believer could buy it. Shame on us that it worked for so long.

But it doesn't now, and somebody forgot to tell poor old Tucker and his ego-bruised cohort.

Fifty-two percent of voters chose Obama. They came from all walks of life, all races, women, men, the young, the old. Soldiers, housewives, teachers, minimum-wage factory workers.

It's true that John "Bomb Iran" McCain locked up the votes of less-educated, white, evangelical, rural blue-collar Americans. Does the Right really hope that someday this constituency -of which they are not remotely a part - will hold the keys to the economy, the nuclear launch codes, the Courts, the very Constitution?

The truth is, Tucker and Rush and Ann and Glenn and Michelle - and W. - hate their constituents as much or more than the "elites" they scream about whenever someone points a camera at them. What coal mine does Tucker Carlson work in, what oil rig does he wrangle? What welding school educated him? What Baptist tent-revival preacher saved his soul? What God-fearing man does Michelle Malkin subordinate herself to?

Nah. All high-grade, nitrogen-rich, fertilizer-ready bullshit. Tucker Carlson, George W. Bush, and every last Republican leader are in fact the elite of the elites, the winners at the top of a very tall ladder of privilege. Harvard, Yale, The Wharton School. Show me a Right-wing power broker who went to Oral Roberts University, Ole Miss, DeVry Tech, or any public college anywhere, and I'll show you... hell, just show me one. 'Cause I don't think there are any.

I want our leaders to be smart. Very, very smart, and to know the world well, not just our little corner of it. I want our leaders to be readers, and thinkers, and consumers of culture. I want them to know their history and literature, their poetry. They should be well-traveled, and able to entertain many worldviews at once. They should know fine wines and how to handle salad forks and speak French and do all the things diplomats do, not because these things are intrinsically important, but because world leaders value civility and aesthetic depth.

Can you imagine Joe the Plumber or Sarah Palin trying to hold his own at a State dinner?

To myself: Breathe, big guy. Breathe. We won this thing, remember?

Feel my love, America. Even those of you "Red" folks who, for whatever reason, punish yourself by reading this blog.

Many thanks to Slate for providing the above quotations.

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