Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Seething Right

Is seething at the wrong person. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist, lays the blame squarely at the feet of the man who created and presided over our current economic disaster, George W. Bush.

But that's not as fun as blaming black on white violence on our president. So the tea party and 9/12ers continue to foam at the fact that not only do we have a Democrat in the White House, but he's also a black man. A combination that the wingnuts just can't accept.


Rachael said...

I'm linking this pronto.

Drex Davis said...

I think you are misunderstanding a number of things - you are right about Bush's responsibility in the current mess, but wrong about the Tea Parties and 9.12 protestors. I'd know - I was there. I've been to two tea party rallies and traveled to DC and marched in the 9/12 rally last week. I'm an independent who usually votes libertarian. The overwhelming sentiment at the 9.12 march was anger at big government, big spending, health care takeover, and (big one) bailouts.

I'd say a MAJORITY of the marchers there were against Bush, too, at least those I spoke with. They are sick of republicsns, too.

The majority of the folks there I'd classify as libertarians and paleocons, all of which (me included) opposed Bush.

There's a reason the republicans were slaughtered in 2006 and 2008, and it's b/c of disgust amongst small-government proponents who either stayed home or cast protest votes (it would've been a slaughter in 2004, too, if the Democrats had a run a likable candidate).

Out of nearly a half a million people at the rally (and don't kid yourself that there were less than 200K-500K, we walked the thing - I've been to some huge college football games in big stadiums and this event dwarfed those by huge multiples) there were some people there carrying signs that were tasteless and classless, which you'd expect with an unorganized grassroots protest, but there weren't many, nothing like what some in the media are spinning. They handpicked a few to fit their meme. I personally heard (and said), "I don't think that sign is appropriate" to some folks.

You can read about our account of the 9.12 event, here, and see photos of our experience:

You're right about Bush, completely wrong about racism driving the protests - that's a total red herring and straw man, and anyone who holds to that belief is kidding themselves.

PassTheChips said...

Hi Drex, thank you for stopping by. I applaud your small government efforts. I've been a long admirer of the Barry Goldwater wing of the Republican Party, began railing against Bush once the prescription drug benefit was passed in 2004, and even voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primary.

That being said, the 9/12ers and tea parties are not spontaneous grass roots efforts. They have been largely encouraged and orchestrated by the big 3 of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. Without those three, I suspect that such events would not have been imagined or pulled off. So, it comes to what their motivation is for creating those events. And, would they be encouraging the same type of behavior if McCain had been elected, who would have likely pursued the same policies as President Obama? Better yet, where were they during Bush's incredible run of deficit spending? Yes, a token word here or there as a shout out to the fiscally responsible wing of the party, but nothing like what we are now seeing. I contend that while there may be many honest seekers of small government within the tea party/9/12 movement, the reason the movement exists is because the big 3 are motivated by three things: ratings/money, loathing of the Democratic party, and racism.

Drex Davis said...

Thanks for responding to my comment.

I was encouraged to hear about your opposition to the prescription drug act (who needs Democrats when you have Republicans like these?); what a travesty. As soon as Bush said he was a "compassionate" conservative, the cat was out of the bag - true conservatism needs no "compassionate" qualifier, as if real conservatism (Burkean conservatism) was anything other than compassionate.

Interesting story. Of all the republican candidates, Ron Paul was not surprisingly my favorite. However, of those I considered electable I favored Romney (somewhat b/c of what is assuredly LDS-bias despite my best efforts to rid myself of it [it's been surprisingly easy to w/ harry reid...], a bit because I am friends with on of his sons and know that Romney is an incredibly decent and generous man, and b/c I thought he'd reduce the size of the federal government [I have serious doubt about this, now]). However, I had decided to vote for Ron Paul in the primary in AZ. When I was waiting in line to vote, a friend called me to tell me that the exit polls showed Romney leading McCain (which turned out to not be true), so I decided to vote Romney in the primary to try and deny McCain a win in AZ. I thought a McCain presidency would be worse than an Obama one. McCain talks a big game about small government, and at times behaves that way, but in the debates with Obama, the day he said, "We're [the federal government] gonna buy up all these bad mortgages [yes, he said "bad"] so that people can stay in their homes" the true colors - which have lurked there for some time - came out.

I, with you, agree that we'd likely be witnessing many of the same things we are today had McCain won (and, really, what Obama has done has just been an extension of what Bush was doing, with a more "great society" flavor and more cynicism).

I don't listen to talk radio or watch Hannity and Beck except occasionally, so I don't know what they were saying, but the 9.12 march was planned right after the 4.15 protests by grassroots activists. FreedomWorks then got involved to help with organization, so if the Big 3 later came on board, they were Johnny-come-latelies.

I agree that they're driven by ratings (which increase for them when Democrats are in power, so there's likely a rating-ideology conflict there, to a degree), by a hatred of Democrats (but don't forget the Rush and Hannity pounded on Bush for No Child Left Behind, the prescription drug bill, Harriet Myers, and corruption in the Republican House) but I just don't see the racism. Hannity and Limbaugh were saying the same exact things about Clinton in the 90s, with just as strident rhetoric, for the same policies, and there was no race component.

(will pick up comment in the next post)

Drex Davis said...

I think the racist thing is a canard. I don't see examples of it. I did think Obama's rush to judgment about the white cambridge cop was the most racist thing I've yet seen as regards the administration (along with Obama's comment about his grandmother being a "typical white person" when she crossed the street to avoid a black person). I read the Audacity of Hope. I read Dream of My Father. I think Obama's views of white people were tainted by his upbringing (just as we all have biases), but I don't think he's a "racist" any more than I think Rush, Hannity, or Beck are racists. In fact, all I saw from Rush or Hannity was salivating support and gushing love for Condoleezza Rice.

I'm sure there are racists in this country (of all colors) and US history has not been kind to Black people, and I'm sure there are some people who are jumping on the anti-obama bus b/c they resent a black president, but I'm just not seeing it in any of the opposition I'm a part of (and I'm at the heart of a lot of it these days).

Sometime last year I found your blog and subscribed b/c I think your politically commentary is, by and large, spot on and you had some great insights about the financial crisis. I just happen to think you have been misled on this issue and if you were closer to it you'd see that this meme is being pushed in a concerted way - by the democratic party and its enablers - to try and demonize legitimate opposition to health care "reform", and it's disgustingly cynical.

People are saying, "enough already". Are some of them late arrivers? Yes. But I'm glad they've arrived.

I see from your profile that you are in AZ. What part of AZ in? If you're in the East Valley, let's grab some lunch sometime (I work in Mesa). It would be nice to meet in person.

PassTheChips said...


The 4/15 tea parties were a result of the Rick Santelli rant that Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh then picked up on, encouraged, and covered. I know. I watched it happen on CNBC and Fox leading up to 4/15. The big 3 have been on this movement from the very beginning. It did not spontaneously spring up. It has always been a creation of and tended to by the BHL trio.

So again, what is their motivation for doing so. We've agreed on my first two motivating factors ($ and hatred of the Democratic party), so that leaves us with disagreement on the third, racism. I'll be honest. I don't think Hannity is a racist. However, just take a look at Limbaugh's and Beck's comments regarding African Americans over the years and you can clearly see that they are either racist or pretending to be racist to drive up their ratings.

Drex Davis said...

We'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't find your arguments to be at all persuasive. (and you don't find mine to be persuasive, either).

PassTheChips said...

So you're saying that Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh have not been instrumental in the creation and fostering of the tea party movement? Or that Beck and Limbaugh do not have a history of racist remarks/rants?


I have no problem with people who clamor for small government. I don't even have a problem with small government, provided that the poor are provided with the positive freedom that the Constitution demands.

I do have a problem with a manufactured movement that was created by people who use racism as a weapon to increase its numbers.

Drex Davis said...

"So you're saying that Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh have not been instrumental in the creation and fostering of the tea party movement? "

No, I'm saying they're Johnny come latelies. The first tea parties were spontaneous protests that originated in the wake of santelli's epic (and correct) rant.

"Or that Beck and Limbaugh do not have a history of racist remarks/rants?"

Name them. I'm not aware of them. I am aware of Beck's opinion that Obama is a "racist" and that he backed up that charge which what appear to be race-based judgments that Obama has made. And I'm aware of the McNabb/Limbaugh scandal brouhaha. By all means, list the racist thing they've said. I'd like to learn. If, over a 20 year career on the air you are teasing out "nuance" from their remarks, though, I'm afraid that you're just seeing the world through a lens that wants to see racism.

"I do have a problem with a manufactured movement that was created by people who use racism as a weapon to increase its numbers."

I'd have a problem with this too, if it existed.

In my opinion, you like many others, are "seeing things" my friend. Your biases are clouding reality.

There are 12% of you in America.

Drex Davis said...

looks like full link didn't paste.

Drex Davis said...

anyway, didn't paste again. go to rasmussen reports for the polls.

or here's a link:

even 80% of Obama voters think the accusation that opposition to Obama's central policy is racist is false.

C'mon, you are just stoking an ugly meme that is not there.

Drex Davis said...

anyway, if you'd ever like to meet and talk in person, let me know.

i'll let you have the last word . . .


PassTheChips said...

Johnny Come Lately? There are too many links to post them all. Simply Google Hannity, Limbaugh, or Beck and tea party. Look at the dates on the youtube videos. For goodness sake, Hannity and Beck were promoting the tea parties for four solid weeks before they actually happened and were on location on 4/15. So you're saying that in the two weeks between Santelli's rant and when Hannity and Beck started promoting attendance that this movement was created? Hannity, Beck's, and Limbaugh's pre, post, and continuing promotion has nothing to do with the numbers we are seeing today? It's simply a correlation? Well ok.

As far as racism, you don't think that Beck's, "Obama is a racist" stirred up more than a little racial feeling in white conservatives who fear African Americans? And Limbaugh, the list is just too long (again, you can use Google - there are whole lists), but let's just stick with what's happened in the past week where Limbaugh said that in "Obama's America it's the white kids who get beat up while the black kids are cheering". Lovely.

And that poll has nothing to do with our discussion. We're talking about the creation and fostering of the tea party movement and the tactics of its creators and caretakers. And they are ugly. Truly ugly.

I sent you an email via your site.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how could I have missed this mud puddle show down? (please send me a text next time... pretty please! Nacho... you missed this too?)

Which was more entertaining? The new guy who took 50 words to say seven meaningful ones or PTC? I, for one, am a big fan of landing jab after jab after jab... who the heck needs a haymaker when the round is dominated otherwise.

It is personal.
In the losers case, unstoppable, and for the readers the most enjoyable!

I hope he posts again... and soon!

This due lost me with this quote...

"I'd say a MAJORITY of the marchers there were against Bush, too, at least those I spoke with."

If we were standing around a water cooler, then I'd have a field day with that comment. I do not mean to highlight one part of the man’s point, but if taken as such… the bullshit is everywhere. After PTC finished with the jabs... I'd be forced to start (and end) with left handed snub jabs!

Again, I am sorry I missed it. The fact you even responded the second time was very magnanimous of you.

Anonymous said...

Naming racism as the cause for protest is cheap and lame. Those whose tongue release the charge easily are just as guilty of bigotry as someone who is racist. Right now deficit spending is 4 times greater than at any moment during the GWBush presidency. GWBush spent too much, but he also had 47 continuous months of job growth, the greatest growth in our nations history and he too inherited a recession. Plus, 1/3 of TARP spending (I only partly agree with) has already been paid back and saved us from much greater disaster. The 2nd stimulus is a farce.
-dave jensen

Anonymous said...

Also, I was supported Ron Paul or Mitt Romney, but McCain's "conservative rating" is much higher than many conservatives in office. He regularly votes down additional spending and taxation. He supported a govt. spending freeze. He wouldn't be indecisive in Afghanistan, and wouldn't seen KERRY of all people to access the problem over there. He would have made a better Supreme Court appointment. He wouldn't have created more czars or given the Federal Reserve more powers. He wouldn't have pushed through a false stimulus packed full of pork and earmarks for friends, including programs for planned parenthood, smoking cessation, ACORN, and billions more for other programs than have nothing to do with stimulating the economy! I didn't like McCain or Palin either, but I would have to strongly disagree with the statement that he would be worse than Obama. Yeah, he's full of hot-air, but he doesn't need a prompter to try to find 100 different ways to say "redistribution of wealth" and "government takeover." He wouldn't even say them.
Also, back on the racism point: I would argue that the democrats are FAR more racist than the republicans ever have been based on the fact that they make decisions based on pacifying races and republicans base decisions on pacifying government.
-dave jensen