Wednesday stuff, for want of a better word

My day is not proceeding as planned.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

But I still found some good stuff out there:

For all the criticism aimed at him for daring to defend his nation from nuclear annihilation, Netanyahu successfully shifted the paradigm — not far enough, but it’s movement in the right direction.

Apparently 25 years or so is all it takes for New Yorkers to forget the horrors of Progressive government.  I know this is unfair to the small, smart minority that didn’t vote for de Blasio, but I hope that New York goes to hell in a hand basket very quickly (kind of the way Hollande’s France or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe did).  That seems to be the only way in which people invested in liberalism learn lessons.  (And sadly, sometimes, even the worst that can happen isn’t bad enough.)

Here are Seven devastating facts about Obamacare that you should memorize and politely slip into conversation whenever you find yourself trapped in conversation with those who still believe it’s a winner.

Jonah Goldberg suggests that the Republicans might want to be there for Tea Partiers because, ultimately, Tea Partiers are there for the Republicans.

And two from Keith Koffler.  The first is about Obama’s fraudulent conduct with regard to his “changing” views on gay marriage, and the second is about his administration’s fraudulent conduct regarding Obamacare.

I think it’s important that we stop using the word “lie.”  In the context of politics, we tend to think of a “lie” as an after-the-fact cover-up (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”). What Obama has done, repeatedly, is to commit fraud.  Fraud is a very specific legal animal.  Here’s as good a definition as any, culled from a fairly recent California case:  “The tort of deceit or fraud requires: “(a) misrepresentation (false representation, concealment, or nondisclosure); (b) knowledge of falsity (or ‘scienter’); (c) intent to defraud, i.e., to induce reliance; (d) justifiable reliance; and (e) resulting damage.” (Engalla v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 974, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 938 P.2d 903, internal quotation marks omitted.)  Fraud is not a lie.  It’s much worse than a lie because you’re not just protecting yourself; you’re deliberating setting out to make others rely on you to their detriment.

And of course, Sebelius seems charmingly insouciant about the fact that your private information could end up in the hands of felons that Obama’s government has hired to collect that private information:

Finally!! A gun control proposal that makes sense

The repulsive Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson made news yesterday by putting out a fundraising letter that likens the Tea Party to the KKK (which, during its heyday, was an entirely Democrat organization):

Grayson fundraising letter comparing Tea Party to KKK

Today, in a very timely way, Caped Crusader sent me the first sensible gun-control proposal I’ve seen, when that gets to the heart of the violence underlying gun crime:

In 1863 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States, who later died from the wound.

In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria.

In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.

In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung – Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

In 2013 Adam Lazna, the child of a registered Democrat, shot and killed 26 people in a school.

Recently, an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

One could go on, but you get the point, even if the media does not. Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.
No NRA member, Tea Party member, or Republican conservatives are involved.

SOLUTION: It should be illegal for Democrats to own guns.

Best idea I’ve heard to date. JUST SAYING.

I always miss out on boycotts ’cause I never buy from the stupid companies to begin with

Since I passed the age of 10, and my infatuation with big eyed children and other cutsie things waned, I don’t believe I’ve ever bought a Hallmark card.  Note my use of the word “cutsie.”  I like cute things (witness my endless infatuation with my dog), but cutsie = cute + shlock.  That’s Hallmark.

Apparently, though, Hallmark seems dissatisfied with its friendly, Midwestern Mom image, so it’s added barbed, liberal political satire to its roster:

Hallmark, the greeting-card company that lays claim to making “the world a more caring place,” is under fire for producing a graduation card emblazoned with an image of Barack Obama that warns graduates to stay away from the tea party.

[snip]

The card in question says on the front, “You graduated! Time to go to a lot of parties!”

And on the inside, “But avoid those tea parties if you can. Trust me.”

I’d love to turn my nose up and say “I’ll never buy Hallmark again,” except that, as I said, I don’t buy Hallmark now.  If you’re tempted to buy Hallmark, though, because there is a Hallmark card that somehow managed to be charming and/or clever, you might want to refrain.  Corporations can do what they please when it comes to putting something on the market, but consumers can also do what they please when it comes to refusing to buy a corporation’s products.

Hat tip:  Gateway Pundit

We have to be Churchillian about this Supreme Court decision — that is, we now fight to win

I’m going back and forth whether Roberts was a typical judge (i.e., stupid and unworthy of respect), a brilliant thinker, a chess player, a pawn, etc.  Each of you who has commented here has made an excellent point.  I agree with all of you, even when you disagree with each other.  In other words, I’m having a lovely intellectual wallow-fest.

The problem is that wallow-fests are for water-coolers and sodden drinking orgies at dank bars.  We don’t have time for that.  We have to get energized and quickly.  The breast beating will not win us the next battle.  Although no blood has actually been shed, I suddenly understand just how Winston Churchill felt as he worked to rally a shaken Britain following the Dunkirk evacuation.  Sure, the evacuation lives in history, as every boat in Britain rallied to rescue stranded British soldiers, but the fact is, that heroic moment came about because of a staggering military defeat.  Churchill’s words to the House of Commons in the aftermath of that disaster are worth remembering.

Churchill’s June 4, 1940 speech begins by describing, in blunt terms, the scope of the military disaster (although that disaster was somewhat allayed by the fact that the evacuation rescued more than 330,000 men, not the 45,000 predicted).  Then, he gets to the nub of the matter, which is that Britain must look not only on what it lost (and Churchill spoke in unvarnished terms about those losses), but also about what Britain still had, in terms of weapons, men and, most importantly, morale (emphasis mine):

Turning once again, and this time more generally, to the question of invasion, I would observe that there has never been a period in all these long centuries of which we boast when an absolute guarantee against invasion, still less against serious raids, could have been given to our people. In the days of Napoleon the same wind which would have carried his transports across the Channel might have driven away the blockading fleet. There was always the chance, and it is that chance which has excited and befooled the imaginations of many Continental tyrants. Many are the tales that are told. We are assured that novel methods will be adopted, and when we see the originality of malice, the ingenuity of aggression, which our enemy displays, we may certainly prepare ourselves for every kind of novel stratagem and every kind of brutal and treacherous maneuver. I think that no idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered and viewed with a searching, but at the same time, I hope, with a steady eye. We must never forget the solid assurances of sea power and those which belong to air power if it can be locally exercised.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Or, as another famous English person once said, this is not the time for us to go all wobbly.

Enough breast beating.  It’s time to start the drums beating.  Remember, politics is a form of war, albeit (quite thankfully) a bloodless form.  We don’t win by pissing and moaning.  We win by making the 2010 Tea Party look like a mere trial run.  For those who are worried about Romney (and they are right because, while he hews conservative, he’s not a “principled conservative”) had better tether the man with a strongly conservative House, not to mention that all important conservative Senate.  Give money, send letters, carry signs, reason (not yell at, reason) with friends and family, be cheerful but determined.  Fight and win.

Second and third thoughts about the ObamaCare decision, which does have some saving grace

I was driving along in the car and, suddenly, the phrase “Roe v. Wade” popped into my head.  In 1973, the Supreme Court waded into what should have been a state-by-state legislative matter, and created the most vicious 39 year fight in America since the Civil War.  One side found the decision completely invalid, while the other side became so invested in its validity that it almost became a one-issue party — and, moreover, a one-issue party that became ever more extreme in its defense of its victory.  By parsing the decision as he did, Justice Roberts prevented another American civil war.

When I returned home and turned on my computer, I discovered that Charles Krauthammer was thinking along the same lines.  If I’m in sync with Krauthammer, I’m clearly in good company.

Krauthammer’s view is that Roberts wears two hats.  The first hat is the constitutional conservative, which kicked in to prevent him from allowing a vast expansion of the Commerce Clause.  The second hat is as the Supreme Court’s custodian.  That second hat requires Roberts to protect a Court that’s been under a shadow since the decisions in Roe v. Wade (favoring the Dems) and Bush v. Gore (favor the Republicans).  So, after wearing his conservative hat to deal with the Commerce Clause, Roberts still had some work left to do:

That’s Roberts, philosophical conservative. But he lives in uneasy coexistence with Roberts, custodian of the Court, acutely aware that the judiciary’s arrogation of power has eroded the esteem in which it was once held. Most of this arrogation occurred under the liberal Warren and Burger Courts, most egregiously with Roe v. Wade, which willfully struck down the duly passed abortion laws of 46 states. The result has been four decades of popular protest and resistance to an act of judicial arrogance that, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “deferred stable settlement of the issue” by the normal electoral/legislative process.

More recently, however, few decisions have occasioned more bitterness and rancor than Bush v. Gore, a 5–4 decision split along ideological lines. It was seen by many (principally, of course, on the left) as a political act disguised as jurisprudence and designed to alter the course of the single most consequential political act of a democracy — the election of a president.

Whatever one thinks of the substance of Bush v. Gore, it did affect the reputation of the Court. Roberts seems determined that there be no recurrence with Obamacare. Hence his straining in his Obamacare ruling to avoid a similar result — a 5–4 decision split along ideological lines that might be perceived as partisan and political.

National health care has been a liberal dream for a hundred years. It is clearly the most significant piece of social legislation in decades. Roberts’s concern was that the Court do everything it could to avoid being seen, rightly or wrongly, as high-handedly overturning sweeping legislation passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president.

I think Krauthammer’s analysis is correct.  Roberts didn’t rule as he did because of his seizure medicine or because he was blackmailed.  He ruled this way because, perhaps rightly, he was keeping a legislative problem in the legislative sphere.  The American voters, by putting Democrats into Congress and the White House, broke the American system.  They now own that broken system and it’s up to them to fix it.  In this case, if the voters are smart enough, they’ll elect Republicans by a large majority.  If they’re not smart enough, we’re in for a lot more breakage.

Viewed this way, Roberts did the right thing.  He protected the Supreme Court’s integrity and he made the American people responsible for their own stupidity.

The best bet for the coming months is that Obama’s base will go home happy, and that he will not be able to rally them for the election.  They’ll be like the person who ate too much at dinner and sits there in a stupor, even as the roof falls on his head.  Unfortunately for Obama, Romney will be able to rally his base.  If you thought 2010 was the year of the Tea Party, wait until you see the summer of 2012.  Like 2012, Tea Partiers are up in arms; and unlike (and better than) 2012, this time they’re already organized with mailing lists, data bases, and vast amounts of political and protest experience.

Even better, after Americans suffered through months of the drug-addled, filthy, violent Occupy movement, the media is going to find it impossible to paint clean, polite, educated, employed Tea Partiers as crazed radicals.  This summer, the Tea Party will have traction, especially because the Supreme Court, in ruling in Obama’s favor, put a name on Obama’s conduct:  taxes on the middle class.

That’s all good.  What’s bad is that, as I noted in my original post on the subject, the Supreme Court has managed to allow taxes to have the scope of the Commerce Clause:  From this day forward, Congress can not only tax activity, it can also tax inactivity.  Long after Obama is gone from office, that legacy will remain.  The only saving grace is that taxes require simple majorities.  Easy come, easy go, one might say — except that taxes never go away easy, do they?

 

Congress not only can tax anything that moves, it can tax anything that doesn’t move

The Supreme Court opinion on ObamaCare runs to 193 pages.  It is the size of a book, only more boring than any book anyone would ever want to read — and that is true despite the fact that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the worst writer on the court, didn’t write it.  I’ve been making a valiant effort to read it, but because I have other things to do with my life, I abandoned the darn thing about one-third of the way through.  For now, bottom line is sufficient.  Per the Supreme Court, ObamaCare imposes a tax on people who refuse to buy a product from a third-party. An example of that includes the Affordable Care Act which forces a penalty on those who do not take part in the newly-appointed health insurance marketplaces. That imposition is consistent with Congress’s power to impose taxes.

Ed Morrissey managed to encapsulate my immediate reaction to this, frankly, bizarre outcome:

It’s an interesting argument, but one that should have Americans worried.  Basically, this is a tax that you have to pay to private companies.  For all of the screaming the Right did over single-payer — and for good, outcome-based reasons — at least the money paid by taxpayers would go directly to government [see update II].  The Supreme Court has signed off on what is, in very practical terms, a tax levied by the insurance industry on Americans simply for existing.  It’s an amazing, and fearsome, decision that really should have both Right and Left horrified.

Nevertheless, this is the law of the land.  We can now look forward to taxes levied by the auto industry for not having bought a new car in the last seven years, the liquor industry for buying too few bottles of wine to maintain your health, and by the agricultural industry for not buying that damned broccoli after all. We might even have Obama attempt to impose a tax for not buying enough contraception; we can call that the Trojan tax.

Taxes have traditionally been levied to enable the government to buy and build things.  This is the first time in history, so far as I know, that a tax is being levied as a penalty against citizens who refuse to buy products from private vendors.  Taxes normally tax activity.  Sure, you pay taxes on a product when you buy a product but those are (a) state taxes, which are a different animal from federal taxes; and (b) taxes on a voluntary transaction.  That’s the important thing.  The transaction is voluntary.  You can opt to sit it out and the government cannot reach you.  Here, though, we are being told that the government can exact an onerous tax for inactivity.

The decision constitutes a radical redefinition of what constitutes a tax.  It is exactly what opponents said it was:  the biggest tax in history and one, moreover, that Americans cannot alter their behavior to avoid.  I am therefore at a loss to figure out why Roberts signed on to this decision, let alone authored it.  It is a staggering constriction on individual freedom.  The closest analogy to this tax is the poll tax of 1380, a tax that saw one of the biggest revolts in medieval British history and one that almost toppled the monarchy.  Poll taxes are flat taxes but, more importantly, they tax someone just for being.

Okay, that’s the bad news and it’s very bad in the long-term.  There are some potential short-term benefits, although they’re only possible, not probable:

Because ObamaCare is a tax, it’s easy to repeal the tax aspects, which leaves the whole thing unfunded.  Still, unfunded doesn’t mean vanished.  All the bits and pieces, the obligations, impositions, panels, etc., live on, unless Congress can gather itself together and formally repeal the whole darn thing.

The other short-term benefit is that it might galvanize those Americans who hate ObamaCare, leading them to vote for Romney.  That’s so not a sure thing, though.  It’s a great victory for Obama, and might finally put the wind at his back.  His signature legislation is a good thing, said the United States Supreme Court.  For many Americans, that might fall into the category of “that’s all she wrote.”  The fat lady has sung.  The opera is over.  It’s time to go back home and get on with your life.  If Roberts had some strange idea that he’d help a Romney election, he was taking a mighty big gamble with the American people, their freedom, and their money.  (Speaking of money, it’s no coincidence that the market plummeted once it received word that Congress not only can tax anything that moves, it can tax anything that doesn’t move.)

I am disheartened, but disheartened is not the same as defeated.  It is now imperative that Republicans take back Congress in its entirety and win the White House.  Jim Carville and others may proclaim the Tea Party dead, but I suspect they’ll see a Zombie Tea Party taking to the streets this summer.

Others blogging:

Kim Priestap

Maggie’s Farm/Bruce Kesler

American Power

The Anchoress and The Anchoress again

The Volokh Conspiracy (was Roberts somehow forced to uphold the law?)

Jay Cost (this may harm Obama more than he thinks in the long run)

Slate (Obama wins battle; Roberts wins war)

Noisy Room

 

Comparing the Tea Party and the OWS movement, side by side

When Obama came to San Francisco, two of my favorite photo-essayists attended the street protests, which marked the rare coming together (sort of) of Tea Partiers and OWSers, all of whom are discontented with Obama.

Here’s Zombie.

And here’s Fund47.

I’d add more but anything I say would be redundant, as their posts are vivid and comprehensive.

The Passover story writ large in the elites’ approach to the Tea Party and the OWS movement

Over the years, I’ve written more than 10,000 posts.  (Yeah, that’s a scary thought, isn’t it.)  They do tend to run together in my mind, but there are a few standouts.  These are the posts in which I felt that I offered an insight or analysis that is genuinely helpful to considering a serious issue of the day.  One of my all-time favorite posts in this vein is Pharaoh, the Ten Plagues, and Iran.  In it, I tackled Mr. Bookworm’s complaint that Passover is a barbaric holiday, because it celebrates the massacre of the First Born Egyptians.  Certainly, the Pharaoh’s intransigence, despite the many plagues sent to bedevil his people (plagues that surely brought death in their wake) culminates with a mass die-off in Egypt.

The death of the innocent Egyptian first born is certainly tragic, but the Bible story, I said, has a much larger and more important point:

Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might worry about a populace starving and frightened, but that was irrelevant as long as that same populace continued to fear and worship him.  The people’s suffering, ultimately, was irrelevant to his goals.  It was only when the price became too high — when Pharaoh’s power base was destroyed because his citizens were destroyed — that Pharaoh was convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways.

From that point, I drew analogies to Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and current day Iran.

Today, Duane Lester found proof that, when it comes to the current crop of Leftist elites, in government and in the media, the same thinking holds true:  they do not care if the people suffer; they only care if the elites suffer.

So next time you hear some Progressive speaker go on and on and on about “the people,” ask him which worries him more:  massive mob violence on the street aimed at bringing down the capitalist system, or a single conservative loon who might get too close to someone in D.C.

A story that needs to make the rounds: City of Richmond auditing the Tea Party *UPDATED*

Fact:  The Tea Party, when it held three protests in the City of Richmond, applied for permits, and paid $10,000 for permits, potties, police, etc.

Fact:  The OWS protesters in Richmond simply plunked themselves down, paying nothing (and, I’m guessing, incurring significantly greater police and janitorial charges than did the Tea Party crowd).

Fact:  When the Tea Party learned that it had been damaged by disparate treatment from a civic government, it applied to the City of Richmond for a full refund.

Fact:  The City of Richmond has now sent an audit letter to the Tea Party.  I’ll add here a bonus fact:  the city’s mayor is a Democrat.

Fact:  You need to send this story around to as many people as you can.  The City of Richmond needs to be exposed for this abuse of power and, I hope, horribly embarrassed.

And here’s something that’s not a fact, but that is just my opinion:  The City of Richmond’s behavior perfectly illustrates one of the reasons I’ve embraced conservativism.  I am deeply suspicious of consolidating too much power in any one entity.  The City of Richmond is just one city, yet even that modicum of power has corrupted it.  Imagine this kind of thing playing out on a grand, national scale.  No human is sea-green incorruptible, and most humans, when given power, can get dangerously giddy, with a further subset getting malevolently destructive.

UPDATE: Here’s a more detailed story — which includes a great link to VA Right, a member of the Watcher’s Council.

Barack Obama on Tea Parties and Flea Parties: Wrong Again

Up until recently, the Tea Party might just as well have been called the DevilNaziEvilRacistUgly Party as far as the Progressives and their ilk were concerned.  In retrospect, calling participants “Tea Baggers” was one of the nicer things the Left said.  Barack Obama did nothing to stop this concerted attack against a substantial portion of the American population.

Now, though, Obama’s rhetorical shoe is on the other foot, which is peculiar, really, because, as far as I can tell, he’s got at least one foot lodged firmly in his mouth.  How else to account for this bizarre pronouncement?

President Obama today likened the anti-Wall Street protests to the Tea Party protests that helped Republicans in last year’s congressional elections.

“In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party,” Obama told ABC’s Jake Tapper in an interview to air tonight on Nightline.

The only thing that the OWeS* and the Tea Partiers have is that they’ve both turned out to protest the government.  Only an idiot would take that single fact and use it as the basis for saying that the two movements aren’t “that different” from each other.  I mean, someone who would compare OWeS and Tea Partiers probably comes from the same intellectual milieu the same kind of person who would seek to gather under the “freedom fighter” umbrella both al Qaeda in Iraq, which wants to kill all Jews, Christians, and homosexuals, while subordinating everyone to worldwide sharia, and the Founding Fathers, who wanted to maximize individual freedom, including freedom of worship.  Nobody could be that dumb.  Oh . . . never mind.

For the President’s edification, here are just a few differences:

Tea Partiers want small government; OWeS want big government.

Tea Partiers are constitutionalists; OWes are Marxists.

Tea Partiers are extremely tidy; OWeS are filthy slobs.

Tea Partiers pay their own way (and expect the government to do so too); OWeS expect everyone to pay for them.

And of course, Tea Partiers and OWeS have very different visuals:

_______________

*Thanks to Indigo Red for that wonderful acronym.

Labor Day with Sarah Palin, by guest blogger Bizcor

Our own Bizcor had the opportunity to attend a Tea Party Express rally on Labor Day.  Here are his impressions:

On Labor Day I attended a Tea Party Rally for the very first time and I really only went because Sarah Palin was going to speak. I am an unabashed admirer.

As far as the Tea Party goes. I basically agree with what it stands for but don’t attend the rallies because I already “get it,” if you will. I work behind the scenes to help local, state, and national candidates with conservative values get elected. Judging from the comments I read in the Bookworm Room, I think most of you would agree with the folks that I work with. It is all unpaid volunteer work but it literally gives me a direct line to my representation. From dog catcher all the way up. Obama doesn’t take my calls but the next guy or gal might.

The “Tea Party Rally” was a very interesting gathering of people. I have long been an observer of people. It began in the spring and summer of 1970 when I lived in New York City. On my Sundays off. I would buy a cup of coffee and go sit on bench in Central Park and just watch people. It was always entertaining. There were hippies smoking pot, little kids vexing their parents, skaters, folks feeding the pigeons and of course the ever popular crazy people who would do some of the…. well…. craziest things. One can learn a lot from simple observation.

The “Tea Party” people gathered Monday were old, young, black, Hispanic, white, Asian, and Middle Eastern. They were well dressed, poorly dress, long haired, short haired, and no haired either by design or nature. There were motorcycle guys and gals with magnificent tattoos, there were business men and women, politicians, and small children. In short it was a true cross section of the American population. AND, AND, AND as diverse as the crowd was everyone was well behaved and polite, smiling and nodding as they moved about. It was easy to talk with the people there. They, like me, are absolutely fed up with what is going on in the country today and had gathered to listen to Sarah Palin and other featured speakers as well as each other.

(Photo from Bizcor's own collection)

It is always interesting for me to watch news coverage of an event I have attended. Not only do I observe people I also know how to estimate crowds. The local TV news reports said Sarah Palin spoke to several hundred people. My estimate was at least 1500 or more. There you go again underestimating the crowd because after all it is Sarah Palin and the Tea party so you wouldn’t want to give them any credit. I had a very good spot and heard every word Sarah said. From where I stood my deaf old ears could have heard her without the benefit of a microphone. The local TV news reports complained that all she did was complain about the media. Admittedly she did take some swings at the media. Can you blame her? I can’t recall anyone who has been maligned the way she has. Sarah, however, spoke of many things such as ending crony capitalism, that it exists on both sides of the isle, and it needs to stop right now. She reminded the audience that she had taken on big oil in Alaska and taken on her own party in an effort to end the crony capitalism and corruption. She explained we need a President who is willing to do the same thing in Washington. America needs someone with the courage to cut the out of control spending. She even poked fun at herself reminding us of the now famous “refutiate” mistake. She does however know that there are only 50 states.

Sarah Palin stood there on the stage and made people want to go out and participate in the process in a positive way. She did it with a smile on her face, a bright gleam in her eye, and conviction in her voice. She didn’t resort to name calling. She didn’t stumble during her speech, she was able to ad lib without an “umm” or an “ahh” and she was able to get back to her prepared remarks smoothly after the ad lib. Not bad for a dummy huh?

Sarah Palin has been the brunt of jokes portraying her as stupid. She is not. People have wished her dead, raped, beaten and more. Her family has been threatened. Media hacks have gone through her trash and e-mails looking for the slightest minutia. She has taken everything they have dished out and she keeps on going. Lesser people would have folded. I really believe it makes her stronger. I wonder how Barak Obama would have stood up to the same scrutiny. To my mind Sarah Palin has the same stuff as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Abraham Lincoln. She is brave, courageous, bold, and unapologetic about who she is and where she stands which is why I admire Sarah Palin. That is also why I got up early, got to the event early, and picked out front row spot. I wanted to see her eyes while she spoke and you can see from the photo I included with this I could see her eyes. I wanted to hear her entire speech not just what the media wanted me to hear. I have yet to meet her in person but look forward to the day that I do. I think she is the real deal.

On the subject of “President Palin” I don’t know. Do I think she could do the job? Yes, I do. Her electability is the question. The media has so prejudiced the people of this country against her I don’t know how one would overcome it. It is not just the left who is afraid her. The elitists in the Republican Party aren’t too keen on the idea of Sarah in White House because she would start cleaning house and it wouldn’t matter which side of the “House” you sat in. It would seem to me that corruption is corruption in her mind. Could you imagine what Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and Allen West could do to turn the tide of this country for the better if they were working in concert? Finally, I think Sarah has taken too long to announce whether or not she is running.

As I said I admire Sarah Palin and I see her as a person of interest in this election cycle. Maybe she will be a candidate maybe she won’t. I don’t know her mind. Being in the trenches with all the other behind the scenes people my odds on favorite and it is early but…my odds on guess as to the nominee for the GOP? Rick Perry. Governor Perry unless he does something really stupid should beat Obama in 2012.

Two tax day protests

San Francisco has the geographic virtue of being a small city.  Zombie was therefore able to zip around and photograph Sally Zelikovsky’s true grass roots protest (complete with attendees bringing imaginative, home-made signs), and then to contrast it with a carefully astroturfed pro-big government protest.  The contrasts are striking.  I urge you not only to read Zombie’s post but to email it to as many people as possible.  Why?  Because it appears that one of the people a reporter interviewed was an infiltrator.

Also, while I’m sending you to other places, read John Hawkin’s interview with Andrew Breitbart.  Breitbart gives me hope.

Democratic Exhaustion

Is our democracy germinating the seeds of its own destruction?

Alexis de Toqueville warned, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” That day has come. It is not yet gone.

Democracy  in ancient Athens lasted about 250 years. We in the United States are at about that same point in our history today. In Europe, alas, democracy came but as a short, brief whimper in time. Now, post-Lisbon, it is gone…at a national scale and, very soon, at the local level, too.  EUro democracy – so ancien regime! In EUrope, the new aristocracy is already taking form, with power centered in Brussels and Strasbourg. In America, our own Washington, DC-centered aristocrat wannabees remain diffuse and riven by competing factions, but they are there and waiting.

What went wrong? I propose that the primary seed of our destruction lies in our own human nature. It is the “tragedy of the commons” writ large. The tragedy of the commons, formulated by ecologist Garrett Hardin in the 1960s, describes the dynamic whereby individuals and other animals, when confronted with limited resources, have a self-interest in expropriating the maximum amount of those resource for themselves while they can, thereby hastening the resource’s destruction. The tragedy of the commons is neatly summarized by Illinois’ de facto state motto, “where’s mine?” (with a respectful hat tip to Chicago Tribune editorialist John Kass).

I suspect that, deep down, many serious people in America’s contending factions (Left, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian) believe that we are now in the end game and that we are thus witnessing a mad, vicious scramble by traditional Democrat constituencies (e.g., public sector unions) to secure to themselves as much wealth and political power as possible before the inevitable financial collapse. The primal screams and vile demagoguery harmonized by the howling mobs of Wisconsin, Greece, France and Britain (or from our Commander in Chief, for that matter) are but the beginning of this process. Change can be ugly when people lose hope!

“Where’s mine?”

It still remains incredible for me to contemplate how we in the West, endowed with the richest standards of living every conceived in human history, still could not find satisfaction from living within our means. The wails and tribulations of the Left notwithstanding, all groups in America are living far better material standards of living than they did 25, 50 or 100 years ago or than the vast majority of our world enjoys today. How could we not find it within ourselves to be grateful for and respectful of what our forebears built and accumulated as their legacy for us. Indeed, our unparalleled wealth and quality of life appears only to have fueled resentment of “the other” in tandem with an exponential growth in our appetites and expectations. Thus have we now come to the point of destroying ourselves and our inheritors through impossible debt obligations, gained in our quest for ever more lucre and comfort gained on other peoples’ dimes.

“Where’s mine?”

So today, confronted with hard choices on whether to cut back on our expectations and regenerate the wealth that we have lost on one hand (the Paul Ryan plan) and a mad scramble to secure our own selfish claims upon the commons before its dissolution, our country confronts the fork in the road that, as Yogi Berra put it, must be taken.

Why do I suspect that earlier in our democracy, when government was not expected to fulfill everyone’s economic and social needs, a national belt-tightening to confront an existential crisis would hardly have been considered controversial. A split electorate today, unfortunately, does not bode well for constructive solutions. From my limited perspective, I suspect that 25% of our population seems committed to the conviction that the government’s largesse can continue forever and another 25% (public employee unions, Liberals, Democrat politicians) cynically manipulates events to amass all it can before the inevitable collapse.

“Where’s mine?”

I propose, however, that these manipulators on the Left and their followers are fundamentally mistaken in the following ways:

One is to believe that whatever political and financial power they accumulate in these days will translate into power and wealth in the future. I don’t think so. You can’t, for example, pay pensions on the back of a collapsed market economy. You can’t fund ObamaCare promises through foreign largesse. Princely union boss salaries will be worthless when union members inevitably catch on to their betrayal and they, too, ultimately depend upon a healthy private sector economy.

Two, we can never really predict the future.  Revolutions lead to unpredictable ends and often end-up eating their own. Anarchists and Democrats can try to collapse the system, perhaps, but nobody can know what will replace it.

Three, the real threat to our society today is not our debt but the destruction of our debt capacity. Debt capacity refers to our ability to absorb more debt in response to crises: for me, for example, debt capacity is represented by my home equity line of credit, to be drawn upon in emergencies. We can be guaranteed that our Western civilization will face serious crises that will threaten our very existence. With our home equity line exhausted, from whence will we find the capital resources to fund our survival? How will we build back from the rubble?

When FDR embarked on his wildly irresponsible debt-financed financial adventures, our country’s ability to absorb debt was still great by the time WWII arrived. We survived and, as a result, thrived. I am not so certain that we could do so today. Not to veer too far off path, but does anyone else get the sense that the ineffectual flounderings of the U.S. and our NATO allies in Libya, a misbegotten economic and military backwater of 6.5 million people, hardly reflect the actions of robust democracies?

I sense that our Western democracies have reached a point of exhaustion. Perhaps this reflects the natural lifespan of democracies. I hope not. The Ryan blueprint presents our 50:50 nation with an existential fork in the road. We shall soon discover the true strength of our national fiber. Will we tighten our belts, retrench and expand the national and global commons as we have in the past…or will we intensify our mad struggles to secure dwindling remnants thereof to ourselves? If the latter, then our democratic experiment will truly be at an end. And that would be a tragedy.

I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either. … Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.

- John Adams

Tea Partiers, Democrats and cookies

On the “real me” facebook, a “joke” is making the rounds:

‎”A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, ‘Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

I kind of doubt that the people who laugh at that “joke” would appreciate this truly brilliant piece of political satire:

Political violence: from whence does it emanate

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

I posted this as a comment to Book’s previous post, but have now posted it independently as a challenge to all of us Bookworm salon aficionados.

Here’s the premise: virtually all the political violence that has happened in America as come from people associated with the Democrat and/or the Left.

Here’s my list thus far (continuous updating):

DEMOCRAT /LEFT – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner beaten by S. Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks over perceived insults made in speech by Brooks (1856).
  2. John Wilkes Booth (anti-Republican Democrat) assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Southern night riders and the KKK during Reconstruction and into the mid-1900s. (Democrats) – question: do we count each of the lynchings as separate acts of violence?
  4. Chicago Haymarket riot (1886)
  5. Pres. McKinley’s 1901 assassination by Leon Frank Czolgosz (Leftwing anarchist)
  6. Sedition Act of 1918 by Woodrow Wilson (Progressive Democrat)
  7. Assassination attempt on FDR, killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, by Guiseppe Zangara in 1933 (left-wing anarchist)
  8. FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII (Democrat progressive)
  9. FALN attack against Pres. Harry Truman (communist)
  10. Sheriff Bull Connors, Gov. George Wallace (Democrats)
  11. John Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (communist)
  12. Pres. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”
  13. 1968 Democrat Convention
  14. Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan (leftwing Palestinian supporter)
  15. Sarah Jane Moore’s attempted assassination of Pres. Gerald Ford
  16. Berkeley People’s Park riot in 1969 (campus socialists, communists and anarchists)
  17. Students for a Democratic Society aka SDS (communist)
  18. Bombing (1970) of Math Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison (anti-war communists)
  19. Symbionese Liberation Army (communists)
  20. American Indian Movement (AIM) killing of FBI agents at Wounded Knee (socialist American Indian activists)
  21. The Weathermen, incl. Dohrn and Ayers (communist)
  22. Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN bombings (communist)
  23. Black Panthers (Left-wing socialist/communist)
  24. James Jones of Jonestown fame (apostolic socialism)
  25. Earth Liberation Front (ELF)
  26. Attack on Branch Davidians (Janet Reno, Clinton Administration)
  27. Ted Kaczynski – Unabomber (leftwing anarchist and environmental fanatic, Gore acolyte)
  28. Left-wing violence, destruction and physical assaults at 1999 G-20 meeting in Seattle.
  29. Attack on Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial by James Wenneker von Brunn (anti-U.S. socialist sympathizer)
  30. Left-wing violence, destruction, physical assaults and weapons convictions at 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis.
  31. Joe Stack, Austin IRS bomber (anti-Republican, anti-capitalist, anti-wealthy people)
  32. Physical attacks on conservative speakers at university campuses
  33. Multiple physical attacks against Tea Party rallies by SEIU and others (2009).
  34. Shooting of pro-life demonstrator James Pouillon in Owosso, MI (2009)
  35. Physical assault by S. Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge against student, caught on video.
  36. Discovery Center attack and hostage-taking by James Lee in Sept. 2010 (leftwing environmentalist)

REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry (?)
  2. Attacks on abortion clinics and murders and attempted murders of abortion providers (conservative Christian group-affiliated (?) individuals)
  3. Firearm attack by Jim D. Adkisson against Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, claiming opposition to its policies (2008)
  4. 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph (see “attacks on abortion clinics” above).

xxxxxxxxxxx

Please delete, amend or add-to the list as you see fit.

Or, let’s have even more fun: how about a comparable list of CONSERVATIVE acts of political violence?

We shall then be able to offer two lists for posterity.

Comments and contributions? Please make them as specific as possible.

UPDATE***

I have broken these out into two lists and will make additions as they come in.

UPDATE***

OK…I’m convinced. I’ve taken the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting off of the “Left” column.

Tea Party Derangement Syndrome

I’ve noticed lately, in talking to liberals, that their frontal lobes have been taken over by the Tea Party.  Sadly, when I say this I don’t mean that they’ve embraced the Tea Party’s commitment to smaller government and greater individual freedom.  I mean instead that the idea of the Tea Party sits in their brains, stimulating them to bizarre flights of rhetorical fancy.  Two examples:

First example:  I was talking with someone about vaccinations (in which I strongly believe).  I mentioned that in my neck of the woods, despite the high level of education, many people are hostile to vaccinations, preferring “holistic” remedies, none of which have a strong track record when it comes to measles, polio, small pox, etc.  The person to whom I was speaking instantly said, “Well, educated people often have completely irrational beliefs.  Look at Nazis or the Tea Partiers.”  A more accurate observation might have been that the people near me, most of them Ivy Leaguers, didn’t get a lot of bang for their bucks when it come to learning logical, scientific thinking at their expensive Ivory Towers.

Second example:  I overheard someone talking to a colleague about someone with whom they both worked:  “Ignore him.  He’s a completely fruitcake.  When it comes to this project, he’s like one of those insane Tea Partiers.”  Tea Party = Crazy.

This is not a local phenomenon.  David Letterman is playing the same game:

Why I am a fascist (according to my liberal friend) *UPDATED*

As I’ve related in past posts, my liberal friend repeatedly calls me a fascist or Nazi for supporting the Tea Party.  Aside from being really rude, these appellations bewilder me.  The historical record is very clear that both the Italian fascists and the Germany Nazis were socialists.  Socialism, by definition, means the concentration of political and economic power in the hands of a single government entity:

Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Certainly all governments that have self-identified as socialist have been run along these lines, to a greater or lesser extent.  Without exception, the more extreme the socialism within a given nation, the more tyrannical the power structure within that nation.  That, after all, is how “fascism” and “Naziism” got to be dirty words — because the political collective exerted violent control over its own citizens and, eventually, sought to exert that same control over citizens of other nations.

Given that the Tea Party is about lessening, rather than increasing, government’s power over its citizens, calling me a fascist or a Nazi seems like a misnomer of almost heroic prop0rtions.  Yet my liberal friend is well-educated, as are most of the other so-called liberals tossing those insults around with such abandon.

One is tempted to dismiss the repeated use of these insults with the classic Princess Bride put-down:  “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”  To do so is a mistake.  Just because the Progressives and so-called liberals keep misusing the word does not mean that they don’t ascribe meaning to the word.  I think I’ve finally figured out what that meaning is.

Tea Partiers advocate lower taxes and less government spending.  As to the latter, because they aren’t anarchists, they recognize that the federal government needs to engage in certain types of expenditures in order to have a functional nation.

The most obvious necessary expenditure is national security, which gets an inordinate amount of space in the Constitution.  We also expect the federal government to provide a stable economic environment (commerce and banking) and to exercise itself to prevent endemic and epidemic illnesses.  We’ve acknowledged the need for a national police force (the FBI), although we leave most of our policing to local government.

I’m sure that all of you, with little effort, can think of other basic functions that federal and local governments need to fulfill.  The bottom line is that Tea Partiers do not want those basic government services to end, although I’m sure that they’d like to see waste cut down, whether that’s through better management, or through the services of competitive private companies whose work is merely overseen by the government.  (But that’s a post for another day.)

Once you remove from the equation the essentials of governing, you’re left with only one thing:  entitlements.  Tea Partiers are attacking entitlements.  That is what makes us fascists or Nazis.  It’s not that we want to exert more control over citizens in the traditional tyrannical socialist (fascist/Nazi) sense, it’s that we want to limit entitlements.

By the way, we tend to toss around the phrase “entitlements” with fairly careless abandon.  It’s worthwhile to think about what an entitlement is:  It means paying money or services to someone, not because he has earned that payment, but because he deserves it merely for being himself.  (I’m very familiar with this concept, because my children have a massive sense of entitlement.)

Some entitlements are almost certainly a reasonable part of a decently functioning nation.  A humane, moral nation doesn’t allow a 90 year old to starve to death in a gutter merely because he hasn’t worked enough lately to pay the rent.  (Although the North Koreans are happy to do this with people who don’t sing the party tune loudly enough or, worse, who fail to contribute to the state any more.)

Since the 1960s, though, we’ve extended the notion of entitlements far past the minimal requirements of human decency.  A perfect example is welfare.  By the early 1990s, welfare was a huge leviathan, with families that had been on welfare for generations.  The generational aspect of welfare wasn’t a result of a poor economy; it was the result of an entitlement mindset.  Back in the 1960s, just as blacks were beginning to make economic strides, well-meaning social workers, flush with the notion of the Great Society, flooded black communities, urging blacks not to work:  Let the government pay you.  It owes you for the insults that have been visited against blacks since they were first forcibly shipped to these shores.  For many families, not working became normative, because they were entitled not to work.

For those of you wondering why I’m mentioning welfare here, in 2010, when “welfare as we know it” ended it around 1994, I do so for two reasons. First, the Dems are using the bad economy to reinstate the welfare rolls. Second, many of you who were around during the 1994 debate must surely remember that the Left assured Americans that, if “welfare as we know it” ended, Americans would be dying in the streets, a la Calcutta or Ethiopia. Of course, that’s not what happened. When the entitlement was cut, able bodied people who were getting money, not because of any inherent failure in their ability to earn but because of a sense of entitlement, began to work. The world did not end, but the welfare rolls shrank, and the federal government shucked off some of its debt.

There is no doubt that attacking entitlements now will cause a temporary dislocation to those who have come to believe that they have no obligation in this life other than to sit back and take government money just because of who they are.  In the end, very few of those feeding at the government trough are “entitled” to anything, and I weep no tears for their temporary hardship.  I do know, though, that cutting the federal government by cutting entitlements will decrease government power and government profligacy, both of which are what the Tea Partiers seek.

And if that makes me a fascist, so be it.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Here’s another example of a Leftist re-defining settled terms to suit his beliefs.

UPDATE II:  A graphic example of entitlements, and what happens when the spoiled brats think they’re about to lose them.

Time for Obama to read the tea leaves — by guest blogger Sadie

After being dismissed and diminished by the media and administration as [fill in your condescending or derogatory epithet here], the Tea Party, which was a response to the Democratic tidal wave in 2008, has changed the face of politics into the foreseeable future. Sarah Palin is no small part of the grassroots movement. I think she was the catalyst. Palin was unmercifully berated in the press and still stood her ground, never capitulating.  Add to the mix the internet, the fact that Fox News stayed on message, and Glenn Beck’s growing list of supporters.

There’s a green theme here:  Obama started in the land of grass skirts, moved to a world of smoking grass, and is now feeling the power of the grassroots. If the president had been on the show Dancing with the Stars, he would have been booted in round one for stepping on his partner’s toes. The adage that black people have rhythm is certainly a myth — not only is his timing awful, he is also tone deaf, since he hasn’t heard a word we’ve been saying.

I wonder if he can read the tea leaves., If not, he might get help from a new book they’re in a new book arguing — with facts! — that the grassroots surge is here to stay.

Bottom line:  Populist uprisings go hand in hand with economic hardship in America, and this one has been brewing for years, according to political pollsters Scott Rasmussen and Douglas Schoen.

John Yoo’s perspective on Marin’s GroupaPalooza

I attended the Marin GroupaPalooza, and did a tongue in cheek blog post here, imagining how a Progressive would have perceived the event.  John Yoo has just published his take on the event, which is straightforward and clear — and nicely rebuts Obama’s (and the rest of the Left’s) paranoid fantasies about the event.  I think you’ll find Yoo’s post interesting.

A couple more related points:

First, on the subject of denigrating the Tea Partiers, Stanley Fish, writing at the NYT, urges liberals not to make the mistake of doing so.  After eight paragraphs of compelling arguments urging that the Tea Partiers be treated with dignity even as the Left opposes them, Fish wraps up his article with some rousing paragraphs that . . . yes, you know where this is going . . . insult the Tea Partiers.  Honest to God, they just can’t help themselves.

Second, did I tell you what happened when I saw my liberal friend, the same one who castigated me for attending Tea Party gatherings because they are nothing more than Koch-funded, racist orgies (conducted in code, of course)?

Well, when I saw him, he asked, “How was it?”

I have to admit here that I’m not a very nice person, because I could not resist the impulse to yank his chain.  In breathless tones, therefore, I replied, “It was awful.  It was a bloodbath.”

“What happened?!”

“Well, when Ward Connerly got up to speak, people started pelting him with eggs and hollering the N word.  It was really ugly.”

My friend couldn’t help himself:  “They didn’t!”

To his credit, he framed that last one as a negative, meaning that even he couldn’t believe what I told him — yet he must have believed it just a little bit, or he would have realized instantly that I was pulling his leg, making his horrified exclamation unnecessary.  It says something that he could even entertain the possibility that I might be saying that Ward Connerly, a conservative invited to speak at a conservative gathering, would be subject to that kind of treatment.

The Bay Area Patriots’ GroupaPalooza — from the Progressive perspective *UPDATED*

A little imp made me tell my Progressive friend that I would be attending the Bay Area Patriots‘ GroupaPalooza, which is, essentially, a convention for the small but robust number of conservatives in the Bay Area.  I’ve mentioned this friend before.  He’s the one who assured me that the Tea Party is a direct descendant of the John Birch society, and that it is using dupes like me to advance its evil racist agenda.  When I challenged him to give one example of a racist word or act emanating from the Tea Party, he earnestly assured me that the racism was all in code, with the initiated understanding the anti-black and antisemitic invective animating every Tea Party statement.

My friend brought out the same guns today, in a rear guard effort to steer me away from the GroupaPalooza.  Indeed, he added something new to the arsenal.  This Tea Party organization, he told me in portentous tones, was so evil it was funded by (insert Psycho music here) the Koch brothers.  I was suitably unimpressed.

As I drove home from the event, I amused myself by imagining how my friend would report on the Bay Area Patriots’ GroupaPalooza if he had attended.  So, for your reading entertainment, I hereby present “The Bay Area Patriots’ GroupaPalooza — from the Progressive perspective”:

Good evening, Progressive Womyn and Myn.  This is Soul-Talks-to-Trees Chang-Guitierrez-Goldberg, with a special report about the secret gathering of a bizarre conservative organization, located right here, in the heart of Marin. Who would have guessed that the Mill Valley Recreation Center, a destination spot for Marin’s children, would be the selected forum for these extremist political rituals?  (And not to complain or anything, but I think it’s grossly unfair that I got sent to this gig, instead of to the Folsom Street Fair.  This is a clear case of discrimination against a junior reporter.  It’s like the opposite of age discrimination, you know?)

On this sunny Sunday in Marin, hundreds of people, all a strange whiter shade of pale, streamed into recreation center.  Their entry was so uneventful — so lacking in protest signs, litter and nudity — this reporter could only conclude that they had been given mind-altering drugs in advance.  This would, of course, serve the dual purpose of disguising their racist and antisemitic agenda from the surrounding community (by making them look “normal”), and of preparing their psyches for the drumbeat of racial invective that rained down on them all afternoon.  Several of the women entering the building carried large handbags, which this reporter thinks could well have contained KKK hoods.

Once inside, I saw that myriad groups had set up tables and were handling out literature.  No matter where I wandered, I was assaulted by information from the Marin County Republican Party, the Republican Party of Sonoma County, the San Francisco Republican Party, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the NRA, and many other known racist and antisemitic groups.  All of them, of course, were careful to keep their cover intact, so the only information they provided to the GroupaPalooza’s attendees had to do with lower taxes, smaller government, freedom and liberty.  Naturally, I’ll have more to say about those code words and phrases later in this report.

Also present were representatives for those Republican political candidates who have the temerity to try to take away the state and federal seats rightfully belonging to Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Lynn Woosley, Jared Huffman, and Tom Ammiano.  In some cases, the actual candidates were there themselves!  In the interests of full fairness and disclosure (because I am nothing if not fair), I can tell you that these weasely challengers included John Dennis, Carly Fiorina (who had appeared in the same venue two weeks ago, so she did not show up today), Jim Judd, Bob Stephens, and Laura Peter. There may have been other challengers there, but I was already so overwhelmed by the racist vibes in the room that it was hard to keep track.

Although no one manning these various tables was overtly hostile, I could feel them look me over, just as if they actually knew that I have a black friend.  Or I had a black friend.  Well, to be perfectly honest (because I am nothing if not honest), my mail carrier is black and I always say “hello” to him.  I’m also very close to my Hispanic housekeeper, Rosa.  (Or is it Flora?  I always forget because, to tell the truth — and I always tell the truth — I try to stay away when she cleans ’cause it’s kind of uncomfortable to have to stop and talk to someone who scrubs your toilet, you know?)

Shortly after I arrived, five vertically challenged adults disguised as young girls gave a five-part harmony rendition of the United States’ warmongering national anthem (complete with references to bombs and rockets and, believe it or not, in a later verse, “God”).  Then, with the crowd pacified by music (and, as I said, possible sedative drugs) the speakers began their indoctrination.

Thanks to the Tea Party Code Book that this news station provided (I am told that it was “liberated” from the Koch Brothers’ secret headquarters), I was readily able to translate what was really going on.  Since there was a certain amount of repetition to the whole thing, the better to brainwash the attendees, I won’t repeat for you every speaker’s words, but will instead focus on the events’ main speakers and the gist of what they purported to say and what they actually said.

Thomas Lifson, who publishes American Thinker, a site I’ve never actually visited but have been told is racist and antisemitic, actually praised the attendees for their very existence.  He likened them to the bacteria that live in the heart of the volcano, sturdy life forms that cannot be destroyed.  He seemed to think that, somehow, there’s a virtue in standing up against our Dear Leader . . . um, sorry, I’ve been told not to say that.  He seemed to think that, somehow, there’s a virtue in making a stand against Barack Obama, divine leader of the American people.  What’s that?  I’m not allowed to say that either?  Well what can I say?  He was challenging The One!  Who does he think he is?

Consistent with the war mongering that permeated the atmosphere (they had American flags all over the place!), Lifson announced that American Thinker would soon launch a spin-off dedicated to the military.  This site is intended to humanize those same troops who air-raid villages and kill civilians.  As if!  I mean, Lifson has all sorts of plans for the site, such as letting family members write about what it means to have someone in the military, or have troops review the accommodations made available to them at various airports.  The crowd actually applauded this jack-booted claptrap.  I shuddered, and clutched my fingers tightly around the peace sign I wear on my neck, and thought longingly of my car, with it’s cool “Coexist” sticker on the bumper, made up of all those religious symbols some people believe in.

Lifson also seemed to think that Hillary Clinton might challenge President Obama, and I kind of just seized up.  ‘Cause you know, she’s a woman — uh, pardon, womyn, and I really want a womyn in the White House, ’cause then we can call it the Pink House.  But our Dear Leader, I mean, Obama, is black, and it would be racist to give a black president only one term.  So really, the only challenger I can think of is a black womyn like, maybe, Maxine Waters.  You know?  Or maybe Beyonce.  She’d be cool.

After Lifson, there was this dude from the Pacific Justice Institute named Brad Dacus, who just droned on and on and on about all these lawsuits his organization has filed just because some church or synagogue or something like that got all tweaked when the government said “Hey, you can’t have a church there because, 50 years ago, we gave permission for a hardware store to be there.”  This group also works really hard to force public school kids to say things like the Pledge of Allegiance (and, like, how totalitarian is that?) or to keep that old phrase “In God We Trust” around.  I mean, I may have all those religious symbols on my coexist bumper sticker, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe in God, right?

Worst of all, Dacus and the Pacific Justice Institute actually think that parents shouldn’t have to worry about the government stepping in when they spank their kids.  I mean, I was never spanked, and look how well I turned out.  He kept throwing around words like “freedom” and “liberty,” so I knew, from my Tea Party Code Book, that he was talking about lynching black people and concentration camps.  I mean, it was so obvious.

The next person to talk was John Yoo, a law professor at Berkeley who wants to torture all of us, every one of us, all the time.  I was actually really shocked that he was one of them.  You know, he’s Asian so he should understand how he’s been victimized by the man.  I mean, just because you’ve been to Harvard and Yale, or because you’ve clerked for a Supreme Court Justice, doesn’t meant you’re not a victim.

But Yoo didn’t understand that.  Instead, he kept talking about the Constitution as if it applies to all citizens.  He totally didn’t seem to get that the Constitution is meant to be used as an instrument of social justice by The One.  Oh, sorry!  Did I slip up again?  “By Barack Obama” is what I meant to say.  Anyway, he was going on and on about the fact that Barack Obama seems to have this weird backwards view of the Constitution.

According to Yoo — and what does he know, really, with his Yale Law education, his Supreme Court clerkship, and his job at Boalt Law School in Berkeley? — the president, is supposed to have a fairly small role domestically, one that consists primarily of reining in an extreme Congress; and a large role overseas, one that requires him to protect American interests abroad and national security at home.  Yoo seemed to think that it was wrong for our beloved President to push Congress even further Left than it wants to go, or to weaken America’s interests abroad.  As I said, Yoo just doesn’t get it, which must mean that he’s a racist.

Things only got worse after Yoo.  Brian Sussman, a media figure at the fascist station KSFO, gave this talk where he told all sorts of sob stories about some of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence.  He actually told the crowd that those men probably got their wives to agree to let them sign a document that would result in their being hunted down and killed by the British.  That was a laugh.  Like, can you really imagine those old white men actually caring what a woman said?

It was weird, though, that the crowd actually seemed moved by stories of these signers being imprisoned, of their losing their families and their homes, and of their living like animals, only to die, heart-broken, in the wilderness, all because they wanted to sign onto the Declaration of Independence.  Sussman also kept on talking about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which my Tea Party Code Book explains means “lynch blacks” and “Jews own Wall Street.”  No wonder the audience cheered and applauded so wildly when he finished speaking.  They knew what he really meant.

The scariest speaker, though, by far, was Ward Connerly.  You know why he’s so bad?  Because he’s so well-disguised.  There he stands, a slightly rotund, open-faced, neatly dressed older man, who speaks in clear, measured tones.  He tells his life story, which he interlineates with little jokes.

These sneaky techniques got the audience all wee-weed up as they heard how his father left him when he was two, and his mother died when he was four, so that he was raised by his aunt and her husband.  Now that everyone was on his side, Connerly kept going on and on and on about how his uncle worked really hard, and how his uncle loved America, and how his uncle had this incredible dignity despite the indignity of Jim Crow laws, and how his uncle was truly color-blind when it came to people’s race.

From all this, Connerly somehow concluded — and, like, I don’t know how he did it — that, just as it was bad for America to draw racial lines with blacks on the bottom and whites on the top, it’s equally damaging to the American psyche to draw racial lines with whites on the bottom and everyone else on the top.  Connerly actually thinks we can have a post-racial society, that sees people judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their characters.  I mean, how stupid is that?  Whoever came up with that idea?

It’s clear that Connerly has never attended a diversity training class, which could really help him, you know?  If he attended a class the way he should, he’d understand, just as I do, that the government’s primary purpose is to decide at any given time which race deserves government spoils, and which deserves government discrimination.   Fortunately, I learned from Connerly that ObamaCare, the Stimulus and the new banking laws all carry out this clear government mandate — “we also these truths to be self-evident, that the government decides which people are more equal” — by including provisions that specifically grant preferences to people other than white men.  That just goes to show that people like Connerly can’t push the government around.

I was pretty tired of the hostile atmosphere by this time, so I headed home.  As I drove away, mulling this report over in my mind, I could only shake my head in disbelief that this kind of treasonous activity is allowed to take place in our communities.  It was a relief to know that, if we can just keep our current Congress and administration for a few more years, we won’t have to worry about these racist and antisemitic malcontents any more.  They’ll all be financially equalized with their more victimized fellow citizens (thank you, redistribution!) and properly reeducated.

UPDATE:  A couple of things.  First, I forgot to mention Nick Adams, an Australian who believes that America’s unending commitment to liberty and her generosity make her the greatest nation in the world.  He gave an impassioned speech to that effect, reminding us that, sometimes, it’s the outsider who sees thing most clearly.  His website is here.  Check it out.  It will make you happy.

Also, I’ve been perusing the comments left at the Marin IJ and the SF Chron about this gathering and discovered that the only problem with my post is that I didn’t get the tone quite right — I was too polite.  But you can see there the tropes I mentioned — racist, war mongering, greedy, racist — plus one I forgot:  GeorgeNaziHitlerBush.

Being forgiven for our past sins — or, maybe, O’Donnell has grown up *UPDATED*

I know this will come as a surprise to all of you, but I was not born wise or well informed.  I blush to think of some of the behaviors in which I indulged, and the ideas that I held, when I was younger.

When I was a very little girl, I picked up from the secular people surrounding me the idea that there is no God.  Not only did I refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance, although I was scared enough of the teacher that I still moved my lips, I also thought all believers were fools.  I held to this belief for many, many years.

After reading Gone With The Wind for the first time, when I was 11, I came away with the impression that slavery wasn’t really such a bad thing, as long as you treated your slaves nicely. It took me a while to shake this belief too, especially because it seemed to me that the way many American blacks lived, whether in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunters’ Point, LA’s Watts and South Central, or Michigan’s Detroit, wasn’t a great improvement over the life of a slave.  The concept of freedom, versus mere material welfare, eluded me.

At around the same time, as a child who grew up watching the Vietnam War on the news, as well as all the antiwar protests, I thought the American military was evil, and that Communists weren’t so bad.

When I was 17, and California voters pass Prop. 13, I thought it was outrageous that people should want to keep their own money when it could go to the government, which would spend it for the people’s own good, only it would do it better.

When I was 18, I voted for Jimmy Carter and was deeply saddened when he lost.

When I was a 20-year old student attending Berkeley, and I heard that Ronald Reagan had been shot, I agreed with my fellow students that he deserved it, a sentiment that earned me a harsh and well-deserved scolding from my parents.

When I was 21 and living in England, I wore a keffiyeh, because it was a cool fashion statement.  That same year, I listened in silence as a British Arab man told a terrible and cruel holocaust joke, because I was too socially intimidated to speak up.

When I returned to America in the early 1980s, I was fascinated by MTV, and watched it obsessively, believing that somehow those videos, with their rocking beats and alternatively meaningless or crude images, could enrich my life.

Throughout my teens and 20s, I hated Christian proselytizers, because I thought they wanted to hurt me, a Jew.  It took me decades to understand that they were acting out of great spiritual generosity, and that they would respond immediately and respectfully to a politely given “no.”

Also throughout my teens and twenties, I was mean.  I was an awkward, geeky bookworm, with a quick wit that I used to great effect to hurt people before they could hurt me.  I always had friends, but woe betide anyone who fell on the cutting side of my tongue.  A physical and moral coward, I nevertheless believed that, when it came to insults, the best defense was a good offense.

I was young and I was stupid, stupid, stupid.  I cringe when I look back at the things I did and thought.  What’s really sad is that the only thing that stopped me from making even worse mistakes was my cowardice.  I didn’t really live life.  I observed it from the sidelines, and simply managed to collect a whole bunch of bad ideas as I went along.

The good news is that I grew up.  During those same years, I managed to learn a lot.  At Berkeley, because I couldn’t understand the Marxist cant that permeated every non-science class, and therefore ignored it, I managed to learn about history and art and literature.  At law school (despite a miserable semester with Elizabeth Warren), I learned how to revere the constitution, respect the law and, significantly, analyze data.

Being a lawyer was also a great gift.  It exposed me to activist judges, something that taught me that, without a rule of law, businesses crumble and anarchy arises.  It was frustrating to know that, if I was representing a bank or business in a San Francisco court against an individual, the bank or business would always lose, no matter how rigorously it followed the law, while the individual would always win, no matter how sleazy or careless.  The same held true in employer/employee cases.  I understood that judicial activism increased the cost of doing business, drove businesses out of the Bay Area (and California), and made it virtually impossible for business people to have reliable predictors to control their conduct.

Earning and spending money taught me that capitalism, if properly policed (not controlled, just policed) enriches people, rather than impoverishes or enslaves them.  Living as a responsible adult (rather than a child at home or a cocooned student) taught me that government, even with the best will in the world, is an inefficient engine that moves slowly and that inevitably crushes individuality.  I realized that I prefer to keep power diffuse, amongst myriad people with different ideas about the world, rather than aggregated in one, all-powerful being, whether that being is a person or an ostensibly republican government.  This made me a strong anti-Communist and, indeed, an anti anything totalitarian.

I learned that the old saying was right, and that I could truly catch more flies with honey (especially true honey, not false words of flattery), than I could with vinegar.  I came to regret very deeply the verbal hurts I had inflicted on people.  You will seldom catch me being mean, in act or word.  (Although I admit to slipping when the migraines hit or the kids fight.)

I found it impossible to cling to my prejudices about God and religious people.  The more I learned about science, the more I asked myself, “How did it begin?”  I accept the scientific record and scientific conclusions all the way back to the Big Bang — but what came before?  Could all this something truly have come from nothing?  I don’t know that there is a God, but I’d be an arrogant fool, faced with those questions, to deny a God.  I’m not a believer, but I try to live a moral life as an open-minded non-believer.  I respect believers.

As for Christianity, I learned that people can hold beliefs different from mine, and still be truly, deeply good people, whom it is often an honor to know.  My history studies helped me to understand that the Inquisition is over and that, for the past two hundred years, Christianity has been a uniform force for good in the world.  There are, of course, bad people who profess to be Christians, but Christianity as a belief system is a good thing and we should be grateful for it.  (I also learned, which few Jews accept, that the Nazis were not a Christian movement, but were a violently anti-Christian movement, something that helped me open my heart and mind to Christianity.)

Watching our military during the First Gulf war, and meeting military people as I got older, I began to understand that ours is an exceptional military:  a volunteer organization, controlled by the Constitution, and peopled by ordinary Americans.  Well, “ordinary” in that they’re neither the dregs, nor the aristocrats, as is the case in other, class-based societies.  Instead, they’re people like you and me.  Except, unlike me, they’re brave, even the ones who just joined to pay off their student loans.  Oh, and they’re patriots, which isn’t that common.  And of course, they’re awfully polite and frequently so kind.  But other than that….

So here I am:  someone who was profoundly stupid as a child and young person, but who had the capacity to learn and who did, in fact, learn and grow.

You know where this is going, don’t you?  Christine O’Donnell, of course.

I get the feeling that Christine O’Donnell was a very lost soul when she was young.  The latest evidence of this fact is that Bill Maher is boasting that he has tapes of her admitting to practicing witchcraft (although, frankly, this should endear her to the Left, which loves its Gaia-worshipping Wiccans).

When O’Donnell hit Christianity, she hit it hard, taking a lot of extreme positions (masturbation being the one that has the Left most atwitter) — which is normal for a convert.  The zealots usually come from the recently converted, the ones who still have enthusiasm and who also feel that extremism is an act of repentance.  She’s had financial problems, too, although that leaves her in good company, since it seems that this is a common trait in federal employees.

But O’Donnell has grown up.  Or at least she says she has and, for now, I choose to believe her — because I grew up too.  I wasn’t as silly a youngster as O’Donnell, but I grew up in the 70s and early 80s, which gave me a couple of advantages:  I had a slightly more friendly pop culture (TV still hewed to traditional values) and my youthful idiocies didn’t get captured forever on video tape.

Here’s the difference as I see it between O’Donnell and Obama:  Both of them had idiotic belief systems when they were young, because that’s what a lot of young people do.  But Obama’s belief systems hardened into true-blue (or do I mean true-red?) Marxism, whereas O’Donnell grew up.  She held to her core conservative values (no abortion, small government, etc.), but seems to have abandoned the worst excesses of her youth.

More than that, her conversion to maturity seems sincere.  She has indeed walked away from her immaturity. Yes, O’Donnell is still a pugnacious, somewhat volatile young woman, but she’s not a Wiccan now, she’s not going to set the masturbation police on you, and she’s not going to force all Americans to worship in her church.

If we take her at her word, the O’Donnell of today will go to Washington, D.C. to cut government spending, shrink government’s size, and push for a more Constitutionally run government than we currently have. And there’s nothing crazy or immature about that.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  I seem to be in good (and forgiving) company, as this related post shows.

UPDATE II:  David Swindle has taken my post and run with it.  He makes the point that O’Donnell’s positions on lust, porn and masturbation are “serious” not “extreme” if you have truly embraced Christianity.  I think he’s absolutely right.

The fact is, though, that the media is selling O’Donnell as “extreme” to Americans who aren’t always that serious about Christianity or who are, like me, fairly conservative, but haven’t fully shaken off a lifetime of urban liberal thinking.  I therefore used the word “extreme” in this post in relation to point of view of people who could be swayed by the media’s attack.  In fact, I agree with David’s take about the smooth and reasonable integration of O’Donnell’s faith and her morality.

The one other thing that informs my use of the word “extreme” is the fact that, as someone older than both David and O’Donnell, the whole “spilling your guts on video about your sexual (or wiccan) beliefs” is just a little freaky to me — and that’s a generational thing.  We didn’t do that when I was growing up probably because, in that pre-video, pre-MTV era, we couldn’t do it.

UPDATE III:  If you’ve read UPDATE II, above, you must read Zombie’s wonderful post mixing up quotations from O’Donnell and Carter.  Both are Christians, but you can tell the O’Donnell posts, because she sounds smarter and less narcissistic.  Oh, and the Left loves Jimmah.

UPDATE IV:  Please visit the Anchoress on this too.

How do you argue with a conspiracy theorist? *UPDATED*

A friend of mine is horrified that I’m affiliated in any way with the Tea Party movement.  They are, he tells me, Nazis.  They are, he says, the direct descendants of George Wallace’s racist, antisemitic, separatist movement.  They are, he assures me, far right wing paramilitary nutcases who want to take over the country for evil purposes.  I am a naive dupe, being used by people who are the reincarnation of the John Birch society.

I keep asking for evidence.  What has anyone said or done that has made you reach these conclusions?  What he’s been able to come up with is the fact that Glenn Beck, a demagogue, held a rally on the anniversary of MLK’s speech and there were almost no blacks there; and that Christine O’Donnell is a creationist (which, it is true, is something I do not support).  Everything else, he assures me, is there, but you have to understand that it’s in code.

The Tea Party leaders, he says, are not friends and neighbors.  They are a cabal who have figured out that they can control naive people by using code about small government and strong national security.  Everything they say is a lie, meant to confuse us into supporting them so that they can bring about their racist, Nazi, antisemitic, xenophobic, paramilitary dream.  They’re just not saying it directly.  You have to understand the subtext.

When I point him to the Mt. Vernon Statement as a fairly comprehensive statement of a commitment to a true constitutional government, I’m told that’s just smoke and mirrors to confuse the credulous, even as their secretive, unknown leaders advance their nefarious plans.

My questions for you:  How can you argue with this?  Because all facts are not really facts at all, but just illusions that hide an incredible ugliness that can’t actually be seen, and as to which there is no proof, what is left to debate?

UPDATE:  What upsets me so much in my discussions with this friend — and it’s a friend who is an integral part of my life, so the discussions are here to stay — is the fact that it’s never about substance.

I’ll happily debate with someone the virtues of big government versus small, whether the Founders meant what they said in the Second Amendment, or just how far Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” should be used in understanding the First Amendment.  But it’s never about the merits.  It’s about name-calling.

It’s also about the bizarre conclusion that the absence of any evidence whatsoever of overt, or covert, racism or antisemitism or theocratic thinker, is itself proof that the Tea Party movement is racist, antisemitic and intent upon a fundamentalist Christian takeover of America.

Every conversation is an Alice in Wonderland world, where I’m trying to have a civil discussion with someone who alternates between Humpty Dumpty’s creative language use, the Queen of Heart’s anger, and the Mad Hatter’s logical insanity.

I finally figured out why the Tea Party is racist *UPDATED*

Aside from the LaRouchites who appear at the Tea Party rallies, complete with their posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache, I am unaware of any significant racist rhetoric or imagery from the Tea Party.  Certainly the media’s minions, despite their ugly fulminations and accusations about racism, never point to actual evidence of wide-spread or even narrow-spread racist rhetoric and imagery.

Sure, there may be the occasional individual who says things about Obama that are keyed in to his race, not his politics, but you’re going to find that in any large collection of human beings.  Unlike the KKK or the New Black Panthers, to name just two racially charge organizations, the Tea Party’s official platform and rhetoric focus solely on three colorblind things:  small government, fiscal responsibility, and strong national security.

Or are those three things really colorblind?  Answering this question may explain the chasm between the two Americas opens wide.  The Tea Partiers say that they are not racist because:  (a) they do not frame their ideas in terms of race; (b) they do not denigrate any race; and (c) they do not wish any race ill.  As far as they are concerned, that is the end of the story.  The Tea Party is not about race.  It’s about using the Constitution’s emphasis on individual rights to restore America to her pre-Progressive economic and social dominance.

The Left, however, asserts that the third statement (“they do not wish any race ill”) is manifestly untrue, thereby putting the lie to the whole Tea Party claim that race is irrelevant and that they offer something to all Americans.  What bedevils most conservatives is figuring out the logical leap that allows the Left, in the face of all contrary evidence, to claim that the Tea Partiers wish ill upon the blacks, thereby turning the Tea Party into a racist organization.

If you put on your Leftist thinking cap, however, the answer suddenly becomes clear:  The Left firmly believes that blacks can thrive only under tight government control and management.  Any group that is arguing for small government is, ipso facto, trying to harm blacks.

Nor are the Tea Partiers absolved of racial sin for asserting their belief that, just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the thriving economy that will result of small government and fiscal responsibility, will benefit all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexuality or country of national origin.  Because Leftists are incapable of imagining that anything good can come from trimming back government, they know that Tea Partiers are lying.  The Tea Party rhetoric about the Constitution, about individual rights, about personal responsibility, etc., is all an elaborate sham, aimed at hiding the true goal:  defunding government programs for black people.

And that is why, to the Left, and to those blacks who take their cues from the Left, the Tea Party is a racist organization, making it a profound insult for Glenn Beck to sully the Lincoln Memorial with his presence.

UPDATE:  With perfect timing, this comes along to illustrate my point, albeit with a different identity politics victim group:

As Britain prepares for the deepest budget cuts in generations to tackle a crippling mound of public debt, the government is facing a pressing legal question: Is its austerity plan sexist?

[snip]

Women, recent studies here show, are far more dependent on the state than men. Women are thus set to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain, prompting a legal challenge that could scuttle the government’s fiscal crusade and raise fairness questions over deficit-cutting campaigns underway from Greece to Spain, and in the United States when it eventually moves to curb spending.