Friday, February 04, 2011

"Sane People Will Stop Paying Attention"

We can only hope they will. I'm glad I'm not the only individual who noticed that Glenn Beck and the rest of the right-wingers have upped the ante on shark jumping with the Egyptian Revolution (And Why Obama Is To Blame).

I'm literally floored that these people, who spent months to instigate and cash in on the idea of an American Tea Party "Revolution" against a freely and legally elected American government - that peacefully transferred power after the following election - are lining up to denounce pro-democratic, reform-minded Egyptians who are actually facing the batons, water cannons, tear gas, and blades of a tyrant.

Though I've heard Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and O'Reilly - not to mention the blogosphere - tirelessly one-upping one another in hyperbolic warnings of what will come, and why President Obama is to blame for whatever happens, Glenn Beck - "a college sophmore with a big budget" - wins this one going away.

To cut to the chase, a new caliphate will emerge in the Middle East and push further east until China, as Beck puts it, says "Knock it off guys" and takes over India, reaching some way into Pakistan. The caliphate will then push north, which is when it will absorb the UK
So there you have it, an "Archduke Ferdinand moment" which will split Europe, the Middle East and Asia into Chinese and radical Islamic zones. In the full Beck, he also introduces Bill Ayers (who Sarah Palin had in mind when she accused Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists"), Hizbullah and Code Pink, a feminist antiwar group. But that's enough for now.

And keep in mind, this is a show that holds a primetime slot on a major "news" network.

(Link HT's to DSB.)



Dante said...

So it's not ok to "connect the dots between Code Pink and Hamas and George Soros" but lumping Glenn Beck in with "the rest of the right-wingers" is a-ok?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Umm. Yes, yes it is. They do this themselves voluntarily and constantly.

He is one of the biggest TV draws on a "news" network that includes Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.

His radio show is broadcast on the same networks as Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage.

He invites these people to appear with him onstage at political rallies on the mall, and some of them show up.

They all say very similar things on thier TV and radio shows, as well as their internet sites/twitter feeds/facebooks.

It isn't "connect the dots" as much as "all the same pool of ink."

Dante said...

I'm going to have to ask your definition of "right-winger." I would logically assume that right-winger would mean one who is politically conservative, but there are a whole whole whole hell of a lot of people who don't buy into that hyperbole, are not in the sample set you mentioned, and very much politically conservative.

It looks to me like you're trying to lump that set in with a few hyperbolic radio and TV personalities just because it's easier than actually trying to understand your opponents' positions.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

The difference that separates wingery from coherent political thought is the acceptance of reality as a major factor in decision making processes and opinion holding.

I try my best to differentiate between "right-wingers" and "really real conservatives." I have for years. I don't consider right-wingers conservative, even though they market themsleves as such - even to the point that many self proclaimed conservatives end up confused about what conservatism is. They're on their way to doing to the word "conservative" what they already did for the word "liberal." The only reason they sell themselves as "conservative" is because their market research data concludes that their target demographic considers itself "conservative." That's not coherent political thought, that's wingery.

For example, I linked to two reality-based conservatives on consecutive days this week: Douhat at the NYT and Wingfield at the AJC. They get it conservatism, as much as I disagree with many of their opinions. Add to that mix David Brooks and David Frum, and you have a group of folks I would generally consider "conservative."

Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Palin, Levin, Savage - they have all demonstrated a consistent rejection of reality; their political thoughts and opinions change based on the percieved advantage of an issue.

To whit: invading Iraq is OK to spread Democracy (and liberal opposition to such policy stems from their love of fascism), letting Egypt throw out an autocratic is not ok (and liberal support to such revolution is proof of their love of fascism).

Please see also: Religious freedom is under attack if you are a Christian (because liberals hate and want to oppress Christians); but if you're a Muslim, you'd better keep that fact to yourself (even if the liberals tell you it is OK, because they love Islamic fascism).

Dante said...

"To whit: invading Iraq is OK to spread Democracy (and liberal opposition to such policy stems from their love of fascism), letting Egypt throw out an autocratic is not ok (and liberal support to such revolution is proof of their love of fascism)."

Throwing out an autocrat doesn't ensure democracy. Those positions aren't the opposites you frame them as. The fear I see on the right regarding this situation is that what comes to replace the current regime will be worse for our relations with Egypt. Some speculate that even an Egyptian democracy would be worse in those respects. While ideologically inconsistent, it is probably true on a practical level.

Personally, I see their point but at the same time I also see our track record trying to engineer outcomes in situations like these. We suck at it. I personally think as long as no outside influence is trying to force regime change, we let them solve their own mess.

If we do see outside influence at work in Egypt, we side with the status quo government. If we want to cut ties with Egypt as an ally, we do it after we aid them in that situation. You don't decide you don't want to be allies any more in the middle of a crisis.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Let's be sure to take this one point at a time. You asked me to clarify the difference between right-winger and conservative.

A 'winger (on any side) sees every event outside reality, and only through the lens of political animosity. Real conservatives, and real liberals, take reality into account.

That's why most reality based individuals are hopeful, based on what we've seen from the demonstrators, that this will lead to a more democratic Egypt. But everyone taking reality into account knows there is a chance it could end badly, based on the track record you note.

For example, your previous comment takes reality into account in estimation of the situation.

That's not what the wingers are talking about, however. The right-wingers promote "democracy" when it suits them to engage in the language of liberation. On the other hand, they promote "stability" when the "democracy" they've been talking about goes somewhere other than they think it should. Their position, so fervently held one moment, changes completely based on political circumstance, and yet they refuse to acknowledge that change.

The only thing that "changes" is the myriad way their political opponents are to blame for each new situation. Which is how we have someone with a widely syndicated program arguing that Code Pink has anything to do with the situation in Egypt.

Dante said...

Behind all hyperbole there is exaggeration and behind all exaggeration is a kernel of truth. I was just pointing out that very real kernel and those very real fears. Attacking the hyperbole without acknowledging the truth is a very dangerous game. The attitude displayed here:

"That's why most reality based individuals are hopeful, based on what we've seen from the demonstrators, that this will lead to a more democratic Egypt."

shows exactly why the "right-wingers" and their shows are popular to begin with. The implication one can easily gather here is that is one is not hopeful then they are likely not reality-based. An over-the-top blowhard is going to win more hearts and minds when he at least takes that less hopeful point of view seriously, even if he associates everyone from Adolf Hitler to Belinda Carlisle in a big conspiracy in the process.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

The only kernel of truth you'll find in what Beck is selling comes from candy corn.

Glenn Beck isn't saying that sometimes, popular uprising against American-sponsored autocrats leads to anti-American feeling in whatever government replaces said autocrat. That is very much the truth, the reality that I am talking about.

Beck is ignoring that. He's saying there is a global left-wing conspiracy fomenting revolt in nations as diverse as Egypt, France and Yemen; this conspiracy is led by Marxists and Sharia adherents, in an effort to topple Western Civilization.

As for the reality-based hopefulness, you'll have to pardon me for ascribing that hope to the actual news being reported from actual journalists on the ground. Demonstrators linking arms to protect museums and libraries from government-paid looters; Christians watching over Muslims while they pray; demonstrators kneeling in prayer even as they are faced with water cannons, police batons and tear gas; the Muslim Brotherhood organization - less fearful than some would have us believe - taking a minor role in the demonstrations. The fact that, just weeks before, Muslims stood as human sheilds for their Christian countrymen on Christmas (as a matter of fact, how much did that Christmas action contribute to what we are seeing now?).

There are plenty of realistic reasons to hope that this time, things will be different. This time, it might be an authentic Arab uprising in the spirit of democracy that will not be hijacked by fundamentalism.