Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fox News And GOP Fanatics-- Skunks At The Inauguration


I don't watch a lot of TV. When Joe Scarborough isn't on and I have some need for TV News, I watch MSNBC. I've loved watching Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow over the last few months. Sometimes, like when MSNBC has Scarborough on or those shows about living in prison, I'll try CNN. But this morning I did something I've never done before. I actually found Fox News on my TV and watched it for 15 minutes.

Despite the Obama post-partisan mantra I've seen enough anti-American GOP websites and heard enough vicious and obstructionist rhetoric from hard core right-wing fanatics from Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Paul Broun (R-GA) in the Congress to some of the kooks running for RNC Chair to the likes of GOP psychotic drug addicts like Rush Limbaugh, to know that for many Republicans bringing down America so they can blame Obama is the name of the game. One of the extremists running for RNC chair is the former Secretary of State of Ohio who helped Bush steal the 2004 election, Ken Blackwell. Friday he wrote a piece on a neo-fascist website about sabotaging Obama's rescue plan for the economy. Citing John Boehner as his source, Blackwell rants and raves about why Republicans should oppose the stimulus package.
While only a few details are known, one overlooked issue is that it could create a major electoral advantage for Democrats at taxpayer expense. That would be unacceptable for what is being touted as a nonpartisan measure, and gives Republicans yet another reason to oppose it if not restructured... But most federal employees, that are not political appointees, vote Democrat. Since Washington, DC is the seat of government, whenever new federal bureaucrats are created many live in Maryland and Virginia. In 2008, Virginia went Democrat for the first time since 1964, and Mr. Obama won it by 130,000 votes. Creating 600,000 new jobs might help cement Virginia in the Democrat column, making it harder for Republicans to retake the White House.

Clearly, Blackwell has no interest in Obama's post-partisan vision. But neither do the other nutjobs running for the RNC post. South Carolina fringe radical Katon Dawson is a serious contender too. Take a look at his vision of the role of the Republican Party going forward:

"My hope, and please understand me when I say this. I disagree fervently with the people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We've got to give him a chance.' Why? They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated, the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed
"If I wanted Obama to succeed, I'd be happy the Republicans have laid down. And I would be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. Look, what he's talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the U.S. government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work. So I'm thinking of replying to the guy, 'Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.' (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here's the point. Everybody thinks it's outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, 'Oh, you can't do that.' Why not? Why is it any different, what's new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don't care what the drive-by story is. I would be honored if the drive-by media headlined me all day long: 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.' Somebody's gotta say it."

Well on Fox News they're afraid to say it-- overtly. But the sentiment is behind every line uttered over their airwaves. Despite approval ratings around 80% for Obama-- compared to 13% for Cheney and 22% for Bush-- and despite tremendous optimism throughout the country, Fox is clearly the skunk at the Inauguration Party. When I watched today they had a right wing radio talk show host, Laura Ingraham, on to diminish and disparage the national joy and to sow discord where Obama is trying to forge unity. Ingraham warned that Obama is lying about wanting to run a post-partisan administration and was moaning and groaning he wouldn't adopt Republican policies. (I can't imagine why not, can you?) Interestingly, Schumer was assuring CNN viewers at the same time that Obama won't be leading a left-wing government. Meanwhile, Ingraham and the crazed, sullen Fox hosts started whining that Jesus isn't welcome and that Bishop Gene Robinson wasn't Jesus-oriented enough and that there was no room at the inn for Jesus and that he had to sleep on the Mall in a sleeping bag. These people are demented and poisonous and having them dominate the public airwaves is harmful to the nation's unity and security. Fox, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Ingraham... they're the living, breathing best promotion for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, the far right's greatest fear-- along with taking away roadblocks to unionization (via the Employee Free Choice Act)-- in an Obama Administration. I hope Obama lives up to those fears... but I wouldn't put money on it.


In his Inauguration Address today President Obama was eloquent and inspiring. He spoke about the greatness of our country and "the need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." He acknowledged that "greed and irresponsibility on the part of some," careful not to mention George Bush, the Republican Party or the banksters, have brought our economy low. But the thrust of his speech was anything but blame; instead it was about going forward and getting things right again-- boldly and swiftly. (From his mouth to God's ear; Obama even honored "non-believers" in his speech.) Here's part of what he had to say:
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land-- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.  

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America-- they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted-- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things-- some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction. 

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions-- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act-- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions-- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them-- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works-- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account-- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day-- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control-- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart-- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more. 

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort-- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus-- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. 

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West-- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment-- a moment that will define a generation-- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate. 

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends-- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism-- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility-- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence-- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed-- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

Bush is finally gone-- and America is safer already!

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At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's Katon Dawson's "platform"? Does he have any ideas? Or is he just absolutely clinically insane?

At 10:25 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Republicans like Dawson would rather see America fail than Obama succeed. Their platform is just more of what Bush has been doing for the last 8 years. Just look at how the deranged fascist-oriented bloggers are flipping out!

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in other news the market tanked once again when the Messiah opened his mouth. Get ready to pay, pay bigtime. You wont have enough left to run a stupid blog like this.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't the only one finding FOX on your TV and watching it... FOX remains number 1 in the ratings among cable news networks, as discussed in this video of the cable news channels' coverage of the inauguration:
Also, check out this blog from Daily Kos titled "FOX News: Obama May Not Be President - No, Seriously": http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/21/121131/708/411/687091

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I messed up the links: video of cable news channels' coverage of the inauguration

blog from Daily Kos titled "FOX News: Obama May Not Be President - No, Seriously


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