Glenn Beck. (Photo: Jennifer Ackerman / Deseret Morning News)
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
- Bob Dylan
One thing is certain: martial arts movie star Chuck Norris does not like President Obama. Not at all. Not one little bit. Norris dislikes Obama so much, in fact, that he discussed running for the office of president of Texas, which doesn't exist, as part of a larger move by him and a variety of other right-wing groups to overthrow the American government and return honor and decency to the country.
No, really, he said all that, and more. Read it yourself if you don't believe me. The best part is where he writes, "Remember the Alamo!" Great stuff.
There's more. The owner of right-wing web forum Free Republic, Jim Robinson,
was recently forced to post a truly deranged piece of apologia regarding the
attention his web site recently earned from the Secret Service. "Unfortunately,"
wrote Robinson, "we are saddled with a communist sympathizer in the White
House. I don't know whether or not he's an actual card carrying commie, but
he's definitely an America-hating, anti-capitalist Marxist leftist who thinks
communism is the way to go. So now comes the problem. If you feel it's your
duty to call Obama a traitor and use salty language in your proposed resolution,
ie, suggest the commie be keelhauled, walked off the plank, run up the yardarm,
tarred and feathered and run out of Dodge, etc, etc, etc, you may be facing
a visit from your friendly Secret Service."
"Keep," wrote Robinson in closing, "your powder dry." Yeah, O.K., good thinking.
Last month, Fox News celebrity Sean Hannity ran a poll on his web site. It asked readers what kind of revolution they'd prefer: military coup, armed rebellion or war for succession? "#3 seems most realistic," opined Hannity, "since it does present an opportunity for more homogeneous states to sort of capitalize on their homogeneity. However, it would likely lead to mass migrations of the minority partisans out of the rebel states. Of course, that may be fine with those states. Yet it seems that the ultimate paradox in any rebellion for freedom from within is that the ultimate goal is to impose the will of the rebels on everyone else through force. It seems the very foundation of representative democracy is ****tered if we accept that we exchange the power of ideas for the power of the sword upon each other. Nevertheless, I am still very interested in your own preferred form of revolt."
That page has since been removed from Hannity's web site, surely due to some technical glitch, but before it was taken down, "armed rebellion" appeared to be the most popular choice of the three.
Earlier this week, right-wing loudmouth Glenn Beck asserted during his radio show that President Obama's lifting of the ban on embryonic stem cell research would open the way for the genetic development of a new master race. "So here you have Barack Obama," said Beck, "going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research, and then some, fundamentally changing - remember, those great progressive doctors are the ones who brought us Eugenics. It was the progressive movement and it was science. Let's put science truly in her place. If evolution is right, why don't we just help out evolution? That was the idea. And sane people agreed with it! And it was from America. Progressive movement in America. Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening. So I guess I have to put my name on yes, I hope Barack Obama fails. But I just want his policies to fail; I want America to wake up. "
One assumes this forthcoming master race will enjoy minds of greater volume and depth than Mr. Beck's, because, well, people just can't get much dumber than this. It would be a profound waste of genetic material if we went out and created some master race that, like Messrs. Beck, Hannity and Robinson, was incapable of rational thought or speech. Just an idea.
There is even more out there like this, from all over the place, with each seemingly trying to out-weird the other. So, yeah, it appears a fair portion of America's hard-right population, along with most if not all of their spokespeople and commentators, have been driven absolutely, positively bat-poop crazy by the election of and policies by Barack Obama.
The trend has been sucking in more and more high-profile members of the conservative community. Newt Gingrich was forced to jump up and down on Rush Limbaugh for saying he wants Obama to fail. Limbaugh responded by calling Gingrich "a fly-by-night operator," who can't be depended on and who "will sell you out." Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah came close to threatening Arizona with an infestation of crickets to shut John McCain up about earmarks in the budget. Conservative commentator David Brooks called House Minority Leader John Boehner "insane" after Boehner called for a complete freeze on federal spending as an answer to the ongoing economic crisis.
Perhaps the most resounding cannonade fired at conservatives by a conservative was David Frum's Newsweek article lamenting the sad state of the party, and the ongoing catastrophe represented by the ascendancy of Limbaugh. "Even before the November 2008 defeat," wrote Frum, "even before the financial crisis and the congressional elections of November 2006 - it was already apparent that the Republican Party and the conservative movement were in deep trouble. And not just because of Iraq, either (although Iraq obviously did not help)."
"Every day," continued Frum, "Rush Limbaugh reassures millions of core Republican voters that no change is needed: if people don't appreciate what we are saying, then say it louder. Isn't that what happened in 1994? Certainly this is a good approach for Rush himself. He claims 20 million listeners per week, and that suffices to make him a very wealthy man. And if another 100 million people cannot stand him, what does he care? What can they do to him other than ... not listen? It's not as if they can vote against him. But they can vote against Republican candidates for Congress. They can vote against Republican nominees for president. And if we allow ourselves to be overidentified with somebody who earns his fortune by giving offense, they will vote against us."
Unfortunately for Mr. Frum and any conservatives who share his concerns, it does not appear any of the hard-right noisemakers have any intention of moderating either their tone or their tantrums. Maybe it will be another couple of months before the swelling from that electoral bruising goes down enough for these people to calm themselves, but at this point, it ain't happening.
The hardest part for the GOP? Neither Obama nor any other Democrat have been required to say a word about any of this. The right-wing shouters do their shouting, get shouted at by other right-wing shouters, and a perfect circle of Republican self-destruction is formed.
Stay tuned ... and, yeah, keep your powder dry.