Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 30, 2009

FRIEDMAN'S ADMONITION.... The New York Times' Tom Friedman is one of many noticing some unhealthy signs in our political discourse.

...I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the [Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin] assassination. [...]

Obama is now having his legitimacy attacked by a concerted campaign from the right fringe. They are using everything from smears that he is a closet "socialist" to calling him a "liar" in the middle of a joint session of Congress to fabricating doubts about his birth in America and whether he is even a citizen. And these attacks are not just coming from the fringe. Now they come from Lou Dobbs on CNN and from members of the House of Representatives.

Again, hack away at the man's policies and even his character all you want. I know politics is a tough business. But if we destroy the legitimacy of another president to lead or to pull the country together for what most Americans want most right now -- nation-building at home -- we are in serious trouble. We can't go 24 years without a legitimate president -- not without being swamped by the problems that we will end up postponing because we can't address them rationally.

Asked to comment on Friedman's concerns, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told CNN this morning that Friedman is a "nut job" and the column's arguments are "just crazy." Steele said Friedman and people like him are "saying, because you disagree with the president on policy, that all of the sudden we're going to make this leap into, you know, assassinations and all this other stuff."

Steele, in keeping with his general approach to politics, seemed to be blasting a column he had not read. Friedman did not criticize those who disagree with the president on policy; Friedman said the opposite. Twice.

This is not to say I agreed with all of Friedman's column. Bob Somerby, for example, raised some compelling points about the columnist's -- and his employer's -- record on some of these issues.

That said, I found Friedman's broader point to be an entirely convincing -- the right is playing with fire and doesn't care. The result is understandable fear that our political system cannot "seriously discuss serious issues any longer and make decisions on the basis of the national interest."

Steele thinks these fears make Friedman a "nut job." The response only helps prove the point.

Steve Benen 1:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Comments


Well, Steele has proven himself a nutjob again and again, so consider the source. I'm glad Friedman's taking up this issue, which has been so prevalent in the blogosphere. Some of the rhetoric -- like that Newsmax column -- is fascist. There's an eliminationist mindset at large that could lead to disaster for this country, and these guys keep feeding it.

Posted by: Bat of Moon on September 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Arguing against Republicans these days makes me think of what it must have been like arguing against advocates of Manifest Destiny in the early 1800s.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone can recognize a nut job, it's a Grade-A nut like Steele.

Posted by: TR on September 30, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Steele said Friedman and people like him are "saying, because you disagree with the president on policy, that all of the sudden we're going to make this leap into, you know, assassinations and all this other stuff."

Was this before or after NewsMax advocated for a military coup?

Posted by: ckelly on September 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

This is something that I have been thinking about lately and it concerns me greatly.

People brandishing guns at town hall meetings and recently posting a poll about whether the president should be assassinated. It's quite clearly gone of the edge.

But what concerns me most is that the folks responsible for this don't seem to care in the least what the consequences of this are.

I very much doubt that the country wil respond to an assassination of this president in the way that they responded to Kennedy's assassination. I think we can count on a violent backlash and maybe even broader racial violence. It's quite scary.

Posted by: DK on September 30, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

When asked for a response to the rising level of vitriol in public discourse Micheal Steele is reported to have shouted "Suck on This!"

Posted by: Paul Dirks on September 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Reasoned argument and debate are being replaced with a Vince Lambardy winning is everything mantra. Our beloved citizens on our far right supporting the Republican party have taken such a mantra to heart, and have set in motion a series of potential deadly responses from a core set of constituents who seemingly don't think twice about settling an argument with the barrel of a gun - such is the sad fate of our small d representative democracy! At this juncture, the appropriate questions for Republicans are, do you believe in the results of elections? Do you understand that future elections are dependent upon accepting the results of the previous election cycles? Why do you hate our nation's democratic system so much? Why are you unAmerican?

The citizens decrying President Obama's tenure in office are the ones we need to put the screws to regarding just what love they think they are giving to our way of life by spewing hatred upon the rest of us! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on September 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

I very much doubt that the country wil respond to an assassination of this president in the way that they responded to Kennedy's assassination.

Would, please, not "will." I'm praying that, somehow, Obama completes his presidency. It does seem increasingly likely, however, that someone will make an attempt on him, given the wingnuts and even some Republican congress peoples' encouragement.

Posted by: Missouri Mule on September 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

steele on friedman is the pot calling the pot pot.

friedman every now and then writes a column to lament the shit he's helped push, cause his depends are saturated.

when the hemoglobin flows from all of this, we will see whither the united snakes of america... i'm not real hopeful.

on the other hand, melissa harris-lacewell over at the nation magazine is...

Posted by: neill on September 30, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Just speaking for myself, if anything happens to Obama, I want to see these inciters like Limbaugh, Beck, Bachmann, Perry, Trent Franks, and the whole nasty lot of them hunted down with dogs!

Posted by: JoyceH on September 30, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

To understand the alienated right wing mindset it may be useful to borrow an idea from international relations: the concept of total, versus limited, war.

Limited wars are fought for tangible stakes. Total wars are fought for complete supremacy. In limited wars, as Walter Lippmann reminds us, conflicts arise over specific grievances "some of which are capable of being rectified or compromised." Total wars, on the other hand, "cannot end except by the destruction of the vanquished as an organized power in the major affairs of mankind. For total wars are fought not for specific objects, but for supremacy."

The Republican Party has been called, almost offhandedly, the "Party of No." On issue after issue it has shown a stubborn recalcitrance, voting in virtual lockstep against anything that the Obama administration has proposed. And this has occurred not during a time of peace and prosperity but at a time of domestic and international crisis when greater cooperation might have been expected from the loyal opposition.

The question, therefore, is whether the indiscriminate opposition that we see from Republicans on health care, on the stimulus, on financial bailouts or foreign policy is merely the "limited war" tactical maneuvers of a party trying to gain a temporary political advantage, or whether it represents something deeper, darker, more sinister, more threatening to our democracy: a declaration of total war by the right wing against the legitimacy of any political regime in which the right wing is not supreme.

The period that historians call the Century of Peace, extending from the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, was held together by a political framework crafted at the Congress of Vienna in which the legitimacy of each of the European nation-states was taken for granted and the continent thought of itself as a single "Concert" of nations, even renegade France.

There were limited wars throughout the 19th century (Crimea, Franco-Prussian) but they were brief and fought for specific goals -- much as in domestic politics today we are fighting over specific policies like health care reform. But about 1900, said Lippmann, Europe crossed a great divide when they entered "deadly struggle for mastery and survival" And in 14 short years all of Europe was consumed in the mass slaughter of the mud and trenches of World War I.

The question for us today is whether our Republican Party is content to fight limited wars over specific policies with which it disagrees, or whether the GOP has stepped across Lippmann's "great divide" and is now fighting for much higher stakes -- absolute supremacy itself.

And does this unwillness to settle for a power-sharing arrangement short of absolute supremacy explain the right wing's apocalyptic rhetoric, or its fevered talk about death panels, and watering the tree of liberty tree with the blood of tyrants, and taking America down the roads to socialism or fascism?

Is this why Karl Rove held the joint job title as both White House chief of politics AND chief of policy? Was that because the only real policy objective that Republicans had was what Rove openly called it: the quest for permanent political supremacy.

Since it has been denied real power, has the right wing gone literally insane? The record and rhetoric we have seen from the right since Obama's election does not bode well for the country's future, for as Lippmann reminds us: "When supremacy is the issue, the world is in a period of total wars in which there can be no decision except by the extinction of one of the antagonists as a power in affairs. This issue is not justifiable nor can it be compromised. When it exists, peace is only an armed truce during which the warriors prepare for the next battle. Then the normal condition is not that of peace, occasionally interrupted by a local war. When the question of supremacy is raised, there is a condition of continuing war with intervals in which there is no fighting."

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Where does the Republican Party go from here? Major Republican politicians routinely show up at extreme right wing fringe events and make on the record inflamatory remarks themselves...on camera!

We're at the point where murder is in the air. They can't walk back from this now. Shots will be fired whether at the President, the Speaker a progressive senator or a visiting foreign lleader...or something will go kaboom. This is a small fringe of the american public yet the media gleefully covers them relentlessly. When something bad happens that same media will turn viciously on the Republicans to save their own ass and hide their own guilt. This can't continue. At some point it has to peak, the boil has to burst. At some point the general public will have had enough. They won't find the cable news shows freakishly entertaining anymore (even Jerry Springer eventually bottomed out).

This is the death-rattle of the Republican Party. It won't happen tomorrow or next week or even next year, but they will be replaced by a new party. They've had a long history of creepiness, but this is beyond anything we've seen from them.

Posted by: SaintZak on September 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Advocating military coup and the right of women to vote, assassination of the president, armed insurrection -- the list goes on and on.

What is happening here is very, very scary. The idea that the Republicans could get control of the federal government again frightens me more and more every day.

Posted by: karen marie on September 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

What I wonder about is what's going to happen in the next seven and a half years. I mean, Obama's only been in office for about nine months, and already the Right has amped up the crazy to 11, including comparing Obama to Hitler, fantasizing about FEMA concentration camps, advocating for a military coup, etc. So what's next? Where's left for them to go? Can they sustain this level of insane hyterical hatred and paranoia for the next seven years, or have they miscalculated how long they can keep this going and it's going to burn itself out soon?

Posted by: Stefan on September 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Advocating military coup and the right of women to vote

as the kids say, karen marie, wtf?

Posted by: neill on September 30, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Moyers' show had an amusing segment on how creepy the right has become, esp its lack of ideological cohesion. They're basically just screaming lunatics who are throwing a sustained temper tantrum.

And that was before NewsMax' "Valkyrie" craziness.

Posted by: Monty on September 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Thank goodness all the really rabid wingnuts read Friedman regularly!

Posted by: bdbd on September 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

I am wondering where the responsible members of the Republican Party are on this. All snark aside, there have to be a few whom one could imagine speaking out for civil discourse, and against the vitriol and hatred. And yet we don't hear from them. Where is country-first John McCain? Where is Schwarzenegger? What is the position of the ostensibly pragmatic Republican governors? In my fantasy world, one could even imagine Senator Hatch calling these folk out and telling them to calm down and trust the system.

Posted by: Richard Weaver on September 30, 2009 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

When something bad happens that same media will turn viciously on the Republicans to save their own ass and hide their own guilt

No, the MSM will offer diverse balanced viewpoints about whatever horror happens, as in "some people believe that...." at which point they'll trot out a troop of shrieking howler monkeys like Malkin, Beck, and Bachmann to scream that it was the fault of Obamarxism. They'll fairly balance that by getting Harry Reid to jabber aimlessly like a confused Elmer Fudd.

Posted by: GringoNoraca on September 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

pat lang noted comments by senator kit bond recently on fox:

I listened to the talking heads on Fox News Sunday and was struck by Senator Kit Bond's apparent support of the putative resistance of at least some flag officers to the authority of the president of the United States. Bond spoke strongly in favor of having Generals McChrystal and Petraeus explain to Congress what their opinion is (as opposed to the opinion of the president/commander in chief) as to what the policy and strategy of the United States should be.

This is actually an incitement to mutiny.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2009/09/they-had-a-lean-and-hungry-look.html

Posted by: linda on September 30, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Can they sustain this level of insane hyterical hatred and paranoia for the next seven years, or have they miscalculated how long they can keep this going and it's going to burn itself out soon?"

There were times when I thought we would never be rid of Madonna or Michael Jordan...then suddenly, poof they're gone. Oh they're not really gone, but now, who cares about them? Madonna can't buy her way onto the front page or the news anymore. She's relegated to the tabloids no matter how mnay times she crucifies herself on stage these days. It all burns out. This can't last. Much of this stuff is fueled by freakshow outragousness. How long before fat, pasty-faced bigots in elastic waistband pants screaming becomes a bore? I think we're getting there.

Pretty soon the general public won't be shocked or entertained. They'll just start feeling threatened. Where do the Republicans go when the moment is lost? They tied this ball and chain around their own leg. The people their left with will be even moore lunatic and dangerous. What were the moderate Republicans will begin to pull away. And iif something horribly violent happens?! They're finished.

Posted by: SaintZak on September 30, 2009 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to see some uncomfortable parallels between our current social and political climate and the last days of the Weimar Republic. Economic instability. A collapse of civil order caused by roving bands of violent right-wing extremists. A search for scapegoats, such as "socialists," minorities, gays, immigrants and the poor. A growing segment of the population, feeling politically alienated and economically dispossessed, becoming more and more hostile to -- and challenging the legitimacy of -- a weak poitical administration. Eventually, the final step -- a citizenry, more afraid of the anarchy they have unleashed than of the "oppressive" government, calling for a strong man who's "not afraid to make tough choices" and who will "take back our country" and impose law and order. I keep telling myself that this is the United States, and that it can't happen here. But I'm not so sure. Democracy can only work where all parties are willing to abide by a social contract. In this country, that social consensus is rapidly breaking down.

Posted by: Kuy[er on September 30, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

As I saw in an editorial cartoon, the Right Whingers are not ready to yell, "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but they are quite ready and willing to shout, "Ready! ... Aim! ..."

May the good Lord damn them in perpetuity, they and all their descendants. My none of their projects prosper. May their hens not lay, their cows not give milk, and their daughters go spinsters to the grave.

I refuse to piss on their graves, however. Ever since the Army, I have vowed never to stand in that long a line.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on September 30, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

neill: I think karen marie is referring to this:

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/30/derbyshire-female-suffrage/

Posted by: TonyB on September 30, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

"No, the MSM will offer diverse balanced viewpoints about whatever horror happens, as in "some people believe that....""

I think the media will eats it own when something happens this time.

Posted by: SaintZak on September 30, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I do fear for this country. I was just a little kid (10 years old) when Kennedy was shot but there are many similarities today to what was happening than. I remember that clearly. It is heightened by the fact that Obama is black. That is an undeniable fact whether you want to believe it or not. Some of what the far right is saying is going to come back on us because of the number of real gun toting kooks that are out there. It may not be Obama who is killed; (I pray this does not happen)but it may very well be another Oklahoma City type of thing. But I tell you I fear very much for this country and democracy

Posted by: nodak on September 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

already the Right has amped up the crazy to 11, ...So what's next? Where's left for them to go?

I've really had it with these lunatics. The irony here is where were ANY of these people in the past 8 years when actual crimes against democracy and the Constitution were being perpetrated by Bush/Cheney? I'm wishing for rightwing heads to actually burst. Strokes for all of them and good riddance. I might even rent Scanners in anticipation.

Posted by: ckelly on September 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

merci, tonyB...

and from the Derbster it is not a big surprise to me (tho i hadn't heard of his 'book')

... he's a goddam roman polanski wannabe...

Posted by: neill on September 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

... the right is playing with fire and doesn't care.

Correct, and by the looks of things they have a solid near 20% of the population and some guys with deep pockets behind them. So this is self-sustaining until it crashes either itself or the system.

The question is what the soft middle of the political spectrum will do, the part of the population that doesn't much care about the political 'sausage-making process', i.e. the question of whether issues are being addressed rationally or not; the part that finds the he said/she said reporting of the MSM confusing and off-turning.

So far that middle has proven reasonably resistant against the 'socialist', 'communist', 'fascist', 'anti-American' propaganda of the hard right. But that middle is also constitutively fickle, and, under the right circumstances, prone to succumb to the pied piper, if only he dresses up well in patriotic clothing.

And yes, from a system point of view the take-over of the GOP by the radical fringe is scary. Because a two party system can not function long under such conditions. Not if it wants to remain a democratic system. I'm wondering whether anybody of the bigwigs in the GOP has thought this through. Or is the party already beyond the point of no return? The fact that they have made a dim light like Michael Steele their chairman doesn't suggest that the GOP cares much about intellectual heft in its leadership.

What is happening with the American body politic looks a lot like a serious infection. The patient does already have episodes of shivering, and signs are that there may be convulsions ahead. The young GP is suggesting antibiotics, while the old barber-surgeon insists on phlebotomy.

Let's hope the relatives of the patient realize in time who is the quack.

Posted by: SRW1 on September 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

In Michael Steele's defense, people, you do have to bear in mind what a colossal blithering idiot he is.

All of this talk of assassinations (on Facebook) and military coups (on NewsMax), not even to mention Derbyshire's desire to take voting rights away from women - and Steele says that critics are "nut jobs".

Seriously. Let's just be thankful he doesn't literally drool when he talks.

Posted by: DH Walker on September 30, 2009 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of these "There's a BLACK man in the WHITE house!" traitors didn't bother to vote last November?

Posted by: DAY on September 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Where does the Republican Party go from here? Major Republican politicians routinely show up at extreme right wing fringe events and make on the record inflamatory remarks themselves...on camera!

We're at the point where murder is in the air.

I'd suggest straight to the booby hatch. Nutters, all of them. BTW, if they DO try something like a coup or an assassination, put me down for being one of the many citizens who will take to the street with my pitchfork.

I've had about enough of their unamerican insanity.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on September 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Howard Fineman of Newsweek made a very interesting point on Countdown yesterday. He said that any Democrat thinking of negotiating with Republicans on health care or much else fundamentally do not understand the nature of the GOP today, because the Republican "party" is now a grassroots "movement."

We need to let that idea settle in, because I think Fineman is exactly right. The GOP is no longer a political party in the true sense of that word -- a coalition of various regions and interest groups. It is primarily the party of the South, having reverted back into a political movement that is largely leaderless, subsisting on primal political passions. That is why demagogues like Beck and Limbaugh and Palin are its tacit leaders and real political leaders like Romney and Pawlenty look like fools whenever they actually try to take control of what for all intents and purposes is an organized mob.

The reason Fineman warned Democrats against thinking anything can be done with Republican lawmakers is that these lawmakers are not at liberty to negotiate anything. They are followers of the crowd they claim to lead.

Back in the 1950s and 60s as everyone by now should know, the GOP made a pack with the devil and absorbed the largely Southern white populist conservative movement into the Republican coalition -- forgetting one of the Cardinal Rules of American political history, which is that the conservative South destroys everything it touches whenever it extends its reach beyond the Southern region.

There are aspects to the Southern culture (slavery was just the first) that cannot sell outside the South and will eventually rip apart any political party that attempts to straddle this divide by making the South part of its coalition. Just before the Civil War, you may remember, the Democratic Party was actually forced to hold two national conventions and nominated two candidates for president when the party split into its Northern and Southern wings. The Whig Party had been destroyed as a cohesive national party earlier for its failure to straddle the slavery issue, giving way to a number of splinter parties that in the north coalesced into the Republican Party we know today.

We've seen symptoms of Southern separatism in the years since, most notably in the 1948 Dixicrat walkout when Truman de-segregated the Armed Forces, and the Wallace third party movements of 1968 and 1972.

But those were Democratic Party complaints. What has happened to the GOP is that this Southern conservative movement, instead of being absorbed and moderated by the GOP as typically happens when parties co-opt grassroots movements, proved so toxic and undigestible that it killed the host party itself. That was just one reason why in 2008 John McCain was not so much the head of the GOP as he was its prisioner. And his ill-temper in the months since the election is simply an indication that he knows it.

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 30, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

That was just one reason why in 2008 John McCain was not so much the head of the GOP as he was its prisioner. And his ill-temper in the months since the election is simply an indication that he knows it.

Those weren't campaign commercials -- they were hostage videos.

Posted by: Stefan on September 30, 2009 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Steele is part of the problem. He is trotted out by the GOP as a combination apologist and attack dog, to hog the TV screen, wave his hands in the public's face and launch a distraction whenever his party's rightward flank gets out of line. There are no holds barred, and there is no criticism of President Obama that ever goes too far.

Posted by: Bokonon on September 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I've had about enough of their unamerican insanity.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on September 30, 2009 at 3:10 PM

I couldn't agree more! Many of these people are plain guilty of sedition and ought to be hung; a lot of this is getting totally out of control. It's also time to pull Fox's broadcasting license; they cannot in any way claim anymore to be a legitimate news outlet.

And, to the larger point, the first thing I wondered when reading Mr. Six-More-Month's column was "He's just now realizing this?" Notice, too, how after mentioning a laundry list of problems brought to us by Shrub and his cronies, he doesn't mention him once. The GOP whitewashing of our former faux-President continues...

Posted by: electrolite on September 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's also time to pull Fox's broadcasting license;

FNC is cable.

Maybe it's time to stop regulating cable and allow prices to increase beyond the reach of wingnut trash?

Posted by: Disputo on September 30, 2009 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think Ted Frier (above) has it right to be connecting these days with the pre-Civil War situation, the divides seem that deep, and that serious. But, in the run-up to the CW, there were a significant number of state governments ready to revolt, and that doesn't seem true right now. The tea baggers, and even the Republican party, don't have control of actual governmental entities -- and where there are Republican governors and state legislatures, you don't see them putting into place crazy policies or even stupid resolutions (unless I've missed something?)
It's clear that there's damage that could be done to specific individuals, but I think the right is like a terrorist group, they can spread fear and localized damage, but could they actually bring down the country as we know it?

Posted by: elisabeth on September 30, 2009 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

This is the Michael Steele that just called Obama's policies "fanaticsm" and compared him to North Korea and Stalin?

Posted by: g on September 30, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

The passage of healthcare reform, possibly rammed down Republican throats via budget reconciliation, will generate paroxysms of rage on the right. It will be a time of danger.

Posted by: bob h on September 30, 2009 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bob h, we have to do it anyway - for our own self-respect, and the national and public interest. We'll just have to fight them, literally if necessary.

Posted by: delver on September 30, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

The passage of healthcare reform, possibly rammed down Republican throats via budget reconciliation, will generate paroxysms of rage on the right. It will be a time of danger

Bob h, we have to do it anyway - for our own self-respect, and the national and public interest. We'll just have to fight them, literally if necessary.

I don't think any violence is going to occur beyond a few terrorist incidents and some rioting . . . but we have to "put the question to them" and force the Republican office-holders and their media allies to choose sides.

For the last 30 years, you could be a corrupt, lying right-wing thug actively subverting our discourse and our political system and still be a respected member of Beltway society and the national media. If the Democrats can force the passage of functioning health care reform, perhaps the fanatical right will explode . . . and the corporations and pundits will not be able to cover for them anymore.

This is not a crisis we can avoid indefinitely. Either we have a functioning democracy and majority rule, or we let the thugs win.

Posted by: Midland on September 30, 2009 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

When you can show me Friedman's column voicing concern about an actual movie depicting Dubya's death then I'll listen to him. Until then it's all politics baby, so get used to it, no one's going to cower and shrink away because of your whining.

Posted by: dude on October 1, 2009 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

When you can show me Friedman's column voicing concern about an actual movie depicting Dubya's death then I'll listen to him.

So the dangers of inflammatory rhetoric to our country don't exist because Friedman didn't comment on them before? That's some genius logic there.

"Death of a President" was a foreign film, a faux documentary examining what might be the fictional outcome of an assassination in the Bush administration. It was universally reviled here in the States, theaters across the country refused to show it, and Hillary Clinton in particular went on record saying she found the idea of such a movie "despicable."

Contrast that to one of the two largest online conservative websites in the United States, funded in part by the Republican party, having one of its senior editors calling for a military overthrow of the Obama administration.

If you can't see the qualitative difference between these two events, then unfortunately for you your brain is closer to that of a chimpanzee than a homo sapien. And further, if you can't admit that Friedman's reasoning is correct despite his record on the matter, it just shows that you possess a a level of maturity that's very advanced -- if you were a second-grader.

As an aside, in "Death of a President" the assassination of Bush just makes Cheney and the Republicans incredibly powerful. The movie is actually a cautionary tale against assassination -- you moron.

Posted by: trex on October 1, 2009 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

I read Friedman's column pretty regularly and I've found him to be in the right, usually, although he's generally 18 months behind. Of coruse, that begs the question whether being 18 months makes you right.

Posted by: William Jensen on October 1, 2009 at 5:41 AM | PERMALINK

Friedman is of course, one "Friedman unit" behind the times! But at least he, like fellow quasi-conservative Sullivan, is now ragging on the nasties.

Posted by: N e i l B on October 1, 2009 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

(Uh, make that three FUs (heh) - whatever ... )

Posted by: N e i l B ☺ on October 1, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I've really had it with these lunatics. The irony here is where were ANY of these people in the past 8 years when actual crimes against democracy and the Constitution were being perpetrated by Bush/Cheney? I'm wishing for rightwing heads to actually burst. Strokes for all of them and good riddance. I might even rent Scanners in anticipation.
Posted by: ckelly on September 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM


I feel the LOVE!

I would direct you to:
http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

Posted by: Jen06 on October 1, 2009 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

..."the right is playing with fire and doesn't care."

I guess the only real question is: Do you smoke crack regularly or just prior to writing your columns?

Is it really possible to have such a gigantic blind spot that one can avoid noticing that the last 5 years being non-stop death threats and media bombing of anything related to President Bush.

Oh, and let's not forget that the WhiteHouse.gov blog is reprinting content directly from mediamatters (can you say George Soros $$$?) as a means of counter-offensive against anybody who opposes the takeover of America by the Progressive Jihad.

So now that you guys finally have a real radical in the White House, you want to call a truce? You want all partisan activity or opposition to simple stop. Or are you just going to remind us all that He is black and therefore an irrefutable singularity in politics?

If you can't see anybody on your left, you ARE the farthest left. And apparently that's where you are sitting. Everybody else seems like a right-winger to you simply because the rest of the universe is to the right of your understanding.

Enjoy the backlash. And please stop whining about it. You aren't entitled to control Congress. And 60 of your rookies are about to find that out.

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Posted by: Keiko on March 20, 2010 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK
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