Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 31, 2010

DON'T ENCOURAGE POLITICAL ROAD RAGE.... About a week ago in Nashville, Mark Duren picked up his 10-year-old daughter from school and was headed home, when Harry Weisiger saw that Duren's family car has an Obama-Biden bumper sticker. Weisiger, who did not know Duren, proceeded to lose his mind.

"He pointed at the back of my car, the bumper," Duren said, "flipped me off, one finger salute." Weisiger proceeded to ram into Duren's vehicle, with Duren and his young daughter inside. Weisiger was caught and charged with felony reckless endangerment.

A few days later, Sarah Palin appeared at a right-wing rally in Nevada and encouraged her minions to "stop" those who drive cars with Obama bumper stickers:

"[T]hat bumper sticker you see on the next Subaru driving by, an Obama bumper sticker. You should stop the driver and say, 'So how is that hopey, changey thing working out for you?'"

First, that "hopey, changey thing" is working out pretty well, thanks.

Second, encouraging right-wing activists to confront perfect strangers based on bumper stickers with the president's name on them seems like an extraordinarily bad idea.

As John Cole put it, "I can't be the only one who could see a potential problem with teabagging Palinites randomly stopping people with Obama stickers and taunting them. Certainly nothing could go wrong with this plan."

That Palin would even recommend such a thing after the bizarre incident in Tennessee is insane, even for the odd former half-term governor.

Steve Benen 9:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (62)

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Comments

I've still got my MoveOn Obama-Biden sticker on my Volvo, and I don't think I am imagining things when I frequently see scowling faces in the pickup trucks behind me. Even in a Blue State.

Posted by: bob h on March 31, 2010 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Funnily enough, I'd already had this more-or-less happen to me in Arkansas, and was very happy to give the guy a sunny smile and a 'Pretty damn well, thanks for asking' reply.

His response would probably get this post censored if I included it (I'm not sure that using a "curse word" wasn't the gravest offense I'd just committed)

Posted by: firefall on March 31, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

This rage didn't just spontaneously combust. The Wurlitzer is pushing it hard, from the dittoheads to Fox to the Grifter-in Chief. Somebody tell me again why the Fairness Doctrine is a bad idea.

Posted by: jimBOB on March 31, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Hopey, changey - working out great, thanks for asking.

Posted by: George on March 31, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Did anyone else see snippets of the Palin-McCain rallys on Olbermann last night. She was babbling as nonsensically as always and he looked like he was totally miserable (or maybe just asleep). It's terrifying to realize that pair could have been in the White House.

Posted by: Johio on March 31, 2010 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I am a 245 lbs retired pro and international rugby player. Still fit and still kinda mean. I can't wait to see the face of one of those brainless idiots when they pull up next to me with the intent of giving me a good talking to.

Posted by: travis on March 31, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Good point, johio. Something to remember when Obama makes decisions we may not like: There but for the grace of god...

Posted by: cr on March 31, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

"still a little more hopey than changey, but that's okay...it sure beats the hell out of 'vicious and insane' -- which appears to be the only major alternative in this country, bubba."

Posted by: neill on March 31, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

The example in this story is an assault, and it sure sounds like Palin is encouraging these brainless drones to commit additional assaults.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on March 31, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

And third, get some new material, Gov. Palin. (Not likely, I know, but still. Is "hopey changey" a catchphrase or what?)

Posted by: Mike D on March 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Travis, by all means have someone with a video camera handy. I would pay cash money to see the expression on some dipshit teabagger's face when you unfold yourself out of your vehicle to have a "frank" discussion. I'm pretty sure it would be a huge viral sensation on Youtube in short order.

Not that I'm encouraging any violence, mind you ;-)

Posted by: bluestatedon on March 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Tea baggers should realize that they're not the only people in the world who own and know how to use guns. I personally believe in non-violence but I also believe in self preservation. I also have a young daughter and if some maniac attacks me and her with their car my response won't be passive.

Posted by: Gandalf on March 31, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The best response to this was from someone on John Cole's thread: "How's that loser, quitter thing workin' out for ya?"

Posted by: kc on March 31, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I guess my response would be, "Hey, since you're such a Palin fan, how's that dopey-derangey-quitter thing working for ya?"

Posted by: bluestatedon on March 31, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I sure that gal would finish HIGH SCHOOL, and move on to the next phase of life- marry the sweetheart, have some kids, run for the PTA.

Oh, she already DID that? My bad. . .

Posted by: DAY on March 31, 2010 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

My own response: "It's working out great, thanks. Here's five bucks. Now don't go spending it all on booze . . ."

Posted by: kc on March 31, 2010 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

The third baseman and I have been sharply cut off a few times by glowering drivers with McCain-Palin stickers on their largest-possible SUVs. We put it down to 50 percent sulking about the election results and 50 percent incompetence behind the wheel. Why should they drive any better than they govern?

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2010 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I would pay cash money to see the expression on some dipshit teabagger's face when you unfold yourself out of your vehicle to have a "frank" discussion.

Just be careful, a lot of these nuts are packing guns in the cabs of their trucks.

Posted by: carefulyouaredealingwithnuts on March 31, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

People who live in the complex I count the hours in , often speak in a different English than the pedigree Lou Dobbs infers subtly as a reflex needing constance .
As an embrace of a different colour than a Dobbsian choice , a cheerful hello to me is often is simply , Oh Bamma ! That being the shared content of our mutual dictionaries .
The intimidation people feel from my otherwise pale , soft , and round parts is the very real fear that I might be warming up one of my numerous hobby horses .
As for the half term all white governor , I suspect she may have intentionally overlooked the violence in the very crosshairs of her own popular understanding of hope .

Posted by: FRP on March 31, 2010 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

got my Voted for Obama sticker next to my Ten Tiger Kung Fu Academy sticker...go ahead- you've been warned, it says.

Posted by: johnnymags on March 31, 2010 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Travis, by all means have someone with a video camera handy.

I'll second that. In fact, I'd donate the camera, just to see the resultant beatdown. A good solid ass kicking is exactly what many of these teabagger nutjobs deserve. I'd love to know how many of them were the same ones shouting "Sore Loserman" and "Get over it!" after the stolen 2000 election.

Posted by: electrolite on March 31, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

@kc and bluestatedon,

Let's start making those bumper stickers!

Being in a red state, I've seen plenty of the "hopey changey" stickers and this would be a great response. But I also know that I'd like to save my vehicle from vandalism and with all the deranged ones milling about out there, I would never dare put one on my car....

Posted by: whichwitch on March 31, 2010 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

And let's stop people with McCain/Palin stickers and ask them how that 'fibby, bat shit crazy' thing is going.

Posted by: Varecia on March 31, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

kc
The best response to this was from someone on John Cole's thread: "How's that loser, quitter thing workin' out for ya?"
... My own response: "It's working out great, thanks. Here's five bucks. Now don't go spending it all on booze . . ."

Both are pretty snarky , and both pretty much involve all that there is useful to say . I don't believe there is a high percentage of probability from the "Top" , that would be Sara , on down (that would be her children , plus her wrestle mania fan groups) of any likely epiphanies from the Fight Wing politics .
My experience is that changing the subject is the only way to bring intelligence back into the conversation .

Posted by: FRP on March 31, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

A little say it don't spray it would suffice. Got any video proof?

Posted by: flyonthewall on March 31, 2010 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

I totally agree with "carefulyouaredealingwithnuts". These loons intent on intimidation may very well have a gun or two on the seat next to them. (Where else would they find the balls to intimidate in the first place?) I'd take out my cell phone, dial 9-1-1 and give them the license plate number of the wingnut who's harassing me. (Sadly, I'm a 5'4" 62 year-old woman - what else am I gonna do - give them the finger and wait for them to shoot me? :-)

Posted by: 3reddogs on March 31, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

A big "THUMBS UP" to shortstop - brilliant!

Posted by: whichwitch on March 31, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I know our responses should be reasoned and even tempered, blah, blah, etc(not that reason would change theit minds). What gets to me the most is that they think they have a monopoly on rage. While I have been gratified, for the most part, with Obomas first year, watching the madness of a "party" of mostly older white Soc Security recipients irrationally protest government help for it's constituents has put me in a teeth grating mood for the past year. I know you can't slap the shit out of every idiot that crosses your path but I guy can dream.

Posted by: travis on March 31, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

I would Just say pretty good.
Aren't you happy
1. the insurance companies can't deny you coverage.
2. about expanded coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured.
3. It's Closes the Medicare prescription drug "do-nut hole" by 2020. Seniors who hit the donut hole by 2010 will receive a $250 rebate.
4.Insurance companies must allow children to stay on their parent's insurance plans until age 26th.

and I could go on....

Posted by: john R on March 31, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with MikeD on getting some new catch phrases. Her "Lame Stream Media" is already worn out, also.

Of course, it may also be the delivery and diction which get under my skin. . .

Posted by: Michigoose on March 31, 2010 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Just print out the handy dandy politifact list of promises kept, cited at Dailykos, and start reading them off. It's at 101 today. I imagine by the time you got to ten or twenty or so, they would walk off.

Posted by: Dave on March 31, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, I liked the following suggestions:

How's that dopey-derangey thing working out for ya?

AND

How's that loser-quitter thing working out for ya?

ALSO

Great thanks. Here's five bucks...don't spend it all on booze.


Fantastic responses all!!

I'd like to add:

Great thanks. How's that bitter sore loser thing working out for you?

Posted by: Gridlock on March 31, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see here. I work in auto manufacturing so between cash-for-clunkers and the auto bailout I didn't lose my job last year. The stimulus is finally starting to turn the economy around, sales have been up for the past couple of months and I just saw my first raise in TWO YEARS. And thanks of the tax cut from the stimulus I saw an increase in take home pay last year despite not getting a raise. After the passage of the health insurance bill our HR people are predicting that rates next year for my health insurance will not go up by double digits for the time in five years.

So, that hope and change thing is actually doing ok for me.

It's also doing the exact some things for several of rapid-right-wing co-workers who think Obama has done nothing but hurt them.

Posted by: thorin-1 on March 31, 2010 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

I do not find it bizarre that Palin would recommend something like stopping a car and railing at the driver for not obeying and submitting to her bat chit crazy base.

Palin is not any where near to being a thinking, responsible adult. Never has been and never will be. She plays the boys because the boys want to be played.


Posted by: Silver Owl on March 31, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin has not a lick of sense about her!

She, unfortunately, must have in a moment of vulnerability leant half of her wits to someone else. So now, whatever she avers, we will know it comes from a half-wit! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Did anyone else see snippets of the Palin-McCain rallys ... She was babbling as nonsensically ... he looked like he was totally miserable ... . It's terrifying ...that pair could have been in the White House."

Absolutely, frightening. I was at their Tucson rally. Attendance was greatly over stated, the hall they rented had a maximium capacity of 2,500 people. Palin's speech consisted of mostly stories and one liners, "Arizona Do You Love Your Freedom?!!!" Interspersed between them was praise for John McCain which she read while looking down at the podium.

I was unimpressed, I went expecting Mussolini (about whom one of my dad's deceased friends who saw him way before the way said, "I did not understand a word of what he said, but I would have followed him anywhere.") and found Andy Sandberg (SNL) in drag and with a leather Jacket speaking instead.

McCain on the other hand spoke for about five minutes and pounded and thudded and shouted like a good old televangelist who borrowed heavily from Churchill. I was impressed he has improved but through the applause one could sense people did not believe that he believed what he said.

I have a tape, which I will post on my youtube site soon,

Kurt

Posted by: Kurt on March 31, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

In the last 36 hrs, in 4 separate "news" outlets, going from ABC national to local schmockl outlets covering the "militia" and the "tea bag express" - which, btw, is a big bus driving on nice fast federally funded roads, the line "I am very concerned that the Obama-Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid agenda" is leading us to socialism, taking away our constitutional freedoms, etc comes us, almost verbatim.

Of course, the irony that many of these folks are on unemployment, whild I work my ass off, and some are on social security and/or vet. benefits, seems to be lost.

The lines sound like they are being read from a script. Where is this coming from, since I cannot watch Beck, Hannity, Palin, etc?? Fox news? Sarah [my daughter believes in chastity] Palin??

Posted by: bigutah on March 31, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Imagining this scenario is exactly why I avoided bumper stickers this cycle. It's one thing when it was just me in the car, but with an infant riding with me most of the time, I didn't want to take that risk.

These people are nothing short of terrorists.

Posted by: doubtful on March 31, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

My response would be, "What are you, a fucking retard?"

Posted by: Roger Ailes on March 31, 2010 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not overfond of dwarves in general but I'll take Hopey and Changey over Dopey and Snoozy. Any time.

Posted by: exlibra on March 31, 2010 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Two words;
Bear mace.

Posted by: Disasterman on March 31, 2010 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin is George Dubya in skirts.

Posted by: Schtick on March 31, 2010 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Imagining this scenario is exactly why I avoided bumper stickers this cycle. It's one thing when it was just me in the car, but with an infant riding with me most of the time, I didn't want to take that risk.

I can see that.

Apart from the personal safety thing, there's the (much less important) car value thing. We rent parking in an unsecured lot behind our condo building. Because of that, because we both use public transit or walk most of the time, and because we like to spend our disposable bucks on much more fun things, like plane tickets to other interesting places, our car is an old beater, bought for cash long ago. People considering sideswiping us, tapping our bumper, etc., are unlikely to do it because we have nothing to lose, vehicularly speaking, while they usually do.

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, how's that carpetbagger thingie workin' out for ya?

Posted by: Marko on March 31, 2010 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I would just loooooove to have some wingnut moron give me trouble for my bumper sticker. Mmmmmm. What a nice excuse to help the world overpopulation problem of nitwits.

Posted by: TCinLA on March 31, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

When people ask me snide questions about my Obama sticker, I usually tell them:

"I'm sorry. My president says I'm not allowed to speak to infidels."

Meanwhile, if Sarah Palin picked her nose for five minutes her head would cave in.

Posted by: chrenson on March 31, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same Sarah Palin who is admonishing her followers to "not retreat, just reload." Given the strong tendencies for members of that group to go around with loaded firearms, it's just a matter of time before one of these numbskulls takes her literally and commits road rage homicide.

Posted by: Django48 on March 31, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

"The lines sound like they are being read from a script."

I don't know who writes them, but it sure as heck is not Palin, although she knows her own crowd pleasing lines rather well.

That said, inventing lines like, "Arizona do you love your Freedom?" ""Let's hear it for our Vets!" "HELL NO!" "We will fight this in the (insert favorite place)." "This bill will NOT STAND!" "The Tea Party movement is beautiful." "Common sense conservativism." is NOT very hard.

I mean these folks know what their constitutents respond to and they respond to slogans. (Tidbits of information which sound cool but are devoid of intellectual content.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on March 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The comments here make me want to do some fancy pageant walkin' over to my local firearms establishment. Why should these people have all the guns?

Posted by: Gaia on March 31, 2010 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

As a 64-year-old, silvery-haired female, I lack the physical presence to be intimidating. So I like the response of the 54-year-old lady above, to have my cell phone out, press 9-1-1, and take down the offender's license number. Then when he (and this person would almost certainly be a he) demands to know what I'm doing, I would reply, "I'm calling the police to report you, buster. And when they get here, who do you think they're gonna believe?" Because one advantage to being my age and silvery-haired is that I get the automatic benefit of the doubt from the authorities, as I'm assumed to be harmless. (Which for the most part, I am.)

I actually have a number of bumper stickers. No specific politicians' names, though. "My God is too big for any one religion"; "Practice random acts of kindness and mercy"; "We all do better when everyone does better"; and my favorite, "Biopartisanship: I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass". I've had these for about 1 1/2 years, and so far no vandalism to my car, or confrontations with reality-challenged tea baggers. I do get people in huge, body-part-compensating mongo trucks, tail-gating me, but this was the case pre-bumper stickers, so I have no idea if any of these dimwits is trying to intimidate me. I've also had people honking horns and giving me thumbs up or yelling "I LOVE your bumper stickers." Besides, I suspect that a lot of tea baggers don't realize that everyone of my stickers reflects a liberal idea. Since a lot of the benighted baggers' IQ's don't exceed room temperatures.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on March 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin, bwaahaahaahaa!

Was standing in line when God was handing out brains but quit half way through.

She makes Homey the Clown seem erudite.

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 31, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

I gots my vidcam and my pepper spray all ready.I needs me to dialogue with some Republicanites.

Posted by: numi on March 31, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently a lot better than that “mavericky-winky” thing worked out for those tea-baggers.

Posted by: shadow on March 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

That Palin would even recommend such a thing after the bizarre incident in Tennessee is insane, even for the odd former half-term governor.

You're kidding, right Steve? You are projecting some type of rational, normal, almost human reaction from Palin. Give it up, bud.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on March 31, 2010 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

That Palin would even recommend such a thing after the bizarre incident in Tennessee is insane, even for the odd former half-term governor.

Maybe it just didn't make any of the newspapers she reads? I don't see the story in the Wasilla All Of Them or the Knik River Any Of Them That Have Been In Front Of Me All These Years.

Posted by: cminus on March 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it just didn't make any of the newspapers she reads? I don't see the story in the Wasilla All Of Them or the Knik River Any Of Them That Have Been In Front Of Me All These Years.

Comment of the week.

Posted by: shortstop on March 31, 2010 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

How 'bout passive-aggressive?

"Just wonderful! My 10-year-pld daughter's got (some horrible-sounding dsease) and now we can finally get treatment for her."

Train your kids to put on a pathetically grateful look while they wave at the nice man in the next car.

Posted by: MikeN on March 31, 2010 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

That Palin would even recommend such a thing after the bizarre incident in Tennessee is insane, even for the odd former half-term governor.
------------------

Steve, I disagree a bit on this point. I think that Palin is one of the most unaware people I've seen. Not odd for her, true to form.

Posted by: Ken on March 31, 2010 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I actually saw a homemade bumper sticker today on the back of a truck that said "So how is that hopey, changey thing working out for you?'" If it hadn't been parked on the side of the road I might have entertained the idea of driving by and delivering a big smile and thumbs up, only for him to see my Obama sticker on the back of my car.

One thing I am thank for is that the truck only stood out because where I live every 3rd car has an Obama sticker on it. He must feel very sad and alone. I'd feel sorry for him if he clearly wasn't so impressed by foolish assholes like Palin.

Posted by: zoe kentucky in Pittsburgh on March 31, 2010 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Some detail about the Nashville incident: Weisiger had just buried his wife a month ago after a struggle with brain cancer, and he was drunk. So the bumper sticker wasn't the only factor in his horrible decision.

Also, the victim, Mr. Duren, later pleaded with the public to chill out. He'd seen comments on, I guess the local paper's site, referring to Mr. Weisiger as a lunatic, threats against him, etc.

What Mr. Weisiger did was inexcusable, and he will certainly pay for his actions. The cops picked him up soon after the incident, and he's been charged with everything he should be.

I'd bet money that once he sobered up, he was horrified at what he had done. He may well have grandchildren about the age of the little girl he terrified.

All the same, Sarah Palin is incredibly irresponsible. But we knew that, didn't we?

Posted by: hamletta on April 1, 2010 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Palin / Bachmann 2012:
"Abandon all hopey changey, ye who enter."

Scoff if you like, but Ronald Reagan made this country great by instilling fear in the population and discouraging frivolous thoughts of hope and change. Palin's just channeling the Gipper as she sees best.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 1, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Fear Is Big Business", or such is the title of a song by one of my favorite bands, Ministry. An interpretation would probably read "Intimidation of Strangers is Big Fun!!" I guess that Mrs Palin just would rather just follow the traditional Reaganite GOP party line of "destroy the middle class, keep them poor & worried about everything BUT trying to solve problems. That way, we'll keep 'em under control!" Sounds like a Hitlerite philosophy to me, probably w/out the genocide tho...

Posted by: TommyT on April 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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