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Who are they still fighting?

I saw this earlier today but am happy to make the video go viral.

Bree Newsome took down the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina statehouse. Watch as she climbs the pole and quotes the good parts of the bible (you know, the parts that are about not being afraid):

I was wondering when someone would finally get around to doing this.

But my question is, if it’s not about race (call me skeptical), who do the confederate battle flag supporters think they are still fighting?

And I don’t completely buy it that it’s just Scots Irish rednecks. There’s something bigger and far more menacing behind it if they can keep that middle finger in flag form up for 150 years. That flag means the war is never going to end. It means that there are forces in this country who think they are entitled and are going to make it as difficult as humanly possible for the rest of us to move away from feudalism, aristocracy and privilege. They’re going to keep this battle up with the North for as long as it takes and we the rest of us are told over and over and over again to compromise and give in and respect their Southern pride.

The people who love that flag have no respect for the rest of us. They don’t care about your climate. They don’t like public schools because ignorance is a good way to keep the help in line. They feel it is their right to do what they want with their property and they are never going to get over having some of it emancipated away from them.

Bree is awesome and brave. Thank you, Bree.

But in light of what happened last week, it shouldn’t have to take a bill and six months of waiting for a legislative session to get that flag removed from the statehouse. It’s the very least that South Carolina legislators could do before the sun set on the Thursday after the shooting.

Update: The FreeBree IndieGoGo page started by Credo is up to more than $43000 and growing at a really fast clip! After they bail Bree out, maybe they can apply that money to other courageous non-violent acts.

One Second After

So, it looks like Newt Gingrich has won South Carolina.

I hate to say I told you that the evangelicals would rehabilitate him but, well, I did.

Listen up, access bloggers: you are NEVER going to bring Newtie down by harping on what a sleazy, hypocritical asshole he is.  As a Democrat, you don’t have the moral authority to challenge a Republican, you godless secular humanist.  Remember David Vitter’s romps with prostitutes in his Pampers?  How about Larry Craig’s bathroom tap dancing routine?  Nobody forced them out of office over their indiscretions.  And just because Newt resigned doesn’t mean that he can’t be rehabilitated by the right.  He’s a Catholic now and he’s been married to his current wife for 11 years.  He’s practically born again.  Look at Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly.  O’Reilly had to pay off one of his staffers because she’d caught him on tape making graphic, sexually harrassing phone calls to her. You’d be amazed at what the Fox News viewer is willing to overlook.

Actually, the left blogosphere did Newt a favor by relentlessly pursuing his personal life.  By the time South Carolina rolled around, all of his dirty laundry had been airing for months and voters weren’t surprised or shocked by it.  He had testimonials about how he has turned his life around and how Callista’s devotion to Roman Catholicism has rubbed off on him.  As far as the evangelicals are concerned, he’s practically born again or partially birthed sufficiently to give him a pass on his past indiscretions.  We’re all sinners.  He’s asked for redemption.  He knows these people.  Newt might look ridiculous smuggling plums in a Speedo bathing suit but he’s not stupid.

But bloggers who have been concentrating on his infidelity and hypocrisy are missing the real reason why Christian conservatives are flocking to Gingrich.  If you want to know what’s the secret to his success, other than his clever use of language, check out the book One Second After.  Here is my review of the book from last December:

And on the right side of the aisle, Newt Gingrich drills into the dark recesses of the authoritarian follower’s unconscious and digs up an all too real sounding modern apocalyptic scenario.  In Among Gingrich’s Passions, a Doomsday Vision, the New York Times reveals Gingrich’s warnings about EMP, electro magnetic pulse.  The scenario goes like this: some crazy axis of evil country detonates a nuclear device in a certain stratum of the atmosphere over our country, the home of the free, land of the brave, and takes down the entire electrical grid.  Suddenly, nothing electrical will work.  Your refrigerator, TV, cell phones, trains, even some cars, all dead.  The wires of the grid irretrievably destroyed all over the country, the nation plunges into a period of darkness, chaos, starvation and danger.

There was a work of fiction written about this a few years back called One Second After.  Wouldn’t you know, Gingrich wrote the introduction for it.  {{rolling eyes}} I happen to have listened to this book because it was recommended on audible.  Not knowing that it was a work of propaganda, until after the intro, I listened to about half of it before I couldn’t take it anymore.  The book was designed for middle aged guys with a hero fantasy.  Picture Rambo crossed with the protagonist from a Tom Clancy novel, except with a patriotic, moral “family values” streak.  He’s rugged and good looking and he snags the best looking babe.  He’s wise, he’s tough, he has a gift for planning, strategy and war.  He takes care of his family first and doesn’t flinch when he has to execute people who don’t follow the law he has laid down who get in his way. He has no patience with civil liberties. It’s the kind of book only your annoyingly righteous brother could love and pack away with his stash of MRE’s and survivalist gear in the basement.

I think we can see who Newt’s target demographic is.  Newt is appealing to the apocalyptic nervous Nellies who want a strong, fatherly type who will get them through the coming tribulations with hard and fast authority.  There are no shades of gray in this world.  He’ll do what he has to do to keep his country safe from dangerous entities who want to kill us in the night.  He will be vigilant, he will be patriotic, he will not be soft.  And he won’t have any patience for basic constitutional rights or charity for others.  He will put the country on a war footing.  We’ll all be twitchy just waitin’ for someone to step out of line.  (By the way, have you read what Paul Krugman wrote about what happened to Hungary?  It’s a country that Gingrich could admire.)

I did skip ahead to the end.  You’ll be happy to know that the Army does finally come to the rescue at the end and that the lights do slowly come back on.  But the country is irreparably changed by then.  Most of the population is dead from starvation or just plain killin’.  And the hero rules his roost like a not so benevolent dictator while his neighbors and recruits worship him for saving them from what surely was the end of the world.

Christian fundamentalists are looking for a catastrophe so the end of the world will come.  If they can’t find one, they’ll invent one.  Gingrich taps into that theme and works it for all it’s worth.  If he’s not the antichrist, he’ll be the macho guy who protects them.  He’s not afraid to “tell it like it is”.  They like that about him.  I’ve heard he’s pretty skilled in debate as well.  I can only imagine how Obama will fare against him.  What’s he going to do?  Offer a series of excuses for his poor performance over the last four years?  That will look pathetic.  Is he going to try to match Gingrich’s fierce passion?  Please.  Obama wouldn’t know passion if it sat on his face.  I’d say he’s got his work cut out for him no matter who runs and Gingrich is no less of a threat to him than Mitt Romney.  Gingrich already knows how to tap into the zeigeist while Obama and his merry crew are into rainbows and false springs.

I’d advise Obama to run to his left but he’s pissed the left off so badly that no one but the most kool aide addled Obot is going to trust him.  And he better not look to the Independent liberals who left the party in 2008.  A lot of us are women who got thrown under the bus and have had it back up and run over us two or three times.  Gingrich is far, far worse than Romney but you know what?  I won’t lift a finger to help Obama win.  He’s no more dedicated to improving the lives of average Americans than Gingrich is.  So f^&( him.  I’d rather spend my time canvassing for some decent congressional candidate.

I just heard Republican Rep. Mulvaney from South Carolina’s 5th district saying that he thinks that a competitive primary is good for a party.  I happen to agree.  All of the media attention will be fixed on the Republican race.  They can shape the narratives and pound on the deficit from now until late summer.  Obama?  Obama who?

Democrats did this to themselves.  Of course, they could still turn this around but the useful idiots who brought us Obama four years ago are going to have to buy a clue.

Are there any Sane Republicans in South Carolina?

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer

Andre Bauer is the Republican Lt. Governor of South Carolina and is running to replace the current Governor, Mark Sanford. You know, the guy who told his staff he was going hiking on the Appalachian Trail and then went to visit his girlfriend in Argentina?

So anyway, Andre Bauer held a town hall meeting, and told this little parable about helping poor people:

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better,” Bauer said….

Bauer’s remarks came during a speech in which he said government should take away assistance if those receiving help didn’t pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings if their children were receiving free and reduced-price lunches.

Not yet realizing that anyone would be troubled by this comparison, Bauer went on to say:

“I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina,” adding, “You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s there, period.

“So how do you fix it? Well you say, ‘Look, if you receive goods or services from the government, then you owe something back.'”

Bauer said there are no “repercussions” from accepting government assistance.

“We don’t make you take a drug test. We ought to. We don’t even make you show up to your child’s parent-teacher conference meeting or to the PTA meeting.

Hey, that’s a great idea. I think we should drug test those earthquake survivors in Haiti. Give them a drug test before they get dug out of the rubble or get any medical treatment. That’ll show those deadbeats for being to poor to get themselves out of trouble!

Now that Democrats are calling for his head (not that they have much room to criticize), Bauer is scrambling to explain himself.

“Maybe the metaphor isn’t the best metaphor. I agree with them on that,” said the 40-year-old gubernatorial candidate. “But I think there are a lot of people that use issues like this to divide people and never offer solutions. The easiest thing to do is criticize someone for saying something, other than saying, ‘Maybe we should talk about this.'”

He also said that:

he did not mean food should be taken from children, but rather that their parents should lose welfare benefits.

OK, but wouldn’t taking welfare payments away from parents result in less for for their children? Anyway, get this–it turns out Bauer himself received government help as a child.

He noted he was a beneficiary of free lunches after his parents divorced when he was 11, so he’s not bashing the needy. But he said there’s a difference between those who are truly needy and those who are just lazy.

“I came from a broken home. I have been in this situation,” he said, noting that he spent today collecting shoes, blankets and other goods for victims of the Haiti earthquake. “Do I think poor people ought to be helped? Yes. I’m saying we’ve got to do things to break the cycle.”

I guess it’s OK to help people in Haiti after all. Those earthquake survivors must be more deserving and not as “lazy” as the poor people in South Carolina.

I wish I could talk to Lt. Gov. Bauer. I’d like to ask him if the bankers who got bailed out by the government to the tune of trillions of dollars should give something back for the help they got. Should they be drug tested too? Should we find out how their kids are performing in school and whether the bankers attend PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences? Or should we maybe ask the bankers to help out some poor people? Should we do something to “break the cycle” of greed and corruption that the bankers have engaged in?

This is an open thread.

Random thots

Needle in a haystack

  • How many times has the Lieberman-Kyl resolution been discussed in debates? Does anyone remember if it has ever been discussed in a Democratic debate and if not, why do you think that is? Do we in the blogosphere give it more significance than it deserves?
  • Zogby has Obama up by 10 points in South Carolina and Hillary has decided to move on to NJ tonight. (I don’t think I’ll be able to make her event. Getting there during rush hour is a logistical nightmare) But she was trailing in New Hampshire by something like 9 points and managed to win it. So, what will the eventual score be? And has Obama mastered the timing game? After all, South Carolina is still 4 days away.
  • What is behind the underlying antipathy to Hillary Clinton in the left blogosphere and what did it expect from the first Clinton administration? In other words, why was it it “not progressive enough” and what could Clinton have done differently considering the Newt Gingrich Movement Conservatives took over Congress in 1994?
  • Did anyone hear Rene Montagne interviewing Obama this morning on NPR? She was actually pretty good. The questions were definitely not softball. They were more along the lines of: “Bill Clinton is doing the work of a prospective VP and playing attack dog. You’re going to have to face this from the Republican side if you win. What are you going to do then?” Go Rene! Listen to the whole interview here.
  • Controversial random thot of the day: How much of the current vicious divisiveness in the left blogosphere is being instigated by people not on our side?  That is, how many people running around shouting that they’re going to vote for McCain are Republican moles trying to stir up trouble?  By being so open, have we allowed ourselves to be studied and have manipulative messages been tailored for us?  How do we keep our “eyes on the prize” in such an environment?