Sunday, September 8, 2013

Too Bad There Can't Be A Mental Health Test For Voting -- Many In GOP Couldn't Vote

By Manifesto Joe

I honestly don't take much pleasure in demonizing conservatives. In an intended democratic republic such as this one, the system needs liberals for vision, conservatives for grounding. In history we have seen examples of both sides producing great statespeople.

Why, then, do contemporary American "conservatives" act like such psychos?

I suppose that one could argue that it's their turn. Within my lifetime, I can recall cases of delusional left-wing behavior. Jane Fonda's infamous antics in Hanoi around 1972 come immediately to mind. But that era ended quickly. By the end of the 1970s, Jane was very much back at work as an actress and had been very much replaced in the public eye by the likes of Phyllis Schlafly. And in thirtysomething years, we've gotten no break from the likes of that.

I remember the Jim Crow South using devices such as skewed literacy tests to disenfranchise potential black voters. For similar reasons, we'll never see a mental health test for voting, not even a fair one, because clearly the group that would suffer most from such a barrier would be Republicans.

There was a time when Republicans, in large part, were the necessary grounding for a democratic republic in the U.S. That was back when the party had a fair number of "moderates" in it, and they usually determined who the actual nominated candidates were. Now, genuine conservatives like Richard Lugar of Indiana can't even be seen in a photo with a Democrat without having a far less qualified Tea Party challenger knock them off in the GOP primary.

The latest evidence that the Republican Party has been effectively taken over by kooks comes from Louisiana (no big surprise there). When they polled rank-and-file Republican voters there, 29 percent said Barack Obama was to blame for the poor federal response to damage from Hurricane Katrina. That's right, 29 percent.

If you don't believe me, here's a link to a news story on the subject.

I shouldn't have to point out that Katrina ravaged New Orleans and surrounding areas back in 2005, when Obama was an obscure first-year member of the U.S. Senate. Il Doofus (Bush 43) was president then.

This, mind you, represents more than 2 out of 7 Republicans in Louisiana. The only pleas for saying a thing like this would be (1) ignorance, (2) mental illness, or (3) both. I'm inclined to think (3) is the answer.

It's taken the American people a long time, but after the last election it appears that just over 50 percent understand that Republicans are no longer responsible conservatives, but are instead under the spell of the lunatic right wing. These pathetic escapees from straitjackets are so desperate to blame a Democrat for anything, they are in large part blaming Obama for something that happened over three years before he took office. It would be like blaming the Vietnam War on Jimmy Carter, and not even the kooks of 1980 were rabid enough to try that.

The basic problem: America now has, for its two-party system, one group of right-wing crazies, and a group of centrists (Democrats) who are themselves so beholden to rich campaign contributors and giant corporations that they can't be depended on to enact genuine reform or to supply any real vision. We have a radical right and a marshmallow center, and that's just about it. With that kind of refuse to govern us, I don't think it will be long before we can kiss our "democratic republic" goodbye and say hello to raging anarchy.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


Old Scout said...

Joe -
You've made a strong argument for anarchy being the only logical outcome of today's chaos.

I have only one counter-argument ... this isn't a culture that rewards quitting.

Anonymous said...

>> I can recall cases of delusional
>>left-wing behavior. Jane Fonda's
>>infamous antics in Hanoi around
>>1972 come immediately to mind.

Fonda was protesting a war that virtually everyone today (outside a tiny minority of chickenhawks like Ted Nugent and Dick Cheney) agrees was a horrible mistake and a great tragedy for both Vietnam and the U.S. Yes, a lot of people were outraged by Fonda's photo op. But frankly, a lot of these people were full of crap. (I mean, a lot of these same people were also outraged by the U.S. servicemen who worked to halt the My Lai massacre).
Fonda herself has explained that she was manipulated into the photo and she regretted and apologized for the photo.
I never have understood why so many Americans scapegoated Fonda and portrayed her as the "bad guy" in all this.
Fonda wasn't the traitor. The people who betrayed America were the likes of LBJ and Nixon and the other corrupt political leaders who got the U.S. into that disastrous war in the first place. I mean, how many babies did Fonda napalm to death? How many villages did she destroy? How many civilians did she torture and gun down in cold blood?
The people who protested (and worked to stop) the war were the true heroes.
To describe Fonda's actions as "delusional left-wing behavior" and to compare that to the NeoCon crooks who got us involved in Iraq and the right-wing crazies who dispute Obama's birth certificate is stretching it a bit, I believe.
Personally, I admire Fonda. She had absolutely nothing to gain from her protests and everything to lose. All she got was a lot of right-wing hatred. I have no doubt it damaged her career. And let's face it, at the end of the day, she was right to oppose the war.
Again, Fonda has apologized and said she regreted the photo and that she was manipulated into it. I never have understood that wasn't the end of the story. It seems like Liberals are haunted forever by their past actions. And Conservatives can get away with all kinds of crap and it never follows them around the rest of their lives. I myself would like to know exactly why Ronald Reagan never left Hollywood during the duration of WWII. (Hell, even a peace-loving Lefty like me would have eagerly picked up a gun and fought overseas against the likes of Adolf Hitler). By contrast, Reagan was a chickenhawk and it's a complete non-story and nobody ever questions it in our society. Indeed, for millions of Americans, Saint Ronnie is an American hero who belongs on Mt. Rushmore. It's sickening how we constantly allow the right-wing to decide what is a real story and what isn't.
I only wish that more of today's Hollywood stars had taken a firm stand against the Iraq War.

Manifesto Joe said...

Fonda was foolish to have even gone over there and allowed that to happen. There were avenues of protest that many people took, without looking as fucking stupid as she ended up looking. And my impression of her at the time was that she was quite a bit less than apologetic about it, for many years. It was much later that she expressed any regrets. And she did give aid and comfort to a lot of very ruthless and bloodthirsty people. Please, let's not romanticize the North Vietnamese. They presided over quite a few atrocities, enough from what I've heard, to match anything that Americans did over there. Your knees are jerking as much as somebody like Lardbaugh or O'Liely. I've got a hunch that you would defend the sorry likes of Stalin if given a chance. Would you?

Anonymous said...

>> Your knees are jerking as much as
>>somebody like Lardbaugh or O'Liely.

Actually, you yourself are using an old Limbaugh trick in that you're misrepresenting what I said.
In my comment, I was only expressing surprise and bafflement as to why Fonda has always been demonized as the "bad guy" in the whole Vietnam saga. Aren't there other people guilty of bigger crimes (the politicians who lied us into that unnecessary war, for example?)
That was the only point of my comment.
You're misrepresenting my views, implying that I am somehow "romanticizing the North Vietnamese." You even claim that I'd likely defend Stalin.
Based on what? Because I was baffled by the fact that Fonda has been demonized as the "bad guy" in Vietnam?
>>she did give aid and comfort to a
>>lot of very ruthless and
>>bloodthirsty people
Really? That's a pretty serious crime you're hanging on Fonda. If that's the case, why wasn't she convicted of treason during wartime? Why wasn't she even charged with that?
You know, I always had Dick Nixon pegged as a paranoid, psychotic, vindictive SOB who ruthlessly pursued his enemies. But by giving the "treasonous" Fonda a pass, I guess my impressions of Tricky Dick were all wrong. He was just an old softy to whom Liberal Democrat Treason was no big deal.
You are really using the old Limbaugh "debate" trick of putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting my position. I didn't defend the North Vietnamese and I certainly never defended Stalin.
You remind me of the Ditto-heads that I've "debated" over the years who claim I'm a "Communist" if I say I support Social Security.
>>They presided over quite a few
You know, it almost sounds like you are implying that the Vietnam War was prompted by the idealistic concerns of U.S. leaders for the human rights of the Vietnamese people.
If that's your view, then it's one of the funniest fucking things that I've ever read on the Web.

Manifesto Joe said...

Anon, what you appear to have in common with fanatics of all ilks, whether communists, fascists, Islamic extremists, etc., is moral absolutism.

When Jane Fonda was back in the U.S. in 1973, and returning POWs from the Hanoi Hilton described torture and brainwashing techniques and exhibited some evidence of having been subjected to those things, Fonda reportedly responded by calling the men liars and hypocrites, and pointing out that as career soldiers, they were professional killers.

It seems she just couldn't believe that those noble communists in the North would have done such things, despite evidence that they did.

In those days, Jane was a "true believer," a person who had given up the quest of being an intellectual in favor of being a revolutionary. I never got the impression she was bright enough to be an intellectual anyway. What she did was see the world in terms of black and white, heroes and villains, absolute right vs. absolute wrong.

If you've read this blog before, I've characterized the Vietnam War as a flat-out invasion of Vietnam by the U.S., and as something that needed to be fiercely opposed. But they way Jane Fonda did this was manifestly stupid and naive. My knees don't jerk defending mistakes by left-leaning people, any more than they do pointing out the follies of right-wingers, who unfortunately, as I point out, have had a lot more staying power in our culture.

By the way, I think I know who you are. Your "anonymous" comments are thinly disguised. If I am correct, I believe you are indeed one of two people I've known in my life who have actually had the chutzpah to defend Stalin.

If you want fanatical absolutism, go elsewhere. You'll find none here.

Old Scout said...

Anon -
You may try all you want to deny that your comments are moral absolutism and deny also that what several of the regulars here have attributed to you as blatant misrepresentations, when they are merely condensing your wordy and tautological screeds into clear prose.

Unless one has read the minutes of the NSC from September 1957 through July 1973, one can't know why ANYTHING that happened in VietNam actually happened. Since I have and no one else here has, this is my provence - alone!

You need to haul your inconsiderate, impolite, rude, crude and unattractive tookis back to the swamps of Louisiana and make yourself useful as gator-bait.

Manifesto Joe said...

Hey, Old Scout --

Correct me if I'm wrong here. What I'm getting from your earlier comments on Vietnam is that this was essentially a war that those in the know realized that the U.S. was going to LOSE. That's surprising in some ways, because the U.S. won every damned battle. And 58,000 Americans died, and the death toll for the sad-ass Vietnamese people was estimated at between 2 and 3 million. In the end, a dogged "foe" of the U.S. revailed. Please tell more.

Old Scout said...

By design the strategy on the field was successful, but there was no effort to support the effort at home. I usually condense it to, "The U.S. won the war with superior technology and training, and lost the peace through through political and public relations ineptitude!".

Nixon and the security Council were convinced that the behavior of the Soviet Union was that of a schoolyard bully. The established wisdom of their school days was that a bully beaten developed into a new bully. A bully bloodied was also reformed. Our 'strategy' was to bloody, not defeat, the bully - intentionally refraining from a decisive venture for all the world to see.

In retrospect, I can sympathize a bit ... look at our reputation post Iraq. But only a bit. After all winning always counts more than losing; the problem is when winning is the only outcome that is credible and some are willing to cheat to win.

I compete to improve, not improve to be able to compete.

Old Scout said...

To be sure ... I'd never address the VietNamese as " ... the sad-ass people ... ".
The dogged foe As you refer to the North VietNam government prevailed because we lost the public relations battle at home. It is also humane or at least more so to recognise that when people on the field of engagement are as much ammunition as bullets and each wave of humans is armed by the weapons abandoned by the dead in front of them, the extinction of nearly an entire population is militarily and politically counter-productive.

That each side had no respect for the people of their opponent is indicative of the educational level of the ordinary soldier of each, not a policy decision driven down the chain of command. There are other issues ... real issues to flog; fortunately you and I can stick to them while Mr. Anon Y. Moose is hell bent on fishing in the goldfish pond for whales.