The party of fear and the politics of Armageddon

by @Lib_Librarian – Cross-posted at The People’s View

I was looking through my personal library this past weekend, lost in my thoughts as to how we’ve come to this present pass in American politics, and came across a book I haven’t read in 20 years, but have clung to. The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett, was published in 1988 and revised in 1995. It makes for grim reading.

It’s a sad truism of the United States that we as a people are ahistorical. We have no memory of what happened last week, much less in the last century. If we were to remember our history, we might be better prepared for when it invariably rears its head again, the passions and bigotries of the past roaring out of the dark id of the American psyche. We fight the same battles over, because the causes of those battles are never fully addressed.

In his book, Bennett catalogs this “party of fear” as being born with the American experiment from its inception. It sees America as an Eden threatened from all sides; but, most insidiously, threatened from Others within its midst. The Tea Party battle cry of “taking back our country” is not new; it has been screamed out at every great turning point in our country’s history. Every wave of immigration, every social upheaval, every revolution in politics has brought a sharp reaction, a counter-revolution from this party of fear. From anti-Catholic riots in the 19th century to the Red scares of the 1920s and 1950s, when the country roils through demographic and ideological change, the forces of reaction strike back, seeking to wrench the nation back to a prelapsarian state, before the Fall, pure, unsullied, in communion with God.

Religion being such a central facet of the American experiment, religious language and imagery are major driving forces of this party of fear. Those who threaten Eden are not merely political opponents, but servants of Satan, seeking to undo the New Jerusalem. When Ronald Reagan spoke of the United States as the “City on a hill”, he wasn’t merely cribbing a nice turn of phrase from John Winthrop; he was signalling to his evangelical storm troopers that he saw the struggle as they did, a religious one, where there could be no compromise, for compromise would have to be with what they saw as the fores of darkness. It is this view of America as a sacred land, blessed by God and doing His work, which informs the party of fear. One wonders how God can fail; but that fear of failing God runs through everything done by the forces of reaction. Jesus won’t return unless the ground is prepared for him. Whether this means rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem, or creating a Godly “paradise” in the United States is immaterial. We are talking about the politics of Armageddon.

This politics of Armageddon is zero-sum. It is an absolute, pure, clear politics. You can’t even call it a “politics”, really, as it doesn’t have the aims of normal politics. Normal politics operate in a sphere of give and take, of deals made, of backs scratched. No one gets everything they want, but they get some of what they want. Armageddon brooks no compromise. It merely is, and must be acceded to. We may think that on the other side of Armageddon lies mere death; to the party of fear, glory awaits.

We have been building towards this politics of Armageddon in earnest since the first GOP government shut-down. It accelerated with the messianism of the the G.W. Bush administration, with its black-and-white view of world and domestic politics. And the election of Barack Obama sent the politics of Armageddon into its final stage. Obama is seen as the anti-Christ, the one who threatens the Edenic image of America held by the party of fear. He represents the outcasts, the untouchables, those who don’t fit within that image, an image which hasn’t changed since the founding of the country. History is the enemy; Eden doesn’t need history. Historical change cannot impinge on that which is eternal; if it dares to, it must be beaten back, by whatever means necessary.

This is the party of fear’s last stand. It knows it must win this battle, or be swept aside and lose the war. These are the stakes for which it is playing. We must meet the moment with the same desperation.

178 Responses to “The party of fear and the politics of Armageddon”

  1. 25 cookemom
    October 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

    These new threads are moving along faster than I can get my indoor plants, that have spent the summer outside, inside. Nighttime temps too low outdoors, so indoors it is.

  2. 26 57andfemale
    October 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I wish I was surprised by this. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_nv/more/section/archive?author=steve-benen

    “Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) supported a clean bill, but reversed course this morning. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) was on record backing this resolution, but he too switched sides. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who’s been so critical of his party’s radical wing that he compared Republican extremists to “lemmings with suicide vests,” even started lying about his support for a clean CR.

    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is denying that he ever endorsed the idea of passing a “clean” funding bill — or one without strings attached — to keep the government running. But he did.

    On Monday, Nunes’ office asked The Washington Post to remove the congressman’s name from their list of House Republicans who have called for passing a clean continuing resolution to end the government shutdown. Nunes had been on the paper’s list since last week, and he’s still included in The Huffington Post’s tally. The move by Nunes’ office comes a few days after the congressman fumed to conservative outlet Newsmax that a certain “left-wing publication” had incorrectly reported that he said he would back a clean funding bill.

    “The last thing I would do is work with [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi,” Nunes told Newsmax. He suggested that “someone took some comments I made and then made up a conclusion.”

    • 27 vcprezofan2
      October 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

      I truly do not understand why voters choose these weak, unprincipled, insincere politicians to represent them! IMO there is no way they could all hide their smarminess and poor character so completely that there wouldn’t be inklings of it while campaigning. I don’t get it at all.

      • 28 57andfemale
        October 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

        Hope there’s a Plan B from Dem’s saying that the votes exist for clean CR. I knew most of these Repubs would cave – they have no principle & the vast majority are imbeciles who have no place near governance. Better get the new talking points ready. This was predictable.

        • October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

          Thing is, if all Dems vote to pass a clean resolution, but all Repubs decide they don’t want the government open if they can’t repeal a law illegally (that is helping millions of Americans, and providing security to every one), then why can’t Americans see that it’s the Republicans who are harming them? At some point, Americans need to wake up. They can’t just keep being played for fools by Republicans, who are doing real harm to the country – long term harm.

          • 30 57andfemale
            October 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm

            Actually, I thought of that after I wrote the comment. But the bastards ON RECORD of keeping the government shut down.

            Yup. That’s the Plan B and it’s a hell of a good one. We either get the government open and we hold the budget conference that Republicans have blocked for over a year, or Republicans CHOOSE to keep it closed.

            Yup. That’s it.

        • 31 vcprezofan2
          October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

          My take is that I can handle the Dems saying the votes are there, because it has now forced these fakers to step forward and say ‘Huh…ahm…er…we didn’t mean anything by our pro arguments.’ IMO, we don’t really need a new talking point per se. We can roll with the punches – speak the truth as PBO usually does and point out that the so-called GOP moderates are backtracking one my one. Ergo, there are few serious Republicans in Congress, so you voters need to VOTE 2014 – BE the change USA needs.

          • 32 57andfemale
            October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

            Yup. Big ‘duh!” on my part. Make them CHOOSE to vote against opening the government. And make Boehner look like the shill that he is for not bringing the vote. The Plan B is just fine.

      • October 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        Not surprised as it is seeming more and more that ALL the Republicans have no problem saying whatever they think will serve them best in the moment then switch it to the opposite on a dime even disclaiming they said the original. They are models for why people do not trust and even hate politicians. What is too bad is that they do not suffer due to painting both parties as the same through media complicity.

        • 34 vcprezofan2
          October 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

          I agree, sadly.

        • 35 nathkatun7
          October 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

          I could care less what these Republican, the so called moderates, are doing putting out mixed messages! All I want is for all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to go on record, with their votes, about whether they support or oppose a clean CR to end the government shut down. All those who vote to continue a government shut down or vote to end a government shut down would then have to be accountable for their votes.

      • 36 nathkatun7
        October 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        Still, VC, Boehner should allow the House of Representatives to vote on a clean CR that would end the government shut-down. That way, every member of the House of Representatives would go on record if they are or against a government shut down. As President Obama said, Speaker Boehner should prove that there are not enough members in favor of a clean CR by allowing the vote to take place.

        • 37 vcprezofan2
          October 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

          Hi Nathk! I AM with you and the president on this. I was trying to say while I want there to be enough votes, if there isn’t that’;s a message in and of itself.

    • 38 anniebella
      October 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      You can’t trust any Republicans, not any. They all are lying radical racists terrorists.

  3. 42 Lucidamente
    October 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for this, LL. Those interested may also wish to read two classics by Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays, still relevant after fifty years, alas.

  4. 43 Ladyhawke
    October 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    ‘Safe Seats’ And The Media Spin About Radical Republicans

    By Eric Boehlert


    According to press accounts, one of the universal truths about the current government shutdown is that more Republican members of the House have adopted increasingly brazen political strategies because they’re elected from safe districts.
    That storyline is deeply flawed, however.
    Hint: There is no way to sugarcoat what’s going on in the Republican House. Nor is there any reason for journalists to try. Republicans have proudly adopted a radical path, so why are too many journalists reluctant to point that out? Why the desire to avoid spelling out the truth about one of the country’s two political parties and the fact that Republicans shut down the government because they didn’t support a law that was passed three years ago.



  5. 44 hopefruit2
    October 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    • 45 jacquelineoboomer
      October 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Well, if nothing else, we can play with Markie today.

      • 46 anniebella
        October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

        Boehner ask the President to call him, well the President did call him. And told him he wasn’t putting up with his B.S. Remain strong Mr. President, We’ve got your back.

      • 48 nathkatun7
        October 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm

        Mark Knoller acts like a GOP spokesman. By the way, Jacqueline O, did I hear that today is your birthday? If so, I wish you a very Happy Birthday. I also feel so privileged to share a birthday with you as today is my 68th birthday.

        • October 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

          Nathakun!!!!!!! It’s your birthday too??? Hold it right there …… a triple cake delight coming very soon.

          • 50 nathkatun7
            October 9, 2013 at 12:38 am

            Thank you so much Chips! I am so glad I share a birthday with Jackie and Bill R and may be our resident poet, JOB!

        • 51 jacquelineoboomer
          October 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm

          Thanks, nath, but my birthday is Friday! Just saw your other post that it’s your birthday, so I’ll wish you a very happy one (a little late) here, as well.

          Happy birthday, nathkatun7, Bill R, and Jackie4Obama!

  6. 54 japa21
    October 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

  7. 55 japa21
    October 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

  8. 56 cookemom
    October 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

    PBO called Boehner this morning. Boehner’s office said the call at 10:45am est amounted to PBO reinterating he would not negotiate.

    Standing strong! We got his back!!

    • 57 jacquelineoboomer
      October 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Just spotted your post – Ha. Flying fingers, the two of us! (The reason I thought maybe I heard wrong was because I heard the time as “4:45 am est” and I’m not kidding! So thx for clearing that up.)

    • 58 anniebella
      October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      cookemom, we indeed do have POTUS back.

  9. 59 jacquelineoboomer
    October 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Y’all may know this already, but MSNBC just reported that the President called Boehner again this morning to reiterate that he will not be negotiating on the debt ceiling. If I heard that right. Need more coffee!

  10. 62 hopefruit2
    October 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

  11. 64 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    CNN is claiming that PBO has again called Weeper Boehner and told him he will not negotiate.

  12. October 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

    GM Chips, TOD…… don’t know if this has been posted, but here is OFA’s latest video

    Also HHS, had nationally televised commercials (One during the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament on NBC) and another during a primetime college football game. I have been looking for video of the ad. It is as professionally done as possible. It looks like the quality that would come out of a big Pharma/McDonalds ad campaign. The tag line is ” Get Covered” Has anybody on TOD seen this ad or have a video copy? http://www.prweekus.com/pages/login.aspx?returl=/centers-for-medicare-and-medicaid-maryland-award-weber-combined-14m-in-tasks/article/289467/&pagetypeid=28&articleid=289467&accesslevel=2&expireddays=0&accessAndPrice=0

    • 67 57andfemale
      October 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Dem’s are putting all of their talking point eggs in the basket of ‘enough votes’. According to Steve Benen, at least four of those have already reneged because they do not want to be seen as ‘working with Pelosi’, as one Repub put it. We can expect more to cave to RWNJ’s because there is no such thing as a ‘moderate’ Republican anymore who actually believes in, well, moderate governance. They play ‘moderate’ in order to get votes in the Midwest and NE, like my twit of a Senator, Mark Kirk. They’re not going to buck the party – they’re cowards, every one of them.

      I said a few years ago when we thought we could get ‘moderates’ like Snowe or Collins to do the right thing, “If you continue to call yourself a Republican in this poisonous climate, then you are not a moderate. To be moderate is to be in the centrist wing of the Democratic party. Anyone who clings to the Republican name might as well be Sarah Palin.”

      I’m scratching my head at this being damn near the only official message from Dem’s – that the votes exist for a clean CR. MSM, taking their cue from Republicans, are repeating ad nauseum that PBO ‘won’t negotiate’. Of course the other half of the sentence never gets reported: “PBO won’t negotiate with a gun to America’s head. He is happy to ‘negotiate’ once a clean CR is passed.

      Push the fact that GOP has blocked all ‘negotiations on the budget’ for over a year. That it is Republicans who have ‘refused to have a conversation. Refused a conversation on sequester, refused the normal channels of ‘negotiation’ on the budget. Don’t call it ‘conference’ – dumb Americans don’t know what ‘conference’ means in this case. Take the word ‘negotiation’ and use it like a club back at Republicans.

      But instead, if you cut through the noise here is what you hear: Republicans say PBO ‘won’t negotiate’. Democrats say that there are the votes for a clean CR.

      • October 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        Even with the 4 GOP’ers reneging, there are still 17+ GOP’ers on record. Yesterday CNN spent all day saying that their were only 14 GOP votes, ABC had 22+, Huffpo had 24+. This is all inside baseball, it is about controlling the media narrative. Now today all of sudden CNN has found 3 more GOP’ers, and are chasing Boehner down the halls asking why he won’t bring up a vote. For one we know it would pass, but my sense is Boehner is just trying to hold out this facade until Oct. 14/15 so he can unilaterally cave on both at once. So the Dem’s will keep hammering this point, because Boehner has no rebuttal except for actually putting a clean CR on the floor, which he is not inclined to do to save his speakership. He can do it once and get away with it, twice…..? That’s just my outlook of where the situation currently stands.

        • 69 amk for obama
          October 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

          o he can unilaterally cave on both at once.

          LOL. You’re cruel.

        • 70 57andfemale
          October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

          I think that’s a good point – your October 14-15 point. The other point – a big ‘duh!’ on my part. Make the bastards actually vote to continue the shutdown because they can’t win a national election.

        • 71 nathkatun7
          October 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

          I agree with you, LovelyPlains. Besides, we need every House member on record voting for or against the continuing shut down of the Federal government. Just as we will need every member of 435 U.S. Representatives and every member of 100 U.S. Senators to go on record for or against U.S. default!

  13. 72 jacquelineoboomer
    October 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Yeah, so, the U.S. stock market’s already starting to slide based on “shutdown fears.” And Repukes are all over the teevee blaming “Obama.” I detest these people! Feel like slappin’ ’em all silly.

  14. 73 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Heh lazy bums. This is important. RT now. Strikes another blow at the gobinment is ebil meme.

  15. 79 jacquelineoboomer
    October 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

    The ONLY semi-good (if we define “good” in a new way) thing is that a few House Republicans are breaking from the Koch-pack and saying they’ll vote for a clean CR. I’m pretty sure this is the first time the Rs have not said they’ll vote in lockstep. Of course, the Rs speaking up all have their vested self-interest as their primary goal, but I like seeing that little tiny crack in the armor. Boehner has to be behind their coming out, to give him cover – none of them are really brave enough to stand alone. That’s my take.

  16. 80 hopefruit2
    October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    PBO is not flinching – and we are 100% behind him!!

  17. 84 hopefruit2
    October 8, 2013 at 11:52 am

    HEADS -UP: Just saw on Twitter that PBO is to make a statement at 2PM – waiting for more verification….

  18. 88 cookemom
    October 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

    PBO will deliver a statement and take questions at 2pm est.

    • 89 Linda
      October 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

      I hope he ignores the front row GOP shills.

      • 90 cookemom
        October 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

        They don’t bother me. These press conferences shows them for who they really are. PBO calls on them, faces them, answers their inane questions, brushes his shoulders off, then says, “proceed a**holes, next question”.

        Works for me.

        • 91 theo67
          October 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

          Yes – as frustrating as they are, answering their GOP talking points allows him to directly address the lies being told to the ill-informed and mis-informed. Most people are so blinded by the lies they’ve been told by FOX “News” that they can’t hear non-Benghazi or non-anti-Obamacare facts anymore – so it’s almost not even worth it to address real issues. Although, it’s a real waste of the President’s time, having to address these lies.

  19. 92 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

  20. 93 hopefruit2
    October 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

  21. 94 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 11:55 am

    My retirement account lost 50 % in the 2008 crash. I moved what was left to the German DAX made all of it back, plus…

    Now the DAX is dropping like crazy.

  22. 95 Nena20409
    October 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

    POTUS to Hold News Conference at 2:00PM ET….AP is reporting.

  23. 96 Allison
    October 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    President Obama is tired of the GOP. Just like the majority of the country. He’s had enuf! He has more than compromised with them throughout his presidency. No more!

    Mr. President, we love you, we respect you and we will ALWAYS have your back!

  24. 97 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

  25. October 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Morning Obots.

    Well, I’ve certainly been in a dark place the past few days. Between the missus’ struggles with work and the crashing of the country, I haven’t been a happy camper. But the fact that Tan Man is now more or less begging PBO for a lifeline indicates that we may be at the end game of all this insanity. I hope so.

    • 99 57andfemale
      October 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Oh, LL –

      Job not going well for Mrs. LL? Damn…….

      We’re all totally on edge. Imagine being PBO, going through this b.s.

      I had a conversation with a good friend this morning. She loathes her job, especially since the manager she loved left a year ago and the company got bought out. Loathes it with a passion, on every level.

      She got a call from her old manager and a job has opened up at her new place! Euphoria, right? My friend is afraid that if she changed jobs and the economy tanked, she’d lose big time. Her present company, even if they downsized, would owe her 28 weeks severance at her level.

      I told her – don’t assume the worst. This opportunity may not come up again for a very long time. Be proactive, have some faith.

      Of course, that’s easy for me to say. I’ve lived with economic uncertainty for the last 33 years.

      Everyone is on edge. hang in there. We love ya, ya know.

    • October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      I thought your wife just started her new job? Sad to hear she’s not enjoying it. I’ve been in and out of TOD – just hanging on by my fingernails… so I’ve missed all the news. Hope things get better/happier soon!

  26. October 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    The G.O.P.’s case hinges on the employer mandate, which requires companies with fifty or more full-time employees to provide health insurance. It also regulates the kind of insurance that companies can offer: insurance has to cover at least sixty per cent of costs, and premiums can’t be more than 9.5 per cent of employees’ income. Companies that don’t offer insurance will pay a penalty. Republicans argue that this will hurt companies’ profits, forcing them to stop hiring and to cut workers’ hours, in order to stay below the fifty-employee threshold.

    The story is guaranteed to feed the fears of small-business owners. But the overwhelming majority of American businesses—ninety-six per cent—have fewer than fifty employees. The employer mandate doesn’t touch them. And more than ninety per cent of the companies above that threshold already offer health insurance. Only three per cent are in the zone (between forty and seventy-five employees) where the threshold will be an issue. Even if these firms get more cautious about hiring—and there’s little evidence that they will—the impact on the economy would be small.

    Meanwhile, the likely benefits of Obamacare for small businesses are enormous. To begin with, it’ll make it easier for people to start their own companies—which has always been a risky proposition in the U.S., because you couldn’t be sure of finding affordable health insurance. As John Arensmeyer, who heads the advocacy group Small Business Majority, and is himself a former small-business owner, told me, “In the U.S., we pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit, but we’ve had this bizarre disincentive in the system that’s kept people from starting new businesses.” Purely for the sake of health insurance, people stay in jobs they aren’t suited to—a phenomenon that economists call “job lock.” “With the new law, job lock goes away,” Arensmeyer said. “Anyone who wants to start a business can do so independent of the health-care costs.” Studies show that people who are freed from job lock (for instance, when they start qualifying for Medicare) are more likely to undertake something entrepreneurial, and one recent study projects that Obamacare could enable 1.5 million people to become self-employed.

    • 102 57andfemale
      October 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      It’s the same b.s. – “taxes kill jobs, regulation kills jobs”, yada yada. Unfortunately, they’ve been successful enough in promoting these lies over truth. But lies they are.

      Regulation creates one vital thing: stability. EVERYONE benefits. that is, if you accept that making a million less in your billion dollar benefits package is a reasonable trade-off for stability of business growth and sustainability.

      Taxes pay for the commons. We need the infrastructure, educational opportunities, a base line of informed citizens, etc. We are living proof that Reaganomics and the cutting of taxes has been an abject failure: we have become stupid, uninformed, unskilled in even the most basic skills, and we are nowhere near the leaders or innovators that we have been since 1800. It’s despicable.

      • 103 Obama Grandmama
        October 8, 2013 at 4:17 pm

        When you start taking apart the funding mechanisms that actually help the comprehensive ACA work for all concerned the entire program falls apart. Seems like that is the plan by the GOP. Defund, and take apart the program until it falls apart.

  27. 104 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

  28. 105 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  29. 106 jacquelineoboomer
    October 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This effer is really obnoxious.

    • 107 Linda
      October 8, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Barro does not make sense when he speaks ….

      • 108 Vicki
        October 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        Barro is on MSNBC to be a “reasonable Repub.” The problem is that he seems to me to be a Democrat who doesn’t know he is.
        He delivers the product Business Insider and MSNBC pay him for but he is clearly confused.

      • 109 jacquelineoboomer
        October 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        I don’t know much about him, having only seen him on MSNBC a couple of times, but what I know, I don’t like.

  30. 110 utaustinliberal
    October 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm

  31. 112 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

  32. 113 jacquelineoboomer
    October 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

  33. 114 cookemom
    October 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    PBO will continue to give Boehner enough rope to tie himself in knots. But what he won’t do is allow Boehner to disrespect the office of the president.

    Boehner asked for a conversation twenty-two times on the Sunday show. PBO called him to give him the conversation he asked for (of course it wasn’t exactly what Boehner wanted to hear). Boehner makes it known PBO continues to say he won’t negotiate. PBO holds a press conference confirming the conversation in which he will say, ‘damn straight, I won’t negotiate with hostages’

    PBO ends the press conference with a last message to Boehner, ‘I got Harry, who you got?’.

  34. October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Hello TODers.
    Someone up thread asked about people who vote for these spineless Republicans. Maybe these people are single issue voters. Maybe they are ill-informed. Many Americans seem as though they are asleep in their lives. They don’t know what’s going on and I dare say many don’t want to know. It’s too bad, because we all suffer because of the ignorance of a few. You don’t have to be super intelligent to keep abreast of events that happen in our country.

    • 116 cookemom
      October 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      That may be the case, but we know the sleeping giant awoke and voted PBO back in office by a large margin. The Dems got 1 million more House votes than ‘pubs. So, it may be discouraging when we hear the lopsided MSM reporting, but there are enough folks who are smart enough to cut through the noise.

      We just need to do our part and GOTV.

  35. 117 Vicki
    October 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    here is sunshine on a cloudy day!
    Sam Wang of Princetonedu, the ONLY pollster who was even more accurate than Nate Silver, just said that if the 2014 election was held today the Democrats would pick up 30 more House seats, more than enough to restore the gavel to Nanacy Pelosi.

    Sure 2014 is a long way off but I love this news.

  36. 134 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  37. October 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    • October 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Chips,
      Techie question. Amk helped me discover the “Snip” tool on my windows 8 machine. but I can’t seen to get straight lines out of my highlight & underline pens in the Snip program. How did you get your red underline so straight? Thanks

    • 145 57andfemale
      October 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Am I the only one who is thoroughly amused on the complete blackout of what PBO has said repeatedly in public (I paraphrase): “Ya want to negotiate? I have priorities and an agenda that has been voted on twice – education, jobs, infrastructure, revenue. ‘Negotiation’ will include those issues as well.”

      It’s in the President’s call. It’s been in every interview since this hostage taking started.

      And God damn it – the emoprogs better remember that. PBO will bring to the table all of his priorities as well.

      • 146 57andfemale
        October 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        and might I add, ‘the middle class’. I love watching Boehner carry on on what a BURDEN it will be to pay $100 fine. As if the fine and, you know, actually having the peace of mind of access to affordable health care are both a ‘burden’.

        I let my RWNJ account spout her b.s. when I saw her in September. As if the choice is ‘clear’ – fine or insurance. But I had to stop her there: PEOPLE WILL HAVE INSURANCE THAT THEY CAN AFFORD. The productivity of Americans will shoot up, jobs will be created, people will take care of their health.

        As is proof from the interest since the roll out, people get it. They want access to affordable health care. Only the knuckle draggers are saying, “I’d rather pay a fine (which is socialism) than get insurance.”

        Leavitt, Bush’s head of HHS was on cspan this morning. What. an. ass. “It’s silly to advance health care just to create jobs.” I kid you not.

        Then he lectured the Obama administration because they didn’t have brochures, or a bus going around for 18 months prior, touting the law. you know – the funding that Republicans took from the program.

        He did admit to many problems once the system started – it took about a year to work out the kinks. There was a great tweet that cspan read: “Medicare Part D was a minuscule program compared to ACA. And it didn’t have billions spent on spreading misinformation about it.”

  38. 147 cookemom
    October 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I’m on Boehner’s ‘Speaker of the House’ website and I can’t help but wonder why he allows comments. They are so very lopsided against him. The few who do back him, are the same few regulars who post comments on well known RWNJ sites. They are not many in number, and they pretty much just copy and paste the same stuff all over the innerwebz.

    If the Speaker is at all interested in the comments on his site, then he really doesn’t give a hoot, or he is just as dumb as he appears to be.

  39. October 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

  40. October 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks LL. Frightening times we live in.

  41. 150 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

  42. 151 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    The House ” Rules Committee ” is working on the “rules ” for a new ” Super Committee ” to resolve this before the default which is 9 days away .

    hahahhaaha…I guess they forgot what happened with the last ” Super Committee ” Cantor stormed out.

  43. 152 Ladyhawke
    October 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Speaker Boehner has the life line right in his hands. Abandon the restrictive Hastert Rule. Schedule a vote on the clean CR and tell his caucus to vote their conscience so that the government can be reopened. Then negotiations can begin. You don’t get concessions for just doing your job. Enough already.

  44. October 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Yet another fine essay, LL.

    With the hyper-concentration of wealth that we’ve witnessed in the past two decades, this core challenge of our Constitutional democracy was inevitable.

    I am pleased to see folk like Senator Reid calling out the Kochs.

    Our President obviously gets it.

    This is for all the marbles.


  45. October 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Ohhhhhhhhh my Goodness…LL….i can’t find the words to say…but you have pullled the cover off the boogie man…and exposed him to the light of day…

    2 extraordianry lines stand out in this extrordinary essay…

    “We fight the same battles over, because the causes of those battles are never fully addressed”

    The first step in the battle is to identify the enemy…
    the TP are the faces that we see today…but they are just the puppets…who is the puppeteer…

    “This is the party of fear’s last stand. It knows it must win this battle, or be swept aside and lose the war. These are the stakes for which it is playing. We must meet the moment with the same desperation”

    We must meet the moment with …clearness of purpose…with courage…with tenacity… with strength…because indeed this is a battle that WE CAN NOT LOSE!


  46. October 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    A bit-ish early for a heads up post (for the 2:0 news conference), will let this one run til 1:30ish – ish.

  47. 162 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Boehner can whistle while he works, but the POTUS is singing this tune-

    “Well, I won’t back down
    No I won’t back down
    You can stand me up at the gates of h*ll
    But I won’t back down/
    No I’ll stand my ground
    Won’t be turned around
    And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
    Gonna stand my ground/
    And I won’t back down
    (I won’t back down)
    Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
    (I won’t back down)
    Hey I will stand my ground
    And I won’t back down”
    -T Petty

  48. October 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    What a joke……….. hammer HHS Sebelius about Healthcare.gov? Look in the mirror!

    • 164 jacquelineoboomer
      October 8, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Is this snark? What a fool. I’m in no mood for him. Had somebody on Twitter try to get me to understand that Jon just wants single payer, like a lot of liberals. Reminded her he does comedy not policy. But Jon’s getting what he wanted – people are talking about him, myself included. So I shall personally shut this down! 🙂

  49. 165 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 1:07 pm

  50. 166 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    If Rasmussen has the President at 51% approval today, I know it’s closer to 52% or 53%.


  51. 168 57andfemale
    October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

  52. October 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Oh SWEEEEEEEET Schadenfreude

  53. 172 Linda
    October 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Here is the latest offer.

    Defer the fine for the first year……

  54. October 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I think it’s time to move to secession.

  55. 176 amk for obama
    October 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

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