Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On The Right (R), Anything Goes

An old friend of mine the other day summed up the zany contemporary political world we're burdened with by saying, "you can say anything you want these days."

It was a sign-of-the-times observation about the right's unrestrained rhetoric, whether on Fox News, talk radio or crazy Tea Party signs, like "Obama = Hitler."

Think about it.

You've got Glenn Beck suddenly morphed into a religious leader, trashing President Barack Obama's Christianity as a "perversion of the gospel."

Then there's that 19% of the general population thinking Obama is Muslim - - now where do you suppose they heard that?

Having Rush Limbaugh refer to Obama as "Imam Obama" certainly would point the ditto-heads in that direction.

Or how about the righty talker and enthusiastic Obama-basher Laura Ingraham, whose new anti-Obama book is based on an admittedly fake 'Obama diary' she wrote.

Free speech? Sure.

Literary license? I suppose.

Funny? Depends on your politics.

Just another way to feed a 24/7 media, and its viewers and listeners, with more grist for scary urban legends and political whoppers about Obama - - whom they keep portraying as The Other, an outsider, different, etc.?

Now you're talking.

Also stirring the pot is late-night AM radio 620 WTMJ talker Michael Savage, who routinely makes all sorts of wild allegations about Obama, such as a recent rant about Obama being President for 40 years after 32 million illegal immigrants ("aliens" or "la Raza" are Savage's terms) are somehow granted the right to vote.

You think only the national righty talkers say outrageous things?

Mark Belling, the 1130-AM WISN afternoon squawker and fill-in Limbaugh host, has said Obama was comfortable with the Iranian President because, like Chinese and Russian rulers, "he's got that same degree of tyrant in him."

And speaking of closer to home, this certainly is the year you can do or say anything in a political campaign if you're a Republican.

You've got a business rewriting its corporate history to better mesh with the candidate/owner's version (US Senate candidate Ron Johnson, (R), and another statewide office-seeker (Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker, (R) ) trying to trick viewers into thinking a TV ad is set in a Wisconsin tavern - - you know, a familiar local business, portraying local people and jobs, blah blah blah - - when it's somewhere on the East Coast.

And don't forget Mark Neumann, the other leading (R) in the gubernatorial primary, promising to move $810 million in federal railroad construction funds to tax cuts, when that cannot be done. Period.

Which he later amended to a new, goofy promise to return the money which is already almost 40% committed or spent.

Hey, it's 2010:

Be outrageous. Flip-flop. Make it up on the fly...you can do or say anything this year to get elected - - if you've got an (R) after your name - - and also if you're a paid righty talker who needs to boost ratings, sell products, and inflate an ego.


Betsey said...

So sad that this is what our American ideals have come to: name-calling, labeling, and PR spin. It feels as if our democratic principals have been abandoned entirely or twisted into something not conceived of by the founders: independence = as much money as I can get for myself, by whatever means necessary, free speech = personal nastiness, civil rights = more rights for me than you, etc.

Anonymous said...

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