Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tea Party, Specter of Beck makes USDA and NAACP Cave. Can we get any Lower?

Over the last few days we've heard plenty about former USDA regional director Shirley Sherrod's firing over a speech she gave about an event some 24 years ago which was recently doctored by a Right Wing blogger to appear racist, but turns out to have actually been about reconciliation.

When slimy Tea Party defender and Acorn nut Andrew Breitbart's "expose" appeared on his blog "Big Government", accusing Sherrod of making racist remarks at a long-ago NAACP meeting, heads which should have remained clear in the face of the dubious evidence took to exploding left and right. 

This whole process has been fascinating--the doctored tape, the rush to judgment--not just by Sherrod's bosses but by her friends in the NAACP, the complete and total turn-around when the entire tape was revealed, the reluctant then abject apologies, and finally, the icing on the cake:  The ludicrously manipulative indignation for the poor woman's plight by the likes of Glenn Beck, whose specter hung like a pall over the entire affair. 

I've seen and heard it all now (including Keith Olbermann's brilliant, scorching Special Comment last night). 

I've watched the interviews with Shirley Sherrod and mightily felt her pain.

I watched Tom Vilsack's apologetic press conference and didn't doubt for a moment his sincerity. 

I watched Andrew Breitbart apologize to no one, since, as he says, his actions were against the NAACP because they dared to attack the Tea Party.

Here's what bothers me most about the whole thing:  Governmental department heads, and possibly the White House, made the decision to fire this woman within three hours of finding out that Glenn Beck was going to talk about her on his show that day.  

This Glenn Beck:

 And this Glenn Beck:

And this Glenn Beck:

What have we come to, we Americans in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, when even our duly elected government officials, leaders of the most powerful government on earth, stalwart defenders of the Constitution, cower and cave in the presence of a daffy TV bozo?

I don't believe President Obama had anything to do with the firing of Shirley Sherrod, but he has everything to do with the cowardly, doggedly clueless climate surrounding every department under his wing.

Keith Olbermann said it best:

Mr. President, please stop trying to act, every minute, like some noble, neutral figure, chairing a government of equal and dispassionate minds, and contemplative scholars. It is a freaking war out here, and the imagined consensus you seek is years in the future, if ever it is to be re-discovered.
This false consensus has gotten us only the crucifixion of Van Jones, and a racist gold-shilling buffoon speaking from the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th Anniversary of Dr. King's speech, and now it has gotten us Shirley Sherrod. And your answer is to note a "disservice" and an "injustice."
Sir, get a copy of the Michael Douglas movie "The American President." When you get to the line where he says "I was so busy keeping my job, I forgot to do my job" — hit the rewind button. Twenty times. "Fired up?" "Fired up?" Anybody? Anybody?

What does it take for us to be fired up?  This perversion of American politics has to come to a screeching halt.  We're not all blithering idiots--at least not yet.  So who's afraid of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann and the All Powerful Tea Party?  Not me and not you, but I'm not feeling any better about it.  We don't count.  When the government and the press kowtow to the likes of those dangerous buffoons, they become nothing more than powerless sidekicks.   That's just nuts.

So really--what does it take for us to be fired up?  The media clowns are taking over the country and millions of us are watching with fascination and dread.   Our pathetic attempts at dissent are nothing more than annoying flea bites to the all-powerful.  It's time for the heavy artillery.  It's time for some leadership from President Obama.   He has to be made to understand that it can only come from him.  He has promises to keep, and we can't let him forget them.