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.



  1. Outstanding post Ramona! Couldn't have said it any better. I can't imagine any progressive/liberal NOT fired up by these events. I know I am. It's time to expose those that need exposing. We must reclaim this narrative, or it's going to super cede everything this administration's trying to accomplish.

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for visiting. This is going to take all of us working together. It's getting totally out of hand. I'm heartened that there are so many of us ready to go to work, but will it be enough?

    Visited your website and I highly recommend. I'm adding it to my blogroll, and I'll be visiting again soon.

  3. This is great, Ramona, and I concur with your call (and Keith's call) to our President to fight back. He's smart enough to do it without appearing angry; some of the most devastating smackdowns can come with a well-turned phrase delivered with a steely eye. One can keeps one's cool while showing that there is a righteous anger inside, and indicate that you'd best shape up before it is let loose. I would like to see that white-hot flash in our President's eyes.

    But take heart. I believe the teabaggers' days are numbered. Beck is looking more and more idiotic as he is forced to take his lunacy up a notch in order to generate attention; his mean-spirited attacks on Malia and Michelle Obama show him to be petty, juvenile, and small-minded. Bachmann's formation of a tea party caucus in Congress was delivered with much ado about nothing. We don't really have an agenda, she said. We're just hear to listen. Even SHE can't articulate what they are about, other than barking things like "Constitution!" and "Founding Fathers!" like some sort of political Tourette's patient. (A phrase I used elsewhere today...I liked it so much that I had to use it here!)

    The teabaggers' favorable ratings continue to drop. The majority of people see them as being very or somewhat racist. This latest fiasco will only serve to illustrate that Breitbart and others of his ilk are determined to stir up trouble and accuse people unfairly--horribly so--of racism, even if it means they have to be completely dishonest to do so.

    I just hope this is a lesson to all writers, whether professional or amateur. Do not trust one source, especially if it is hearsay. As much as I dislike Palin, there have been rumors that I have not posted about her because I couldn't verify that they were true. Too bad that the professionals at Fox--hahahahaha!--don't have as much integrity and honesty as a lowly blogger such as me.

    Sorry this was so long! Great post, as always!


  4. Hi Beth, great comment. I'm still not ready to write those fools off as nothing more than a distraction. I haven't gotten over Ronald Reagan and GWB, neither of whom had any business being president, let alone being president for two terms.
    I hope you're right about the Teabaggers' days being numbered. The press just can't stop giving them a whole lot of undeserved attention, and that makes them seem much more important than they really are.

    I love the "political tourettes" image. I see why you would want to use it again and again.

    It's still a mystery to my why there was no investigation into the allegations before Sherrod was fired. My only conclusion is that fear overtook common sense. That's scary, considering the source of the fear.

  5. You are so right about this issue, and everything else you say. The administration and the Dems in Congress have to stop walking on egg shells as if they are afraid of offending the Repubs. They are afraid of offending, but why? Why bother worrying about it? It doesn't matter they are going to be offended no matter what! They are offended at everything. They lie. They spin. They avoid. They wait. They are just waiting us out. They hope that the Party of No (them) will give rise to the Party of Do Nothing, which will be us. Then then can scream about the Dems doing nothing and call for a change. And people will believe them because they are full of witty sound bites and mindless prattle that idiot right wingnuts will swallow hook line and sinker, if they throw in something about "God" or "Jesus" or "Freedom" or "Liberty" into their speeches, and point fingers and use words like "socialist" or "progressive" or some other vile word.
    I thought progressive was supposed to be a good thing. You know, what with the "progress" root and all! It's infuriating how the Dems just take it and don't fight back!

    I hear you on the Regan and GHWB thing. I am still angry with those freaks, and GWB, of course! That goes without saying.


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