Monday, October 1, 2012

After all That, I can Still be Shocked. That's Shocking

So this is what it’s come to.
After four years of invective, four years during which the right has called President Obama a traitor, a communist, a fraud, an affirmative-action case, a terrorist-sympathizer, and a tyrant, its shrillest voices have been reduced to the most primal insult of all. They are calling Obama’s mother a whore.
Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast, 9/28/12
 I'll get right to it:  After reading Goldberg's piece, my stomach is churning; it's telling me if I don't stop thinking about this, I may just vomit.  I'll admit when it comes to the really ugly stuff, if there's any chance I can avoid it I will.  I'm chicken that way.  But I can't ignore this, because the last thing I want is for vicious lies borne of pure hate to become trivial or normal.  We're dangerously close to that point already.

There's nothing trivial or normal about mailing out millions (that's millions) of copies of "Dreams from my Father", an artlessly fabricated anti-Obama movie by a producer/director named Joel Gilbert.  The movie is narrated by an actor playing Barack Obama and depicts his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, as a loose slut who lied about who Obama's father really was. (According to the film, he wasn't a Kenyan, but an American poet and black activist named Frank Marshall Davis, who had ties to Communist/Socialist movements in Chicago and Hawaii, and whose genes the Communist/Socialist Obama apparently inherited.)

In the film, Obama's grandfather is supposed to have used his job as furniture salesman as a front for nefarious CIA duties.  Nude pictures, purportedly of Obama's mother (purportedly taken by Davis, who purportedly had a history of sending out nude pictures of women), grace the screen for long, lascivious seconds.  It leaves no scum-covered boulder unturned.

If this were just some juvenile video, it might not be worth noting, but, as Goldberg says:
What matters here is not that a lone crank made a vulgar conspiracy video, one that outdoes even birther propaganda in its lunacy and bad taste. It’s that the video is finding an audience on the right. Gilbert claims that more than a million copies of Dreams From My Real Father have been mailed to voters in Ohio, as well between 80,000 and 100,000 to voters in Nevada and 100,000 to voters in New Hampshire. “We’re putting plans in place, as of next week, to send out another 2 [million] or 3 million, just state by state,” he told me.
 While Goldberg admits she can't verify those numbers, she's finding evidence of some active distribution: 
But the fact is, people are reporting receiving the disc in the mail. Tea Party groups and conservative churches are screening it. It was shown at a right-wing film festival in Tampa during the Republican National Convention, and by Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum Council in Missouri. Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead recently recommended it during a speech, saying, “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”
 In this year's campaign, the Republicans have found themselves with nothing to work with. They boxed themselves into a corner by going along with Mitch McConnell's promise to do whatever it takes to keep Obama from earning a second term.  Any good they might have done for the people they'd hurt over the previous eight years would have required Obama's signature as the final step.  It would have looked like they were working for him.  Or at least with him.  They couldn't do it.  So they did nothing,

So when this kind of thing happens they don't take steps to denounce it.  If anything, they encourage it.  It builds their case without their having to do a thing.

When Goldberg says, "They are calling Obama's mother a whore," unfortunately she isn't just talking about Gilbert's movie.  In this piece she talks also about Dinesh D'Souza's equally odious and deceitful book, Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream. (The follow-up to last year's whopper, The Roots of Obama's Rage and companion to his widely panned movie, 2016, Obama's America.)

The right wing loves D'Souza's seeming intellectual offerings, happily overlooking how riddled they are with provable lies:
Obama is not merely the presiding instrument of American decline, he is the architect of American decline. He wants America to be downsized. He wants Americans to consume less, and he would like to see our standard of living decline relative to that of other nations. He seeks a diminished footprint for America in the world. He detests America's traditional allies, like Britain and Israel, and seeks to weaken them; he is not very worried about radical Muslims acquiring a nuclear bomb or coming to power in countries like Tunisia and Egypt. He is quite willing to saddle future dollars toward this end and if he had been permitted, he would have spent trillions more. He has shown no inclination, and has no desire, to protect America's position as number one in the world; he would be content to see America as number 18, or number 67, just another country seated at the great dining table of nations.
When Mitt Romney was caught saying what he said about the 47% who make up Obama voters--that all 47% of us are lazy moochers who just want government handouts, so who needs us, anyway?--I thought that would be the end of it for Mitt.  It wasn't.

When Mitt assured 60 Minute's Scott Pelley that every American already has health care--it's called Their Nearest Emergency Room--and when Joe Scarborough dissolved into infantile blubbering on set after watching the clip the next morning, I thought maybe this was it; Mitt was cooked.  He wasn't. Not completely, anyway.

Even earlier, when Mitt chose as his running mate, Paul Ryan, a slavishly anti-social program guy even during what everybody agrees is a relentlessly tenacious depression/recession, it should have been a call to quit these guys.  It wasn't.

Plain old citizen Grover Norquist's success at exacting a mandatory anti-tax pledge from every Republican politician should have sent shuddery danger signals to the voting public.  It didn't.

Paul Ryan's OldTestamenty attacks on women, condemning both birth control and abortion, should have eliminated him from any chance at the vice presidency.  It didn't.

With the rise of ALEC and the revelations of the Koch brothers' relentless support and financing of anti-government members of congress, along with anti-democratic governors, red flags should have been waving frantically.  So far only half the country is seeing them.

With all that, I thought I might be shock-proof by now.  Turns out I'm not.


  1. It's sad. I guess it proves that either they're running out of insults, or they've realized that their audience doesn't care if they use obvious lies any more.

    They don't even bother with facts: I heard 2016, which is set in the FUTURE (it's right there in the title, f'gods' sake), called a "documentary."

    1. NC, I never thought about 2016 being called a documentary. Funny! Thanks for commenting.

  2. I read somewhere that this movie got five stars in the legal journal Our Loosely Enforced Libel Laws.

    Mit Romney? Nein!!! Ohne Romney!


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