Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Real America

[New York City and Wasilla, Alaska. Both are part of the real America, despite what some bigots would have you believe.]

Image credit: composite of photos by Trip Advisor and CityData by Cujo359

Recently, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gov. Sarah Palin, and other Republicans have been talking about how there's a "real" America out there living in small towns that aren't anti-American.

Well, on the subject of who is and is not the real America, Jon Stewart speaks for me:

We're all a little chafed here about this whole 'some parts of the country are real and American' and other parts are not. This weekend I was performing at Northeastern and I just read the statement that Sarah Palin had made about the 'pro-American' parts of the country and I...in response to that, I think I might have said, you know, 'Fuck you!' That's just my way of saying that I think that's a profanity to say, and I was answering with a profanity. But it's not really fair, and it makes it seem like I'm just addressing Governor Palin about this, and I'm not, it's just this whole entire theme that there's more American areas, or some people love the country, some people don't. So what I meant to say is, 'Fuck all y'all.'

Jon Stewart Clarifies Palin Remarks, Expands To 'F%ck All Y'All'

Now, I normally prefer more subtle forms of humor, like this wonderful bit of satire from Marc Ambinder:

For decades, theoretical physicists have sought to unify the theory of gravity with standard particle model of physics. So far, no dice. The dominant but by no means proven theory is popularly referred to as Superstring theory, or M theory, or some variant. No need to go into the details here. Crucially, though, some of the leading variants of string theory presuppose a universe of ten spacial dimensions plus time.

We cannot rule out the possibility that Palin, Bachmann and Pftoenhauer -- let's call them PBP for short -- are somehow about to perceive these extra dimensions, and that there is something fundamental about their physical constitutions that makes such perceptions unavailable to most everyone else.

McCain's Cosmological Breakthrough: Unreality Is Expanding

Unfortunately, subtlety is lost on some people. It's lost particularly, it would appear, on Republican rhetoricians and their target audience. So a big upraised middle finger would seem to be the rhetorical weapon of choice.

Why are we seeing this call for witch hunts now? It's pretty clear that it's not just John McCain's campaign that's doing this. Bachmann isn't part of that campaign. This is part of a broader GOP campaign. And when you think about what's happened lately, it's pretty clear what the reason is. Their poll numbers are dropping like lead balloons. They need someone to blame for their own screwups.

We've had Republican rule for the last eight years. Yes, the Democrats were allegedly in charge of Congress for the last two, but for all the harm they did, and as faithfully as they gave President Bush everything he wanted, we'd have been no worse off with Republicans. What have we to show for those last eight years?

Two lost wars and a trashed economy.

Let me just emphasize that point a little more:

Two lost wars and a trashed economy.

That's what they're trying to make us forget - they fucked this country up worse than our most dangerous enemies have ever managed. What previous Administration has managed to lose two major wars? Not a one. The only previous Administration in anyone's memory that's caused the sort of economic meltdown we're seeing now only lasted one term.

So they blame Muslims for our problems. They blame Demcrats for the results of their economic policies. And they blame the rest of us for not making their ridiculous plans work. The only thing they've ever been good at is blaming other people for their failures. They're at it again.

To misquote John Mellencamp, I grew up in small towns. I've also lived in the metropolitan area of a big city. I can tell you that there is no shortage of people who care about their country in either kind of place. Anyone who imagines that big cities are full of fake people and vast pockets of anti-Americanism needs to get to know one. Anyone who thinks that the rural parts of this country are filled with rubes and morons needs to get out there more. Don't mistake what we say when we make fun of each others' idiosyncrasies for reality. The fact is that reality has always been more complicated, and interesting, than empty-headed Republican spokesmodels want us to believe.

So the next time you hear someone talk about where the real America is, tell them that real Americans have 401k's and mutual funds, and that real Americans have bank accounts, and real Americans want to have good jobs. Real Americans have sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, or friends and lovers they don't want to have killed in useless, lost wars. Then tell them you don't give a fuck if some of them happen to live in New York City. Or in Wasilla.

UPDATE: North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes NC-08 has joined the hit parade:

Warming up a crowd in North Carolina on Saturday, Republican Rep. Robin Hayes offered the diagnosis that “liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.”

His remarks came shortly after he had said he would “make sure we don’t say something stupid, make sure we don’t say something we don’t mean.”

GOP Rep.: ‘Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God’ [updated with audio]

Hayes' opponent in his race, which he appears to be losing, is Blue America candidate Larry Kissell. Clicking on this link would be a good way to express your displeasure with Hayes' comments.

(h/t Lotus)

UPDATE 2: Via Pharyngula, Keith Olbermann provides a coda to this sad week of bigotry and stupidity.

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