Part 4—Our own tribe’s lack of smarts: It’s true! Many conservatives say and believe the darnedest things!
To cite the saddest example, many conservatives even say Obama was born in Kenya. You have to be extremely gullible to believe that ludicrous claim. But people have always believed the darnedest things, down through the annals of time.
For quite a few years, we liberals got to laugh at all the ditto-heads. Finally, after the war in Iraq, we began to emerge from our nap in the woods, where we’d been for a good many years.
We liberals began to reenter the fray! By now, we’ve begun to reveal our lack of decency, our own tribe’s lack of smarts.
How dumb and indecent must you be to support what Alan Grayson did when he placed a burning cross in place of the “T” in the vile words “Tea Party?” How dumb and indecent must liberals be to stand behind such an act?
In fairness, Grayson was trying to raise lots of money from a bunch of knuckle-dragging buffoons. Here’s what he said when his mailer was criticized:
“If the hood fits, wear it.”
You’d probably think that no sane person would defend that mailer or that remark. If you thought that, you’d be wrong. Liberal intellectual leaders have avoided commenting on Grayson’s conduct. Meanwhile, at Salon, the commenters cheered him on.
Now that our tribe has emerged from the woods, we’re revealing an unfortunate fact. Despite our past protestations, we just aren’t especially decent and we aren’t especially bright.
Plainly, Salon has been Ground Zero for the emergence of a new, lower-IQ liberal world in which we engage in sweeping denunciations which are ugly and unintelligent. For one sad example, we’ll soon turn to this.
But first, let’s consider Gail Collins. Last week, Collins played a familiar card: Them people in Texas are crazy!
In fairness to Collins, she only cited Republican pols. But even there, she seemed to run out of “crazy” fairly fast.
In truth, there’s plenty of crazy to choose from. But as you know, Collins is lazy:
COLLINS (10/19/13): Have you noticed how many lawmakers from Texas were doing crazy things during the government shutdown debacle?Neuberger’s conduct was pathetic, inane. That said, the “crazy” behavior Collins cites pretty much tails off from there.
We need to discuss this as a matter of simple justice. These days, when you say “Texas” in the context of heavy-breathing Republican extremism, everybody immediately thinks of Senator Ted Cruz. Which is really unfair when there are so many other members of the state delegation trying to do their part.
I am thinking, for instance, of Representative Randy Neugebauer, who harangued an innocent park ranger about a shutdown-shuttered war memorial, insisting that the ranger and her colleagues should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Or Representative Louie Gohmert, who created a mild diversion when he charged that John McCain, an opponent of the shutdown, “supported Al Qaeda” in Syria. (McCain said that he did not take offense because “if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement.”)
Or Representative Steve Stockman, who accused the president and House Democrats of “curb-stomping veterans.”
Or Representative John Culberson, who cried “Let’s roll!” in an apparent belief that shutting down the government was equivalent to resisting 9/11 terrorists.
Or Representative Pete Sessions, who summed things up rather neatly with: “We’re not French. We don’t surrender.”
See? Share the credit.
Is it really crazy to say “Let’s roll?” Standard mockery of the French may be dumb. But is it really crazy?
As she engaged in her own standard mockery, Collins began stretching more. Soon, she was discussing “strange.” Or at least she pretended to do so:
COLLINS: Even the bottom of the ticket is going to have little sparks of strange. Next year, the race for Texas land commissioner will feature a new-generation Bush, Jeb’s son George P. The singer Kinky Friedman says he’s running for the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner on a legalize-marijuana platform. The rest of us will just sit here and mull the fact that Texans feel the need to make these jobs elective.Why is it strange that George P. Bush is running for office? Beyond that, is it really strange that Texans elect their agriculture commissioner?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Gov. Rick Perry appears to be planning to run for president again. And since Ted Cruz is pretty clearly planning a run, too, there could be two Texans in the Republican primary debates. Maybe an all-Texas ticket!
While Cruz has been trying to win the hearts of American voters by spreading fear, terror and economic chaos, Perry has been wandering around the country, criticizing other states for their high taxes and bragging about job growth in Texas.
That all-Texas ticket would be strange, because it would be unconstitutional. (Strangely, Collins didn’t seem to know.) And let’s face it: by the time Collins says Perry has been “wandering around” and “bragging,” we’ve been reduced to simple acts of name-calling.
Collins rarely has much to say. On this day, she offered little enlightenment about current politics in Texas.
That said, she had pleased and primed her own yahoos. In comments, the name-calling started:
COMMENTER FROM BOSTON: None of these embarrassing examples of the democratic system gone wrong would be allowed outside in public if the electorate wasn’t proud of the job they were doing...Make them show a library card before they can vote.We noted that the last two commenters seemed to think that the people Down There were “at or near the bottom in education.” That is completely untrue, of course. But people who denounce with broad brushes are often misinformed.
I thought the embarrassment engendered by the last Republican presidential campaign was measured on the Richter scale...But nothing will compare to the double whammy of Perry and Cruz vying for the job of president of the United States. They wouldn’t need campaign managers as much as they’d need zookeepers.
COMMENTER FROM WASHINGTON DC: The nation must keep in mind that it was the Texas legislature that passed a law to prohibit the teaching of critical thinking skills in schools because they did not want children to question authority. That tells me all I need to know about the state and its educational products, children, students.
COMMENTER FROM NEW YORK CITY: Unless you are a rich land owner with oil or gas wells or a business looking for cheap non-union labor with no benefits, Texas is an awful place to live where mal-educated, uninsured people working on subsistence wages can vote but not elect anyone, because the electoral system is totally rigged so that for the majority democracy does not exist. At or near the bottom in health care and education and quality of life, Texas is basically a corporatist fascist totalitarian state in a perpetual battle with the United States government and the foundations of American democracy.
Their pride is in being a Texan, not an American to whom, for no rational reason they feel superior. There always is talk of secession. They did it before and they never returned to America. They are a state of boasters, show offs, braggarts and bullies and their Republican delegation to D.C., are not merely un-American, they are anti-American.
Many Texans get misinformed by watching Fox or listening to Rush. We liberals sometimes get misinformed from listening to slackers like Collins. To wit:
As the lambasting of Texans-in-general continued, some commenters responded from Texas, complaining about the very broad brushes wielded by Collins’ readers. We were amused and saddened by the exchange which follows. It started with a response to that comment from New York City:
RESPONSE FROM HOUSTON: Have you even been here? Nothing like painting with a very broad brush, huh? We have our crazies, and Dems are a couple of elections from victory, but we hardly deserve your over-the-top comments. You must think there are no Dems in Texas at all. You would be wrong.Apparently, Commenter Numbnuts in New York got his ideas about Texas schools from reading Collins’ “detailed book,” which he thinks was “well-researched.” In fact, Collins’ work on the Texas schools was one long unvarnished embarrassing howler, as were her presentations on her subsequent book tour.
RESPONSE FROM COMMENTER IN NEW YORK CITY: Yes and it was too damned hot. It is not that there is no Dems in Texas it is just that Texas is gerrymandered so that they have no real representation. As for details, I highly recommend studying Ms. Collins detailed book "As Texas Goes.” It is well researched and shocking.
Like several of those Texas pols, Collins is lazy, unintelligent, under-informed. But people like the commenter from New York don’t know that! They read her book, but had no idea how inaccurate it was. They spew their sweeping denunciations, trashing a state whose public schools outscore the schools in their own states in every category of students.
Collins’ column generated 847 comments, a very high number for the Times. Soon, a low-intelligence theme developed: We should let them Texans secede!
One after another, we liberals kept singing this same tired song. A hundred commenters said the same thing. Then a hundred more came along.
We should let them people secede! Lord, how good that feels! And it perfectly serves the plutocrat's dream: to see the 99 percent break apart into angry, name-calling factions.
Texas isn’t going to secede. Collins is basically worthless. She was too lazy to do the actual research for her book about Texas schools. And sure enough! Last weekend, gullible readers repeated her claims, the same way gullible Texans may do with the bullshit they hear on Fox.
Collins had nothing to say in her column; her readers were eager to vent. In our next post in this series, we’ll look at where this numb-nut culture is going.
Or did Grayson already show us? He spread the hate around real good, survives through the silence of friends.
We think liberals should resist The Hate and The Dumb. In the case of Grayson, we'll say this:
If the dunce cap fits, please wear it.
Tomorrow: The problem with sweeping statements about forty million brains