Wednesday, March 31, 2010

News Flash: Frank Rich Bugs The Shit Out Of FLG

FLG is catching up on his reading and learns that Frank Rich smears the Tea Party movement and everybody opposed to the health care bill as racist lunatics.

FLG is actually bugged by this on two fronts. First, Rich is a fucking asshole who doesn't really ever offer anything approaching intelligent thought, but instead offers up intellectual diarrhea that denigrates any and all opposition to his preferred political policies as morally repugnant. Second, it would be much harder for him to do this if people on the right didn't actually go down the crazy train route when discussing the bill. FLG was even forced to invoke Goodwin's Law over at Athens & Jerusalem.

Does it matter that Rich offered up a misleading piece? Nah, not really. He's a partisan hack and would've anyway. But for fuck's sake the Right didn't have to make it so easy for him. Fish in a barrel style.

There are non-crazy, non-racist reasons to be against the health care reform recently passed. Also, it would help, FLG thinks, if the non-crazy, non-racists didn't use hyperbole and crazy language.


Withywindle said...

Ahem. Sometimes the analogies are appropriate ...

Anonymous said...

Someone over at A&J compared Obama to Hitler?

Wow, I missed that one.

I can see how the comparison can be made but honestly, it's not a fair one. Really.

Hitler was far more into sex than Obama is. And he was much nicer to dogs.

Mrs. P

Alpheus said...

Does "the crazy train route" mean that an argument is actually crazy, or that it's bad PR to point out just how dangerous a policy might be?

I still think it's entirely reasonable to note that, historically, systematic rationing of health care by the state has not worked out at all well.

Besides, if the horrors of fascism are never to be mentioned, how are we supposed to argue against repeating them? Thought experiments? Most people don't know to what extent early Nazi atrocities started with arguments about the need to save money on health care.

George Pal said...

The larger the cause, the greater the contention; the greater the contention, the swifter the deterioration; the swifter the deterioration, the easier the invective; the easier the invective, the sooner one get gets caned (well, back in the day – now proactive cops step in and you get charged with incitement to incite before the fact).

Besides, how does one offer a reasoned argument to a muddled miasmic mess other than: “this stinks (hyperbole alert!) like Satan’s shit”?


There, isn’t Satan, whom hardly anyone believes in, a step up from everyone’s favorite nasty, Hitler?

The Ancient said...

There, isn’t Satan, whom hardly anyone believes in, a step up from everyone’s favorite nasty, Hitler?

Not if you think Hitler was just following orders.

P.S. Quite a lot of people believe in Dante's version of Satan. You should get out more.

George Pal said...

Dear Ancient,

Quite a lot of people believe in Dante's version of Satan. You should get out more.

I may not know what I’m talking about most of the time but I always know what I was getting at:

There! Isn’t Satan, whom hardly anyone believes in, a step up from everyone’s favorite nasty, Hitler?


If you are still in doubt as to whether I believe in Satan, the Bible’s or Dante’s, rest easy – I do. And I’m enough acquainted with Dante’s Inferno to know that his place in hell was immediately adjacent to the eternal home of barrators, hypocrites, frauds, and falsifiers - in other words, most of the members of the present administration and Congress.

There! Everything copasetic?

Withywindle said...

You know, in Nazi Germany they didn't allow you to mention Godwin's Law.

Anonymous said...

Well, there are those who would say that Satan's greatest trick was getting people to believe he doesn't exist.

What Obama and his little wizards like Frank Rich are trying to do - perhaps by borrowing a page from Satan like Saul Alinsky did (see dedication in his book to the greatest community organizer of them all; Lucifer so we know Saul believed he exists even if others don't)- is to get the American people to believe big government doesn't exist.

Trouble is, the American people foot the bill for big government. To get them to believe something they pay for doesn't actually exist is an improbable but not impossible task. And yes, it would help if you had some supernatural be it from the dark side since these are pro-aborts we're talking about and abortion is firmly in the camp of the dark side to help in the accomplishing the task. But from the way Obama is behaving (Go For IT) and all of his little wizards like Rich have taken to calling names and making up racist incidents, it seems they are flying by the seats of their pants. You kind of actually hope that the real baddies of history -guys like Hitler, Stalin or Mao- weren't so incompetent or so damn obvious.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

"On November 9, 1938, in the Tyrolian city of Innsbruck, Richard Berger, president of the local Jewish community, was snatched from his home and beaten to death with rocks and rifle butts, his body deposited in a nearby river. On the same evening, in an apartment building on Gänsbacherstrasse, Karl Bauer, of whom little is known besides his religious affiliation and his activities on behalf of Innsbruck's Jewish community, was beaten to death by plainclothes members of the SS. The vulturine horde moved swiftly upstairs, where they found the Volksfeind Richard Graubart, also Jewish. He was stabbed to death as his wife and daughter looked on.

"This is a small window into the wanton brutality that was Reichskristallnacht—often called the "Night of Broken Glass"—in a medium-sized Austrian city. A contemporaneous report compiled in Berlin and presided over by the gruesome SS butcher Reinhard Heydrich estimated that 36 Jews were killed across the German Reich. It was, as historian Saul Friedländer has observed, a rather conservative guess: "Apart from the 267 synagogues destroyed and the 7,500 businessees vandalized, some ninety one Jews had been killed all over Germany and hundreds more had committed suicide or died as a result of mistreatment in the camps."

"Would you be surprised to learn that a similar spasm of violence was recently visited upon African-American politicians in Washington, D.C.? Well, credulous reader, The New York Times recently told readers that the shock troops of the Tea Party movement engaged in a "small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht" while protesting the passage of a treasury-busting health care bill.

"This bizarre invocation of genocide was to be found on the op-ed page, from the hysterical ex-theater critic and Tea Party obsessive Frank Rich. Whether or not Rich is aware of it—and when one ascends to the position of New York Times columnist, ignorance is an unconvincing excuse—it is to mass killings that the reader's mind wanders when the 20th century's most famous pogrom is invoked. In a book of essays analyzing the events of 1938, the scholar Walter H. Pehle's chosen title lays down the marker: The Jewish Pogrom: From Kristallnacht to Genocide (Der Judenpogrom: Von der "Reichskristallnacht" zum Völkermord). The anti-Semitic attacks, "spontaneously" carried out "in reaction" to the murder of a Nazi diplomat, were the beginnings of a program of systematic genocide. Surely Rich, a professional writer his entire adult life, understands that the English language is abundant enough to allow for nuance and precision.

"No one was stabbed this March, no limp bodies dumped into the Anacostia River, no buildings burned. A few lunkheads broke windows (and if this is enough to provoke comparisons to Kristallnacht, the anti-globalization crowd must be the protest equivalent of the Einsatzgruppen) and one unidentified protester called Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a "faggot," for which he was rebuked by fellow protesters. Despite gleeful recitation by the media, claims of racial taunts directed at African-American congressmen have yet to be substantiated—but more on that in a moment.

"One stray columnist comparing the rowdy Tea Party crowds to German genocidaires could perhaps be explained away. An inattentive editor, a moment of regretful anger seeping into the prose. But to Rich's colleague Paul Krugman, the hyperpartisan economist and Nobel Prize winner, the Nazi comparison was a useful one, although it did demand subtlety. “What has been really striking," Krugman wrote after the health care bill passed, "has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders" (emphasis added)."

rest here:

Mrs. P

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