How Do You Solve a Problem Like La Palin?
I took a little flak last Friday for focusing on the sexism (which some didn't see) in Wesley Clark's fundraising letter about Sarah Palin, instead of focuing on how scary, scary, SCARY! she is and how what she said about targeting Democrats for death was wrong. Well, whatevah, because I write what I want to write. But some other things came up in discussion about right-wing populism, the TEA Parties and the nature of media distractions, and I thought they were worth more exploration.
Wayyyyyy back in January 2009, I wrote a piece called "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fascism." (I took a lot of flak for that one, too.) I was writing about my biggest concern: Obama's authoritarianism. He has not allayed those fears in his first year "and change" in the Presidency; quite the opposite, in fact. From FISA, to torture photos not released, to keeping the military tribunals intact, to never quite closing Gitmo, to renewing the Patriot Act, to the latest atrocity - coming out in favor of assassinating a United States citizen - Barack Obama has never been shy about showing his Dear Leader potential. (The irony of a man named Barack Hussein Obama deciding that the first official target for CIA assassination should be a brown person with a Muslim name is almost too much to bear.)
To me, it's quite clear where the real threats to democracy lie: with our government, which is asserting more and more authority over our persons and our lives, and our Supreme Court, which has recently decided that corporations are people and can corrupt our dead electoral system even more with massive infusions of cash.
But what about right-wing populism? What about the scary, scary, crazy Sarah Palin? What about those racist, horrible Tea Baggers...er, I mean, Tea Partiers? Where do they fit in? Shouldn't we be talking about them and how awful they are and how we're so glad we're not them because we're so morally and physically superior in every way? After all, it makes us feel so much better about ourselves when we make fun of fat, uncool, ignorant people like them! Right, Rachel Maddow?
Well, personally, I think we are the ignorant ones if we fall for this bait and switch. What power do a few angry people have, really? (I believe the corporate media is vastly exaggerating their numbers in order to take our attention off the true problem, in which they, of course, have always played a major part. For example, the Facebook page supporting same-sex marriage has about twenty times as many fans as the TEA Party Facebook page does; yet somehow, the corporate media never seems to mention how many people think the LGBT community deserves the right to get married.) For that matter, how many millions of angry lefties and PUMAs were there in 2008, and what power did WE have? None. The Dems did what they wanted to, the oligarchy/patriarchy's favorite was elected, the "in" crowd laughed at us, and we were taken over by Republican ratfuckers and destroyed from within.
So it is and shall be with the TEA Party. Does anyone really believe this is not a movement with massive backing by the oligarchy/patriarchy, which will ultimately succeed in moving both Parties even further to the right, thus pushing the country even further towards fascism? Take a look at their website. Come on. Do a bunch of militiamen and out-of-work whackos have the money to put something like this together?
Is Sarah Palin reckless and irresponsible for using the justified anger of American citizens for her own personal gain? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. And knowing that many of the TEA Partiers are armed and dangerous, it is disgusting that she would call for the death of anyone, no matter how facetiously.
But isn't Barack Obama, who is busily claiming more powers than Richard Nixon and George Bush ever dreamed of, infinitely more dangerous? Isn't the Congress, which is busily throwing our money into corporate coffers with both hands, infinitely more dangerous? Isn't the Supreme Court, which has been busily destroying any pretense of fair elections since Bush v. Gore, infinitely more dangerous?
When are we going to stop pointing fingers at each other, and start pointing fingers at the assholes who are screwing us all out of our homes, our jobs and our lives?
How do you solve a problem like La Palin? Easy. You don't. You solve the REAL problem. But in order to do that, we have to climb off our high horses and stop demonizing each other.
Will we ever do that? I don't know. But I do know what will happen if we don't. It's happened to every other republic or democracy that has ever existed at one time or another, and it starts with an "F."