Sunday, July 24, 2005


Those @#$% latte-sipping, cabernet-drinking, bicoastal liberal faggots are persecuting us again!

This past week the St. Louis Federal Reserve released a report examining how well our nation is doing at job creation, focusing on "good" and "bad" jobs. You know the difference. High wages, good benefits = Good. Low wages, poor benefits = Bad. Not too surprisingly, St. Louis is doing a poor job at creating the good ones. But keep reading, and you find out that much of America is in the same boat. Between 1980 and 2000, good jobs increased at a much slower rate than bad jobs. When you isolate the sucking sound of all those manufacturing jobs lost to China and Mexico, we average Americans are really looking at trouble.

In the meantime, a friend has sent me a piece praising Bernard Goldberg's book 100 People Who Are Screwing up America (and Al Franken is #37). You probably know Goldberg as the disgruntled CBS reporter who rebranded himself a right-winger so he could sell a lot of books saying bad things about his former employer. Anyway, this latest effort at sucking up to conservatives is a rather predictable Who's Who of every liberal hated by the right. You know, Michael Moore, Al Franken, all those Hollywood celebrities. The underlying message is the usual self-pity in which some conservatives enjoy wallowing, the self-aggrandizing delusion that they are being persecuted by "elites" on either coast.

So what do the Fed's report on poor job growth and Bernard Goldberg's flimsy little book have in common? Really, nothing, or at least they shouldn't, except that one can see the standard shell game the Republicans have been playing for many years now to sway the same average folks whom they screw year after year. Forget about the dwindling number of good jobs. They would rather we not consider that Bush's first term showed the first negative job growth since Herbert Hoover. They don't want us to dwell on the fact that instead of using President Clinton's budget surplus to fix Social Security, Bush chose to hand it over to the super-wealthy as tax breaks and further endanger Social Security by proposing some ridiculous private investment scheme. They don't want us up in arms over the high cost of healthcare or the administration's record on the environment or workplace safety. In fact, they would rather we forget about the endangered status of the American middle class, altogether. Instead, they say, let's just focus on Alec Baldwin, the "tenured radicals" in the universities and anybody to whom you can attach the adjective "latte-sipping."

I think Molly Ivins summed it up best when she said, "Keep your eye on the shell with the pea under it." Your well-being and the nation's should come first, and the pundits' attempts to divert attention from the real issues are nothing but cheap politics. Quite simply, they know they haven't got a chance with most Americans when it comes to the issues that really matter, so they throw out red flags and red herrings like Janet Jackson's nipple, gay marriage and flag burning.

This was the essence of Thomas Frank's 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? He asks the question, how can so many Americans sell out their best interests in the face of cheap hot-button demagoguery and this kind of calculated reverse snobbery? Throw out a few platitudes about family values or express outrage over rap lyrics and many Americans will hand over the keys to their own demise. Frank puts it best here:

"The trick never ages; the illusion never wears off. Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. Vote to make our country strong again; receive deindustrialization. Vote to screw those politically correct college professors; receive electricity dereulation. Vote to get the government off our backs; receive conglomeration and monopoly everywhere from media to meat packing. Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization. Vote to strike a blow against elitism; receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our lifetimes, in which workers have been stripped of power and CEOs are rewarded in a manner beyond imagining."

Bernard Goldberg's list illustrates Frank's point (and mine) perfectly. It's made up of the usual suspects designed to send many right-wingers into a frothing rage. Many of these people I dislike myself, like Paris Hilton and Eminem. But seriously, how do these two bozos affect your immediate and future well-being? Other names on the list are calculated to press the hot buttons of some red-staters' insecurity, the idea that somebody in Manhattan might be looking down on them (Why they should care, I don't know). Simply mention the name Barbra Streisand, and so many conservatives fly into a rage. Associate a liberal position on any issue with people sitting in hot tubs and many votes are guaranteed. Goldberg shows his ham-handed desperation at making some kind of point by putting some of the farthest-out, most wacko liberals on his list, a transparently cheap tactic that would be akin to my arguing that Tim McVeigh proves the sinister nature of conservatism. I wouldn't do that; not only would that be unfair, but I need only point to the White House and Congress to show you how far out and extreme the right is these days.

One listed name in Goldberg's book that's especially laughable is Jesse Jackson; for years I've referred to the right-wing outrage machine's pundits as the Jesse Jacksons of the right for their incessant need to dredge up isolated outrages. In the right-wing example, isolated instances of buffoonery and idiocy are thrown out and tied together as alleged proof of a vast conspiracy to undermine America. If you've listened to any of these guys on the radio for more than 10 minutes, you know what I mean. Have you heard about that principal in Florida who wouldn't let a student bring her Bible to school? Did you hear what those PETA protesters in San Francisco did? I can't believe that Harvard professor who compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany! And so forth.

In the meantime, the Federal Reserve's outlook on job growth in America isn't improving any, nor is the outlook for middle-class America. But you'll never hear that from ace reporter and media critic Bernard Goldberg. He's too busy reporting on more important matters, like how much he hates Michael Moore.

Quotes of the Day

"What if you said something like, if this (a terrorist attack) happens in the United States, and we determine it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites."
- U.S. Rep Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., advocting a bombing raid on Mecca.

"I wonder: Am I the only one who feels that lately - 'lately' described as, 'since Sept. 11, 2001' - the nation seems overrun by yahoos?"
- Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts on Tancredo and his ilk.


One reader responds to my calling President Bush a "lying sack of you-know-what."

"Hey Mouth,

I thought you weren't calling the President a liar?"

Whoops. Well, I guess that makes me a lying sack of you-know-what.

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