My friends, today, I'm going to do something that will shock you. It will amaze you. It will plumb astound you.
I am going to say some nice things about some Republicans.
I know sometimes it seems as if I have it in for the GOP. But see, my schtick here at The Pilot is making fun of people who need making fun of. And you have to admit that the modern GOP offers a target-rich environment for that sort of thing, playing host as it does to a motley collection of birthers, teabaggers, secessionists, death-panel nuts, Sarah Palin cultists, and thugs like Hollerin' Joe Wilson.
The party that once hailed William F. Buckley and George Will as its leading intellectual lights and that now bestows that honor on the virulently anti-intellectual Joe the Plumber is just begging to be mocked. The party that hails a hate-filled drug addict like Rush Limbaugh as its de facto leader...
Oh. Right. Nice things about Republicans. Sorry, got a little carried away there.
It's come to my attention recently that there are actually some voices of reason and sanity crying out in the wilderness, asking for a reasoned debate as opposed to hysterical ranting about made-up bogeymen.
There are indeed some Republicans for whom espousing conservative principles doesn't involve shrieking "socialism," "Marxism" or "fascism" about everything of which one disapproves in such a way that it's crystal-clear that one hasn't the vaguest idea what any of those terms means.
Take, for example Joe Scarborough, former Republican congressman from Florida and the host of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC.
Now, I'm not going to say I agree with Scarborough on everything. But he's been one of the few Republican pundits who seem willing to take on those who place themselves out on the lunatic fringe of Republican discourse. And by "lunatic fringe," of course, I mean Glenn Beck.
Speaking of Beck's claim that President Obama is a racist who hates white people, Scarborough said, "I'm talking to you, Mitt Romney, and I'm talking to anybody who wants to be president in 2012. ... When you preach this kind of hatred, and say that an African American president hates all white people, you are playing with fire. And bad things can happen. And if they do happen, not only is Glenn Beck responsible, but conservatives who don't call him out are responsible."
Scarborough said that he's starting a "conservative honor roll" to reward GOP politicians who denounce racism and craziness. Let's hope it's not a short list.
Then there's Charles Johnson, founder and Webmaster of the right-wing blog Little Green Footballs, or LGF for short.
LGF was the blog that first expressed skepticism about documents referenced in a "60 Minutes" report that raised questions about George Dubbya Bush's truncated service in the Texas Air National Guard. Revelations that the documents were insufficiently verified led to the resignation of veteran CBS anchor Dan Rather, a scalp that any conservative might envy collecting.
Johnson and commenters on the blog have frequently sneered at the "loony liberal left." But after the last election, even Johnson became alarmed at what he saw as the growing racism of the Right, especially the approval some right-wing bloggers were expressing towards European white supremacist organizations.
When Rush Limbaugh used an incident where a white student was beaten on a school bus by some black kids to claim that this was an example of "Obama's America" and to call for buses to be resegregated, Johnson called the segment a "vile rant" and wondered, "Where was Michael Steele? What the hell is wrong with the Right?"
Excellent question, Chuck.
All mockery aside, I would like to see a strong, sane, intellectually honest Republican Party. I think any party, including the Democrats, is made stronger by having principled opposition. And I know there are thoughtful conservatives out there. I know this because I know some of them.
Unfortunately, none of those people seem to be in charge of the party. I'd like to see that change. Oh, it would mean I'd have to find someone else to make fun of, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice for my country.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This May Be a Sign of the Apocalypse
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