Anti-immigration conservatives rush to exploit bombing.
Greg Sargent: There’s still a lot we don’t know, but it’s being widely reported that the two suspects in the Boston bombing — one of whom has been killed by police — are brothers of Chechen origin. According to law enforcement sources, the brothers entered the U.S. in 2002 or 2003, and at least one of them has been a legal permanent resident since 2007.
Some on the right are already pouncing on the news to cast doubt on the desirability of immigration reform. This morning, Ann Coulter Tweeted:
It’s too bad Suspect # 1 won’t be able to be legalized by Marco Rubio, now.
Bryan J. Fisher is a conservative radio host who rails about the “amnesty” that Senator Marco Rubio — one of the Gang of Eight Senators – supposedly supports in the form of immigration reform. Fischer Tweeted the following in response to today’s news out of Boston:
I think we can safely say that Rubio’s amnesty plan is DOA. And should be. Time to tighten, not loosen, immigration policy.
Meanwhile, over at the Washington Examiner, Conn Carroll, a Rubio critic and immigration reform skeptic, wrote that we still don’t know a good deal about the two brothers, adding that today’s planned Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the new immigration reform proposal should be delayed. “Today is not the day for an immigration hearing,” Carroll concluded.
Rubio’s office tells Sargent, “The situation in Boston is still developing and it’s too soon to jump to conclusions, let alone use the tragedy to make political points.”
The parallels to the gun debate are hard to ignore here. After the Newtown massacre, the right accused gun safety advocates of “politicizing” a tragedy to advance their agenda. Apparently, this is a luxury only allowed conservative deepthinkers like Ann Coulter and Bryan Fischer.
Also, if we follow the gun lobby reasoning, laws regulating immigration are completely pointless, stupid, and wrong because people will just break them. As with laws banning certain types of firearms and magazines, it’s important that you only pass laws that are impossible to break — perhaps by somehow tying immigration to the speed of light or some other immutable law of physics.
And if it turns out that both brothers are legal residents, how does this say a thing about immigration reform, which focuses on the problem of undocumented people?
As always, conservative talking points are completely at odds with other conservative talking points, because they live in a world of cognitive dissonance and perpetual logical inconsistency. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live with this sort of stuff going on in your head, but it has to be very disorienting.
If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and he will lose to Obama.
News Roundup for 10/6/11
-Headline of the day-
"Palin: Already Almost Forgotten."
When Sarah Palin announced she wouldn’t seek the GOP nomination for presidency, she said she wasn’t going away, but that she would “continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets.”
To which former Bush speechwriter David Frum answers, “Um, probably not.”
"Sarah Palin’s political voice had dwindled well before she announced her decision not to run," he continues. "Now it will sink altogether into inaudibility. She will be no kind of force in future national discussions. She will have no sway over party debates. She will retain some starpower for a little while longer. She may for another cycle or two be able to help certain candidates for certain political offices raise some money. Even that will fade within two more years or four. Her political career was brief, bizarre, and sordid. But now at least it is definitively finished."
Seriously, this whole post is great. It’s like an obituary written by someone who didn’t like the deceased very much and wanted to get one last good whack in before they started shoveling in the dirt. He says she was a phony who was “never even a very good con artist” and that the people who fell for her bullshit were “people who passionately wished to be fooled.”
Sure, she’ll pop up occasionally, but for the most part she’ll sit in the green room with people like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter, waiting for the calls for an encore that never come. I like to imagine her as a sort of political Norma Desmond (look it up, kids), rattling around a decaying mansion in the end, waiting for past glories to come again and keeping an eye on the Behring Strait through a big spyglass, in the event that Vladimir Putin pops his head up. There he is! It’s Putin! Max! Max! Call Fox News! I’m ready for my live feed, Mr. Hannity!
However it ends up, it’s over. Those fifteen minutes are finally up. Everything from here on out is epilogue. (FrumForum)
-Cartoon time with Mark Fiore-
Hey kids, President Obama’s here and he’s going to tell us all about fighting terr’ism! Yay!
Click for animation
In the words of the great Walt Kelly, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” (MarkFiore.com)
"Sarah Palin’s Die Hard Supporters ‘Stunned,’ ‘Disappointed.’"
Wow. You mean both of them? (ABC News)
Horrifying and a typical neocon, false meme for drama. Sad, but true, lethal injection will be the murder weapon.
If y’all get a chance, head on over to Twitter and tell Ann Coulter what a disgusting, heartless piece of shit she is. I don’t care what your political affiliation is, asking for someone “flame broiled” is horrifying.
This is just her typical “Lookit me! I’m so offensive and controversial and outrageous!” schtick. She’s hoping to be rewarded for being a troll, so please don’t feed. Her 15 minutes are pretty much up. No need to prolong them.
Little Bullies, Schoolyard Taunts, and Republican Campaigning
When I was in grade school, there was this one kid. Of course, he will remain nameless, because this is the story of a little prick. He delighted in hurting people’s feelings and pushing people’s buttons. And he was also a coward. If you chased him down, he’d beg and cry and promise to stop being such an a-hole, but as soon as he got out of reach, he’d go right back to being a jerk — I mean immediately. I would’ve kicked his ass — maybe I should’ve — but I wasn’t that kind of person, I was raised right. I see now that he was some category of bully, but it didn’t seem like it at the time, because all the violence in that particular relationship would’ve come from me. But bully he was, because he enjoyed abusing other people. And he did it because he knew I wouldn’t hurt him, despite the fact that I was one of the biggest kids in the school. Seriously, I could’ve snapped him like a twig.
If current events are any indication, that kid has a job in the Republican Party today. At the very least, he’s a Tea Partier. They’re the party of insults, the party of smears, and they do it because they know liberals won’t hit back in the same way. We can’t, really. Our voters wouldn’t like it. We’re persuaded by rational argument, not schoolyard taunts. But Republicans love jerks. If you’re an abrasive loudmouth, you’re the best thing ever. If you don’t believe me, turn on talk radio and count the seconds between insults. You won’t count very high. Or better yet, correct a rightwinger on twitter. Their very first response to you will be an insult that they think is knee-slappingly clever. They mistake debate — which in its purest form should be a fact-based, logical exposition of truth — for a knock-down, drag-out fight in which the one who gets to say, “Ooh, burn!” is the obvious winner. Facts are meaningless, logic is irrelevant, truth is for losers. Politics is about insults and political debate is just a more formal version of “the dozens.”
Which brings us to this photo being passed around by David Limbaugh:
Click to enlarge
How very typical.
If you’re having trouble seeing it, the image claims to show Rick Perry and Barack Obama when both were 22 years old. On the left, we see Perry posing alongside an Air Force plane’s cockpit, and on the right, we see a young Obama smoking and wearing a hat.
Politico says it’s an image “you’re likely to see again.” A Perry campaign spokesperson boasted soon after, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Now, as it turns out, National Review's Daniel Foster noted that the picture of Obama “seems to come from a roll of film shot by a friend at Occidental college, which Obama left, in favor of Columbia, years before he was 22,” suggesting the competing images aren’t even accurate.
But never mind that. Even if we accept the Perry/Obama image at face value, this is still entirely pointless.
Pointless only to liberals and independents. For Republicans, this is what passes for a crushing, slam-dunk argument. Benen goes on to point out that “the presidential nominee with more military background lost six out of eight times — 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1992, and 1980 — including each of the last five national cycles.” If conservatives really gave a crap about military experience, they wouldn’t have attacked John Kerry’s service. And the very last guy who posed for a photo like that was a disaster.
But none of that is the point. The point is to hurt Obama and his supporters in a personal way. It’s a way to rally the base, who always cheer on the bully — think of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and signs at Tea Party rallies. Think of Sarah Palin and the hatefests that McCain-Palin rallies turned into.
And what happens when those Republicans get the tiniest bit of criticism? It’s an attack! It’s outrageous! Victim card! Victim card! Sarah Palin, for example, makes her living off this brainless attack-dog politics. Yet her entire argument seems to be that people should listen to her — and maybe even make her president — because the press is so mean to her that she deserves it. They’re always just as willing to be offended as they are to offend, as quick complain about being attacked as they are to attack. They march to the attack under a banner that reads “LIBTARD!” but retreat into victimhood when confronted.
In other words, you get the taunts when they’re safely out of reach and the tears when you chase them down. Looking back, I really should’ve kicked that kid’s ass.
Sarah Palin, Cultural Troll, Strings Out Her 16th Minute of Fame
"Liberals like this? Then I don’t."
I think that pretty much sums up the entirety of Sarah Palin’s political philosophy. She represents the reactionary nature of modern conservatism, where — if it weren’t for the left — she’d have no idea what she stood for. She’s a policy lightweight and she’s fasting in a smorgasbord of information, yet starving for attention.
At her very core, Sarah Palin is what so many rightwing people are — a troll. And that’s why the far right loves her. She is what Ann Coulter was, until Coulter became familiar and boring. These people have the attention span of goldfish and Ann Coulter, once the right’s woman of the future, turned out to be the flavor of the month. Sure, she still sells books, but her days on the covers of magazines are over.
What both Palin and Coulter have learned is that the best way to a wingnut’s heart is through their hatred. If you can piss liberals off, then you’re all right. Policy ideas, actual logical arguments, facts and figures — who needs them? Just say something that liberals will hate and the wingnuts will love you.
Sarah Palin’s participation in the annual Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., has fueled as much noise about a potential presidential candidacy as the thousands of motorcycle-riding veterans participating in the Rolling Thunder ride-along Sunday.
At the Pentagon parking lot where the mob of veterans and their families pre-position for the thunderous two-wheeler march down Constitution Ave, Palin, who was not expected to address the Memorial Day crowd, said she was thrilled to participate.
"I love that smell of the emissions," she said, donning sunglasses and a Harley Davidson skullcap-style, black helmet.
Not exhaust, emissions. Why? Because liberals are worried about emissions and, if liberals don’t like something, then that means there should be more of it. Meanwhile, ThinkProgress points out that carbon emissions are at an all time high.
But the future isn’t important. What’s important is giving liberals a hard time. If Palin had been on the Titanic and liberals had been warning of icebergs, Sarah would be boring holes in lifeboats.
Luckily for everyone, Sarah Palin is on her sixteenth minute of fame. Soon, she’ll join other heroes of the right like Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck and Cal Thomas in the bottom of the toy box. The old cliche is true — at least, on the right — and familiarity does breed contempt. Whatever path Palin chooses — doomed presidential campaign or continued Facebook trollery — it’ll be calculated to stretch out her remaining days of fame. And maybe cash in one last time.
There really isn’t anyone home in Sarah Palin. At least, not Sarah Palin the public figure. She’s just a reaction to what happens around her. She’s a voice criticizing decisions made by others, without risking criticism herself by ever advocating an original position. She makes no arguments that are her own, she has no ideas that she didn’t get second-hand, and the policies she defends have other authors. She’s just a rubberband that snaps back in the opposite direction when pulled.
Fortunately — whether she runs or not — we’re probably just about done with Sarah Palin. Unfortunately, bored wingnuts will replace her with another shiny new troll when they’re done with her.
News Roundup for 4/1/11
Most Americans’ view of the federal budget
-Headline of the day-
"Poll: Americans Wrongly Estimate $178 Billion In Fed. Budget Goes To Public Broadcasting.”
That’s right, yet another poll showing that — despite holding strong opinions about the federal budget — most Americans have no idea what’s actually in it. When CNN asked how much of the federal budget was spent on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the “median guess” was 5%. 20% of respondents believed it was 10% of the budget, while 5% thought half of all money spent by the feds goes to NPR and PBS.
"The survey also underscores how clueless Americans are about where the budget goes in general," we’re told. "For example, Americans on average thought foreign aid took up 10% of the budget; it really makes up about 1%."
How much does CPB actually get? It’s “approximately one one-hundredth of one percent,” according to the report. One penny out of every hundred dollars?
Outrageous! (Talking Points Memo)
-The world’s gone mad!-
Today, Scientific American announced it would begin to balance their science reporting with creationist and global warming denier viewpoints. Reddit got all moldy. Google announced that you can now use body English in Gmail. Huffington Post announces a pay wall that only applies to people who work at the New York Times. And PBS hires rightwing nutjob Ann Coulter, other rightwing nutjob Mark Levin, and nonpartisan nutjob Lindsey Lohan.
Weird day, huh? (Scientific American, Reddit Blog, Google, Huffington Post, American Spectator)
"Mike Huckabee Wants Every American To Be ‘Forced At Gun Point’ To Learn From Radical Historian."
'Cause that there's what you call “liberty!” (ThinkProgress)