But August is Long and Dumb and a Lot of People are on Vacation

Goldni has a great and insightful post on the President’s speech last night. So, of course, this being the internet, I’m going to quibble with one part.

She says:

This is what he should have been doing all along. They made a misstep by sitting back and letting Congress bog it down, and leaving it wide open for all the craziness that went on in August. Obama should have been this forceful and clear about his expectations from the get-go.

But I don’t know. I mean, for the past two months, we’ve watched the conservatives scoring some of the weirdest PR “victories” ever. I mean, I get that they have their little tea parties and they get on TV and they bring their guns to the town hall meetings and they get on TV and they shout and cry and talk about just wanting their America back and they get on TV and they piss and moan about the President not being born in America and they get on TV and they pull their kids out of school and they get on TV and then one of them, this time a congressman, shouts “You lie” at the President and he gets on TV.

I think it makes for great TV, but people can still tell a difference between TV and real life.  On a TV show, you want action and adventure and gunfire and dramatic outbursts.

Not so much in real life.

People don’t like chaos.  And the conservatives in this country now look very chaotic, to put it mildly.

I mean, Republican congressfolks just had to sit there respectfully, like most schoolchildren were able to do the day before, and they couldn’t even manage that.  And while each of the things I mentioned may have seemed to an average American to be some local weirdness, it was building to a crescendo. (Which, if I may side-track a moment is what many of us fear–that it is building to a crescendo where some loon feels justified in shooting someone.)

And between people not only pulling their kids out of school (a stupid but personal choice for whoever wants to for whatever reason), but also insisting on their ability to prevent other people’s kids from seeing the speech, and Wilson’s outburst, it is now on the national radar that there’s something still deeply wrong with the Republican party.

You, as a voter, might not be thrilled about what the Democrats are up to, but do you want to be stuck with a party that is conducting itself like the lunatic fringe of the South?

I mean, has the Republican party looked around the country lately?  The rest of the country thinks of the South as America’s asshole.  Even racists formed the neo-Nazis because they didn’t want to be associated with the dumb Southern rednecks in the Klan.  Making yourself into the party that represents the values of conservative white folks in the South makes you a permanent minority in this country because, just for starters, most white people don’t live in the South and most Americans, in general, have a lot of negative stereotypes of the South.

And yet, who do the Republicans have making their great rebuttal speeches?

I’m just saying, August may have seemed to work against Obama in the short term, but it seems to have codified what it means to be a Republican, and I think that helps him in the long term.

I could be wrong.

10 thoughts on “But August is Long and Dumb and a Lot of People are on Vacation

  1. Pingback: Are You Sure? : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. Now, B — I dig you… but you’re talking about the South, my home and a place that is near and dear to me.

    Even racists formed the neo-Nazis because they didn’t want to be associated with the dumb Southern rednecks in the Klan.

    If you check your statistics, you’ll find that there are more Klan “chapters” (are they chapters, are they that organized?) north of the Mason Dixon line – if memory serves me right, Indiana has the most Klan organizations.

    and most Americans, in general, have a lot of negative stereotypes of the South.

    Maybe so, but people from all over America keep flocking here. So it must not be THAT bad.

    The South doesn’t have the monopoly on racism or Republicanism or rednecks even. We just got stuck with the label. Each of these stereotypes can be found elsewhere. It’s just more fun to pick on white trash I guess.

  3. Yes, but Beth, you’re both missing and making my point. That’s exactly right. The South doesn’t have a monopoly on any of those things; those stereotypes can be found across the nation; y’all have just gotten stuck with the label.

    THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT.

    If you are trying to stay a major national political party, which I assume the Republicans are, you need to be aware of that. You don’t need to give folks who are uneasy about you a reason to feel justified in their uneasiness.

    The Republicans have three strong bases at the moment–white people, conservatives, and people who don’t like Obama because they don’t think he’s legitimate, for whatever reason.

    And the core of their base is now in the South.

    You can’t win nationally with a Southern, white, conservative, upset and seemingly racist base.

    That’s just a fact of where we sit historically and demographically.

    Maybe it’s impolite to point out that the rest of the country thinks little of the South, but it’s the truth. And it’s a truth that impacts each and every one of us negatively.

    But at the moment, we’re stuck in a feed-back loop. People think we suck, our hackles get raised, we act shitty in return, and people think we suck.

    I’m not saying that it’s right.

    But I am trying to point out that riding that feedback loop to power, as the Republicans seem to think they can do, isn’t going to work.

    For exactly the other reason you pointed out–the South is changing. People continue to move here. And the people who are here are not only tired of being stereotyped, due to the rise of the internet, we all have our own means of getting our message out there.

  4. “But at the moment, we’re stuck in a feed-back loop. People think we suck, our hackles get raised, we act shitty in return, and people think we suck.”

    Exactly.

  5. You may very well be correct that this is a long-term victory. I just think that we could have made much more progress on this bill and moved on to other issues if he had taken control of it from the beginning. But as your intern, I don’t disagree with you overall.

  6. Very good post, I agree with you 100%. Rachel Maddow said something similar last night, that the PR “victories” were really just the Republican Party trotting out their crazy uncles before all the world and everyone shirking in horror.

    NPR has an excerpt from Max Blumenthal’s new book, “Republican Gomorrah,” which seems to echo your thoughts here.

  7. I wish I shared your faith in people. I worry based on some people I know) that alot of more apathetic people are going to think, “Gee… For the Republicans to act like such children, they must be REALLY angry about this healthcare thing; and if they’re THAT angry, there must be SOMETHING wrong with it.”

  8. This may be what it looks like to educated Democrats, but as I keep reminding myself “we are not their target audience”. I can guarantee you that these shenanigans that look so foolish to us look quite different to right wing “conservatives”.

Comments are closed.