Every Day is a Gift (Even for Republicans)

I put together this little video the other day to try and make a point.   During the video I hold up a particular book that talks about, generally, some of the stuff I am gettting at in the video.  Here’s the vid…

After I had created the video (which I recorded on Valentine’s Day) I was reading a bit about someone who is hated because of her name.  She, too, mentioned the book I held up during the video, which leads to the second half of this post.

The full interview with “The Daugher of the Anti-Christ [sic]” is available here. It is the sad fact that many Republicans actually call someone by that name which illustrates what a sad fact it is.

Alexandra P followed around the McCain/Palin campaign during the election after it became clear that they were going to lose, badly.  I wrote a bit about why that was a while back.

Here’s what AP observed…(the person, not the media organization). Let’s start with the connection to my video (and the random book I spied while making it).  From the narrator…

When Alexandra Pelosi made the Emmy-winning documentary “Journeys With George” in 2000, about her 18 months on the campaign trail with soon-to-be-President George W. Bush, her mother, Nancy, was not yet speaker of the House, and the name “Pelosi” was not yet an epithet on the lips of Republicans.

Eight years later, Pelosi went back out on the GOP campaign trail and into the lion’s den, in the waning days of John McCain’s failed bid for the White House. In her latest film, “Right America: Feeling Wronged,” which debuts on HBO Monday night, Pelosi attends McCain and Sarah Palin rallies in 28 states and puts her microphone in the faces of some very passionate conservatives. As defeat looms, she watches the Republican base go through a very public grieving process, with most of the stages that psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross described — denial, depression and a whole lot of anger — but not very much acceptance. Salon spoke to Pelosi by phone.

And then we get on to the question and answer portion of the article….

Early in the film Sean Hannity points to you in front of a McCain crowd and says, “That’s Nancy Pelosi’s daughter.” And you respond, “You’re going to get me lynched.” Did you ever feel endangered or like there was any personal animus toward you during the making of this film?

Thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of people showed up to see the McCain-Palin ticket. Maybe a dozen people humiliated me — you know, embarrassed me and made me feel really unwanted. I don’t want to paint the whole lot of the Republican base as mean-spirited and cruel and unfriendly. To me it’s more interesting to focus on the real Christian conservatives who didn’t agree with anything I had to say but invited me over for dinner so that we could talk about it.

Sean Hannity is an idiot douche-bag, BTW.  He’s very popular with a certain type of Republican.

On how far away the core of the Republican Party is away from the mainstream.

I remember Elaine Tornero in Reynoldsburg, Ohio: She called me and said, “I drive through downtown Columbus, Ohio, and I see these iconic, artistic images of Barack Obama with the word ‘Hope’ under it, and I feel like I’m living in Castro’s Cuba.” I live in Union Square in Manhattan, and I walk out my front door and there are just lines of buttons, lines of T-shirt salesmen selling these artistic images of Barack Obama. I’ve been to Cuba. That’s exactly what it looks like. There are some things that they see that make them uncomfortable. And I think we have to respect that and understand that. Not say, “Oh, they’re just extremists. Oh, they’re just freaks. Oh, they’re just racists.” They’re not. They just don’t agree with us on, like, moral and cultural and political issues. They don’t agree with us on anything, really.

Really?  Cuba?   I guess it’s all the 1950’s cars on the streets and the lack of homeless people and the thirty-year rule of the same guy.  Sure, it’s been less than 30 days in the real world, but what does the real world have to do with anything.

I hated it when the idiot Democrats would call Bush “Hitler” for all his killing.  It didn’t make sense then (see how Bush stepped down when he lossed instead of the predicted power grab?  Hullo, crazy Democrats?  You remember predicting that?) and it doesn’t make sense now.

The thing that sets the U.S. apart, and has kept it relatively stable, is our ability to transfer power like gentlepeople, rather than like, say….Castro.

At one point, you’re talking to someone who describes Obama as the antichrist, and you say to him, “Do you want to maybe rethink that? Because I’m going to be accused, when this is on TV, of just looking for the craziest guy in the room.” And he ponders it and says, “No.” He’s OK with saying it. How often did you have that kind of conversation with somebody?

Every day. It was much more common than you’d think. In the heat of an election, people say some crazy things. And in the case of the gentleman you’re talking about, I have talked to him since then and this is just the way he sees it. I heard that every single day. It was much more common than you’d think. And I think that a lot of them were mimicking things they heard on right-wing radio.

Right wing radio makes people retarded.   Really, it’s not hard to figure out where someone gets their info when they call Obama the “Messiah” and Pelosi “The Anti-Christ.”   They learned it from RWR.  Here’s how RWR “works” BTW. (and yes, that’s the same Ziegler I tore to pieces here.)

AP then makes a decent point about the New Media and how it is hurting.  I’ve been banned from any number of blogs for trying to have a rational conversation with these people.  It rarely works, and only works after I am patient as hell and ignore the vicious barbs and assumptions that nearly every poster puts into every reply.

I think that the blogs have poisoned the political atmosphere in such a way that I never saw this kind of anger and hatred in 2000. In 2008, I was impressed by how angry it got. But you know elections have gotten nasty. I do think that blogs have really given people a place to, I don’t know, maybe it’s therapeutic for them. But it’s really gotten them fired up in a way. They talk to each other online and then they get worked up and then they go meet each other at rallies. And I just feel like the Internet has really changed the climate at the political rallies. Because I remember the Bush rallies as being fun. But you know, a lot’s happened. 9/11 and all that poisoning the well. The whole partisan Bush years and the war poisoned the well. A lot of other things contributed. You can’t just blame the blogs.

Scott McClellen writes about this in his book “What Happened.”   It part of the problem caused by the “eternal campaign” mindset that Bush held onto forever.   It’s very difficult now with the 24-hour propaganda channels and the lack of reasoned debate.  It’s just screaming and hatred, all the time.  Every day is new emotional scandal.  There is no room for agreement, no room for compromise, only epithets and insults.

AP also points out the base irony in many of the most virulent haters.

For me, it wasn’t so much the Muslim thing, it was the socialist thing. Respectfully, I wanted to say to them, I live on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. I am on the winning side of capitalism. I work for HBO, corporate America. The Man has been good to me. You, on the other hand, are driving a truck that says, “Obama is a socialist idiot,” and you’re in a much lower tax bracket than most of the people in Manhattan that are voting for Obama. So the times I would actually get into it would be like, “OK, explain to me why you think he’s an idiot. He’s trying to give you a tax cut. You understand you’re voting against your own self-interest?”

I can defend why I am for raising my own taxes. Can you defend why you’re against getting a tax cut? And you know, some people could, and many people couldn’t because they didn’t really realize, they hadn’t read all the tax plan stuff and they just didn’t believe. And then when you’d explain it to them, they would say, “I don’t believe Barack Obama. He’s just a liar. He’s telling people what they want to hear.” So that’s the other wrinkle: They don’t believe him. Even if you say, “Obama isn’t a Muslim,” they’d say, “I don’t believe him.”

This is the same kind of irony that misses the fact that it was a “tax and spend liberal” that balanced the budget and the last three “fiscal conservatives” have run up massive debts.

And finally, the real problem with the Republican party is that it is run on hatred, not on love, which is why it is losing ground left and right.  To wit…

I found it quite comical that my last name was a swear word in the red states, you know? And that it became sort of a symbol of everything that’s bad with America. The candidates that you didn’t see on TV, the warm-up speakers that were criticizing the Democrats in Washington, would give these incredibly offensive speeches that all ended with the punch line of something really derogatory with the name Pelosi next to it. It really got the crowds worked up. And I had to call my father during the campaign and say to him, “Dad, did you know how hated you are in America? Did you know that your last name has become a symbol of just like every four-letter word?” And he didn’t know, because he didn’t watch Fox News.

Ultimately Republicans need to find themselves again, and not by obstructing everything under the Sun.   The fact that the delegates from the RNC were 99% white is a really bad sign for the GOP, as the U.S. is changing in demographics quickly, and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” which paid off dividends for years (and helped Bush defeat McCain in South Carolina in 2000), is now eating away at the pie, and making the (R) slice of it smaller and smaller.

Frankly I’d rather have a strong and rational Republican party, rather than one filled with the misinformed and those full of blasphemous hatred.

I know that many rank and file republicans aren’t this way, but it seems most of the loudest and proudest wear this hatred on their sleeves and think it is a good thing.

Hatred is not a good thing.

After all, every day is a gift.

Don’t hate the gift.  It’s a waste of time.

2 thoughts on “Every Day is a Gift (Even for Republicans)

  1. I didn’t know you were an eagle scout? Good post. A friend of mine who is a ChemE from Michigan talks about how he always thought while in school that Communication majors were a joke since the degree was easy to get, the people getting them were always out partying, and what you did with that degree wasn’t as clear as an engineering degree. Now with some perspective he says he realizes if you understand communication to the masses and can control the masses what you have is power. This isn’t important for just politicians but anyone who interfaces with people and wants to promote an agenda.
    Good stuff RPN – keep up the good work

  2. Yup, sure am.

    The Media plays an interesting role in shaping a lot of what people think. It’s really pretty striking to cut off that source for a while and just look at the real world outside one’s window. Rather refreshing, to be honest.

    On the campaign trail, and the “permanent campaign” of today’s politics, learning how to “play” the media and trying to control the “frame” and dominate the news cycle are all full time jobs.

    I think think it’s mostly b.s. and mainly throw bombs from the sidelines, so to speak, but I think getting a better, general understanding on how the media does things would do a lot to moderate some of the more nasty things people say to each other (in political discussion, for example). Sadly, however, the Media wants none of this, as the emotional draw does wonders for their advertisers, and the last thing the Media really wants is an informed viewing public. It would hurt their business.

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