Thursday, March 14, 2013

Repeated Disdain

Scott Prouty has revealed himself to be the videographer who gave to Jimmy Carter's grandson the tape of Mitt Romney's infamous performance at a May, 2008 fundraiser in Florida, when the ex-governor remarked in part

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.

The dishonesty and sense of privilege which permeated Romney's statement could not hide the searing contempt of someone who believed nearly half of us "believe government has a responsibility to care for them" and "believe that they are entitled to... an entitlement."

It's a perspective not limited to Mitt Romney but endemic to his Party.   On Sunday, Joe Walsh, the U.S. Representative from Illinois who was defeated in his bid for re-election in 2010 by Tammy Duckworth, stated

The American people have grown stupid, we’ve grown uninterested, we’ve gotten busy, we’re distracted, we’re lazy, and we’re easily manipulated. Again, I can sit with you and have a beer and I can tell you about how idiotic most of our politicians are. That’s boring to me. It’s on us. Jefferson said something to the effect of, when a people becomes uninformed or uneducated — stupid — they’re going to lose their republic, they’re going to lose this democracy. And folks, I’m here to tell ya with a big old smile, we’re there. We’re losing. 

Of course, that wasn't the only foolish thing said by Walsh, who remarked also "The Democrats have made a concerted strategy for 50 some years to get blacks dependent upon government, to put blacks — good, decent African Americans — on the government plantation. They are doing the exact same thing with Latinos.”  Unemployment compensation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid- sounds a lot like slavery, don't you think?

When Walsh calls the American people "stupid" and "lazy," it bears a similarity to Romney's characterization of Americans as believing "they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,"    And Walsh's description of people as "uninformed or uneducated- stupid" brings to mind an obsession which began manifesting itself months ago by one of the nation's leading Republicans, Rush Limbaugh.

On Tuesday he somehow linked the "absolutive, punitive oppression that is in" the Affordable Care Act with New York City Mayor Bloomberg's restrictions on soda, slamming "your average, ordinary, low-information voter has no clue this is coming his way. Your average, ordinary Obama voter has no clue that this is coming."    

In another segment, Limbaugh- still praying the President of the United States of America fails- contended "People don't want to think that they've elected somebody that doesn't like the way this country was founded."  He added "So it's a really, really difficult thing to try to reach a typical Obama voter or low-information voter and have the lights go off as it did with Robert." (Note it is not only "typical Obama voter or low-information voter.)

He wasn't finished.   He also whined

The Drive-Bys, folks, are excited because it's possible that the College of Cardinals might elect an American pope.  And that would signify that America is no longer the ruling nation of the world.  The reason why -- some of you newly arrived low-information people, I realize very few of you admit to being a low-information voter until you stop and think about it, but in one sense you know who you are. There's no shame in it.  Everybody has to start out somewhere.  Have you ever wondered why the UN secretary's never been an American? 

Romney, Walsh, and Limbaugh are not the only Repubs contemptuous of Americans, only the most brazen (and Romney had to be caught on video by an unsympathetic bartender).  There are many more who are more subtle and careful, with a less transparent expression of scorn.

Think House Speaker John Boehner, who earlier this month claimed "There's no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester."  Caught with his pants down as he was informed of a plan on President Obama's website, Boehner followed the GOP playbook.  He didn't admit that he was wrong nor misinterpreted.  Rather, his spokesman made it up: "A plan must demonstrate it has the ability to pass a chamber of Congress to be worth anything."

So don't blame the conservative next door or down the street for being ill-informed.  It's all part of the strategy of the Party, which believes the people are dunces, so they might as well go with it.

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