Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Boiling point

Digby says we're frogs being slowly boiled to death:

Ann Coulter is not, as Howie Kurtz asserts today, the equivalent of Michael Moore. Michael Moore is not advocating the murder of conservatives. He just isn't. For instance, he doesn't say that Eric Rudolph should be killed so that other conservatives will learn that they can be killed too. He doesn't say that he wishes that Tim McVeigh had blown up the Washington Times Bldg. He doesn't say that conservatives routinely commit the capital offense of treason. He certainly doesn't put up pictures of the fucking snoopy dance because one of his political opponents was killed. He doesn't, in other words, issue calls for violence and repression against his political enemies. That is what Ann Coulter does, in the most coarse, vulgar, reprehensible way possible.

Moore says conservatives are liars and they are corrupt and they are wrong. But he is not saying that they should die. There is a distinction. And it's a distinction that Time magazine and Howard Kurtz apparently cannot see.

He goes on to compare the gradual coarsening of our culture, which gets lots of attention, with the close-to-boiling-point coarsening of our leadership, which doesn’t.

Meanwhile, there's a piece at Kos today on the actual boiling to death of a human being – done in our name by torturers in Uzbek on behalf of US and British intelligence services. Craig Murray, the British ambassador who reported the atrocity, was promptly removed from office.

When Sy Hersh warned us a few months back to start moving cash and buy that property in Tuscany, it was a jolt. Hersh is pretty hard-bitten. He’s seen a lot since his days reporting My Lai, and he’s saying it’s time. We’ve been taken over by a cult; we’re headed for economic collapse; there’s no one in power to stop them; it’s time.

But the apocalyptic vision isn’t what’s getting to me. It’s that coarsening. It's that gradual-boiling-to-death thing.

I just read Thomas Jefferson and the other founders on the subject of religion and state. Their thinking is so… free... it’s actually breathtaking, and sad. Flash forward 250 years and they’d be under death threats. So what kind of a nation, you have to ask, would elect the leaders we have today? And then stand by as they threaten violence, practice torture, lie with impunity, loot the treasury, rig elections, and stifle dissent? What kind of citizens think Fox News is a good idea, want to kill “towelheads,” and think W. is a godly man?

The answer is us. Gradually, this is what we have become. And that’s when I wonder again about leaving.


leolabeth said...

Congrats Kate for a great endeavor. I'm thrilled beyond belief to have a local blog, and you can't get more local than three miles down the road.

As for the Coulter woman, I'll write Time, but it won't be pretty. Good lord, I heard her say on Bill Maher's show she didn't think women should have the right to vote.


Alna Dem said...

Hey, thanks for visiting! You're my first commenter. And thanks for writing Time. As Al Franken said in Lying Liars,... "You know who I really don't like? Ann Coulter!"

See ya round the hood. Let me know if you have local news tips. I get kinda hypnotized by the national scene, as if I were backed into a corner by a cobra...

leolabeth said...

Yes, I'm guilty of too broad a focus, too. I want to get better about keeping track of the local crapola (and successes).

You probably got an e-mail from Chris Harris about the Republicans' wish to turn the budget over to a referendum. Unbelievable. Makes me pine for frikkin' Perot and his "electronic electorate," at least that was overtly dopey. This just makes them look lazy and irresponsible.

Guess I shouldn't complain about that.