Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our "Negro Soviet Republic": Conservative Hysteria About Progressives

I should note upfront that I tend to be a cynic when it comes to the intentions of those empty vessels involved in entertainment news. Nevertheless, I take kindly to the extra attention that folk of my ideological evilness are receiving of late from one of Rupert Murdoch's more useful idiots.

I am still not convinced that Glenn believes a word of it. This is a man who spent the first four decades of a his life in a drunken, drug-addled stupor, and whose hero is a fundamentalist Mormon best known for being an associate of an organization that still claims General Eisenhower a "conscious dupe" for Communism.

But let us assume that Glenn is not scraping his knees for the people writing his checks, or catering to an audience of fools by acting more lampoonish than even his other colleagues to corner the ratings on the lumpens. Let as assume he is sincere and the people who watch this stuff believe it, as well, which to me seems more important.

OK, in that case, let me introduce myself, since apparently it is their job to find out "who they are," meaning folks like myself. My name is Progressive Devil #1 (why not? since no one else has claimed the title). As a self-identified progressive, I am what is now described as a "Communist," "fascist" threat to this country's existence, next to Obama and anyone who votes for him, but enough about him. Let us go over some of the platforms and gripes of the progressive devils, so you lumpens will better know us and be able to spot us at the end of times for...well, it won't matter because you will have been raptured to your dead carpenter anyway, but I digress.

1. I think I speak for most progressives when I say, yes, indeed, we support 'social justice.' And what does social justice means? It means the same thing as it did in the 19th century when the anti-slavery movement sprouted from the Second Great Awakening, the first real politicized Evangelical social movement in this country's history, which was predicated on realizing Christ's command that the meek shall inherit the earth. Interesting lot, seeing how we today are mostly heathens, but even us evil ones (like Lucifer himself) started out with heavenly intentions. And how did that whole anti-slavery thing go for us? Well, we crushed the great great grandparents of Glenn Beck's viewing audience in the Civil War and abolished the institution by force of arms. No need to thank us. Our forebears were simply following the dictates of a religion that, as we are told on a not infrequent basis, embodies the values of this country.

Here are but a couple of examples of Christ's social justice tendencies.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.--Matthew 19:24

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Dafraud not, Honor they father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!--Mark 10: 17-24.
By the standards of Glenn Beck, Jesus Christ was a closeted Bolshevik, daring to damn all rich people to hell who refused to sell their possessions and give them away to the poor.

2. While we are fretted on for all of the bad things we have allegedly done to this country, we never get enough credit for the good we have done for this polity. We are the same people who brought you such benefits like the 40 hour work week, ban on child labor, the minimum wage, women's right to vote, and direct elections to the Senate (which I did not see anyone from Fox complaining about when Scott Brown won his special election recently). You see, after slavery, our busybody social justice ways extended to such unholy proclivities as trying to eliminate the use of kids as underpaid laborers in Henry Frick's mines. Who would have figured that these little ones would become the front line of the statist war on working youth?

Sound preposterous? In 1918, a conservative, strict-constructionist Supreme Court struck down a Congressional law restricting child labor because it violated the 10th Amendment. Sound like a familiar line of argument?
In our view the necessary effect of this act is, by means of a prohibition against the movement in interstate commerce of ordinary commercial commodities to regulate the hours of labor of children in factories and mines within the states, a purely state authority. Thus the act in a two-fold sense is repugnant to the Constitution. It not only transcends the authority delegated to Congress over commerce but also exerts a power as to a purely local matter to which the federal authority does not extend.
It is the same love for the 10th Amendment that the Supreme Court used in Plessy v. Ferguson to justify racial segregation.
We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it....If one race be inferior to the other socially, the constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane.
And it is the same mentality that gave us the Taney Court and the infamous Dred Scott case.

In discussing this question, we must not confound the rights of citizenship which a State may confer within its own limits, and the rights of citizenship as a member of the Union....He may have all of the rights and privileges of the citizen of a State, and yet not be entitled to the rights and privileges of a citizen in any other State. For, previous to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, every State had the undoubted right to confer on whomsoever it pleased the character of citizen, and to endow him with all its rights. But this character of course was confined to the boundaries of the State, and gave him no rights or privileges in other States beyond those secured to him by the laws of nations and the comity of States. Nor have the several States surrendered the power of conferring these rights and privileges by adopting the Constitution of the United States. Each State may still confer them upon an alien, or any one it thinks proper, or upon any class or description of persons; yet he would not be a citizen in the sense in which that word is used in the Constitution of the United States, nor entitled to sue as such in one of its courts, nor to the privileges and immunities of a citizen in the other States.

This is the side that the white right in this country never shows you when they talk about the 10th Amendment, states' rights, small government, and respect for "individual freedom," on the condition that it is their freedom, not yours, while demurring that any criticism is a product of Marxism. This is an old habit that dies hard with these folk. Here were some more honest Tenth Amendment supporters of their day, opining about they thought of federal civil rights laws.

The irony is that the right-wing's fulminations against civil rights, child labor laws, and just about everything else as a Communist plot (or attempt to create, in the words of a co-sponsor of this year's CPAC, "A Negro Soviet Republic") does more to legitimize Communism than their own worldview, but I am sure in the insulated, scripture-laden rooms of these folk they can read the writing on the wall, even if most of them do not want to admit it. They are fighting a battle and war they cannot win, which is not with progressives but with the demographic switchover of this country in the next half century that is going to swamp them.

You never saw anyone from Fox 'news' complain about big government, creeping Communism, or centralization when the Patriot Act was passed. To this day, I have not heard Beck's view on allowing the NSA to catalog all of our phone calls, through federal law (imposed on private companies), and the allowance for federal law enforcement to come in anyone's house and take that person's property without a warrant on mere suspicion of being a terrorist (and without legal oversight of the bureaucrat's judgment).

Where was the right's hatred of our federal government during the Bush years? Naturally, they were comparing anyone who was critical of our president in time of war to being a traitor:

Am I not the only one who finds it odd that these people were such believers in big government when they are in power, now to rediscover their love for states' rights, nullification, and all of the values that gave us our first very real traitors, the Confederacy, after losing an election?

3. While I would like to take credit for all of the calumnies of this world, I must state that progressives have never had the kind of power we are claimed to wield in this country. After the New Deal and short-lived war on poverty programs of President Johnson, there has not been one identifiable progressive President of the US (and Roosevelt and Johnson had their issues). Carter gave us deregulation and supported the increased military budgets that Reagan would later put in place during his presidency. Clinton signed NAFTA, GATT, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the Welfare Reform Act, while declaring that the 'era of big government was over.' And the Islamo-Kenyan Stalinist that currently sits in the White House has done nothing but lobbied for a health care bill minus a public option that amounts to a taxpayer subsidy for the insurance industry. For this, somehow, Rush Limbaugh pulls a Barbara Streisand and threatens to leave the US.

4. Why is it that I am purported with wanting to commit 'genocide' against the people of this country?

What is most insincere about this is that it has been conservatives who support having concentration camps, accompanied by torture sessions, so long as they are Muslims, of course.

So, keep GITMO open, and allow the President to order the crushing of the testicles of children of terrorist suspects, but if you favor universal health care, then you are a mass murderer waiting to sprout from the bosom corpse of Vladimir Lenin!

5. Last but not least, when I last checked, it was progressives in the early part of the 20th century who invented the doctrine of incorporating our Bill of Rights onto the states. For those who did not go to law school or skipped your government classes, the Bill of Rights was originally intended to apply only to the federal government, not to the states, which is why the first words of the First Amendment are "Congress shall make no law." It was not until the 1920s that the Supreme Court began incorporating the amendments in the Bill of Rights, something which all of our framers, including Federalists like Hamilton, steadfastly opposed. Strangely, that incorporation doctrine made possible the Supreme Court's ruling in 2008, imposing the Second Amendment on state and local governments with regards to hand gun laws. No one at Fox or the NRA talked about the framers' original intent on that day. How could they? Madison wrote nothing of having federal courts impose such standards on states. So, inadvertently, my dear conservatives, we have infiltrated your ranks, while you copy our methods, even if you do not know it. But no need to thank us. It is not like you want guns for anything other than to compensate for your perceived loss of power and size issues on other body parts.

And speaking of expropriation, I take it as a strange compliment that Mr. Beck or any 'conservative' would claim Thomas Paine as one of theirs.

There is only one problem with it. Thomas Paine was no conservative, then or now. Paine was an advocate of a social welfare system, an income tax, and a frequent critic of organized religion. I am sure Mr. Beck's beloved Mormon Church would not take kindly to him talking like this.
Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity.--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

You will do me the justice to remember that I have always supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right makes a slave of himself to present opinion because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church.--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
I do not know whether to be amused or feel sorry for these people. At least Russell Kirk understood what a real conservative believed in.

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