Joe Bageant sums up SEB in a single rant.

An article by Joe Bageant over at Dissident Voice isn’t really about SEB directly, but it does sum up a lot of what I and others here have been saying for awhile now in a way that can only be described as bombastic.

Given the near-fascist nature of U.S. governmental behavior lately, I do not think it is overstating the case to observe that we liberals seem to have become, at least to some degree, the new Jews of the rising Republican Reich. You remember the old German theme about a certain kind of people being responsible for everything wrong with an otherwise perfect white Christian society. It took a Republican mind to figure out that “elite” liberals constituted exactly such a threat to our national way of life. Remember that the German public saw the Jews as being against its “values” too, and that they had declared cultural and legal war on the Jews long before Hitler came along to galvanize the most nationalistic elements among the German people. Just as the Jews were used in Nazi Germany to rally Christian Germans, American liberals were used in the last election by the ultra-right to rouse Fundamentalist Christians—people who were previously uninterested in the GOP political agenda but got quite excited when it was pointed out to them that their anti-Christ was, lo and beshit! right among them. A godless homo-loving stem cell sucking liberal elite right here in Riverdale! The fact that we are at least one half of the population prevents us from being an “elite” somehow escaped everyone in the excitement.

In Germany it came down to jealousy of the Jews’ success in capitalist society by a group of Christian white people who believed they had been excluded. In America it came down to supposedly being culturally excluded by the liberal elite, plus the voting rights of fetuses and allowing gay people to wear wedding rings. We can safely assume the fetuses don’t really care one way or another. The gays are still pissed. In both cases, however, the German and the American, Christianity is a form of political ideology masquerading as religious faith, deploying the ultimate force of government to root out the “evil” and dominate with its own particular delusion.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to tell who is controlling whom. Do the Christian Fundamentalists in this country now have significant control of the Republican Party? Or were they simply duped into backing the latest U.S. capitalist imperialist grab for empire and exploitation of ordinary working Americans. My guess is that the big Republican capitalists do not give a fuck, so long as they can grab the money and run when the lights are shot out, and that the Christians don’t care as long as they get a shot at swapping the Constitution with the Bible.

It’s quite the read and I think a lot of my regulars will find a lot in it that will make them nod their heads while it’ll piss off the Christian Right and Republicans in general to no end I’m sure. I may have to devote some time to reading some of Joe’s other articles.

24 thoughts on “Joe Bageant sums up SEB in a single rant.

  1. “I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do.”

    It seems to me everyone tries to apply that quote to themselves and they are always able to because when one minority becomes a majority they do the exact same thing to those who did it again.  It’s a never ending circular power struggle.

  2. I have been forming the exact opinions and making the same observations as expressed by this gentleman. I have considered exploring them further after hypothesizing the following:

    My guess quoted on other threads is that they [BushCo] will behave, relatively speaking, bide their time, get their Justices and judges in place, until after the 2006 election. Then the take over will be complete, martial law, red terror alert, re-write the Constitution, oh and then start the draft. By then the sheep will be in the pen.

    Then in 2008 after foreign born citizens are permitted by the Neo-constitution to be president. Here comes…..

    President Schwarzenegger!  He’s tough, he was an actor like Ronnie, he owes plenty of people, he has skeletons pouring out of his closet, he dreams of ruling large numbers of people, and his self-financed campaign has already begun.

    Not to imply that Arnold is a closet Nazi, just ironic that he could end up being the teutonic frontman for the Rovian Revolution.

  3. What’s scary is that Sylvester Stallone made a joke about Schwarzenegger being President in Demolition Man.

  4. as popular as it is, the nazi comparison is a tad extreme.

    Let’s revisit this in four years time.

    It is absolutely appropriate to compare individual plays. I can’t help getting a sense of deja vue when doing this, but that’s just me.

  5. Gee, I don’t know how conservatives got that idea, after the CLC CONFIRMED it after the election.
    The top wealthy vote democrat.  Not wage earners, working business people, but those who already have it.  The only category of race, income, education, gender that democrats didn’t lose was high school dropouts & those with post graduate degees.  I used to say that demagoguing the feeble minded is not a family value.

    so it’s not dehumanizing a fetus to state it’s lack of opinion?  Oh I forgot, it’s not human anyway, it’s a parasite, though no one has classified the phylum…

    Oh yeah, the gov’t funding of stem cell research, pro-abortion Governator is SO a Christian manchurian plant!

    How do you define facist & what are examples from our governments behaviour?

  6. Uh…I meant DLC-Democratic Leadership Coalition, sorry.  The only reason the Clintons won 2 terms, but then those are moderate democrats.  So it would be safe to say that liberal has been out since I was born…

  7. …hmmm.  Someone writes an article about Bush being the equivalent of Hitler?

    How…  original.

    I heard that the sun rose in the east today, and that it set in the west.

    Les, the article didn’t piss me off more than it rehashed a lot of the moaning of the extreme paranoid left.


    Let’s revisit this in four years time.

    That’s been said for 4 years now.  *sigh*

    Sorry, there’s not much substance to my comment tonight—I’m just shocked and awed that these lines continue to be trumpted.

  8. That’s been said for 4 years now.  *sigh*

    Yes, it has, so let’s look.  4 years ago our civil rights were in better shape, the environment was in better shape, and so was the economy.  Our military wasn’t overextended and bogged down, and I wasn’t at all worried that my kids would get drafted in a nightmarish replay of the war of my childhood.

    Our biggest worry was that the president was exercising his zipper in the office, which today sounds like that old joke about how 75 years ago the biggest concerns in school were “students talking out of turn and chewing gum in class.”

    The many blessings of a secular society were on the rise, and I looked forward to a day – maybe in my lifetime – when an atheist could be judged by the content of his character instead of by his noncomformity to religious delusions.

    “Bill… all is forgiven.  Please come back!”

  9. geesh, here we go again. 

    drafted?  that was just a nasty rumor started by liberals to scare people into voting for bush.  i’m almost as tired of hearing about that as i am the comparison between the bush administration and nazi germany.

  10. Grey –  you might be right.  (though I think you meant, “…to scare people into voting for Kerry.”) 

    But the fact remains that four years ago, I wasn’t at all worried about it.  Now I am.  I’d be just as worried if Kerry had been elected.  Both candidates protested too much, seeming to ignore the fact that we’re somewhat painted into a corner here.  If we need additional military application somewhere for something, it’s tied up in Iraq.

    That makes us less secure, and somewhat more likely to hear a president say, “No one foresaw that this need would arise, but it is a regrettable necessity…”

    Since it was Bush who painted us into that corner, I am not inclined to trust him.  Is Bush Hitler?  No, but all the things I mentioned above are indicative of the direction we’re moving.  Bush has a map but he seems to lack a compass.

  11. oops, yes, i did mean kerry.  thank you for the correction.  i type fast, but my fingers are usually in one place and my brain is in another.

    maybe i’m a fool, but i like bush.  his speech after 9/11 left a powerful impression on me and i believe he is a man of his word.  i don’t necessarily think going into iraq was the right thing to do [only time will tell], but i believe now that we are there, we have to stick it out and he has the fortitude to do that.  on the other hand, i think a change in 2008 will definitely be a good thing for the country.  it’ll be interesting to see what that election brings.

  12. grey, sometimes I need radar to find my brain.  It’s out there, somewhere… raspberry

    I don’t think you’re a fool for liking Bush; it’s the single most interesting thing about this election that people get a certain emotional impression of a candidate and that defines whatever they do after that.  It makes rational assessment incredibly difficult.  We’re all affected by it.

    The first time I saw Bush he didn’t strike me as trustworthy, so everything he says and does since then proves it for me.  Other people had exactly the same reaction to Kerry. 

    The frame around the picture has a huge effect on what you see.  How is the connection made?  I am afraid that marketing experts are devoting more time to that question than anyone in Washington is devoting to researching sound fact-based policy.

  13. I don’t understand how Sept. 11th hasn’t enlightened our recolection of the Clinton years…or is it just that no one has read the 9/11 commission report with Clinton’s testimony & watched his CIA appointees incompetence?  That’s like Typhoid Mary having fond memories of the good ol’ daze when people weren’t so paranoid about germs.  She felt fine! Or allowing your children to play in the street because you fondly rememberi how blissfully your child was playing before she was run over by a Mack truck!

    Sure, Clinton’s personal immorality in undermining our judicial system with an elitist attitude didn’t directly affect me as long as he was reforming welfare & balancing the budget.  When al-queda bombed the WTC in ‘93 & bombed our ships in authorized Yemeni waters Clinton with the CIA figured they would give up soon or get it out of their system or it might piss them off worse if we defended ourselved by foiling their plans or they’re not really serious, or it might make it more difficult to balance the budget, or the French might be even crueler to American tourists or whatever.  & Osama Bin-laden was a problem for the Middle east, he figured, why were they asking him what to do with some fanatic they captured in Sudan?  Maybe W does deserve 8 months of blame for not giving priority to a report, but Clinton deserved 8 years of blame & God only knows how many reports.

    I can’t for the life of me comprehend all these people going to therapy for PEST, who were perfectly fine with terrorist attacks.  Is it delayed reaction, or do they have a death wish for their fellow citizens?

    How exactly did Clinton bring more secular freedom to ignostics lives or help them to be judged on the content of their character anyway?  Just an emotional atmosphere?  If I recal correctly, it was during Bush that they finally got “under God” challenged…

  14. DoF: words of wisdom.  I know I sometimes get carried away with bushwhacking, and forget that the marketing of politicians and platforms is something all sides indulge in, to the demeaning of democracy.  That’s an enemy we must all fight.  Thanks.

  15. Dunno, but when I read over Bush’s past records as the CEO, President, etc of all of the companies he ran (into the ground) before he became Governor of “Tex-ass” and then El Presidente…I became quite a bit afraid of what would happen to our nation if he was in power (and so far, every suspicion I’ve had about him has proven correct). I still don’t see how he remains our President given his miserable track record in every major category…

    Just waiting for another major attack on US soil to see how long he lasts in his current term. Conventional wisdom dictates that he would get thrown out of office if we suffer another attack like 9/11 on his watch due to people losing complete faith in his ability as their leader to “protect” them. (Then again, he might spend his time “reading” another story about pet goats…) After all, the extremists have said they have no sympathy for the stupid citizens of the US for voting him back into office and that now we will all get what we deserve.

  16. Wow, Ellie’s way out in Right Field again. I’m beginning to think she’s playing in an entirely different ballpark.

  17. Just waiting for another major attack on US soil to see how long he lasts in his current term. Conventional wisdom dictates that he would get thrown out of office if we suffer another attack like 9/11 on his watch due to people losing complete faith in his ability as their leader to “protect

  18. ellie, do you understand how the legal system works?  First it was “no plaintiffs in the NAACP class action suit,” and now it’s an argument that the Bush administration is somehow more tolerant of atheism because

    If I recal correctly, it was during Bush that they finally got “under God

  19. ellie, it is a common misperception that the Clinton administration was lax about Al Qaeda; however the 9/11 Comission Report clears up most of this:

    from Chapter 4, page 110:
    Sudan’s minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Ladin over to the United States.The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so. Ambassador Carney had instructions only to push the Sudanese to expel Bin Ladin.Ambassador Carney had no legal basis to ask for more from the Sudanese since, at the time, there was no indictment outstanding.

    Some other good relevant quotes:
    page 109:
    In late 1995, when Bin Ladin was still in Sudan, the State Department and the CIA learned that Sudanese officials were discussing with the Saudi government the possibility of expelling Bin Ladin.U.S.Ambassador Timothy Carney encouraged the Sudanese to pursue this course.The Saudis, however, did not want Bin Ladin, giving as their reason their revocation of his citizenship.

    page 108:
    Until 1996, hardly anyone in the U.S. government understood that Usama Bin Ladin was an inspirer and organizer of the new terrorism. In 1993, the CIA noted that he had paid for the training of some Egyptian terrorists in Sudan.

    page 109:
    By 1997, officers in the Bin Ladin unit recognized that Bin Ladin was more than just a financier.They learned that al Qaeda had a military committee that was planning operations against U.S. interests worldwide and was actively trying to obtain nuclear material. Analysts assigned to the station looked at the information it had gathered and “found connections everywhere,

  20. Whether Clinton let Usama go or not I’m willing to drop.  I also said, Bush does deserve blame for 8 months & ignorance of 1 memo.  But to Clinton’s 8 years & countless memos?  I think it will be different if there is an attack during a Democratic administration after this, because it will only take a few months of letting our guard down now.

    As for Clinton, simply bringing the bombers themselves to justice & not making them roll over on the plot or searching for an organization after 3 attacks on the same building by people of the same ethnicity & religion? Sure, that’s a coincidence.  Come on.

  21. ellie, I think that you’ve been caught up in the right-wing spin machine.  You’re recollection of counter-terror efforts does not uniquely comport with reality.  The link you provided do not back up your assertions: they are summaries of people’s opinions of what the Clinton administration did, not what they actually did.

    The twin towers have only been attacked twice, once on Feb. 26, 1993, and once on Sept. 11, 2001.  After the first attack, six Islamist extremist conspirators were convicted of the crime in 1997 and 1998 and given prison sentences of 240 years each. from:

    The Clinton administration did not just “roll over” on terrorist plots- they broke up plots for a millenium attack, pressured bin Ladin out of Sudan, froze most of bin Ladin’s finances, broke up BCCI and other money laundering operations, launched missile strikes against terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, worked with Afghani groups to caputre or kill bin Ladin, etc.  Read the 9/11 Commission Report (chapter 4) for more details on what the Clinton administration actually did (hint: he didn’t ignore countless memos):

    Little is known about what the Bush administration has actually done to combat terrorism, especially before the 9/11 attacks.  We know that the CIA and FBI placed themselves on high alert for the summer of 2001 and that Bush did little concrete.  We know that when the Clinton adminstration was leaving, the old National Security Advisor told the incoming admin that they would spend more time on terrorism in general and bin Ladin in particular than on any other issue.  We know that Bush was given at least one memo detailing the threat of terrorist attacks, but we don’t know if he did anything in response.  We know that the Bush admin had scheduled a series of briefings on terrorist threats, but we know of nothing that resulted from those briefings.

    Why do you think that a terrorist attack would be more likely under a Democratic administration?  Foreign terrorist have only attacked within the US twice, spaced out by 8 years, so I don’t think that we can draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of administrations from different parties.

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