Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cry me a river, honey

Cry me a river I'm dumbfounded by some of the recent GOP bonehead remarks and the subsequent scramble to rephrase and say, "That's not what I meant." Everyone does that once in a while, and we are often misconstrued in our remarks; this certainly seems to be becoming quite a pattern with the GOP, though. Some of it is, I believe, thinly-veiled racism.

First we had Sarah Palin telling lies on her Facebook page, writing about President Obama's "death panels," and how her parents or her child with Down syndrome would somehow be targeted for elimination because they aren't productive members of society. (Hey Sarah...if you're worried about that, you would probably do well to start getting a little nervous on your own behalf.) These so-called "death panels" are utter nonsense, nothing more than another scare tactic. After writing about the "death panels" and about how Obama's plan is "evil," riling up the base to the point of frothing at the mouth, Palin then backpedaled and told everyone that they should be respectful in their disagreement and maintain civility.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele issued an op-ed piece stating his opinions on health care, and when interviewed by NPR and asked to clarify his answers, he only became more inconsistent and nonsensical, seeming to back down from his original opinions and then going back to them...and finally accusing the interviewer of "doing a wonderful little dance here and trying to be cute." That's the way, Mike, when backed into a corner, attack the interviewer!

Then there's the weepy Glenn Beck, who said that President Obama has shown himself to be "a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I don't know what it is...." When his Faux News cohorts called him on it and said that he couldn't really say that, because a lot of people in Obama's administration are white, Beck said, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people."

Say what?

After first saying that Obama hates white people, then saying that he's not saying that Obama doesn't like white people, he then says, "I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

Umm...just a question...how can you hate a race, but not dislike them, but still be a racist when it comes to dealing with them? Is that kind of like saying, "I don't like black people, but I'm not a racist?"

Michelle Bachmann...I guess I have to give her a little credit here, because she's actually sticking to her convictions, mistaken though they may be. When questioned about Sarah Palin's "death panels" by a caller on a radio show, Bachmann crowed that she was so glad Palin talked about death panels because these "are true." No. No, they are not. Apparently Bachmann has swallowed the lies hook, line, and sinker, and actually believes them to be true. Of course, Sarah Palin had to weigh in and praise Bachmann for her remarks. Small minds think alike.

Freudian slip Finally we have Kansas Representative Lynn Jenkins, who when talking about who will oppose President Obama in the future, said that the GOP needs a "great white hope." As I wrote on Facebook, her Freudian slip was showing. And yes, she backpedaled, too, said that wasn't what she meant, and "I apologize if my words have offended anyone." The standard non-apology apology that seems to be de rigueur for the GOP these days.

I guess this just goes to show you that no matter where you go, no matter what you do, and no matter how old you get, there will always be bullies. There will always be those people who believe that they can say whatever they want, and when someone actually dares to poke back, they then offer up some lame-ass apology as if that negates everything they have said before. Or else they get all pissy, like "Okay, just stop it." Give me a break. As Wyatt Earp said in "Tombstone," "You called down the thunder, well now you've got it!"

Let me tell you a little story. I used to know this girl...I won't say when, but it was some time ago. She was the type who loved to throw little digs at everyone. Usually they were nothing major, but sometimes they could really cut a person to the quick and really hurt their feelings. After every such dig, she'd say, "Just kidding." For real..."Wow, that was stupid. Just kidding." "Those shoes are ugly. Just kidding." It was like she felt that her little addendum of "just kidding" gave her a free pass to say whatever the hell she wanted, no matter how much it might hurt the person she said it to. I was one of many recipients of those insults followed by a "just kidding." Several of us had finally had it one day, and we proceeded to fire back. I don't recall us saying anything really nasty, just little insults, always followed by "Just kidding." At first, she sat there with her arms folded in front of her, a smirk on her face, her leg crossed and swinging wildly. Eventually, she began to put a hurt look upon her face, followed by a few little tears. Yeah...just kidding.

Did any of us feel bad about it? No. Not a bit. Sometimes you have to make a bully--and that was bullying behavior--understand that words can hurt every bit as much as fists. Such retaliation is usually not my style; I'm a person who is normally very easygoing. But if you push me hard enough and long enough, I will turn on you, and you will not like the results. I especially love it when the bully has to face someone who actually is willing to fight back, and then ends up all teary-eyed and put-upon, crying, "Stop it, guys, just stop it!" I have no sympathy, no compassion, and no quarter for bullies. I still remember someone on the school bus picking on someone I liked very much, and telling the bully, "Hey, why don't you just SHUT UP?" And they did. Yeah, I may not be big in size, but I make up for it in fierceness.

Striking snake Why on earth would anyone think that they can say whatever they want and get a free pass on it? Do they think people are just going to sit back and take it? Do people like Beck, Palin, et al, think it's okay to spew whatever hatred, idiocy, and lies that happen to bubble to the surface of their swamps of a mind and then expect to not get called on it? Do you get a pardon just because you say "That's not what I meant" or "Just kidding"? Do you expect people to back off because you cry "Foul!" after your constant litany of nastiness? It just doesn't work that way, folks. You keep poking that snake, the snake is eventually going to strike back. There are always consequences; best to think about them before beginning a campaign of hate.

17 comments:

  1. Just stopping by to say hi, glad that you had a good birthday!!

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  2. Bullying always reminds me of the scene in one of my favorite movies, A Christmas Story, when the bully finally gets his and starts blubbering. Perfect! But there will always be bullies. I have a friend now who is being cyberbullied, for no discernable reasons other than the coward who is doing the bullying can hide behind a screen name and lash out irrationally.

    As for your take on current politics, I completely agree with everything you said.

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  3. i had a friend just like your "just kidding" friend. She made fun of me or my family every day for 11 yrs. I walked away from her and now i am the bad guy. I will take that and hold my head high because damn, it is so NICE to not have to deal with her BS anymore. People like that really have some issues that are deep seated.

    i think lots of folks are racist and really do not like Obama totally based on his color. Beck would be one of them. He has shown that on TV. What an idiot. Funny how so many people think it is ok to judge others based on skin color. Their big glass houses must sure be shiny and perfect, huh? I bet NOT if anyone knew the truth. Those who go around spewing shit usually are knee deep in it behind closed doors.

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  4. When I say just kidding, I am. Usually, I don't say it, I type~j/k~because I know that online when I am truly kidding(based on past experience)it isn't always realized(no tone or facial expression or body language to clue you in)for what it is. But plenty of times I am not kidding and I don't follow up with that remark, because I mean it. Being a bully can be relative. You "turn into" a bully if you say the truth about someone who'd like the truth not to be so obvious. I've been that sort of bully and I don't apologize for it.

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  5. I think eventually, when the dust settles and these lawmakers face re-election, they will be faced with their lies and voters will cast them out of office (without the follow-up, 'just kidding!').

    P.S. - I love the 'cry me a river' art at the top!

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  6. What galls me most, I think, is that these people saying these idiotic things, then retracting them only to rephrase them, have speech writers and scores of people telling them tao do and what to say.
    So, it isn't just Palin, Beck et al, it's the team behind "the mouth." And not one of them bothers to verify or clarify the remarks they feed to their "mouth."
    It's all an ends justifies the means way of thinking.
    AQnd it needs to stop.

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  7. Victim of "just kidding" they do hate it when you come back
    Sarah Palin, your governorship sucked, just kidding

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  8. I still remember some kids bullying a fat kid on the bus in 7th grade. I felt so bad for the fat kid. It made me want to cry. How people can hurt others with a smile on their face is a mystery I pray I never understand.

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  9. I watched President Obama's eulogy he gave at the funeral of Ted Kennedy. He gave a nice eulogy and it was heart felt and I watched him standing up there, how many of these republicans and some liberals are going to shoot him down, figuratively speaking and I pray not literally.

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  10. Hi Beth,
    These folks who make the wacky/patently false statements about healthcare (death panels, etc.), are practicing a tried and true political technique: Say whatever it takes to kill something (i.e. lie), get people who don't know any better all stirred-up, then try to modify your message for the masses. In the end, though, it amounts to spreading lies. Insulting to all Americans, isn't it?
    Best,
    Marty

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  11. one of the hardest thing i struggle in with in teaching is teaching the other kids to not be bystanders in a bullying situation, where they watch one kid decimate another with words, or even worse, fists.

    teaching kids to stand up against a bully applies more to when the bullying is done against them as an individual, we have to teach them to not have the fear of standing up for others when wrongdoing occurs.

    we gots to teach them to be fierce like our beth!


    xxalainaxx

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  12. Happy Late Birthday!!!!

    And ummm, I was waiting, waiting, for your entry to mention the moronic statesments that have Idaho all ablaze from a certain Rex man.

    Maybe the shame is contained, so far, to our borders.

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  13. Beth,

    I have been making this statement all over the place lately. "why cant we all just get along?"

    This statement is not directed to you Beth, but towards the little minded people out there.

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  14. Good post! (applause)

    Love that Freudian slip!

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  15. The speech that people feel emboldened to share is a result, IMO, of the Obama presidency. It is as though because we have elected a minority as president, the entire society has become enlightened.

    This obviously is not the case. Somehow the election has let emboldened people to let what was previous veiled become visible. It is almost as if it is now okay to speak in racially tinged slights, because America isn't racist anymore.

    I do think that it is a part of growning up as a culture as it is the same kind of behaviour that I have observed elsewhere in the world. No, it is not necessarily a bad thing, but something that comes with the territory of accepting that someone of a different culture or ethnic group will be able to make rules for you.

    What this can become is an opportunity to show how ugliness and stupidity deserves to be treated. But if the pop culture is any indicator, then the more vicious and mean the politician and their policy, the more certain that kind of speech will gain traction.

    Are we as a society going to let this 'bigot speech' be rewarded? Michelle Bachman has turned her brand of ignorance into a Congressional seat, Rush Limbaugh has been doing his thing for nearly 20 years, and Sarah Palin is still poking around trying to find a vein of ignorance to tap into (but she may truly be too stupid to find one ... she should be a character on the new show 'Community').

    I don't think of what the folks on the right are doing is classic 'bullying'. I think that the folks on the left need to stand up and reply back strongly. They keep crying and wish that those on the right will stop and play fair. That isn't going to be good enough.

    They need to do something proactive. If you continue to let someone punch first, then they are going to keep on doing it.

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?