Monday, September 28, 2009

Combat!

Check out Dan Brooks at Combat!
We want Bill Sparkman’s death to be proof that right-wing, anti-federal populism has gotten out of control. We want, on some sad level that transcends any conscious decency, for people like Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann to be real and dangerous demagogues, not just anything-for-a-buck blowhards chattering inconsequentially into space. This desire is, of course, completely wrong, and a world in which it is fulfilled is undeniably a worse one. Cross your fingers that nobody takes Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly seriously, and all our fretting over their supposedly pernicious influence is overwrought and misplaced. Ask yourself, though, if you really hope that’s true.
He can also dish out quotable snark with the best of them. For example, Michele Bachmann is "God's answer to a prayer Pat Robertson accidentally said backwards." But even when he's on a tear, he makes the effort to research his targets. What might ordinarily be a subjective screed with some angry coinages becomes, in his treatment, something informative and useful at the same time.
Bachmann is a product of the Minnesota public school system, so she probably remembers the meteoric rise to prominence of Joseph McCarthy, and the chain of unbroken successes that comprised his political career until he died peacefully in his sleep. Then again, maybe she just remembers God creating animals and light, plus a couple of things from Leviticus. In 1993, she helped found the New Heights Charter School, the first institution of its kind in Minnesota. Later that year, she resigned amid accusations that her proposals to teach creationism and introduce the “12 Christian Principles”—which sounds exactly 20% better than the Ten Commandments—amounted to the use of public funds for a religious school. Bachmann is a devout Christian, who recently called for a national day of prayer and fasting to stop health care reform. I think we can all agree that Jesus wants sick people to feel better and all, but ultimately his fiscal conservatism and commitment to free markets is going to win out.
Anywho. Add it to your RSS reader and you'll get a solid essay with nice mix of humor and conscience five days a week.

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