Saturday, October 25, 2008

Maybe Michelle Bachmann should just shut up...

Since everyone is jumping on the I Hate Michelle Bachmann bandwagon, I wanted to post this video that went live on The Huffington Post showing another glowing example of prideful ignorance injected into right-wing patriotism.

Never mind that the riots in question at the time had nothing to do with teenagers demanding bigger welfare payouts, but rather neighborhoods who felt that government sanctioned racial discrimination had become commonplace, the catalyst for which was the death of two suburban teens during a high speed police chase. Nobody can really feign shock and surprise anymore when politicians refuse to let facts interfere with a good campaign speech.

The most shocking part of Bachmann's rhetoric is that she seems to have little or no idea exactly how evil or stupid she sounds. "Only in France," she says with a self-indulgent chuckle that would make Rush Limbaugh proud, "could you have suburban youths rioting because welfare benefits aren't generous enough." Then she explains that they're really rioting because they are all watching al Jazeeera on cable TV, and that this was all happening because France was letting the the Muslims come in and take over their culture.

You could spend hours reading into the racist, nationalist, xenophobic, bigoted, and downright ignorant origins of every word the woman forces out of her mouth. Especially about how France "had" a great culture, but they were losing it the Muslims who were refusing to assimilate into the culture. However, I'm going to take a moment to obsess over a little line that slips through the cracks somewhere between the rioting teens and "Not all cultures are equal."

My personal favorite is when she laughs at the absurdity of poor people complaining about not having any money, yet they still have cable television in their apartments. This is the kind of mental slight-of-hand that became real popular back in the late eighties, when it became common to dismiss the idea of poor people by listing the luxuries they had. Rush Limbaugh would spend hours complaining how people considered too poor to pay taxes could afford "luxuries" like air-condition, VCR's (yeah, that's how old this argument is) and even cable TV.

The next time someone complains to you about welfare recipients having dvd players or cable television, tell them to get a pen and paper.

Then tell them to make a column with the cost of a cheap second-hand dvd player, a used television, and the annual rental cost of basic cable.

Then tell them to make a second column with the estimated costs of rent, clothing, groceries (both food and necessities, like toiletries), medical bills, school supplies, and utilities for a family of four currently trying to struggle through hard times on welfare.

Then have him compare the number from the first column to the number from the second column.

Then kick him in the shin. Really hard.

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