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Thursday, April 30, 2009


Camp and The Wingnut Rightthomas paine bob basso revolution
(Updated below)

People wonder how I can listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, and the other wing-nuts. Quick answer: I don't much anymore since sites like Media Matters for America started taking up the slack.

I'm a bit ambivalent about wingnut ranting. When the right was in power in the White House and in Congress, it was really scary that these fringe types were taken seriously by those in power. Now they're entertaining. I have a camp appreciation of the Thomas Paine/Bob Basso YouTube videos. In case you're not familiar with them, somebody put a washed-up ham actor (Bob Basso) in colonial garb and has him do stilted rabble-rousing rants as if he were Thomas Paine (great way to appeal to the Generation Y). Today, I was flipping through the stations and heard this rant, "The Second American Revolution" (funny how the right starts using revolutionary rhetoric when the voters kick them out of power).

It's boilerplate right-wing rhetoric (e.g., Basso/Paine equates diversity with disunity and says "They call themselves progressive, global thinkers. We had another word for them in 1776; we called them 'traitors'"). I found this part near the end of the rant a bit scary:
Perhaps you allow all this destructive uncommon sense out of a distorted notion of tolerance. Remember what Aristotle said, "Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society." You are tolerating the behavior that is destroying you. No presidential candidate, no political party can save you now. Only an aroused citizenry will turn this uncommon sense around. And he or she who does nothing now is helping them to destroy America.
Lighten up, Bob/Thomas. You lost a couple elections. Do some yoga or toke up; you'll feel better.

UPDATE: I just watched this Paine/Basso video, "On to Washington," for the first time. Paine is exhorting the teabaggers to march on Washington.
I can't do a full review but I have one piece of advice for people who watch it and take it seriously: if you value your job, don't "tell the boss you're taking a day off to fight for America."

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