The Broken Country Is A Comfort

And it’s the only thing they have:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but without community organizers like Martin Luther King, Jr., we’d all still be dealing with separate water fountains for coloreds and Jim Crow Laws. And I mean the old ones, not the new poll tax crap that Hans Von Spakovsky keeps trying to sneak in through the sewers.

Oh, and ladies? No community organizers means that your voice doesn’t count for shit. No vote for you!

Lost your job and you need a hand with the utility bills or some food from the local church pantry? Suck it up, America, because the folks who used to extend a hand to those in need don’t count in Republican land. That “do unto others” crap has to stop, and Jesus was clearly just a rabble-rousing, do-gooder. Loaves, fishes, feeding the multitudes? Hogwash.

Your neighborhood watch program, to help supplement the police force whose budget keeps getting cut under the Bush Administration? Well, you don’t deserve a safe neighborhood and your efforts are useless anyway.

This is in fact EXACTLY what they think. All of it. I knew the RNC this year would be a pessimistic shitfest that would give me flashbacks to2004, when I and all my friends and most of my family were traitors who deserved to hang, but even I didn’t think they’d be quite so blatant about what they’re offering. They get that people are pissed, and what they’re offering is someone to be pissed AT.

Liberals. People in cities and suburbs. Jews. Gays. Women. Young people. And most of all, anybody who has the temerity to NOT be catastrophically depressed and actually do something to get off his or her ass, because those people shame the frustrated and the apathetically angry and the directionlessly annoyed. Those people say to you, “Why aren’t YOU doing more?” Those people put the responsibility for changing the world back on YOU, those people show you up for the couch-sitting, bitchface-making, Cheeto-eating dickhead you’ve become, and their example says to you, “YOU could be something amazing if you wanted to be.” It shames them, and they feel it and don’t know what to do with that feeling.

And what the GOP says back to them is, easier to stay where you are, and blame “cultural elites” (more on this later) and affirmative action and “the media” (one wonders if Fox News and the Washington Times are considered media, or something else, like pals) and community organizers who are intruding in your very special pain and solitude with their pesky insistence that you stop being such a selfish jackass and go pick up some litter or register voters. Easier to stay where you are, and vote for us because at least we’ll tell you who you can be pissed at, and you barely have to move to be pissed. You barely have to do anything at all.

The reason I was freaking out last night during Palin’s speech is that I know how seductive this is. Think of every time you’ve ever given up on something only to be sucked back in; whether it’s the Cubs or the Democratic Party, isn’t your first thought, “Oh, man, don’t make me do this again, I’m just gonna get hurt.” I know how seductive pessimism is; after all, you’re never gonna be disappointed. I know how close it is to absolution: If it’s all just one big stupid joke, then you don’t have to feel bad about not participating.

But in the cold wet light of an early September morning, I have to believe that we are finally past this. That no matter what that drooling crowd of 150 people or so in Minneapolis thinks, we are finally realizing that even with someone to blame, what you end up with is … someone to blame. That for the past eight years we’ve had blame aplenty, all kinds of directions offered for our anger, and the reasons for our anger are still there. That we’re done with it, that we’d rather lift our voices in hope than in rage.


13 thoughts on “The Broken Country Is A Comfort

  1. A possible fast-response TV ad for this would go like this:
    ANNOUNCER: Sarah Palin thinks community organizers are good for a laugh.
    PALIN: (Soundbite from convention)
    FEMALE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER: Sarah, you need to remember what community organizing has done for this country.
    (Begin visual montage of Civil Rights and Women’s Rights protests, show Ferraro as VP, Hillary on campaign trail, Jackie robinson and Barack Obama, culminating in file shot of a woman casting a vote.)
    FEMALE COMMUNITY ORTANIZER: Sarah, it just isn’t funny. You wouldn’t be where you are today without community action.

  2. OR:
    ANNOUNCER: Republicans like to tell us they’re the party that wants smaller government. They want us to do things for ourselves. But here’s what they think about people who do things for themselves:
    PALIN: (soundbite from convention)
    ANNOUNCER: (over montage) America was built on community organizing. Without community organizers like John Adams and John Hancock, we wouldn’t have an America where you can elect mayors. Without community organizers like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, we wouldn’t have an America where a woman like Sarah Palin could get elected mayor.
    Sarah Palin and John McCain–They Just Don’t Get It.

  3. p.s. If I may be so impertinent to ask, What The Flying Fuck is the Fucking PTA then, you fucking fucks?

  4. Damn skippy. I’ll be using the above when anyone mocks community organizers.
    Oh, and wasn’t Lincoln a grass-roots organizer for the formation of the Republican Party in Illinois in the 1850s?
    Yes, yes he was.

  5. Dare I be bold enough to say that in the same way McCain sees no problem with the economy, the power that be in the 1950s didn’t see any problem with the segregation.
    I’m sure that if a person of color became successful, some of my more progressive relatives were even kind enough to acknowledge the fact by dressing in their finest white duds and hold a torchlight parade in their honor.
    What Race Problem? What Economy Problem?

  6. Buggy, that’s what I was going to say – what the hell is the PTA but community organizing?
    There was much to infuriate me, but that one ’bout sent me over the edge.

  7. I felt so uplifted and hopeful after Obama’s acceptance speech. After listening to the Repubs last night I felt like I was dirty and needed a shower.
    The Republicans want us to be hopeless and afraid and to think they’ll be our saviors. I think not. I’m NOT afraid and I’m full of hope. FYYFF!

  8. You know that they did study on political advertising. If you are inclined to believe in the group/person beforehand you listen and are sucked in. If you aren’t inclined the critical thinking part of your brain lights up and you start looking for holes.
    How WE see the speeches by Palin doesn’t matter as much as how they are seen by the target audiences. The people who want to believe.
    Hopefully I actually hope that they want hope too. If they do, then they will stay home. I’m kind of glad that they played to the anger and the hate because that won’t get them anyone new.
    I just can’t tell you how much I want to live in a world where I think that things will get BETTER for me and not worse. I now understand how people felt about Kennedy in the beginning or about Clinton in the beginning. I also know how depressed I will be when they break away from my trust. Obama WILL let me down. But for now I want to be hopeful.
    We crave hope like the Republicans crave an authority figure to tell them what to do.
    Think about when they offered change. It was a change from what THEY have been providing. Did they offer any hope to anyone besides the people who already have it all? They might have offered hope that the liberal will remain crushed.
    The saddest thing is that I know that my Mom probably liked Palin. And I know why. But I don’t think we ever were going to sway her. She’s a 24 percenter.

  9. Me personally, I find that rage is a better motivator than hope, but my rage is almost always coupled with the idea thatthings can be better and they’re not dammit. Then again, there’s a difference between someone like me who uses my disgruntledness about things to put together plans to do things differently, or gets off her ass anddoes things differently (like going out on my own as a small business owner rather than keep letting the regular corporate workforce keep kicking me in the teeth!), and someone who’s just nihilistic about it.

  10. A,
    great rant… I wish I had only half your eloquence.
    My rage meter is quite high these days… way too many good citizens have been sacrificed by these incompetent snake twirlers over the past 7 years to not be FURIOUS…
    Thanks for posting that video tho’ … so great to watch and listen again to what this election really is all about. Taking America back and taking it forward, not backward.

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