The Watering Hole; Thursday April 9 2015; “We Have Come To Take Our Country Back”

In Rand Paul’s recent presidential candidacy announcement speech, his first big applause line was “We have come to take our country back.” The first question that popped into a lot of heads, my own included, was ‘back to where?’ What did he mean? Back to the Bush depression? To Iraq? The Persian Gulf? Iran Contra? Watergate? Vietnam? Jim Crow? The stock market crash of ’29? Or maybe to those golden years of pre-Civil War slavery? The following video (h/t C&L) offers a look at the other obvious question: Take America back FROM WHOM?

The video’s embedded thesis makes a lot of sense even in today’s context, given all the mean-spirited tirades we’ve been forced to endure these last years concerning such disparate topics as President Obama’s birthplace (racism, of course), immigration reform, Islamic “terrorism” (ethnic and religious intolerance), and more recently the outrageous (and potentially seditious) din in re ongoing negotiations with Iran and our attempt to resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. Politics. The word becomes more vicious and more tainted on a daily an hourly basis.

Enter newly announced candidate Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky who says his primary goal as President would be to severely cut back on federal spending — especially on things like food stamps, medical care, Social Security, public education — on anything, in short, that might benefit We the People rather than the billionaires, banks, and corporate entities that have come to define the GOP’s fund raising capacity. Paul did, however, note that he wants vast increases in the Pentagon ‘defense’ budget (“defense” being the Republican word for eternal warmongering — taxpayer money well-spent because corporate profits, etc.). Conclusion: Rand Paul is a Republican — a factoid which for whatever reason brought to mind my January 4 2013 Watering Hole post in which I included this 1998 essay quote by historian Robert Paxton:

From . . . the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

There. It’s so simple, so odious: the word Republican has become clearly and expressly synonymous with its more historically burdened equivalent, i.e. Fascist. Too bad no one has pointed out that it defines, this day, the politic of such egregious and well known celebrities as Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and . . . oh yes, how could I forget: RAND PAUL and his campaign to “Bring America back — ‘by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America.'”

Amen. Fascism. Q.E.D.

OPEN THREAD

41 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday April 9 2015; “We Have Come To Take Our Country Back”

  1. The “Special Snowflake” Syndrome of American Conservatives

    But there’s another important one that should not be overlooked. It’s the religious far-right’s “special snowflake” syndrome. That’s really what the entire conversation is about: conservative Christians thinking that because they believe God sanctions their particular brand of bigotry, they’re special snowflakes who shouldn’t be retrained by human decency, much less the pesky laws that the rest of us are obliged to follow. If you hate hard enough, the rules don’t apply to you.

    Because you are a special snowflake, who really, really believes in what you’re doing; your feelings about something make you so special that the law just ceases to apply to special little you.

    For years these ‘snowflakes’ have been screaming about how the LGBT community wants ‘special rights’, when all they want is real equal rights. It’s always projection with these folks.

  2. Just in case we didn’t dump on Rand Paul enough yesterday…

    Rand Paul’s Announcement Video Pulled Over Copyright Issues

    This morning Rand Paul announced that he was running for president. There was a crowded auditorium and they were going wild and then he strode on up to the podium and music was blaring and it was all going great and he gave a speech and the crowd ate it up and they cheered his name and then he finished and they clapped and cheered and the campaign uploaded the video of the speech to YouTube so that the world could clap and cheer and…YouTube bots automatically pulled the video for unlicensed use of copyrighted material.

    Womp womp.

    Warner Music Group, the official owner of John Rich’s “Shutting Detroit Down,” a song about how much it sucks that rich corporations own things, has now shut Rand down.

    • It seems to be a much repeated theme that Republicans love to play their songs for their rallies and the owner of the song says “No you don’t, I don’t want to be associated with you…” – Republicans seem to be left with Country Music, Cat Scratch Fever by Subcommander Poopypants and Evangelical God music….

      … bummer really…. for them…

      And there are only two Republican comedians too from what I can gather… Dana Carvey and Dennis Miller…. one of whom isn’t a comedian.

  3. I think Lorne Michaels is behind the Rand Paul presidential run.
    Lorne knows he’s not going to make it to the Whitehouse and it is guaranteed to make some great material for Saturday Night Live.

  4. Fear, ignorance and racism is taught to children.
    Undoing it can be done if it is handled correctly at an early age.
    I will provide this as an example:

  5. Nice post Fru. The thesis that “we are taking our country back” (from whom) the second, often unspoken half of the sentence always suggests that the “whom” is someone who (1) has no right to have the country in the first place (2) is not really Amurkan, like what we are. I find the phrase very sinister and at its core a fascist slogan.

    • Thanks TtT.

      Some even think we have to ‘take it back’ from ‘them damn Injuns’ — which suggests that one of fascism’s driving undercurrents is ignorance. Not a surprise, actually, since any politic based on hate, fear, and imaginary “superiority” clearly uses ignorance as its major motivator. As Robert Paxton (quoted above) noted, when the political goal is to “restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America” — i.o.w. take Amurka back FROM all who ain’t like that — that’s a fundament of fascism, and I couldn’t agree more.

  6. I made a comment on the Pat Robertson thread at Raw Story and a butterfly gave me an up-vote. I’m so happy that I could imagine OIMF walking a pig on a leash!😉

  7. Rand Paul + tantrum = ‘Rantrum’

    (via Thom Hartmann’s show, just now)

  8. On April 9, 1939 opera contralto Marian Anderson gave a concert at the Lincoln Memorial after having been refused a request to perform to an integrated audience at DAR Constitution Hall

  9. Tufted Coquette photo: Rare view of a tail fan and wing stretch …
    ibc.lynxeds.com2271 × 1817Search by image
    Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornatus)

    • In a sane world; every damned last freak who voted in favor of this travesty would be immediately booted out of office and forever barred from holding any other position in government for blatant defilement of the 1st Amendment.

  10. Not only should police officers be required to wear body cameras, I think their vehicles should be equipped with the same camera system used by Google for their Street Views.

    • That is a perfect idea. Backup camera. Especially now that states are attempting to outlaw citizens from taking videos of cops.

      • The camera system could be programmed to activate when lights and/or sirens are used or certain sounds, like gunshots, or words – “I’m in pursuit” are sensed. The digital video can be synchronized with GPS and speed data and automatically sent to a cloud storage site as well as an on board storage devise. The systems could also be activated from a central location to allow supervisors to monitor on duty performance.

        • I like your idea, too. Put the cameras on the cars, and it won’t present the kinds of privacy invasion issues that have arisen. (I was chatting with a friend at work.)

          For example, college police respond to a call in a dormitory, their cameras are going to pick up people coming out of the showers naked and heading to their rooms, Trust me, it happens. But these people are doing nothing wrong, and shouldn’t have had their reasonable expectation that nobody was filming them infringed. Stuff like that. The car-equipped cameras prevent that issue, and also record anything within view of a police car. Personal cameras can be automatically turned on whenever there is no line-of-sight to the squad car.

        • The states keep wasting time attempting to usurp the Feds.
          It is most disgusting what’s happening. People who record the horrendous acts of police are themselves harrassed by the poilce.
          If the S. Carolina cop gets off – there will be riots like never before.

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