On Assigning Blame, Or, "So, You Think I'm Retarded?"

LANGUAGE WARNING: Today’s story is uncharacteristically blunt, and from this moment forward we will be using lots of inappropriate language in making our points.

Gentle Reader, you have been officially...warned.

With that in mind, if you take offense when confronted with language strong enough to knock a fuckin’ buzzard off a shitwagon, please stop reading now.

It is by now fairly well known that Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, had a bit of a blow-up with liberals who were ready to start running ads against “blue dog” Democrats who were working very hard to shut down the health care reform effort.

Now we’re not gonna get in the middle of that argument today; instead, since we’re finally getting a chance to talk, I figured me and Rahm could get a few other things out of the way that have been on everyone’s mind for the past year or so.

“...What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage.

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy...”

--Sun Tzu, The Art of War

So...Rahm, buddy...here’s the thing:

In January of 2009 you came into the White House having just beaten down both the Republicans and Hillary Clinton, and baby, y’all were on a roll.

Reforming health care was the top priority of 59% of the population, you had a 75+ seat majority in the House...and of course, to quote your boss, there was that “largest Senate majority in a generation”.

Y’all were appointing smart people to take over agencies, and the President gave that speech in Cairo—and even though people had their misgivings about the way the bailout and the stimulus came together, we were still right there with you.

And then, in May...remember when y’all promised to get a heath care vote done by August? If I recall correctly (and I do), the President said:

"...We've got to get it done this year. Both in the House and the Senate. We don't have any excuses. The stars are aligned."

And then for some reason, you decided it would be a smart idea to spend a couple of months letting Ben Nelson and Charles Grassley, who were both happy to let you know they were against this thing from the beginning, run the show.

“...When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare...”

--Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“...and then the C.H.U.D.S. came at me...”

--Homer Simpson

And then came the Tea Parties. For a solid month we were bombarded with images of uninformed people carrying signs demanding we protect Medicare while at the same time demanding Government stay out of health care, people who see Obama as the new Hitler, and people who apparently think Socialism, Fascism, Communism, and Vegetarianism are all different flavors of the same political junk food.

In other words, fuckin’ retards.

And just to make things perfect, the Republicans couldn’t wait to jump on the retard train: Sarah Palin quit being a Governor so she could turn her interest in “Death Panels” (and her desire to never be a quitter...) into a gig at Fox—and Rick “Goodhair” Perry, the Governor of what might be the most “Rah Rah America!” state in the Nation, suggested that making Texas into its own country might be the smartest way to save these United States.

I loved it.

I knew what was about to happen: the classic “pincer move”, where you let the enemy race into the trap, and then slam the door behind them, locking them in a box from which they cannot escape.

And the best part was, they had made it so easy that a politician with even a moderately high degree of mental acuity could spring the trap. All the President had to do was to go to the States where these politicians live, stand up on a platform, with cameras running, preferably in the early part of the daily news cycle, and do one of these two things:

--Either put his arm around [insert politician’s name here]’s shoulders and tell the giant crowd how the President and [again, insert name] are going to fight the insane Republicans and the evil insurance companies together, “No matter how much they try to stand in our way...”

--Or go to the same podium and give this speech: “I’m going to fight for you, all the way, and I want you to call [insert name here] and demand that they join the fight, too.”

For extra effect, you could have sent him to one of those free clinics the viewers of Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” were paying for.

Repeat this process a dozen times or so, and the next thing you know you own the news cycle, and the enemy is crushed and disorganized.

This is Politics 101, and it’s just as effective at moving along reluctant Democrats as it is reluctant Republicans.

But that never happened, Rahm, did it?

Instead, as far as I can tell, you let the fuckin’ retards kick your ass for the past eight months.

You didn’t even really try to organize your friends: for example, where was the coalition-building process while all of this was going on? Did it ever occur to you to try to get gay activists and youth activists and healthcare activists together to help move this process along?

Had you been on the ball here you could have organized a “Counter Tea-Party” for every single one of those stupid “patriotfests”...and now, when you need support to move issues that matter to the gay community, you haven’t built up the kind of trust that would have been enormously helpful in keeping the GaYTM open and available, as it was in 2008.

Only in the past ten days or so have y’all finally figured out what Alan Grayson seems to have known all along: an aggressive, in-your-face Democrat will not only survive, but thrive—even in Florida.

And that’s the part I don’t get: you came in here enormously popular, with every advantage, with Republicans who were falling all over themselves to make your life easy, with the facts on your side, and a public who wanted to go along with the program.

And despite that, you let yourself get beaten down by idiots, you failed to spring the obvious trap, you never tried to really engage with your friends at critical times, and now you find yourselves in a tough election environment having to play catch-up, when it’s the Rs who should be running for cover while your guy is pulling a 65% approval rating, or something similar, and Democrats expand that Senate majority to 63 or 64 seats.

And if all that wasn’t enough, now you have to sit here and listen to people like me, the proverbial “overfed, long-haired, leaping gnomes” of politics, tell you something you should have known all along.

Which finally brings me to the part I really don’t understand: how did our situation get so turned upside down that you are viewed as the big-time highly-paid political genius...and somehow, the people who thought you would be easily digest the pre-chewed political snack food that was being served up to you on a silver platter became the fuckin’ retards?

It’s a question I can’t answer, Rahm...but you better figure it out, and fix it—quickly—or the next three years are going to suck a lot more than this one did.

Comments

it's not like i'm jumping ship here...

...but sometimes you need to hear a little straight talk from your friends.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Word, fake.

So who's the F-ing retard now, Rahm?

i'm reminded of dennis miller's joke...

...(which i believe was mondale speaking about reagan: "i can't believe i'm losing to this guy."

how is it possible, rahm, that you're losing this fight?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Rahm

frankly, is in over his head. And too fuckin' arrogant to admit he can't swim.

Obama should fired the asshole.

NOTE TO RAHM: My wife and I have helped raise more than half a million dollars for Democrats over the past three presidential cycles. We are not pansy liberals. We are pissed off liberals who have closed our checkbook and our house to you and your incompetent advisers.

i think part of the problem here...

...is related to the democratic party itself--and we saw some of the signs when evan bayh announced his "retirement": i don't think "professional" democrats are inherently used to getting all assertive; instead, they seem to prefer the "corporate" approach to campaigning...which is not going to engage ds with a lot of the centrists we need.

this was a characteristic of the hillary clinton campaign...and it had a lot to do with why obama is president today.

i have suggested for a while now that a debate within the party is playing out over what attitude we use as a community going forward; the blanche lincolns and ben nelsons on the one side, allan grayson and kucinich and george miller, among others, on the other, and i don't know if rahm is trying to push reluctant ds in the right direction...or if this is the face of professional democrats trying to keep out the "barbarians at the gate" (read: us).

i have a feeling it's the latter...and, unfortunately, i think a lot of people, from far-left liberals to centrists, feel the same way.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

At the risk of detracting

from your main points, which I believe to be "spot on", by the way, I find the use of the terms "retarded" and "retard" in your presentation to be less than tasteful, Fake. I'm sure many of our readers are at least acquainted with someone who is developmentally challenged, and some may even have children so afflicted.

I can only imagine how encountering that word would make them feel, but I can safely say that it wouldn't feel good.

just as an aside...

...this story was removed from blue oklahoma immediately after it was posted, suggesting that the same issues came into play on their site as well.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

as it happens...

...The Girlfriend is a nurse who has spent the past 25 years working with a clientèle of developmentally delayed and physically disabled persons, so i do get the issue at hand--but i also know that our now dead friend gordon would have read this story and asked the same question i did...and we would have had a good laugh about it, as well.

it's actually surprising how "in touch" many of those that are seen as cognitively disabled really are, and i suspect that there are probably fewer people in these circumstances who would be offended than you might initially think--and probably more who would appreciate the irony.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I'm sure you're correct

that many of those I'm defending wouldn't be that offended by the word, just as I'm sure you didn't intend to offend them. But I also know from previous experience at a huge (20,000 member) writer's website that many family members/caregivers of those afflicted really hate that word.

I got in trouble once

for a white paper for a software company that used the term "schizophrenia" in the title. The metaphor was about IT organizations that are of two completely different and sometimes competing mindsets when it comes to a certain kind of enterprise design. It was and is an excellent descriptor, all lined up with Websters and everything.

But the shit still hit the fan.

James

PS I really wish the word "gay" was available for general use without everyone going bonkers. I love that word.

That's the neat thing

about the English language, right? With over 10,000 words to choose from, we're not about to run out anytime soon.

Here's a couple of alternatives: exuberant, ebullient.

Okay, maybe those don't evoke images of Mary Tyler Moore ripping her hat off her head and throwing it in the air...let me work on it some more. ;)

an additional neat thing...

..."word evolution": as in, what was once "gay", becomes "GaYTM".

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

there are few things more fun...

...than having a few cocktails and watching "the gay divorcee" in a modern light:

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

in this case...

...it's all about context, i'd suggest; the key here being the fact that we're using rahm's exact words as a writing device.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Political Correct Orwellian Terms?

I find the use of the terms "retarded" and "retard" in your presentation to be less than tasteful, Fake. I'm sure many of our readers are at least acquainted with someone who is developmentally challenged, and some may even have children so afflicted* scharrison

Maybe a change in Newspeak might help such as

Retard becomes Dumb Fuck Idiot
Police becomes Nazi Bastards
Glenn Beck becomes Doctor Suess
Tea Party becomes Mad Hatters Party
New World Order becomes Goldman Sachs
Blackwater becomes Xe
Greek Asshole becomes Roman Butt Procreator
Gay becomes Funny Girl
Slam Dunk becomes Instant Attention
Redneck becomes Pale Face
Shit Kicker becomes Hay Burner
Turkey becomes Middle East Chicken Fucker
Sara Palin becomes Brain Dead
Liberal becomes Communist
Communist becomes Paradise Salesperson
Conservative becomes White Sheet Provider
Libertarian becomes Fuck You
Democrat becomes Corporate Info Directions
Republican becomes Corporate Info Messager
Sexual Deprive becomes GOP Office Holders
Bunny Fucker becomes Tiger Woods
Sissy becomes John Edwards Cellmate
Wife becomes Governor Easley Cellmate
God becomes The Force
Federal Debt becomes Blackhole
Paper Currency becomes Cit-Bank Card
Bailout becomes Save Our Ass
Stimulus becomes Fucking you up your Ass
Unemployment becomes Vacation Reseach Time
Deal Of The Century becomes Madoff Run
War becomes Barbarian Peace In Our Lifetime
Chinese Fire Drill becomes Sale Of American T-Bills
Wal-Mart becomes Foreign Discount City
New York City becomes Escape From New York
NCGOP becomes Gay Friendly Zone
Doom and Gloon becomes Happy Days Are Here Again
Help Is On The Way becomes GOP Polls Soar
GOP Polls Soar becomes We're Fuck Again
Paid Political Consultants becomes Lying Mother Fuckers

And finally
Art Pope becomes His Holyness

ok. that was brilliant...

...but that said, i'm not so sure that i would offer bernie madoff a flame thrower...

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Politically correctspeak

I can't get my head around the touchiness I witness in America right now. Words are undoubtedly powerful but all of their power is what we give them.

I hate hate speech but I hate the hoopla over the use of words about as much. It distracts from the real issues, I think.

i used to drop cargo out of airplanes...

...and you could observe how the loads swung like pendulums while falling (it happens because the parachutes come out of the aircraft first, then the load slides out).

i think we're in a similar situation: we've gone from being slaveholders to racists to "ugly americans", and now that the national pendulum is swinging the other way...it's swinging, sometimes, a bit too far.

that said, i would rather address criticism about how "retard" and other words are used than live in a country where no one feels these concerns, and i would suggest that the motivation behind the comment was a positive one...so, in the end, it's probably all to the good.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Thanks

i debated with myself for a while whether making that comment would be helpful or hurtful, and I finally realized that I needed to say something regardless. Thanks for being so understanding. :)

no worries at all...

...unlike what just happened on the ice, which will presumably cause lots of questions come tomorrow.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Tough defeat

...unlike what just happened on the ice

I really thought Team USA would pull that one off in O.T. Miller looked SO rejected. I still give Kudos to our team, though, getting to the final game.

I learned one thing. I need to understand hockey far better than I do.

i mean, hey...

...if they can have effective, affordable, and universal health care, i think we should have been awarded the medal just for that reason alone.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Hockey Puck?

I learned one thing. I need to understand hockey far better than I do. *foxtrot

You sure do! Become a Cane's Fan, buy season tickets and than write the Owner and ask how in the hell can he keep losing another 150 million dollars on his investment year after year?

maybe the reason...

...the owner's still around is because there are no games in vegas with $150 million table limits...

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965