The Island of Misfit Toys

Every time I start to worry about Republicans’ embarrassing overconfidence in their imminent “resurgence,” along comes Michele Bachmann, and I take heart.

Bachmann thoroughly rejected the idea of a social guarantee of health care, saying that the rights guaranteed in America’s founding ideals affirm “your right to own property, not necessarily the right or a guarantee to a specific item, to a specific service, like health care, or a to a specific piece of land. Rather, the underlying principle and the ideal is that if we choose, when we choose, we can choose to strive for as little or as much as we want, and once we acquire that property, nobody can take it away from us. That’s a radical idea, that what I provide belongs to me, not to the king, but it belongs to me. “

Ah, leave it to crazy Michele to even drop the 2nd amendment from the Bill of Rights; it seems to her that all the Founders cared about was property; evidently “e pluribus unum” was a typo for the real national motto, “I got mine.”

Bachmann also attacked the Obama administration’s latest budget and it’s trillion-plus deficit: “Our government is intentionally choosing failure, they’re choosing failure and they’re handing you the budget. How do you like them apples, and how are you going to pay for it? You have to give up up more of your private property, your pursuit of happiness, to pay for their failure. That’s what they’re doing to us.”

Never let the facts spoil a good teabagging.  Despite the fact that only 2% or so of Americans have seen their taxes go up, and ignoring the structural deficit created by the Bush tax cuts, Bachmann conjures up for her credulous followers an alternative universe where Obama’s (imaginary) tax increases threaten our future and the Feds are coming to take away the RV parking next to your trailer.

An overriding theme was that the Obama administration is taking away the freedom of the American people, and reducing them to a subject population. “And the president also wants to raise your taxes to about 40 percent this year. When your taxes are raised to 40 percent, that means government is laying claim to owning 40 percent of you, of what you earn,” said Bachmann. “Think of it that way, because that isn’t just it, the federal income tax, you need to add to that Social Security tax, Medicare tax, state tax, county tax, city tax, township tax, school tax, metro authority tax, sales tax, gas tax. Pretty soon Uncle Sam owns more of you than you do. Is that America? And that’s government depriving you of your God-given right to the pursuit of happiness. That’s not what the Founders thought, they thought that should you should work for you, and you should work for your family, they weren’t about to condemn you to a life of indentured servitude. That’s not the great hope that they had for you, because they thought you were free. They respect you, they saw you as free people. And they knew that you could figure out your own future, you didn’t need to have them for that.”

This last part is the kookiest of all; as usual it invokes the dead, who seldom beg to differ, to support a tirade of Beckian nonsense that, in the end, is little more than a call to survivalist anarchy.  On Planet Bachmann, the metro authority is in cahoots with the school board and state government to pick the patriotic pockets of the average teabagger, all directed by that sinister ringleader, President Obama.  Boy does that guy get around.  Best of all, she defines “America” as some sort of place where we ought to lay our own roads to get to work, home-school our children, burn our own garbage, dig our own wells, and practice frontier justice in the absence of courts and law enforcement.  If this is the platform that is going to catapult her nutty party to the full-spectrum dominance they demand, well, good luck.

Like most Republicans, Bachmann needs to turn off FOX and get out more;  Glenn Beck and the gang may have developed a Unified Theory of The World that has captured the addled brains of the 30 percenters, but selling such a crazy and unrealistic “program” so dishonestly, since all it means is handing over still more power to those who already control the lion’s share of the “property” already, seems unlikely to have broad appeal.

Of course, Bachmann may or may not actually believe her own propaganda, but the idea that Americans are going to rally for the continued upward transfer of wealth and power in the name of “freedom” and “property” seems like something of a non-starter to me.  But no doubt worth a try, in the climate of mass ignorance and alternate reality the right has so systematically crafted in this winter of their discontent, a magical place where the only thing wrong with George Bush was that he was too liberal.  As Bush once said, “…you can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones we’re focusing on.”  Bachmann maybe took that message a little too much to heart.


43 Comments

  1. dirigo says:

    In RMP’s post just previous, I launched a glancing blow at Tom for his redundant and tedious ripostes here, supplying a link to an interesting piece in Salon by Micheal Lind, a socialist no doubt.

    These people, people like Tom and Bachmann, are so boring and cartoonish. Rebutting them simply makes the rhetorical rubble bounce.

    Trouble is, so many similarly tedious and “afeared” people are under the sway of such ancient and simplistic political positions that the country is threatened with a kind of anarchy not seen in a long, long time.

    There will be no answers from these people – just more rage, fear, ignorance, and the pining for a time which never existed in the first place.

    Pull the ladder up …

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Dang, I missed a Tom sighting. I’ll go back for a look-see.

  3. nailheadtom says:

    “. . . all it means is handing over still more power to those who already control the lion’s share of the “property” already. . . .”
    ______________________

    Sure, it might be possible to construct an assemblage of verbosity that’s more dishonest than this posting, sort of an Olympic Gold in mendacity, but save some points for the better performance later in the program, don’t bless this crap with anything but a 9.5 for truthlessness.

    The top 10 list of states with the highest percentage of federally owned land looks like this:

    1. Nevada 84.5%
    2. Alaska 69.1%
    3. Utah 57.4%
    4. Oregon 53.1%
    5. Idaho 50.2%
    6. Arizona 48.1%
    7. California 45.3%
    8. Wyoming 42.3%
    9. New Mexico 41.8%
    10. Colorado 36.6%

    This wouldn’t include the areas owned by lesser governmental subdivisions, like states and counties. Of course, that’s OK with you Stalinist dogs-in-a-manger, hysterical over any private ownership that isn’t your own.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Your point being? Federal ownership has hardly stopped the extractive industries from fully pillaging these areas, nor has it stopped the freeloading citizens of many of them from grabbing free federal water, roads, or whatever else they need to haul in the booty. Your Bachmannian ideation that federal ownership means something other than wealthy interests running off with the money and leaving the mess shows that you don’t read, or get out, much.

      • dirigo says:

        Several times a year, before winter sets in, I set out from Skowhegan in my old 1948 extra long bed Mack dump truck, all the way – yonder! – to Colorado, Wyoming, and anywhere else in the Plains states east of the Rockies, to load up as much free wood scattered around public land as I can grab.

        I bring all this great, free firewood home to Maine and stack it in my yard as high as the birches, and then stuff it, with wild abandon, into my wood stove all winter long.

        It’s a great deal and well worth the many trips I make. And, while I’m out there, roaming all this government property, picking up these cords and cords of freebies, I take time to marvel at the great expanse out that-a-way, taking in the vast terrain, bald eagles and other wildlife, and remember the pioneers (why … people just like ol’ Tom!) who risked life and limb in their Conestoga wagons, fighting off all the savages, and carving a life for themselves in the old West.

        Every time I throw a log into my old truck, preparing to drive back East, I thank my lucky stars there’s all this free wood, there for the taking on federal land, way out beyond Kansas City.

        • cocktailhag says:

          There are permits for that up here, and I’ve gone out several times to bag a few native plants. (ferns, rhododendron, trillium, salal, etc….) There are limits, though, and a dozen plants or so are the most you can take. Naturally, there was a bit of a scandal recently when some patriotic Republican developers bushwhacked a nearby forest to landscape their whole “resort” with truckloads of “free” flora, I guess because they respect “property” so much.

          • dirigo says:

            Well, as an Easterner, it wasn’t until I spent time in West Texas as a reporter that I got the drift of the Great Republican Pose about “Washington meddling” – in everything from mineral rights to set asides (GET PAID BY THE FEDS NOT TO PLANT!) to pork belly futures to taxes – and realized what fine arrangements (lathered over by big gobs of hypocrisy and constant anti-government posturing) a lot of folks out there get – farmers, ranchers, and hot shots like Boone Pickens – in deals with the feds.

            There’s very little of that stuff available back east, unless you want to bitch about artificially low ticket prices on bankrupt commuter rail lines, or other socialist transportation boondoggles like AMTRAK.

          • dirigo says:

            Oh the horror … the horror! A socialist bank, right here in America!

            Take heed, Tom. It’s a harbinger of the end of the world, as foretold by YOU !!!

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/16/bank-of-north-dakotasocia_n_463522.html

      • nailheadtom says:

        “Like most Republicans, Bachmann needs to turn off FOX and get out more. . . .”

        “that you don’t read, or get out, much.”
        ____________________

        You’re getting hackneyed. Maybe you should get out more and take a course in English composition.

        • cocktailhag says:

          The point cannot be emphasized enough, and I will continue to repeat it. The current crazy right we see in Fox and Bachmann WILL NEVER be more than 30% of Americans, yet in their (your) bubble they think it’s perfectly normal to talk about dismantling basically all government, based on some nutty, unworkable fantasy about how things ought to have turned out, if they’d only have had their way.
          Taxes would still be high, of course, because wars and spying cost lots of money and the rich should pay even less than they do now. Sounds nice.

          • dirigo says:

            Are you paying your fair share of the war costs, Tom?

            Surely, you’re a red-blooded, “my country, right or wrong” type, right?

            I mean it seems to ooze from your pores in every utterance here in the hallowed halls of hagdom.

            Does your cash ooooooozzzze forth too, to the government, in support of our worldwide adventures to make certain that everyone knows the benefits of capitalism, at gunpoint if necessary?

          • nailheadtom says:

            A quick exam of my last paycheck shows that the various government organs of extortion took 32% before it got to the post office. But that’s not the issue. You mental defectives don’t seem to realize that the U.S. budget isn’t contingent on tax receipts, government spending doesn’t have any relationship to taxes. If Uncle Sam or Barney Frank or Charlie Rangel or John Conyers or Richard Byrd needs a gym or highway named after themselves, they just borrow the money and someone that isn’t even born yet gets to pay for it, or would, if the economy wasn’t being turned into compost. The commander in chief just raised the debt ceiling to $14.29 TRILLION. Actually, it will take a little re-run of Weimar Germany to get peoples’ attention away from Dancing with the Stars and the Simpsons. All that borrowing will get paid back with green papel hygienico but then it’ll take a million dollars to buy an organic carrot.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Were you born yesterday, Tom? Clinton, at considerable political cost, brought the Reagan-Bush budget disaster under control, only to see Bush immediately squander it all. I suppose it’s a matter of priorities, but money spent on a highway or building is a bit more useful to the taxpayer than money handed over to Blackwater or Halliburton. Were you this worked up about spending and taxes when Bush was on his bender? Though not.

          • dirigo says:

            Born yesterday. That’s part of it. The day before yesterday. Maybe.

          • cocktailhag says:

            It’s the David Gregory syndrome, and it’s spreading.

          • nailheadtom says:

            Obama get elected on the “hope and change” platform and then he does just what GWB did, only more so. The Bush budget destruction machine (maybe a good name for a rock band) wreaked so much havoc with the economy that the Obama Chicago machine just has to continue the same policies on a massive level to correct the problem. Kind of like bloodletting the victim of a gunfight. Of course, the house of representatives, with a membership that’s a testimony to geriatric science had nothing to do with it. But you neurological pygmies jump up and down clapping for the Obama prescription because now your utopian heart throb is signing the orders. If they ever do introduce a health-care system patterned after FEMA, hopefully you’ll get taxpayer funded mental treatment.

          • cocktailhag says:

            There are so many lies and plain failures of reading comprehension in your comment, Tom, that I feel compelled to take a little look at them.

            “Obama get elected on the “hope and change” platform and then he does just what GWB did, only more so.”
            No argument there.
            ” The Bush budget destruction machine (maybe a good name for a rock band) wreaked so much havoc with the economy that the Obama Chicago machine just has to continue the same policies on a massive level to correct the problem. Kind of like bloodletting the victim of a gunfight.”
            Not too far off the mark, either.
            ” Of course, the house of representatives, with a membership that’s a testimony to geriatric science had nothing to do with it. ”
            This is where you vault off the high dive into that discredited 30 year-old excuse for Reagan’s deficits. Every Republican, except maybe Ron Paul, supported everything Bush wanted, EVERYTHING, for eight years, helped along by FOX, natch.
            “But you neurological pygmies jump up and down clapping for the Obama prescription because now your utopian heart throb is signing the orders. If they ever do introduce a health-care system patterned after FEMA, hopefully you’ll get taxpayer funded mental treatment.”
            More complete cuckoo, tarted up with the usual irrelevant and laughably backfiring insults; praise for Obama’s performance in office here has been rare here, and on my part, almost nonexistent, but nonetheless, I’d like to point out that Clinton’s FEMA was quite effective, as are most government agencies when Republicans are out of power, where they remain and belong. Obama may be no hero, but he wouldn’t be caught dead ignoring a PDB entitled “Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” nor would he appoint an incompetent like Michael Brown to any office. It’s not much, but it’s more than you’ve got.

      • nailheadtom says:

        “Federal ownership has hardly stopped the extractive industries from fully pillaging these areas. . . .”
        ________________

        Typical baby-boomer cynicism presented as honesty. You couldn’t be more phony and hypocritical if you were working for the IPCC. Decrying the very substances and processes that make your cushy life possible. If you had an atom of integrity in your entire body you’d go live in a cave and subsist on berries and roots. But you don’t and you won’t.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Berries and roots? Really? Would marginally responsible stewardship of natural resources require that? What then, would your “integrity” require? Driving a Hummer to the end of the driveway to pick up your “American Spectator?”

  4. retzilian says:

    Where does Bachman get this 40% figure? Considering we have 10% unemployment nationwide (and higher in some places), and that the average wage in the US is less than $60K right now, most people are paying less than 10% in income tax and a lot of people pay NOTHING in income tax.

    This is silly. It’s not even in the realm of reality. The people in the crowd of her speech have no relationship to this alleged tax increase. The only thing I can figure is that this is a 40% increase in taxes to those who don’t get the Bush tax cuts if they are rescinded, and that represents 40% of something but not 40% of their income.

    I suppose I could find what this 40% is, but she doesn’t merit that kind of research. Maybe Tom can figure it out.

    • cocktailhag says:

      She did so by adding up state and local taxes, Social Security, everything, and calling it gummint theft. They’re all connected, you know.

      • KarenJ says:

        :P — I wonder if Bachmann, et al, realize that if the Federal government is stripped down to its bare essentials, then it will fall to that state sovereignty the Republicans are so all-fired excited about to pay for EVERYTHING in the way of services. No Federal pork…

        And how will all the states come up with revenue? Hmmm, taxes? For the states that now have sales taxes and property taxes, they’ll probably add income taxes to make up what the Feds aren’t collecting. And for the states that only collect state income tax now, allowing their citizens to enjoy the benefits of living in a state without sales tax — well, that’ll come to a crashing end.

        I wonder, too, if all these patriotic anti-big-government citizens will then revolt against their STATE government’s tax policies, despite wanting all the services provided? Yeah, that’s the ticket! Anarchy!

        Are any of you old-time Mel Gibson “Mad Max” fans? Or have you seen Kevin Costner’s “The Postman” movie (which is set in 2013!)?

        They are the theatrical vision of what ignoramuses like Sarah Palin, warmongers like Dick Cheney, and End-Timers like both Palin and Bachmann would wish on the rest of us.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Somehow they expect, or more audaciously, lead their followers to expect, that they’ll end up on the right side of the armed guards and razor wire under such a scenario. I suppose because this bunch thinks that the bible, Atlas Shrugged, and “24″ depict reality. this is temptingly easy to do.

          • dirigo says:

            Interesting that: the CNN survey of the Tea Partiers just out.

            Affluent (selfish), white, male and rural. Oh! – seems they’re above average in education too.

            Most of them are named Tom and look like Grover Norquist.

  5. retzilian says:

    http://michelebachmann.townhall.com/blog/issue9

    Second blob entry down – this 40% figure comes from the “combined” corporate tax rate. This is an entirely different animal and includes things like employer contributions to SS (7.5% of payroll), 3.5% of payroll to Medicare, workers’ comp, unemployment insurance, and corporate income tax.

    This is not the same as saying 40% of people’s income will be taken by the government. Obviously, the people writing her blog and she are not in the same room together. She doesn’t even read her own blog.

  6. retzilian says:

    People pay more in Social Security and Medicare than they do in income tax. So, she should really be proposing doing away with both of those programs and she’d save her little taxpayers a whopping 12% per payroll check *and* corporations the same amount! Winners all ’round.

    Oh, except when they get too old to work. Oh well, shoot ‘em.

  7. mikeinportc says:

    You have to give up up more of your private property, your pursuit of happiness, to pay for their failure. That’s what they’re doing to us.”
    Did she mean Iraq, AfPak,Somalia,Yemen, Honduras, Columbia, ( fill-in-the-blank-x100 ), or all of the above? ;)

    40%? Last I knew, it was 50% in Norway.( They do get a lot more out of it.) Of course, if you’re not supporting an empire, and countless crony “capitalists” (same thing?), you tend to have more to show for it.

    Geez, tom , you even manage to find fault with public land, treasures that you own, and probably would never have access to otherwise? Here, for ex: http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/368791/paria-canyon/vermilion-cliffs-wilderness.html ( The Wave is Teh Awesome! :) )
    Imagine if that were private. (You’d probably have to – imagine it, that is. It’d either be off limits, or a restricted luxury resort.)Have you ever driven along the Florida coast, esp, west coast? If you didn’t know, you’d never guess there was coast there, with much of it.

    How ’bout this state land : http://www.summitpost.org/image/149286/150395/nice-undercast-from.html (Actually have been in that spot, when it looked like that, minus the ice.[Late Sept., with leaves at peak] Got to see Uolla’s Rings. Wouldn’t trade that for all the pure free-market glory in existence :) )

    ps Sorry to bloghog CH, this was gonna be short, then tom happened. ;)

    pps : A familiar voice showed up, over at Empire Burlesque. Thought I recognized it before, but he was using a different name.

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1926-collateral-accumulation-passing-on-the-abiding-wisdom-of-empire.html#comments

  8. mikeinportc says:

    “Field dress a geezer…” :) :):):):)

  9. rmp says:

    Is Michelle married? If so the guy must be crazy either at the beginning or shortly after. Thanks to dirigo, here’s a new law that would have prevented the disaster:

    New law would ban marriages between people who don’t love each other
    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/new_law_would_ban_marriages?utm_source=EMTF_Onion

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