The GOP is Our Self-Made Punishment for Tolerating the Intolerable

Michele Bachmann
False Prophet Michele Bachmann

People for the American Way (PFAW) have drawn our attention to another Michele Bachmann event, namely, that she has “blamed the devastating flooding in North and South Carolina on U.S. Israel policy.”

Leaving aside for a moment the question, “Why is God punishing South Carolina in particular?” we have to ask the bigger question: “Whaaaaaaaat?”

Now look, we are used to Republicans blaming natural disasters on God, or claiming the effects of anthropogenic global warming is the effect not of humans but of God, but it seems rather bizarre that God would destroy South Carolina. At least he aimed at and hit his targets in Sodom and Gomorrah, according to the Bible, if not for the reasons people like Bachmann claim.

On a side note, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is now calling for federal disaster aid for his state. One has to ask, in light of Michele Bachmann’s claims, if giving that disaster aid is not shaking a finger in God’s face. Not only does Graham now contradict his earlier opposition to relief for Hurricane Sandy victims, but Republicans can’t get their stories straight.

Look at another false prophet, Jonathan Cahn, who was predicting a huge, God-induced financial meltdown that would collapse civilization as we know it by the end of September 2015. It didn’t happen. So now he says his prophecy extends to September 2016. You can imagine what he will say on October 1, 2016.

These people just say whatever is convenient at the time.

So much for their claim to stand against moral relativism. There is nothing more morally relativistic than a Republican who wants to scare people into doing what they want.

Back to Bachmann: She is wrong. We are not suffering God’s punishment, but our own. This sort of bizarre utterance should never have become so familiar to us that we barely bat an eye anymore. And it needn’t have.

As Grist reported yesterday, “Norwegian academic Sondre Båtstrand, found the American conservative party is the only one that denies climate change.” They do so loudly and publicly. A group in Australia wants to boycott travel to the United States because it’s no longer safe because of rampant gun violence – and they’re right.

When are we Americans going to wake up to these intolerable realities and do something about it?

This irrational thinking and resultant irrational actions in Congress, is obviously a problem for not only the world but for the rest of us, who find ourselves hostage to volatile and unstable right-wing ideologues who rival the Islamic State for extremism. The Islamic State is destroying archaeological treasures; the GOP wants to destroy natural wonders like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

The rest of watch more or less helplessly as Ben Carson asks where gravity comes from, Marco Rubio says “America is not a planet,” and Carson then rise to the level of atrocity during a Facebook Q&A as he pronounces that he has “Never saw a body with bullet holes more devastating than loss of gun rights.”

We often say that the GOP’s current problems with extremism (in the form of Donald Trump most spectacularly) are self-created, and they are. But we cannot ignore our own guilt in tolerating the intolerable.

For far too long Americans have tolerated this nonsense. Republicans in particular of course, but liberals and progressives, to the extent they have been able but unwilling to vote, also must share a burden of responsibility for the state of our political discourse.

As a society, we have tolerated too much in the name of tolerance. There are certain things that cannot be tolerated: the loss of voting rights, the loss of First Amendment rights, stripping women of their reproductive rights, murdering black Americans in the street like we once allowed them to be lynched. That stain is on all of us. We have allowed conservatives to run their mouths to extremes none of us would have imagined half a century ago, and then let them act on it.

Where has the outrage been? Where has the popular uprising – the political revolution Bernie Sanders now calls for – been? Why has it taken so long for Americans to wake up to the dangers posed by the monsters in their midst? This is a party that will spend millions and waste months launching investigation after investigation over four dead Americans in Benghazi yet when 6, 8, 10, a dozen or more Americans are gunned down in mass shootings say, “Stuff happens.”

Stuff does happen. That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate it. We don’t. We can’t and we won’t. And we can no longer tolerate the intolerable, which means we can no longer tolerate the crass ignorance of the Ben Carsons and Marco Rubio’s of this world, nor the hateful intolerance of would-be Mussolini’s like Donald Trump, or the awful indifference of Jeb Bush or the false righteousness of Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.

By the standards of our nation’s founding ideals, all of them are damned. Remember the words of John Quincy Adams to the House of Representatives on July 4, 1821, because this was what America was supposed to be:

“America…goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy…The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. the frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

Adams reminded Americans that,

“[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.”

How today’s House of Representatives would boo this speech.

Not only has our honor as a nation been tarnished by these authoritarian demagogues, these war criminals and economic terrorists, but our people have been hurt, starved, beaten, and even killed or left to die by them.

It must stop here. Now. With our votes in 2016. Or we will be damned right along with them when future historians look back on our time. And I, for one, don’t want to be remembered in the same breath as those who let Hitler come to power.

50 Replies to “The GOP is Our Self-Made Punishment for Tolerating the Intolerable”

  1. god is punishing South Carolina because they pray the loudest at the moment and they’re keeping him awake..

    its doesn’t pay to draw the attention of the gods…

  2. The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children…the children yet unborn.

    And the pity of it is…that these things cannot be confined to…The Twilight Zone!

    ‘The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street’ Twilight Zone Episode – Rod Serling

  3. “The GOP is Our Self-Made Punishment for Tolerating the Intolerable.”

    You know, that just say’s it all

  4. Just one more thing in a long list of everything else the Obama haters have been wrong about.

    No, Black people won’t vote for confused stepin fetchit characters like Herman Cain or Ben Carson just because they are Black, and neither will Whites just to be politically correct.

  5. I’ve been puzzling over JEB!’s “stuff happens” remark, wondering, “What was he thinking?” (aside from just being a privileged idiot.) I think he was trying to say, “Don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to a crisis.” To some extent, that’s a reasonable thought. The problem comes when 1) his brother’s knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 made us all much more paranoid and not a bit safer, and 2) it’s not as if the shooting in Oregon was a sudden, one-time event. It was one more in a long string of awful events. The “crisis” is hundreds of mass shootings that we’ve become numb to, and when something has gone on this long, doing something to stop them isn’t even close to a knee-jerk reaction. He (and Bachman and Jindal and ….) are so callous and clueless that it still amazes me when I read about the next thing they say.

    I feel powerless to do anything about it, though. I vote and I vote against the GOP in my state, but it’s so gerrymandered there’s nothing I can do anymore.

  6. There is a racial tone to this. Imagine if Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith made such outlandish claims on a daily basis. They would be attacked, and are for making statements, such as Freeman and Danny Glover, that white society is offended by.
    The intolerable is tolerated because it is those of the dominant culture making the statements, which are aimed at those not of the dominant group. Meaning they are allegedly heterosexual WASP.
    This is what happens when you have the power and privilege, are in the majority; you can get away with doing “the intolerable” and it’s ok, cuz, you speak for YOUR people, no matter how ignorant, bigoted, hateful, and misogynist you are. It’s not you being attacked, after all, it’s the other being attacked. So it’s all good, until a Freeman, Glover, Black Lives Matter calls you out, then, it’s all bad.

  7. I’d vote against either of them, and I’m white, but it’s not because they’re black and I don’t feel white liberal guilt. It’s because they would be terrible presidents.

  8. Fortunately, Freeman, Winfrey, et al are intelligent people and don’t believe that SC is being punished for our lack of support for Israel, or that the shooter’s father is to blame for the shooting in Oregon. So, there’s no chance that they’d make those kinds of remarks anyway.

    Kind of funny, when you think about it – Morgan Freeman and Michelle Obama are too smart to tell us that “America is not a planet,” and JEB! wants to point at blacks because they’re Those People Who Want Free Stuff. Just who are the intelligent, thoughtful people here?

  9. Bachmann says it’s because of our Israel policy – Robertson says it’s because of gay marriage – either way, why is god punishing all of those stick-up-their-ass evangelicals and baptists in S. Carolina instead of the godless heathen baby killers in, say, New York? Wasn’t the storm originally plotted to hit the upper East Coast? So, if god is responsible, he either deliberately targeted S.C. because of all their jew haters, or because of their love of gay marriage – take your pick.
    I think that god inflicted extremist religio/conservatism on this nation as punishment for not putting Bush, Cheney, et al. on trial for war crimes, a blight on our claim to justice for all.
    How do we scrape people like Bachmann and Robertson off of our shoes?

  10. Dumbass is a compliment for that overdressed can of strolling garbage. Good article Mr. Haraldsson. 100% true, this mirrors the Hitler doctrine. He made a mockery of humanity, he was their Michelle Bachman in charge of life itself. And death.

  11. People get the government they deserve. If they vote for republicans, they will deserve the calamities and catastrophes that inevitably result. Want to avoid the insanity? Vote Blue in 2016. The U.S. is in trouble, and our citizens need to wake up. Electing conservatives is a recipe for disaster.

  12. How does the Christian pray thing differ from most primitive beliefs?

    Bachman’s statement is no different than some primitive islander watching a volcano erupt and then stating that the “Lava Gods” are mad a the tribe for not sacrificing or sending some kind of tribute as an “assurance” that they will be safe from a hail of hot rocks…sigh.

    Are we really that primal? I don’t think so…we’re being held hostage by primitives that should have died off a long time ago.

    My “Lava Gods” tell me that these people should run out side and “rapture” in front of the first moving vehicle they encounter, or else, as Hraf says, …”And I, for one, don’t want to be remembered in the same breath as those who let Hitler come to power”…

  13. I would suggest that if the GOP has become so intolerable that you organize and get out and vote. If I remember correctly you had control of both houses and the presidency and did nothing to process change. That fact that you remain outnumbered in this country screams Majority rule. Don’t like it LEAVE, you are part of the problem.

  14. Could you please put some of the blame on the endless right-wing hatred spewed out 24/7 on radio? Could you put some of the blame on our mainstream media that can’t be bothered explaining real facts? Could you put a lot of blame on the TV news shows that present the Republican and Democratic stances as equal–without regard to said facts?

    If journalists actually did their job, Americans might realize how they are being screwed.

  15. Sharon, so true. Add into your list gerrymandering and voter suppression.

    Voting is important, but that is not the only problem. Your list is a lot of the problem.

  16. Jeb’s “Stuff happens,” quote is classic G.W. Bush logic. I could easily imagine W. shrugging his shoulders, with a smile pointing to 9/11 or Katrina and the economic collapse as “stuff happens.”

    Republicans who vote for Jeb, are voting for a Dubbaya third term.

  17. GOPers are intolerable yet somehow electable. The “Press” has absolutely no idea how to ask questions of these idiots anymore. The “Press” gets these morons in front of microphones and cameras, they say complete crap that goes unchallenged. Or, they go for an opposing view queued up on the “normal” side of the argument aka Democratic side. It becomes a game of ping pong for the press.

    Where are the old school reporter like Walter Cronkite to tell it like it is when you really need one?

  18. When the RNC noise machine shut down Dan Rather and Phil Donohue for speaking the truth the rest of the village got the message. Unless you go along you can kiss those paychecks away

  19. Even worse then Bush’s stuff happens is a remark from Carson that says, “I would not just stand there let him shoot me.”

    Bold insensitive talk from an @sshole!

  20. I agree with HH – Americans are to blame for voting for Republicans. However these Republican voters don’t see what they’ve done as something negative – they delight in the disgusting words and actions committed by the Republican politicians they elected. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that many, if not most Americans, have terrible values (from a liberal perspective).

  21. Now people you know that we who do not tolerate things like bigotry, racism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia are the ones who are the problem! You see according to the Reich Wing it is WE who have the problem with all the things I listed above, because WE call the Reich Wing out on THEIR Intolerance so WE are the ones who are Intolerant…Vote for Intelligence! Vote BLUE!!

  22. DJ. I doubt that Dan Rather & Phil Donohue really needed the “paychecks.” There must have been a threat involved.

  23. “The GOP is Our Self-Made Punishment for Tolerating the Intolerable.”

    As a european having lived in the US 30 years ago, and following american politics, – frankly it scares me.

    Norwegian sociologist and founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies at the University of Oslo, Johan Galtung, observed decades ago that there are two countries on earth which cannot exist without an outside enemy; USA and Israel. Without an outside enemy, Galtung said, both countries will simply implode. One of the reasons, according to my own memory, was religious fundamentalism that would rip the society to pieces.

    Now it seems like Galtung was right in his predictions, and that you´re in the middle of it right now.

    Seing a man like Bernie Sanders, however, charging voters all around the country, gives me some hope that the majority of americans still wants to live in the real world with the rest of us.

  24. I keep thinking he’s got to be narcoleptic and catching intermittent Zzzzz’s.

    Can you imagine allowing this guy to operate on your child that way? He would have to be my very last hope.

    And that 3am phone call? I guarantee he won’t be losing any sleep over it.

  25. The real problem is not enough Democrats/liberal independents vote during the non-presidential mid-term elections. This has allowed the intolerable to gain control of the House and Senate. And that is OUR fault. When will that change?

  26. Unfortunately, it is generally true that outsiders see the US and its “culture” with much clearer vision than those of us who are citizens. I wish Dr. Galtung was not correct, but I fear that he is.

  27. Don’t forget Governor Rick “Voldemort” Scott here in Florida.

    There are a whole lot of Republican governors that are a certifiable nightmare, such as Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, and others of their ilk…

  28. I am white and we all know that the repubs have been pushing their hate to whites for over 35+ years. They are marketing masters and have the money to make it work. As time went by it became more and more obvious that the repub party has become more white male with the women they drag along with them. They appear to be shrinking daily. Our problem is gerrymandered districts that we are stuck with until the next census. And if we don’t vote in the midterms, we will be screwed again in many of the states. How can the “hell with them I won’t vote” mantra work for we the people? It doesn’t. One thing for sure is that repubs vote in every election. Will we left leaning voters ever learn the lesson?

  29. Oh I think many in the press know how to ask the questions, but they are corporate shrills for their puppet masters. The news departments use to be a public service and were pretty good back in the day. Then the news departments went for ratings & making money. That’s when we started to get infotainment for our news. It is disgusting and dangerous for our country to be in this mode.

  30. _When we allow ignorant buffoons to spew their venom without challenging them, all of society pays the price. It is the moral obligation of every thinking person to confront bullies, fear/hate mongers, bigots, and chronic deceivers._

  31. Just like all the “good” Germans who stood by and did nothing while the Nazis took over their country. This is what happens when you “normalize” abnormal behavior. I have friends who vote Blue, but when I try to talk to them about what is happening in the U.S. today their eyes glaze over. They have their heads stuck in the sand, just like an ostrich. Oh, no, THAT could never happen here. The reason history keeps repeating itself is because people learn nothing from their mistakes.

  32. Homophobia. God has unleased the fury of retribution on the hateful bigots of South Carolina. Apparently they missed Mark 12:31 and its overriding rule.

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