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Taibbi writes: "Watching America's political conservatives try to counter-maneuver opposite Barack Obama's re-inauguration over the course of the last week has been an incredible comedy - like watching the Three Stooges try to perform a liver transplant on roller skates."

Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi. (photo: Rolling Stone)
Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi. (photo: Rolling Stone)

Conservatives Have Their Worst Week Ever

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

24 January 12


ave Republicans, and the right wing in general, ever been more disjointed? More confused? More incapable of getting out of their own way?

Watching America's political conservatives try to counter-maneuver opposite Barack Obama's re-inauguration over the course of the last week has been an incredible comedy - like watching the Three Stooges try to perform a liver transplant on roller skates.

Let's review the basic timeline. First, Political Media, a conservative action group, decided to try to make an appeal to win the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere by declaring January 19th - previously known as Martin Luther King Day, to the rest of us - to be "Gun Appreciation Day."

On Daily Beast: No Winners in Angry Gun Control Debate

They solicited hundreds of sponsors and sought to get 50 million people to sign a goofball petition (written in the style of the Declaration of Independence, with a plethora of "Whereas…"-es... Why do gun people insist on trying to use 18th-century syntax?) against the "tyrannical governments" that were out to take their guns. "Gun Appreciation Day" would also involve gun shows and other local events all over the country, meant as a counter-balance to the candle-toting gun control protests that were springing up over last weekend in anticipation of Obama's inauguration and the rumored plans for new gun legislation.

But even before their excellent idea gets out of the gate, it stalls out, as obnoxious reporters check the list of "Gun Appreciation Day" sponsors and find that the "American Third Position," a group that purports to represent the "unique political interests of White Americans," is one of the event's sponsors.

So now, Political Media has not only decided to hold its Gun Appreciation Event on a holiday meant to celebrate the life of a black leader who was a symbol of nonviolent protest and who was killed by a white man with a gun, it's done so with the financial help of some yahoo white supremacist group. But this doesn't derail the whole thing, as it's of course just an innocent mistake. Political Media kicks "Third Position" out and appropriately issues a statement, saying, "We have removed the group and reiterate this event is not about racial politics, it is about gun politics."

So far, so good, right? Well, then they go and actually hold their "Gun Appreciation Day" rallies all over the country, on Martin Luther King Day. And what happens? Five people get accidentally shot!

You can't make this stuff up. In three separate incidents - one in North Carolina, one in Ohio and one in Indiana - gun-loving real Americans did their darndest to worsen the demographics in the favor of the gun control lobby by blowing themselves away with accidental discharges. They failed, fortunately - all five victims in the three incidents survived - but you literally can't script a worse outcome for a political sideshow meant to highlight Americans' love of the wholesome, safe exercise of gun rights.

In North Carolina, three people - a 50-year-old man, a 54-year-old woman, and a 50-year-old retired sheriff's deputy - were injured when someone pulled a shotgun out of a display case and the 12-gauge accidentally went off, spraying the three people with birdshot.

In Ohio, a gun dealer was "checking out" a semi-automatic handgun he'd brought to a show at the Medina County Fairgrounds when he "accidentally" pulled the trigger, forgetting that, while he'd removed the magazine, he'd left a round in the chamber. According to the local police chief, the bullet "struck the floor, then a longtime friend of the gun dealer. The man was wounded in the arm and leg."

The man was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Cleveland. I sure hope that dude has private health insurance that he paid for. If it turns out that taxpayers had to foot the bill for a freaking helicopter flight to rescue the friend of some gun-toting conservative who decided to protest the socialist Obama administration by accidentally shooting a pal on Martin Luther King Day, that would be some kind of embarrassing, wouldn't it?

Of course, that would fit right in with the kind of week gun advocates had. In a show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, one Emory Cozee was loading his .45 while walking back to his car when he accidentally shot himself in the wrist. Once again, the taxpayer had to step in to the man's aid, as state troopers rushed to the scene and transported Cozee to a nearby hospital. No charges were filed, stupidity not yet being against the law in Indiana, or anywhere else.

Beyond those five people getting shot, the other "Gun Appreciation" events went on without incident. Then we had Obama's inauguration, where the president took more than one opportunity to goad the gun lobby in advance of an upcoming heated fight over his proposed gun restrictions, saying among other things, "Being true to our founding documents . . . does not mean we will all define liberty in the same way," and, "We cannot substitute absolutism for principle."

Without even taking a position on Obama or his proposed gun law, let me say this: The president, when he makes his case, does not come across like a drooling maniac, like he's pissed off to the point of reaching back, grabbing a frying pan, and belting you across the forehead if you even think about disagreeing with him. He comes across like what he is - a calm, experienced attorney making a rhetorical argument to adults. That, plus a lot of video of little kids' bodies being hauled out of school rooms in suburban Connecticut, can win you a lot of votes with people on the fence on the gun issue.

Then there's Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA. He came out after Obama's speech and gave one of his own at the Weatherby International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nevada. In it, LaPierre weaved back and forth like a maniac, his blond forelock heaving, as he blurted out semi-coherent, quasi-grammatical defenses of "absolutism," saying things like "absolutes do exist, it's [sic] the basis of all civilization," and "without those absolutes, democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on who to eat for lunch."

He then proceeded to double down on his organization's lunatic decision to inject Obama's daughters into the national gun debate, saying, "If neither criminals nor the political class, with their bodyguards and security people, are limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn't be limited in our capacity, either."

This was clearly a reference to the controversy about the NRA's recent TV buy, in which they blasted Obama for being an "elitist hypocrite" for allowing his daughters to have Secret Service protection while Joe Sixpack has to send his kids to school without paramilitary security experts. "Protection for their kids, and gun-free zones for ours," was the ad's nutty tagline.

The NRA was rightfully blasted for that crazy-ass commercial, which made no sense on any level and mainly painted the NRA as a bunch of disturbed rage-addicts who are completely out of touch with national sentiment after Sandy Hook. (Yes, the president's kids have Secret Service protection - to protect them from your members, you idiots!)

Overall, people like LaPierre have fallen into every single political trap that's been laid for them in the last month, allowing Democrats to paint them as humorless, frustrated and probably dangerous political radicals whose response to Sandy Hook has been to publicly attack the president's minor children and to propose more guns in schools. Even the surge in NRA membership numbers since Sandy Hook is a net minus for the NRA, politically, because it scares the hell out of normal people and will result in increased pressure on pro-NRA congressional members to distance themselves from people whose response to piles of mowed-down children is to buy more guns.

So to recap: The gun lobby's response to Obama's inauguration was to organize a "Gun Appreciation Day" on Martin Luther King Day that left five of their own gun-loving members accidentally shot. Then they responded to Obama's inaugural speech by doubling down on the "elitist hypocrite" ad that earned them near-universal condemnation previously. So how could things get worse?

Well, you could have a spokesman for Political Media, which organized "Gun Appreciation Day," tell the Hollywood Reporter that Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is the perfect argument in support of gun rights. Political Media's Larry Ward said he's considering a "What Would Django Do?" campaign as part of this new rhetorical line they're thinking of trying to sell, particularly to the black community. The idea is, get this, that there wouldn't have been slavery if slaves had had gun rights.

"Django is perfect for what we're trying to do," said Ward, "which is to promote gun rights to minorities."

Hey, dipshit: Before anyone allowed slaves to have guns, they would have had to have other rights, like for instance being considered human beings. Are you people completely stupid? You'd have to have hoovered more coke than even Quentin Tarantino to imagine a world where white slave owners denied black people freedom of movement, denied them education and freedom of speech and dominion over their own bodies, but then for some reason also allowed them to buy guns. Jesus Christ! The whole point of slavery is that slaves didn't have any rights, much less the right to bear arms.

Now, Django Unchained is a movie that uses the N-word 109 times (breaking the all-time record set by Finding Nemo, as Kamau Bell wittily noted) and was so historically jumbled that it featured scenes of both the Ku Klux Klan and sunglasses before either existed. Can you imagine any white guy going into Bedford-Stuyvestant or Compton or any other place where so many young black people have been killed by guns, and trying to connect with them by telling them you're down with Django Unchained? That's how out-to-lunch these NRA dudes are, that they genuinely think this is their entrée into minority communities.



I'm not naïve enough to think that just being publicly stupid is going to result in political problems for American conservatives. That's never been the case before - hell, there are still people out there who think Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. There's enough popular anger out there toward Barack Obama that someone like Wayne LaPierre could probably shoot skeet on Martin Luther King's grave and public support for the NRA still won't drop below 40 percent.

But the behavior of the gun lobby in the last month will, for sure, have an impact on people who are on the fence about gun control. Moreover, there's bigger game in play here. The Republicans post-2012 have been staring down the barrel of an increasingly desperate demographic problem that will require the party to find some way to market itself to blacks, Hispanics, women, gays and other minorities or else be relegated to permanent minority status.

But after Sandy Hook, the Democrats have skillfully painted the Republicans as the party of scary-looking and scary-sounding white maniacs like Tennessee security-company CEO James Yeager, a shaven-headed, soul-patched anger-sick white loony who posted a video promising to go ape if gun laws are enacted. "If this goes one inch further, I'm going to start killing people," Yeager said.

Conservatives could have dealt with this post-Sandy Hook political curveball in a number of ways, from simply shutting up and working quietly behind the scenes to scuttle gun control efforts (that always worked before) to announcing willingness to engage in some extremely mild compromise (like maybe prohibiting schizophrenics from carrying machine guns near kindergartens).

Instead, they decided to piss all over Martin Luther King Day and then shoot themselves by the half-dozen in the process.

Well done, fellas! You're well on your way to solving your demographic problems. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+78 # jjj 2013-01-24 09:56
Thanks for writing the article.
If only! Love Mr Taibbi's optimism but can't quite believe in it. He's counting on the rabid gun addicts being influenced by facts and good sense and a wider vision of the world- nice, but such naivete.
These have never affected them before and why would you think they will now?
+126 # tswhiskers 2013-01-24 10:01
Thank you for pointing out the mass hysteria and even more, the mass stupidity of conspiracy whackos and would-be revolutionists. But I live in a politically conservative small town in NC and it surprises me that many people who apparently possess common sense most of the time are convinced that we all need our guns. Here as elsewhere views on guns line up along political and economic lines. I suspect that little or nothing will be done to curb gun ownership until more people can be brought to see the madness of gun ownership for protection. You'd think the deliberate murder of 20 small children would be enough to convince most people of the foolishness of gun ownership, but it's only the tip of the problem. The question surely is Why is there so much fear of the U.S. govt.? Why do significant numbers want to revolt against our govt.? I cannot believe they are democratic in their natures but perhaps instead they long for a form of authoritarian govt. This is a scary thought and makes me think that Tom Jefferson and James Madison truly were way ahead of their time. This seems to me an excellent argument of bring back Civics to the primary and secondary schools. It should be mandated for all schools because the public are obviously oblivious to the way a democratic govt. should work.
+60 # Vardoz 2013-01-24 11:02
As Bill Maher pointed out they've taken away all of our other rights but people still think that owning a gun is more important.

Bill Maher last week.
+39 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-24 15:35
Another thing they can't wrap their heads around is that the kid who killed those children at Sandy Hook used guns that his mother had for "self-protectio n." The same thing with the kid who killed his parents and a few siblings in NM (?), AZ(?). I saw the data of one doctor who had been keeping a record that showed that people were 43X more likely to be shot by a gun in their own house than they were likely to use it on an intruder.
+5 # Lowflyin Lolana 2013-01-24 19:31
People think about revolting against the govt. because it's behaving in a revolting manner. Problem is, it's organized, and people are not, so thinking guns are going to be their ultimate protection is sort of hopeless thinking.
I don't have the answers but I keep thinking communication and living one's own life with integrity, are the best weapons for fighting tyranny. But perhaps I'm wrong and it all comes down to might in the end. If that's the case, the govt. has the might. That's the bottom line.
+54 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-24 10:01
Matt, your article was already bursting with delicious satire, so you likely didn't need the extra boost about Rep. Yoho's call (see sidebar) about citizens' right to have every bit as much armament as the military.

Hmmm... what's the profit margin on an armored Humvee sporting a .50-cal Browning?
+4 # karenvista 2013-01-25 15:41
Quoting Ray Kondrasuk:

Hmmm... what's the profit margin on an armored Humvee sporting a .50-cal Browning?

Don't know but the Homeowners' Association in my neighborhood would consider parking it at home a violation of their rules and sue me.
+76 # lindyb 2013-01-24 10:09
Great article. I'm a huge fan of Matt Tabbi, he's a great investigative reporter, and he's funny as hell.
+57 # MADASHELL 2013-01-24 10:14
This is so good, it can't be defined by adjectives. Always a big fan, you've now won my heart for good. I can do my bit by making sure everyone I know reads this. Hopefully, they'll pass it along. Thanks, Matt.
+99 # DPM 2013-01-24 10:20
Don't get too excited. While everyone is watching this (important) sideshow, the GOP is quietly attempting to change how presidents are elected.
Wake up, everyone!
+64 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-24 10:47

You're likely referring to the Virginia coup...

Same here in Packerland. Though Obama and Tammy Baldwin strongly carried Wisconsin, the Republicans gerrymandered themselves back into control of both state houses.
+11 # Archie1954 2013-01-24 12:55
I think the reference is to the suggested changes to how electoral college votes are divided.
+15 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-24 15:36
And the repubs in PA are hard at work doing the same.
+16 # Todd Williams 2013-01-24 11:20
DPM, we aren't sleeping! Wide awake and vigilant!
+32 # Binks 2013-01-24 12:08
Exactly. Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and a few other states are "contemplating" what Virginia is attempting to do.

How to stop this? Is this legal? Will some group take them to court?
+11 # ssnbbr 2013-01-24 14:37
I feel sure that this will be challenged in court. It seems to fly in the face of representative government.
+31 # Mike Farrace 2013-01-24 11:08
Absolutely the best read of the week.
+79 # walt 2013-01-24 11:27
I say it's time to stop referring to these folks as "conservatives. " They are not.

They should be referred to as "Obstructionist s." They are committed to continuing to do whatever possible to discredit the Obama administration and stand against the people on behalf of the 2%.

The Republican Party is really a mixture of racists, religious fanatics, and gun-lovers and they are being backed by the 2% to stand against Obama. Let's hope the party continues to implode!
+31 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 12:41
Right wing RADICAL extremists ---not "conservatives" , since they seek to uproot and destroy not 'conserve' democracy in the US.
+41 # giraffee2012 2013-01-24 11:40
DPM has it right! Besides, where I live (Orange County, CA) one cannot find a radio station that does not try to make the GOPBaggers "look" good. Do they read this stuff? Nope. When I send an article such as this to a GOP relative, they do not read past line 1.

The GOP stole the 2000 and probably the 2004 elections - and we did nothing except whine . . .

I enjoyed this article so much I laughed out loud but the reality of our corrupt Supreme Court lends support to this GOPBager party. Yes, I hope they go a step too far and maybe they will . . . but I'm not counting on the left taking them down and . . .
+19 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-24 12:26

I share a sigh with you. The Rs I try to dialogue with issue either a terse and torrid tell-off, or slide away in aloof, icy avoidance.

+15 # Texas Aggie 2013-01-24 15:40
I returned a screed about Obama's history and political efforts that one of them had emailed to me with corrections, and you could practically hear him screaming over the internet about removing his email from my list. Needless to say, he didn't respond to the corrections. They rarely do.
+4 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-25 11:22

You'll find solace in Chris Mooney's book
"The Republican Brain: The Science of Their Denial of Science... and of Reality"
+4 # Ray Kondrasuk 2013-01-25 11:29

I bought a copy of Mooney's book for my Republican state assemblyman brother-in-law who has a degree in psychology, hoping he could deliver a rational response to Mooney's reasons for Republicans' rejection of science.

Self-fulfilling, I guess... he read perhaps seventy pages, then rejected it...
+4 # karenvista 2013-01-25 15:51
Quoting Texas Aggie:
I returned a screed about Obama's history and political efforts that one of them had emailed to me with corrections, and you could practically hear him screaming over the internet about removing his email from my list. Needless to say, he didn't respond to the corrections. They rarely do.

I have had the misfortune of being added to a couple of Tea-partiers' mailing lists and when I have presumed to correct some of their many errors with facts and links to media you would think they respect (like the Murdoch-owned Washington Post) they have answered with all-caps hate screeds going so far as to threaten my life and saying that they have found out where I live.

Many of these people are completely insane, violent and unstable. Nothing they do would surprise me, including insurrection.
+39 # genierae 2013-01-24 11:44
Once again Mr. Taibbi's in-your-face eloquence mows down attempts by the right-wing to be taken seriously. These people really are that stupid, sad to say, and they stubbornly refuse to wake up to their political peril.

About two months ago, during a gun show at a Comfort Inn in southeastern Ohio, a customer pulled his gun out of the holster and accidently shot his friend who was standing beside him. It was barely mentioned in the local newspaper, which is Republican of course, and no charges have yet been filed. This part of Ohio is gun country, the NRA is king, and there's absolutely NO room for debate with these people.

Thanks Mr. Taibbi, your articles are essential reads for anyone who is reality-based and thinks it's better to laugh than to cry.
+12 # genierae 2013-01-24 12:32
The gun accident I referred to is NOT the recent one in the above article. I think this happens much more frequently than we realize.
+20 # HowardMH 2013-01-24 11:55
Don't count Scrooge/Marley out yet. The super rich still have many millions to spend on campaign ads for the Publicans, and the millions if idiots and morons in the US that listen to the propaganda there is still plenty of time to be brain washed. Ops, I said “Brain”. Doesn’t a brain have to have more than two brain cells to actually be called a brain.

I agree the Republicans are a bunch of idiots and so are the Democrats. I am referring in both cases to the 85% of the population that doesn't know, doesn't care, and doesn't understand anything about what is going on in their corrupt bought government. The country has been bought and paid for by less than 50 Billionaires. That is 50, not 500, not even 1000 just 50.

The problem is not the stupid politicians but the millions of stupid imbeciles that vote for them, because of all the political ads that are telling the stupid people what to do – and the stupid people are continually doing it.
+14 # reiverpacific 2013-01-24 12:02
I've said my piece about guns and their proponents, especially the leaders in the US on RSN and have worn out my outrage-o-meter on this subject.
Except that inauguration day coinciding with MLK's birthday surely trumped their ravings, as kids had the day off to watch the ceremonies and all the other stuff, hopefully in a family setting.
I'm no movie-goer or watcher but this "Django" movie's title caught me by surprise and I've heard some pretty damning critiques on the alternative press.
But the TITLE??? Sacrilege!
"DJANGO" (Reinhardt) to me and most music/Jazz lovers, especially guitarists, is the Belgian Gypsy jazz guitar genius who only had two useable fingers and a thumb on his left hand due to a fire in his caravan when he was 18 but who rebuilt what was left into a new technique and took the European jazz world by storm in the 20's, 30's 40's forming the "Quintette du Hot Club de France" in Paris with Violinist Stephane Grappelli until his sudden early death in Samois-sur Seine, France in 1953 and toured the US with Duke Ellington in 1946 including two concerts at Carnegie Hall.
There are "Hot Clubs" all over the US and globally dedicated to the almost cultish playing his style and he is known as one of the greatest, most creative guitarist who ever lived.
So why use the name of a revered musical icon for such a movie, especially as utilized by the NRA mush-mouths?
Enjoy this rare clip:
+11 # tbcrawford 2013-01-24 13:04
Totally agree than Reinhardt's guitar playing as good as it gets. Thank you for pointing this out to those who love gratuitous violence. Music rules!
+5 # reiverpacific 2013-01-24 14:37
Quoting tbcrawford:
Totally agree than Reinhardt's guitar playing as good as it gets. Thank you for pointing this out to those who love gratuitous violence. Music rules!

Aye, it might help these empty vessels who run the NRA to listen to some decent music (they probably love the appalling uber-redneck Mr. "If the South would've won wed've had it made" Hank Williams Jr.) instead of shooting their mouths as well as their weapons off.
+21 # moby doug 2013-01-24 12:42
The Republicans understand that their demographic battle is lost. So they're concentrating on hijinx like gerrymandering Congressional districts in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and fooling with the Electoral College reps in Michigan so THEIR shrinking votes will count for more than Democratic votes.
+7 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-24 18:58
and now gerrymandering Virginia!
-25 # Hot Doggie 2013-01-24 12:42
I also am a fan of Matt Taibbi. However, in his article Matt is doing the same thing he ridicules the gun people in doing. If Matt is saying that the gun people have no finesse in articulating their position, then Matt has no finesse when articulating his critizism of those people. Prodings like "Hey dipshit" and "hoovered more coke" and swearing "Jesus Christ" is not finesse. Rubbing mistakes in the face of the pro-gunners is not finesse. Who's perfect? Nobody including Matt Taibbi.

Now, here's another slant of my analysis of Matts' critizism. Is Matt critizing these pro-gunners for not having finesse or is Matt jealous of and critizing pro-gunners for being like Matt?

Sorry Matt, but you need to be brought back into the bounds of approariate journalism. And I'm still one of your fans.
+5 # rockieball 2013-01-24 17:00
Yea, well, maybe. But rubbing the mistakes and stupidity of the pro-gunners is just what they need. I wonder how many would say "Matt Taibbi should be shot for saying this." That is usually their reply to anything.
+18 # oakes721 2013-01-24 12:57
The forcible entry of a 'gun holy-day' into the memorial day of Dr. King is to draw an unfortunate comparison between the great and the small. Stupidity with Spurs On.
+23 # intheEPZ 2013-01-24 13:18
Hope someone will document all the gun show "accidents" that have occurred over the past 10 years. In MA in 2008, a very young boy (8) was killed when his father, and the gun show owner, allowed him to handle a loaded Uzi. No one was found guilty of that incredible crime. Not even criminal negligence. We obviously need better laws. Google it. "A former police chief was found not guilty Friday of involuntary manslaughter in the 2008 death of an 8-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself with a micro Uzi machine gun during a gun show.

Former Pelham, Massachusetts, Police Chief Edward Fleury, 53, was also acquitted of three counts of furnishing a machine gun to a minor in connection with the show that he helped organize. It was held at the Westfield Sportsman's Club in Westfield, Massachusetts.

During the gun show, 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj was firing the micro Uzi when he accidentally shot himself in the head. He died instantly."
+24 # noitall 2013-01-24 13:35
This brand of Republican's appealing to the ignorant, challenged, immature, of their lowest fringe (with a few that know better following along). How can they see this as the route to garnering a majority? The obvious meanness, stupidity, and divisiveness of their choices: Gun Appreciation Day on MLK Day! And on Baracks Inaugeration day! But they get away with it! The media takes out their dentures and gum out soft critiques. If America doesn't get control of the media, we've lost our Democracy, if it isn't already a lost cause. Its no wonder they're putting up such a stink about Al Jazera. (excuse the email-style spelling).
+11 # jellorose 2013-01-24 15:39
Rethugs don't just appeal to the ignorant, challenged, immature, etc. They've been on a steady course for decades to "grow" such people from the cradle via the "power of the pulpit". The brainwashing begins with "the Bible is the ONLY book you ever need to read" and "preachers never lie", followed by legislative reduction of funding for any elementary and secondary schools other than those sponsored and controlled by right wing churches. Thinking outside the box (or thinking at all) is discouraged at every turn.

Problem is, membership in organized religion in the U.S. is falling at a faster pace than the Wing Nuts can replace those who recognize its fallacies. Rethugs used to be quite subtle about pushing their backward-thinki ng agendas. It was done mostly in secret, behind close doors, in backroom deals that kept the chicanery under the radar. The fact that they have become so blatant and "out there" in Congress and statehouses all over the country is evidence they're desparate to regain the control they actually lost years ago. The good news is the GOP's most radical diehards aren't getting any younger and will begin dying off in the next decade or so. In a perfect world, they'd all do us a favor and accelerate the process by killing each other with the guns they're so passionate to possess.
+16 # teineitalia 2013-01-24 14:50
Thank you once again, Matt Taibbi for your "zero tolerance" for B.S. If the stakes were not so high, the consequences so tragic in the ongoing debate over the clear need for gun control, I would laugh even harder at your jagged wit. Once again, you nail the problem, shove it back in their faces and remind us all that "conservatives" are just trying to conserve their money and their power, nothing more.
-19 # dick 2013-01-24 15:23
Obamaphiles didn't have such a good week either, with the airing of Untouchables, the sad saga of Dems bedding down w/Wall St.
It was Rubin, Summers, Bill&Hillary who repealed Glass-Steagall.
-19 # Nominae 2013-01-24 16:21
Quoting dick:
Obamaphiles didn't have such a good week either, with the airing of Untouchables, the sad saga of Dems bedding down w/Wall St.
It was Rubin, Summers, Bill&Hillary who repealed Glass-Steagall.

Your comment is right on, and should be remembered and reinforced as often as possible. Reality rules ! :)

BTW, that one red thumbs down is the way that RSN applied my mouse click on the green thumbs up icon.
+9 # phrixus 2013-01-24 21:00
Don't let your guard down for a second folks or you could become the latest victim of the oh-so-obvious "Red Thumbs Down" conspiracy. Tonight's rally will be held at the bowling alley parking lot, Roswell, New Mexico. And don't forget to wear your tin hats and "I Believe" tee-shirts.
+6 # Ken Halt 2013-01-25 08:26
Get your facts straight, the name on the bill that superseded Glass-Steagall is Gramm-Leach-Bli ley, Republicans all.
-34 # Hot Doggie 2013-01-24 16:18
I agree with you, Dick, that the Dem's are just as much to blame as the Rep's. The gun choice comes down to this. With guns we have protection which gives us freedom and security. Without guns we have no protection which gives us oppression and gulags. So do you want to live free or oppressed? Do you want to live where you want to or where Agenda 21 tells you to?
+14 # genierae 2013-01-24 17:15
False equivalency rears its head once again. Hot Doggie you must be a Republican.
-21 # Hot Doggie 2013-01-24 17:47
All those negative marks. Are you people telling me you don't want freedom? Do you like gulags? What the heck kind of site am I on?
+16 # genierae 2013-01-24 18:46
H.D. Freedom to do what? Are you aware that having guns in your house increases your chances of being shot? You need to check out the statistics on this. I do hope that you have trigger locks on all your guns. And to answer your last question, you're on a site where people do their own thinking, they don't automatically believe the propaganda that the NRA puts out. They want to live in a world where their kids have the "freedom" to go to school without fearing for their lives, and they know that there are many things that can be done, such as an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, a gun sales database, and a ban on oversized clips. Regulation is necessary in a democracy.
+7 # GreenBee 2013-01-25 12:53
Hi Doggie
We already live in a "gulag" where multi national corps have way more power over you, what you think, what choices you have than the government with whom they are firmly in bed with. This is the fact that is slowly dawning on millions of Americans who have been asleep for decades.
And an arsenal of guns didn't help David Koresh and the Branch Davidians one bit. Only someone in a delusional fantasy land would think that in this highly technological age that he and his buddies would be able to stand up against the military might of the U>S> government. The only way we can preserve (or get back) our freedom in the future is with activism, knowledge, and hard work. And I am not arguing for citizens not having guns. Just certain citizens and certain guns.
+1 # giraffee2012 2013-01-28 16:05
Quoting Hot Doggie:
All those negative marks. Are you people telling me you don't want freedom? Do you like gulags? What the heck kind of site am I on?

It's not a bagger site.
Baggers are unwilling to accept a legitimately elected president (TWO TIMES), and want to keep whining about how the concerns of the LOSERS are not taken as our main concern. You lost.
+20 # Art947 2013-01-24 19:50
I am surprised that up to this point nobody has mentioned our chicken-hawk former vice-president who went out shooting with a friend and then proceded to shoot his friend in the face. By it was an accident, and they were both Republicans, so what the heck.
-16 # Hot Doggie 2013-01-24 21:49
My first post is not up there. I went to "change" it and now it's gone. Also. I down graded some posts and the doengrade didn't registe. Hmmmm

genirrea, your observation of "Mr. Taibbi's in-your-face eloquence" is so out of character for the word finesse. But here's your choice:

1. Stop the gun bans and everybody gets to go back to their freedom of doing a lot of things they all want to do and they can argue gun bans again in the future.

2. Enact the gun bans and everybody gets to follow the dictates of Obama, go to schools of his choice, everyone must work because you have no value unless you work, no workie and it's off to the death panels with the ole people. And everyone shall like their station in life because if you don't you won't get a job. And if they now try to fight their way back to freedom, what are they going to use for weapons?
+6 # Ken Halt 2013-01-25 07:33
HD: I know you're serious, or trying to be, but your unintentional satire is almost as hilarious as Matt's article. Have you registered yet with your local "death panel"?
+9 # genierae 2013-01-25 12:31
None of the above, Hot Doggie. My choice is that the obstructionist right-wingers in congress, who are doing the NRA's bidding, be thrown out of office and tried for treason. Putting the interests of corporate elites ahead of the interests of this country and its people is treason. The majority of Americans support a ban on assault weapons and oversized clips, they support universal background checks, and a database of weapons sales. In fact if you look at the polls, they support ALL of Obama's ideas, this is a liberal country now. Deal with it.
+5 # medusa 2013-01-24 23:49
Remember that the author of the "don't work and you have no value" is the word of Mr Romney, not the rest of us--vets and retired and etc. in the 47 per cent. Also we do work.
+7 # genierae 2013-01-25 12:38
Yes we do work medusa. Like most seniors I work helping my kids out with my grandchildren, I also am an internet activist, and I volunteer for elections. I have been writing letters of protest since 2000 when the "worst president ever" took office and began to destroy our country. I think that seniors are a valuable, essential force for good in this country and it would be much the worse without them.
+2 # Rick Levy 2013-01-25 00:43
And let's not for the get sta Piers Morgan's close encounter of the third kind with gun nut Alex Jones earlier this month.
0 # Robert B 2013-01-25 12:40
Actually, MLK day was January 21, not the 19th. Federal holidays are never on a Saturday.
+4 # moby doug 2013-01-25 14:18
Guns in your house increases the likelihood that someone in your own family will be shot in your house by approximately 45 times. Of course, a great many of those shootings will be suicide by gun. So you're right, Hot Doggie, gun ownership greatly increases the likelihood you will freely exercise ONE right: the right to murder, purposely or accidentally, your relatives or yourself.
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2013-01-27 10:39
Quoting moby doug:
Guns in your house increases the likelihood that someone in your own family will be shot in your house by approximately 45 times. Of course, a great many of those shootings will be suicide by gun. So you're right, Hot Doggie, gun ownership greatly increases the likelihood you will freely exercise ONE right: the right to murder, purposely or accidentally, your relatives or yourself.

By the way the number one US enemy in Afghanistan is no longer the Taliban but suicide. I wish others would join me in equating US government gun violence with private gun violence,
+1 # RICHARDKANEpa 2013-01-27 10:43
Quoting moby doug:
Guns in your house increases the likelihood that someone in your own family will be shot in your house by approximately 45 times. Of course, a great many of those shootings will be suicide by gun. So you're right, Hot Doggie, gun ownership greatly increases the likelihood you will freely exercise ONE right: the right to murder, purposely or accidentally, your relatives or yourself.

When it comes to fighting meth or speed the number one weapon is education, why are you Moby Doug one of the few people fighting gun violence with education?
+1 # Kebles 2013-01-26 20:55
I just wish that these right-wing corndogs would take on a better cause, like joining NORMAL instead of the NRA.
0 # FIRSTNORN1 2013-01-27 08:02
Kudos to Matt for a terrific article.
" Before anyone allowed slaves to have guns, they would have had to have other rights, like for instance being considered human beings. "
I would only add after the above quoted sentence: (instead of the "2/3 of a person" which our original constitution considered a black person to be).
Please, Matt, write an articulate article (as all of your articles are) explaining to the right-wingers on the Supreme Court why the Constitution must be considered a "living document"
0 # RICHARDKANEpa 2013-01-27 10:34
We have a I think instead of the top 1% of the 1% I think is better described as a balancing class that encourages debate on Hot Button Issues, instead of economic realities.

When Obama decided to play the hot button issue game after the mid term defeats, the balancing class suddenly supported him to the point, of making those picked for the conservative side too discouraged to bother to vote anymore.

But comes gun control to invigilate conservatives to want to vote again. We are all puppets on their hot button issue strings.

Another factor is when liberals were losing they dropped the cause of gun control and ending Capitol Punishment as issues so as not to lose anymore. Now that conservatives are weak liberals want to take up more and more issues until conservatives are strong again.

I wish the rest of us puppets on a string will join me in trying to cut the strings.
-1 # Hot Doggie 2013-01-28 01:14
I thought so. Geniere says, "I also am an internet activist...I have been writing letters of protest since 2000...".

That explains it! You're one of those 1984 journalists. You expound double speak. So when you say most people don't like the protection of the 2nd Amend, you took that from information that established that most people want the protection of the 2nd Amend. Now I understand.

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