ODDS & ENDS: Rush Limbaugh’s candor, TWO autocratic conventions, and Muslim “hypersensitivity”

I. Rush Limbaugh’s candor — If you read my recent response to Clint Eastwood’s speech at the RNC, you might agree that Rush Limbaugh’s recent comment about the upcoming presidential election basically provides smoking-gun evidence that my thesis is correct: There is NO principle whatsoever behind establishment conservative opposition to President Obama.  Here’s Limbaugh, describing his feelings about Republican nominee Mitt Romney:

“He may as well be ELMER FUDD as far as we’re concerned.  We’re voting against Obama. I don’t care who they put on the ticket, we’re voting against Obama.”

Case closed.  Fudd-Ryan 2012! “Be vewy quiet. We’eh hunting wiberals!”

II. TWO autocratic conventions – I think it’s worth noting that both the RNC and DNC featured moments that were stunningly revealing of the state of democracy in America and the autocratic mindset of our political leaders: 

RNC: First, the Republicans stripped several Ron Paul delegates of their status and changed the rules to prevent future grassroots campaigns from achieving the kind of success Rep. Paul managed in last year’s Republican Primary.  They also put the kibosh on a Ron Paul speech at their convention when they told the congressman that his speech would have to be vetted by Romney’s people, and they would require a statement in the speech of unqualified support for Gov. Romney (once upon a time, American leaders allowed their friends and supporters to articulate some differences with them, lest they appear to be dictatorial, with robotic followers — but what am I talking about?  That was last century!).  The RNC’s actions shocked the Paul folks, leading one to observe: “This is a sign this man [Romney] will take our country down a much worse path than the guy who is currently in office.”

DNC: Second, the Democrats — who put similar conditions on their convention speakers (in 2008, editing Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s speech for him and requiring him to endorse 100% candidate Obama) — had a similarly revealing moment, and an embarrassing moment it was (here’s Jon Stewart’s take on it).  In short, when the Obama people decided to amend the Democratic platform at the last minute with a voice vote — to adopt positions that would pull the party further to the demagogic right and break with their past respect for international law, re: the status of Jerusalem — IT CLEARLY DID NOT PASS.  Obviously, the Democratic delegates were divided on these capitulations to the faith-exploiting right and law-contemptuous neocons.  Finally, after three unsuccessful attempts to ram these changes down the throats of their discordant delegates, the hapless Dem at the podium simply decided to declare the platform amended!  Screw you, dissenters!  How’s that for democratic?  Not too, not very, not at all…

III. Muslim “hypersensitivity — With U.S. embassies under attack in Cairo and Benghazi, many Westerners (at least on the comment boards I’ve seen) seem baffled, once again, about the alleged “hypersensitivity” of Muslims.  The following is my answer to those who toss their hands up in the air, unable to fathom the violence of many Muslims’ reactions to a little hate speech (hate films, hate cartoons, Quran burning, urinating on their dead, etc.).  HuffingtonPost keeps refusing to post this one for some reason, so I figured I’d do it here:

What, to some Westerners, appears to be the hypersensitivity of Muslims to minor offenses can be explained as follows:

Imagine that the most powerful factions in the world have had their boot on your people’s neck for centuries. They/their proxies regularly rape and murder your citizens. As predictably as the seasons, they forcibly remove your good, responsible leaders and replace them with despotic, torturing thugs who transfer your nation’s wealth to themselves and their masters. You’re regularly subjected to foreign bombings and occupation and an endless onslaught of propaganda that portrays your people — ALL OF YOU — as sick, backwards, barbaric, and ugly. Then one day, some representative of those monstrously oppressive factions walks right up to you and spits in your face. You explode and overreact. You do something violent…

That is what happens when you compound unending insults with permanent injury: eventually the victim snaps. It’s simple, really. All it requires to understand this phenomenon is a sense of our actual, unvarnished, blood-soaked history in the Middle East — and BASIC HUMAN EMPATHY.

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