The Widdershins

PORTRAIT OF A DEMAGOGUE

Posted on: October 14, 2013

Demogogue

A jerk who is playing on other folks’ emotions

DEMAGOGUE:

From the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:

noun \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\

: a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason

1:  a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power

If that does not perfectly describe the man in the picture above then I am a monkey’s uncle.

Ted Cruz appeared at the World War II Memorial in order to stoke the fires of a public that seemingly is not capable of understanding where the fault lies with the “government” being shut down.  These folks cannot appreciate the irony of the fact of Ted Cruz appearing with them shouting out “tear down these walls” (?) .  Now, I’m not going to go elite on anyone and call these folks rubes or anything of that nature.  After all, I didn’t go to Princeton, Harvard or Harvard Law.  But that being said, I’m more than certain that these good folks don’t know that it was Cruz’s antics and one-man show on the floor of the Senate which helped to goad the House into demanding the removal of funding for Obamacare in any continuing resolution which would have ended the stalemate on funding the government.  Had a clean continuing resolution passed, then no government shutdown would have happened.

A crowd converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday, pushing through barriers to protest the memorial’s closing under the government shutdown.

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, were among those gathered Sunday morning. Cruz said President Barack Obama is using veterans as pawns in closing the memorial.

“Let me ask a simple question,” Cruz told the crowd. “Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?”

The crowd chanted “Tear down these walls” and “You work for us.” Protesters sang “God bless America” and other songs as they entered the memorial plaza.

Did you notice above who accompanied Cruz? Yes, his good buddy Mike Lee from Utah.  Gee, it must be nice to have your own personal pet Senator to follow you around.  I mean, I’m assuming he is house broken and all.  🙄  And while Lee is basking in the approval of his master, his true bosses, the constituents of Utah are paying the price for his shenanigans.

Nine counties declared states of emergency since the federal government shutdown began 11 days ago. “We definitely need to get [the national parks] reopened. It’s been a huge financial impact on us already,” commissioner of Washington County, which is 75 percent federal land, Alan Gardner told KSL.com this week. The ongoing shutdown has had a devastating impact on the tourism sector in Western states. So it came as a huge relief when the Department of the Interior reached an agreement with the states on Thursday allowing them to reopen national parks using funds from state coffers.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert quickly wired the federal government enough to keep the parks open for the next 10 days, and Zion National Park in Washington County reopened Friday. Others are set to reopen over the weekend.

But the fact that the state was so hard hit by the shutdown can’t have helped its Tea Party-affiliated U.S. senator, Mike Lee, whose polls numbers have taken a huge hit in his home state as he’s made common cause with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over the shutdown.

If you’d like to get an idea of how popular the Congress is right now, then please check this out.  I’m serious.  Here’s the link to the poll.  H/t to Skydancing for having that graphic up.

And did you notice who else was there also?  Why none other than the Queen of Wasilla.

“Our vets have proven that they have not been timid, so we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game,” Palin told the crowd.sarah palms

The memorial has become a political symbol in the bitter fight between Democrats and Republicans over who is at fault since the shutdown began. Earlier rallies have focused on allowing access for World War II veterans visiting from across the country with the Honor Flight Network.

Sigh.  Sarah, Sarah.  Have you not realized that your time has come and gone?  You and your family have had more than your fifteen minutes of fame.  Sarah, the expression on your face here is like the face of someone watching a plane crash or horrific car wreck.  It’s almost like the expression on your face is “Geez, did we stir this up?”

Now judging from the two guys saluting, it’s possible you’re staring at a flag, but I cannot imagine you in that amount of “rapture”.

Okay, sure Sarah was there as a side-show to the main event of Cruz being there.  I’m more than certain that Cruz had to have had a chuckle or two at the fact he was there at the closed memorial and one of the main reasons it is closed is because of him.  And apparently, ole Teddy himself had no idea what he was starting when he began this cluster****.

Ted Cruz faced a barrage of hostile questions Wednesday from angry GOP senators, who lashed the Texas tea party freshman for helping prompt a government shutdown crisis without a strategy to end it.

At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said.

“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” said one senator who attended the meeting. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”

Yep, sometimes you get yourself involved in something that, once started, folks can’t find a way to stop.

Now, Matt Taibbi is taking a different tack and is not sitting around bemused about ole Ted.  He’s saying the Dems must stop Cruz’s “Hollywood Ending”, whatever that means.  Taibbi, having lived in the former USSR, has wondered WWSD, or What Would Stalin Do?  I have to admit he has some interesting ideas:

I’m guessing he would have taken Tea Party Sen. Ted Cruz’s caucus members, loaded them onto cattle cars, and relocated them to a piece of woodsy wilderness in Alaska’s Chugach National Forest. Once there, guards would have handed saws and hammers to the esteemed legislators (still dressed in suits and heels – no wasteful government spending on parkas!) and instructed them to build new congressional “branch offices” out of the still-living trees surrounding them. Always conscious of cost, Stalin preferred, whenever possible, to relocate pesky populations to remote deserts and taigas rather than waste bullets liquidating them. Tea Party congresspersons would naturally be one of the first nationalities moved.

Now Matt is not seriously thinking of doing anything like this, but he’s apparently not happy with the way Obama and the Dems have handled the situation.  Taibbi says that while it is indeed great fun to watch the Republicans self-destruct, the Democrats have to try to “do something”.

The modern Democrats may be morally suspect cynics who have failed the country on issue after issue, from the NSA to torture abroad to their refusal to fight corruption in the financial markets. But politically, they are not stupid. They surely see that there is no immediate political downside to letting Cruz play this out. Polls show the Republican Party approval rating has already dropped ten points, from 38 percent to an all-time low of 28 percent, and will only go lower from here unless disaster is avoided.

But the Democrats have to be big enough to resist the temptation to let the Republicans destroy themselves. They should be bringing every conceivable kind of pressure to save Cruz from himself and educate the public about the dramatic consequences of a default.

He goes on to state:

Can one imagine the consequences of the failure of the United States? The $12 trillion in outstanding government debt is 23 times bigger than the $517 billion Lehman owed when it went under in September 2008. In every way that Lehman’s failure played havoc with the economy, the failure of U.S. debt would repeat the disaster, only it would do it on an almost inconceivably huger scale.

The entire world financial system revolves around the notion that the U.S. will never default, because under normal, rational circumstances, it can’t. (It can always print enough money to meet its obligations, as even Alan Greenspan conceded two years ago.) Before this latest political madness, no one could ever have conceived of a sovereign state intentionally defaulting. But we’re, like, a week away from this happening, and where’s the emergency mobilization?

Taibbi says he hopes the Dems can come up with a way to stop this mess before an actual default occurs but he wonders because as he says, “Cruz and his people are something we never see in Washington – believers. His caucus is not doing this for Redskins tickets and PAC money. They’re going for the Thelma and Louise ending. One last tender moment, holding hands and all. I have no idea what the Democrats can do to stop them, but we better hope they’re trying everything, and not seeing a huge future political win as their ace card.”

I certainly have no crystal ball here.  Let’s hope that should the Dems fail to accomplish anything that at least the “reality caucus” of the Republicans can put a stop to the “believers”.

Okay, enough of all this serious stuff for a Monday.  Let’s have some fun with Sarah and youtube.

And another:

Oh why not one more?

Okay, I’ve rambled on for waaay too long for a Monday.  Let me know below what your  thoughts are.

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16 Responses to "PORTRAIT OF A DEMAGOGUE"

Happy Columbus Day/

@1: Normally government offices would be closed for the Holiday. Today they’re closed because the employees are furloughed.

Well, closed is closed I reckon. Love the excerpts from Taibbi;s column,

chat@3: yeah sometimes he’s on the money.

Well, I’m beyond terrified. I feel that the crazies are taking us right over Niagra Falls. I cannot grasp that I have lived to hear and see these things in the United States of America.

Mary Luke I agree totally. I think we are living in bizarro land or something!

Great post Fredster. Sorry I couldn’t get over here earlier. I agree with Mary Luke. This is getting ridiculous.

Nice little piece by Brit actor Eric Idle (Have you ever seen Nuns On The Run? Screamingly funny!):

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-idle/america-the-half-beautiful_b_4099243.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

>Sorry I couldn’t get over here earlier.

No need to to splain. Everyone has a real life. 😉

Watching a replay of Hardball and now it seems that part of the “bargain” will be to “prove” people need the subsidies for Obamacare? Guess I’ll have to check CNN or MSNBC to see what that’s about.

@8: Loved this from the Idle piece:

The Mad Hater’s Tea Party throws everything overboard, not just the tea. The captain, the crew, the ships dog… Pirates could hardly do worse.

Oh and I heard why Palin was probably at the mess at the WW II Memorial: she has a book coming out next month. I wonder who wrote it for her?

I guess this is what Tweety was talking about:

provisions involving Obama’s signature health care reforms could be included, such as strengthening verification measures for people seeking federal subsidies to help them purchase health insurance required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the sources said.

Figures. Anything the teanuts can do to keep people from getting govt health insurance. From the Eric Idle post:

“It seems especially perverse that people purporting to be Christian, a religion that vows to help the poor and heal the sick, should be so violently against helping the poor and healing the sick.”

That being said, I don’t think the dems should cave on anything. Let Obama enact the 14th amendment regarding the debt limit, and let the stupid teapub party drop straight down into hell, poll-wise.

Obama needs to give a public address tomorrow and explain to the nitwits in the election that if the dems give in and allow them to hold the country hostage to get what they want, then the stage is set for dems to do the same damn thing when they have the House. And so it will go. I am fed to the teeth with these stupid bills having lots of add-ons that have nothing to do with the original bill. The teapubs are the worst about this, adding on all their graft and pork. They’re the ones that send the budget skyhigh. This whole thing needs to stop.

Socal: Could not have said it better myself. I think we could use a post on something like that. 😉

Great post, Fredster. Sorry to be AWOL most days. I have a lot going on and this government shutdown / debt ceiling fight is not helping.

My mother has no other source of income except her SS. There are millions of people like her in the country, including those who are in nursing homes nearing the end of their lives. It makes me heartsick.

Beata: No problems. We all have real lives and issues going on in them, although we do miss it when you’re not around, of course.

There shouldn’t be any problems with Soc. Sec. checks going out because those benefits are not subject to an appropriation. It’s not like veterans’ payments or anything like that. If they try to pull anything with delaying s.s. payments it’s a bunch of cr@p.

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