Tag Archives: State of the Union address

Is Ferguson a symptom of black American panic?

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Political future of Repug thug in a suit should be grim

U.S. Representative King and Grimm talk to media after discussing relief fund hold up for Hurricane Sandy victims in Washington in this file photo

Reuters photo

Repugnican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who might want to consider a switch to playing football, is shown in D.C. earlier this month.

The biggest news from last night’s State of the Union address, pathetically, was the post-address thuggery by a Repugnican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, very stupidly on camera, threatened a significantly smaller male TV news reporter who had dared to (try to) ask Grimm about Grimm’s current legal and ethical troubles, especially involving his campaign finances, “If you ever do that to me again, I’ll throw you off the fucking balcony” and “I’ll break you in half like a little boy.”

Pro football player Richard Sherman, as Salon.com’s Joan Walsh has pointed out, recently has been termed a “thug” — the opinion of many is that if you are black (as Sherman is), you are more likely to be called a “thug” than is a white person who has engaged in the equivalent behavior, and that “thug” thus is a coded racist term — and I remember well that the wingnuts routinely called union members “thugs” when union members dared to fight to preserve their rights in the aftermath of Repugnican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on workers’ rights in early 2011.

While “thug” certainly can be used as a thinly veiled racist epithet, the members of the right wing in general, in my observation and experience, deem those who act with assertiveness (physical or not) with whom they disagree as “thugs,” whereas those with whom they agree are almost never “thugs,” no matter what they do.

How about the “Brooks Brothers riot” in Florida on November 19, 2000?

As Wikipedia recounts, on that date

Hundreds of “paid GOP crusaders” descended upon South Florida to protest the state’s recounts, with at least half a dozen of the demonstrators at Miami-Dade paid by George W. Bush’s recount committee. Several of these protesters were identified as Republican staffers and a number later went on to jobs in the Bush administration.

The “Brooks Brothers” name reinforces the allegation that the protesters, in corporate attire, sporting “Hermès ties” were astroturfing, as opposed to [actually being] local citizens concerned about [vote-]counting practices.

The demonstration was organized by Republican operatives, sometimes referred to as the “Brooks Brothers Brigade,” to oppose the recount of 10,750 ballots during the Florida recount. The canvassers decided to move the counting process to a smaller room and restrict media access to 25 feet away while they continued. At this time, New York Rep. John Sweeney told an aide to “Shut it down.”

The demonstration turned violent, and according to the New York Times, “several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff’s deputies restored order.” Democratic National Committee aide Luis Rosero was kicked and punched. Within two hours after the riot died down, the canvassing board unanimously voted to shut down the count, in part due to perceptions that the process wasn’t open or fair, and in part because the court-mandated deadline was impossible to meet. …

Keep in mind that Bush officially “won” Florida, and thus the White House, by only 537 votes.

Would any Repugnican on the planet call the “Brooks Brothers riot” what it was, which was a mob of fucking thugs trying — and apparently at least partially succeeding — to influence the outcome of a presidential fucking election in their favor through the use of intimidation (the threat of harm from physical violence) and actual physical violence?

No, to the Repugnicans, especially those of the “tea-party” ilk, this incident was wholly justifiable, because its goal was to put George W. Bush in the White House even though Al Gore had won more than a half-million more votes than Bush had.

Similarly, there is no justifying the shit that the thug Michael Grimm pulled last night.

It’s understandable that Grimm was not pleased to be asked by a TV news reporter about an issue that could threaten Grimm’s political future. And Grimm has claimed that he had been promised by the local TV news outfit that the question would not come up.

But even if that is true, it doesn’t justify his threat to “throw” the reporter “off the fucking balcony” and “break [him] in half like a little boy.” (My understanding is that such verbal threats constitute at least a misdemeanor.)

We can expect such language from football players, I think — I mean, let’s get real; NFL players are essentially modern-day gladiators –but can we excuse such language from so-called statesmen?

Grimm initially apparently refused to apologize, stating, “I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.”

Well, actually, Grimm just might be the first member of Congress ever to have threatened to throw a reporter “off the fucking balcony” and “break [him] in half like a little boy.” On camera, anyway.

And I find it funny that Grimm, who apparently lacks all self-awareness, should fault anyone else for lacking “a certain level of professionalism and respect,” when he certainly rather graphically displayed such a lack last night. 

My guess is that other members of Grimm’s pathetic party since spoke to him, because the latest statement that Grimm has issued is this:

I was wrong. I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool. I have apologized to Michael Scotto [the TV news reporter whom Grimm attacked], which he graciously accepted, and will be scheduling a lunch soon. In the weeks and months ahead I’ll be working hard for my constituents on issues like flood insurance that is so desperately needed in my district post-[Hurricane] Sandy.

In the end, I suppose, it will be up to the voters of Grimm’s congressional district to decide his fate in November.

If those voters have a brain cell among them, Grimm’s political future indeed is grim, and ironically, his on-camera blow-up probably has done him far more political damage than he would have sustained had he just manned up and answered the fucking question, even evasively and using the usual politico-speak, such as he used in his belated, apparently begrudging apology.

In the meantime: A “thug” is anyone of any race or any political ideology who uses intimidation (the threat of violence) or actual violence to try to obtain his or her objectives. (Admittedly, women rarely are called “thugs,” although I believe in equality of the two sexes, so I see no problem with the designation being made for women.)

So, indeed, if Richard Sherman is a “thug,” then Michael Grimm most certainly is also.

P.S. Of the State of the Union address itself, I don’t have much to say. Barack Obama has a solid history of lofty rhetoric but scant political results. And I still blame him for having squandered his political capital thoroughly in 2009 and 2010, thereby helping the Repugnicans regain control of the U.S. House in November 2010 and thus handicapping his presidency ever since.

I already am looking past Obama and forward to the next president, frankly, as are millions of other Americans, I’m sure.

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Brown is the new white!

In this image made from video, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal delivers ...

Associated Press photo

Look! This brown guy is a Repugnican!: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (shown above) was chosen by the Repugnicans to deliver their response to President Barack Obama’s quasi-State of the Union address because the Repugnicans won’t be outdone by the Democrats where it comes to hipness. While the woman-hating Democrats didn’t choose Billary Clinton as the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, for instance, the uber-hip Repugnicans chose rabid feminist Sarah Palin-Quayle as John McCainosaurus’ running mate. Because the Repugnicans are progressive!

Every time the Repugnicans want to counter President Barack Obama, it seems, they counter him with a relatively younger, brown-skinned Repugnican (of whom there are precious few).

Late last month the Repugnicans chose former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is black, as the new chair of the Repugnican National Committee, and they chose Repugnican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is of Indian descent, to give the response to President Obama’s quasi-State of the Union address tonight.

The Repugnicans can’t attack Obama on the grounds of his substance or his popularity — about two-thirds of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance thus far and approve of the economic stimulus package — so they try to match Obama’s physical appearance and demographics by trotting out some younger, brown-skinned guy who sold his soul to the Repugnican Party.

“Look! We’re as hip as the Democrats!” the Repugnicans — whose party is going the way of the dinosaurs that they don’t believe in — are saying.

Since the Repugnicans refuse to go on substance, I guess that I will, too. I won’t go into the details of Obama’s quasi-State of the Union address or Jindal’s pathetic response, except to say that it’s pretty fucking funny to hear a Repugnican call the economic stimulus package “irresponsible.”

Because clearly, the past eight fucking years have demonstrated amply that the Repugnicans, who have the support of only about a third of the nation right now, are all about responsibility.

P.S. OK, if you want substance, I’ll explain it yet once again: the Repugnicans’ problem with the economic stimulus package is not that it is the “irresponsible” spending of tax dollars; after all, Repugnican “President” George W. Bush ran up the largest federal budget deficit in the nation’s history, in no small part because of the bogus Vietraq War that he launched in March 2003 for the war profits of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

No, that’s not irresponsible, to steal hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury and hand it to stupid rich white men via the bogus war in Vietraq — while the nation crumbles.

Spending the taxpayers’ dollars on things that the taxpayers actually need, such as job development, education, health care and infrastructure — now, that is the height of irresponsibility!

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