Paglia: "Aggrieved voters have a perfect right to shout at their incompetent and irresponsible representatives."


At Salon, Camille Paglia sticks up for town hall protests and Tea Partiers:

I have been deeply impressed by the citizen outrage that spilled out into town hall meetings this year. And I remain shocked at the priggish derision of the mainstream media (locked in their urban enclaves) toward those events. This was a moving spectacle of grassroots American democracy in action. Aggrieved voters have a perfect right to shout at their incompetent and irresponsible representatives. American citizens are under no duty whatever to sit in reverent silence to be fed propaganda and half-truths. It is bizarre that liberals who celebrate the unruly demonstrations of our youth would malign or impugn the motivation of today's protestors with opposing views.

The mainstream media's failure to honestly cover last month's mass demonstration in Washington, D.C. was a disgrace. The focus on anti-Obama placards (which were no worse than the rabid anti-LBJ, anti-Reagan or anti-Bush placards of leftist protests), combined with the grotesque attempt to equate criticism of Obama with racism, simply illustrated why the old guard TV networks and major urban daily newspapers are slowly dying. Only a simpleton would believe what they say.

Whole thing here.

Link via Instapundit. on the Tea Party 9/12 march on Washington:

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  1. Sing it, sister!

  2. Blah blah blah blah.

    No one said they didn’t have a right to scream and carry on. The problem was that many of them had organized themselves specifically to be incoherent, misinformed, and disruptive: and people rightly pointed that out and called it stupid.

    And the coverage of the protests by the non-traditional media was even MORE vicious and dismissive than cable news, making Paglia’s complaint more of her usual phoned-in boilerplate rather than a comment by someone who actually paid attention.

    1. Calling the teabaggers stupid, incoherent, and misinformed is a completely legitimate activity– especially because they WERE. That’s pretty common at MOST protests– lots of anger, not so much rational thought.

      However, it IS an interesting contrast to the news coverage of OTHER protests. I’ve never seen major media outlets take the time to ask WTO or RNC protesters the same sort of pointed questions about ideology or beliefs. It’s always just been sort of assumed that “not liking the WTO” is a totally coherent and logical stance for the protesters to take.

      People walking around with “Bush == Hitler” signs in the last 8 years were never asked by a mainstream news outlet, “Hey, can you elaborate on exactly what that sign means?”

      It just seems a bit interesting that ABC and the like have only taken to really fucking with the protesters now that they’re protesting a Democratic initiative.

    2. Blah, Blah, Blah? how dare you, you confabulating douche bag

    3. It was ‘incoherent’ to cunts like you because you can’t imagine people actually wanting the government to spend less money.

      You aren’t going to like it when reality hits you in the face.

    4. The problem was that many of them had organized themselves specifically to be incoherent, misinformed, and disruptive: and people rightly pointed that out and called it stupid.

      Unlike, say, the anti-globalization and anti-war protestors.

  3. I’m sure Warty can top this.

    1. Dude, Michael Bolton could top Tears for Fears. And yes, yes I can.

      1. Thanks — I needed that.

  4. STFU Drew the adults are talking. They had about a half a million people on the national mall and left the place cleaner than when they found it. Oh no, someone asked an unconfortable question of a Congressman. Oh the humanity. They were not misinformed at all. They just didn’t buy the lies people like you were selling.

    And again, STFU you authoritarian fuck.

    1. No, I’m sure it was a gazillion billion teabaggers.

      Actually the best estimates are 10s of thousands. Roughly the same as the recent gay rights protests. Why, oh why, do right-wing nutcases get so much extra air time (all the while bitching that they’re oppressed and ignored by the mainstream media).

      1. I hear a teabaggee bitch talking. Must be kinda hard with your mouth full.

      2. The low estimates are 10s of thousands. The best estimates ate somewhere been 100 and 200 thousand.

      3. It was a good half million at least. The British press put it at two million. Only retards like you cite that blatantly false “10s of thousands” figure. Why do we get so much air time, you ask? Because we’re far better than you and people actually want to watch FOX news, as opposed to the Zero-fellating commie nutjob networks dick holsters like you so euphemistically refer to as the “mainstream” media.

  5. This was in Salon the magazine? For real?

    Nice but surprized.

    1. Paglia is kind of their pet iconoclast. She is a Lesbian and an Libertine so they let her say stuff that is normally beyond the relm of polite conversation in the brian dead circles of Salon. Honestly, I am not sure many of their writers or editors are smart enough to understand what she writes. So gets away with a lot. I mean when Glenn Greenwald is your big brain, you are not exactly Plato’s Acadamy.

      1. The commenters on the other hand, can’t stand her.

      2. She’s so hot, too bad she’s a muff diver…

        1. WTF?

          The muff diving is the only hot thing she has going on.

          1. You The Sugarfreed the link.

            1. Yikes! My bad
              try try again

          2. She is kind of sexy in a wierd older new age woman next door that gives you a wild ass lay when you are 20 kind of way. Maybe it is just me, but although she is not exactly Penolpe Cruz, she has some kind of odd appeal about her.

            1. Hey, no pictures of her naked…WTF.

      3. And she is a real person, not fiction? Nice!

      4. I found Reason thru her. Shortly thereafter I stopped reading Salon.

      5. Good god, we need more people willing to say shit that’s beyond the realm of polite conversation.

        Like, say, “It’s good to make a profit”. or “capitalism isn’t evil”. That shit will get you exiled in Tony’s club.

        1. Getting exiled from Tony’s club would be like getting exiled from North Korea.

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  7. Damn. Since when do i read Salon OR agree with Camille Paglia?

  8. “The problem was that many of them had organized themselves specifically to be incoherent, misinformed, and disruptive:”

    Uh not, that would be the anti-capitalist protestors who always show up at the G7 and/or G20 summits.

    You know the ones that the mainstream media never utters a peep of concern about being “angry” or “violent”.

    1. “And don’t forget lazy, ugly and disrespectful…”

      “Shut up wench and fix me a turkey pot pie!!!!”

  9. “The problem was that many of them had organized themselves specifically to be incoherent, misinformed, and disruptive:”

    You say that like these are bad things. Disruptive gets attention. Coherence is over-rated. Who’s to say they are ‘mis-informed’ rather than ‘differently-informed.’

    What matters is they made an effort to put the fear of god into our ruling class.

    1. Right on Coyote. We elect these people. They “serve” at our disgression – or so I’m told. We pay their salaries and benefits. The servants have become the masters. We need to turn that back around. This idea that we are supposed to treat our supposed servants with particular deference is absurd and ridiculous.

      1. Do me a favor. Could you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am?’ It’s just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it, yes, thank you.

        1. ‘Work’. What does that word mean to a democrat?

  10. The continuing efforts of Reason to carry water for Glenn Reynolds and the Tea Party movement mystifies me. The “movement”, such as it is, is nothing more than a collection of all the different populist grievance groups the right wing has to offer. That libertarians had historically been one of these groups doesn’t mean the association should continue. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

    Are you really hoping that THIS time, when lying down with neo-confederate dogs, imperialist dogs, religious fundamentalist dogs, hypocritical “fiscal responsibility” dogs, and just-plain cuckoo-bananas dogs that libertarianism WON’T wake up wondering where all this itching is coming from?

    1. That is right Noisewater, Libertarians should stay away from running dog imperialists. And of course, everyone who ever went to a Tea Party is just a religous nut who just wants the government to give them some welfare. Jesus, you are worse than Chad.

      1. I find that it is a good rule to just stop reading anytime someone uses the words “imperialist”, “oligarch”, or “religous fundementalist”. Those three terms are kind of the merit badges of nutdom.

        1. Well, I didn’t use oligarch. If it will soothe your case of the vapors, though, feel free to replace “imperialist” with “neocon” and “religious fundamentalist” with “religious right”. No matter the label, we all know you consider them good people. Personally, I’d like libertarianism to distance themselves from that coalition.

          1. we all know you consider them good people

            First I’ve heard of it. Neocons get heaping helpings of scorn around here.

            1. I think he was talking about me in particular. I just don’t have the proper bloodlust to kill the unbelieivers.

          2. So you never make common cause with people who disagree with you on some subjects even if you agree on the cause at hand? Yeah, that is a way to build a coalition.

            Further, if they are not “good people”, then what the hell are the nanny state Democrats? Would you never make common cause with them either? Or, are they different because well just because.

            1. I want out of Iraq, but I don’t go hang out at vigils in Crawford, TX with Cindy Sheehan and I certainly don’t try to claim credit on behalf of libertarianism for the left’s anti war movement.

              The same goes for the right-wing temper tantrums that are the Tea Party movement.

              1. How were people showing up and protesting a “temper tantrum”? Further, the only reason you have a problem with them is you don’t agree with some of the views of some of the people there. Well tough shit. You can either learn to work with people and tolerate other people’s views or you can be a fucking lonewhacko telling everyone how smart you are and how dumb they are.

                1. It’s a temper tantrum because what finally goaded those assholes into action wasn’t the outrages of the last 8 years, it was election of a black Democrat to the White House.

                  When the goal of those assholes is to return to power those responsible for the 8 years of outrages, excuse me for saying, “Ummmm, yeeeeah. No thanks.” I’m not interested in being a useful idiot for the Fox News crowd.

                  1. It’s a temper tantrum because what finally goaded those assholes into action wasn’t the outrages of the last 8 years, it was election of a black Democrat to the White House.”

                    Not the $800 billion stimulus or TARP or an attempt to take over 15% of the economy and people’s healthcare without any real debate. Nope, people are just mad because there is a black man in the whitehouse. Good for you to drop the race card there Noisewater, now you have the trifacta of nutdom.

                    In the end, you are still mad about the last 8 years and can’t get over it. So, you whine and scream about people who now agree with you because they were not pure enough for you before. Yet, they are the ones having the temper tantrum? Project much?

                    1. John, were jumping up and down about the billions of dollars spent in the first stimulus package under Bush? Or the fact Bush was an even bigger spender than LBJ? Or the huge cost in wasted lives and money and the environment with the attack on Iraq? Or the abuses under the unconstitutional Patriot Act? Or the myriad other ways that Bush circumvented the Constitution, becoming one of the worst statist presidents we have ever had? If you protested at all was it with anywhere near the passion and verve you are bringing to your critique on Obama?

                    2. Absolutely I was. I thought NCLB and the first stimulus and the fact that he let Congress loot the treasury. And I objected to TARP.

                      That said, Bush’s deficits came down every year from 2004 to 2007. If they hadn’t done TARP they would have come down more. Further, Obama supported TARP I, did TARP II, and passed a $700 billion stimulus which dwarfed Bush’s stimulus. As a result Obama’s has run more of a decifit in one year, that Bush did in his last four. Bush’s deficits were annoying but not in terms of GNP historically large. Obama’s deficits are unprecidented outside of World War II and are going to take us to insolvency. There is a big difference.

                      Further, I have been a consistent and lone supporter of the Iraq war on these boards. It wasn’t a waste of life to remove one of the worst dicators in the world and sworn enemy of the United States from one the leadership of a very important country. I support Obama’s efforts to finish the victory in Iraq and continue to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. You will never hear me say one word on here against him on those subjects. I do, however, like to call out the “Iraq is the worst thing ever” crowd who voted for Obama only to see Obama continue Bush’s policies.

                      I am very consistent on these issues and have supported Obama when I agree with him. So do me a favor and shut the fuck up with the “what about when Bush did it” bullshit.

                    3. Yeah, ‘shut the fuck up.’ Nice Bill O’Reilly like tactic there. To be fair, the left did the same in the sixties.

                      As far as your explanation goes, it’s clear you’ve got blinders on when it comes to Bush. Not historically huge deficits?!!! Weird rationalization. And of course, nothing about other unconstitutional abuses.
                      I don’t like what Obama’s doing either but let’s not pretend that the GOP is so much better.

                    4. My basic point is this: if you don’t like people screaming and shouting down or at speakers at a pro-trade/pro-capitatism rally, how can you defend the same behavior when the speakers are representing a cause you don’t like? (and look, I didn’t mind people protesting the WTO and marching in the streets, etc. what I found offensive were meetings where they attempted to disrupt others from having their say. This is just bully tactics, whoever’s using them)

                    5. and what has Obama done to reverse the many mistakes of the Bush administration?

                  2. Yeah i know you like to think your shit dont stink but lean a lil bit close see roses really smell like poo

                  3. It’s a temper tantrum because what finally goaded those assholes into action wasn’t the outrages of the last 8 years, it was election of a black Democrat to the White House.

                    I can’t understand what you are saying. Why don’t you try again, only this time take that bone out of your nose.

    2. Perhaps you should refer to a standard dictionary for the definition of “populist”.

    3. Forgive me, Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, but anchorman references aren’t funny anymore.

      Perhaps you would like to make a Chuck Norris reference, maybe say “FAIL,” in all caps, or possibly say, “I can haz out of Iraqz?” They are on the same level of originality as Anchorman names.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have much work to do.

      1. I’ve been posting under this name for several years. I’m too lazy to change it. You’re right about the lack of originality — there’s actually someone else who started posting on H’n’R as Dr. KN after me.

        I still laugh when I catch bits of Anchorman on cable, though.

        1. Yeah i know you like to think your shit dont stink but lean a lil bit close see roses really smell like poo

        2. Noisewater, quit sucking off my husband!

    4. It’s an opportunity to expose a lot of people to libertarian ideas.

      You don’t change the world by staying at home and pouting.

  11. “It is bizarre that liberals who celebrate the unruly demonstrations of our youth would malign or impugn the motivation of today’s protestors with opposing views.”

    Not really. Liberals only appreciate the value of free expression when you AGREE with them.

    1. Don’t agree with them and it’s “Hate Speech”

  12. How about this: protest with as much passion as you like, no matter the issue, but when someone is actually speaking, at least let them finish their speech or their point. I don’t care what the issue is, but I don’t see that free speech equates to shouting down other people’s speech.

    1. When the hell was anyone other than the occassional congress critter ever shouted down? These assholes have staffs, access to the media and franking privelges. You can’t seriously expect anyone to feel sorry for some Congresscritter because the crowd got a little rowdy after unapproved people showed up at his townhall propeganda event.

      1. It’s not a matter of feeling sorry for anyone. And it doesn’t matter who the speaker is or what they are representing. Just as I found it annoying when pro-trade speakers were shouted down during WTO conferences at the battle in Seattle, I find it annoying when speakers are constantly interrupted and shouted at while they are speaking. You want to be heard? That’s great. Wait until the speaker is finished, and then make your point. It’s just a matter of civil discourse and common courtesy.

        1. I would generally agree with you. And I defy you to come up wiht one example of a Congress Critter not being heard at at town hall. If anything, they tried to shut down people with opposing view points and things got ugly after that.

          1. Well, first you said, “when the hell was anyone other than the occasional congress critter ever shouted down?” Then you claim that congress members weren’t shouted down. But in any case, I didn’t claim they weren’t being heard at all, just interrupted and shouted down or shouted at. My only point is that there’s a time and a place for that kind of passion: march the streets, etc. But in a gathering on public policy, where the point is to actually find out what people think, let a thousand flowers bloom.

        2. Generally speaking, when someone believes they are being lied to, the rules of civil discourse and/or common courtesy can be considered to have already been breached.

          1. Don’t complain then when something you favor is met with not just protest, but constant screaming in the face of people who have come to speak on the subject you favor because “someone believes they are being lied to.”

            Jesus, we’ve become a nation of 12 year olds.

            1. If I’m lying to them, they can have at it. Bonus points to them if I’m also attempting to take more of their money and attempting to grab sway over even more of the minutiae of their life.

              1. Well, good luck with your coup then. I imagine though it’s going to be somewhat of an authoritarian regime as well, given your lack of tolerance for the speech of others.

                1. If you look up, you’ll see my point passing overhead.

                  1. Doesn’t “fist of etiquette’ say it all?

                    1. Even if you don’t get the joke, the name flows nicely off the tongue, doesn’t it?

                      I applaud your willingness to politely take it up the ass from your representatives, and truly hope you enjoy that second stimulus package.

                    2. Talk about completely missing the point Fists Lee. I wasn’t arguing against protesting or arguing with representatives, I was arguing against the trend towards shouting down anyone at a meeting who you disagreed with. But if you haven’t reached your 13th birthday yet please do move along.

                    3. These personal attacks on me are quite uncivil.

                    4. touche Fists, but if you were speaking at a meeting, a meeting where you were presenting ideas offensive to me, I would at least give you the floor while you were speaking. Only “after” you were done would I assert my own position, civilly or uncivilly. One wonders if you would do the same.

                      “I despise what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

                    5. I am not a screamer, nor am I generally an interrupter. That being said, I am very happy that there are those among us willing to do so to congressmen and women. (I have an admittedly blind hatred for those occupying the US Congress.)

                      The problem with congress is, unless someone puts the fear of the voter into them, they will pass whatever benefits them personally and/or professionally. That is why I have no problem with people screaming at politicians. It may not be pretty, but it’s I find it a necessary speedbump.

    2. You do realize that this is the exact tactic used by leftist campus activists during the 80s and 90s. Right?

  13. These “incompetent and irresponsible” represenatives were all elected by the people now bitching, and reflect their constituents’ desires for low taxes and increased government benefits quite well. Why is it “socialist,” “Marxist,” etc. to vote to reduce the rate of increase of Medicare benefits?

    1. It is not. But it is “socialist” and “marxist” to reduce the rate of increase in Medicare Benefits in order to use the money to take over the rest of the healthcare industry.

      Further, so what if they voted for them? Is it your opinion that elected officials should be above all reproach once elected? That is a mindnumbingly stupid statement on your part.

      1. Speaking of mindnumbingly stupid…

        Medicare is far more “socialist” a program than anything Congress is gonna pass, which will certainly not be a takeover of the rest of the industry.

        Are you for government-run healthcare or against it? Or could it be that you’re just parroting the ridiculously hypocritical GOP strategy of defending Medicare while denouncing socialized medicine? How in the fuck can you have this both ways? I mean I know the GOP is just trying to scare old people, but what is your excuse?

        1. I havent seen anyone here support Medicare. And it was before your time here, but the GOP got ripped a new one for the Bush medicare expansion idiocy.

        2. What’s wrong with scaring old people by reading them what’s actually in the bill? What’s wrong with pointing out Congress has exempted itself from this turd-burger it’s foisting on us and asking why that is? What’s wrong with you?

          Oh yeah, that’s right: you’re mind-numbingly stupid, just like all the other 0bama fellators who troll this board.

    2. Further Venneman,

      Where the hell do you get the idea that the Tea Parties were some big protest against cutting Medicare? That is just flat out not true.

      1. You are such a leftist ass kiss Venneman. No wonder the Reason staff likes you so much. I am surprised they haven’t offered you a job.

  14. It’s not so much that the voters have a right, which they do, I see it as more of a responsiblity.

  15. The whole column is well-worth reading.

  16. I thought the Salon style guide specified that the preferred term for these type of protesters was “Testicle Suckers.”

    1. Is teabagging really sucking? Maybe a dip with a little tongue bobbling (or even a good, thorough shellacking), but sucking?

      It’s also seems that ball sucking could be done at any angle, and not just the prone/dip maneuver. Teabagging might contain an element of ball sucking, but it is not a necessary component.

  17. Paglia, who I think writes the best column in America, is a real old-school liberal like George McGovern — the kind with common sense and respect for those who think differently.

    1. I agree. And she is very consistent in her views. She is definitely not red team versus blue team. She is kind of a nut. But she is at least an interesting nut who has the common sense to call out bullshit when she sees it.

      1. She is the kind of Leftist that makes me think maybe a few of them don’t deserve to be ground up into hamburger meat.

    2. I always kind of respected McGovern for those reasons. When I interviewed him a few years back, I asked our photog to snap a picture of him and me, the only time I’ve ever done that with a pol. The picture hangs in my office next to one of me and a guy who walked in and gave an interview immediately after killing his girlfriend.

      1. McGovern flew a ton combat missions over Europe in a B24. He had some loopy ideas, but he seems to be a decent person at heart. You can’t say that about many pols on either side these days.

    3. yeah and she’s really hot…got any pictures of her naked?

  18. I’ve been a Paglia fan for years – she can be frustrating as hell, as her continued infatuation with Barack Obama shows – but she’s always thought-provoking.

    1. Wow.. never heard of her but every sentence she writes just makes my pants even tighter.

      Reason should get her to write an article now and then – I might even renew my subscription for that.

  19. I know she pissed off a lot of the usual suspects when she wrote her Sarah Palin fan article.

    1. Come on, she just wants in Palin’s pants. she’d say anything to get some sugar from auntie sarah…

  20. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

  21. Libertarians looking for support from the tea party protests is about as absurd as liberals looking to Obama for hope and change.

  22. Come on, she just wants in Palin’s pants. she’d say anything to get some sugar from auntie sarah…

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