I’ve resisted commenting on Tony Zirkle’s latest antics because I think he’s something of a side show. Tempting as it is to pretend otherwise, he’s not really representative of the GOP. He’s running in the IN-02 primary, trying to get a shot at unseating Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.
But, really, I’m not made of stone. The man went to speak in front of honest to god Illinois Nazis. I’ve seen the Blues Brothers a couple dozen times. You have to pay attention when your favorite movie comes to life.
Elwood: Illinois Nazis.
Jake: I hate Illinois Nazis.
Lest there be any idea that Mr. Zirkle was unaware of who these fellows were:
Tony Zirkle, who is seeking the Republican nomination in northern Indiana’s 2nd District, stood in front of a painting of Hitler, next to people wearing swastika armbands and with a swastika flag in the background for the speech to the American National Socialist Workers Party in Chicago on Sunday.
Zirkle says that people who haven’t talked to him aren’t very credible when speculating about his motives. But, come on: Illinois Nazis. The linked article also has this tidbit:
The event was not the first time Zirkle has raised controversy on race issues. In March, Zirkle raised the idea of segregating races in separate states. Zirkle said Tuesday he’s not advocating segregation, but said desegregation has been a failure.
That line reminds me of an old Murphy Brown episode where Wallace Shawn (the Sicilian from The Princess Bride) plays Stuart Best, a former FYI anchor who gets elected to Congress through a coalition to the right of David Duke and says something like, “Slavery is an ugly word. . . . But, let me tell you a word that is worse: ‘Welfare.'”
That Zirkle guy said he went because they asked him. So, by extension, if the Congress for Cannibalizing Christians asked him, he’d go speak to them too?
What if they had him for dessert?
Man. Bad move.
You know, someone with that level of lack of common sense shouldn’t be dogcatcher, much less Congressman.
Catch a clue! There’s a pitcure of Adolf, and everyone is wearing swastika arm bands.
I’d get the hell out of there as fast as I could, and 99.9999999% of Republicans would too. There’s no excuse for sympathies of that nature.
Branden Robinson says
I reckon that Zirkle wasn’t able to perceive being feted by overt Nazis as political suicide because the political “center” has already shifted so far to the right in this country. His poor judgment takes place in a context, and that context is the entire country’s acquiescence to jingoism, racism (channeled for convenience mainly towards Arabs these days, but the “old” varieties persist), and unbridled avarice.
I doubt Zirkle is really all that dumb, and probably not substantially dumber than George W. Bush, so I reckon he’s somewhere around the median of Republican intellect. Proceeding from this assumption, it’s not that Zirkle didn’t perceive the risks here, it’s that he assessed them and determined the benefits to outweigh them.
Buzzcut’s commentary is noteworthy–what’s troubling about this from the conservative perspective isn’t ideological sympathies with Nazis, or even compassion for the numerous groups Nazis seek to oppress, but “lack of common sense”. Apparently, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal if Zirkle had been a bit more discreet, and kept it out of the papers.
Does Zirkle have a primary opponent? I wouldn’t count him out yet. I suspect there are a fair number of bigots alarmed by the Obama phenomenon who are just itching to vote viscerally rather than tactically. The wingnut right is justifiably angry at George W. Bush’s failure, with a Republican Congress or without it, to reinvent America as an overtly Christian, hypercaptialist, and–above all–white paradise. We know primaries are the place for a party’s base to supposedly lash out even in spite of its own long-term interests. (At least, this is the stock characterization of Democratic primary contests, see the Lieberman-Lamont race in Connecticut. Typically, this shoe is not placed on the Republican foot, even when it fits.)
At any rate, it’s hard to characterize the following as satire:
Laissez-faire capitalist icon Ayn Rand was crystal clear when she set forth her hierarchy of evils:
That’s right–for the champions of unfettered economic liberty, social welfare is worse than slavery; worse, even, than–gulp–taxation!
Buzzcutâ€™s commentary is noteworthyâ€“whatâ€™s troubling about this from the conservative perspective isnâ€™t ideological sympathies with Nazis, or even compassion for the numerous groups Nazis seek to oppress, but â€œlack of common senseâ€.
No, Brandy, Nazi sypathies are so heinous that no one need note that such a thing is bad. What needs to be noted is that NOT knowing that Nazi sympahies are beyond the pale is evidence of such bad judgement, or stupidity, or SOMETHING, that election is simply out of the question.
ESPECIALLY for a Republican. I have no tolerance for anyone with ties to Birchers, Nazis, or the Klan.
The rest of your post is just your usual nitwitery. If you really think that Republicans are so bigoted, there’s really nothing to be said to you.
I gotta side with Buzzcut on this one. He even notes that the percentage of Republicans who are anti-Hitler is not 100%, although it could be he is being a bit charitable in his estimation of how close that sentiment approaches 100%.
Even though our present leader has quite the uniform fetish and love of authoritarianism, and the fact that there are a surprising number of remarkably deviant anti-gay closeted homosexuals among Republicans in government, I don’t consider that an homage to the Nazis, per se. I think that’s just how they roll, possible similarities to the Nazis be damned.
There are a plethora of things the Republicans do that are not one bit reminiscent of the Nazis. Tax cuts, for instance. And loving the American flag, rather than the Nazi flag. I could go on…
And yes, Buzzcut, I am just yanking your chain on this one.
tim zank says
Of course Branden, it could just be that Zirkle is simply an idiot. Statistically, every “group” has a percentage of idiots, be they Baptists, Democrats, bloggers etc……
Let’s not forget that the Democratic party contains a certain Robert Byrd.
I work with union trades, funny how they’re all Democrats and they’re all white, despite being North Lake County.
There’s plenty of racism to go around.
Our President likes uniforms? Talking about “Mission Accomplished”?
What should have flown that plane in? A suit?
I know you Democrats think that Obama is the second coming, but if he were to land a plane on a carrier, he’d be wearing a flight suit too!
The real question is whether Obama too would make Chris Matthews swoon. Having watched more of Matthews than I would care to this election season, I think I can confidently predict that the answer is, “Yes. Chris Matthews would swoon at the sight of Barack Obama in a flight suit.”
So you lefties don’t like Mathews either?
Jeeze. No Mathews. No Stephy. No Gibson. You guys are hardasses.
You’re basing your logic on a pretty risky assumption. Since it can be safely assumed that bigotry = stupid, supporting it on purpose or by lack of common sense still equals stupid.
You know, credit where it’s due — Matthews was one of the few TV talking heads who actively resisted the Iraq War before it started. I don’t really think there is any malice in him. He’s a self-promoter with a tendency to say whatever pops into his head without thinking a lot about it first.
At the moment, I’m probably more weary of him than usual because he’s originally from Pennsylvania and, during their coverage of the Pennsylvania primary, I got tired of his “gee, ain’t Pennsylvania and Philly great, schtick.” Philly strikes me as New York with all of the attitude and none of the culture or money.
Branden Robinson says
Actually, I would disagree that bigotry is motivated primarily by stupidity, for the reason that bigotry has to be taught and learned. Young children think nothing of playing with their fellows regardless of differences in race, socioeconomic class, or religion.
I locate the origins of bigotry in a desire by some groups to expropriate the wealth of others. Now, it is often the case that only a relative few actually get to benefit directly, and they need the complicity and cooperation of their neighbors to pull off this redistribution of wealth. Consequently, bullshit about racial superiority or purity and/or religious heresy or infidelity is brought to bear, to cloak the unjust enrichment of a few in the garb of the commonweal.
(Similarly, in conservative rhetoric the easy equation of wealth with virtue, and poverty with laziness, is used to justify regressive taxation policies as just, or at least “motivational”. That a generation of lower middle class talk-radio listeners have cheerfully worked against their own economic interests was neither unplanned nor unpredicted.)
It’s an old, old story. You can find it in the pogroms carried out against Ashkenazi Jews in Russian and Eastern Europe; in America’s “whites-only” counties, where in black families were threatened with death unless they fled their homes, after which adverse possession was used by whites to claim the property of their black neighbors; and of course in modern Israel and Palestine.
Branden Robinson says
I’m glad we have Buzzcut to remind us of Jesus’s wisdom: “Remove the plank from your own eye only after your neighbor has wiped the mote from his.”
Philly strikes me as New York with all of the attitude and none of the culture or money.
People from Philly are scumbags. Remember the “Icebowl”?
Brandy, your comments are just inane. Yes, I’m sure we conservatives are all about tricking the working classes into doing our bidding. Jedi mind trick or something.
Yeah, you Democrats are so not racist. How ’bout this?
The President didn’t need a flight suit because he didn’t need to arrive by plane complete with tailhook landing, necessitating having him practice survival techniques in the White House pool, etc.
The carrier was within helicopter range of the coast, and our nation actually owns one for such occasions. He could wear a suit, or a blazer or windbreaker with a little presidential seal on it like his predecessor did.
Instead, they opted to make it look like outtakes from Triumph of the Will.
Mike Kole says
Branden, your comments are just killing me- in a different way than usual.
In #3, you made yet another Ayn Rand dig to sneer at: I can think of no greater injustice than the giving of the unearned.”
In #12, you trace racism thusly: “I locate the origins of bigotry in a desire by some groups to expropriate the wealth of others.”
Well, goddamn if that isn’t exactly what Rand was saying! If Rand says it, scorn it. If Branden says the same thing? You think Rand was only talking about welfare? That would be an awfully selective and convenient way of reading it. Rand, the Russian Jew, had plenty to say about the injustice of pogroms.
Then, in #13, you take some else to task to â€œRemove the plank from your own eye only after your neighbor has wiped the mote from his.â€
Bwaaahahaha! You’re killing me!
Branden Robinson says
It seems you are assuming that I share your (implied) premise that all involuntary wealth transfer, under all circumstances, is immoral.
The simple fact is, I don’t believe that. Permit me to provide you with some examples.
Let’s start with an easy one. I don’t find taxation categorically objectionable. It’s the only practical means of funding the upkeep of public goods and services of which I am aware. (I fully recognize that anarcho-capitalists like Murray Rothbard, and many of your fellows in the Libertarian Party, utterly reject the concept of a “public good”. I do not.) I think taxation, like cancer treatments, needs to be performed assiduously and with the benefit of private individuals foremost in mind. I recognize that you may feel there is no way to achieve this.
Another example would be the French Revolution. Heads rolled–literally–because so many people had been kept down by the aristocratic state. Conservative icon Edmund Burke clucked ominously about this, and I don’t doubt that life under the Bourbons was very good indeed for a select few profligate spenders of the public treasury, like Louis XIV. (Perhaps I am alone in seeing parallels between the Palace at Versailles and the U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad.)
And, just to throw Buzzcut a bone (it looks like he needs one, as names longer than 6 letter appear to be causing him difficulty), my sympathy extends even to the unreconstructed Confederates who participated in peaceful bread “riots” in Richmond during the Civil War, and were threatened with shooting if they didn’t disperse. Of course, this phenomenon should surprise no one since, as has often been the case, the Civil War was fought for the benefit of a wealthy white minority–in the South’s case, rich white plantation owners protecting their access to extremely cheap labor, and in the North’s case, rich white industrialists who wanted a captive “natural” market for products and a tariff-free source of raw materials (so they wouldn’t have to compete on even playing field with the Europeans).
While Jesus had much good advice that is flagrantly ignored by many who claim him as savior and moral leader, I turn at this point to a more contemporary figure.
I find this principle operative and just for the impoverished, and less so for those who already have work (or people to do it for them), bread, land, a Lexus, a summer home, a time-share in the Riviera, and friends in the executive management of publicly-traded Fortune 500 companies who can help them plan their stock trades.
Your mileage may vary.
But don’t worry, you won’t be laughing alone; Grover Norquist and Stephen Moore will laugh right along with you. The difference is, they’re high enough in our societal pecking order to laugh all the way to bank, whereas I recall from an earlier thread that your tax liability went up this year. For that you have my sincere sympathy.
Bill White says
Right now, I’m plugging your name into a long list of political commentators opposed to national socialism. Sometime tomorrow, someone will run your name against your local utility company database, get your address, date of birth and social security number, and place that on file. In the not to distant future, this information will be used to reserve a place for you in a labor camp, if your uppitiness doesn’t draw you further attention first.
Enjoy, asshole. We have plans for you, and all your Jew-Bolshevik friends.
Hey Bill White, you’re a real tough guy.
Why don’t you put your contact information on a comment on my blog. We can arrange to meet, and we’ll see just how tough you are.
Branden Robinson says
Huh–I guess if patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, a threat of physical harm is the first.
a threat of physical harm is the first.
Talk is cheap.
Branden Robinson says
So, what, you’re not going to beat the fuck out of people now?
Don’t worry, I won’t tell. I know you don’t want to lose your VRWC membership card. :)
Keep your hands to yourselves, and if you can’t say anything nice…
Rev. AJB says
…dont’ say anything at all.
If you can’t play nice, I’ll have to take away your computer privileges!
So, what, youâ€™re not going to beat the fuck out of people now?
Only people with the cahonnes to leave their contact info on my blog after saying that they’re going to F me.
That wouldn’t be you, Brandy.
Mr. White hasn’t left me a message either. Big surprise.
I’m not too worried about the skinheads. That’s what God made conceal carry licenses for.
He can bring a bunch of his comrades with him, too. That’s what God made high capacity clips for.
Branden Robinson says
If God made concealed carry licenses and high-capacity clips, where’s his property tax restructuring plan?
I think some of you are getting confused. The internets are for procuring anonymous sex, not anonymous violence. Please try to use them for their intended purposes.