Friday, August 24, 2012
Scaling the Loftiest Heights of Ass Clownery
We live in crazy times, and they're getting crazier all the time. In the words of Ellen Ripley* in the movie Aliens, "Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?"
Members of Congress who ought to know better act like idiots and spout the most ridiculous drivel ... and we accept it. Presidential candidates of both parties either lie outright or speak in half-truths and quotes taken so far out of context as to be meaningless ... and we don't call them on it. Far-right conservatives reject science and rational thought and believe it's perfectly okay to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us, as if we were a paradise of peaceful coexistence like Pakistan ... and we let them get away with it.
The country I love is in trouble, and nobody really seems to be too worried about it.
As you know, I periodically bestow my Ass Clown of the Month award on people whose behavior is so outrageous that it deserves special mention. This month, I named the Ass Clown of the Month (Senator Harry Reid (D, NV)) far too soon, as it seems that August of 2012 has, for some reason, nurtured a bumper crop of complete morons whose behavior is beyond even my ability to appropriately satirize ... and the month isn't over yet.
I call your attention to this amazing story that broke yesterday: in Texas, Lubbock county judge Tom Head claims that if President Obama is reelected, it could lead to civil war. In remarks he made earlier in the week, Judge Head claimed that the President and his "minions" had filed various "executive orders" and other, unspecified, documents that would circumvent the Constitution and US laws. The judge was quoted as saying, "regardless of whether the Republicans take over the Senate, which I hope they do, he is going to make the United States Congress and he's going to make the Constitution irrelevant. He's got his czars in place that don't answer to anybody."
Having warmed to his topic, Judge Head said that President Obama would "try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations. What do you think the public's going to do when that happens? We are talking civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war. ... I'm not talking just talking riots here and there. I'm talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms, get rid of the dictator. OK, what do you think he is going to do when that happens? He is going to call in the U.N. troops, personnel carriers, tanks and whatever."
This would all be laughable if it were spouted by some wild-eyed radical declaiming from a soapbox on the street. Unfortunately, this amazing and dangerous balderdash is coming from a person who is a judge ... a person we look to for sober judgment and calm, rational weighing of evidence in a search for truth and justice. There's a reason we speak of someone being sober as a judge.
At a time when dangerous and intolerant speech is the new normal, even from those who want us to elect them to the highest offices of the land, Judge Head's remarks are far beyond the pale. Intemperate comments like these spin up people who react viscerally to wild imagery, without taking the time to think for themselves and carefully weigh the evidence.
The best reaction to Judge Head's outrageous remarks came from Lubbock County Commissioner Gilbert Flores, who told a local television station he was "ashamed" of Head's comments, and told the judge, "I think you better plan to go fishing pretty soon."
I'm afraid, though, that the damage has already been done ... and that the fishing hole to which the judge should retire is neither deep enough, or far enough away, to remove the social, intellectual, and political poison he's dumped into the already-dangerous swamp where rational discourse used to be.
It's things like this that can make me ashamed of what was once the greatest country in the world. It can be again ... but people like Judge Tom Head, whose clue chutes are up, closed, locked, welded shut, and painted over, are working as hard as they can to prevent that from happening.
Welcome to the very highest levels of clueless ass clownery.
Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday ... I have a feeling you're going to need it.
* Memorably played by Sigourney Weaver.