Who’s the Blithering Idiot?

“Some of you hear this and you’re livid, and you’re outraged,” Limbaugh said. “The thing that I really want to impress upon you is that this is not far out. This is not new. It is unusual. It used to be … what’s new is she has total confidence in saying it. She’s not worried that a majority of people are going to disagree with it. But this is Marx, Engels, ‘The Communist Manifesto.’ The nuclear family has always been under attack by communists, by leftists. The nuclear family has always, just like religion, must be destroyed and in its place, the community, collective. So while this is outrageous in its self-contained form, it isn’t anything -Rush Limbaugh 


Calm down Fox News. Simmer Rush Limbaugh. Chill Sister Sarah.

The typical hyperbolic outrage from the usual suspects over an ad for the left-leaning MSNBC left me doing the very same thing I usually do whenever the right-wingers have a meltdown…inwardly chuckle and outwardly shake my head in flat-out amazement that people are seriously that crazy, dumb, and out of touch…and hard up for real discussion of important issues.

I’m sorry, there is no polite way to put the reaction to this ad in any other terms but those.

There may be times when a wig-out from the right over something stupid from the left may be justified, but the problem is that they throw temper tantrums like this way too often. They have fallen into the great expanse of “cry wolf” syndrome. They are so far down that hole that even if they had one of those ‘Life Alert’ buttons around their necks like grammy, they still probably couldn’t get out.

In case you missed it, Melissa Harris-Perry hosts a television show and made a promotional ad for MSNBC. The general idea behind the admittedly provocatively-worded (some have said awkwardly-worded) ad was basically the age-old idea that “it takes a village” to raise a child. Here is some of the red meat that conservatives lost their poop over:

“So part of it is we have to break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the households, we start making better investments.”

She also used the word ‘collective’ in the ad so you know, those old righty heads just about exploded over that one.

Here is what most normal, rational, people with all synapses firing hear from that promo:

It takes an entire society to agree that our children are precious and will be our future, and as such, we need to make sure we are caring for them, educating them, and keeping them safe. Investment in children is the smart and right thing to do. 

Here is how most normal, rational, people with all synapses firing respond to a 30 second promo ad like that:

What time is dinner, honey?

Here is what Fox news viewers and righty hate radio listeners hear:

Obama and the lib-tards are commin’ fer the kids!

Here is how Fox News viewers and righty hate radio listeners respond to a 30 second promo ad like that:

Damn socialist- commie freakin’ bastards! I knew those lesbians would try something like this! You hear those helicopters? Git the guns Myrtle! Now!

Sheesh. I have to admit, I am even kind of embarrassed for them now. I’m embarrassed by and for the reaction of the right, to very basic and long-held American –and additionally very Christian– values that Perry was trying to espouse.

Doesn’t the Constitution say something about We the people promoting the general welfare or some such something?

Understanding nuance is definitely not the right’s strong suit, so the fact they garbled and mangled the intent of the spot is not surprising.

Here are some of the greatest hits from the mouth-breathers in reaction to the ad:

Sarah Palin: “Apparently MSNBC doesn’t think your children belong to you. Unflippingbelievable.”

Glenn Beck: He actually made the connection between the tin-foil hat brigade’s favorite conspiracy theory, “agenda 21” to MHP’s comments. By the way people, he’s been warning you about this for years. Do you see, now?

Michael Savage: He calls Perry a “blithering idiot” who gets her ideas from the (gulp) Communist Manifesto for her words.

Hey! That’s MY name! Thanks for the free publicity Mike, although, I have a feeling I’ll be getting some right-wingers stumbling upon my blog after googling “blithering idiot” looking for some hate porn.

I’ll brace myself for the misspelled hate mail.

The typical responses (yawn) and vocabulary of the right-wing echo chamber also belted out those old, familiar tunes like “Communist!”, “Marxist!”, and the old stand-by, “foreign!”

You see, Melissa Harris-Perry typifies everything the wacko-extremists hate. She’s a black, liberal, woman who speaks her mind and has a platform to do it.

They picture her in her classroom at Tulane University, wearing an African headdress, no doubt. In that classroom, she is, of course, preaching Marxism-Lennism, Malcom X and lauding the Black Panthers and every pinko-commie-rad idea from the 60’s that she can disseminate in an hour and forty-five minute class on Tuesdays and Thursdays to unsuspecting, hung-over, college pukes.

Yeah, that’s right. She’s…oh I don’t even want to say it… an educator. Blech.

A college professor with a show. Doubly icky.

In her “defense”, (like why the hell does she even need to defend anything, but whatever, it was a major brouhaha) here is what she said:

My inbox began filling with hateful, personal attacks on Monday, apparently as a result of conservative reactions to a recent “Lean Forward” advertisement now airing on MSNBC, which you can view above. What I thought was an uncontroversial comment on my desire for Americans to see children as everyone’s responsibility has created a bit of a tempest in the right’s teapot. Allow me to double down.

One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities.

When the flood of vitriolic responses to the ad began, my first reaction was relief. I had spent the entire day grading papers and was relieved that since these children were not my responsibility, I could simply mail the students’ papers to their moms and dads to grade! But of course, that is a ridiculous notion. As a teacher, I have unique responsibilities to the students in my classroom at Tulane University, and I embrace those responsibilities. It is why I love my job.

Then I started asking myself where did I learn this lesson about our collective responsibility to children. So many answers quickly became evident.

I learned it from my mother who, long after her own kids were teens, volunteered on the non profit boards of day care centers that served under-resourced children.

I learned it from my father who, despite a demanding career and a large family of his own, always coached boys’ basketball teams in our town.

I learned it from my third-grade public school teacher, who gave me creative extra work and opened up her classroom to me after school so that I wouldn’t get bored and get in trouble.

I learned it from the men who volunteered as crossing guards in my neighborhood even if they don’t have kids in the schools.

I learned it from the conservative, Republican moms at my daughter’s elementary school, who gave her a ride home every day while I was recovering from surgery.

I learned it watching the parents of Newtown and Chicago as they call for gun control legislation to protect all the children of our communities.

I learn it from my elderly neighbors who never complain about paying property taxes that support our schools, even if they have no children in the schools today.

And I have learned it from other, more surprising sources as well. I find very little common ground with former President George W. Bush, but I certainly agree that no child should be left behind. And while I disagree with the policies he implemented under that banner, I wholeheartedly support his belief that we have a collective national interest in all children doing well.

I’ll even admit that despite being an unwavering advocate for women’s reproductive rights, I have learned this lesson from some of my most sincere, ethically motivated, pro-life colleagues. Those people who truly believe that the potential life inherent in a fetus is equivalent to the actualized life of an infant have argued that the community has a distinct interest in children no matter what the mother’s and father’s interests or needs. So while we come down on different sides of the choice issue, we agree that kids are not the property of their parents. Their lives matter to all of us.

I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.

So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear.

We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions.

But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it.

I venture to say that anyone and everyone should know full well that my message in that ad was a call to see ourselves as connected to a larger whole. I don’t want your kids, but I want them to live in safe neighborhoods. I want them to learn in enriching and dynamic classrooms. I want them to be healthy and well and free from fear. I want them to grow up to agree or disagree with me or with you and to have all the freedom and tools they need to express what they believe.

And no hateful thing that you say to me or about me will ever change that I want those things for your children.

Apparently, Ms. Perry, it takes a whole bunch of village idiots to screw up the meaning behind that quite beautiful thought, and a bunch of sheeple to believe them.


About Blithering Idiot

I am a teacher and I love my job.
This entry was posted in conservatives, Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Who’s the Blithering Idiot?

  1. Thanks again for another forward-worthy post Jodi.

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