Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sheila Mullowney Punishes Her Readers, Part 5

For those just joining us, this is part 5 in a series of posts in which I respond to Captain Mike Caldwell, local wingnut extraordinaire, who has just published the second half of his screed on the vanishing soul of America in the Newport Daily News. After my first three posts appeared last month in response to the screed's first half, Eileen noticed that Cap'n Mike didn't seem to exist in Middletown's public records, even though the NDN said he was a Middletown resident. This led me to speculate that Cap'n Mike might actually be a Colbertesque spoof, a parody wingnut being perpetrated by a fellow liberal. If you are a spoof, Cap'n Mike, please let us know. It doesn't have to be something blatant, just devote a few lines in your next piece to denouncing bears as godless killing machines.

But just in case Cap'n Mike is a real wingnut who really believes the things he publishes in the paper, I'd better carry on with mocking him. If you want to get up to speed, you can find part 4 of the series here.

When we last left Cap'n Mike, he was listing three instances of "notable policy shapers" who were destroying America's political soul by promoting big-government liberalism. The first two big-government liberals Cap'n Mike cited were Barack Obama and John McCain, so you can imagine what the rest of his rant was like. We pick up the thread as Cap'n Mike lists his third and final political-soul-destroying notable policy shaper: Speaker of the House Nancy "San Francisco values" Pelosi:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated, regarding the enforcement of a "windfall tax" on individual retirement income: We need to work toward the goal of equilizing income in our country and at the same time limiting the amount the rich can invest. We need to raise the standard of living of our poor, unemployed and minorities. We have an estimated 12 million immigrants in our country who need our help along with millions of unemployed minorities. Stock market windfall profits could go a long way to guarantee these people the standard of living they would like to have as 'Americans'."

When Cap'n Mike is quoting a Democrat, it's always a good idea to try to find the original source of the quotation, since he has, frankly, a poor record of verifying his quotes. A quick spin through the magical Google machine finds, surprise surprise, another page from You will, I am sure, be shocked to find that Cap'n Mike is quoting from another chain e-mail, this one dating all the way back to 2006. As the good people of note, what Pelosi was actually proposing after becoming Speaker in 2006 was to eliminate $33 billion dollars in tax breaks and subsidies going to the oil companies. The quote from Cap'n Mike is not anything Speaker Pelosi actually said. In fact, it's a bit of pre-election satire based on liberal stereotypes that was falsely attributed to two New York Times reporters.

Do I have to point out the level of intelligence being displayed by Cap'n Mike here? No? He has two quotes which he attributes to Democratic politicians, and both of the quotes are bogus, pulled from right-wing chain e-mails. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that, yes, Cap'n Mike is actually a liberal spoof. More evidence is provided by the rest of Cap'n Mike's rant. Take it away, Cap'n Mike:

Folks, the above is but a sampling of pure Marxism-by-the-drink being fed to the American electorate -- and the most disturbing part

Is that I actually believe the quotes I cited above are real.

is that they appear to be swallowing every bit of this socialist bile as quickly as it is poured --

You kind of have to admire the way Cap'n Mike milks (so to speak) this metaphor.

predominantly by liberal Democrats, but nonetheless by both sides of the political aisle, the only difference being in terms of degree and volume.

In other words, Democrats are pouring a greater volume of socialist bile into the American electorate, and their socialist bile is a different temperature from the GOP's socialist bile. At least, I think that's what he meant by "in terms of degree". But does Cap'n Mike think the Democrats' socialist bile is warmer or colder than the Republicans' socialist bile? He really needs to be more specific about this sort of thing.

We appear prepared to give up, one by one, al the individual rights, political freedoms and liberties that have served to make this country, while perhaps not perfect,

Careful there, Cap'n Mike. You know as well as I do that only dirty smelly hippies think America is imperfect. Keep up this sort of talk and they'll take away your Rush Limbaugh Wingnut Decoder Ring.

the one to which people around the world look with longing.

Just as long as looking is all they do. We definitely don't want any more damn foreigners actually trying to come here and enjoy all our liberties.

Just ask the Chinese, or the Georgians of the former Soviet Union.

Cap'n Mike gets a gold star for topicality. Though I was rather under the impression that the Georgians were looking to us for more military aid rather than more liberty. They may have even been looking to us to go to war with Russia on their behalf. Too bad for them our military is bogged down in Iraq.

I suggest a twofold solution of sorts --

Ah, this is the good bit, where Cap'n Mike tells us What We Need To Do to get our country's soul back.

one near-term, the second of a more extended nature.

Ah, a phased implementation of soul-restoring activities. What should we do first, Cap'n Mike?

First, a return to traditional American values embodying the primacy and rights of the individual,

In other words, disenfranchising women and blacks and reinstituting slavery. Because those are the traditional American values that served our country so well during the first four score and seven years of its existence.

recognizing that with those rights also comes personal responsibility, accountability and consequences regarding one's choices and decisions.

Unless you're a famous right-wing radio blowhard, in which case you can become a drug addict and go on a sex holiday in the Dominican Republican without going to jail or losing your nationally syndicated radio show or having any of your devoted followers bat an eyelash.

That, and the exercise of individual freedom to succeed or fail one own's own merit.

Unless you run a big Wall Street investment bank and make a lot of really really bad decisions that cause you to go bankrupt. In that case, the government will be happy to bail you out and stick the taxpayer with the bill, and wingnuts like Cap'n Mike will be cheering all the way.

Reject the Faustian promises of socialist utopia, the "nanny state" providing for your needs -- needs to be determined, of course, by the "state".

Because, let's face it, nobody actually "needs" food, or a place to live, or medical care. That's why we can rely on the wonders of the free market to supply these things (or not, if that's how things work out), without having to bother with the wicked old nanny state.

Second, a return to educating our young people in the fundamentals of civics, American history and American government.

Though there's no need to bother their innocent minds with things like Indian massacres, overthrown governments, or crushing political dissent.

We should be demanding the education of our youngsters regarding the positive qualities, factual history and achievements of their country,

So, no need to dwell on the Sedition Act of 1918.

its system of governance and their eventual civic duties and responsibilities as adults.

Such as, when protesting the actions of a political leader, you must not be allowed within visual range of said leader.

Our nation's cultural and political soul can be reclaimed.

All you have to do is remove people who think like Cap'n Mike from power, and prevent them from ever regaining power.

It may require a Herculean effort,

An effort, in fact, reminiscent of Hercules' fifth labor.

but I'm confident the American people are up to the task -- all it takes is determination and guts.

And the permanent defeat of the GOP.

And that's it. So, what have we learned from our punishing five-part survey of the mind of Cap'n Mike? Well, we've learned that Cap'n Mike is a pompous git, that he gets his talking points from right-wing chain e-mails, that he doesn't bother with even the most elementary research, that he looks suspiciously like the late Don S. Davis, that he may be a parody of a wingnut rather than an actual wingnut, and that he can get his dumbass opinions printed in the Newport Daily News every month.

I hope you've enjoyed my mockery of Cap'n Mike as much as I've enjoyed mocking him. And if you find yourself becoming ticked off because there's so much wingnut stupidity afflicting our politics, remember to speak up, blog out, and vote Democratic.

Good luck.

(this post has been cross-posted to The Spirit of 75)
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