Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A penny for the old Guy

"Guy Fawkes is a guy that tried to assassinate some king -- King Henry or King George or King -- James! ... So I guess that's a libertarian thing to do. Try to assassinate kings. And so they had a celebration of this dastardly act."
So said Joe Scarborough this morning on MSNBCs Morning Jo[k]e. Had this been a nation where more than 10% of the TV audience had the knowledge of history appropriate for an 8 year old or the ability to reason sufficient to be called dull, you would have heard the giggles even with your windows closed, but of course it isn't that sort of nation. It's the United States.

Of course Scarborough is trying to confect the successful Ron Paul fund raiser yesterday with the Gunpowder Plot that was foiled on November 5th, 1605. That event was of course, a plot to blow up the House of Lords, King James I and all, but the celebration of Guy Fawkes day in England is about how the government was saved, not about making a hero of the government hating conservative British kids burn in effigy every year. Joe doesn't know, really, and I guess the people who watch that made-up carved wooden ventriloquist's head the network uses the way Macy's uses window dummies are only looking for a way to banish the specter of Ron Paul and aren't too scrupulous about fact or reason, which is my way of politely calling them stupid.

Stupid people watch such stupid shows because it gives them a collegial feeling without having actually having attended college, or grade school for that matter. It gives them a feeling of knowing something the smart people don't know and they will follow anyone who gives it to them like rats after the Piper. it worked for Reagan, it works for Limbaugh and it almost works for Scarborough.

Fawkes was a "terrorist" and he was caught on November 5th and Ron Paul raised a lot of money on November 5th and that means libertarians are terrorists and Ron raised money in the name of terrorists. Seems stupid and pathetic beyond belief when you set it out stripped of the typical Fox banter. It easily rivals the Limbaugh rant from the 1990's when he blasted the idea of electric cooperatives because cooperatives are like communes and communes are run by hippies.

It's tempting to speculate or actually to hope that 400 years from now kids will be gathering pennies to make straw effigies of these legendary morons and throw them on the bonfire of the idiots.

1 comment:

Crankyboy said...

From Andrew Sullivan:

Scott Horton relays a nugget of history I never knew. Today is Guy Fawkes Day, when the British commemmorate the foiling of a religiously-inspired terrorist plot to blow up the House of Commons in 1605. Eventually, it became a holiday fused with anti-Catholic propaganda, and the way in which Fawkes was needlessly tortured, and the monarchy fanned fear of Catholic terrorism to entrench absolute power tarnished the meaning of the holiday. So George Washington banned its celebration in the United States:

America was involved in a struggle for its liberty, and the commemoration of Guy Fawkes stood for the opposite: government by fear, oppression of a minority, a celebration of arbitrary power. Guy Fawkes Day was the abnegation of the essential values of the Revolution. So the original George W. put it in an order: no more Guy Fawkes Day.

Order in Quarters issued by General George Washington, November 5, 1775:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope–He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

America, it was settled, would mark the old Guy Fawkes Day with a new tradition: the exercise of the Democratic Franchise. It was to be the day on which the rulers are held accountable to the people.

From revulsion against torture, liberal democracy was born. And by acquiescing in torture, liberal democracy will die.