Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Last week on election night, we saw the right-wing media and its audience have a collective meltdown after their fantasy world was shattered and Barack Obama won a second term. It was a big win for people who believe in numbers, and a loss for folks who prefer to have Karl Rove lie to them.
We had seen signs of stress within the party and its adherents leading to to the election, and since then we’ve seen everyone from members of the GOP elite to right-wing foot soldiers go through the first four Kübler-Ross stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. (Whether they’ll get to acceptance remains to be seen.)
Below are several examples of how conservatives at all levels have gone off the deep end in the days leading up to and following the election.
1. Restaurant owner imposes nonsense “Obamacare surcharge,” threatens to reduce employees’ hours.
John Metz, the guy who owns the Hurricane Grill & Wings chain and is a franchisee of dozens of Denny’s and Dairy Queen restaurants, has said he will reduce employees’ hours and pass a 5 percent surcharge onto his customers because Obama was re-elected. His specific argument is that he has to take these steps because of how much Obamacare will cost his businesses.
Get a load of this (via the Huffington Post):
“If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare,” Metz told The Huffington Post. “Although it may sound terrible that I’m doing this, it’s the only alternative. I’ve got to pass the cost on to the consumer.”
It sounds terrible, because it is terrible, Mr. Metz. Metz isn’t the first business owner to threaten workers’ stability or increase costs for consumers in the name of Obama’s re-election. As Forbes’s Caleb Melby points out, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has threatened to increase prices on his pizzas by 10 to 14 cents per pie, though if he “were to fairly reflect the increased cost of doing business onset by Obamacare” the price increase would be “[r]oughly 3.4 to 4.6 cents a pie.” Not only are these business owners exaggerating how much Obamacare would cost to make a political point – they also assume that customers wouldn’t be willing to pay an extra 4 cents to ensure that the person making their meal has health insurance. And that is pretty sad.
2. Georgia state senators hold four-hour briefing on Obama “mind-control technique” conspiracy.
We’ve all heard our fair share of Obama conspiracy theories, but this one is noteworthy in that it comes from inside the Georgia state Capitol. Mother Jones reports that majority leader Chip Rogers convened state legislators in mid-October to listen to a four-hour presentation given by tea party activist Field Searcy.
About 23 minutes into the briefing, Searcy explained how President Obama, aided by liberal organizations like the Center for American Progress and business groups like local chambers of commerce, are secretly using mind-control techniques to push their plan for forcible relocation on the gullible public:
They do that by a process known as the Delphi technique. The Delphi technique was developed by the Rand Corporation during the Cold War as a mind-control technique. It’s also known as “consensive process.” But basically the goal of the Delphi technique is to lead a targeted group of people to a pre-determined outcome while keeping the illusion of being open to public input.
Uh, right. Read more about the conspiracy and watch a video of Searcy’s presentation here.
3. Montana state representative asks to be paid in gold and silver because he fears the collapse of U.S. currency.
This one comes to us via the Billings Gazette:
A legislator from Columbia Falls is asking the state to pay him in gold and silver coins because he is skeptical about the future of the dollar.
Republican Rep. Jerry O’Neil justified his request in his letter to Montana Legislative Services this week by saying a clause in the U.S. Constitution says no state shall “make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”
O’Neil writes that he thinks the high national debt makes it possible that the bottom will fall out from under the U.S. dollar.
O’Neil says he does not know how Legislative Services will respond.
I have a few guesses about how they’ll respond.
4. Conservative columnist goes full racist: “Maybe minorities’ values need changing.”
There were too many racist dog whistles to count during this election season. But this column by right-winger Dennis Prager isn’t a dog whistle so much as it’s a blow horn. A big, sad, loud blow horn trumpeting a pathetic resistance to accept that women’s and minorities’ priorities are legitimate.
The headline (“Maybe Minorities’ Values Need Changing”) and lines like “there is no debate over whether the minorities’ (and single women’s) values are correct or whether the values of the white males are correct” tell you pretty much everything you need to know about Prager and his ideas.
Oddly enough though, AlterNet readers will probably find a few things to agree with in the piece:
The Democratic Party, and the left generally, have done a magnificent job in identifying conservative values as white male values.
Right, because they are. (Thanks for the compliment!)
5. Convicted con man whines about how “difficult” the next four years will be.
Here are a few choice lines from Conrad Black’s whiny missive for the National Review:
“In the last 40 years, as many as 20 million unskilled peasants have illegally entered the U.S.”
“This president could not run on his record and just smeared his opponent as a rich asset-stripper, and frightened women voters with fatuous red herrings about ‘reproductive rights.’”
“For the first time, a coalition of pigmentational minorities and government employees and other benefit recipients outvoted the bulk of the traditional white majority. If this is the template for America’s electoral future, strains unimaginable since the Civil War will result.”
Those are some strong moral judgments coming from a man convicted of defrauding shareholders of $6.1 million.
Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie in this undated file picture.
Mandela is accompanied by his former wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years in jail. (Reuters)
In this February, 1990 photo, shortly after his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela, gives the black power salute to the 120,000 supporters packing Soccer City stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. (AP Photo)
Nelson Mandela showed his passport in February 19, 1990, shortly after his release from prison. The South African government authorized an application for himself and his wife Winnie - (Juda Ngwenya / Reuters)
In this July 27, 1991 photo, Cuban President Fidel Castro, and Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the "Day of the Revolution" in Matanzas, Cuba. (AP Photo)
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
President of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela acknowledges cheers from the crowd as he prepares to unveil the ANC's official election platform in 1994. (AP Photo/David Brauchli)
African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela greeted residents of Mmabatho in March 1994, during a visit after the nominal homeland came under South African control following the ousting of the former President Lucas Mangope. (Reuters/Howard Burditt)
South African President Nelson Mandela smiles with actor Sidney Poitier at a press conference in Cape Town in 1996. Poitier played Mandela in the film "One Man, One Vote" (AP Photo / Sasa Kralj)
South African President Nelson Mandela waves to crowds as he sits next to Queen Elizabeth II in a an open carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace.(AP/Louisa Buller)
Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly Cyril Ramaphosa, left, holds up a copy of the country's constitution which was signed by President Nelson Mandela, in December 1996. (AP Photo / Adil Bradlow / POOL)
Nelson Mandela at a news conference in Johannesburg in February 2000. (AP Photo / Denis Farrell)
South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, right, received the Rugby World Cup trophy from President Nelson Mandela also wearing a South African rugby shirt, after South Africa defeated New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup , in 1995. (AP Photo / Ross Setford)