Thursday, December 01, 2005

The War on the War on Christmas

Well, folks, it's December. And that means it's time for what's quickly become a cherished annual tradition -- the nonstop conservative whining about the "War on Christmas."

As with all things whiny, the War on the War on Christmas is being led by the brave culture warriors at "Fox News." Taking away from their busy schedule of tracking missing white women and fellating the president, the network's leading figures have begun a fair-and-balanced look at why liberals are out to destroy Baby Jesus.

John Gibson, a man so white he lacks pigment, hair color and, apparently, a conscience, has been leading the charge for some time now. (And in a stunning coincidence, he even has a book for sale on this very subject! You might have overlooked it, though, because it's subtly titled The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought.)

Never one to miss an opportunity to get his name in the spotlight, Bill O'Reilly has jumped on board this bandwagon. Media Matters has a lovely post with all the details:
On the November 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Bill O'Reilly pointed to "a very secret plan" by the "secular progressive" movement, which he said aims to "diminish Christian philosophy in the U.S.A." It is a plan he links to his perception that many now avoid the holiday greeting "Merry Christmas." O'Reilly's disclosure of this "secret plan" was followed the day after by a rant on his radio show against the "hateful liars" who "spit out" "blatant propaganda" that is "picked up by the mainstream media, and rammed down the public's throat."

According to O'Reilly, the "secular progressive" movement has three elements:

* First, progressive financiers George Soros and Peter Lewis "pour money into the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union], they pour money into the smear websites, you know, they buy up a lot of media time."
* Second, "the ACLU is their legal arm. ... [T]he ACLU runs around the country suing everybody and intimidating people."
* Third, "the smear websites are their media arm."

O'Reilly said these three elements operate "in tandem":

O'REILLY: [Y]ou use your left-wing smear websites to go after anybody who stands up for Christmas. If you stand up for Christmas, they come after you. So the tandem intimidates. The tandem intimidates. Suing on one hand; smearing on the other hand.

The result? According to O'Reilly:

O'REILLY: In every secular progressive country, they've wiped out religion ... Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, all of them. That's the first step. Get the religion out of there, so that we can impose our big-government, progressive agenda.
You heard him, people. Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Castro -- all progressives! The Holocaust? Progressive! The Gulag Archipelago? Progressive!

Bravely standing on guard against such progressive activity here in the U. S. of A., Bill O'Reilly is leading the new crusade to defend Christmas. And in case you doubt that Christmas needs defending, Commie, just remember all the other people who've stepped forward to save it, as chronicled in such videos as "The Toy That Saved Christmas," "The Chiropractor That Saved Christmas," "The Chicken That Saved Christmas," "How the Pirates Saved Christmas," "How the Flintstones Saved Christmas," "KISS Saves Santa," etc. etc.

Well, Bill O'Reilly is as good as any chicken, and almost as smart as Fred Flintstone. And he knows how can you defend the holiest of Christian holidays. How? By living up to the teachings of Jesus Christ and shopping 'til you drop. But only at those stores that wish you a "Merry Christmas" each and every day from late October through mid-February. If they say "Happy Holidays," they're scum. As O'Reilly reminds us:
Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born. Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable.
Incidentally, O'Reilly might want to start pointing the finger at the godless secular progressives at Fox News. As Crooks and Liars discovered, the Fox News Shop has several "holiday ornaments" on sale, including -- horror of horrors -- an "O'Reilly Factor Holiday Ornament."

So get to it, people. America is only 77% Christian these days, and it's only a matter of time before the progressive secular thugs have all of them rounded up and put into concentration camps. Concentration camps with no Christmas trees.


The Drew said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people hate O'Reilly.

Not that I totally disagree with you...but he must have the pulse of some Americans if he is so popular.

When was the last time liberals declared war on anything, except for fetal rights and basic human decency?

Studiodave said...

If you just listen to his talking points (ie have a 30 second attention span), he makes perfect sense.

Unfortunately, the average American isn't getting any smarter any time soon...

Otto Man said...

he must have the pulse of some Americans if he is so popular

Well, "Kangaroo Jack" was the number one movie in the country for a few weeks. Popularity didn't make it smart or good either.

In any case, I think O'Reilly's popularity is dwindling. He lost a third of his viewers between last October and this March, and he hasn't recovered yet. Seems like this is another in a long line of ratings stunts.

When was the last time liberals declared war on anything, except for fetal rights and basic human decency?

Unless Richard Nixon's Supreme Court appointee Harry Blackmun is somehow a liberal, I'm not sure liberals get credit for the War on Fetal Rights.

Liberals did, however, declare War on Poverty, which
as census data shows
, managed to cut overall poverty rates nearly in half and drop the poverty rate for
black families
from 65% to 39% in just four years. That probably helped basic human decency a little, don't you think?

And, remember, in the realm of non-metaphorical war, liberals like FDR declared war on Adolph Hitler and Tojo. And a liberal named Harry Truman effectively declared war on communism. I seem to recall that both those turned out alright, too.

S.W. Anderson said...

. . .but O'Reilly must have the pulse of some Americans if he is so popular."

There's an old saying (one of mom's favorites), "Idle hands are the devil's playthings." The updated political analog of that is, "Gullible citizens are demagogues' political power base."

Yes, O'Reilly has the pulse of some Americans, all right.

Fifty years ago, he would'v e been cheering Sen. Joseph McCarthy on, as that crackpot, megalomaniac and demagogue found communists at every level and area of American government, from Main Street to the highest levels of the State Department. Commie moles and pinko fellow travelers made sure the we "lost" China, didn't you know? All the unions in the country were lousy with commies. Our great universities were, too. The movie business was eaten up with communists. So was the publishing business. And rock 'n' roll was the product a sinister alliance between negroes and commies, who together were hellbent on subverting America's youth into lives of indolence and depravity — thus making them easy prey on the eventual day of communist takeover.

"I Led Three Lives," the scary cautionary tale of an average American guy who got caught up in the commie underground and then became a counterspy for the FBI, was a best-selling book that was made into a movie and then a TV series.

The message went out from the John Birch Society and from rabble rousers of O'Reilly's ilk daily, to people like sweet, widowed Mrs. Hickenlooper, in her cozy frame house on Center Street in Anytown, U.S.A.: You will soon have a communist under your bed, if there's not one under there already! If you're lucky, he will just force you into vile, depraved acts. If you're not, he'll brainwash you into becoming just like he is. Your soft-on-commies government isn't protecting you, but we, who know the real truth about this pervasive menace, will protect you!

McCarthy and then-Sen. Richard Nixon did what Stalin had done about "the reactionary bourgeoisie," what Hitler had done about Jews and communists: harness political power and people's money and loyalty by frightening people, by inciting people to blind hatred, by raising the specter of a dangerous, insidious, subversive bogeyman.

Never mind that so much of what these rabble-rousing demagogues had to say consisted of lies and innuendo. They were effective.

Just last year, we saw this same approach used effectively by the right-wing propaganda industry and by the Bush-Cheney campaign. They effectively parlayed people's fears of Muslim terrorists into political contributions and millions of votes, despite a four-year record that will go down in history as among the worst presidential administrations of all time.

S.W. Anderson said...

"When was the last time liberals declared war on anything, except for fetal rights and basic human decency?"

Just this month, when huge numbers of them roundly condemned President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's insistence that: 1, our people don't torture; 2, It's absolutely vital that we have secret prisons around the world and turn prisoners over to countries that do practice torture; 3, there must be no new laws or regulations against our people torturing prisoners; 4, We must not be required to define precisely what torture consist of; and 5, there must be no means instituted to determine whether we're lying about points 1-4.

In the weeks preceding that, liberals came out strongly against the appointment of incompetent cronies to high positions of responsibility, such as putting Michael Brown in a post where his vain stupidity could — and did — cost people their lives.

Now, would you like to mix it up a little more about who's coming up short in the human decency department, or have you had enough?

Thrillhous said...

Geez, guys, if you keep this up we're going to end up on O'Reilly's enemies list!

It never ceases to amaze me how many people O'Reilly hates.

Studiodave said...

Has anyone noticed the increased references to "progressive" in the same negative light as "liberal" has been smeared?

I have seen it several times in the last several weeks and Ottoman's quote also references it.

Ra_wiggum said...

It never ceases to amaze me how many people hate O'Reilly

You are amazed that people hate someone who demonizes individuals who have lost loved ones? Cindy Sheehan is an obvious example, but how about Jeremy Glick. He lost his father on 9/11 and O'Reilly freaked out and screamed at him for signing an anti-war ad. How's that for basic human decency?

Thrillhous said...

I hear you, StudD, on "progressive" being cast negatively lately. They seem to especially love tying it to communism. I dont' think they'll get a whole lot of traction with that slant, but it sure worked with "liberal."

Smitty said...

A fine example of how wrong and out-of-touch O'Reilly and his ilk are:

On November 29, the Detroit News did an article about how a particular neighborhood association in Novi, a city in Oakland County, is going to levvy fines against a mother and son who put a creche with the baby Jesus on their front lawn for Christmas. This neighborhood association must be chock-full of liberals!

No. I looked into it. First, Novi's state Senator and State Rep. are both Republicans. In fact, their State Rep is the Speaker of the MI House of Reps...meaning, of course, that our legislature is controlled by Republicans.

Further, Novi is considered in many polls as a 65% "safe" Republican district, meaning around 65% of the people there vote R.

So by all indication, it is a group of Republicans screaming for the removal of baby Jesus from their neighborhood.

Otto Man said...

I hear you, StudD, on "progressive" being cast negatively lately. They seem to especially love tying it to communism. I dont' think they'll get a whole lot of traction with that slant, but it sure worked with "liberal."

Well, it doesn't lend itself to witty conservative spins like "LIE-beral" and the whole "progress" part is hard to spin negatively too...

Anyway, I'm a liberal. Liberal, liberal, liberal. Liberals ended the Great Depression, won World War II, ended segregation, rolled back poverty, gave equal rights to minorities, women, and gays, fought for the environment, and now stand against ill-conceived wars, un-American torture, and general incompetence. Count me in as part of that group any day.

Mr Furious said...

Count me in as part of that group any day.

Me too!

S.W. Anderson said...

Well said, Otto Man, throughout.

I wonder if many Americans who don't consider themselves liberal look on all the people tagging themselves lately as "progressive" as being,in truth, liberals who are just too chicken(expletive) to come out and say they're liberals — thus costing those progressives a certain amount of respect.

I think it would've been better years ago, when Reagan's handlers set out cynically to redefine "liberal" and demonize liberals, if a lot of Democrats had stood up and said things like what Otto Man just wrote. Instead, they ducked, dodged and eventually starting calling themselves progressives.

In my reading of recent history, that served them badly then and has hurt them ever since.

Better to say, You bet I'm a liberal; it's a good thing to be. Now, let me tell you why it's a good thing to be, and why you ought to be a liberal, too.

I think that even people not ready to jump in line would better respect that approach. In my reading of them, Americans certainly don't respect people who don't seem to have the courage of their convictions.

Otto Man said...

Well said, Otto Man, throughout.

Right back at you, S.W. Nice comments above.

My father is one of the last remaining sane conservatives out there, a moderate Republican, but one who thinks liberals like me are slightly insane. A few years ago, I had a discussion with him that put the whole liberalism-conservatism thing in perspective:

"You think segregation was wrong, right? You think women should get equal pay for equal work, right? You think that a Catholic president wasn't a bad idea, right? Well, you know what they would've called you forty years ago? A flaming liberal."

"And guess what else? When your grandkids look back on this era forty years from now, they're going to look at me, your liberal son, and think I was pretty old-fashioned and conservative by their standards."

I can't remember the last time I'd so clearly won a political discussion.

S.W. Anderson said...

Otto Man, I know exactly what you mean, about the shift in the political landscape.

Back in the day when Tom Hayden and some other way, way-out activist types were on the cutting edge of liberal, antiwar thinking and proactivity, so to speak, I was at somewhat right of center.

Somehow, the idea of a bunch of well-off college kids at Columbia taking over several buildings so they could spend an entire day shouting obscenities from the windows and rooftops never struck me as a helpful, intelligent thing to do.

In fact, all it did was send previously left-sympathetic grandmas (and their husbands) reeling to the right, not wanting to be associated with what they believed to be drug-crazed hippies who'd taken over the Democratic/left franchise. The ladies had been up for supporting people like Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy, William Proxmire, Scoop Jackson, Ernest Hollings, etc. But they weren't about to fall in with campus radicals, antiwar radicals, Black Panthers, etc.

That was then, a loonngg time ago. I don't think I've sidled to the left so much in the time since as the political landscape has shifted so far to the right that I come off as well to the left. (Hope no one's starting to feel disoriented.)

(BTW, if you'll permit me a small plug, I think you might find Thursday's post at Oh!pinion interesting, if for nothing else but the accompanying graphic.)