Bonnie Bucqueroux

Bonnie Bucqueroux
Mason, Michigan, United States
May 01
Editor & Publisher
Sustainable Farmer
I recently retired from Michigan State to spend more time on Sustainable Farmer.com, an online multimedia "magazine" for people who grow food with respect for all living things. Yet another leading-edge Boomer still trying to save the world.


Bonnie Bucqueroux's Links

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 12, 2009 11:16AM

A Field Guide to the Town Hall Crazies

Rate: 24 Flag

The Town Hall meetings that our senators and representatives often hold during the August recess have produced a bumper crop of crazies this summer. Fertilized by the manure spread around so freely by Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Bill O'Reilly, the conservative crazies have blossomed into the equivalent of political crabgrass, threatening to crowd out what little is left of civility and reasoned debate in our culture.

Most of our East Coast pundits don't get out here to the hinterlands enough to recognize the more common varieties of crazies we grow out here, so I humbly offer my personal field guide:

The Race Haters - The angriest of the mob, these are the folks who, in a previous era, would have showed up for a lynching with a picnic lunch. They are the descandants of the folks belonged to the KKK in the Twenties, which claimed 20% of the white male vote back then. Now that a black president has succeeded in installing a new Hispanic Supreme Court justice, they are the first in line at the gun stores expecting Obama will take their guns away (I wish).

The Fundies - These folks are the authoritarian fundamentalists, desperate to find easy answers to tough questions. Whether it's the Constitution or the Bible (or both), they cling to the belief that following the revealed word will provide them a black and white path through a gray and frightening world. They are relatively easy to identify because they reek of self-righteousness.

Militiamen ReduxThe Southern Poverty Law Center sees a rise in militias. As someone who lives in Michigan where camouflaged crazies in the woods are not a new phenomenon, all I can say is that, like leftover salmon, they will smell even worse the second time around.

The Throwbacks - Trapped in a hazy Happy Days time warp of America in the Fifties, when men were (white) men and women were kept subservient by being denied access to any of the good jobs, these guys want us to return to an era that never really existed.

The Losers - These are the folks who look at the educated and successful members of our society and seethe with resentment. What isn't that me? Unwilling or unable to read anything other than the latest Ann Coulter screed, they spend much of their time writing emails IN ALL CAPITALS (the electronic equivalent of crayon).

The Dummies - Rivaling the losers as the largest category of crazies in the crowd, the dummies are continuing proof that the American educational system ran itself off a cliff years ago. If you doubt their ignorance, consider that Investors Daily yesterday ran an editorial saying that Stephen Hawking would be dead if the socialized medicine in England had been in charge of his care. Dr. Hawking does, of course, live in England, whose National Health Service has done an excellent job of keeping him alive for decades after he was stricken. As Keith Olbermann said last night, apparently the conservative editorial writer didn't realize Hawking didn't live in England because his voice synthesizer doesn't have a British accent. (Investors Daily as since pulled the Hawking reference.) If you need further proof, remember that many of the folks railing against allowing government a role in health care are also on Medicare.

True conservatives - If you look hard enough, you might find one or two thoughtful, civil and educated conservatives at the Town Hall meetings. But, then again, maybe not. Chances are, they stayed home knowing the crazies would outshout them.

Here's a video that shows what conservatives look like listening to Rush and Glen


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
you nailed it! i can't think of another to add.
the pug thing made me laugh till I cried.
thanks....always happy to friend another one saving the world, living sustainably and dancing with the concept of respect for all of those in this [our] list! Challenging!
Thanks again!
Rated for that video alone!
As I've posted elsewhere:

I just had a Really Evil idea: Since most of these wingnut clowns and their intellectual dilettante followers never take the time to actually do any objective detailed research and are apparently genetically hedged against intrusion of any rational argument and facts, I thought about just cutting out little sections of the health care reform legislative drafts (e.g., HR 3200), editing into them the most outlandish provisions (use your imagination), and then breathlessly posting them, under a sock puppet handle, on wingnut blogs etc. LOL. "SEE!!!! See what these Terrible Commie Lib'ruls are up to!!!..."

Sorta, y'know, the way Orly Taitz got punked on the Obama Kenyan birth certificate. De-legitimizing disinformation warfare. Make 'em ever more overtly the laughingstock they are. Seems like it worked pretty well with Tammy Faye Taitz (not that she'll stop, but she's now been totally marginalized).
You should know that I have blogged (for free) for the Detroit News politics blog since January of 2005. They just removed this blog, emailing me that the post was "too harsh, full of name calling, labeling and mockery. Clearly you put a lot of thought and work into this, but it's not the best way to get your point across, at least not here." Touchy, touchy. Must have hit a nerve.

So I am glad for my home on Open Salon. And I am fulfilled to find that conservatives do not have a sense of humor (unless it's Ann Coulter).
Live in isolation -- die in ignorance ...
oh you are so funny! I've seen the pug headtilt before (I have pet-video addicted daughters) - why don't you see if you can substitute the voice of the pugs' owner with Rush or Glenn?
And I apprecite your field guide.

I totally agree with you re: the edumacational system in this country. It's so far gone, I don't know if there's any saving it.

kinda like the healtcare system....

too harsh?

too harsh?

LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I was just about to write about the rise of militas, too. rated
You've committed the cardinal sin of modern corporate newspapering... caused large numbers of angry wingnuts to send nastygrams to the editors, publisher, and potentially advertisers. This is not acceptable.
Well done! You've covered all the bases. Rachel Maddow should have you on tonight.

Excellent post! Spot on! Please keep on posting.... We need voices of sanity and reason in the world more than ever. :)
Yay. Also, "Pug Head Tilt," is a soon-to-be classic. I ask my dogs, "Wanna eatabug?" to illicit the same response.
Spot f%#@ing on! I will echo another poster - keep writing!
I'm just checking in to the latest news.
I'm on a 'not-home' computer. Today I went to a town hall gathering in Hagerstown, Maryland. I was called a "hippie" by some angry brat yelling at everybody. I was pledging to not-speak, but, to just listen and learn. For sure ... I witnessed, and Learned that there are many crazy loonies out there screaming Hate!

I did meet great elderly who Fear.
I imagined the types you describe?
Good post, by the way. Magnificent!
The brat yelling at everybody was Freaky.
I said:`Why don't you just go naked Apes?
Why don't you and your Hate Bob wear cellophane?
Wear jock strap, see-through cellophane wrap diaper!
O huh?
Then, all these better informed citizens can see CLEARLY!
People See clearly... You haters? Ay citizen see CLEARLY!
Your so nuts!
Oy! Nut jobs!
I did not go inside.
The outside crowd?
Many were Very Interesting. I got along with the folk. We talked about Arlo Guthrie who sang:`This land is my Land. That topic was in response to Flag Wavers who were CLEARLY nut jobs. What an education.
People with red, white, and blue jock straps, hats, hankies, and silk panties sang the star spangled beagle. Wild days. woof, jackals and great people attended a town hall rally. Waco's who are as toxic as O'Reilly as Rush Limbaugh. Most sensible sane member of the human race see these hate perpetrators as ill ilk and ruin Everything.
O bad verbal seed.
Bad blood and bile.
Vice. Bizarre. Psycho.
Gratulations on a E.P.
I was with you up until the pug video. They're too cute to be conservatives. Well put.
The fact is the people you call crazy have fears and they are entitled to them like they are entitled to healthcare. They worry just like you about the future, their lives, etc. They are human just like all of you who are making fun of the situation. So many gods and no humans these days.
Fred, I understand your point of view. But Tim McVeigh was afraid that his idea of America was disappearing, yet I don't feel much compassion for him. There are some sadly confused folks out there who are being taken advantage of by the corporations and the politicians both. But there are also some smugly, self-satisfied folk who scare me and who deserve to be satirized.
While you're not entirely wrong about the folks on the right side of the protest lines, esp. those -- thoughtful types -- who are absent, you've neglected the equally, though more subtly so, wrong logic propelling many of those who shout on the left side of the demonstrations. Just because one recognises that an alteration to a system is necessary, does not mean that any alteration would do. The problem with tweaking economic systems, certainly complex interrelated ones, is that there are connections that may not be apparent without proper training and serious debate and introspection. Small changes to systems and balances at the correct time and place can have large effects. The introduction of the stirrup into Western European warfare which allowed a few thousand Franks to defeat tens of thousands of Moors at Tours. It had been in existence for thousands of years in East Asia without giving any group a significant military advantage.
The same goes with purely social programs. The Speenham Land welfare reform of early capitalist England nearly destroyed the push towards our current economic system. Just ensuring that each family had enough to eat through aid-in-wages whether they worked or not, and whether or not their wages were sufficient to provide subsistence was a small change in existing law. It initially saved English taxpayers huge sums of money, but later drove down the productivity of Labor to less than subsistence levels for a whole country.
Those who thoughtfully oppose the proposed methods of health reform have valid points to make. David Goldhill in the September copy of "The Atlantic" has such a claim. To be sure it has problems mostly due to those instances where a procedure has relatively inelastic demand. Of course both the current system and Rep. Rangel's proposed bill have problems with creating inelastic demand for procedures that really ought to be much more elastic WRT price.
Another valid criticism would be the fact that there are so many competing views coming from the Hill in the first place. As of the recess, there are five bills on paper, though three of them have prominence, and only two stand a real chance legislatively, Mr. Rangel's among them. It is a wise citizen who withholds praise and backing from a representative who cannot present a concise view of proposed policy.
Not all those skeptical of healthcare reform are crazies, and likely crazies on both sides of the aisle should be excluded from the political process, but then again that doesn't leave many of us to run the country. Social change is difficult. It causes social dislocations and stresses, our political systems does a good job of mitigating these with only one real breakdown -- ca 1860. Just be glad that the crazies are still holding signs and bullhorns, not torches and pitchforks.

Junior lecturer OSU
Entertaining and scary (but it's always the comment-thread that scares me the most!)