Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Of Bedbugs and Tea Parties

Christine O'Donnell, in response to her own comments that she dabbled in witchcraft, just released this ad which, for some reason, I found oddly disturbing...

Living in New York, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the recent rash of bedbug infestations in and around the city. It has received a great deal of attention and rightly so. They’re nasty critters who bite all night and leave huge welts. Apartment buildings, office buildings, movie theatre; no place seems immune to possible infestation.

In the wake of all of this, I have been hearing radio commercials and reading newspaper ads advertising bedbug identification and removal service. The print ads usually feature a picture of an adorable beagle with a cute name like “sniffles” or “peach.” Apparently, “sniffles” has been specifically trained to pick up the scent of bedbugs and will notify the exterminator upon doing so. I have even seen exterminator trucks with hastily attached pictures of “sniffles,” or one of his colleagues, with a few lines about the pooch’s amazing ability and effectiveness.

It occurred to me that I have honestly never seen or heard an ad extolling the virtues of a bedbug sniffing dog. For that matter, I realized I had never heard or seen any bedbug advertisements. It also occurred to me that bedbugs are a scary thing.

Fear sells. Could you imagine being told that you’re apartment or workplace was infested with bedbugs? Wouldn’t you do just about anything to ensure that you were not bedding down with insects whose sole purpose in life was to drink your blood? Wouldn’t you get right on the phone with any of these companies who now, suddenly and conveniently, have “sniffles” at the ready? I know I would.

These companies are capitalizing on that fear. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s capitalism in its most basic form. However, since I have never heard of “sniffles” or any of his ilk before, it could be logically surmised that some of these companies aren’t quite on the up and up. It could be logically surmised that there are a few scam artists amongst the "sniffles" and "peaches" that are out to exploit on that fear and make a buck.

As I thought on this, I couldn’t help but to begin to draw a parallel to the bedbug hysteria and the Tea Party movement. Well, not the entire movement, but some of the characters that have sprung up as key figures in the movements wake.

The Tea Party movement didn’t just spring up out of the ground. The Tea Party movement is a result of a horrific economic environment and the disenfranchisement of a large segment of the population. There is fear, fear of losing jobs, houses, pensions. And let’s be honest, there is a fear in this segment of people of an executive, legislative and judicial branch of government who they feel does not represent their beliefs and ideals.

That brings us to Ms. O’Donnell and her views on witchcraft, masturbation, the theory of evolution, and poor J.R.R. Tolkien. The same Ms. O’Donnell who has had a lien placed against her by the IRS, has been accused of misusing campaign funds for personal use and repeatedly lied about her education background.

Despite the fear that was the impetus of the movement’s beginnings there are, to be sure, many sound candidates backed by the Tea Party movement who express a reasonable concern about government and fiscal responsibility. It can be logically surmised, however, that, in this atmosphere of fear, a snake-oil salesman or two of questionable repute and intentions may attempt to capitalize on that fear. Ms. O’Donnell strikes me as one such person. And many people in Delaware, in fear, have bought the elixir.

No. You’re not me.


  1. It's like when Bush was telling us to seal our windows with duct tape and suddenly duct tape came in decorator colors.

    Or, when swine flu was raging through the country killing innocents people suggested wearing face masks and using antiseptic gell several times a day.

    Ms. O'D is not me either.

  2. Fear is a powerful motivator, thanks for providing great examples of that and thanks for reading.

  3. Very good. There are also a lot of snake oil salesmen in Europe.

    - Aangirfan

  4. Aangirfan - Im sure there is. Human nature isn't confined to one continent.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Tina Fey? Andy Samberg? Bill Hader? Somebody from SNL, please. I'm waiting!

  7. You're right in the snake oil saleman analogy. I'll only point out that O'Donnell wouldn't have a snowball's chance if there weren't plenty of likeminded characters on the other side of the political aisle.

    Too bad we can't fire the whole bunch, no matter what letter (R or D) they stick after their names and just start over.

    Once again, good post.

  8. Subvet- good point. You show me an O'Odonnell, I'll show you a rangel. Human nature isnt confined to one continent OR political party.

  9. Annoying Joe, this is a very interesting parallel, indeed. I agree 100% that fear is a driving factor in many scopes of our society. It drives our political decisions, social decisions, and many times our purchasing decisions. And, I also find it quite comical, but accurate, that these Tea Partiers are like parasites, feeding on the fear of common people who are up to their ears in debt and just want to provide for their families. Fear has driven us to consider putting clueless people in office. I would love to see a common person, with common worries, and a common family be elected to office and actually help the masses

  10. The sad thing about politicians is that they are great at telling us what we want/need to hear. Although I voted for him, Obama did a lot of that, too. And that is disappointing. These are scary times and most of us are hungry for answers and solutions. What will it take to get us back on track?

  11. hahahaha! Joe, I love the way your mind works. Imagine a little bedbug with O'Donnell's face on it....munching and biting her way to Washington D.C.! hahaha!

  12. Irving - now, I don't think its "Tea Partiers" per se that are the parasites. I f anything, their ideology is falling victim to fringe parasites.

    Johnny - Its in the job description.

    Lizzardo! Glad you enjoyed it. You do, however. you conjure a horrible image. Could you inagine the size of the welts?

  13. AJ,

    So, you are more concerned with Christine’s personal life -- primarily her pontifications from her teenage years -- than her current policy positions? I guess that makes you a typical Dim -- an easy mark for the propagandists within the Lame Stream Media (including the entertainment industry -- the single most effective branch of the Dim propaganda machine).

    Not surprisingly, you fundamentally misunderstand the Tea Party movement. The most fundamental concern -- by far -- is out of control government spending. This is not a concern born of baseless fear mongering, it is dirt simple arithmetic and the solution is equally simple (if hard for the average spoiled brat entitlement baby to swallow).

    Click here for my reasons for supporting Christine -- it’s the policies, stupid!

  14. P.S.) If you think you’re not a victim of entertainment industry propaganda, recall exactly who has released the tapes which -- more than anything else -- have (mis)shaped your impression of Christine.

    Also remember that propaganda need not rely upon falsehoods. Indeed, the most effective propaganda draws undue attention to irrelevant truths (along with half truths as well as bald faced lies). This video -- if you watch the whole thing -- exposes that fact in spades.

    Goebbels would be SO proud!

  15. This reminds me a child's book. The bed bugs overtake the world and the fair prince (in this case princess) rides in with her weird ways and uses the catastrophe to gain power. These things usually crash and burn....

  16. Lou Anne 40,

    Right parable, wrong party.

    This video would set you straight (if that were possible).

    And, you're a school teacher? Now THAT is truly scary!

  17. SBVOR - Glad to hear from you! If you had actually read the post, you would have realized that I wasn't in any way disparaging the Tea Party. In fact, I was acknowledging the validity of the movement's the basic principles which you so astutely pointed out; too much government, fiscal responsibility.

    I also did not accuse the movement of fear-mongering. I said that the roots of the movement were based in reasonably understandable fears.

    My point, which I thought I clearly presented, was that characters such as Ms. O'Donnell do no credit to a worthy cause, and appear to me as charlatans looking to ride the momentum of said cause for personal gain. And no, it isn't simply her personal issues that cause me to see her thus. Her "message" I find a shallow and rote retelling of what she believes she wants us to hear. I suppose in that regard, she isn't too different from any other politician. Regardless, I choose to do what I can to evaluate the person as a whole, not just blind myself to all but the rhetoric.

    I know subtlety isn't one of your strong points, so I forgive your misreading of my little essay.

  18. Lou Anne - Please forgive SBVOR - he feels that he can judge your skill in your profession from a few sentences.

    I hope you can bear his insults and snap judgments, and maybe try and understand their etiology.

    By the way, I enjoyed your parable very much.

  19. 1) I carefully read your post before commenting. As usual, you are full of it.

    2) Campaign TV ads are aimed at the lowest common denominator -- the ones depicted in this video. Anybody -- such as yourself -- who judges a candidate by such ads fits the demographic the ad aims for.

    3) Again, click here for my reasons for supporting Christine -- it’s the policies, stupid!

  20. Ever the hypocrite...We are expected to discount Ms. O'Donnell's forays into witchcraft and manifestos on masturbation as the meanderings of a young girl in search of her raison d'ĂȘtre, but Mr. Coons comments from 25 years ago, as a 22 year old, are condemnations of his soul. You're silly.

    And you did send me the link to that drivel before. "hopey changey?" Prose is not your forte. And what did I say about using CAPS?

  21. AJ (October 6, 2010 2:19 PM ),

    Christine is not running on any of the things she said as a teenager -- not even close. But, you Dims are always eager to play the pawn to propagandists posing as entertainers. How else do you think Obama voters became as poorly informed as they were?

    By contrast, Coons -- The Bearded Marxist -- is running on a set of policies which are fundamentally Marxist in nature. Moreover, the entire Dim party is rooted in a set of policies which are fundamentally Marxist in nature.

    As usual, there is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE!

  22. I appreciate your opinion and thank you for commenting.

  23. AJ,

    Geez! You can’t even get your pathetic propaganda straight. What Christine described did not amount to “forays into witchcraft”, she had ONE date with ONE guy who was into that stuff. She never adopted the practice.

    And, hey! I thought all you hopey changey Obama Zombies were all about being open minded and multicultural. You hypocrite! Stop being such a hater!

  24. Then why would Ms. O'Donnell begin her ad with the sentence "I am not a witch"?

    I appreciate your opinion, thanks for commenting.

  25. Then why would Ms. O'Donnell begin her ad with the sentence "I am not a witch"?

    I appreciate your opinion, thanks for commenting.

  26. AJ (October 6, 2010 3:38 PM),

    Because about the only thing the Lame Stream Media have reported on her is that she "dabbled in witchcraft" (and all the other drivel dribbled out by Bill Maher).

    Watch this video and note the ONLY things which the BEST INFORMED Obama voters knew about the various candidates.

    Come on! Can't you see the parallels between what the media did to Palin and what the media are doing to O'Donnell? Ignoring that level of Lame Stream Media propaganda will NOT work. It MUST be addressed. And, the way she deflected the nonsense of the charge was her best possible alternative for the (lowest common denominator) target audience.

  27. Again, I understand that there is an inherent dishonesty in the media. Well, maybe over-generalization would be a better term. Anyone who swallows whole what is presented to them is a fool. On either side. Media has become satire.

    My point was, and remains, that people like Ms. O'Donnell, when assessed in their entirety, do a disservice to an otherwise reputable cause.

  28. AJ,

    Can you tell me ANYTHING about Christine other than what Bill Maher and his allies at SNL have spoon fed to you?

    In other words, will you be a likely candidate to star in the sequel to this video?

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  30. Mr. Maher's revelations regarding Ms. O'Donnell are only a small part of the overall picture of the woman. In fact, the most pertinent questions of her overall character have been raised after a careful reviewing of her activities over recent years.

    For starters, lying about her education. Which, I'm sure, was a choreographed plot by the dimmish marxist lammy-lame hopey-changey establishment elitist obama-zombie leftist climate-ninja Goebbels crackhead media marxist bike-riding granola-crunching water-drinking button-pushing car-driving peeps you rail against.

  31. "lying about her education"

    That's an interesting allegation. Can you prove it?

    Even if you could prove that allegation, the ONLY qualification I am looking for in ANY Senatorial candidate is a willingness to consistently vote to limit the scope and scale of government.

    What are you looking for? An honest candidate who will fleece your pocketbook without lying about it? Today's Dims fleece you AND lie about it. And, even the NYT KNOWS IT!

  32. Unless the registrar at Fairleigh Dickinson, Oxford Univ., Princeton and Claremont Graduate Univ. are gravely mistaken, or, of course, a part of a great dim conspiracy, Ms. O'Donnell has misrepresented her affiliation to all of the above mentioned. I could provide the links to said info if you persist, sort of like the the links you provide that invariably lead to whatever tiresome site you feel will support your rhetoric. That is to say, based upon opinion.

    As far as the "limited scope" in which you perceive all things...Don't worry, I need no convincing.

    You have, however, restrained from resorting to the USE of caps to PROVE your POINT. It is heartening, on some level, that you are heeding me. Good girl.


  33. AJ,

    Once again -- as always -- you prove yourself unworthy of my time.

    The sad part is, you are your own victim.

  34. He's cute isn't he folks? Big round of applause.

    Not worthy of his time, yet he comments on my blog obsessivly.

  35. SVBOR:
    As you have done in the past, you are making an assumption. Just because I didn't mention Obama, doesn't mean I agree with how he played on the emotions of those beaten down by the Bush administration. Most politicians do this. I see no reason for you to insult others. I truly do wish you a wonderful day.

  36. SVBOR are you able to have a single thought without referring to some link or video. Not much depth there, I'm afraid.

  37. Charlene...awesome comments about the duct tape and swine flu! I totally agree! I mean, if we can't laugh at ourselves and our outlandish responses to perceived emergencies, who can we laugh at?

  38. And SVBOR, if Joe is unworthy of your time, why do continue to waste it here? Who is playing the victim now?

  39. Well, Joe, I have tried to educate you. But, as they say, you just can't fix stupid.

    To you and all your Leftist friends, have a nice life living in your little fantasy world (until the entire house of cards falls down around you).

  40. And I appreciate your efforts. We all have something to learn from each other, and I have and will continue to acknowledge that you have valed points.

    Its only when you claim to have a monopoly on "truth" does the dialogue become diminished.

  41. AJ,

    Examine the comment thread objectively and you will reach a different conclusion as to when the dialogue became "diminished".

    It fits a clear and consistent pattern.

  42. I knew you'd be back.

    In your 1st 3 posts on this thread, before anyone had responded to you, you called me stupid, likened me to Goebbels, and insulted a teacher. So where exactly did things start to breakdown?

  43. 1) In my first post, I did not call anyone "stupid", I merely paraphrased and updated Bill Clinton and his quote "It's the economy, stupid".

    However, if the shoe fits...

    2) In my second post, I did not liken you to Goebbels, I likened the media to Goebbels.

    Trust me, you're no Goebbels (and, that ain't a compliment).

    3) In my third comment I did - indeed -- insult a "teacher" who had it coming. But, only a Cultural Marxist would deem "teachers" to be off limits for well deserved insults.

    4) The dialog really broke down with the comment time stamped October 6, 2010 6:53 PM.

    That was the moment when the discussion turned to utterly indefensible (and quite typical) ad hominem childishness. It only got worse from there.

  44. P.S.) October 6, 2010 6:53 PM was also the moment when you chose to rely upon unsubstantiated, indefensible and utterly irrelevant smears against Christine fabricated by the usual Dim smear machine.

    Yeah, that's pretty "stupid".

  45. Man, you have plenty of free time, and am I renting space in your head or what?

    Keep invoking Nazi's though, that really bolsters your argument.

  46. I'm getting you a label-maker for Christmas.

    Does your dog walk around the bunker with a big sign that says "DOG" attached to him?

  47. Yeah...
    Have you ever noticed that labels almost always accurately describe the thing they are attached to?