Rhetoric and Weather

For the second year in a row, harsh winter weather has impacted peoples lives across the United States.  On February 12, 2010 every state in the union had snow on the ground (yes, even Hawaii) and today, only Florida is snow-free.

Consecutive blizzards in 2010 each left four feet of snow in the Mid-Atlantic and this year, once again, snowfall is being measured by yardsticks instead of rulers in the Northeast.  Schools and other public functions have been closed because of the white stuff in the Deep South.

While it’s easy to blame these weather phenomena on the “anti-global warming,” there is, in fact a far more sinister explanation:  talk radio and the far right.

The litany of rhetoric is long and pointed.  Calls for “freezing out” political opposition has been paired with accusing the Obama Administration of fostering a “snow job” on the American people.  Obama has been said to give Republicans a “cold shoulder” in the first half of his administration with the relationship between the president and GOP congressman described as “icy” or “frosty.”

Fortunately, those who are intellectually far superior than the bulk of the chattering class have recognized the impetus for the foul weather and are enlightening us.

Michael Moore (@MMFlint) via Twitter   Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) issued a fundraising plea Tuesday in which he cited the blizzards and accused “right-wing reactionaries” of contributing to a threatening climate.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote: “It’s the saturation of our political discourse, and especially our airwaves, with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of cold weather.”

The World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org) reports “The weather rampage this year is clearly an act of right-wing terrorism.”

Rev. Al Sharpton condemned the snowstorms and called them the “acts of hateful people who want to continue the disenfranchisement of African-Americans.”  According to Sharpton, these winter storms, “conveniently coming in the winters of a black President,” have definite racial intentions.  “It is clear that covering the land in a blanket of white in the month of Martin Luther King’s birthday and in February – Black History Month – is a backhand to people of African heritage.

In a rambling interview on the radio with Ed Schultz, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) complains about people attempting to “delegitimize the President” and suggested that the reading of the Constitution in Congress last week had something to do with the weather.  “All [of] this stuff taking place in the Chambers the other day, when the Constitution was being read — all that stuff is uncalled for,” Rep. Clyburn (D-SC) told the Ed Schultz radio program.

Clyburn is also concerned about how the weather affects Congressional travel: “We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else,” he said. “Well, the fact of the matter is, we are held to a higher standard in so many other areas, and I think we need to take a hard look at exactly how the TSA interact with members of Congress.”

There are many more thoughtful observances by notable Americans such as these.  I believe we should listen very carefully to what they say and keep it in mind to revisit in the future.

After all, we don’t want all this bad weather to snowball.


4 thoughts on “Rhetoric and Weather

  1. And you called ME cold-hearted?

    How can you be so cruel talking about Clyburn that way. He knows for a fact that Frosty the Snowman is out to get him. Clyburn has a right to be paranoid with police stationed outside his home as he cowers inside hiding from the cold weather.


  2. Whether one accepts global warming, or whatever one wants to call it, you’d have to ask what scientific credentials any of these people might have. Unless they’re hiding something that givevs them true scientific credentials these folks can best be described as a movie producer, two elected federal legislators, a preacher and an economist. Who knows who’s responsbile for posts on the web site? It’s nice that they’re motivated to help. However, I wonder which of them would go to the best elementary school teacher in the world if they had chest pains.


  3. The aforementioned deserve out highest regards. Imagine
    with I.Q.s ranging from 54 to 75 having become experts in
    the great subject of Probability and applying it successfully to
    Climate Change.

    They are to a man ‘idiot savants’, but with a consciousness –
    and with both hemispheres connected. From their barely existing
    I.Q. must have come the drive to succeed.

    The real question is not that they did it, but how.


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