Every morning, he sits down with his high-fiber bran flakes and Chock Full O Nuts coffee and asks himself, â€œWhat would Rush Limbaugh do?â€
Nolan Finley is, quite simply, Rush Limbaugh-lite: from the looks of his photo, he doesnâ€™t have the same, uh, gravitas as Rush. But he certainly shares Rushâ€™s bizarre hatred for Detroit.
Remember when Rush pushed the panic button by intoning that the Democrats would make the entire country into Detroit?
Hereâ€™s Nolan, forming as original a position as ever, this time taking on (GASP) the 20,000 or so activists who will be attending the United States Social Forum in Detroit.
The forum is a hootenanny of pinkos, environuts, peaceniks, Luddites, old hippies, Robin Hoods and urban hunters and gatherers. In other words, a microcosm of the Obama administration.
Up to 20,000 of them are expected in Detroit, although the actual count is hard to pinpoint since they’ll be sleeping in tents and 14 to a hotel room.
I love how Nolan acts the part of perturbed suburban yelling at the kids to get off his damn lawn. To wit:
Take a good look at our guests as you step across their sleeping bags on Detroit’s sidewalksâ€¦
If we don’t come to our senses in November, this is what the whole country will look like soon.
He probably forgot that the good folks at the Detroit Visitors and Conventions Bureau had a hand in bringing the Forum to Detroit; after all, part of their job is to make Detroit a destination and a hub for conferences, tours, forums, fairs, etc.
But Nolan forgets. Heâ€™s too busy being mad about supposed socialists, because thatâ€™s what Rush would do.
Heaven forbid people come to the city and spend money in the (struggling) local economy, all in the name of â€“ oh, the horror! â€“ extending a helping hand to the city, sort of like what Nolanâ€™s pals on the right did for their Wall Street CEO pals right after said CEOs caused the economic meltdown of 2008.
Except — and this is probably where Nolan gets disoriented and has to take a sip of a nice cold Arnold Palmer in the shade, sitting on one of those scratchy plastic-woven striped lawn chairs — the folks attending the Forum donâ€™t want to bail out Detroit with money. They want to do it with ideas. With solutions. With action, people, plans, enthusiasm, guts and hard work.
Maybe it wonâ€™t work. Whoâ€™s able to judge, really? But while these ambitious, driven people are trying to make it happen, the worst possible outcome is that for a few nights, they were all in Detroit, seeing that it isnâ€™t all abandoned buildings and crackhouses. They spend a few dollars, walk along the river and tell other people that yeah, Detroit is still part of the civilized world.
No harm, no foul, right?
Unless youâ€™re Nolan Finley. Then you canâ€™t see the forest for the trees, and you canâ€™t see the power of real grassroots action because youâ€™re so worried about keeping those kids off your damn grass.
(If youâ€™re a kid who played on the grass and maybe got a little dirty doing the hard work it takes to make the world better, check out progressmichigan.org and get back to your roots.)
In the Spirit of Disclosure: I (Bonnie Bucqueroux, co-publisher of Lansing Online News) blogged for free about politics for The Detroit News for a number of years. I always felt proud of myself for being brave enough to walk into the lion’s den. Then one fateful day in August 2009, I posted a blog called “A Field Guide to the Town Hall Crazies,” (reposted later on Lansing Online News). A few hours later, I discovered the editor of that section had removed the post, deeming it unsuitable for their audience. (Apparently conservatives are more tender than I thought.)
Needless to say, that was my last blog for the News (and part of the reason for carving out an online space where progressive humor can find a welcoming home). That action said more about the conservative mindset than anything I could write.