A Reponse to Brad Stine’s CPAC Act

So  a video from the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) has been circulating on Facebook lately. It’s a 15-minute clip of comedian Brad Stine waxing angry about the state of the nation. His routine was both so repulsive and so mind-numbingly, predictably misinformed, that I’ve decided to address some of his quips here, line by line. First off, the video itself:

It’s not short, and he literally yells the whole time, so I understand if you’re not exactly enthused to sit through it all. Still, this is the sort of thing that gets a certain type of conservative hyped, so a response seems warranted. Here we go:

0:01 Hey, I just got here! You can’t leave! They just introduced me, you can’t leave; sit down!

The video opens with Mr. Stine yelling at some women because they’re leaving his set, before he’s even begun. This doesn’t bode well.

0:55 Let me tell you why I love conservatives: you believe in the Judeo-Christian values that our founding fathers stood on to make this great nation.

This is a worn-out issue, but there’s a lot of evidence that many of our founding fathers weren’t super worried about Judeo-Christian values. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote his own version of the Gospels in which he stripped out all the miracles and eschatology. The European Enlightenment, which was highly critical of Christianity, provided most of the philosophical and political foundations for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I’m personally a big fan of Christianity, but I don’t think many of the founders were.

0:57 Let me tell you what else I love about you: you think this is the greatest nation the world has ever known…

This is boiler-plate chest-thumping extolling American exceptionalism, which is a theory as arrogant as it is ridiculous. Sure, the US has contributed plenty of value to the world, especially in the realm of technology. But when it comes to its political, cultural, and environmental impact, if anything, we’re exceptionally awful. The very founders that Stine slobbered over 15 seconds before this were slave-owning, Native-killing opportunists. That doesn’t mean they were evil, horrible people through and through. It means they were just about as violent and selfish as the leaders of any country, ever.

It has to be admitted that we’re exceptionally good at blowing shit up. I’m sure he’ll bring this up later, so hold that thought.

1:49 …the founding fathers believed in personal responsibility. If you’re hungry, go find some stinking food!

This comes right after talking about the glories of hunting and fishing–which are totally legitimate activities, but he seems to be suggesting that the solution to hunger, in the US or around the world, is for everyone to just start hunting. Because there’s definitely enough wild animals to feed billions of people daily.

02:10 Lemme explain something to you–the founding fathers were ruthless.

Yeah, sounds about right. Why do we worship them again?

2:15 …if you didn’t have a house, they didn’t give you subsidies–they gave you an axe.

Actually, they didn’t give you a damn thing. They certainly weren’t arming poor people with axes. Most likely, if you didn’t have a house, it was because one of the founding fathers or their buddies owned you and your entire family. They weren’t running around the frontier giving Home Depot style workshops on home construction.

2:40 we’re going to provide you an opportunity, but you’re going to have to work

Yes! An opportunity! Entry-level, with 0% chance for promotion. As an added bonus, we’ll extend the same mandatory offer to all of your children, forever. You’re welcome!

2:57 And where does the wussification come? From that cancerous ideology–or should I say idiot-ology [zing!] that has made us begun to crumble from within, that cancerous polyp that I spend every Monday morning on Fox and Friends [surprise!] trying to destroy, and of course I’m speaking about political correctness.

Yes, it’s the “wussification” of America due to political correctness that’s ruining our country, not a parasitic financial class, skewed trade policy, or a worldwide war on an abstract concept. It’s the fact that people don’t want to sound racist that’s ruing this great country! Obviously people who want to show respect to other people are no good wusses, and are directly responsible for everything bad that happens in America.

3:25 I wanna watch political correctness die in my lifetime…[applause] but first, I wanna watch it suffer, and as long as I have a mouth, a mic, a mind, and a first amendment, I’m going to do my best to take care of that problem. It’s called courage, my friends, and speaking the truth at all times. I know that, because I’m a Christian…

Yes, he’s a Christian. And who can forget Jesus’ most famous words: “Thou shalt always enjoy causing suffering. And don’t pray for your enemies, yell at them in public, and build a career around being a giant dick!” I’m sure it’s in there somewhere, right after the part about Jesus being an English-speaking Marine.

3:57 When I die, I’ll be stuffed and mounted and put in display at the Smithsonian under the Why He Never Got His Own Sitcom display. Because to stand up for [Christianity, conservatism, and American exceptionalism] costs you something in a liberal media that doesn’t have the courage to see their own dysfunction.

Yes! Being a conservative in this country costs you something! Those evil liberals won’t even give you your own syndicated TV show! You’ll have to make do with being on FOX every week and getting paid thousands of dollars to yell at people at conventions. What a hard life. Those Chinese workers putting together ipads don’t know how easy they have it.

Seriously, one minute he’s bemoaning the wussification of America and the ‘entitlement culture’ in which people expect to be fed, and in the next breath he’s whining because he doesn’t have his own sitcom. This man needs to keep notes.

4:24 You know, political correctness kills me because it’s so arbitrary. What it does, is it creates a counterfeit reality, and demands you worship it. [He then goes on to tell a story about a school where children were prohibited from dressing up as witches for Halloween because a Wiccan woman complained that it was a false stereotype.] Excuse me, but if I offend you because you are a–witch!–who cares? Are you serious!? Since when did offending witches become problematic in the United Stinking States of America!? I’ve read about you! You poison apples, you throw Hansel and Gretel in the oven, you kill the stinking princess, you ride around on brooms…

Yes, it’s the PC police who are constructing a counterfeit reality, unlike good, upstanding Americans, who apparently believe that the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales were anthropological studies of German peasants. It’s like he doesn’t think anyone in the audience will remember what he just said 15 seconds earlier. Maybe this is some sort of super avaunt-garde protest art, maybe he’s trying to out-Colbert Colbert. If so, he ain’t doing it right.

7:28 [After bemoaning the emasculating effects of liberalism for about a minute] We need to know there are specific ways of doing things in this country. Our founding fathers believed that. We believed in differences, and it was OK–we celebrated them!

Yes, for example, they believed that men should vote–but not women! That’s just one of the ways that men and women are different, don’t you see?

8:50 When we got into this country, my brother, are you ready for this, we came on boats, buddy, and it was hard.

It was hard, but it was fun, too, so we invited a whole bunch of our pals from Africa to join us! Underneath the deck! In chains! But really, we were up there with all the waves, and wind, and food, and lack of cholera, so we obviously had it harder. Those freeloaders below decks obviously owed us something! Like, an eternity of hard labor.

9:09 So we got the entire eastern seaboard established, but we said that’s not enough, we wanna go west and see if we can make a free democracy; let’s see if we can [get] every age, color, and creed to come together and melt into one idea, so they got on covered wagons and they went for months, and months, and months, through hard terrain, and guess what [17-year-old boy in the audience], they didn’t have gameboys, they didn’t have texting, they didn’t have computers, they didn’t have radios, they didn’t have downloads…

Right, the eastern seaboard was great and all, but it was filling up quick, especially since all the good land was owned by a few rich guys. So we headed west! And since we didn’t have gameboys, radios, or downloads, we had to make do with massacring Indians. But don’t worry, because, see, they melted into this one great idea we had, so it all worked out in the end.

10:05 We went west, and we created the greatest nation on earth, and we got cars, and cars are good, because they allow us technology [?] and America has always been the first, the first in technology, when we’re allowed to be, but the problem with cars is that they’re too fast, too quick, and the problem is, that was what was so great about the old days–when a place is hard to get to, you appreciate it [he still seems to be speaking to a 17-year old boy in the audience, who isn’t paying sufficient attention to Mr. Stine]

Yes, cars are great, because they allow us technology. Actually, I think he’s got that backwards. Whatever, the point is, they’re great, because they let us get places quickly–but the problem is, they let us get places quickly. You get me? Anyway, when you had to murder a tribe of Native Americans and ride in a wagon before you got someplace, you better believe you appreciated that place! Not like this kid in the audience, who for some crazy reason doesn’t like being yelled at by a manic-depressive sociopath in front of thousands of people. Kids these days!

10:30 Cars are too fast, too safe. We gotta make it dangerous to drive again.

Yes, cars are so fast, and therefore safe. More wussification! What we need are slower, more dangerous cars. Sure, 32,700 fatalities sounds like a lot, but back in the glory days of the 1970s, we were killing almost 55,000 of ourselves every year. America was a leader in automotive fatalities! And as we all know, automobile fatalities are job creators. Not only do you need the ambulance, the coroner, the gravedigger, but you have to find a new person do take their job! If Obama was serious about getting Americans back to work, he’d flood the market with vintage Pintos. Too bad he’s a big old wuss.

10:42 When I was growing up, they had dashboards made out of metal! You got in a wreck, you paid for it. You were weeded out, so the good drivers had more room.

Exactly! We all know that in any car crash, only the person at fault is ever harmed or killed. The size of your car and the laws of physics are irrelevant. Which is also why drunk driving is no big deal, since drunk drivers only ever kill themselves, or other drunk drivers. Duh!

11:22 I used to sit in the front seat without a bag or a belt. You know what protected me?

Oh, oh, oh, I know! Was it the founding fathers? Gee, this must be some of that good driving you were talking about earlier.

11:30 But [this seventeen year old boy, damn, he really hates this kid] doesn’t know. All he’s ever known is a[n air] bag, and a bag, and a bag, and mandatory seat-belt and you spent the first 5 years of your life right in the back, right in the middle, with a 5-point harness car seat so you couldn’t get hurt.

Driving should be dangerous, as everyone knows. Conservatives certainly don’t won’t to protect their children. If you can’t survive a head-on collision at 45 mph, then I guess you aren’t America Material, buddy.

11:52 If I had worn a helmet when I learned to ride a bike my friends would have beaten me up…and they should have!

Nothing says you’re a caring friend like beating them up for not wanting to die or become a human vegetable. Like we already established, fatalities are good for the economy, so if you’re riding a bike and wearing a helmet, the Terrorists win.

11:57 [Referring to wearing bike  helmets] …once again, it’s the politically-correct false world that liberal ideology creates.

Everyone knows that Isaac Newton was a stinking pinko hippy pot-smoking draft dodger. If he hadn’t come up with this lefty “gravity” nonsense, America would be even greater than it already is! Which is impossible! But good red-blooded conservative Americans don’t believe in impossible! Only philosophers and people who understand language do!

12:05 [Liberals] will create a world where pain is an aberration

Yes, because you would only wear a bike helmet if you didn’t believe in pain.

12:24 We are a lineage of people that were willing to go to this place with one idea and one idea only: if you’re willling to work hard enough, if you’re willing to not look to the government for a handout, if you’re willing to be simply provided the opportunity to be the best you can be…if you’re willing to take whatever comes your way, you can be anything you want to be.

As long as what you want to be is a slave, a sharecropper, or a coal miner, then yes, he’s absolutely right. If you were hoping to be at the top of the heap, you’d better pick your parents carefully.

12:48 people who now need a sign warning them that coffee is hot…if you don’t know that coffee is hot, put a helmet on!

Wait, I thought we were staunchly anti-helmet. So I’m supposed to not wear a seat-belt when driving or a helmet when biking, but I should don a helmet if I’m going to enjoy a cup of coffee? That’s just the sort of brave, paradigm-shifting idea this country needs!

So essentially Mr. Stine spent 15 minutes talking about how being a good Christian means having no compassion for anyone, acting recklessly, and waging war on the rules of logic. It’s shocking and unacceptable that this sort of behavior is seen as defending the faith, and I think it speaks to the extent to which the christan left, which is and has been larger than we tend to realize, has surrendered the narrative to our arch-conservative co-religionists. When someone can stand up and say that the central tenet of Christianity is not giving a rat’s ass about anyone else, we know something’s gone wrong.

I’ll leave you with a much more compelling and reasoned reflection on the life of Jesus. Take us home, Woodie:

1 thought on “A Reponse to Brad Stine’s CPAC Act

  1. When I listened to the “act,” a great pain flooded my chest. It was an act of a man who was waxing nostalgic for an America that, not only he didn’t experience, but never existed at all.

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