Burch: Blackburn channels her inner Yoda

Friday, January 25, 2013 at 2:12am
By Michael R. Burch

Marsha Blackburn has something in common with her fellow ultra-conservatives George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann: when she channels her inner Yoda, she can mangle English grammar with the worst of them. Here are a few not-so-sterling examples of Blackburn, a Tea Party and NRA favorite, in action:

“And this is the good thing.”

The quote above came as Blackburn tried to explain why shutting down the federal government in a “thoughtful” way, in order to cut spending, was “good.” In the batty belfries of her brain, the only resulting spending cuts would be “waste, fraud and abuse.” But if such things can be identified and eliminated, there is of course no need to shut the government down.

“Let’s agree ... that we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a tsunami ... .”

Yoda might mangle English grammar, but being wise he would know better than to suggest it’s wrong to call an emergency an emergency.

“We’re still needing to look at this mental health.”

Blackburn, like other barely literate right-wing conservatives, refuses to admit that easy access to automatic weapons and high-capacity ammo clips is a root cause of the recent rash of mass murders. The NRA’s political lackeys follow its irrational lead and point their fingers in every other possible direction.

“What I’m hearing is that people want to make certain that — first of all — that we protect the Second Amendment and their Second Amendment rights — protect their freedom and not impede that.”

This is like saying that freedom of religion should “not impede that” right to sacrifice children to the gods.

“We need to do a couple of things. Number one is to drill down on the mental health issue. Number two is to look at the psychiatric and psychotropic drugs, because that is many times linked to the individuals who carry out these crimes. They are also wanting to make certain that we begin to get in behind these video games.”

In her convoluted, ungrammatical way, Blackburn is trying to help the NRA shift the focus away from the oversupply of super-lethal weapons and ammo. But her logic is as bad as her math. Despite the gun lobby’s scapegoating of the mentally ill, people with mental health problems are not statistically more likely to be violent than other people. And of course Blackburn failed to mention the violent video games produced by the NRA, or the fact that the NRA also licenses guns to appear in other violent video games.

“The problem is it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car.”

Yes, it is true that acts of violence can be carried out with hammers, hatchets and cars. But when was the last time that twenty children were deliberately killed in a few seconds with a hammer, hatchet or car? Mass murderers are selecting assault weapons for a very simple reason: they produce higher body counts. Intended victims can scatter and escape killers armed with less lethal weapons. But who can outrun showers of bullets fired in a matter of seconds?

Blackburn recently issued the following official statement regarding the gun control proposal announced by President Barack Obama:

“As a mother and grandmother, I believe we have an obligation to examine ways we can better protect our nation’s youth. We need to have a serious conversation about mental health, psychiatric drugs, and the potential impact violent video games and movies have on our kids. I will closely review the President’s proposals, however I am concerned his approach is a pre-determined attempt to redefine our Constitution. I am not going to allow this administration to trample on the Second Amendment or put new restrictions on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms and ammunition.”

Yes, the Second Amendment mentions the right of citizens to bear “arms.” But “arms” would include cannons, mortars, bazookas, missiles, nukes, etc. Surely no one would suggest that average Americans should be able to walk around carrying WMDs. President Obama is not trying to “redefine” the Constitution, but to protect the weakest and most vulnerable Americans from having their grade schools, kindergartens and daycare centers turned into slaughterhouses. Marsha Blackburn’s inability to speak coherently or think rationally makes her unfit to represent other Tennesseans. She should admit her obvious incompetence, and if not, it is our duty as voters to replace her with someone more qualified.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

121 Comments on this post:

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:32

By: Rasputin72 on 1/25/13 at 7:57
LONER.........I have never set foot in a "mission" but I bet when you were a young hippie you saw plenty.


I have been kick out and they won’t let me in.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:32

By: Rasputin72 on 1/25/13 at 8:00
That's All Folks!

The pig leaves.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:34

By: Rasputin72 on 1/25/13 at 8:22
Gdiafante......There you go again showing your middle class flaws. What a. shame! It must be a genetic thing.


I wish I could stand as tall as gdianfante.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:35

Our two genetic damage trolls (yogi and Rasputin) try two defend the Dark Empire with their child like antics and misinformed chirps from their vantage points in the Pea-Nuts gallery. Their antics will be amusing for the next three day.

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 9:35


I also haven't changed my 2nd amendment determination. Every nation that has been taken over by the communist party has taken their citizens guns by allusions before they took control. And as history has noted, they killed the citizens that resented their takeover.

Unless you're a communist by mind, look past your nose, Loner. Obama was born into a communist family and raised and mentored in communism by a well know communist (Frank Marshall Davis) and raised in the Islamic faith. How do I know? Because he said he was.

Another dumb question: What kind of people voted to elect a man as their president who refused to honor our flag and National Anthem before he was nominated? Are they ignoramuses or just people with their hands out for "gimme?

What made him and Michelle become so happy to be in office when they both made comments about hating the USA before his "election" (usurpation of office)?

Just wondering, Loner. Do you have any answers?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:36

To change ones rank in the on-line social order, one must fabricate once self as being the superior.
Ramón Collier-

By: gdiafante on 1/25/13 at 9:37

Just wondering, Loner. Do you have any answers?

Why? You don't pay attention to the answers unless it's what you want to hear. Now, tell me, Mr. Constititional authority, where is there a religious requirement to be President? Do you have any answers?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 9:40

By: bfra on 1/25/13 at 9:09
yogi - How many sticks have you worn out on that dead horse?

Why use stick when my crap filled head will do.

Paul Wade-

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 9:41


Your comments are usually spot-on, but please "get with it" ... Blackburn represents the Dark Age mindset, so 1860 is way too generous. :)

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 9:48

gdiafante ,

Good point. Like GWB, Palin, Bachmann and Santorum, the fearsome Blackburn is the PERFECT representative of her constituency. Shame on so many Tennesseans for living in the Dark Ages of racism, intolerance, and settling their disagreements with hails of bullets. Just think how many Tennesseans watched CNN and cheered during the early stages of the wars, when it seemed we would win easily. How many questioned why 911 occurred, or whether our government in deny equality and basic human rights to Palestinians, was pushing the world closer and closer to WWII?

How many Tennesseans understand that our government is still doing the things that led to 911, buy pouring money and weapons into the racist, fascist government of Israel?

Such things are favored by conservative Christians, who seem intent on starting WWIII in the hope that Jesus will zap them off the planet just before they destroy it completely.

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 9:53


I think Blackburn is very dark, as her name suggests. But the Force she serves seems to only choose dorks. I think Oscar Wilde may have been right when he said that the only sin is stupidity. Stupid people of his era ended up killing him when they sentenced him to hard labor at Reading Gaol for the "crime" of being gay. Stupid people of our era start holy wars on false premises and allow first-graders to die in hails of gunfire while insisting that "guns don't kill" and the solution is to put them in every school.

By: Loner on 1/25/13 at 9:55

Great missive, Mike...but I thought I'd have a little fun with your Yoda-Blackburn analogy too. maybe, Yoda is not the perfect analogy; consider the following:

Blackburn: "And this is the good thing.”

Yoda: "And the good thing this is.”

Blackburn: "Let’s agree ... that we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a tsunami ... .”

Yoda: "Agree, let us ... crying ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a tsunami ... .we’re not going to”

Blackburn: “The problem is it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car.”

Yoda: " A hammer, a hatchet, a car...the problem it could be”

But, Blackburn surely channeled Yoda on the following:

Blackburn: “What I’m hearing is that people want to make certain that — first of all — that we protect the Second Amendment and their Second Amendment rights — protect their freedom and not impede that.”

Yoda: “What I’m hearing is that people want to make certain that — first of all — that we protect the Second Amendment and their Second Amendment rights — protect their freedom and not impede that.” (verbatim)

IMO, Blackburn is more like an "Iteration bot"...an IB-unit....a mobile robot that reiterates an agenda-driven message, ad nauseum....like an R-2 unit, but externally-controlled with no internal or independent "intelligence"...no independent decision-making capability...that's Blackburn and the other US Reps from TN.

Yoda had saving graces, to offset his grammatical shortcomings...Yoga had The Force....Blackburn has The Farce. Big difference.

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 9:57


If abortions take place before the brain and nervous system are developed, it is impossible for fetuses to feel pain. We know this because adults with severed spinal cords feel no pain in their extremities. But babies who are born to drug addicts and mothers who don't want them or are unready to be mothers can experience decades of pain. So sometimes it is more merciful for a fetus not to develop ... something religion-addled Republicans like to ignore, pretending that every birth is the "will of God," which would mean that God must want the poor babies to suffer through hell on earth.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 10:02

It is funny that Blackburn used Katrina to defend her position. Katrina showed the world just how selfish and self centered the Republicans have become.

Let the Fat Cows eat.

By: budlight on 1/25/13 at 10:27

How many Tennesseans understand that our government is still doing the things that led to 911, buy pouring money and weapons into the racist, fascist government of Israel?

Mike, which government is doing these things? Is it Obama? Is he doing the same thing Bush did? I think it is clear that you would have willingly and openly supported Hitler against the Jews. What makes you such a hater of the Jews?

I do not believe in abortion in the US or Israel. Or anywhere for that matter. A "fetus" as you all refer to it, is a real live human being - at any stage of development. Please answer my question: Why did Scott Peterson get charged with 2 murders? I've asked the question before and no one wants to answer it.

AND Mike, exactly what moment in development does the brain and nervous system kick in?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 10:31


There is a good example of no brains not feeling any pain in yogi. LOL

By: gdiafante on 1/25/13 at 10:39

Bud, Petersen was 8 months pregnant. Well past the date that a fetus is viable outside the womb. For the most part abortions are limited to the 1st trimester but can be later if the mother's health is at risk.

The central nervous system develops enough to control some body systems from the 16th to 25th weeks, but the brain is still not developed enough to discern pain or other senses, or be able to think/have thought processes.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 10:49

By: budlight on 1/25/13 at 10:27

AND Mike, exactly what moment in development does the brain and nervous system kick in?


It never did get turn on with you and yogi.

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 10:56


If you do a Google search for "Burch Holocaust poetry" you can easily determine that I am not a "Jew hater" but someone who writes and publishes poems that strongly condemn the Holocaust and all forms of racism and intolerance.

The US government has ALWAYS favored Israel over Palestinians. I oppose what the Obama administration is doing, but at least Obama did try to stop the theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank (euphemistically called "settlement expansion"). When he tried to do the right thing, Congress overwhelming chose to support Israel, as always, so his hands were tied.

Obama is not God, so he can't force Americans to have senses of justice, or stop practicing hypocrisy when they say they believe in "equality" when they clearly think Jews and Christians have superior rights, including the right to deny Palestinians basic human rights and steal their land on a daily basis.

My understanding is that fetuses cannot feel any pain for at least 20 weeks. A baby born to a mother who abuses drugs, or a father who rapes his own children, can experience tremendous pain for decades. It is a wild fantasy that preventing abortions is always the right thing to do. Any decent person abhors abortions and wants to prevent them. But young boys and girls are going to have sex, and there are always going to be unwanted pregnancies as a result. Many girls are not going to live through nine months of pregnancy and go through a harrowing delivery just to give the baby away to someone else. So if all abortions are made illegal, they will go back to the old days of coat hangers and back alley abortions. That is just stupidity piled on stupidity. We should all try to prevent abortions through sex education and making contraceptives available to young people who decide to have sex. But the right-wing nutjobs who oppose abortion also live in a fantasy world where chastity is the "real solution."

As Oscar Wilde said, the only sin is stupidity. We live in a nation where the "wisdom" of the Bible trumps science and common sense. But the men who wrote the Bible taught that the world was flat, and that slavery, sex slavery and the stoning of women and children was "the will of God."

We should be capable of understanding that people who were wrong about such things were also wrong about other things. And even so there is no clear teaching about abortion in the Bible.

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 11:01


In answer to your 9:09 question: I'm just trying to educate idiots that can't seem to understand facts. Maybe you'll understand the facts I've been trying to educate you on.

Sorry you haven't already learned because of your ignorance.

By: bfra on 1/25/13 at 11:12

yogi - The only proof of ignorance you have ever offered, is your own! You have NEVER put a verifiable FACT on this board .

By: Kosh III on 1/25/13 at 11:13

" Every nation that has been taken over by the communist party has taken their citizens guns by allusions before they took control."

What BS are you alluding to?
Russia? The first communist country? Didn't happen either in the February Revolt that overthrew the Tsar, nor the October takeover by the Bolsheviks. Quite the opposite: the Lvov and Kerenski governments were unable to stem a massive flow of weapons and subversive assistance into Russia prior to the October revolt.
China? Nope.
Cuba? Nope.

Give us FACTS, not propaganda.

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 11:17

You're correct, gdiafante, the constitution doesn't have a requirement of a particular religion to become president, but it does have a citizenship requirement and your man Barry has refused to provide and evidence of his eligibility from the very beginning.

Haven't you ever wonder why he refuses, or doesn't it matter to you whether he's in that office legally or not?

Can you explain to me (us dummies) why he advertised he was born in Kenya and raised up in Indonesia and Hawaii for 16 years. I understand he "noted that error" when he said he was running for the president's office.

And by the way, can you explain how someone who was in the Illinois Senate for four years to the Nation's Senate for two years and WHAM, BAM, HOT DAMN, into the White House he goes; when only a few people knew him?

What a man, eh? Just who in the hell is he?

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 11:19

The funny part of yogi training people to be like him, is that the idiot has crap between his ears and somewhere in that mess he thinks he is smart. I can say this with out any fear of retaliation, because by the time he understand what is being said….he will have forgotten what it is all about.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 11:26


Facts are something that should be avoided. They only clutter up my brains.

Paul Wade-

By: pswindle on 1/25/13 at 11:30

I heard Marsha Blackburn speak to a group not too long ago. I walked away thinking that this lady was elected to represent a section of TN, and I was baffled at her language, lack of knowledgbe and being a complete air-head. This is what is wrong with the Congress We elect and keep electing this type of person that is not educated as well as they should be to make laws for the country. I heard her talking on TV anbd I was at a total lost of what she trying to say.

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 11:39

I haven't refused to look at any evidence, gdiafante, because none has been offered. How can you offer evidence when you don't have any? The only evidence you have offered is your hearsay.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 11:49

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 11:39
I haven't refused to look at any evidence, gdiafante, because none has been offered. How can you offer evidence when you don't have any? The only evidence you have offered is your hearsay.


My head remains up my ass.


By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/25/13 at 11:54

The evidence gdiafante presented couldn't be dumbed down to a fifth grade reading level, therefore yogi did not comprehend it and thinks he wasn't given an answer.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 12:06

If yogi ever had to face facts, then he would have to admit that his whole life as been a lie.

By: gdiafante on 1/25/13 at 12:09

Heresay? The U.S. Code is heresay? Case law is heresay? Have you had a lobotomy??

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 12:47

I hearsay that yogi’s lobotomy is do to the fact that he head got accidentally shoved up his butt, while he was locked in the closet for too long one time. His father forgot about him being there and went off for the weekend.

With no place to go, yogi was forced to uses the closet to do his business and made a total mess. After his farther came and found what yogi had done, he made him clean it up and then locket him up,

Once again his farther forgot about him and left in the closet. Being the smart kid yogi was, he shoved his head up his butt, to keep from going. Now he has half a brain on the outside (which doesn’t work) and…well you can imagine why the other half doesn't work..

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 12:49

It just came to me that maybe Old Roy was forgetting yogi on purpose.

By: dargent7 on 1/25/13 at 2:03

This ideology, "trample on the Second Amendment" is so idiotic it really needs no further discussion.
The 'Fore-Fathers" knew in 1783 or so, that there would be 30 round magazines in a semi-automatic? Or, even a semi-automatic?
They knew about the Internet superceding and circumventing backround checks?
All those who proclaim superiority reciting the Second Amendment and therefore hiding behind it, are Darwin's explaination of "survival of the fittest".
And that's why the Republican party is receding every election and the NRA will become moth-balled like the KKK. It's only a matter of time.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/25/13 at 3:00

In apparent contrast to typical Church doctrine, lawyers for a Catholic hospital in Canon City are arguing fetuses aren't people, in response to a wrongful death lawsuit that is now being appealed to the state Supreme Court. Although the court case has stalled, a recent article gave it a burst of national attention.


So, it's only murder if it's abortion but it's not if it is malpractice.....

By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/25/13 at 3:07

Speaking of TN legislators....

Randy Neal at KnoxViews reports that Campfield has
now introduced a new bill which “requires the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school.”


By: Blanketnazi2 on 1/25/13 at 3:11

A St. Paul man has been charged with terroristic threats for pointing an AK-47 rifle at his daughter during an argument over the fact that she got two B's instead of straight A's in school.

According to the charges, 52-year-old Kirill Bartashevitch recently purchased the AK-47 due to fears that such weapons would be banned under President Obama's push for gun control legislation.

Read more: Charges: Dad points AK-47 at daughter for getting two B’s - KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/20707196/dad-points-ak-47-at-daughter-for-grades#ixzz2J1YEOtbJ

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 4:27

Excuse me, kids, but the only "proof" you have offered me is your argument that Obama was born in Hawaii. But the fact is you never offered any proof of that as a fact. Why not? When did you learn that as an actual fact? You haven't. Why? Because Barry has never released any proof he was born in Hawaii.

By: dargent7 on 1/25/13 at 4:27

What's truly fascinating, in an oral root canal sort of way, is "yogi's" constant argument.
You have to give it to him.
Obama, who was born in a hut in Kenya, rose to prominence in America.
Several colleges, then entered Harvard, know for accepting idiots.
Graduated with a JD degree, then didn't escape, but went back and taught there.
Then ran for a Illinois State Senate seat. Won that too.
Knowingly gave false names, SS#'s, Passports, addresses, and bank account information.
After two years was bored so ran for President. Won that too.
Decided to run a second time. Won that, too.
Guy seems to be a winner in everything he enters.
Seems like a tall order and inconprehensible when viewed from a person legally brain-dead.

By: bfra on 1/25/13 at 4:35

d7 - yogi is jealous of Obama because he is Black, the President, smart, has a beautiful family & everything yogi ISN't. jEALOUSY is a sickness & yogi is eat up with it.

By: dargent7 on 1/25/13 at 4:38

"yogi": Your post at 4:27pm tied mine....
I was living on Maui in 2008 when Obama first ran for president.
All during 2007 his B.C. was available on the Internet.
It was in 3-D graphics.
You imbicile "Birthers" never thought he could win so never gave it a moments thought.
Michelle Bachmann et al., and her husband were spending too much time converting homosexuals back over to Jesus and heterosexual relationships without much success.
Well, guess what?
He, Obama, did win, twice.

By: dargent7 on 1/25/13 at 5:25

bf: It goes way beyond, "jealousy"
Somewhere between psychosis and illegitimate children.

By: bfra on 1/25/13 at 5:30

d7 - All listed & add stupidity on every subject in the Universe. I don't think there is a more stupid person in the World than yogi.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/25/13 at 5:52

Bfra.......Yogi may be unsophisticted. He may be closed minded but now that you bring intellect into the equation I hardly see him as inferior to the Simple Six.

I would also bet that he has been self-supporting his entire life. I dobt that more than a couple of you can match that.

Opinionated Yogi may be, but he is a productive citizen. This is something you certainly cannot lay claim.

By: Captain Nemo on 1/25/13 at 6:32

Sure Rasputin will stand up for yogi. They come from the same impaired genes.

By: Ask01 on 1/25/13 at 7:01

I wonder just how different the constitution might be had the founders been able to see the current uproar from various camps concerning interpretations.

They obviously knew conditions could arise where the various articles would need to be clarified or perhaps altered radically from their initial form, otherwise we wouldn't have the provision for amendments.

I also feel certain, had they the foresight, and known some of the characters opining here, there would have extra amendments, possibly by name to address these individuals.

This, I know, has nothing to do with the subject, but I just wanted share my musings.

By: Mike Burch on 1/25/13 at 8:30


I like your debate between Blackburn and Yoda. Yoda, like Socrates, is wise enough to understand all the things he doesn't know. Therefore, he asks questions. Blackburn just parrots the standard Republican dogma, which of course means that she can get elected by Tennessee's prevalent lemmings.

By: yogiman on 1/25/13 at 9:03

I hate to tell you this, dargent7, but that paper Obama showed after so much questioning was a fake.

In ways, I would hope I'm wrong, but Barry is proving me to be right. And I'll repeat, our biggest worry is a congress that is allowing him to usurp that office without any question.

And I'll repeat; even if he was a natural born citizen, he lost that status when he was adopted into an Indonesian citizenship. And I'll also repeat: Why did he advertise he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii for 16 years... until he entered the race for president of the USA? Then, all of a sudden, he decided he was born in the USA.

By: Ask01 on 1/26/13 at 7:43

I posted this on the article about a killers IQ, but upon reflection, decided it might be equally, or even more appropriate, in this discussion.

After all, we should be at least as concerned about the IQ of elected officials as we are convicted killers.

"Perhaps we should incorporate this notion of a minimum required IQ into the electoral process.

Every person elected to public office should be subject to, not only passing, but scoring above average on a standard IQ test.

The Intelligence Quotient, as I understand, measures ones ability to learn, comprehend, and process information. The test would reflect, not educational levels, but basic common sense and the ability to reason and function in society.

Of course, considering the degree of ignorance recently displayed by some Republicans, the party might have difficulty fielding candidates.

The answer might be to allow elections, but require the exam before the candidate elect is allowed to be sworn in and take office. If disqualified, the district would have to, totally at their own expense of course, hold new elections to fill the empty seat.

Naturally, they would be without representation while this process plays out, so there is ample incentive to nominate qualified people from the start."

With the 'Party of No' scrambling to find people with common sense to run, legislatures could conceivably accomplish great things.

By: yogiman on 1/26/13 at 8:07

I wonder what the IQs would be if taken on the people that voted for Obama as their president not knowing who and what he is? I'll bet it wouldn't be high. I really wonder if they could make any grade beyond zero?

I see where a congressman has begun to question him.


As a "teacher of the Constitution" I've been wondering what constitution he was teaching.