Racist or Crazy?

23 April, 2010

 

OK, so I can understand the Liberals’ disappointment with Obama. He got their hopes up, and although he has delivered on some of his promises, all of them have been negotiated down to plans that are almost Republican in nature.

But the real problem are the actions that Obama has gone ahead of that are continuations of the Bush Regime, both good and bad. Obama has managed to enact more drastic tax cuts (for the middle class, no less) than Bush was able to get through. Obama continues to fight two unpopular wars, with virtually no change in troop strength (those troops drawn down from Iraq are going to Afghanistan). Obama has continued to bail out the traditional Republican base, just as Bush had done at the end of his Term of Office.

Even healthcare, with all of the bones thrown to the Health Insurance industry, is little more than Medicare Part D, passed in the Bush Administration (with a Republican majority in Congress, even). Sure, you can argue that the scope threatens to increase the Federal deficit (grown to its current size under the care and tenderness of George W Bush), but Armageddon? Really? And of course, Armageddon is something Bush felt strongly about, to the point that he thought it was his mission to hasten Armageddon.

Even the insults are Bush retreads. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said “End of an Error, 21 January 2013”. Want to hazard a guess when I first saw this bumper sticker?

And then we have the laws that the Tea Party and Palinites everywhere have been screaming for. Under Obama, guns became easier to carry in the District of Columbia, and perfectly legal in our National Parks system. Obama has been more pro-gun than Bush ever was!! And now Obama has announced plans for off-shore oil drilling (where are the Palinite chants of “Drill Baby Drill” now?)

The problem isn’t that Obama is such a change from Bush, it’s that he’s too much like him. And yet, the Tea Party acts like the Obama Administration has toppled their own personal House of Cards. This despite the fact that Obama, arguably, has given them more of what they want than Bush ever did. Tea Party members, in general, have lower taxes, better healthcare, and a greater ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights. And yet they hate Obama, with a passion.

The knee-jerk reaction is to just assume they are racist, and ignore them. But they insist they aren’t racist. They feel genuinely threatened by this black man, and it has nothing to do with him being black. So, for a second, let’s assume they’re telling us the truth.

Albert Einstein famously said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” Obama is doing the same things Bush did, and yet the Tea Partiers are expecting different results. The only difference, from where I sit, between Obama and Bush is the colour of their skin. If you loved Bush’s policies, and hate Obama’s, and aren’t a racist, then ipso facto, you must be crazy.

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To Your Health

23 April, 2010

 

So, I have attempted to stay out of the health care debate, but that is proving more difficult by the day. My libertarian feelings about small government are clashing with my sense of right and wrong. And the same delusional nutjobs that feel that President Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent keep finding new and varied ways to keep us entertained. Just the quote “The government needs to keep their hands off my Medicare” is worth the price of admissions.

So, what about government mandated insurance? You can’t drive a car without minimum third-party coverage. Sure, you can own a home and take the risk yourself, but the banking industry won’t give you a mortgage on said house without homeowners’ insurance.

I have heard the argument made about “pre-existing conditions” not being covered likened to calling the insurance company to insure your house already on fire. However, one can have health insurance for 20 years, find it suddenly cancelled for so many reasons, and not have those pre-existing conditions covered. That is more like the insurance calling YOU to cancel your policy because the house is on fire.

Seriously, death panels? Spiraling costs? Doctors being told how to do their jobs? If President Obama was really on top of his game, all he would have to do when the Right Wing RINOs point out these “claims” of what the public option would wrought upon us, is reply to his critics that we have all of those, and more, already. The health insurance industry has already created all of these fun issues.

As for the public option, we already have public insurance. Just ask any resident of Florida or California that wants hurricane or earthquake insurance where they get their coverage. The insurance companies won’t cover them because their losses have been to great. But those beach houses in Malibu and the Gold Coast aren’t going without coverage.

As for the recently departed Sen Ted Kennedy, say what you want about him, but the only health insurance option he would accept is the very same end-of-life coverage he had. Pointing out that Kennedy would never be able to reasonably give that to everyone would never have stopped him from trying.

 

This was never going to be an easy debate. But it’s not even a fair debate at this point. Too many people in a position of power don’t even see the system as broken, let alone have the wherewithal to try to fix it. And if only one side will admit the problem, only one side is going to offer a viable solution. I can’t speak for you, but I know I don’t want decisions being made for me because too many people are playing with their guns to worry about the rights of the rest of us.

Birth Right?

23 April, 2010

 

The newest, and yet oldest, move from the Extreme Right Wing is to continue to question the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship. This continues an issue from before the election, a zombie issue that just will not die.

So, the question is, is Barack Obama a “true” US citizen? And what to do about it if he isn’t. But there are three reasons why this just doesn’t matter, and we need to find someone willing and able to truly put this zombie to rest.

First of all, Obama’s mother was a US citizen. This gives him automatic citizenship, and should fulfill the Constitutional requirement for the office of President. And if not….

There is no question that Obama’s rival in the election, the very honourable John McCain, was not born on US soil. McCain was born in Panama (specifically, the Canal Zone), and no one (except the same loons who didn’t think that McCain was right-wing enough) even felt this was a legitimate reason for McCain to run for President. And finally, in a fit of irony…..

Some of the very same far-right members of our society, not very long ago, were pushing for Gov Schwarzenegger (of California, of course) as a viable Presidential candidate, and were calling for an Amendment to the US Constitution to allow him to run.

So, when we have the likes of Lou Dobbs leading these challenges, the same Lou Dobbs that would get rid of all brown people from the country and send them back South of the Border, and yet accepting Arnold Schwarzenegger as a viable candidate, how can the rational amongst us think there is anything but race behind these calls?

Oh, there is a fourth reason why this argument is moot. The Constitution makes it very clear that, should Obama suddenly not qualify for his current office, the Vice President of the United States takes over the office. Constitutionally, the Vice President has only two jobs. One is to break tie votes in the Senate, and the other is to succeed the President should he no longer be able to carry out the duties. Somehow, I hardly think that the right-wing loons out there would be satisfied with this solution to their made-up problem.

And almost, almost, it would serve them right if they got this solution.

Ann Coulter, See You Next Tuesday

23 April, 2010

 

Yes, I read Ann Coulter. I read her just to get pissed off. And it usually works.

Ann’s latest book is the best of the bunch, when it comes to that. Here’s the first issue, Ann. It’s been well over a decade, let Bill Clinton’s blow job go already!!

Ann touches on every Republican sex scandal of the last decade, and always brings them back to Bill Clinton. She even addresses the issue that she doesn’t seem to get, the issue of hypocrisy. But it is so obvious she just is completely clueless about WHY the Republicans are different than Clinton.

Let’s start with Idaho’s own Larry Craig. She compares Sen Craig’s scandal to Clinton. However, there is one HUGE issue that she doesn’t even address. See, President Clinton has NEVER tried to restrict the basic civil rights of fat chicks. That in and of itself shows that the Craig scandal has NOTHING to do with the Clinton scandal.

My biggest issue is that people like Sen Craig and Rev Haggard have this “There but for the grace of God go you” attitude. This is disingenuous to the entire Gay cause. I have gay friends, I have had gay roommates. I have never been to a gay bar, but that is only because the opportunity has never presented itself (hell, I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar, full stop). I think I can safely say that you are not going to be anally raped if you accidentally stumble into a gay bar. As a matter of fact, I think the average NYPD precinct house is a more dangerous place than the average gay bar, if recent events are any judge.

However, the Republicans that find themselves in gay sex scandals act like they are straight, and just happened to fall into a tawdry issue. They scare the straight population and denigrate the gay population by acting like ANYONE could make that mistake. I am sorry, but I have given this issue some thought, and short of a rather nasty slip and fall accident, there are no circumstances where I could see myself with someone’s dick in my mouth in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. I am sorry, Sen Craig, but really, in this circumstance, we are nothing alike. And scaring straight men into thinking that there is any chance of them finding themselves in a similar situation is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Here’s the rub: There is absolutely nothing that gay marriage can do to this sacred institution that has not already been done by straight people. The Mormons, in a supreme fit of irony, backed the California amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The Mormons? Really? I find it difficult to accept that the Book of Mormon defines marriage as such. Surely Joseph Smith didn’t.

Look At What They Did to My Republican Party, Ma

23 April, 2010

 

Richland, WA

Some observations on dealing with the Palinites at the recent Going Rogue signing:

Let me start by saying that the one thing I noticed about the crowds waiting for a few seconds’ face time with the former Governor. Numbering well over a thousand, was how unfailingly nice they were. Sure, they may be delusional, but they are so nice about it. On more than a few occasions, it took all I had to keep my forced smile from faltering.

Let’s start with a review. In my opinion, at least, the First Amendment is in that position because it is so important. All other freedoms flow from that. And those freedoms, of speech, religion, et al, apply to everyone, not just the downtrodden white people that make their way to Palin book signings. The Second Amendment is likewise important because it secures the First Amendment, as well as the other 25, and the rest of the Constitution. A gun is not a security blanket or even a sports car; the right to bear arms is important because it protects the Constitution, not as an end unto itself.

Just like you don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theatre, there are places where a holstered weapon is just a bad idea. And coming from the party that did so much damage to Freedom of Speech (President Bush the Younger had protest areas that were well away from events he was attending, supposedly for his safety), open carry at Presidential appearances seems a bit…… overkill. Likewise, no one told you to leave your gun at home at the Palin rally. The fact that you didn’t bring it is more a reflection of your double standard than any State-mandated rule.

Before the theocons took over the Republican party, it stood for something I believed in. This despite the fact that as a former small business owner (the supposed “core demographic” of the Republican Party, and the lifelong goal of Joe the Plumber), the environment I operated in was much friendlier and supportive under Clinton than under Bush. My business opened on 15 January 1993, eight days before Clinton’s inauguration. Just over a year after Bush the Younger came to office, I had to close up. However, I stayed in the industry, and saw many industry leaders deal with the theocon element of the Bush Administration, and the greater regulation of our livelihoods.

But to listen to the Palinites, and their concerns brings me great worry that they are the future of the Republican Party. The separation of Church and State exists to protect both the Church and the State. You are free to worship how you like, but you have no right to tell others how to worship.

Perhaps the scariest part of this majority Caucasian crowd was not just the utter lack of one African-American face amongst them, but the obvious subtext of racism. Obama did not steal your country, nor did he destroy your Constitution (funny that you weren’t particularly concerned when Bush the Younger did that very thing). Even Bush’s staunchest detractors are able to find SOMETHING that they can admit he did right. Yet you aren’t able to give Obama the same consideration?

Which brings me to perhaps the most important point, the “rock star” attitude that surrounds any Sarah Palin appearance. Does no one else get the irony that they are acting the exact same way that they accused Obama’s backers of acting in the run-up to the election?