The Politics of Silliness

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Allen West in Joe McCarthy's Neighborhood

Allen West in Joe McCarthy’s Neighborhood (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The latest news on American politics has President Obama declining to play any more games with the Republican opposition, and member of that opposition thinking about how they are going to force the president over a barrel with their intransigence on raising the national debt level in the new year. I hate to point out to the GOP that they lost the election, Mitt’s not in the White House, and both the senate and the house are going to welcome some more Democrats in January. Yet they still think that they have leverage. For what, I wonder? For ‘entitlement’ cuts?

They’ve essentially got nothing left to work with. Boehner and his merry band are going to be held responsible for any rise in taxes that may take place if the White House and the House of Representatives can’t come up with a bargain. If they hold the debt ceiling hostage again and bring the country to the point of default, they will have abrogated their right to govern. The GOP at that point should cease to exist.

Why are they pursuing such silly politics? Can they not separate running for office from governing? We’ve got a country out there that is rife with problems, that needs responsible leaders who try to work together to actually help solve problems. Why is this such a difficult concept for Republicans to understand. More and more they remind me of Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny”, a marvelous film (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046816/) about a mentally unstable ship’s captain who is finally relieved of his command. I mean, how much more craziness do Republicans have to show us before we need to remove them from power? Por ejemplo:

  • ”And what a bizarre time we’re in, when a judge will say to little children that you can’t say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it.” Michele Bachman

  • ”This was a war of Obama’s choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, rewriting history while speaking at a Connecticut fundraiser about the war in Afghanistan, which President Bush launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (July 2, 2010)

  • ”I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”

    Mitt Romney, after being asked whether he follows NASCAR racing (February 2012

I haven’t even bothered to quote Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock on their ideas about rape, pregnancy, and women. Or Allen West, a completely bat-shit crazy black conservative who believes Obama is a marxist. This club seems to have an endless supply of loonies.

And then, of course, there are the Republican governors who, through serendipitous happenstance, find themselves in a state government controlled by their own party. What do they do? Well, for one they want to gut unions under the guise of making their state a ‘right-to-work’ state, where, as so disingenuously put it, no one can force a worker to pay union dues. They appear to be ignorant of the fact that all workers can opt out of unions right now, without this further legislation, so that can’t be the reason. Of course, it has to be to gut the unions, which traditionally vote democratic, and to get the same work for less pay. There is no evidence that Michigan’s hastily passed legislation will do workers any good. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/11/1314751/snyder-right-to-work/

When a governing party puts members in charge of committees they are antithetical to, when it lies blatantly to the people it is supposed to help, and when its leaders are prepared to allow the country to default on its bills (bills this party helped run up in the last 12 years), then it’s time for them to go. So GOP, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

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What, Exactly, Do Republicans Believe?

I believe the results from the election this year are in and President Obama won, while the Democrats picked up some seats in the senate and house. I’d say I was certain in that belief, but many of the members of the opposition are simply not. These poor deluded members of our body politic think the election was stolen! Talk about sore losers.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara.

English: Savonarola monument, Ferrara. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I will grant you that, when you offer an incredibly weak, tone-deaf, Teflon-like candidate and pair him with a partner who would make Savonarola look good, and when you approve a platform (that is, a list of ideas and policies that you as a party believe in) that overtly tells gays, women, and undocumented immigrants that they are lesser than you, it’s likely that you would also be so moronic as to believe the loss was all due to machinations by the other side. Really, you give stupidity an entirely new depth of meaning.

Ever since Newt changed the goal from governing to winning, gaining seats and power has been the GOP’s pole star. So I see how much this election, the one that Mitch McGoniff insisted he would deny to the president, must mean to you. And the only response you can come up with is to promise to destroy the sandbox you’re playing in if the Democrats don’t give in to your demands.

This is where I’m in a quandary. I’m assuming your demands reflect what you believe in. So it’s safe to say you do not want to raise taxes on the rich. After all, you took a solemn pledge to St. Grover that you would never, ever, ever, even consider it. Why, I wonder? Who is this schoolyard bully who forced you to take this ridiculous pledge? And what would possibly happen to you if you broke that promise? Would the sky fall? Would the earth cease to spin? I’m sure you think it’s much more personal than that. You might have to face a virulent primary opponent, one more anti-science, anti-intellectual, anti-global warming, and anti-government than even you are. But what if all of you decided to shove the pledge where the sun doesn’t shine? What might happen then?

Ok, so I get you want to protect the rich. But there must  be more, because you don’t give a shit about the middle class, and let’s not even talk about the poor. I have decided that you have a biased view of humanity in general. Since you have always been the party of business, I assume you think like many businessmen do. That is, you never believe that your employees are giving you the work you’re paying for, you always think they’re screwing you up the wazoo, and it’s clear to you that they want to take you for all you’re worth. Ok, ok, I know there are still some old Fezziwigs out there who truly care about their workers and their businesses, but the majority of you have joined the firm of Scrooge & Marley. It’s profits, profits, profits–that’s the bottom line. Workers are just interchangeable parts. No need to worry about them.

So you want to cater to the rich and not give a damn about middle class workers. As for the poor, I would bet a million that you think they are in the regrettable position they are because they are lazy, shiftless, no-account loafers, alcohol and drug abusers who want to rip off government the same way your workers rip you off. They’ve got no ambition and they are stupid, to boot. So why bother with them?

“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast. Harper’s Weekly, January 19, 1870. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ah, it’s becoming clearer. Protect the wealthy, barely tolerate the middle class working population, let the poor die by the wayside. “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” We sure have a hell of a lot of the former, so Ebenezer would feel pretty good about that. But what about those other odious groups? Women, for example. Well, we know you don’t want to pay a cent of public money towards women’s health care and you will never forgive the Supreme Court for its finding in Roe v. Wade. By the way, really nice to see how many fat, happy, white Republicans you picked for committee heads recently. What is it about women you’re afraid of? Must be something big.

There’s no question you still carry the seeds of racism within you. The blacks who join your cause are extremist to the core. As for the rest of the country’s blacks, you’re happy developing laws to ‘prevent voter fraud’ (ain’t happening, guys!) or, as it should be called, resurrected poll taxes. And you  have just about assured your party that the largest demographic of voters, Latinos, will not vote for you again. That leaves only the gays, and you certainly don’t want to offer them a seat at the table. They’d destroy your happy marriages, wouldn’t they?

So what we’ve got is a pro-rich, anti-middle class, anti-poor, anti-black, anti-women, anti-Latino, anti-gay party who is wondering where the hell they went wrong. And I saved the most nonsensical anti- for last. This party is anti-government. Yep, if elected they would move heaven and earth to dissemble the government. We’ve seen it countless times. John Bolton appointed as UN ambassador even though he hates the idea of a United Nations, congressmen like Todd Akins and Richard Mourdock with a dearth of science knowledge on the science and technology committee.

This has got to stop. The best thing for this country would be for the GOP to implode upon itself, like communism did in the old USSR. Let a new party arise, one interested in governing and happy to deal with facts and problems common to us all. That’s what I’ve got on my Xmas list this year!

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John McCain, You’ve Lost It!

Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona) is a stark reminder of why term limits are often considered. Once a dashing politician who served his country proudly and well, he’s now become a millstone around America’s neck. One wonders if his many selves have conversations late in the dark hours of the night. Could he harbor a

English: John McCain official photo portrait.

English: John McCain official photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

resentment against “that one”, the current president who beat him handily in ’08 and just won again?

He was the quintessential ‘maverick’ of the Senate, voting his principles, not his party. During the 2008 campaign, he corrected one of the lunatic fringe who insisted again that Barack Obama was not a citizen, was born in Kenya, and was a Muslim. (This fruitcake probably still believes that Jews ate Christian babies, that black cats and witches are one in the same, and white people are losing control of ‘their’ country. Well, have to give her the last one, although no one ever ‘owns’ a country forever, and well they shouldn’t.)

I admired him then, but something since that time has unhinged him and loosened all the important connections in his brain. His ‘maverickness’ is now more obstructionist, and I cannot find any purpose for his crazy antics, especially regarding Susan Rice, other than that the GOP was Kerry in the administration so they can try to move Scott Brown back into the Senate. The GOP is machiavellian enough to plan such a thing and McCain, Lindsey Graham (R-S Carolina), and Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) [BTW, who the hell is Kelly Ayotte and why is anyone paying attention to the junior senator from NH, elected in 2011?]

There seems to be a madness playing out in John McCain. It is sad to watch, because he has failed his primary duty as a US senator, to serve the interests of his country. He went to the dark side of the Tea Party and it appears they have his brain, or what’s left of it. His daughter, Meghan, makes more sense than her father. We can only hope that he disappears as quickly as possible from the political stage, like his bud Joe Lieberman. We wish the same about Senator Graham, whose resemblance to a large rat is uncanny and who’s smarminess is unmatched. (I know,

Kelly Ayotte - Caricature

Kelly Ayotte – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

it’s an ad hominem attack, but he sooooooo pisses me off with his holier than thou attitude. It’s revolting he has the power he has in the senate.)

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Religious FB posts

Hi!

Glad to be back writing. Work had eaten up almost all my spare time, so I didn’t have the time to write. But now that I’m on pre-retirement training leave (that’s for another post) I hope to get back into a regular schedule.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I’ve been noticing that many of my FaceBook friends are posting heavily mystical visuals about god. This started after the American elections in early November. Perhaps the results made them think the deity had his/her hand in our politics. Of course, it’s nonsense to think that. How would the alleged supreme being choose sides in an election like ours? We had the first black president running for a second term (an historical first) against a true blue Mormon who, I don’t doubt, believes that his religion is absolutely correct. I can’t see how a god could choose sides and still remain the same lovable, caring, sadistic, incompetent being he is described to be in the so-called holy scriptures.

But of course, that’s a silly statement because god simply doesn’t exist. If one finally has the balls to accept that premise, all the other claptrap, ritual, rules, and writings of all religions simply slips away. Amazingly freeing thing to do, you know.

Some FB friends continue to forward posts like one that shows a radiant figure in white and blue robes apparently standing effortlessly among gorgeous clouds against a blue sky. Hard to say how big he is, but you have to look carefully to find him because his colors blend into the sky. The message is from an entity called “Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior” and the substance of the communication is “Like in 2 seconds if you believe”. My dear FB friend ‘liked’ that message. I’m sorry to see that, because it suggests she is buying into all the bullshit religion is built on. I doubt she ever saw some heavenly being in the clouds, and if she did see that, she needs to see some professional for help.

Once again, religion feeds us what we’d like to believe, not what is. I’d like to own a Rolls Royce. Do I expect to get a post showing a picture of a Rolls resplendently alone on a lonely road in an American desert? Should I ‘like’ that image in 2 seconds if I believe in Rolls Royce? Such nonsense.

Rolls-Royce

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Republican Smarts, or Lack Thereof

An hour ago word came through that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, by a vote of 256 to 171, passed a bill extending the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts through 2013. But of course, there

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 06:  Speaker of the Hous...

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 06: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds a brief press conference after the weekly House GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol June 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. The House Republican leaders said that letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthest Americans expire would be harmful for the economy and proposed the cuts be extended for a year so Congress could reform the tax code. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

is no chance that the measure will pass the Senate. So the Republicans have once again wasted precious time with window dressing while neglecting to address any substantive issues (unless you count abortion, which is substantive to the members who still can’t get past the Roe v. Wade decision in the early 1970s).

This current flock of snake charmers and con men (and women) who fashion themselves legislators have been a bitter disappointment. They have done literally nothing to find any small clod of common ground with the Democrats that might actually help the rest of us. Obama’s jobs bill, which incorporates so many Republican ideas of yesteryear (read 3-5 years ago) has not even been taken up for discussion. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burns!

Eric Cantor - Caricature

Eric Cantor – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

It is embarrassing to have a Congress this dysfunctional, this unable to agree on something to improve the economy and tackle the twin ogres of tax cuts for the super rich and Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security reform. Each time I see John Boner and Eric Can’tor striding purposefully through a congressional hallway, I bristle because I know they are on their way to do nothing once again. And what is this fixation with contraception and abortion? Why aren’t they screaming for laws forbidding vasectomies? Maybe they have a castration complex?

This checkmate scenario has gone on too long, and there is no question that the Republicans have been behind it. It’s hard to believe that the public will not see them for what they are, a cowardly crew running scared from the fanatics and lunatics who somehow won election in 2010. Boner can’t control his caucus, Can’tor is sharpening his knives, just waiting to plunge them into Boner’s chest so he can have that prize title of Speaker. Do the people need to rebel to stop this madness? Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Abigail Adams in February 1787, said:

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.

Perhaps it’s time for the rest of us to stand up and oppose this nonsense.

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Gabby Cathy

Chick-Fil-A chicken strips

Chick-Fil-A chicken strips (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, waded hip-deep into the same-sex marriage debate on a recent radio show when he said “we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Cathy’s religious convictions are well known, since no Chick-Fil-A store is open on Sunday. And same-sex marriage is still considered ripe to criticize, unlike miscegenation (destroyed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia in the late 1960s). Some day, Cathy’s comments will be seen for what they are: bigoted, biased, and archaic.

There have been swift denunciations of his stance. Boston’s Mayor Tom Manino wrote a scathing letter, agreeing he has the right to his opinion but suggesting that Chick-Fil-A had a snowflake’s chance in hell of opening in his town. The same goes for the councilman from Philadelphia. Their reactions are pretty much what you’d expect in a time when gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered folks are no longer unknown to the general public, when positive gay characters show up regularly on TV (an absolute imperative if we are to gain acceptance), and when some states do, indeed, allow same-sex marriage without the government or infrastructure falling apart.

Whenever something obscene or outrageous takes place in this country, one of our knee-jerk reactions is to ignore the rule of law and take matters into our own hands. But of course, that isn’t the way to deal with Mr. Cathy and his company. Boycott Chick-Fil-A if you are able to. That’s a positive way of showing your displeasure. Tell all your friends what a reactionary Cathy is. Think deeply about how organized religion fosters such bizarre thinking, and then think about ditching it for something more rational.

Protest outside Chick-Fil-A stores. Legally, of course. Make your point that way. But realize you will never change Cathy’s mind about what god has in mind for gays. (The answer is nothing, since there isn’t any god, but that’s for other posts to consider.) You can, however, change his revenue stream, by dissing the fast food operation every chance you get. Write letters to the editor, make it the subject of your blog posts (as I am doing right now) and alert everyone you know about the bigotry behind the chicken.

Someday in the not-too-distant future, this will be remembered as the minor event that it is. But for now, stand up and let Cathy know that you’re offended by his antediluvian statements. Tell him god told to you do it.

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Mr. Romney Fails to Impress

Mitt Romney has managed to make a fool of himself on a national stage. Ostensibly to demonstrate how he could be ‘presidential’, the Mittster is on a tour of Great Britain, Israel, and Poland. (Nice combination, huh?) But he has managed to cram his foot into his mouth at least three times, pushing it in deep.

Now you would think that a pol who was governor of Massachusetts and ran for president before would have an idea on how to behave. But you would be–wrong! Does he really not know he’s not supposed to mention any connection to Britain’s MI6? Is he that brain-dead that he can’t remember Ed Miliband’s name? Is his heart so shriveled that he couldn’t find a way not to criticize the Brits on the eve of their

English: Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala in M...

English: Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala in Manhattan on May 4, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Olympic moment? He boggles the mind.

Anyone with a degree from Harvard and the know-how to put together a business like Bain Capital cannot be stupid. But they can lack emotional intelligence, be unable to connect with people not in their socioeconomic class, and not give a jot for how the ‘little people’ are doing. And that is Mr. Romney in a nutshell.

I fail to see how Republicans can feel heartened by Mitt’s performance. Charles Krauthammer, Fox News’s heaviest intellectual hitter, could only say,  “It’s unbelievable, it’s beyond human understanding, it’s incomprehensible. I’m out of adjectives.” And this tour de force was in a country that’s our friend. What will happen in Israel? or Poland?

Just between you and me, I can only feel gleeful. Every mistake, faux pas, or stupid, vacuous statement (a lá Sarah Palin) that is makes is music to my ears. Because it’s clear he is simply not presidential!

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I have to hope that independents, along with a healthy portion of Republicans, can see that, too.

The maddening part of this experience is how cheated Americans are when candidates are poor. We expect people who want to be president are tactful, briefed, and articulate. Romney is none of these. His statements are full of gobbledegook, and his positions change faster than the wind. The only thing he has going for him is his looks, which are presidential but not enough to lead the nation.

As the GOP encouraged Tea Party candidates to run for office and be elected, diminishing American government incredibly, so their months-long primary battle, with a line-up that looked more like a comedy audition, let the people down. None of the candidates running for president would be viable, but still the GOP supported them. It’s like the Republicans want the country to fail.

As for me, I just hope the Mittster keeps failing. I trust him to comply.

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