Category Archives: politics

The Trouble with the GOP?

From Ta-Nehisi Coates blog about Mark Sanford:

If patriotism is love of country, then much of the unquestioning GOP rhetoric fails on the rudiments. Is love of kin, love of siblings, love of spouse, telling your beloved, that they are the best person that’s ever existed in history? Or is that  sycophancy, fast talk proffered by loose friends, who in your darkest hours, appeal to your worst self.

The religious right isn’t what’s wrong with the GOP. It’s the pervasive, unthinking, unreflective nationalism. It’s the arrogance of thrice-divorced adulterers reaching for the banner of traditional families, and it’s the arrogance of men who prosecuted a poorly planned war, on weak intelligence, presuming to lecture us on national security.

Beautifully stated.

One of my problems with the GOP, as it is with many Christians is the total lack of doubt and self-reflection.

Sure, all of us are deluded to varying degrees about ourselves, our families, and our countries. We sometimes invent narratives about those things to make understanding easier. It’s a human trait.

But many in the GOP take that trait and carry it to such a degree that it becomes unthinking arrogance. Such hubris can only be destructive to those who possess it when reality doesn’t line up with the impossible standards they have set for themselves.

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Glenn Beck Plays with Barbies on O’Reilly’s Show

This is inexplicable:

Apparently, the Barbie Dreamhouse represents Acorn which is going to change its name (debunked) and some people try to get away in the Malibu Barbie car and the people in the car are the ones the FBI should watch in case ACORN changes its name to the YMCA. Or something.

It really is that indeciperable, which should not be a surprise since Beck is involved.

I often find the obsessions of the Glenn Becks of the world to be amusing, and ACORN is no exception.

President Obama, WTF?

I’m still happy that I can say “President Obama.”

But some things make you say WTF?:

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn’t have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

President Obama, this is an easy one. You’re supposed to be all about accountability and transparency. You’re not a dork obsessed with secrecy like President Cheney was.

Give us your White House visitor log.

Keep the Change?

In suburban Indianapolis a couple weeks ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read:

KEEP THE CHANGE – SEND OBAMA BACK TO IRAN

I’m not quite sure what that meant.

Admittedly, “Keep the change” was a clever line for Obama opponents during the election and maybe even now.

But send him back to Iran? I get that it’s a play on Obama being a secret Muslim, but Iran? That’s the best they can do?

A Second Iranian Revolution?

I’m no expert on Iran. But what I do know about the country is that it contains a well-educated populace that has not been totally loving 30 years of theocratic rule.

Ahmadinejad seems to be popular among Iran’s fundies (they remind me a lot of Bush voters as they tend to be older and more conservative and religious than most) as he represents the theocracy while Moussavi seems to be a reformer who is popular among the secular set and young people. In the says leading up to the election, there appeared to be a groundswell of popular support for Moussavi.

80% of the people voted, we’re told and Ahmadinejad won the official vote in a landslide. The problem is that Ahmadinejad’s victory by such a wide margin makes little sense.

Today, the people of Iran have stood up against dictatorship. Whether the uprising leads to a new Iranian revolution is anyone’s guess.

But the signs are hopeful.

Hal Turner Arrested

In March of 2008, I wrote this post about white supremecist and right-wing internet talk show host Hal Turner, his friendship with Sean Hannity, and his threats on the lives of all three major presidential candidates at the time. I stated that I hoped the Secret Service was paying attention.

Well, it looks like he continued his bile and law enforcement finally took note:

Radio host Hal Turner — accused of hosting a website that incited Connecticut Catholics to “take up arms” and singling out two Connecticut lawmakers and a state ethics official — was taken into custody in New Jersey late today after state Capitol police obtained an arrest warrant for him.

Turner, who has been identified as a white supremacist and anti-Semite by several anti-racism groups, hosts an Internet radio program with an associated blog. Last week, the blog included a post that promised to release the home addresses of state Rep. Michael Lawlor, state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Thomas Jones of the ethics office.

“Mr. Turner’s comments are above and beyond the threshold of free speech,” Capitol police Chief Michael J. Fallon said in an e-mail announcing the warrant. “He is inciting others through his website to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm. He should be held accountable for his conduct.”

Snip.

“It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally,” the blog stated. “These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.”

And, the post continued, “If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they’re going to get uppity with us about this; I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down too.”

You know, there’s a lot of hyperbole in talk radio and the blogosphere, but his words are so clear and so direct that they go way beyond hyperbole and enter into the realm of serious threats.

Free speech is one thing; incitement is another.

GOP Discovers Racism

The wingnuts are in a tizzy over racism! They just won’t tolerate racism of any kind because racism is bad.

Tom Tancredo’s former speechwriter and the current Executive of Tancredo’s Team America PAC just plead guilty to a hate crime for uttering the “n” word at an African-American woman while giving said woman a karate chop (?). And despite Tancredo’s years of anti-immigrant hysteria, he just won’t tolerate racism of any kind!

Rush Limbaugh, the guy who told an African American caller to take the bone out of her nose and call him back, just hates the idea that President Obama has nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court because white men like him are part of an oppressed minority.

You don’t think that Sotomayor is a racist? Well, she’s a member of La Raza, an organization that exists to improve opportunites to Latino Americans! What more proof do you need?

Well, the nonracist denizens of Free Republic also think she’s a racist.

Thankfully, Bob Herbert brings some sanity to the discussion:

Here’s the thing. Suddenly these hideously pompous and self-righteous white males of the right are all concerned about racism. They’re so concerned that they’re fully capable of finding it in places where it doesn’t for a moment exist. Not just finding it, but being outraged by it to the point of apoplexy. Oh, they tell us, this racism is a bad thing!

Are we supposed to not notice that these are the tribunes of a party that rose to power on the filthy waves of racial demagoguery. I don’t remember hearing their voices or the voices of their intellectual heroes when the Republican Party, as part of its Southern strategy, aggressively courted the bigots who fled the Democratic Party because the Democrats had become insufficiently hostile to blacks.

It’s nice that they’ve discovered that racism really is an issue in our country, but it would be nice if they attacked actual racism rather than racism invented to score political points and scare the GOP base that sees its influence and relevance waning as the country changes while they refuse to adapt.

Please pass the popcorn. In the upcoming weeks, we’re sure to hear more of this amusing tripe from Limbaugh and his ilkmates.