America No Longer Has A Viable Opposition Party To Conservative Ideology

In today’s American two-Party system, there is no active opposition party to Conservative ideology or an opposition party with a pro-active message (despite the Progressive movement within the Democratic Party and other parties that are not “officially” recognized).

I used to watch Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes on MSNBC. But I was so discouraged and disappointed – oftentimes shocked and outraged – by their behavior and what I saw as  irresponsible “reporting” 1  (and both using the overwhelmingly biased and closed-minded Joy Reid 2 as their replacement host) during the election, that I simply had to stop tuning in.

With her recent show devoted solely to “connecting the dots between Trump and Russia,” Rachel Maddow has burrowed in even deeper (and reduced her credibility to being little more than the Democratic Glenn Beck) by continuing to embrace fear-mongering through irresponsible and agenda-driven speculation. By amping up a fear that the Clinton Campaign used to divert attention from her own campaign dealings and mistakes, Maddow and others are fanning the flames of war and, simultaneously, taking a gamble that, if they lose, will greatly aid Donald Trump’s ability to further convince the public that neither the Democratic Party nor the media can be trusted.

I hate seeing the Democratic Party continue to be its own worst enemy. I hate seeing Democratic news hosts become Democratic apologists and outright fear-mogerers. I hate seeing Democrats using the old Republican playbook as their guide and, in effect, becoming everything we used to fight against (McCarthyism, anyone?). The Democratic Party used to be a very real, very active and vocal alternative. We used to offer that desperately-needed balance. And hope. Continue reading “America No Longer Has A Viable Opposition Party To Conservative Ideology”

America No Longer Has A Viable Opposition Party To Conservative Ideology

Mary Cheney & Her Lesbianic Home

Really, who is it out there that still finds some pride in being Republican? I’m sorry, but these days it seems to be a bastion of ignorance, intolerance and misguided anger. Fighting Health Care. And don’t tell me you simply don’t agree with Obama’s plan. I didn’t see any Republican’s trying to fix this nation’s health care problem under 8 years of Bush. No, I really don’t think the well-being of the American people is truly at the heart of today’s Republican Party.

Nor is Equal Rights and Freedom. Those crazy “liberal” notions. The intolerance of the Republican base is always astounding, though never surprising. I hate to paint in such broad strokes and often attempt to do otherwise, but when I see partisan politics overriding the well-being of a nation’s people, I get angry. And when I see the intolerance of hatred, on display any which way you turn these days, I get sick to my stomach.

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Mary Cheney

Here are some comments from the conservative Free Republic website in reaction to the news that Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary, and her long-time partner Heather Poe, are expecting another baby:

I respect Dick Cheney, but I don’t understand why he is allowing his daughter to take innocent children into her lesbianic home. Can anyone claim that these kids won’t be scarred for life? So sad.
Also repugnant, IMNSHO, is the use of “they are expecting a child” when, for obvious reasons “they” could not POSSIBLY have conceived. It is the slight of hand that the left does with rediculous name reversals (like “FAMILY PLANNING”) that implies something that in fact does just not happen…
As much as I don’t like it, God will have to sort this out in the end.
Who is the father? Yes, you selfish lesbians, there is ALWAYS a father. Not that the baby will benefit from one. sick.
I wonder if Hallmark makes a card for this occasion? Yathink? Congratulations on your baster bastard?

“I respect Dick Cheney, but I don’t understand why he is allowing his daughter to take innocent children into her lesbianic home. Can anyone claim that these kids won’t be scarred for life? So sad.”

“Also repugnant, IMNSHO, is the use of “they are expecting a child” when, for obvious reasons “they” could not POSSIBLY have conceived. It is the slight of hand that the left does with rediculous name reversals (like “FAMILY PLANNING”) that implies something that in fact does just not happen…”

“As much as I don’t like it, God will have to sort this out in the end.”

“Who is the father? Yes, you selfish lesbians, there is ALWAYS a father. Not that the baby will benefit from one. sick.”

“I wonder if Hallmark makes a card for this occasion? Yathink? Congratulations on your baster bastard?”

Ahhh, land of the free and home of the brave… and hateful, and intolerant, and…

Mary Cheney & Her Lesbianic Home

Obama-Haters: Don’t Believe For A Second This Isn’t About Race

The first thing most anti-Obama people will tell you is that this is not an issue of race. They’ll tell you that claiming it to be about race is just another way in which the liberals are trying to distract the public from their “true” arguments. “Just because we don’t agree with the president doesn’t mean we’re racist.” True enough. And I would much rather believe what’s happening out there is more about ideological differences and not race-related at all. But the level of violent, repugnant, misinformed hatred that is swelling out there suggests much of it is.

You think Joe Wilson’s conduct unbecoming an adult, no less a Congressperson, has no roots in race? You mean the South Carolinian who belonged to the Sons of Confederate Vetarans who led a campaign in 2000 to keep the Confederate flag waving above his state capitol? The one who claimed anyone who said ’48 segregationist candidate for president Strom Thurmond had a black daughter was simply involved in a “smear” campaign? Even after it had been proven and admitted?

And let’s take a look for a moment at what it was that caused Congressman Wilson to yell “You lie!” at the President of the United States during a nationally televised address. Was it the suggestion that we should engage in a preemptive war against another country for a purpose that had no basis in truth or reality? A war that cost us thousands more American lives than the 9/11 attacks themselves? No. It was the misguided notion that illegal immigrants may be able to get health care coverage in the United States. That taxpayer dollars and/or federal funds may go to helping human beings that are here illegally. Human beings from other countries. But suggest spending enough money to create an unheard of deficit and rob over 100,000 human beings of their lives, and we don’t hear a peep from anyone in Congress during that Presidential address. No, it was the horrifying possibility that illegal immigrants may find a way to get health care coverage that caused Congressman Wilson to have his uncontrollable “emotional outburst” and interrupt Obama’s speech to call him a liar. And that’s just assuming Wilson even believes his own accusation. Which opens up a whole other can of worms suggesting a straight-forward attempt to delegitimize President Obama on national television while playing into the xenophobic fears of a segment of Americans already twisted by lies and accusations about our current president.

Folks like Stan, the friendly and well-spoken gentleman who commented on my recent post “Rep. Joe Wilson Of S.C. Calls Obama A Liar During President’s Speech To Congress” and stated that he wasn’t racist because he’d happily vote for Bill Cosby as president while simultaneously calling Obama a “joke of a president” and stating “this man has no business being President until he shows a copy of his birth certificate. He will not because he was born in Kenya.” Stan then went on to tell us how both Obama “and his wife have both quoted excerpts from Saul Alinskys’ book ”Rules For Radicals”.” While continuing to tell us how “not scary” he was and how much he was not a racist, Stan then went on to state that “God loves us all the same, but this man [Obama] managed to get to Harvard despite not having the grades or finances to do so.”

There’s a level of fear out there, a level of craziness that one hopes is just the death throes of a segment of America that the educated and grown-up had dreamed would no longer be a part of our culture as we moved into the 21st century. But it is. And having a half-black president has brought it bubbling to the surface for everyone to witness. This is both a frightening thing and a good thing. We need to see it. We need to face it and understand it and address it straight on.

From the loud-mouthed Rush Limbaughs and Bill O’Reillys, the juvenile and spoiled Glenn Becks and Sean Hannitys, to the “everyman” and “everywoman” out on the street with their signs held high demonstrating for the whole world how easily manipulated they are; how their own fears and hatred can so effortlessly be used to turn them into angry, violent pawns. Here are just a few:

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“This isn’t the Republican Party. This is just the fringe, the crazies,” some will say. Well, Joe Wilson has proven that to be wrong. This isn’t the mentality out on the street alone, this has made its way into Congress. And the support for Wilson’s 1st grade (not to mention completely incorrect) commentary shows us that this is, indeed, the new face of the Republican Party. Just in case Sarah Palin’s nomination for Vice President and her post-election fear-mongering hadn’t convinced you.

So where are the true Republicans? The ones who also recognize that this is not the America anyone has fought for? That this is, by any world standard, backwards and embarrassing. I know they’re out there. There are many Republicans (and even some Democrats) who simply do not agree with Obama and are engaged in healthy debate and not interested in fear-based lies. And once in a while some Republican member speaks up and says, “That was wrong. You should apologize.” But that’s not enough. Where is the movement by the Republican Party to reclaim its own dignity? And in so doing return some dignity to the United States of America?

The roots of racism run deep in this country. And we are a fearful nation. And that fear has been worked on diligently, sculpted and fertilized by the previous administration and many administrations before it. And our country is filled with grown-ups who have yet to mentally or emotionally reach adulthood. We are still an immature nation. But we are not ALL children. And that is not meant as a separation of Democrat and Republican. There are children and adults on both sides. However, right now, the Republican Party has become the embodiment of that racism and immaturity.

Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times Maureen Dowd wrote a piece recently that I highly recommend. In it she observes:

I’ve been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer — the frantic efforts to paint our first black president as the Other, a foreigner, socialist, fascist, Marxist, racist, Commie, Nazi; a cad who would snuff old people; a snake who would indoctrinate kids — had much to do with race.

…But Wilson’s shocking disrespect for the office of the president — no Democrat ever shouted “liar” at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq — convinced me: Some people just can’t believe a black man is president and will never accept it.

…Now [Obama]’s at the center of a period of racial turbulence sparked by his ascension. Even if he and the coterie of white male advisers around him don’t choose to openly acknowledge it, this president is the ultimate civil rights figure — a black man whose legitimacy is constantly challenged by a loco fringe.

For two centuries, the South has feared a takeover by blacks or the feds. In Obama, they have both.

The state that fired the first shot of the Civil War has now given us this: Senator Jim DeMint exhorted conservatives to “break” the president by upending his health care plan. Rusty DePass, a G.O.P. activist, said that a gorilla that escaped from a zoo was “just one of Michelle’s ancestors.” Lovelorn Mark Sanford tried to refuse the president’s stimulus money. And now Joe Wilson.

“A good many people in South Carolina really reject the notion that we’re part of the union,” said Don Fowler, the former Democratic Party chief who teaches politics at the University of South Carolina. He observed that when slavery was destroyed by outside forces and segregation was undone by civil rights leaders and Congress, it bred xenophobia.

…It may be President Obama’s very air of elegance and erudition that raises hackles in some. “My father used to say to me, ‘Boy, don’t get above your raising,’ ” Fowler said. “Some people are prejudiced anyway, and then they look at his education and mannerisms and get more angry at him.”

Call it what you want. Mask it behind any cause you tell yourself it is. But what’s happening in America today is clear for all the world to see. And history will recognize it clear as a cloudless sky. How we respond to it, face it, and move beyond it will also be recorded for all to see. And our children’s children will read about it. And some parts of it will be cause for shame. Let’s hope there’s another part to America’s future history that allows us to feel proud as well. And to finally grow up and properly enter adulthood.

Obama-Haters: Don’t Believe For A Second This Isn’t About Race

Brzezinski on Powell’s Obama Endorsement

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski had this to say about Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama:

“I was impressed by the comprehensive indictment of the current Republican ticket that was implicit in Powell’s statement. It was not just about foreign affairs, it was a comprehensive statement that conveys the message that the more traditionally centrist Republicans are coming to view the McCain-Palin ticket as some sort of deviation — some sort of break — with the genuine traditions of the Republican Party.”

Commenting on the question raised by some that Powell was endorsing Obama out of some form of “racial solidarity”, Brzezinski stated:

“Because of his military service, his role in the first Gulf War, his status as a past Secretary of State, it has put him above the racial divide. He’s seen more as an elder statesman.”

Brzezinski on Powell’s Obama Endorsement

The Privatization Of America & Our Fear Of Change

Educate. Understand. The Republicans will try and grab you on the issues they think are important to you while avoiding the issues that will actually effect you. Afraid your children might be forced to learn about sex in school? McCain and Palin will create a scenario–an untrue one at that–that suggests that under Obama, you will have no control and that your kids will be forced to learn things you rather they didn’t until you felt they were ready. Well, believe me when I say that the powers behind the Republican Party at this point in time are treating you like those children; they don’t want you to know about anything too early. So they’re keeping you happily distracted. Meanwhile, they’re in the process of destroying the government as we know it–and not by accident–for which the only solution will be privatization, which would leave us with a government under private corporate rule. 

Actor John Cusak wrote for the Huffington Post:

McCain and the neocon ideologues won’t “reform” government, they will gut government and privatize everything in sight in the name of responding to the crises they helped engineer through Bush and Cheney. Their view of government is the reverse of the Hippocratic Oath: do harm and then when the patient is sick, give the wrong medicine, watch him die, and sell off the body parts.

They will destroy the Department of Energy, HUD and anything else they can get their hands on. With this crew, all you need to do is destroy government, privatize it and get out of the way, and then a magic utopia appears. Well, actually it doesn’t, but a lot of connected people get rich, and in the privatized war business, blood money flows and a fuck of a lot of innocent people die. The numbers and the misery are staggering.

The proof is in the pudding folks. Just yesterday our economy took another slam as Wall Street crumbled. As Barack Obama pointed out in his speech yesterday:

“We just woke up to news of financial disaster — and this morning [McCain] said that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong. Sen. McCain, what economy are you talking about?”

Obama continues:

“It’s the same philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years, one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even commonsense regulations are unnecessary, unwise. One that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crisis.”

Starting to see the bigger picture? Fear and distraction will allow this to happen if we don’t wake up now. This isn’t just theory, this is really happening. Today. In America. 

Deepak Chopra had some interesting observations recently on the strategy behind Palin’s popularity and attraction among voters:

[Sarah Palin] is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and exhorting people to obey their worst impulses. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities
we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind…

I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision.

Look at what she stands for:

–Small town values — a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.

–Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.

–Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be heeded.

–Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.

–Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.

–“Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time.  She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness.

Yes, this country is being systematically bought and sold–as John McCain has been–and it is fear of real change that will bring it down. America has disastrously strayed. But it is through wisdom and a willingness to face our fears for what they are and recognize our mistakes, that will set us on the road to recovery. Anything less will lead us to ruin. And we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves. 

The Privatization Of America & Our Fear Of Change