Rahm Responds to Joe Barton

What I like about Rahm Emanuel is that he doesn’t just let things go. Remember how Republican congressman Joe Barton retracted his ill-advised apology to BP? Remember how that’s over now and we should just let bygones be bygones? Not so much.

Rahm sees recent statements by Joe Barton, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle for what they are: explicit articulations of fundamental Republican values stripped of all pretense. “Fuck everybody with dark skin and less than a million dollars, let’s burn the country down,” they say, only with less poetry. Of course, once the GOP realized that the average American would be horrified by the idea of a congressman apologizing to a international oil conglomerate that just destroyed the maritime ecosystems of several southern states, they made Barton explain that his words had simply been “misconstructed.”

Rahm calls bullshit on the idea that Joe Barton misspoke:

That’s not a political gaffe, those were prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here is BP, not the fishermen. And remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul, running for Senate in Kentucky, what did he say? He said the way BP was being treated was un-American.

What most Democrats never seem to understand is that they actually occupy the moral high ground on the most fundamental issue of governance: whether government is worth a damn. Rahm gets it:

But the approach here, expressed and supported by other voices in the Republican Party, sees the aggrieved party as BP, not the American [people] — not the fishermen and the communities down there affected. And that would the governing philosophy. And I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they’ve forgotten, this is how the Republicans would govern.

This speaks to the heart of the matter. Whether it was impolite to apologize to BP and not to the people whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed by the spill is irrelevant, and a retraction of that apology does nothing to change the fact that the GOP would take the multi-billion dollar industry’s side in any similar disaster. If Hurricane Katrina had been owned by Haliburton, the people of New Orleans would have gotten a bill for all the extra water.


Barton Apologizes for Apologizing

Looks like somebody got a stern talking to:

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House this morning, and I retract my apology to BP,” it began, and finished: “I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”


Joe Barton Apologizes

In a sane world, this is the sort of thing that would sink a national party and ruin its chances in the upcoming midterm elections. In our world, it’s just hilarious. Republican Congressman Joe Barton has publicly apologized. To British Petroleum. Really:

I’m speaking totally for myself and I’m not speaking for the Republican Party and I’m not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself, but I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it’s a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20 billion shakedown with the Attorney General of the United States… 

So, the tragedy here is not the lives lost, the destruction of an ecosystem, the lasting damage whose extent we can only guess at. No, the tragedy is that the executives of a private corporation was treated like criminals. For a crime. Which they committed. 

Luckily, an appropriate response has been made, in the form of one of those websites with the long names that displays random one-liners every time you reload the page. Some gems:

Joe Barton would like to apologize to:

  • The Catholic Church for our soft tender boys turning into bitter ungrateful adults.   
  • Michael Vick, because seriously, if the good lord didn’t want dogs to fight, he wouldn’t have given them teeth. and if he didn’t want them to be soaked in gasoline and burned to death, why would he have made them so flammable?
  • BP, for soaking up all your valuable oil with our worthless pelicans. 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking there’s nothing funny about an ecological disaster of this magnitude, an ecological disaster which is still happening as we speak. I agree, this stopped being funny a long time ago. So why can’t I stop laughing?


Harlan Ellison on God 

Here’s a clip from “Dreams with Sharp Teeth,” the Harlan Ellison documentary. Truer words and so forth.


#63. Texas Tea

Are the new readers gone yet


The Right to Invoke the Right to Remain Silent

In a stunning 5-4 decision (is there any other kind?), the US Supreme Court has just ruled that criminal suspects have the right to remain silent only if they explicitly invoke that right by extending their arms at right angles and intoning “Will nobody help the widow’s son?” Or something along those lines. Check it out.

A right to remain silent and a right to a lawyer are the first of the Miranda rights warnings, which police recite to suspects during arrests and interrogations. But the justices said in a 5-4 decision that suspects must tell police they are going to remain silent to stop an interrogation, just as they must tell police that they want a lawyer.

Now, this may seem fairly straightforward, but there are all sorts of ramifications for the other aspects of Miranda:

1.) The court will still appoint an attorney for a suspect who cannot afford one, but only if the suspect can correctly guess the weight of their prospective attorney to within ten pounds. Coney Island rules apply, so physical contact is not allowed.

2.) Anything you say can be held against you in a court of law, unless what you say is personally insulting to the mothers of British Petroleum executives. How could anyone hold that against you?

3.) Suspects retain the right to party, but only if they are wiling to engage in armed conflict in order to defend that right. This is the little known Adam Yauch clause.

Look, if it pisses you off that five Republican appointees are slowly taking away your rights as an American, just remember that if it was five Democratic appointees slowly giving you more rights, you wouldn’t be bitching so much. You partisan hypocrite.


Al-Qaeda's #3 Guy Killed in Afghanistan

Awesome. Apparently, we killed Sheik Sa’id al-Masri last month (along with his wife and children, but I don’t think we have to pay extra for that). So that just means two more top al-Qaeda guys to go, and the war is over. That’s how it works, right? It’s not like they can just find some other guy to be number three. This isn’t Bewitched. You can’t just cast a new Durwood.

Excuse me, a new “Darrin.”

But seriously, folks, out of all the times we’ve killed al-Qaeda’s number three guy, this is my favorite. Why?

“In some respects, Sheikh Sa’id’s death is more important for al-Qaida operations than if bin Laden or Zawahiri was killed,” said Roger Cressey, former deputy chief for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and now an NBC News consultant. “Any al-Qaida operation of any consequence would run through him.”

Better than bin Laden? Double awesome. We’ve got this thing in the bag, ladies and gentlemen.


The Rand Effect

The Kentucky State Senate, in response to Rand Paul’s lunacy, has passed “a resolution declaring any form of discrimination to be inconsistent with American values,” basically reminding everybody that America remains a free country, despite direct efforts to the contrary by the Tea Party. From the AP:

Louisville Democratic Sen. Gerald Neal introduced the resolution Friday during a special session on the state budget. It was adopted without objection in the predominantly Republican chamber.

Neal, Kentucky’s only black state senator, said he took personal offense at the comment made last week by Paul, a U.S. Senate candidate, who was criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

This is why I love Rand Paul. He was dumb and cocky enough to believe he didn’t have to hide behind dog whistle rhetorical clichés the way Republicans have had to do for decades. Those Tea Party love-ins had emboldened him to the point that directly criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act seemed like a sound strategic move. Now the entire GOP has to start acting like they don’t even know who Rand Paul is, and that turning the clock back to 1861 hasn’t been their main goal since, well, 1865. Ouch.

This is all Rand Paul’s fault. He’s the dim-witted bank robber who goes around bragging after the big heist. He’s the one who gets everybody else sent to jail. God Bless him.

And let’s just be clear about where we are as Americans. It’s 145 years after the Civil War, and the question of whether or not black people should be allowed to eat in the same restaurants, hold the same jobs, and live in the same neighborhoods as white people is still a matter of national debate. My country ‘tis of thee, Rand Paul.


Hearts and Minds

WRAL in Fayetteville was alerted to a video on somebody’s Facebook page that seemed to show a U.S. soldier taunting two Iraqi boys, asking them if they were going to grow up to be terrorists and if they were gay. You can watch it at the WRAL website if you want. The soldier has since locked his profile.

The Army has been notified and is investigating. Meanwhile, the superslueths at ABC News are using the latest high tech investigative procedures to get to the bottom of this story:

…a quick search of YouTube pulled up several videos of soldiers from across the United States and the United Kingdom mocking children. One showed American soldiers waving a much-desired bottle of water out the back of a truck as Iraqi children ran behind it, pleading for a drink.

Of course, this is all quite shocking to people who haven’t been paying attention for the last seven years, it’s just a shame those people all have jobs in broadcast journalism. Usually you only find this kind of willful ignorance of inconvertible historical facts at a Texas School Board meeting.

The real horror show hasn’t even started, by the way. Wait until the war is over for real. That’s when we’ll start finding out what really went on over there.


Rand Paul: "Is It Safe To Come Out Yet?"

I’ve been following this Rand Paul business the way one might follow an incontinent dog, which is to say not too closely, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to wish him away to the cornfield. So let’s do it together, Dear Reader.

The most amazing thing about Rand Paul is that, for a man so seemingly confident in his opposition to basic human rights, he’s suddenly started acting like someone with a sense of shame. One might call him cowardly, since after swaggering around the primary night coverage like a white guy with money (and refusing to accept his opponent’s congratulatory phone call) he canceled his TV appearances for fear that someone might (gasp) inquire about some troubling remarks he’s made about the Civil Rights Act. Yes, you might call this cowardice.

So what surprises me about Rand Paul is not his racism, or his crassness, or basic inability to read the Declaration of Independence. No, what surprises me is this feeble attempt to distance himself from himself, something which should be impossible according to the laws of physics, but can happen in the Lotus-eating dream world that is cable news. George W. Bush would have never backed down this way, say what you will about him (and I do, frequently, with illustrations). The Rove Gambit was always W’s preference, a sort of blind, vicious retaliatory flailing that somehow always found its target and forced the momentum of the fight back towards the opposition. Hell, the Cheney Maneuver might have even worked, flatly denying that you ever said that thing you just said.

But both of these strategies require one to have a relationship with shame such that you will do anything, say anything, believe anything, in order to avoid culpability. One gets the feeling that Rand Paul, prior to winning the GOP primary, had never been in trouble for anything. He seemed unprepared for a world in which there are consequences for what we say and do. That’s not just a sign of bad politics, that’s a sign of poor parenting.

So yes, Rand Paul is a coward, but if George W. Bush and John McCain are any indication, white guys with daddy issues will someday destroy the Earth, so let’s keep our eye on this one.

All I’m saying is that if we legalized patricide for young men in the upper tax bracket, we could save ourselves a lot of trouble down the road.

P.S. You may not recall, but one of the first posts I wrote for the old print-killer was about how despicable Ron Paul was, in spite of his image as a reasonable, level-headed country doctor. I didn’t even know he had a son back then, and I wish I could go back to that time. In retrospect, I was so much happier.


#62. Strange Love


America Slightly Less Free Than Yesterday

The Heritage Foundation (which is to “think tank” as Billy Bob Thornton is to Angelina Jolie) has just released its annual ranking of economic freedom. The big shocker is that somehow the good old US of A has fallen out of the “really free” forest green category and into the “kinda free” babyshit green category. Are you freaking out yet? No?

Okay, how about now?

This is all well and good, but I have a couple of questions for the Heritage Foundation:

1) Now that America is only “mostly free” does this mean the terrorists only “mostly” hate us for our freedom? Isn’t that a win for us? Also, since Canada is a step above us now, does it mean the terrorists hate Canada more than us? Because somebody better warn them, quick.

Poor Canadian bastards…

2) If Hong Kong is number one, does that mean we should try to be more like them? Should we petition to be annexed by China? Should we give up this whole “voting for president” thing we’ve got going and just let 800 businessmen, religious figures, and politicians pick the next guy? Instead of fighting a revolution, would we be more economically free now if the British had just handed us over to the commies?

Wait, that last question doesn’t make any sense. Moving along.

3) Do you realize that in the following passage

Even in an economy as free as Hong Kong’s, threats to freedom can arise. Though the introduction of competition legislation was postponed in April 2009, a minimum wage bill was introduced in June, with implementation forecast for late 2010 or early 2011.

…you sound like total assholes?

4) Suck it, Denmark! Whoo! In your face!

5) I see that Singapore is number two on the list. You think you can make me tell a caning joke, Heritage Foundation, but I am stronger than that. Must… resist… caning… joke…

You can get back to me whenever you have some free time, Heritage Foundation. I know you’re busy, out lobbying against the minimum wage. Dicks.


"Come On, Let Us Shoot!"

 WikiLeaks continues to do everyone else’s job for them, and brings us this disgusting piece of war footage from 2007 showing Iraqi civilians (two of whom work for Reuters, and two of who are children) gunned down from a great distance as if they were videogame sprites. There’s a longer, more detailed version on YouTube. I suggest you watch the whole thing.

This is uncensored footage of wounded people being shot, and of those trying to help the wounded being shot.

At times like this, it’s instructive to remember Mark Twain’s War Prayer. Mark Twain was also somebody who felt compelled to do everybody else’s job for them:

O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.




Karl Rove: Race Traitor

You know, I never pegged Rove for a socialist, but I’m glad he’s finally seen the light.

Seriously, I can’t tell you how happy this situation makes me. Ecstatic. If there was ever a sign that America is headed in the right direction, it’s that Karl Rove has to get on TV and encourage his dwindling base to fill out their census forms like responsible adults.

Look at Karl’s eyes. He can’t believe he has to explain this shit, either. He’s thinking, “I could be knee-deep in butt lube down at the S&M club right now, instead of giving a third-grade history lesson to some white trash deadbeat who thinks if he squints hard enough at the Constitution it will become unconstitutional.”

I said this about the Tea Party before, but it bears repeating: these people were not supposed to be thinking for themselves, and they certainly weren’t supposed to be steering policy decisions. It’s not their strong suit, and they just wind up shooting themselves in the foot. Now Papa Karl has to try to fix their mess, but guess what? Half of them won’t even be able to remember who Karl Rove is. That’s how dumb they are. 

P.S. Karl, you might want to remind your voters to breathe as well. It’s easy to forget.


The 2010 Census Trap Conspiracy

Dear Tea Party Friends,

I have a confession to make, a confession that may shock and alarm you. I am a liberal Democrat, and at the last strategy session/homosexual blood orgy, I became aware of a dastardly plot being perpetrated by my fellow socialists. As many of you in the Tea Party have correctly guessed, the census is a trap. Let me repeat that for the search engines: the 2010 census is a trap. Porn, porn, porn.

Whatever you do, do not fill out and return the census survey. Yes, it’s only 10 questions, and it only takes 10 minutes, but that’s not counting the years you will spend in forced labor camps once Nancy Pelosi rounds up everyone who bought Going Rogue and puts them to work in the medical marijuana fields. Think of your children, who will be confiscated by liberal shock troops (black liberal shock troops) and used to feed the giant underground blast furnaces that President Obama has installed beneath the White House to power his…

Okay, I’m still working on that part.

Some people, even a few in your own party, will try to tell you that the census is just a benign headcount that collects demographic information about the country. Some may even say that the census is an important way to make sure you are fully represented in Congress, and that if you don’t fill it out, your party might lose seats when the congressional district lines are redrawn.

It is very important that you hit these people with sticks.

The 2010 census is an unprecedented conspiracy of epic proportions, way worse than the 2000 Census or the 1990 Census. It’s a complicated plot, with layers upon layers of deception and misdirection, but let me see if I can explain it as simply as possible. The census process is composed of three steps:

  1. Distributing the census survey to every home in America.
  2. Encouraging all Americans to complete and mail back the survey.
  3. Race war.

This is the truth they don’t want you to know. Whether you’re a Republican, a Tea Partier, an NRA member, a Texan, or you just plain hate the Jews, it is very important that you do not, under any circumstances, complete the 2010 census.

Army of bat robots. That’s what the underground blast furnaces power. The ones Obama is going to feed your children to. For real.

I’m just asking questions here, people!


Disavowing Your Base

Frank Rich, who once said of George W. Bush that “[e]ven the banality of evil is too grandiose a concept for 43,” has just penned what I think is the best explanation of why Tea Party rage is not just the result of philosophical differences or anxiety over big government. It’s flat out bigotry, the last hot gasp of white privilege rattling out as democracy strangles it in its fucking sleep:

If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

But there’s one part of Rich’s analysis that I just don’t buy, a cliche repeated in every diagnosis of the limping Republican Party. In asking why none of the GOP’s leaders have tried to calm their apeshit base, he wonders:

Are these politicians so frightened of offending anyone in the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base that they would rather fall silent than call out its extremist elements and their enablers? Seemingly so, and if G.O.P. leaders of all stripes, from Romney to Mitch McConnell to Olympia Snowe to Lindsey Graham, are afraid of these forces, that’s the strongest possible indicator that the rest of us have reason to fear them too.

The assumption here is that the “real” Republicans have been hijacked by the hoot owls in their base, and despite everyone’s best intentions, the GOP is being led down a path its leaders would have otherwise been too smart or too compassionate to take themselves.

If this were true, David Frum would still have a job. The AEI used to be Cooler Heads Central, even during the glory years of the Reich, when the Republicans controlled every facet of the government. To sack Frum for simply admitting what everyone could see was a glaring defeat was like firing the weatherman for telling you it rained yesterday. Nobody likes rain, but it happens. Stop crying. No, really, stop…

So the idea is that pressure from the base is derailing the Republican platform. That’s not how a “base” works. The base is your true believers, the ones you can count on no matter what the other side is offering. It’s not just the extremists, it’s the lifelong members, the donors, the canvassers, and the bar room debaters. You can’t simply disavow the people who support you, the people who fund and staff your campaigns, the people who voted for you. But in this formulation, Republicans get to have a brigade of shock troops out trying to murder ten-year-old girls while back at home they politely decry how much Obama has “polarized” the country.

Glenn Beck has the strategy down to a science, by the way: we’re making them hurt us.

If the Tea Party Hate Squad doesn’t express the finest distillation of contemporary Republican values, then there is no conservative platform whatsoever. Where would it even come from? And if Palin, Boehner, Beck, and Limbaugh don’t represent the new heads of the Republican Party, then the GOP is a lot deader than anyone is wiling to admit.

Frank Rich wants to know why Mitch McConnell, Olympia Snowe, and Mitt Romney haven’t “called out” the extremists in their base. When was the last time they had anything to say, period? Who the fuck is Mitt Romney anyway? Didn’t he used to be somebody?

The Republican base is a shrinking but increasingly reactionary and well-armed demographic of white cry-babies willing to do anything to keep blacks from moving into their neighborhoods. No one should be surprised that this is what the end game of cultural conservatism looks like. Did they really expect Jesus to come back? Did they really think all those black people would just go away? Did they really believe anyone would give up things like Welfare and Social Security? Even the staunchest opponents of big government are glad we have it when it’s their ass on disability. Of course, when it benefits black people, those same “libertarians” in the GOP base will whine about “Welfare Queens” and “handouts,” but that’s cultural conservatism in a nutshell.

Bigotry is the only thing they has left because bigotry is all they ever had. This is why the GOP could never truly hold back the tide of social reform: they aren’t offering anything in return. But they can sure beat the shit out of anyone who has the audacity to say it to their face.


Why the GOP Has Nothing to Fear from Us Ever

It struck me as funny the other day that the party that impeached a sitting president 10 years ago would refer to any parliamentary procedure as a “nuclear option,” or complain that the passing of a bill with a simple majority was somehow cheating. Shouldn’t they watch what they say, hedging their bets in case they find themselves in the majority again?

The truth is, the Republicans can do whatever they want, they can block necessary programs, they can invoke arcane scheduling rules, they can shout down the President of the United States, and they can even endorse violence against their political opponents, and they never have to be afraid that the Democrats will ever try to give them a taste of their own medicine. Ever.

How can they be so sure? Because we never impeached George W. Bush, that’s how.

If there was ever an opportunity to prove that turnabout was fair play, Bush’s eight-year crime spree was it. Bush told far more consequential lies than Bill Clinton, and left the country in far worse shape than he found it. But Bush was never impeached. Not only that, but the Dems never made any serious threat in that direction. More than THAT, many on the left intentionally silenced colleagues who would have called for impeachment, because such a move might seem vindictive. The GOP will always be able to count on this kind of restraint from the Democrats. We don’t go for the throat.

This doesn’t mean that the left doesn’t have its hard-liners. But if Nancy Pelosi is supposed to be some boogey-woman for the right, it’s worth mentioning that she was one of many Democratic leaders in 2006 who described impeaching Bush as “off the table.” Does anyone doubt that Eric Cantor would impeach his own mother if he thought it would hobble his enemies? His mother would be the first to tell you that he would. That’s how she raised him.

The GOP, since the mid-nineties rise of luminaries like Tom Delay and John Boehner, has perfected a scorched earth policy of political warfare. It’s not hyperbole to say that it’s their stated desire to eliminate the Democratic Party. It’s in their fundraising literature. Whether they are in the majority or not, Republicans do not care about governing, about what it takes to keep a country going. Their interest is in hobbling and bankrupting government to the point that the wealthy may act however they wish, unencumbered by regulations or laws.

Let me make a prediction: if the GOP gains a majority in the House in November, they will immediately begin making moves toward an Obama impeachment, most likely by demanding a special prosectutor (it worked so well the first time) to investigate some frivolity. If you doubt they would go this far, tell me what would stop them? Fear of turning off voters? The danger that a Republican president might face the same treatment in the future? Good manners? Shame?

It is to laugh.

In this sense, President Obama is a consumate Democrat. He is perfectly willing to try to work with the GOP, to give them the benefit of the doubt, to pretend like their whining and backstabbing constitutes a legitimate philosophical difference about the role of government. I had hoped he would get over this after the campaign, but I can’t say that he has. The sad thing is, no matter how fair you try to be to these people, they will still throw a tantrum when they don’t get their way, and accuse you of infanticide for trying to regulate health insurance abuses.

Why pretend that Republicanism still represents a viable form of governance, and not simply a political backdoor for the wealthy to invade and dismantle the very systems that check their greed? Why not simply call the Republicans what they are, hired goons for corporate interests? Why not call their policies what they are, dangerous and Un-American? Why not be as loud, vicious, and unrelenting as they are?

Because we might hurt their feelings?

P.S. I know the answer is because we’re better than that, I just really hate Republicans.


#61. Elective Procedure

The latest Red Phone is all about the willful willing suspension of disbelief.


The Anti-Health Agenda

Yes, we won, but now the real whining starts. And it is going to get ugly, fast.

There is simply no way to oppose healthcare reform without first admitting that you don’t give a shit about other human beings. The standard Republican aversions to entitlement programs and social services simply don’t apply because the whole thing is paid for, upfront. Democrats have been good about pay-as-you-go for the last decade and a half. It is the GOP who loves to spend tax money, now, and the deficit is a testament to that.

So the only way for the GOP to oppose a bill that protects children from being denied healthcare is to lie about what’s in the bill, or to simply express the hatred and contempt for human life that lives in their hearts. I stand by that.

What’s surprising to me is that no one on the left seems to be making this argument. No one is accusing the GOP of being baby killers, although you would be hard-pressed to find a group of people who have done more to ensure the death and impoverishment of American children in the last decade.

If you watched the summit Obama put together last month to call the GOP out on their bullshit, you might remember him telling various Republicans “You’re entitled to you own opinion, but not your own facts.” The Dems took to repeating this on talk shows because it sounded like the closest thing to a GOP-style talking point they could find.

But I think it misses the point. As long as the Republicans are entitled to their own opinions, the facts don’t matter. This bill saves lives and money, but the GOP is, as a unified front, opposed to it. It doesn’t matter if you call them out on a particular lie, no one on the right is going to suddenly start caring if poor people live or die. It is their opinion that you get what you deserve, and helping those in need encourages freeloaders (which is a fancy way of calling people “niggers”).

This is a deeply un-American sentiment. It’s also not very Christian, either, but good luck quoting Jesus to rich people. The reason why things like Social Security, Medicare, public schools, and the interstate highway system exist is because they benefit the common good. We pay our taxes because we generally understand that the money will be used for the common good. Wars, by the way, are also paid for with tax money, but I digress.

Of course this isn’t socialism, but that’s not what the GOP means when they call the new healthcare bill “socialism.” The GOP is just really good at word games, and socialism is a word that Americans have a negative association with. It’s not the GOP’s opinion, and it certainly isn’t a fact, but it makes any sort of social reform that much more difficult to rally support for.

As David Frum points out, the GOP entertainment professionals only make money if their customers are miserable and afraid. Frum makes the argument that while the passing of this bill is a loss for the GOP as a political party, it’s a big win for the noise machine because it will give people more reasons to bitch about the government. I disagree.

President Obama might have just dealt the GOP the single biggest blow it’s suffered since electing a dyslexic cocaine-addicted war criminal, not because the bill is a big political win, but because people’s lives are about to start getting better because of something the government did. Less misery, less fear.

But in order for people to notice, the Democrats have got to stop letting the GOP be entitled to their own opinion. They have to call the opposition what it is, Anti-American, Anti-Child, and Anti-Health.


Look and Feel

I’m going to be playing around with the old CSS file. I’m trying to create a more definite division between the blog and the comic, while styling the two journals more consistently. I realize these are two contradictory goals, but right now I think the two halves are a little confusing. Let’s see what happens.

Everything should work how it’s supposed to, but let me know if your reading exprerience isn’t as spiteful and venomous as you’ve come to expect.

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