Americans Are Less Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage, Poll Shows

Oct 09 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Despite all the hostile rhetoric, all the hate speech and all the claims that same-sex marriage will destroy not only “traditional” marriage but American society itself, a recent Pew Research Center poll shows that while more than half of Americans are still opposed to gay marriage, less than half are opposed to making it legal.

This is a significant moment in time and it represents a shift from last year. “The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups,” Pew announces.

The numbers? 42 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage, while 48 percent oppose it. The numbers for 2009 were 37 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed.

Americans are also in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; letting gays and lesbians serve openly in the military. According to Pew, “The public continues to be far more supportive of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than of allowing legal same-sex marriages.” Sixty percent of Americans have no problem with allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military; only thirty percent oppose it. In 1994, those for gays serving openly in the military numbered only 52 percent.

This figure, Pew says, has remained stable for about five years, yet according to conservatives the wheels will come off if we do what the people want.

And isn’t the Tea Party all about rights and doing what people want and not having to listen to a stodgy old government? Apparently not when it’s not what the Tea Party wants to hear. But then the Tea Party doesn’t represent the American people; it never did.

Don’t do what we say, just do…oh, whatever. I won’t even try to unravel their un-reasons for opposing gays and lesbians because I don’t think they’ve ever been able to field any sort of cogent argument. They base right and wrong on religion, not on the Constitution, and that’s where the wheels really come off.

Let’s look at some particulars:

Support for gay marriage unsurprisingly varies according to age.

  • Those born after the 1980s – 53 percent for, 39 percent opposed
  • Those born from 1965 to 1980 – 48 percent for, 43 percent opposed
  • Those born from 1946 to 1964 – 38 percent for, 52 percent opposed (I’m one of the 38 percent)
  • Those born between 1928 and 1945 – 29 percent for, 59 percent opposed

And of course, Americans are divided along political lines, 53 percent of Democrats being for legalizing same-sex marriage and just 24 percent of Republicans, while Independents register in between, at 44 percent.

In light of such polling figures and their recent inability to mount an argument in court, it is difficult to see how conservatives can regain the momentum in this civil rights issue, or to keep up the pretense that they represent “real” Americans. A populist movement that is out of touch with what the populace wants doesn’t have much going for it, and it becomes exposed as the tool of a few rich, white conservatives.

But we knew that already, didn’t we?

11 responses so far

Republicans: Democrats Enslave Blacks

Right Wing Watch reports that “on a conference call for Rick Scarborough’s Vision America, Bishop E.W. Jackson” of contentiously named STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny) America PAC, “claimed that the Democratic Party ‘embraces this anti-Christian, anti-God’ worldview.”

RWW goes on to say that Bishop Jackson asserted that the Democratic Party is “nothing less than a party of dependence, [and] in effect created a new form of slavery on a liberal plantation that it wants to keep black people on.”

Hmm. Must be why most black folks vote Democrat. And it’s been that way for years. In fact, in 2008, a record 96 percent of blacks voted for Barack Obama.

Yet Bishop Jackson is not the first to claim that Democrats enslave blacks. It is an argument that rages in the black community and it’s a common claim coming from the right. Blatantly racist conservative blog Obambi.com posted in January that “Democrats have ENSLAVED blacks for over 50 years through welfare, food stamps, medicaid and other entitlements…..like keeping a crack addict dependent on you by keeping them addicted…” and Joey Farah of World Net Daily argued in August that, “leftists have not done anything positive for blacks since some of them supported the Voting Rights Act of 1964…”

Obviously, it wouldn’t even be worth our time investigating what Republicans have done for blacks or for any other minority group in the United States in the past forty years. Republicans point out correctly that in the early days of the Civil Rights movements Democrats were often opposed to the interests of the black population but they can’t seem to get past the idea that it is no longer 1963 and that positions have now reversed. As the Republican Party has moved further right it has become the party of conservative white people.

They can’t come to grips with their own racist views. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Limbaugh infamous for repeatedly playing the racist ditty “Barack the Magic Negro” said in August 2010: “The Democrats are trying to keep black people out of politically powerful positions, it ain’t us.”Beck famous for saying Obama “has a deep-seated hatred of white people” said in January 2008: “Democrats, you just hate black people. It’s the only choice I can come up with. It’s the only possible reason: You are just racist. You hate black people. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.”

RWW says that,

Bishop Jackson and Rick Scarborough joined Tom DeLay and Phyllis Schlafly in releasing a voter’s guide that shows the average score of Republican and Democratic members of Congress from the American Conservative Union. Scarborough called himself “a Christocrat” but that “as a matter of principle I simply vote Republican 90 percent of the time.” Schlafly added that “you’re better off to vote the straight Republican ticket than the Democrat ticket.”

Of course, Tom DeLay and Phyllis Schlafly hardly make for a compelling argument, no more than do figures from “the American Conservative Union” which bills itself as “America’s conservative voice.” Yeah, we can hardly expect the ACU to find in favor of the Democrats.

The narrative they have constructed sounds very Old Testament: According to RWW Bishop Jackson “maintained that the Democratic Party represents ‘godlessness,’ and stands for ‘fiscal irresponsibility, moral relativism or amorality, anti-Christian bigotry, and a foreign policy of surrender and appeasement.’”

Gosh, I’m surprised Washington D.C. hasn’t turned into a pile of salt.

The Tea Party, on the other hand, received praise from Scarborough and his guests, which comes as no surprise to anyone keeping up with developments. Morning Joe was full of self-approbation: He says he receives “rousing ovations at Tea Parties when I talk about the God-factor.”

Good for you Joe. Tells anyone who knows nothing else about you everything they need to know.

But what about this modern form of slavery? Why is it Republicans insist that Democrats want to enslave blacks? Where is the evidence?

It’s not Democrats, after all, who marginalize and disenfranchise black or other minority voters. It’s not Democrats who are accusing America’s first black president of being a watermelon-picking white-hating racist and a Muslim. It’s not Democrats who go to Tea Party rallies and wave Confederate flags all over the place. That would be the Republicans.

Democrats like the American flag just fine. And Democrats don’t send the NRA around to whisper into the ears of the southern hill folk that Clinton or Obama is going to “take all their guns away and give them to the niggers.”* That, again, would be the Republicans.

So how is it exactly that the Democrats are trying to enslave the blacks? Blacks have been voting Democrat since Truman back 1948 (77% of the black vote). They gave LBJ a whopping 94 percent of their votes and that record held until Obama garnered his 96 percent. According to FactCheck.org, “Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act. No Republican presidential candidate has gotten more than 15 percent of the black vote since.”

The numbers speak for themselves. And when those blacks gave Barack Obama their vote, they were accused – by the Republicans – of being racists by voting for Obama simply because he was a black man. Are whites racist when they vote for a white candidate?

It would seem in Republican eyes that the blacks just can’t win. Of course, neither can white folks, Hispanics, or anyone else – or the country itself for that matter. None of us are going to catch an even break from these theocrats. And make no mistake, the Tea Party and the Religious Right are bumping uglies as we speak, eager to produce a monstrosity that will destroy America.

Bishop Jackson (who is black) argues on his website that “We are unifying Americans around the Judeo-Christian principles which can save our country, because they are the principles which built it. Those principles are being lost. It is time to take a STAND, before it is too late!”

Of course, as we have noted many times over, Judeo-Christian principles did not build our country at all, but the principles of the liberal European Enlightenment. Jackson claims that “The vision of being “One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” is nearly lost.” What Jackson does NOT tell you is that this phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance was not originally part of the pledge of allegiance but was added only in 1954. The vision Jackson endorses is not the vision of those who founded the United States of America.

Bishop Jackson says he is against “our country’s slide into secular atheism,” and “anti-Semitism” (apparently less than a blanket approval for every action the state of Israel undertakes makes you an anti-Semite for Jackson) “and anti-Christian bigotry.” Of course, he is for instituting a theocracy that stands against everything the Founders intended and envisioned, and for anti-gay bigotry. I’m not sure what Jackson has to be proud of here.

Ideology should never get in the way of facts, and for Jackson and his PAC and for the Republican Party, it has. The facts must fit the system; they cannot be allowed to contradict the purity of Republican ideology. Fortunately for America, most voters are not Christian extremists like Bishop Jackson or James Dobson. And fortunately, black voters know exactly who is trying to enslave them.

Notes:

*This story was related to me by a conservative Christian friend who does volunteer work in the Appalachians for his church. This is what he was told by these people both relating to the candidacy of Clinton and Obama. Obviously, Clinton did not take anyone’s guns away and neither did Obama. Guns laws, in fact, continue to be relaxed, not strengthened.

45 responses so far

FOX News Poll Results Show Trouble in Fantasyland

According to FOX News, a recent poll they conducted demonstrates that “The 2012 presidential race begins in earnest on Nov. 3 — the day after the upcoming midterm elections — and President Obama looks to be in trouble at the starting gate.”

You see, FOX News conducted a poll and the results say that 54% of voters would not vote for President Obama. They say this is up from 45% is January and 31% in April of ’09. Only 39% would vote to re-elect Obama, down from 43% in January – “a dramatic drop from the 52% who felt that way in April” they say.

It’s a gripping headline, but there isn’t much there for conservatives to crow about. If you look at the numbers, Obama isn’t in all that much trouble.

The poll shows that “only” 75% of Democrats would vote for Obama today, down from 87% at the start of his term, hardly a dramatic fall from grace. Seventy-five percent would be enough to pass legislation in California and that is saying something. The number of Democrats who would “definitely” vote for Obama has dropped from 69% to 41%.

There is supposed to be trouble because the FOX News poll shows that 40% of Obama’s ’08 voters would “definitely” vote for him again while the figure stood at 64% in April.

Independent support, the key to any election and essential to Obama’s victory (along with Republicans who voted Democrat), is down to 32% “from a high of 43% in April 2009.” Fifty-seven percent of independents would “vote for someone else.”

The FOX News poll also points to dissatisfaction with the VP, people saying they’d prefer Hilary Clinton to Joe Biden.

All that sounds ominous but even FOX News admits that “even with all the negatives, in hypothetical head-to-head match ups, Obama tops each of the Republican candidates tested.”

Ouch. It had to hurt to admit that.

  • Obama vs Mike Huckabee: 43-40 percent
  • Obama vs. Chris Christie 42-30 percent
  • Obama vs. Jeb Bush 45-37 percent
  • Obama vs. Sarah Palin 48-35 percent
  • Obama vs. Mitt Romney 41-40 percent

FOX News claims the gap is narrowing, however, saying that “The president tops an unnamed candidate from the Tea Party movement by 11 points (43-32 percent), which is a much narrower spread than earlier this year when Obama’s advantage was 25 points (48-23 percent).”

Things look even rosier for Obama if an independent candidate is introduced: “Obama gets 40 percent to Palin’s 28 percent, with independent candidate New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg capturing 18 percent.” And even if Hilary were the third candidate Obama would still triumph with 30%, Palin with 29% and Clinton with 27%. Not saying much for the alleged star power of Palin, is it?

Despite the headline, the poll results paint a far less rosy picture for Republicans than for Democrats. Other polls demonstrate that there is nothing absurdly out of line with Obama’s approval figures for the point he is at in his presidency. Other poll numbers show that all but the Republican base shun Sarah Palin whose popularity has sunk to that of BP. Neither Mike Huckabee nor Jeb Bush has any star power and the rest of the country does not seem likely to elect a third Bush after our recent experience with the last one.

And Romney, who did best vs. Obama in this poll? If you will remember back to 2008, Romney was considered a “front-runner” for the Republican ticket. He raised more money than any other Republican primary candidate. On February 13, 2007, he formally announced his candidacy and on February 7, 2008 even before McCain stormed to victory on Super Tuesday, he dropped out. In other words, Romney looked then too like the best the GOP could throw at the Democrats and his candidacy amounted to nothing.

Romney calls the Obama presidency an “abject failure” which is a fitting description of his own presidential campaign.

In the end, FOX News’ use of the misleading headline: “Fox News Poll: Only 39 Perecent (sic) Would Vote to Re-Elect Obama in 2012” demonstrates that FOX News is in more trouble than Obama and that they need a new spell-checker.

This was a “national telephone poll” conducted for FOX News by Opinion Dynamics Corp from a whopping 900 registered voters on September 28 and 29. They say the poll has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

Full poll results.

31 responses so far

Is the Two-Party System Best for America?

Sep 29 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Some Americans are unhappy with the two-party system, notably the Libertarians, who feel excluded. They feel, not unreasonably, that the two existing parties – Republicans and Democrats – conspire to keep them (and any other third party) out of power; that the system is rigged. They insist on the necessity of a third party. Other Americans respond with horror. The idea of the two-party system has become sacrosanct, as though the Founders themselves had ordained it or enshrined it in the Constitution.

But does the idea of a third political party have merit? Would a three-party system better serve American liberal democracy?

First a few facts are in order. The two-party system is not enshrined in the Constitution. In reality, the Founding Fathers viewed the creation of political parties with horror. They had somehow imagined that gentlemen would shepherd the new Republic, and that therefore republican political leaders would possess a disinterested character.  An educated gentleman of this type would in theory think of the public good and not of parochial or private concerns. But in the words of historian Gordon S. Wood, “By the 1780s it was obvious to many, including Madison, that “a spirit of locality” was destroying “the aggregate interest of the community.”

So much for the hopes of the Founders, who, it must be admitted, were not themselves completely free of self-interest.

Gentlemen had no need of political parties. Being enlightened they would put the needs of the whole ahead of the needs of the locality.  As Woods says, “Most revolutionary leaders had not foreseen a “new set of folk” emerging in politics” – that is, common folk and artisans and merchants – even simple farmers. Gentlemen did not “conceive of politics as a profession and officeholding as a career.” How different from our own age! Where public offices were once seen as a burden it would be, in Jefferson’s words, “wrong to decline” they are now profitable, entailing not “great private loss” but great private gain.

Washington special interests. There is gold in them there hills. Enlightened disinterest seems to be as dead as dinosaurs and the situation is far worse on the right than on the left. This is not cynicism; there is simply a dearth of evidence to the contrary.

The enlightened gentlemen who were our Founding Fathers did not approve of electioneering. Franklin was proud of not once appearing as a candidate. As Wood puts it, “Showing oneself eager for office was a sign of being unworthy of it, for the office-seeker probably had selfish views rather than the public good in mind.”

After serving, an office holder should want to return to private life like the pagan Romans who were their inspiration. Today, it is a career few willingly abandon, and our system gives certain advantages to incumbents, who stress the experience our Founders saw as a burden as an advantage instead, while challengers charge that incumbents are part of the “establishment” and trumpet their own “outsider” or “maverick” status.

Facts often make a joke of pretensions. The Tea Partiers today claim to desire a return to the “original” idea of America while ignoring the fact of the Constitution, the living evidence of what the Founders wanted and intended – and, significantly, evidence of how compromise works, the compromise Tea Partiers ironically refuse to embrace. And if they truly want a return to the “original” settings, to go back to “default” they should not urge their members to vote Republican but to abandon the idea of political parties altogether. But not one of these challengers does not intend to become part of that establishment themselves, once elected. They have no desire to serve and retire, not after one, not after two terms. They want to make a career out of it, and self-interest most certainly plays a part.

So because the Revolution had unforeseen consequences, we ended up with political parties – two. Some see the two-party system as a strength; as an advantage over the hopelessly fragmented multi-party systems of some European nations. But there are drawbacks as well. For example, multi-party systems force the parties to work together, to form coalitions. The two party system leads to polarization of opposing viewpoints with no room for a more centrist approach.

The real world is too complex to be encompassed by a single line with liberals on the left and conservatives on the right. Other, legitimate, points of view are excluded. The image created is a false one, a picture of a political landscape that does not exist. There are other points of view.

This is, in a nutshell, an image of the American two-party system: Democrats and Republicans – polarity, either/or, one or the other and room for nothing else.

A more realistic image would be a triangle to allow for a proper perspective of where Liberals, Progressives (including socialists and social democrats) and Conservatives stand in relation to one another.

We might even add another point at the bottom to create a diamond and place there Totalitarianism, which, as Timothy Ferris points out, “reflects the fact that liberalism and totalitarianism are opposites, and have an approximately equal potential to attract progressives and conservatives alike.”

As long as both parties were willing to work together, as long as the opposition was a loyal opposition, things were fine. Government continued to function; quid quo pro, not uncompromising purity standards, was the order of the day.

But those rules no longer apply. The Republicans have adopted purity standards that mean their way or the highway. There can be no compromise, no reaching across the aisle, no working together for the common good. They see themselves as the rightful, divinely-ordained rulers of the United States of America and the Democrats as an evil, treasonous usurping force. This development effectively breaks the two-party system.

What are we to do? The United States government has in the face of Republican obstructionism essentially broken down and ceased to function. The gridlock is next to impossible to break. There is no third party to turn to, no potential allies between the aisles, no possible coalition between liberals and centrists. The best that either party can hope for is that our so-called independents vote one way or another, enough so that an unbreakable majority is created.

It is time to abandon the idea that the two-party system is the “way it was supposed to be” because if we did things the way they were supposed to be we’d have no parties at all and no career politicians and the common good would outweigh the private good. We need a little disinterest, and failing that (because it is unlikely as dinosaurs coming back) we need a little willingness to work together, less purity and more compromise – or a third party.

2 responses so far

Republicans and Reality: Divorced and Loving it!

Mitche McConnell: I'm So Clueless I Could Cry...

The Party of Speculative Fiction, formerly known as the Republican Party, is outdoing Hollywood in their distortion of reality. The difference is that Hollywood is making an honest attempt to entertain. Everyone knows it’s fake. The Republicans, however, are making a dishonest attempt to mislead, and they want people to believe it’s real.

But it’s not. Every day the reality gap grows wider and wider.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, says that he will introduce legislation to ensure that nobody ends up paying higher income taxes in 2011.

McConnell: “We can’t let the people who’ve been hit hardest by this recession and who we need to create the jobs that will get us out of it foot the bill for the Democrats’ two-year adventure in expanded government.”

What planet is Senator McConnell living on where the rich have been hardest hit by America’s economic woes?

And why wasn’t he laughed out of the Senate?

There are a number of problems with his statement.

  1. The rich were not hardest hit by the recession;
  2. the “trickle-down” theory of economics is demonstrably false ; and
  3. to which “two-year” adventure in expanded government is McConnell referring?

More and more, Republicans insist on creating a fantasy world that has nothing in common with the reality in which we all operate. They invent something, and then invent “facts” to support  the fantasy tale. It’s all as true as a prince rescuing the princess in her tower from a dragon.

Dragons don’t exist.

Neither does Republican reality.

McConnell is not the only aspiring author of speculative fiction in Congress.

Eric Cantor: I'm certain my math is right...

Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the House Minority Whip, who has already demonstrated his belief that trimming $1 million over five years will fix the deficit, refused to be outdone issued his own statement saying that he would focus on keeping the Bush era tax cuts for everyone.

Cantor: “I will do everything in my power to stop President Obama and Speaker Pelosi from raising taxes on working families, small business people, and investors.”

  1. President Obama is not raising taxes on working families; he is extending tax cuts for working families;
  2. It is the Republicans who are blocking efforts to help small business people; and as President Obama has repeatedly pointed out, most small business owners do not make in excess of $250,000 a year.

President Obama outlined small-business legislation which would:

  1. create a $30 billion lending fund to help provide cheap capital to community banks;
  2. provide $12 billion in tax relief to small businesses between 2010 and 2020; and
  3. provide $1.5 billion in grants to state lending programs.

Incredibly, Republicans are using the following argument to reject the Obama plan:

Since the Democratic plan doesn’t to ENOUGH to help small business owners (they say), they refuse to vote for it, thus refusing to help the small business owners at all. Apparently, in Republican reality, it’s more helpful to not help.

Of course, given their opposition to government spending, it is difficult to imagine they could conjure a way to help small-business owners at all. Magic doesn’t exist; neither does government spending without increasing the deficit while also cutting taxes.

That’s what got Bush in trouble in the first place: Spending + Tax cuts = Increased deficit

But then Republicans seem to have erased Bush from their collective memory. Or maybe, as the history of the past 40 years has shown, the Republicans believe only they have the right to increase the deficit.

The Republican fantasy scenario has reached unbelievable proportions. It is a wonder they can keep straight faces as they tell their bald-faced lies.

McConnell again: Americans “have had it” he insists. “They are tired of Democratic leaders in Washington pursuing the same government driven programs that have done nothing but add to the debt and the burden of government.”

Of course, as President Obama has pointed out, keeping the tax cuts in place for the wealthy will add 700 billion to the deficit and Boehner’s own economic plan several trillion. It is difficult to make an argument that these Republicans are interested in lowering the deficit. Reagan didn’t. Bush didn’t. Boehner doesn’t plan to.

Clinton, however, did – the only president in the past 40 years to do so. And he was a Democrat. And they hounded him out of office. Just as they plan to hound Obama out of office if they get control of Congress.

So THEY can “pursue the same government driven programs that have done nothing but add to the debt and the burden of government” and live happily ever after in the la la land of their fantasies.

13 responses so far

Three Economic Myths Republicans Would Like You to Believe

Sep 11 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, White House

Listen very carefully while I try to keep a straight face

Everyone is by now familiar with the image of John Boehner, Republican House Minority Leader, lecturing President Obama on economics.

Everyone is familiar with the 8-year administration of George W. Bush, another Republican, and no one at all is unfamiliar with the economic crisis of 2008, since it laid waste to the world economy.

And everybody remembers that Barack Obama, while campaigning for the presidency, ran not only against John McCain but against the failed Republican economic policies of the past eight years; the same policies that had gotten us into that mess by 2008 and the same policies John McCain was peddling as a way to get us out of them.

President Obama is right today in arguing that a return to those policies will finish us off.

A recent poll shows that most Americans (correctly) blame Bush for our economic woes. But what exactly are we talking about when we speak of Republican and Democratic economic policies? Is one really preferable to the other?

Republicans will give you the unequivocal answer: Democratic economic policy leads to ruination.

Perhaps we should look at some facts before we believe them. After all, we have some elections coming up and we should be as well informed as we can make ourselves.

And remember all the Republican rhetoric as you read this. It’s important.

Over the past 50 years – as long as I’ve been alive – we have done better economically under Democratic administrations.

  • From 1948-2007, per capital GDP (Gross Domestic Product – a measure of a country’s overall economic output) grew 2.78% under Democrats and 1.64% under the Republicans.
  • Family income growth from 1948 to 2005 was 2.6% under Democrats versus 0.4% under Republicans for the bottom 20 percent;
  • This growth was 2.1% vs. 1.9% for the top 5%.

Yes, Virginia, even the rich do better under Democratic administrations.

As Alan Blinder, discussing Unequal Democracy, by Larry M. Bartels, wrote in the New York Times in 2008, “The stark contrast between the whiz-bang Clinton years and the dreary Bush years is familiar because it is so recent. But while it is extreme, it is not atypical.” And as Blinder points out, “That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut.”

The Democrats have given us solid economic growth, more money than the GOP’s desperate cries for tax cuts can provide; tax cuts that wouldn’t be an issue if the Republicans hadn’t destroyed our economy in the first place.

“Over the entire 60-year period (1948-2007), income inequality trended substantially upward under Republican presidents but slightly downward under Democrats, thus accounting for the widening income gaps over all.” As Blinder puts it, “the bad news for America’s poor is that Republicans have won five of the seven elections going back to 1980.”

We do not have to look far for the reasons for America’s current economic condition.

Tommy McCall, writing in the New York Times, illustrates the relative merits of Republican and Democratic economic policies. If you invested $10,000 in stock market and index securities during the 40 years that Democrats ran the country from 1929-2008, you’d have more than $300,000. The same money, if invested during Republican administrations, would yield you only 51,000 – a staggering one-sixth. If Hoover’s Administration is included, the Republican total shrinks to $11,733.

Boehner’s “Economic Plan” would increase the deficit by 3.781 trillion dollars over 10 years. This is the plan of the party of fiscal responsibility. (For an analysis of the impact of the New Boehner Economic Plan go to http://ndn.org/blog/2010/08/ndn-analysis-fiscal-impact-new-boehner-economic-plan)

We can talk about globalization too, since it’s another favorite Republican rant. It turns out, though the Republicans will never tell you this, that global inequality ceased growing from 1980 to 2000 and in many respects began to shrink and that income inequalities are largest within the nations least touched by globalization. As Professor Timothy Ferris writes in his new book The Science of Liberty (2010), “Ideologues blame globalization for the world’s ills” but economists like Paul Collier know that “We need stronger and fairer globalization, not less of it.”

This may seem shocking but you have to consider that both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan ran up huge deficits and increased the size of government, and that it was a reviled Democratic president. Clinton, who last balanced the budget and reduced the deficit. Clinton even reduced the size of government.

Reagan increased the nation’s debt from 23% to 69% of the GDP (Harry Truman shrank it 8.6% and Clinton 1.8%).

You might remember too while we go into the final weeks of the pre-mid-term election cycle, that when President Obama was elected Republicans cautioned America with regards to all the Clintonites in his administration and how following into Clinton’s footsteps would harm the country.

I don’t know, but it sounds like we could do a lot worse than to emulate Clinton.

You have to think too about the fear-mongering the Republicans like to engage in. Look at it this way:  As Professor Ferris puts it, if the so-called “urban elites” did what the Republicans say we must do and cut taxes and slash federal government spending, the people worst impacted would be the rugged individualists in the red counties – Sarah Palin’s “real” Americans.

Boehner is apparently unaware of the irony in his words that “”Never before has the need for a fresh start in Washington been more pressing.”

We got that fresh start in 2008, Mr. Boehner. And we’re all better off for it. While things may not be great right now, they could be a lot worse. And if America listens to you, they will be.

23 responses so far

GOP Revisionism: AZ’s immigration law contradicts Bush

May 16 2010 Published by under Republican Party

Perhaps Jan needs God's help

Poor W., Jan doesn't love you.

It seems the GOP, in its quest to distort the racist realities of Arizona’s immigration reform law, is forgetting about W’s ill-fated attempt at pushing his own immigration reform legislation in 2007.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, would have provided legal status and an opportunity for citizenship for almost 20 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Not only would it have provided amnesty, it would have increased border security dramatically by providing 20,000 more border patrol agents among other increased security measures.

I hope no one believes that W vigorously supported this bill because he’s an altruist, quite the opposite. The main reason for his support was to protect the interests of large businesses who depend on the cheap labor of illegal immigrants to maintain their profit margin. This legislation also would have allowed the government to keep tabs on all undocumented workers and collect more taxes from the workers and the businesses employing them.

This attempted legislation was, in every sense of the word: amnesty. If one can remember way back to 2007, the GOP was up in arms over this. W was essentially portrayed as a traitor to the GOP for not continuing to propagate the thinly-veiled racist tactic of scapegoating dark-skinned immigrants, blaming them (when blaming ‘liberals’ got tiresome) for all of the social, moral and economic ills of the nation.

As one can imagine, the Democrats — being the political wimps they always have been — capitulated to the GOP and backed away from supporting this bill even though it was a win for their historical rhetoric of taking on immigration reform by enacting logical and rational legislation that takes into account the reality of the situation rather than right-wing reactionary hyperbole. Of course the bill never even made it far enough to get voted on, thus ending a chance at real and rational immigration reform.

I’m never one to back a Republican in any matter, let alone immigration reform, but this bill supported by W, despite some pro-business aspects, was actually the best thing W ever attempted to do. What is even more interesting to me is the current outcry from the wing-nuts that the protest over Arizona’s Immigration bill by the left is nothing more than a master plan of a future attempt at instituting amnesty for illegals. If they studied their History books — going all the way back to 2007 — they might realize that their leader, a GOP President, tried to push for amnesty.

Of course, it does little good to point out hypocrisy to the wing-nuts as they seem impervious to actual facts and logical reasoning.  While the tea-baggers and noise machines are screaming from the mountain tops that Obama and the Dems are fascist socialists who want dirty illegal Hispanics to be given amnesty, leading to a meltdown of American society as we know it; they are a little slow to remember back to 2007 when Bush actually did push for amnesty while Obama and the Dems have not shown one inclination that amnesty is an option.

So much effort is being made by the right to justify Arizona’s new immigration reform law as being necessary to protect our borders and jobs. What they leave out is the fact that the federal government has never tried to stop Arizona from enforcing the federal laws that give them the right to detain and deport illegals. The federal government does not require law enforcement to question and ask for documentation anyone suspected of being here illegally as the Arizona law does because they know that is a constitutional violation that leads to nothing other than racial profiling.

It’s not only the fact that the right has selective memory on this issue and is defending racist and reactionary legislation in Arizona, it’s the fact that they refuse to engage in any real discussion of how we can actually address immigration reform in a realistic manner. Businesses are going to continue to hire illegals and illegals are going to continue to come across the border illegally in order to escape poverty and provide for their family. The W supported bill in 2007 actually did address these issues and would have strengthened our economy with the increased tax revenue that could be collected.

Now, crazy wing-nut legislators in other states — including my state of Pennsylvania — are pushing for new immigration laws similar to those of Arizona’s recent law. I would hope that the Democrats suddenly develop a backbone and stand up to this lunacy, but given their tendency to capitulate to the right on every single issue I find it unlikely that real and rational immigration reform will come about and that racist, unconstitutional laws will go unchallenged. I hate to admit it, but W — as horrible and despicable as his administration was — might have had the solution three years ago.

Todd Curl is a 44th degree Free-Madman with a passion for psychiatric pharmacology. When he is not in his padded room, he writes The Todd Blog.

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Democrats Just Want Their Party to Kick Some Republican ASS!

Jan 27 2010 Published by under Republican Party, U.S. Senate

Dems are sick of being kicked around and they want to see their Dem leaders KICK some ass.

Some REPUBLICAN ass.

Some wire-tapping, nation-building, preemptive-striking Republican ass!

Right now, Liberals want to lock the Conservatives in a room with Al Franken and Alan Grayson and watch the fall out on CSPAN, cheering our guts out as they finally get what’s coming to them. Naturally, this would be followed by indictments and a long spell in Gitmo, kept open especially for the War Criminals and Wall Street Hookers previously (and many still) employed on our dime.

And it wouldn’t hurt if we took away their tax-payer funded healthcare. And personally, I’d like to see them all come back as a minority, just to help their souls “progress”. But I’d be happy with the Gitmo detainment, and OK, just a wee bit of the torture they find so American…after all, there’s no enemy quite so bad as the traitor.

Oh, ok, one more thing: I’d love to see Obama cut off the funding for all of the welfare red states who keep lecturing us from on high about pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and how they’re “fiscal conservatives” and government should stay out of the people’s business.

And I’d like John McCain’s Social Security and Veterans Pay stopped. The traitor doesn’t need it nor deserve it. I’d like to see Bush paraded around the world before trial, so everyone can throw a shoe at him. Just once, I mean, we’re talking fantasy here…These are the things I dream of.

I have one more: I’d like to take all of Wall Street’s bail out tax payer money and redistribute it to the middle class and the poor. Yes, I would, you nihilist economic royalist cons, and I don’t CARE if you call me a “Socialist”. Screw you. What do you call stealing from the poor to feed the rich?

We’ve lost our retirement funds, our jobs, and our health insurance due to these bloodless anti-American corporate feeding vampires posing as Christo-Fascist nationalists and we just want some (&^(*&() JUSTICE!

Instead, our President seems to hold no grudges — personally or professionally. “Let’s move forward,” he says, leaving us holding our bag of nursed rage over the W years. What? Move forward? And let those criminals escape? They need to be taught a lesson! How dare you, Obama? You betrayed us!

Cool cat Obama. Oh, it’s admirable and ultimately, I believe it’s what we need right now to avoid utter meltdown, but it’s no fun.

I only wish I could show my fellow liberals a glimpse into the future, after the pain of our current woes have past. A future where we got healthcare passed (yes, it will be imperfect, but just you wait and see…it will have long term ramifications) and job creation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act starts paying off and we’ve actually managed to be fiscally responsible unlike the “lower taxes without paying for them and start illegal wars which are kept off of the budget” Republicans and oh, my friends…

If you could see the world I see, you would funnel your rage and your hatred into helping us pass these things as imperfect as they are.

Because you would see that in doing so, you are kicking some permanent Republican ass. Not some bar room brawl. Not a one night shut out. Not even a season trophy. No, a full out ten years of championship of progressive politics.

Now, picture that. Isn’t that satisfying?

This man can take us there. You don’t like the way he’s doing it, but that’s because he doesn’t work in immediate victories or short term smack downs. You will like it. You will be satisfied. If only we can come together to do this thing, you will be more than satisfied.

Perhaps we need to think of Obama as the lover who courts from a distance or the athlete you don’t see coming. It’s all vague and remotely intellectual. Bad Obama, following the law and letting congress do their thing, as we wait out 101 Republican filibusters. “Shut them down!” We want to scream. “Use your power!” Oh, we hate the label of the weak Democrats and just once….

But remember during the campaign, when we yelled at Obama to hit them back hard? He never did. He had a few well disguised zingers, but he always appeared in control, calm and unfettered with rage. This skill played a big part in landing him in the White House. After Bush, we needed a rational leader, not a reactionary.

But we so want the reactionary, just for a moment…just like we wanted the bad boy or girl we knew wasn’t good for us in high school and some of us well past that (not naming any names). The immediate satisfaction was so tempting then. But we have grown up, yes?

What we can’t see right now is just how lethal Obama can be. Instead of screaming at him about what he hasn’t done and assuming he is a centrist, look under the hood

Under the hood, I see a liberal who knows how to play the game and is driving mercilessly down the center to win the Big Game. He knows how to utilize centrism in order to achieve his goals. He does believe in bi-partisanship, because if we had a loyal opposition who cared about our country, this would presumably lead to better bills.

But he’s coming for their bad policies and their failed leadership. He’s gunning for them in ways that will change our lives; the ways government can and should help the people. By winning, by showing how government can and does have a role to play in the lives of the American people, he will drain the power of the modern day heartless Republican corporatists for a good long while.

If you saw the precision of his targets and timing, if you paid attention to his methods, what you would really fear is just how far he could take us – not how far you think he won’t take us. Of course, I would cheer him as he led us into a Social Democracy, so this doesn’t scare me…but shhh, don’t tell the centrists.

It’s good when liberals get mad at Obama and accuse him of being a centrist; this only enables him to get more done at times, as clever covert liberals with an eye to strategy will report this, thus endearing him to the many voting centrists. So maybe I shouldn’t say anything at all….But there are other times when it’s best if we take a good long look at what we have here, and how to use it to our advantage.

So nurse your wounds and your rage. We all are. But funnel them into something productive like winning….

The Big Game.

Let’s go kick some Republican Ass.

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Dennis Kucinich on the Cruel Choice of War Vs Unemployment Benefits

Dec 15 2009 Published by under Featured News

On the House floor Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) spoke out about the House’s decision to tie an extension in unemployment benefits to $130 billion in additional war funding, “What a cruel choice Congress is forcing on people out of work. Put your sons and daughters on the firing line and we will pay you for being in the unemployment line.”

Here is the video courtesy of Crooks and Liars:

Rep. Kucinich said, “The word is that with over 15 million Americans out of work and desperately in need of extended unemployment benefits, Congress will put unemployment compensation benefits into a bill which will give another $130 billion for war.”

He continued, “Remember, our Democratic Party took control of the Congress based on widespread opposition to the Iraq war. Unfortunately, we are now telling the American people that the only way they will get unemployment compensation is to support another $130 billion to keep wars going. What a cruel choice Congress is forcing on people out of work. Put your sons and daughters on the firing line and we will pay you for being in the unemployment line.”

Kucinich concluded by asking the question many on the left are asking themselves, “What a message to young Americans. No jobs for young people, except to go to war. No chance for young people to go to college and have health care unless they learn to kill or be killed. Support this war, we tell the people; the war which creates death, war which creates poverty, war which creates unemployment and we will pay you for being unemployed. Is this really the best we can do?”

Just when you start to think that there are no true liberals remaining in the Democratic Party, here comes Dennis Kucinich to restore your faith. Kucinich made a great point. Why do we have to tie unemployment benefits to war funding? The Democrats have enough of a majority that they should be able to pass an extension of unemployment benefits without any Republican votes.

In fact, this could be viewed as a great tactic for the 2010 elections. Why aren’t Democrats forcing Republicans to vote their positions? Don’t give those who whining about the cost unemployment extensions an out but letting them claim that they voted for the bill because they are supporting the troops. If House Democrats can’t even stand up for unemployment benefits, what good are they?

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How Joe Lieberman Became Progressive Enemy # 1

Dec 11 2009 Published by under Featured News

First, the fact that he couldn’t take losing to Ned Lamont in the Democratic Primary for his Senate seat in his last election (2006), so HE started HIS OWN PARTY, Connecticut for Lieberman then he campaigned for John McCain, and now his criticism has helped derail the public option, because at the end of the day it is all about Joe Lieberman.

In the 2008 Presidential campaign, Lieberman actually has the cojones to go out and campaign for John McCain! And Lieberman, who, I’m sure, had plenty of work to do in the Senate, took tons of time to travel the world with McCain at every campaign stop. See Joe smile? See Joe wedge into every picture with McCain with that funny clown-like smile on his face? Yup. Lieberman is also an attention whore.

Look at any Democratic OR Republican “win” for legislation. You’ll see the photo op with a major player at the podium making remarks and…wait…who’s that in the background smiling? Yup! It’s Joe Lieberman.

After pissing off the Democratic Party by campaigning for “Crash” McCain, Harry Reid and other members of the Senate considered stripping Lieberman of one of his chairmanships, and of all people, LIEBERMAN says, “That’s unacceptable.” Unacceptable? Joe. Please. It’s not your freaking choice. And by the way…Your conduct is unacceptable.

Any piece of legislation in the Senate where the voting is close and the Democrats need one more vote to assure a victory, whose wrinkled ass do they kiss? Lieberman’s, like the ad below says, it’s not about Connecticut…It’s all about Joe.

Lately, with the health care reform battle on the line, who comes out against passage of a public option? The public option is the only portion of that legislation in the health care reform bill that actually does anything for those who can’t afford health insurance? Yup. It’s Joe Lieberman. Why? He’s got so many pharmaceutical and medical lobbyists in his pockets that he can barely get his pants on in the morning.

Have a look at the video below, where the actual chairman of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, Dr. John Mertens, says he’s had enough of Lieberman’s crap. And again, Mertens was the chairman of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party.

If you’d like some more information on the organization behind the “It’s All About Joe” ad campaign, check out the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an organization that works to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office and to help those candidates and their campaigns save money, work smarter, and win more often.

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