Civil Liberties Not Part of the Republican Plan for America

Dec 24 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues

Jeff Sessions, R-AL

This is no surprise to liberals, of course. We’ve known it for some time. Repression and authoritarianism has been in the air for some time – it was not invented by George W. Bush – it merely coalesced under his administration. The result was a crushing blow to Americans’ civil liberties, including suspension of habeas corpus on October 17, 2006. Bush’s actions were, in Sarah Palin’s words, a “refudiation” of the Constitution and all it stands for.

Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the Constitution states,

“The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”

Obviously, the United States had not been invaded, and there was no rebellion. But when you treat the Constitution like a loose set of guidelines you can fudge a little.

But habeas corpus is only a single example, There are many ways in which the Republican Party has chipped away at our civil liberties.

You can search the news and speeches and press releases but you won’t see much being said about civil liberties by Republican politicians or pundits. What you will see are efforts to discourage voting, to disenfranchise voters, especially minorities, but now also by wishing to restrict the franchise to property owners; the restriction of constitutionally-guaranteed rights to gays and lesbians, racial equality, women’s reproductive rights, and the destruction of the wall of separation between church and state.

Still, it is surprising when the Republicans themselves admit their abhorrence of civil liberties, as did Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III (R-AL)  of the Senate Judiciary Committee (in fact, its ranking Republican) who denounced the American Civil Liberties Union on the Senate floor this week.

He was concerned, he said, about Obama judicial appointees who have what he termed “ACLU DNA.” It might help here to know that Senator Sessions was the National Journal’s fifth-most conservative U.S. Senator in their March 2007 Conservative/Liberal Rankings, just below DeMint, SC, Bunning, KY, Cornyn, TX and Kyl, AZ. “August” company indeed.

“[T]he administration,” he ranted, “needs to understand that this is going to be a more contentious matter if we keep seeing the ACLU chromosome as part of this process.”

For the record, the ACLU defends the civil liberties of ALL Americans. That includes, despite right-wing propaganda, the civil liberties of Christians – including defending the right of Christian students to protest against the ACLU at school and the wearing of anti-Islam t-shirts at school. And it also of course, defends Republicans when their civil liberties are challenged.

Some Christians seem to recognize that the ALCU is not evil – that is the title of an article in an evangelical magazine, Christianity Today. But Republicans seem not to recognize this.

It is not a matter of the ACLU taking sides; they did not put themselves against the Republican Party. It is the Republican Party that has put itself against the civil liberties of all Americans.

Civil liberties, you see, are non-denominational. They apply to everyone. And everyone has them; we are all equal before the law according to the Constitution.

And yet, according to Senator Sessions, support of those civil liberties is now as disqualifying as such things as paganism, atheism or Islam or homosexuality, some other notable right-wing shibboleths.

As the ACLU asks, what would the existence of such a thing as ACLU DNA indicate?

A predisposition to defend the rights enshrined in the Constitution for everyone, regardless of their political beliefs? A tendency to think that indefinite detention, religious bigotry and racial profiling are unprincipled and un-American?

An inclination to protect the Constitution and defend the rule of law without exception?

The anti-ACLU atmosphere engendered by Republican rhetoric is reminiscent of the anti-Communist hysteria of the ‘50s. All of us who are old enough remember the old “card-carrying member of the Communist party” rhetoric. As the ACLU says, “We’ve been down this road before. We’ve seen attacks on ‘card-carrying members of the ACLU.’ We can never yield to this kind of intimidation.”

As the ACLU says, “freedom can’t protect itself” and the Republicans have proven they won’t protect it. Apparently it’s not enough to oppose civil liberties and the Constitution, or to be ignorant of them; now you’ve got to denounce them publicly too. That, my friends, is Republican Purity.

Note: The ACLU’s official response to Sessions can be found here.

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Barack Obama, High Priest of Baal

God: You're ejected!

The Republicans long ago signaled their intention to decline governing unless they controlled the government. They won’t cooperate, they won’t compromise, and they won’t meet Democrats half-way. They have categorized liberals as vermin, as beneath contempt, and as traitors – as not only un-American but ANTI-American. They can’t very well be expected to compromise with criminals, can they? And so they haven’t.

For two years now they have sat on their hands and watched the United States take a nosedive. Wars have raged (wars they started), the economy has crumbled (an economy they destroyed) and they have tried to blame all this on a man who was himself only a Congressman when these events took place.

They have the strange idea that the minority should govern the country. Not the party which won the election, but the party that lost. This is a unique and rather puzzling viewpoint. After all, in what way is a defeat a mandate from the people?

And they haven’t even bothered to disguise the racism and xenophobia. They accused liberals and progressives of thinking of Obama in messianic terms but they call him a “Magic Negro” anti-colonialist Kenyan Muslim usurper living in a White House surrounded by Watermelon patches who has a “deep-seated hatred of white people.”

They don’t have time to govern. They don’t have time to ratify a much-needed START treaty President Obama negotiated with Russia in April of this year.

And now they don’t have time to meet with President Obama for a bipartisan summit at the White House.

I think in many ways liberals and progressives are shell-shocked; unable to deal with the enormity of the change that has taken place over the past few years, the reckless and unreasoning hate of a group that says nobody has the right to disagree with them; doesn’t even have the right to ask questions, let alone expect answers. How could anyone have been prepared for this?

Ideological certainty and religious certainty have a lot in common, and modern Republicanism combines the worst of both.  We can argue about when and where the politics of fear originated in the American political landscape. We can point at Nixon or we can point elsewhere. But what we have seen over the past two years is something of a degree so extreme that it was difficult to grasp its full extent. It is a new order of hatred.

There is a great deal of Old Testament feeling (and I say feeling and not thinking intentionally) in modern Republicanism. German scholar Jan Assmann (Moses the Egyptian, 1997:1-2) has said that monotheism put the “true” and “false” in religion; I would argue that the Republicans have put the “true” and “false” in politics. I mean by this more than simple agreement or disagreement, or even an ideologically motivated “I’m right and you’re wrong.” True and False (capitalized) have deeper, religious connotations as in ultimate truths and their opposites.

We all remember what happened to those in the Bible who turned away from God. Regina Schwartz (The Curse of Cain, 1997:18, 63) notes the manner in which the biblical narrative paints “inclinations toward polytheism” as “sexual infidelity” and how Israel itself “is castigated for ‘whoring after’ other gods, thereby imperiling her ‘purity.’” The land itself must be kept clean “or its inhabitants will be ejected, ‘vomited’ out of the land…when Israel is not monotheistic, it is filthy and it pollutes the land” (Lev 20.22-25). When Israel worships a foreign deity, she is a harlot, the land is made barren, and she is ejected from the land” (Jer 3.2-3).

This should all sound familiar to you, because it has been put to us again since the rise of the Religious Right, and ever more fervently since, even to the extent that even a president has said atheists are not really citizens. The narrative that America is a New Rome, chosen by God to advance his religion has gained new currency. God is even choosing our presidents and telling individual Republicans to run for office. The Ten Commandments should be preached on every street corner. If you’re not a Christian you aren’t a Republican and if you’re not a Republican you’re not an American. And other religions aren’t really religions at all, but cults. American exceptionalism wears the face of Christian exceptionalism. It isn’t religious freedom they want but religious privilege. The Constitution says all religions are equal. Christianity says the opposite:  all religions are inferior to Christianity.

The Pope and Protestant Fundamentalists are in agreement on this much, at least.

Why am I going on about all this? About religion? Because the American political landscape looks an awful lot like that of post-exilic Israel. Because the report spoken of above shows that “58% agree that God has granted America a special role in human history.”

Think back to what Regina Schwartz said. It is not polytheism that is the enemy here (thought it is still an enemy of the American Taliban). The enemy is liberalism, a term that combines atheists and secularists and feminists (and polytheists), gays and lesbians, and any other group included in and by the European Enlightenment. These were all groups rejected by the Old Testament. If you put “liberal” in place of “polytheist” you have the gist of it. Ann Coulter asserts that liberalism is a religion. Liberalism is turning away from God and liberalism is infidelity; it makes America impure and pollutes the land. And God punishes when he is rejected. Look what he did to New Orleans.

“Yeah, you’re hearing me,” God said.

All this being the case, how can any God-fearing Republican have any time at all for any liberal? It’s like inviting a Canaanite to dinner, or for the Republicans in this case, agreeing to meet with the high priest of Baal in his house.

There is a lot more going on here than simply declining to meet with the President of the United States. It is a rejection of Old Testament proportions. The degree of concern over President Obama’s religion is truly astounding. It’s not even that Obama is being portrayed as a Muslim. It’s that his religion is “different.” And the fruits of this attitude are shown in the fact that eight out of ten of those who see Obama’s religion as “different” from their own have a very (51%) or mostly (27%) unfavorable view of him (See the Public Religion Research Institute report on its 2010 Post-Election American Values Survey).

Differences are essential to modern liberal democracy. Plurality and tolerance are its pillars. But the Old Testament doesn’t teach plurality and inclusion; it likes sameness and exclusion. As Regina Schwartz remarks, “In the myth of monotheism, pluralism is betrayal, punishable with every kind of exile: loss of home, loss of land, even alienation from the earth itself. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” The Constitution is a list of rights; the Ten Commandments are a list of “Shall not’s.” The New York Times categorizes the Republican act of ignoring Obama’s invitation thusly:

Beyond the practical implications of this rudeness, there is an increasingly obvious lack of respect for the president and the presidency, with Republicans interpreting their electoral victory as a mandate to act with hubris.

But it is more than that; more than arrogance, more than hubris, as I have shown here. This is the gulf that separates Republicans and Democrats today, a gulf of religious intolerance and rejection, a delegitimizing of the Other. It is not just fear; it is not just paranoia. It is fear and paranoia fueled by apocalyptic religious intolerance and certitude that they are speaking God’s will and that Obama is not.

We liberals need to realize that this is no simple disagreement on policies. This is a disagreement that goes much deeper than that. We need to understand this because it is a hate and a fear that allows no compromise, and we can reach our hands across the aisle until our arms fall off. They won’t accept them because we have no legitimacy. And until we understand that, we cannot begin to fight back.

15 responses so far

Sarah Palin’s New Twitter Moment

Nov 06 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

Mama Grizzly Winks at Reality

Sarah Palin has had another of those “I didn’t say that!” moments. Twitter seems to be the woman’s worst enemy. It’s ironic really, that she is the star of a reality show but reality is not a friend to her. She seems to be saying to reality (shrieking really), “Reality, you’re not the boss of me!”

You go grrrrl.

There must be a lot of fluff in the rarified air she breaths.

Atlah Church Sign

Her Tweet? It was actually a re-tweet of an Ann Coulter Tweet, which showed a photo of a church sign which reads:

“Blood of Jesus Against Obama/History made 4 Nov 2008, a Taliban Muslim illegally elected president USA Hussein”

Ann Coulter had Tweeted: “This is my new church!”

Ms. Reality Star re-tweeted it as one of her favorites. Gawker has a screen-capture, because of course you can’t see it anymore; Palin, in a rare moment of an intersection with reality said ‘Ooop!” and took it down and then denied any independent recollection of the incident.

By the way, the church is that of Pastor James David Manning, who ”once held a trial declaring Obama ineligible to be president because he says he wasn’t born in the US and who refers to him as a “pimp” and “long-legged mack daddy” in sermons.”

Palin threw an unknown staffer under the bus. She told ABC News:

“Jake, I’ve never purposefully ‘favorited’ any Tweet. I had to go back to my BlackBerry to even see if such a function was possible. I was traveling to Alaska that day…it was an obvious accidental ‘favoriting,’ but no one can mistake that Ann Coulter was obviously being tongue in cheek with that Tweet. Shall I correct this with whichever wonderful media outlet ran with this (an obviously bored reporter…since there must be nothing going on in the world today, like, um, ramifications of a shake up of power in the U.S. House of Representatives?).”

I think she is right on one score, that of her increasing irrelevancy to the American political scene. Her candidates lost. Ms. King Maker Mama Grizzly Reality Star Politician Wannabe will have a difficult time remaining at center stage. A showdown will come between Wall Street Republicans and Tea Party Republicans. They have already been throwing dirt at each other and either Rove or Palin will remain standing. The GOP cannot go both ways and it does not seem there is any happy middle ground for two groups who insist on ideological purity.

I will leave you with this thought: Sarah Palin is out there, and reality is out there, and sometimes, the two actually intersect.

We live in interesting times.

13 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

The Devil Went to Georgia and He Wants to Make a Deal

Oct 02 2010 Published by under Featured News, Issues, Republican Party

The Devil Went Down to Georgia

“The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ‘cos he was way behind: he was willin’ to make a deal.”
~~ Charlie Daniels

Deal Versus Barnes, Georgia Gubernatorial Race 2010

It used to be that Republicans were considered the “adults”. Not so much anymore. This is the year when counterfeit conservatives jumped the meretricious shark and the Democrats appear to be the only responsible adult in the room.

Of course the Republicans are still desperately clinging to their contrived, hollow, cheapened image as the only adult in the room with their smug, entitled style of talking down to everyone else, but then they have always been slow to adapt. Coming out of the mouths of busted frat boys and swinging C Streeters, the now expected Republican mud-slinging smells more like a final tattered, tarnished death ooze than any kind of meaningful slander.

The sheer shrillness of their demagogic vilification jingles should be fair warning to all thinking people.

A perfect example of the tatty, mangy grunge of insincerity and graft permanently adhered to the former glory of the Republican brand is the Georgia gubernatorial race. This race pits two reasonably qualified people (although Republican Deal was voted 4th most corrupt representative of congress by CREW) against each other, taking it out of the very unreal realm of pure comedic final binge of unadulterated and naturally unregulated debauchery into which the GOP has stumbled courtesy of the Satan worshiping witch in Delaware and the social security killing rapists can be lemonade babies Tea Partier in Nevada.

The money behind the Tea Party shot itself in the foot by failure to vet their faux populist puppet candidates (a syndrome which should have brought down the GOP for their 2008 failure to vet the pit bull). But big time crazy is obvious. What’s rushing by unnoticed, however, is the huge shift in values of the parties as exemplified by the Georgia race. The battle for our souls, if you will.

On one hand, we have Georgia Republican Nathan Deal, who is so fiscally irresponsible that he owes more than $2 million to creditors, CBS affiliate WDEF reports. That’s kind of hard to pull off when you earn $150,000.00 a year as Deal did in the House of Representatives (a job he fled last March), not to mention the millions of dollars he’s made in no bid contracts for his company. And not only that, but Deal’s been irrevocably tarnished by rumors of impropriety :

CBS reports:

“Before Deal resigned from Congress, the House ethics committee investigated charges he used his congressional staff to pressure the state to continue a program that benefited a company he partially owned. …”It is undisputed that as a ‘public servant,’ Representative Deal took active steps to preserve a purely state program, one that had generated financial benefit for Representative Deal and his business partner.”

As Crew reflected: “Rep. Deal’s abuse of his position and taxpayer resources to maintain a personally lucrative business deal does not reflect creditably on the House.” I should say not. Nor does it reflect well on his self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative” values. The man has even refused to release his tax records.

Deal is an overly self-indulgent man; an example of the kind of fiscal gluttony that got us into the trouble we’re in. This man is no fiscal conservative with his own money or anyone else’s. In fact, he apparently views the tax payers as feudal serfs whose money should support Deal’s own business dealings. Fiscally drunken Deal is the devil, trying to swindle his way out of trouble and into our pocketbooks courtesy of a title in front of his name. This man is a spoiled child in temperament and deed, who expects others to do his work for him. He doesn’t stand for much other than his own benefit.

Running against Deal is the Democrat, Roy Barnes. Deal has been running an orgy of negative ads against Barnes, mostly accusing Barnes of being rich because he earned money the old fashioned way by working for it and saving it. Apparently, this is now a slanderous accusation among Republicans who instead favor candidates like Christine O’Donnell who hasn’t had a job for many, many years and consider your campaign contributions to be life-style enhancers. Here’s Deal’s website on Barnes:

“Roy Barnes sued his way into being a multi-millionaire.” (Translation: he is a lawyer). Deal then throws a bunch of spurious stones, accusing Barnes of getting rich via: “Illegal Voters,” “Jackpot Jury Payouts,” and “Suing Georgia”. This, of course, refers to Barnes’ work to protect the voting rights of the poor, a trial lawyer who took on consumer credit companies and insurance firms (oh, evil man standing up for the people), But that’s not the only way Barnes got rich. It turns out, Barnes is a fiscally responsible adult who saved and invested his money. This is also a bad thing now, apparently.

Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

The AJC examined more than 1,500 pages of Barnes’ tax returns, financial disclosure statements and other records. The documents suggest Barnes has accumulated his wealth not only through his legal work, but also through shrewd investing and no small amount of good timing… He has made millions on investments in the stock market, particularly in the banking sector that he sought to tightly regulate as governor, and has acquired dozens of rental properties, both residential and commercial, that further boost his income and his net worth.
In the process, he has faced massive tax liabilities. Barnes paid $7.7 million in federal and state income taxes from 1984 through 2009 — far more than the $4.4 million in total earnings that Deal, a former congressman, reported during the same period. Barnes’ taxes would have been higher if not for $2.7 million in charitable contributions since 1984, all of which he has claimed as deductions, his tax returns show. Since he left the governor’s office in 2003, he has given more than $850,000 to his church, First United Methodist in Marietta. He has made other six-figure donations to such charities as the Cobb County YMCA and the Georgia Ballet.”

I bolded the part where Barnes sought to regulate a sector he was making money in, as you won’t see this normally. It can be fun to find integrity.

Barnes represents the values candidate. He is the fiscally responsible adult, the one giving back to his community, the one paying his taxes, saving his money, and walking his talk regarding his faith and charity while Deal is running a negative campaign of manipulated slander and contrived smear, devoid of any platform or discernible values.

Deal has an excess of smear and fear to offer the voters in Georgia, but not one idea. Not one positive value. All of the mud slinging is meant to get the voter distracted by the shiny object; do not look into the Republican’s background, where malfeasance and chicanery dance with the devil on your dime. One thing you won’t find in the Republican background is any semblance of ethical, moral or fiscal constraint, or for that matter, meaningful charitable contributions.

This from the party who keep telling us we don’t need to tax the rich because the charities will take care of the poor. Just who is the executive in the modern day Republican world? They seem a Rome on the decline, immersed in all manner of repugnant forms of self-gratification at the expense of the empire and her people, whom they are starving and depriving of any gratification, self or otherwise.

Deal is the “Christian” in this race, seeing as “Christian” is synonymous with “Republican” in the south. Does he act like a Christian? Nathan Deal’s scandal-ridden graft and his disastrous personal finances vividly elucidate the modern day GOP.

Which candidate is the fiscal conservative? Which one is the morally and ethically straight-laced values candidate? Which one walks his faith talk with his wallet and his deeds? Which candidate is the constrained, moderate candidate? Which candidate is the adult?

Wake up, Georgia. The Devil is coming to Georgia and he wants to make a deal.

10 responses so far

The Republican War With Obama Becomes A War on America

Aug 31 2010 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Presidents Obama and Clinton

Paul Krugmann in his column of August 29, 2010 in the New York Times, addresses “Witch-Hunt Season,” a replay of “the last time a Democrat sat in the White House” and “faced a nonstop witch hunt by his political opponents.”

After eight years of one of the most – if not the most – corrupt administrations in US history, not to mention arguably the most incompetent – we are back to the witch-hunts. And it is not just President Obama himself who is the target of these attacks, but anyone he appoints or thinks to appoint – even those who already work for him or who support him.

The Republicans respond Immediately; the swift-boating gets under way, the smears, the innuendos and outright accusations of wrong-doing, including – disingenuously – racism.

Because as Glenn Beck established back in 2009, President Obama is a man with “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Things were bad enough for President Clinton; as Krugman reminds us, at one point the Republican-controlled Congress took “140 hours of sworn testimony over accusations that the White House had misused its Christmas card list.”

President Bush said the Constitution was just a “goddamned piece of paper” and used it to wipe his backside, but President Clinton got accused of misusing his Christmas card list. The Republican-controlled Congress never even breathed a whisper about investigating Bush; The Democrat-controlled Congress has refused to even examine the myriad abuses of the Bush administration.

An illegal war against an innocent nation, torture, rendition, attacks on civil rights and habeas corpus, but none of that matters – it’s the Christmas card list. Even oral sex in the Oval Office, while an insult to the dignity of the office, was not a violation of the Constitution, and did nothing to threaten our national security.

But President Obama is in a special place: he is black; our first African-American president. At first they attacked his Christianity for being of a racist variety, based on his pastor. When that became passé, they began to accuse him of not really being a Christian at all, but a Muslim.

Again, Krugman points to this, citing Rush Limbaugh: “Imam Hussein Obama,” is “probably the best anti-American president we’ve ever had.”

Imam Hussein Obama…If you don’t want to use his middle name against him, you can always use his first name.

Glenn Beck rose to the challenge, attacking, “Barack” back in February of this year:

“He chose to use his name Barack for a reason — to identify, not with America — you don’t take the name Barack to identify with America. You take the name Barack to identify with what? Your heritage? The heritage, maybe, of your father in Kenya, who is a radical? Is — really?”

Two years before, on Glenn Beck’s program, Ann Coulter asked the following: “Is Obama a Manchurian candidate to normal Americans who love their country? … Or is he being the Manchurian candidate to the traitor wing of the Democratic Party?”

As Media Matters points out, Coulter “has previously referred to Obama as “B. Hussein Obama” in the past and called him “President Hussein.” She has also compared Obama to Adolf Hitler, calling Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father, a “dimestore Mein Kampf.

He has been called worse. He has been portrayed as having a watermelon patch around the White House.  Rush Limbaugh played “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show many times in 2007 and 2008 and it has since been used by other Republicans.

But we are assured there is no racism involved (Obama is the racist, after all). In fact, conservatives have turned things around and accused the left of being racist. On August 13 of this year, Rush Limbaugh, who just a month before (July 6, 2010) said Barack Obama is president only because he is black  – “[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black” - stated that “The Democrats are trying to keep black people out of politically powerful positions, it ain’t us.”

This is a poser. Is Rush trying to tell us that it was the Republicans who voted Barack Obama into office, and that Democrats voted against him? Was it attacks from the left and not the right that forced African-American Shirley Sherrod out of her job?

All this might be news to the black voters who voted Democrat in 2008 – fully 96% of them according to exit polls, or to the majority of black voters who are in fact Democrats – not Republicans. Of course, the conservatives forget they already accused THOSE black voters of being racist – voting for Barack Obama only because he was black, like them.

The barrage of attacks has been relentless. Pretending to be a government in exile, the Republicans have done more while hiding at FOX to paralyze the United States government than the Free French did while hiding in London to paralyze the Vichy government of France. Krugman touches on this point as well, saying that “What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals — even very moderate liberals — legitimate.”

They’ve gotten to the point where they believe God himself wants them to have control of the US government. Bush believed it, Bachmann and Palin believe it, Angle believes it, and from his rhetoric in Washington this weekend, Beck believes it, even somehow seeing himself as the agent and catalyst God has chosen to implement this change.

How this explains the results of the 2008 election is anyone’s guess.

One of the many examples of these attacks against the government is the smear campaign turned against green jobs czar, Van Jones, who was hounded out of office for being a “radical/communist/black nationalist” who planned to take over the country. Another, more innocuous figure was Shirley Sherrod. As Media Matters tells it,

On August 4, Dr. Kevin Pezzi — a writer for Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com who Media Matters for America has noted for his absurdly self-aggrandizing claims, racist writings, and sexual inventions including “penile enlargement techniques,” released a two-part screed against former USDA appointee Shirley Sherrod, smearing her as a racist.

As it does so often the White House panicked and Shirley Sherrod was ordered to resign. Only afterward, when the left erupted in protest, did the White House stop to look at the facts.

It is hard to blame the Obama Administration for being oversensitive to this criticism, given the example provided by the fate of the Clinton Administration put under similar pressure.

But then in July 2010 no less a journalist than Sam Donaldson, of ABC News, urged President Obama to stand up to and take on Fox News. Donaldson said, “President Obama, don’t be afraid of them. Take them on, and let the people judge.”

It is clear that the Republicans are not going to cut the Obama administration any more slack than they cut the Clinton. They are going to accuse him no matter what he does, no matter which stance he takes, even if it contradicts previous spin.

Whether President Obama actively engages in a war of words with FOX or other Republican organizations, it is clear that he must thicken his skin and resolve to not buckle under pressure, and to look at the facts before taking any action. It is difficult to regain the momentum once you have surrendered it, and as anyone left of a very Centrist President Obama knows, he is at his best when he stands up to the bully-boy tactics.

So dig your heels in, Mr. President, because they are not going to stop pushing no matter what you do. Might as well prepare for the fight because, as Van Jones said, “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide” and unless you intend to spend your last two years in office on the run, that’s what you’re going to have to do.

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Sarah Palin Calls Dr. Laura’s Resignation Unfair and Un-American

Aug 18 2010 Published by under Featured News

Sarah Palin took to her Twitter account to let the world know that she thinks it is very unfair that Dr. Laura Schlessinger is ending her radio show at the end of the year due to the fall out from her racist n-word rant on the air last week. Palin wrote Dr. Laura’s resignation “isn’t American, not fair.”

Here is Palin’s Tweet via Media Matters:

Compare Palin’s tweet on Dr. Laura to her feelings last month on the community center, “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand. Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in the interest of healing. So let me see if I have this straight, according to Sarah Palin, American citizens who happen to be Muslims and wish to build a community center six blocks from Ground Zero have no constitutional protections, but Dr. Laura is allowed to use the word nigger 11 times in a rant on the radio?

Why in Sarah Palin’s mind does a conservative white woman get constitutional protections, but Muslims do not? It must be pointed out that Palin’s blame of liberal activists for trying to silence Dr. Laura is a pure manifestation of her own paranoia along with the classic Right Wing persecution complex. By the way, the activists that Palin claims are trying to silence Dr. Laura include Media Matters, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Women’s Media Center, and UNITY Journalists of Color. I don’t know about you, but except for GLAAD and Media Matters, I am not overly familiar with these organizations.

Palin’s two tweets on the “Ground Zero Mosque” and Dr. Laura speak volumes about her true character, and the politics that she is practicing. Sarah Palin is running a strictly whites only operation. One only has to look at all the lily white female faces in her SarahPAC’s Mama Grizzly video for proof of that. Much like the GOP, Palin’s entire political strategy is to divide the nation by race. She wants 2012 to be White vs. Black and with herself as the flag bearer for the white cause.

Palin’s lack of basic constitutional knowledge along with her special education teenage girl tweeting skills alone should disqualify her from the White House, but apparently Sarah doesn’t think that she has made her racism clear enough, so in the belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity, Palin has ambulanced chased her way to the defense of Dr. Laura. Sarah Palin has become a consistent defender of racism and discrimination.

When she chose to frame Park51 in the politics of fear and intolerance she was discriminating against a group of innocent Americans who only want to practice their freedom of religion, and as she ran to Dr. Laura’s aid, she was defending the type of ugly racism that every use of the word nigger revives. If Barack Obama represented the hope of what America could be in 2008, Sarah Palin and her potential 2012 bid represent the ugliness that America has been, and if we aren’t careful could once again become.

65 responses so far

Glenn Beck Accuses the NAACP of Racism

Jul 16 2010 Published by under Featured News

On his Fox News program today, Glenn Beck accused the NAACP of using racism as a tactic for political gain. Beck said, “Racism is now being used as a tactic for political gain. The NAACP is now trying to intimidate Tea Partiers passing a resolution to condemn ‘the racist elements in the Party.’” Beck lecturing about racism is like an arsonist discussing fire safety.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

“acism is now being used as a tactic for political gain. The NAACP is now trying to intimidate Tea Partiers passing a resolution to condemn ‘the racist elements in the Party.’ Look, I have to tell you something. Racism is real. Why are we minimizing it? Why are we using it for politics? Why? Racism is real. Are there people that hate Blacks, or Jews, or Whites or Asians in the Tea Party? Sure. Are there people in the NAACP? Sure. Shouldn’t we stand shoulder to shoulder against those people? Don’t we have that in common? Isn’t that the majority of America? Racism is not a white man’s problem. It is not a black man’s problem. It is not a Hispanic problem. Racism is a human problem. It is a problem that humans have had since the beginning of time. I don’t know when man decided that they could pit each other against each other to rule. It is wrong when any class. It is wrong when any color does it. Martin Luther King tried to get people to unite. Isn’t that what we should be striving for?”

It was also wrong when Glenn Beck used racism as a political tactic when he labeled President Obama a racist. Beck race baits constantly on his program, and in fact he could not make it through a whole show without bringing up The Black Panthers.

Beck is a joke. Here is a man, who makes his living by preaching division, hate, and racism daily in the media, but yet his wealthy privileged white male self is egotistical that he actually is preaching about the dangers of racism to the NAACP. This whole rant was part of Beck’s plan to rework the words and deeds of Martin Luther King to fit his new white power movement, which has its big rally in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. Many members of the Tea Party are proud of the racism in words and signs. The NAACP was correct to call out the racism of the Tea Party.

Beck’s platitudes about racism are almost as genuine as his non stop shilling for Goldline. That whole bring America together shtick was nothing more than a preview of Beck’s 8-28 rally, where it is safe to assume that he will continue to warp the words and legacy of Martin Luther King, while labeling minority groups who dare to call out the racism of the Right as racists. Glenn Beck is a con man who is trying to sell Fox News viewers a myth of racism on the Left, so that can sleep better at night with their own racist beliefs.

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Rush Limbaugh Discusses Barack and Michelle Obama’s Slave Blood

Jul 02 2010 Published by under Featured News

On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh was speculating as to why First Lady Michelle Obama did not attend Sen. Robert Byrd’s funeral, and his speculation focused on Michelle Obama’s “pure slave blood,” and President Obama’s “lack of pure slave blood.” Limbaugh managed to not only take a shot at the deceased Byrd, but he also leveled a racial slur at the Obamas.

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

Limbaugh said, “I don’t know why Michele my belle is not there, but as has been said by several black civil rights leaders, Obama does not have authentic slave blood, but Michele does. We can only speculate. Maybe she is at a skybox at a baseball or football game, who knows?”

Limbaugh was trying to take a shot at another deceased Democrat, because picking on the dead is somewhat of Rush specialty, but the difference between Robert Byrd and Rush Limbaugh is that Byrd eventually abandoned the politics of hate, and worked hard as a champion of equality. In 2005 Byrd said of his association with the KKK in the 1940s, “It has emerged throughout my life to haunt and embarrass me and has taught me in a very graphic way what one major mistake can do to one’s life, career, and reputation.”

Sen. Byrd lived the rest of his life embarrassed and shamed by the racism in his past, whereas people like Rush Limbaugh embrace the racism in order to politically divide and as a path to greater financial riches. There was no reason for Limbaugh to talk about slave blood, when discussing the Obamas and the funeral of Robert Byrd. His sole purpose in doing so was to remind his listeners of the right wing myth that Democrats are more racist than Republicans.

It was also an easy chance for Limbaugh to reinforce the idea that the African-American president and his wife are not white, and thus inferior to himself and his white listenership. Limbaugh’s speculation combined the ugliness of hate politics with racism. When radio hosts start speculating about slave blood they are playing with a dangerous Molotov cocktail, or our nation’s ugly underbelly. Which each mention of slave blood and race, Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the GOP is reaffirming the notion of the terrified white racist Republican.

37 responses so far

Glenn Beck Rewrites History and Defends Slavery

Jun 25 2010 Published by under Featured News

It was another wild and wacky trip through revisionist Right Wing history with Glenn Beck today as Glenn decided to spend the day defending slavery. On the radio he claimed that race relations aka slavery was fine until it became politicized before the Civil War, and he followed this up with a claim on his TV show that there were no racial relations issues in colonial America.

Here is Beck explaining why some free African Americans went back to Africa and founded Liberia:

Beck gave his own fantasy explanation of why Liberia was founded, “We talk a little bit about Liberia tonight. Here’s a group of African Americans that left because they wanted to go back to Africa, because they wanted to go back to Africa, not everybody wanted to go back to Africa. Some of them left and went back to Africa and started a country. What did they call it? Liberia. What is the capital of Liberia? Monrovia, that’s amazing. Now how could you possibly do that if you hated this country, if it was such an oppressive country?” (Beck’s point is that slavery was not a bad thing. African Americans weren’t oppressed and they loved America).

Beck also claimed that race relations were good until the Civil War:

Beck said, “The things that have happened in this country where it really starts to wrong was the lead up to the Civil War, and it became politicized and it was all about slavery, before then we were moving on the right track. You’ll learn things tonight that you never ever learned before and ask yourself why?”

Beck then claimed on his television show that blacks and whites didn’t hate each other in the 1790s:

In contrast to Glenn Beck’s rosy picture of slavery and race relations during the colonial period, comes this account of the legal rights of African Americans around the colonial era from Archiving Early America, “The Negro slaves had by 1790 reached their full definition as dehumanized marketable commodities. A lawsuit in that year, in Virginia, apparently was brought for satisfaction in the transfer of a group of “11 negroes belonging to Benjamin Pynes … i (sic ) saw them when down the country, and offered him 330 pounds for the whole. “This sounds more like a trade in dry goods or agricultural products than in human lives, and there is no reason to believe that the participants in this transaction saw it as anything but a simple and straight-forward, absolutely amoral business deal.”

Here is more of what it was like in 1800, from Archiving Early America, “By 1800, anyone living in the southern United States with a high concentration of epidermic melanin was assumed a slave, unless by more or less difficult documentation that person could prove conclusively otherwise. The continuing uncertainty of the common law demanded the exposure of such proof. But even though slaves suffered horribly, it was the logical noose on the Anglo-American law’s neck that tightened the hardest. Eventually, a subconscious recognition of the unworkable nature of “dual status” prompted extreme paranoid defensiveness in some southern Anglo-Americans. This disease would not be relieved soon, and then, only by the coincidence of gory cultural self-mutilation inflicted by civil war, some of whose helotist seeds were planted ages before northern Europeans ever reaped such noisome fruits on North American shores.”

The problem with Glenn Beck’s revisionist history is that he does not take into account that African Americans were still slaves. Beck is making the basic argument that the slave system worked and that African Americans were happy in chains. It was okay with them and everyone got along just fine. Of course, this argument is silly and or offensive to anyone who is African American or knows the basics of our national history, but Glenn Beck is out to rewrite history from a far right perspective.

His whole take on colonial era race relations is extremely racist, but it is also illogical. Beck contended that the discussion about slavery, not race relations, were the problem, but wasn’t slavery the racial relationship in the nation at that time? Beck defended slavery and claimed that it was fine until it was politicized in the lead up to the Civil War. Glenn Beck was arguing that slavery wasn’t bad until the politicians got involved. In short, Glenn Beck was defending the slave system and racism, and he wonders why much of America thinks that he is a racist.

Photo Credit: lynnrockets

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