Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

The Tradition of Cannibalism

November 18, 2011

Here are some laughs to launch your weekend.  Cannibalism?  It most recently came to my mind with the inception of the Tea Party.  The GOP does not have the guts to offer solutions for the many ills that plague this country.  Instead, over the last three years, they have been trying their hardest to unseat President Obama.  Their mission has had but one goal: get that smart, charismatic, well-behaved, Peace Nobelist, black man out of the White House.  Predictably, the GOP has not embraced the more right-wing Tea Party, as they see the Teabaggers as an obstruction to regaining power.  I always knew that the GOP was capable of “eating their own” if it would aid the Republicans in winning more elections.

Thus, legislative battle after legislative battle we have seen the GOP unable to rein in the Tea Party.  Health care for everyone?   Higher taxes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans?  A fair policy towards immigrants?  A jobs bill that would help towards lowering our unemployment rate?  Nah.  These agenda items  (and mind you, these are only the tip of the iceberg) were all vetoed by the GOP simply to obstruct the President regardless of  the necessity and value in bettering our citizens.  Looming over us is yet another battle before year’s end to balance the budget.  Will this be the third or fourth attempt by our Congress to enact  legislation to keep the United States “in business?”  Without the support of the Tea Party votes, the GOP is dead in the water.  Our Congress, with a satisfaction rating of 9%, has no qualms about sacrificing our AAA bond rating for political muscle.   Total self-destruction.  Thus, my curiosity for political cannibalism.

THE CANNIBAL

A cannibal was walking through the jungle and came upon a restaurant operated by a fellow cannibal.
                                                   
Feeling somewhat hungry, he sat down and looked over the menu….

+Tourist:$5.00

+Broiled Missionary:$10.00

+
Fried Explorer:$15.00

+
Baked Democrat or Grilled Republican:$100.00

The cannibal called the waiter over and asked,
“Why such a high price for the politicians?”

The cook replied, “Have you ever tried to clean one?
************************************************************
And then in quiet desperation, The GOP realized that it cannot rely on their mainstream, bread-and-butter platform because the Tea Party wanted to take the GOP’s agenda and make it even more conservative.  That would not do, as the Tea Party’s agenda would definitely cut into the GOP’s electoral base and in doing so, would endanger the election of Republicans.
At the end of it all, there is no love lost between the GOP and the Tea Party; their relationship is clearly an example of eating their own.  The Tea Party has rocked that proverbial boat of GOP ideology.  As I read the following funnie, I found some humor in the GOP’s exasperation with their fellow Republicans and the relationship of old, set-in-their-ways married people.
OLD LOVE
I was in my back yard trying to fly a kite.
I threw the kite up in the air, the wind would catch it for a few seconds, then it would come crashing back down to earth.
I tried this a few more times with no success.
All the while, my wife is watching from the kitchen window,
Muttering to herself how men need to be told how to do everything.
She opens the window and yelled to me,
‘You need a piece of tail.’
I turned with a confused look on my face and said,
‘Make up your mind. Last night, you told me to go fly a kite.’
And so as you enjoy the stories herein, you will probably agree that the connotations of cannibalism apply to our current political conundrum of eating our own, then spitting out the end result.  And what IS the end result of all of this monkey business?  Simply to  wind up where we started from with the same old problems unsolved.  With all of the political finagling who has the time and energy to get down to brass tacks?
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The Height of American Justice

April 20, 2010

This past weekend, I watched a remarkable documentary on public television.  It was titled “Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance” and was produced by the University of Virginia Center For Politics along with WCVE PBS Richmond.  The program follows the legal, civil and personal battle for school integration in Virginia.

As I watched, I felt disoriented and sucker-punched.  Why?  The ugly, ugly words coming out of the mouths of Virginia’s leading politicians, law and order types, teachers and just regular citizens took my breath away.  As if those times weren’t bad enough, I felt as though I was re-living that prejudice and ignorance today as I listen to the tenets of the Tea Party, militia groups and still and yet, our leading politicians.

To hear speakers from 60 years ago espouse defamatory words about American citizens who just happen to have dark skin made me wince.  There were politicians in high office, i.e. the Governor, who swore that, even after the passage of Brown v. Board Of Education of Topeka in 1954, integration would never happen in Virginia.  If it took armed state militia and a closing down of all public schools, so be it.  It did, but the state government had to bow to the new federal law.  However, to hear mainstream, elected leaders calling integration “not democratic” or saying that segregation was one of the mainstay founding principles of this country was reason and justice twisted about as far as discrimination and hatred would permit.  The argument for states’ rights in support of segregation was as lame then as the states’ rights platform is today for gun ownership or against mandatory health coverage.  Show me one major issue or event where the cry for states’ rights was actually made FOR rights, rather than AGAINST them.

My stomach turned over and over as I listened, but also because today’s Tea Party and militias condemn our government in its entirety using the same anti-government catch phrases.  Even the GOP, in all of its offensive whining and sore-losing tactics over health care reform, has echoed similar foul responses that demean and distort our Constitutional principles.  “Repeal and reform” is just a cover-up for saying, “Get that Darkie out of the White House.”

You know that is their ultimate purpose, proven once again when Senator Mitch McConnell continues to accuse the administration’s attempts at fiscal overhaul to be just another way of bailing out the large banks.  McConnell continues to rant about how “un-American” financial reform is.  Nah.  He and his cronies want to see President Obama go down, back to the plantation.

I urge you to find a copy of this documentary and watch it.  Perhaps the part of it that had the greatest emotional impact on me was to watch these “locked out”children repeat the lessons taught by their parents, lessons calmly, reasonably, yet persistently encouraging their children to walk up that hill to that new school.  Yes, they instructed the children to say nothing, just keep on walking.  The wisdom of those parents is really what won the day for all minorities trying to get a fair and equal education.  There was such strength, quiet as it might have been, in the teachings of the parents.

Frank Rich, in his Op-Ed article in the New York Times this past Sunday, confronted this same issue of prejudice disguised as Americanism, only difference being he cited these blatant examples from recent days.  Today, a giant of an educator and civil rights activist, Dorothy Height, passed away.  Her 98 years on this earth should be honored by instructing those who deem their biased, militant America to be the America of all of us, to take their narrow, self-serving ideas and stick it where the sun don’t shine.  We should never cave in to these reactionary, self-loathing, miserable people.  Ever.

Rent it, buy it, watch it: “Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance”.  Then, thank your lucky stars we have such an intelligent, calm President who is without a doubt, the product of all the battles for equal rights that came before his time.   There is no better antidote than President Obama for what ails us.

The Fall of the Economy and the Rise of Hatred

March 28, 2010

A few journalists have hit the nail right on the head when they attribute the rancor and violence over our new health care bill to much more than just an opposing opinion on this legislation.  A person need not go much deeper than the surface to witness the real cause of the anger: a deep-seated repulsion, a backlash, to minority members holding our highest offices.

Charles Blow and Frank Rich both writing for the New York Times, address the underlying rationale for our current rage:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/opinion/27blow.html?src=me&ref=homepage

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html?hp

Unfortunately, it does not take much to bring our bases instincts to the surface.  Historically, all it has taken is negative economic factors.  It’s always the economy, stupid.  When people lose their jobs and their lives take a nosedive that actually threatens their well-being, they naturally lash out at the government.  However, too often, they support rather negative political replacements in the hopes of rectifying their own situations.  A major part of these reactions is that the replacements typically focus on a specific group, usually it is a minority group, as the enemy who caused this economic havoc.  And the people fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

This is exactly what happened in Germany that enabled Hitler to come to power.  Germany was in dire financial straits.  Too many people were out of work.  The blame had to be directed at someone, and how convenient it was to place that onus at the feet of non-Aryans?  Furthermore, the fear and hatred generated was also a means for Hitler to amass and build his own power base.  Worse than Hitler’s motives and behavior though, was  the acceptance of his actions by the population.  So many Germans knew about the slaughter of the Jews, as did  international leaders.  For the sake of “peace” and “politeness”, they stood by and watched the murder and mayhem.  The goal of “not making a scene” was more important than saving innocent lives.

In our country today, we are witnessing a similar phenomenon.  Many people are unemployed and lash out at our government as the culprit who caused this mess.  Part and parcel of their retaliation is the need to attack people who formerly were deemed less-than-full citizens, i.e. minorities, women and gay people.  That tact seems to provide some release for the angry ones.

The Tea Party has come into being due to our hard economic factors.  But their not-so-subtle use of their underlying prejudices is what is fueling the fires of discontent:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/us/politics/28teaparty.html?scp=2&sq=tea%20party&st=cse

This is our Tea Party.  Keep in mind that they justify government involvement in such benefits as Social Security and Medicare, just not in anything else that does not directly affect them.  Such conservative politicians who are allying themselves with the Tea Party are courting their own downfall.  For those Republicans to use the Tea Party for their own political aims is a losing, destructive policy.  Just as these prejudiced people have turned against all government, they too will turn against those Republicans who consider them their friends.  Just this morning some Tea Party activists voiced their venom at John McCain, blaming him for all that has transpired because he lost the Presidential election.  Can you believe that he is now using Sarah Palin, currently the honey of the Tea Party (this will end soon as well) in his desperate efforts to get reelected?  Didn’t he learn anything the first time around?

But I digress.  There is nothing productive or healing about this Tea Party.  Their goals are purely disruptive and include such ugly strategies as racial and sexual hatred.  We have yet to hear any positive fixes for what ails us from this party.  Their mission is to divide, not to unify.  Sure enough, their venom is causing their members to turn against even themselves.  In their escalating outrage, there are no limits to the destruction, and that encompasses even their own.

In a similar vein, I feel sorry for all of those Catholic children who were abused by their clergy.  Once again, as if those sins weren’t bad enough, the cover-up and refusal of the Church and its leadership never to have taken corrective steps to stop that abuse makes these abusive practices even more appalling.   Sin heaped upon ever greater sin.

We all need to heed the words of Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

That Damn Tanning Tax

March 25, 2010

Finally, finally, the GOP leadership has publicly spoken out against the violence perpetrated against those lawmakers who voted their support for the new health bill.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/25/republicans-condemn-viole_n_513211.html

Sorry, the Republican’s leadership response is too little, too late.  Let me explain why this is so.

Do not tell me that John Boehner’s outburst right before the vote stating that this bill will be “our Armageddon” did not instigate and give his stamp of approval to such conservative anger, vicious actions and malignant malice that has followed the enactment of this bill.  The irony of his remark is that without this bill, millions of Americans, children and adults alike, would have no health coverage or medical care.  That is the real Armageddon.  Perhaps Boehner’s anger is really in response to the 10% tax, as dictated by HCR, on tanning salon sessions.  Why else would our Tan Man, The Prince of Orange, be so irate, addled and furious at this bill’s passage?  Something is out of whack.

Similarly, John McCain has demonstrated the same vitriol at this bill’s enactment.  McCain was always a bitter man, but something about his latest behavior smacks of contentiousness, almost as if his sanity was in question.  Could this be the beginnings of Alzheimer’s, often making its first appearance as belligerence?  For McCain to say that he will no longer work and fulfill his Senatorial duties until the election in November, is basically saying “F*** you” to all of the Americans who pay his salary and benefits.  For the GOP  to pledge in unity not to work past 2 P.M., as specified in some vague procedural rule, is also an abrogation of their sworn oaths of office:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/24/gop-senators-refusing-to_n_511639.html

This poisonous behavior on the part of the GOP, plus their acceptance of violence to their opponents, is indicative of much more than just “sour grapes” over their loss on health care.  For heaven’s sake, a bill is just a bill.  One side “wins” and the other side “loses”.  Then everyone comes together to make it good for everyone.  Even in past presidents’ darkest moments, when the wrath of their opposition was the greatest, the party’s leadership stood up and said enough.  Acceptable as it was to criticize the man who held the Presidency, it was not acceptable to disrespect the office of the Presidency.  When the public’s venom was directed to Bill Clinton over the Lewinsky mess and George Bush over Iran, the anger was kept in check.  Alas, we see none of that now.  Why is this so?

The answer is pure racism, tinged with more than a dab of anti-intellectualism,wrapped up in a feeling of hopeless stupidity and sprinkled with a goal of revenge.   The GOP cannot stomach the fact that we have an African-American as President of the United States, especially one that is intellectually heads and heels above 99% of all Congressmen.  They despise his cool, calm demeanor and when he wins a major legislative battle such as HCR, they derogatorily call it due to his “Chicago tactics”.  There is no respect for either the man or the office from our minority leaders.  Thus, the GOP is giving tacit approval to the like actions of such rabble-rousers as the Tea Party and brick throwers.

As an aside, in line with the GOP’s racism is their sexism.   The GOP’s call for the firing of Nancy Pelosi is purely sexist in nature.  I said it before and I will say it again: she wielded more control and power in getting this bill passed than any other lawmaker.  In addition, her loyalty to her President was unfailing.  She was sedate and polite, yet she stayed on task and got the job done.  That is the key here: Pelosi got her job done.  Her tactical ploy of threatening to use “deem and pass” was brilliant in getting the public’s acceptance of simple reconciliation.  How threatening was that mere fact to the opposition, who lost?  What permanent damage to their testosterone levels was done?

This beating down of the Republicans’ testosterone levels opened up their floodgates of anger and violence.  They view Pelosi’s victory as a virtual castration.  Wait a minute: I thought it was the gentler sex, the women, who were supposed to be subject to hormonal variations,  ruled by emotion.  Imagine that a woman fulfilled her job description despite this innate weakness.  No wonder the contempt of the Congressional GOP: it is they who are looking to be the weak ones.  Just like the tanning salons aid in one’s appearance, this power-seeking of the GOP is an all-out effort to keeping up appearances. Unfortunately, that is the driving force in the survival of today’s empty Republican Party.

I tried to stay positive and generous for as long as I could after the vote.  I really did.  However, when our lawmakers’ behaviors lead to harming people rather than protecting them, something has got to give.  Shame on the Party of No.  They cannot accept defeat graciously, much less at all.  Their nod of acceptance to the ensuing violence is shameful and the very antithesis of the definition of leadership.

And to think all of this combative behavior resulted from a 10% tax on tanning sessions.  My, oh my!

POSTSCRIPT:

This just came over the wires.  The GOP, in their anger and lashing out at utter defeat, are now eating their own, almost assuredly guaranteeing their own self destruction:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/25/david-frum-aei-split-cons_n_513544.html

And always remember: