It seems that some politicians are given a free-pass when it comes to even the most basic knowledge. Take Sarah Palin. If you look at the list of statements that this woman has made over the last 3 years, it is mind boggling that anybody would ever want her as the leader of the free world. Let’s review her history here:
This is the same woman who told Charlie Gibson of ABC in a nationally televised interview that her foreign policy expertise included the fact that Russia could be seen from an island off the coast of Alaska. This, I might add, is an island that Palin had never once set foot upon. “You never know when ole Mr. Putin is gonna come flyin’ over here…”. Yep. She actually said that.
When asked which periodicals and publications she has been reading to keep up on national and world affairs, Palin told Katie Couric that she reads “them all”. Whenever Palin is baffled by a question she uses her standard “I like ’em all” answer, and that’s what she did. To this day, we still do not know what Palin reads to keep informed about national issues. Until four years ago, she never even had a passport and had never left the United States.
Sarah Palin has stated publicly that she does not accept the theory of evolution, not even understanding the meaning of the term “theory”, and that she believes in a literal translation of the Bible. This means Palin believes mankind walked alongside living dinosaurs and that the world is only 6,000 years old. Of course, when asked which book of the Bible she likes most, she would no doubt say, “I like ’em all.” Certainly, people are free to believe whatever they like, but Palin’s rejection of the scientific method hardly makes her the ideal leader of a nation of 300 million people which share a variety of beliefs.
When asked by Glenn Beck who her favorite Founding Father was, Palin stumbled with the question, then said– you guessed it– “I like ’em all.” When pressed by Beck, Palin said she liked George Washington the most, not knowing that Washington was a general and not one of the Founding Fathers. Furthermore, in her stone ignorance, she chose a man who actually favored a strong central government as well as the formation of a national bank. In other words, George Washington stood for everything that Palin says she is against. More recently, when asked what notable role Paul Revere played in the Revolution, she said he “warned the British” that they couldn’t just “come over here and take our guns…” by “ringing bells” and repeatedly firing his muzzle-loaded flint-lock rifle.
Probably one of Ms. Palin’s most hysterical misstatements occurred during the campaign when she referred to “the great country of Africa”. More recently, she didn’t seem to know why there was a North and South Korea. One has to wonder if she can’t figure out who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb.
During a Tea Party convention, Palin made several insulting remarks about President Obama, one of which accused him of being “a law professor lecturing the American people behind a lecturn using a teleprompter.” Of course, she failed to realize that she was doing precisely the same thing, only she was using the palm of her hand instead of a teleprompter.
What Palin is best known for is her bald-faced lie about “death panels” during and after the health care reform debate. Despite the fact that every fact checking organization had debunked that outrageous lie, Palin has stuck to her guns. Of course, she would never admit that private insurance companies already utilize de facto death panels by denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and canceling the policies of people who become ill.
Palin has referred to President Obama on numerous occasions as a socialist, but refuses to provide her definition of the term, no doubt because she doesn’t have it written on the palm of her hand. She doesn’t care that Obama hasn’t nationalized a single business, nor has he put any government employees into the boardrooms. Of course, Palin believes that Obama should have just let the auto companies fail, even though doing so would have caused hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs and essentially turned over that industry to foreign manufacturers. In recent weeks, we have learned of the remarkable rebound of the US auto industry and the fact that they have repaid most of the funds that the Obama administration LOANED to them. Not surprisingly, you won’t hear Sarah Palin talking about that.
In a closed meeting at the White House, Rahm Emanuel told a group of liberal activists that their idea to air attack ads targeting conservative Democrats who were against the health care reform bill was “f’ing retarded”. Palin, who has inserted her special needs child into the political arena before, demanded that Emanuel immediately resign. Then, when Rush Limbaugh said on national radio that all Democrats are retards, Palin went on FOX News and defended Limbaugh’s use of the word and his characterization of all Democrats. While his use of the term was insensitive and inappropriate, Emanuel said that an idea was “f’ing retarded”, while Limbaugh was using the term to describe a group of people he doesn’t like. But, according to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh should get a pass. This could be a blatant case of hypocrisy, but it could also be that Palin is just too dim to understand the difference between what Emanuel and Limbaugh said.
Sarah Palin never speaks in specifics and is always on the attack, never offering a single constructive alternative. Why? Because she doesn’t know what the specifics are. It is far easier to make insinuations, and attack with empty-headed sarcasm than it is to develop your own well thought out ideas and articulate them in a comprehensible manner. We all get a good laugh about Sarah’s gaffes, but the time to stop laughing has come. This is a person who is building a political movement on the cult of her personality. She is a classic fascist masquerading as a populist who has managed to win the hearts and minds of far too many Americans. Even if she never ran for president, her influence on our political process and election outcomes could do great damage to the country.
Elia Kazan, the Academy Award-winning film director, said many years ago that the greatest danger to our democracy would be having person of no ability or intellect elected to high office based solely on their personal charm.
I would have to agree with President Carter’s assessment, when he says that racism lies at the core of the current venomous attacks on President Obama. (To be clear, Carter said that he was talking about a “radical fringe element”, rather than all people who oppose Obama’s policies). While the extreme language and behavior of many people involved in the Tea Party movement in addition to the rantings of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh has been veiled in manufactured political causes, they are clearly driven by anger that a black man is sitting in the White House. At best, they are attempting to tap into the undercurrent of “white man’s anger”, especially in the southern states, in order to score political points. We also have people like Michelle Malkin attacking Mrs. Obama, and a pastor in New Mexico preaching that the President and his family should die and go to hell. All of this is symptomatic of a concerted effort to de-legitimize Barack Obama’s presidency before he has even been in office for one year.
When people refuse to listen to reason and continually ignore the facts as they are presented to them, then hallucinate nefarious schemes such as death panels, secret nationalist armies, and concentration camps for political enemies, we are witnessing the kind of ignorance and fear that are the building blocks of bigotry. When people scream, “I want my country back!”, they’re really saying that the President of the United States isn’t a true American. When they walk around carrying signs that say “Bury Barry with Teddy” and hold up forged Kenyan birth certificates, they’re saying that they truly believe the President is the enemy. One man even stated on camera at a Tea Party rally that Obama was more dangerous to the United States than Osama Bin Laden. This is not rational behavior, and it’s edging closer to sedition every day.
This monster has been created by the right-wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, whose organizer is a blatant racist. On his website, he refers to the President as an “Indonesian, Muslim communist thug”. Like any good propagandist, he hand-picked each of those words to push the most sensitive buttons without regard to the fact that none of them have a thing to do with reality. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin are the incendiary personalities who are inciting these crowds with their strident and almost comical accusations. At a certain point, this country is going to have to deal with them, just like it dealt with Joseph McCarthy, another political opportunist with a sick agenda.
If you think Joe Wilson would have yelled “You lie!” to a white president, you’re on crack. Mr. Wilson, a member in good standing of the Sons of the Confederacy as well as other organizations with ties to white supremacists, is an overt racist. He has also been a staunch proponent of making the Confederate flag the standard for his state. On top of violating decorum during a presidential appearance before a joint session of Congress with his Tourette’s-like outburst, he was just plain wrong. All five of the reform proposals currently before Congress contain ‘verification’ provisions. Just because those provisions don’t go as far as he would like them to go does not mean they are not there. The Republican amendments which were voted down required that emergency room doctors and nurses refuse treatment until an incoming patient’s status had been verified by some unnamed bureaucrat. Imagine a situation where a bleeding child who has been hit by a car is brought into ER and somebody who looks like Joe Wilson steps in and says “Don’t touch that child until we make sure he’s not another Mexican trying to get free health care.” Preposterous.
The longer that the Republican Party remains in denial about the emergence of racism within its own ranks, the sooner this country is going to have a one-party system. The problem is that the GOP actually relishes this grotesque phenomenom because it is energizing its notorious right-wing base and creating doubt among more impressionable independents. For that reason, you will never hear Michael Steel admit that there is any racism going on in the Republican Party and that all these lunatics at Tea Party rallies are just hard-working Americans who hate President Obama’s policies. Of course, we’re talking about the policies as characterized by the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin.
Here is another interesting and eye-opening video which compares Canadian health care to the U.S.:
This information has been derived from various websites, such as AARP.com, PoliticFact,com and FactCheck.org, in addition to the several public statements made by President Obama on the subject of health care reform. I’ve only relied on mass media information when it has cited specific sources, such as the recent study conducted at Emory University and various official statements by AARP.
Below are just a few of the most pervasive lies and fear tactics which have been spread by the insurance companies and various extremist groups:
1. Death Panels: This is so absurd, it barely warrants a response. The ‘end of life’ counseling item was added to the House bill by a Republican (Grassley) and it is something which has already existed in previous health care legislation. It simply means that meetings between a family and a doctor concerning important decisions, such as hospice care, would be covered. Section 1233 of the House bill would allow Medicare for the first time to cover patient-doctor consultations about end-of-life planning, including discussions about drawing up a living will or planning hospice treatment. Patients would, of course, seek out such advice on their own — they would not be required to. The provision would limit Medicare coverage to one consultation every five years. The only “death panels” we have now are the ones owned and operated by the private, for-profit insurance companies, which decide who will be covered and how much it will cost.
2. You don’t get eye care till you go blind: A curious claim by opponents of health care reform, since no proposal being considered mentions blindness, macular degeneration, or the word “sight”. Since the vast majority of people who suffer from macular degeneration are elderly white women, this claim has been an effective scare tactic and no doubt incited many seniors to scream at anybody who supported reform.
3. Socialized medicine: This is an oft-repeated yet totally unfounded claim, given that the government wouldn’t be taking over anything and that no plan currently being considered would put any doctors, nurses, technicians or therapists on the government payroll (not even the so-called “public option” does that). Genuine socialized medicine precludes any choices for the consumer, and that is obviously not the case with either of the reform bills being proposed. What we have right now is a form of corporate socialism (more accurately “corporate fascism”), where a handful of insurance company executives and non-physician actuaries make life-or-death decisions about who will be denied coverage and how high premiums will go. The only thing that the government would administer is the public option, which is only a small part of reform bills being proposed.
4. “I don’t want the government messin’ with my Medicare!” An amazing complaint, considering that Medicare is administered by the federal government, and that most seniors are extremely happy with their coverage. Medicare is in financial trouble, not because of government mismanagement, but because of sky-rocketing medical costs. Unless those costs are brought under control, Medicare will go into the red, taxes will go up and the deficit will continue to explode. It is important to note here that nearly 3/4’s of our annual deficit is driven by just three things: social security payments, military spending, and Medicare coverage. Given that fact, if you’re a genuine conservative, health care reform should be at the top of your “Things-to-Do” list. Under the House proposal, Medicare costs would be reduced, primarily by eliminating waste and fraud, and service to seniors would probably improve. Also, Medicare and Medicaid would be expanded, to accommodate the increasing numbers of seniors in the population. The Boomers.
5. Rationing of medical care for the elderly: There is no such provision in either of the bills currently being considered. In fact, Medicare would remain untouched. Of course, reducing health care costs across the board would ensure that Medicare avoids going into the red. This is yet another scare tactic employed by various anti-reform groups that has zero basis in fact. Americans will not face “rationing” in health care any more than they do now. While a public plan would not be able to cover all procedures, private insurance plans don’t either.
6. The public option will drive people away from private insurers. This is one of the more frequently repeated lies being spread around the internet. This scenario could only happen if private insurers refused to cut their operating costs, lower premiums, and become competitive– which is capitalism in action. Plenty of private companies compete with government-run entities. FedEx and UPS have done quite nicely despite the United States Postal Service. Also, there are many private universities that have flourished despite the less expensive and more ubiquitous state colleges and universities. In any case, the rates of pay to providers would be negotiated and not dictated by the public option. Given that, if private insurers still can’t compete with the public option, then they should probably close their doors anyway. The whole notion that a profit motive should dictate the quality of health care in the United States is immoral anyway. There are plenty of other industries where making a buck is perfectly acceptable. But we’re talking about people’s lives here and the fact that far too many hard-working Americans are going bankrupt every year because they can’t afford decent medical coverage or get coverage at any price because of a previous condition. The legislation in both the House and the Senate would actually prohibit many people with employer-based insurance from switching to the public option, even if they wanted to. The primary purpose of the public option is to provide coverage for people who would otherwise not be able to afford insurance. Period. People and blogs which state otherwise are simply using scare tactics. For every dollar spent on health care in the United States, 31¢ goes to administrative costs. And, of that 31¢, a significant portion is paid out in monumental bonuses to insurance company executives and media costs such as those that are being sustained by the massive disinformation campaign currently being waged by the insurance industry against reform. FACT: The CBO estimates the House bill would result in a net increase of 3 million Americans with employer-provided care.
7. I don’t want my tax dollars payin’ for any baby killin’! This is another hot button issue for conservatives and it was an obvious choice for those who wanted to derail any calm discussion of health care reform. Of course, there are no provisions in either of the bills being considered in Congress which call for or endorse federal funding of abortions-on-demand. This would be illegal anyway, because it is expressly forbidden by the Hyde Amendment, which limits federal funding for abortion care. Effective in 1977, this amendment, specifies what abortion services are covered under Medicaid. In September 1993, Congress rewrote the provision to include Medicaid funding for abortions in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and the present version of the Hyde Amendment requires coverage of abortion in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. Again, this was a Republican sponsored amendment which passed during a Democratic administration. Again, opponents of health care reform have taken some of the wording in the current reform proposals out of context, ignoring the fact that this issue is already covered in previous health care legislation– just like the so-called “death panels” issue. Most important of all, NOBODY has ever said anything about trying to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which would require an act of Congress. The likelihood of that ever happening is about zero. The fact is that health care reform proposals have to be neutral on this issue or they would risk being thrown out by the Supreme Court.
8. “I’m not payin’ for no wetback free health care!” Both reform bills being considered make it quite clear that this will not happen. Repeating over and over and over again that illegal immigrants would get free medical care under those bills does not make it a fact. It’s not. The quickest way to derail any kind of genuine reform is to start stacking other controversial and highly complex issues on top of it. That is exactly what right-wing anti-Obama groups and the insurance companies are trying to do. The handling of illegal immigration is a totally separate issue that will probably take years to work out. Sticking it and other controversial problems onto the issue of health care reform is a less than subtle way of just saying you don’t want reform of any kind. The only way that an undocumented alien can get insurance coverage under President Obama’s plan IS TO PAY FOR IT! Many already do. Finally, the Welfare Act of 1996 is a federal law which strictly forbids any illegal immigrant from obtaining a federally subsidized benefit or service of any kind. Any health care reform bill would be required to conform to that law.
9. “President Obama is tryin’ to sneak the government into taking over our health care.” Obama has always been for single-payer health care, or a ‘Medicare for all’ system. He’s never been secretive about that. He has also made it quite clear that he knows that a sudden shift to such a system would be too disruptive, in addition to being politically unfeasible. What is interesting in this debate is that those who are attacking the single-payer system are actually attacking something that would benefit them. They’re against it because someone has told them that it’s “socialized medicine” and that the federal government is incompetent and evil. They blame the financial woes of Medicare and Medicaid on the government, ignoring the fact that sky-rocketing medical costs are the real culprit. Shockingly enough, they trust the insurance company executives who are driven by an out of control profit motive more than they would trust the government, which has myriad checks and balances in place. It is more than a little amazing that some people would condemn this president for putting the right of their fellow citizens to have affordable health care ahead of the profiteering and greed of the insurance industry. The notion that the federal government is eternally incompetent and insidiously evil goes back to the Civil War, when some states chose to secede from the Union rather than emancipate their slaves. What we’re seeing now is a new group of bellicose bigots who are willing to attack anything this black president tries to do, even if it would benefit them and their families in the end. By some unfathomable logic, these people are proud of the fact that THE UNITED STATES IS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD WHICH DOES NOT OFFER ITS CITIZENS AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE.
There are so many liars out there who seem to be driven by something other than the facts about health care reform. Perhaps it’s anger that we have a black man sitting in the White House. As many commentators are saying now, this debate hasn’t been about health care reform for some time. It’s now about President Obama. That’s why we have people screaming in the faces of their elected representatives who are trying to dispel all the rumors and untruths.
The Republican Party claims to stand for small government, but that only seems to apply to things like business, tax cuts and the free market. When it comes to more personal issues, such as the right to decide whether or not to continue with an unexpected pregnancy, the GOP demands omnipotence.
In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Michael Steele, the besieged head of the RNC, made the unforgivable mistake of saying abortion is an “individual choice” and that the issue should be left up to the states to decide. After being bombarded with complaints by fellow Republicans, Steele issued a “clarification” saying he has always been pro-life. An utterly clueless Ken Blackwell, who ran against Steele in his bid for the head of the RNC, advised Steele yesterday to read his Bible and the Constitution, presumably to get his mind right about the evils of abortion. In my opinion, anybody who uses the words “Bible” and “Constitution” in the same sentence is a danger to the republic. Blackwell belongs behind a pulpit, not at the top of a political party.
During the presidential campaign, Obama’s Pro-Choice stand earned him the “baby killer” tag. It didn’t matter that Obama said he was personally opposed to abortion. The problem that Republicans had with him, other than being liberal and black, was that he didn’t want the federal government telling people how to live their lives, especially in regard to this highly personal choice. Steele seems to be in lock-step with President Obama on this issue, even though he is the titular head of the Republican Party.
The fact is, you can be both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, just like Steele and Obama. However, if you’re a Republican, this is unacceptable because you can’t have this important decision left in the hands of unworthy, immoral people, i.e. citizens. Only the federal government is sufficiently righteous to make this choice for us all, because only a few hundred senators and representatives have the spiritual enlightenment and scriptural omniscience to guide us in the direction that is without sin. Makes me want to vomit.
Some Republicans will grudgingly admit that abortion should be lawful in cases of rape and incest, or if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a pregnancy would endanger of the life of the woman. But even these lukewarm believers are attacked by members of their own party for being this “liberal”.
There is no verifiable evidence in science, much less in the Holy Bible, which states unambiguously when a cluster of cells should be considered an “individual”. From my own perspective, the fundamental test for life is self-awareness. Basically, if a group of cells have had no experiences because they lack any ability to remember them, then they have not yet experienced life. And life is 100% experiential. An individual is a person who is continually acquiring experiences and building his or her self-awareness with memory. A newborn is acquiring experience and memories at an incredible rate from the moment he or she comes into THIS world. Even though that’s just my personal opinion, no one can prove me wrong. They can state an opposing view, but that does not amount to proof of anything. That’s the core issue and the primary reason why it doesn’t belong in the political or judicial arena.
With today’s technology, a cell taken from the lining of the intestines has the potential to become a human being. Does this mean that the Republican Party wants to outlaw or insist on government monitoring of the intestinal resections that are routinely done as treatment for colon cancer? The government, and especially the Republican Party, is not sufficiently omniscient to make this decision for every citizen in this country.
If the GOP truly does stand for smaller government, then it could start proving that right now by stepping back from this issue and getting off Michael Steele’s back. He’s got enough trouble already dealing with Rush Limbaugh.
While it’s become politically incorrect, most of us remember the old story about the natives and missionaries. The missionaries invariably end up cooking in a Jacuzzi-sized stew pot atop a blazing fire as the natives set the table for dinner. Today, we have the leadership of the Republican Party sitting in a similar pot, only this time it isn’t hungry natives stirring up the stew. It’s Rush Limbaugh. Whether the base of the Republican Party realizes it or not, the well-fed Limbaugh is gleefully devouring his own kind. Because, as long as respected, influential Republicans cower in the corpulent talkshow host’s sizable shadow, the party is going to remain in disarray and no Republican is going to win another national election. In case they hadn’t noticed, voters in the last two elections have roundly rejected the strident ideology of the GOP, and Mr. Limbaugh is the archetypal right-wing ideologue. Belligerent, verbose, vitriolic and astonishingly arrogant, he is the de facto Chief of the conservative movement in this country and the epitome of everything that a growing majority of voters have reviled.
How bad are things for the Republican Party? The Wall Street Journal, not exactly an enemy of the RNC, printed the results of a recent and devastating survey of voters. Apparently, 26% of voters have a mildly positive opinion of the GOP, and only 7% are significantly positive about it. Now, add the porcine pariah of airwaves and you have a perfect storm of loathing.
If you’re a Democrat, the most ill-advised thing you could do is jump into that pot. But that’s what has been happening. Too many Democratic officials, including members of the Obama administration, have already put one leg into the boiling stew by making statements about Limbaugh, thereby enhancing his appeal to the Republican Party and validating his popularity with its base. In the process of doing this, they are creating even more friction in Congress, assuring increased obstructionism by a desperate political party with no responsible leadership. The latest example of Democrats jumping into the pot is this “I’m sorry, Rush” website, which is one of the most juvenile political gags in recent memory. The people who came up with that one are no better than the Republicans they’ve been criticizing. And every time Rush gets one of those e-apologies, he lights up another $100 cigar and swallows another jelly donut.
It’s time for politicians on both sides of the aisle to realize that this corpulent, strutting demagogue is exploiting them all for his own self-aggrandizement. Limbaugh has been at this for the last 35 years. He wants to be a celebrity. He desperately covets admiration and power– almost as much as he hankers for those jelly donuts. Why anybody, especially the DCCC, keeps focusing a big spotlight on this human caricature is short-sighted at best. Why do key Republicans allow this radio personality to keep his pudgy-fingered grip on their party and their platform, knowing that he is one of the most unpopular people in the country? Why do Democratic officials and pundits keep giving him free air-time, when they know that will only result in boosting his already bloated ratings?
Leave Rush Limbaugh alone. He can stir that big pot just fine all by himself and, by the time he’s finished, all that will be left of the Republican Party is a few sun-bleached elephant tusks. (From the look of him the other night at CPAC, he’s already swallowed a few congressmen). In the end, he will be like the character in Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”. He will nibble at that last “wafer-thin mint”, then explode, sending out lethal shrapnel of Big Macs, Whoppers, milkshakes and buffalo wings. Stand close to that pot at your own risk.
It was a pleasant dream, but still just a dream. That members of the House and Senate would work together, setting aside their ideologies and petty projects so they could do what was right for the country instead of voting along party lines or pandering to local constituencies and friendly lobbyists. When Judd Gregg withdrew his name from the nomination for Commerce Secretary, it signaled the GOP’s absolute unwillingness to work with anybody who has an opposing point of view. He didn’t withdraw because he suddenly realized that he and President Obama have different economic philosophies. Obama has talked openly about the need for a big stimulus package since long before January 20th. After having pursued the job by querying Obama staffers about a position in the Cabinet, he pulled out because he was being leaned on by the RNC, which smells blood in the water. Its own blood. Gregg turned down a big pay-raise and a prestigious seat in the Presidential Cabinet because he was being treated like a traitor and threatened by his fellow Republicans. The man is a coelenterate. The Party has no conscience.
The Republican Party is in the process of forming a circular firing squad. Unfortunately, the middle class is sitting right in the middle of that cross-fire. Nobel Prize-winning economists were lining up to support the stimulus package, with some even saying it was too small, yet the GOP financial wizards who were responsible for getting us into this debacle were predicting the doom of capitalism and rise of socialism if the bill was signed into law. These are many of the same people who supported Phil Graham’s legislation back in 1999 which all but eliminated any regulation of the banking industry. These were the same “free marketers” who insisted that corporations would always do the right thing. Then ENRON collapsed. These are the intellectual giants who presided over a national debt that went from a billion dollar surplus to trillions of dollars in the red in a matter of six short years. Did a few democrats enable some of that behavior? Of course, but the fiscal policies of the Bush Administration and the anti-regulation ideology of the Republican Party built the foundation of sand upon which our economy was expanding.
Hopefully, Obama has learned a sad, yet important lesson in the last month. He must realize by now that the Republican party is driven exclusively by ideology, rather than by pragmatic reasoning. When he hears United States senators apologizing to a radio talkshow host for criticizing his “I hope Obama fails” remark, Obama must know that he is dealing with people who are bent on obstructing anything that he tries to do, regardless of how much damage it might to do the country. He’s dealing with ideologues who think that tax cuts alone will save the economy from catastrophe, even though a study of the last tax cut showed that it had no measurable impact on the economy. He’s dealing with people who led the charge for last year’s government hand-out, which failed to do anything for the people who received those checks in the mail. He’s dealing with people who are looking for their next campaign slogan, rather than useful solutions to the terrible problems we face.
Obama will always be a civil negotiator. That’s his nature. He appears to be a guy who rarely if ever loses his cool. But he needs to take the gloves off and make it clear to the American people what he is dealing with on Capitol Hill. Between now and 2012, the GOP’s circular firing squad will lock and load, and the Republican Party will, for all intents and purposes, cease to exist as a viable national party. We can only hope that it won’t succeed in taking the middle class with it.
I have uncovered irrefutable evidence that Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and the Ignoramusus Palinicus actually walked side-by-side on the North American continent millennia ago, despite what those stupid Paleontologists have been claiming at colleges and universities for the last century. Of course, only the Ignoramusus still survives today, as is evidenced by the continued sightings in various news clips, interviews and no-questions-allowed news conferences. Scientists suspect that it may be a rare paleolithic survival and last of a dying breed. The Ignoramusus once had the dubious distinction of being the only talking dinosaur. However, since nobody could ever quite follow what the creature was trying to say, some believe it was simply mimicking the sounds of another moribund species, Evangelicus Republicanum, and couldn’t actually speak at all. There is now a consensus among experts that, when it came to basic intelligence, Ignoramusus made other dinosaurs look like white-haired German physicists. Sadly, despite its continuing efforts to breed, it would appear that this species is teetering on the brink of extinction, and that the only evidence it ever lived will be a few hilarous Saturday Night Live skits and a pile of really expensive designer clothes that was found hidden inside its closet.
I just read this very interesting bit of information on a blog and thought I would share it because most people don’t know how Sarah Palin managed to come from out of the blue when McCain chose her as his running-mate. A recent article in The New Yorker revealed how Palin was sold to the Republican National Committee by contributors to The Weekley Standard and National Review. Neocon ideologues William Kristol and Fred Barnes were guests of Governor Palin at her “mansion” during an Alaskan cruise, i.e. junket, back in 2007. Subsequently, a group from The National Review including John Bolton, Robert Bjork and Dick Morris made a similar trip to Palin’s mansion. Basically, these men loved Palin and concluded that she should be on the ticket because her ideology was so strikingly similar to George W. Bush. These are the people who then wielded influence with John McCain and the heads of the RNC, and they are the ones who convinced the Republican nominee that Sarah Palin would bring the base of the party onboard. McCain, being the cynical and easily manipulated political creature that he is, bought their argument and, to this day, defends his indefensible and totally blind choice of a running-mate. This bit of background explains why he never vetted Palin and that it didn’t matter whether she was qualified to be President or not. Country first? Not even close. It also provides the context for Chris Buckley’s decision to resign from The National Review, a magazine which was started by his father.
What is most interesting about all this is that this presidential candidate played no role in the selection of his running-mate, beyond saying “OK”. Sarah Palin was basically foisted upon John McCain, who accepted her without any vetting at all on his part. The notion that political operatives can subvert the system and impose such an overtly unqualified running-mate on a candidate in a presidential election is downright frightening. Especially when you consider that the candidate was the oldest to ever be nominated.
For the last two months, John “Reach Across the Aisle” McCain and Sarah “the Rogue” Palin have been accusing Barack Obama of a variety of unforgivable sins. He’s a socialist. He has terrorist affiliations. His background is suspect, as is his patriotism. He wants to tax and spend the country deeper into debt, and raise a “white flag” in Iraq. Most recently, Palin has even invoked the “C” word, implying that Obama’s fiscal policies sound like communism. This list goes on and on. If McCain and Palin believe even half of the things on their list, how can they possibly give the standard unifying and gracious concession speech on the night of November 4th? How can Palin go from pitbull to poodle in a matter of hours without looking like a complete hypocrite? What can either of these candidates say that won’t come across as grotesquely self-serving. McCain will see it as his swan-song, where his primary objective will be to repair the damage he has done to his own honor and future ability to work in the Senate. Palin will, no doubt, see it as her opportunity to launch her future political aspirations and demonstrate her stunningly ignorant assumption that she is now the brightest star in the Republican Party. I’m sure she’s too self-absorbed and high on herself to realize that the Republican Party is going to ditch her faster than a Jamaican sprinter. John McCain, who has spent the last year telling the country that he has a record of being bi-partisan, is now going to have to work with the Senate Majority Leader and, in some ways, the Speaker of the House, whom he has spent the last two months ridiculing in his campaign. After slinging so much mud in the final weeks of their campaign, McCain and Palin have dug themselves into a deep and slippery hole. Watching them try to climb their way out of it on the night of November 4th is going to be better than an episode of “Survivor”.