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The Power Of Obtuse

I’m watching one tea party nutbag after another, kick the GOPs asses in primary races across the country, and I can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with my progressive brethren? How is it possible that the most obtuse members of our society are having an impact on our elections, when no one else is?

It’s true that these teabag candidates are very likely to get crushed in the general elections, but they’re moving the republican party to dizzying heights of nutbaggery in the process. They’re forcing republican candidates to traverse into a landscape of crazy that they would never otherwise foray into. Look at what John McCain turned into as a result of having to run against JD Hayworth. He went from co-sponsoring a fairly rational immigration reform bill, to “build the dang fence”! The teabaggers are fracturing republicans, but moving them crazy right in the process.

Teabaggers have probably broken the republican party irrepably. Democrats will likely take every seat in which they’re running against a teabagger. But is that any reason to rejoice? YAY, we’re getting another worthless corporatist democrat instead of a batchit crazy teabagger that wants to change the fourteenth amendment! Bust out the champagne!

Why isn’t there a progressive movement fracturing the democratic party? Is it that progressives don’t think that the democratic party needs fracturing? That can’t be the case. If it were, there would be more voter enthusiasm by registered democrats this year.

No, we’re not happy with the party. We’re not happy with the anemic health insurance reform, the anemic financial reform, and the never ending Afghanistan situation so we’re just not bothering to show up to vote. But it didn’t have to be this way.

If only we would take a page from the teabagger’s book, we’d have some candidates on the ballot to get excited about. Sure, we came close to primarying out Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, but we failed. And, that was the only one! Where is the widespread movement? Where is the Dennis Kucinich faction of the democratic party? Why aren’t we pushing democrats back to the left, or even left of center?

Why is it that progressives can’t accomplish what the abject morons in the tea party are accomplishing? Let’s be honest here – we’ve all seen the signs and the videos from tea party rallies. These people are fucking idiots! They don’t know shit about shit. If you put a gun to any of their heads, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many articles there are in the constitution. I’m certain of this, because they seem to be under the impression that the constitution is a document that empowers the people. It’s not. There are seven articles in the constitution, and each article enumerates powers for different factions of the government. The peoples’ rights aren’t addressed until the amendments. There are twenty-seven of those, in case you were wondering teabaggers! They are the most obtuse among us and yet, I have to give them some props for getting shit done.

I will admit that mocking the “youth in Asia will kill your grandmother” and “don’t take my rights, I’m still useing them” signs is all sorts of fun. It’s fun until you realize that the embarrassment doesn’t lie with the dumbfuck holding the sign, it lies with us. That dumbfuck is doing more to shape politics in America than the rest of us are (well, not me – I’m trying to shame you into action with this blog!), and that should embarrass you. It embarrasses me.

We need to stop underestimating the power that a group of the most obtuse Americans have garnered, and learn from them. Yes, you read that right. I said learn from the dumbfucks.

Don’t write off the obtuse. They’re proving to be a powerful force in America.

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Cowardly Bullies

Turns out that high school is an excellent place to learn about how the world works. For example, most of us learned that the school bully is really just a big coward by the time we got to our senior year. Either that, or we learned it in a John Hughes film but regardless, we learned it.

Why am I thinking about bullies? Because of Ken Mehlman, of course. How did you not make that connection?

In case you hadn’t heard, Ken Mehlman (W’s campaign manager in 2004 and head of the RNC from 2005 – 2007) came out of the closet this week. Yup, much to no one’s surprise, Ken is gay. He’s 43 years old, and finally out of the closet. Why now? Because he’s not working as a republican operative anymore, stupid! He doesn’t have to fall in line anymore, so he gets to spend that last half (or third) of his life keeping it real.

What a fucking coward, seriously. Now, I can understand the appeal of conservative rhetoric (you know, the horseshit about small government and fiscal conservatism) 25 years ago when Ken was deciding on which political ideology suited him better. But by the mid 90s, the Pandora’s box that Reagan opened up in trying to appeal to evangelicals and religious zealots had started to move the party in a very ugly direction. The right wing rhetoric during the making of don’t-ask-don’t-tell was appalling. Why didn’t all of the gay republicans stand up then? Why did they choose fear and shame over courage?

I’m not suggesting that they should have abandoned their party. I understand that liberalism isn’t for everyone. Although it should be said that the last liberal president we had was Jimmy Carter. The last two have been decidedly right of center but okay, no one knew it was going to turn out that way and the next Jimmy Carter could have been lurking in the democratic party. What I’m suggesting is that they should have stood up, come out, and changed the course that the republican party was taking. But no, they instead chose to shut the fuck up and tow the party line. Worse than that, they helped in the suppression of their own civil rights. Fucking cowards.

Gay republicans aren’t the only cowards. Sane republicans are cowardly in their own right (how’d that double entendre work out for you?). Yes, I said sane republicans. There are some. You just don’t know about them because they’re in the sane closet. Lindsey Graham (I have no idea why Ken Mehlman makes me think of Lindsey Graham!) is not a whack-a-doodle. John McCain isn’t a whack-a-doodle. Dick Luger and Orin Hatch aren’t whack-a-doodles. Scott Brown is a dim bulb, but he’s not a whack-a-doodle.

Why aren’t they standing up for sanity? Why aren’t they appropriating funds for the jobs bill, stimulus, and the extension of unemployment benefits when they know that these bills are helping their states? Make no mistake, they do know. CBO (the congressional budget office) just came out with a report that says that the stimulus has helped to create between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs. That 3.3 million figure means that the number of jobs created solely because of the stimulus package have surpassed the number of jobs created during the whole, miserable George W Bush nightmare. Sane republican senators know this. I don’t have some magical mechanism that gives me access to information that they don’t have. And yet, they’re shutting down efforts to help their constituents at every turn in order to tow the party line.

Where the fuck were the sane ones to reign in Bush when he was spending us into oblivion? Not one of them stood up and suggested that it might be a good idea to budget for the war and the occupation. Not one. None of them stood up and said that the Bush tax cuts were a bad idea. They knew what the impact of those tax cuts were going to be. They had to pass those tax cuts through reconciliation. According to the rules of reconciliation, congress can’t pass anything that way if it will have a negative effect on the deficit for over ten years. So they passed it through reconciliation with a nine year and three hundred and sixty-four day sunset. They knew they were burying our economy. They fucking knew it and said nothing. God damned cowards.

They are aiding and abetting the nuttyfication of the republican party because they’re fucking cowards.

How different would the republican party be today if their members weren’t cowards? They might actually practice some fiscal conservatism. They might have some diversity of thought. Democrats have anti-choice members serving in congress and in the senate. It’s inconceivable to me that 100% of republicans are anti-choice. It’s inconceivable to me that 100% of republicans are so rabidly pro-gun, that they don’t think that banning people on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun is a good idea.

It’s inconceivable to me that republicans aren’t a bunch of cowards. They band together to bully the pussies in the democratic party because they’re fundamentally a bunch of scared little girls. And I don’t understand what they’re so afraid of. Are they worried that if John Boehner pays them a visit to give them a good talking to for not towing the party line, that his skin condition will be contagious?

I honestly don’t understand this level of cowardliness. I’m used to spineless democrats, but at least they’re not actively participating in the ruination of their constituents, or the suppression of their own civil rights.

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Little Help, Republicans?

So everyone knows about Faisal Shahzad by now. He made a lame attempt to detonate a bomb in Times Square last Saturday night. He parked an SUV which contained a bomb that didn’t really have a snow ball’s chance in hell of detonating properly, right in the heart of Times Square.

As an aside, he parked that SUV exactly one block away from where I was hanging out two nights earlier. As a New Yorker, these attempts are personal.

Back to Shahzad. Once he was arrested, fifty three hours after he attempted to detonate the bomb, a couple of troubling and confusing narratives emerged.

The first wave of reporting on this story after his arrest came with questions about how he was able to get on the plane. The criticism over this continues as I write this. I cannot be more perplexed by this attitude. Color me stupid, but I see fifty three hours between attempting to set off a bomb, to being hauled off in handcuffs as a giant victory. I take great comfort in how this was handled and I slept like a baby last night, with the knowledge that NYPD, the FBI, and Homeland Security moved on this so quickly and effectively. And I must say that this is a refreshing since I’m used to the perpetrator of an attack on my city never being put into handcuffs.

I know, I know, there’s one big difference between the Shahzad situation and the Bin Laden circumstances in that, Shahzad was in the US. Okay, I’m willing to make a concession for that. But who sent the anthrax? How long did it take to catch that guy? And where were the people that are unhappy now, over the fact that Shahzad got on the plane back then? I don’t recall hearing much criticism from them, over the fact that the anthrax sender was never apprehended. And where were they when we lost Bin Laden on Tora Bora, because we only had him surrounded on three sides? Where was the outrage then? Good lord, a fucking sheep herder could have pointed out the flaw in that genius plan! Where were all of those crack journalists then?

The other confusing issue that I’ve been hearing is a debate over whether Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights. This made me wonder which part of US citizen was confusing to these people. Are we seriously debating over whether a US citizen should have access to our justice system? What I found more confusing is that the crowd that is advocating for denying due process are republicans. I’m not sure that they understand their own rhetoric.

Do they distrust the government, or are they so certain the government got the right guy, that they don’t feel due process is necessary? Which is it? Do you irrationally hate government, or do you have unquestioning faith in it?

Is there a republican out there that can help me out?

My confusion leaves me with the impression that you don’t believe anything that you say because what you believe in seems to change, based on who you’re saying it about.

Here’s the problem with this tactic; When you’re willing to contradict yourself to the point of embarrassment, you end up with a very tiny crowd of people that are willing to keep listening. In going after Obama like rabid dogs, you’ve completely eviscerated any credibility you may once have had.

I’m talking to you, John McCain. In ten short years you went from a rational republican that occasionally voted his conscience, to a crazy old man that may well lose a primary to a politician that we already know is corrupt. Peter King and Joe Lieberman, you both get a pass for your hypocrisy because you’ve both always been self serving fools. Embarrassing yourselves is a natural state of being for you. Senators Cornyn and Kyl, you are an embarrassment to your party. Marco Rubio has added his name to the list of republicans that hate the American justice system.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m not shy about spanking Obama when he deserves to be spanked. But what’s going here isn’t rational because it has very little to do with Obama. When you criticize how this whole thing went down, you’re denigrating New York and I won’t have it. To quote Jon Stewart, “Go fuck yourselves”.

This was a victory for America. It was a victory in that, the community sprung into action minutes after that SUV was parked. It was a victory in that, the police immediately realized that they were facing a serious situation and acted accordingly. It was a victory in that, the suspect was apprehended two short days after his attempt.

I’m sorry for everyone that can’t celebrate America’s victories, because they’re so embroiled in their petty bullshit, that they are incapable of taking pride in their country anymore.


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Unacceptable!

I’m referring to the merry band of miscreants that we have to choose from this November. I don’t know about where you guys live (I’d love to hear your stories), but here in New York, we’re forced to vote for another crappy senator. It doesn’t matter who we vote for, they’re all crap.

Kirsten Gillibrand is very likely going to win the senate seat she currently holds because republicans have nothing, other than a former Chief economist for Bear Stearns. Yay for us! In one of the most liberal states in America, we get to pick between two conservative corporatists. Gillibrand has spent the past year trying to “left it up” in order to secure any votes in Manhattan, but she recently showed her hand by doing her part in eviscerating the financial reform bill. She’s getting a TON of money from Wall Street to fund her campaign, which means she takes marching orders from Lloyd Blankfein. She hasn’t even been elected to that seat yet, and she’s already made it clear that her interests trump those of New Yorkers and Americans at large. What is she going to turn into after she’s obtained six more years of job security?

The sad thing is that my situation in New York isn’t even the the worst of options that Americans must make. Poor Nevada has to choose between the very the ineffective pussy that is Harry Reid and the crazy chicken lady! Arizona gets to choose between the filthy, corrupt JD Hayworth and crazy, bitter John McCain. And let’s not forget California, another liberal bastion of America. You’ve got Meg Whitman, who somehow finds time to run a campaign between board meetings at Goldman Sachs and Carly Fiorina, who was paid $45M just to get the fuck out of Hewlett Packard.

Why is this happening to America? These are not candidates that anyone can get behind, regardless of party affiliation and political ideology. No true conservative can possibly find JD Hayworth palatable if they’re being honest with themselves. And Kirsten Gillibrand, the corporatist Annie Oakley should make any self respecting democrat wretch. If we voted our conscience and our real ideology, rather than being herded by our political affiliations, we would all see that none of these people are acceptable. None of them give a fuck about protecting our interests.

Both parties have completely gone to shit, and it’s not going to stop unless we stop it. Every time we vote for one of these assholes, we’re ensuring that the next wave of candidates that our party puts in front of us is going to be worse than the last.

I have found another Senatorial candidate to support here in New York. He doesn’t have a snowballs chance of getting the word out in the face of the big money that Gillibrand is getting from Wall Street, but I’m campaigning for him. If Jonathan Tasini can siphon off 10% (I know, that’s a lot) of the votes in the democratic primary, we can send a message to the DNC.

Sadly, I feel lucky to even have another option since that’s not the case in a lot of races across the country. My plan was to just go in and undervote, meaning that I will vote on everything else, while leaving my senatorial choice blank. Trust me, undervotes do not go unnoticed. Not voting at all is completely ineffective because it appears as if we just don’t give a damn.

I fundamentally believe that the only way to change the sad state of political affairs that we find ourselves in, it for us all to work for change within our own party. I don’t believe that democrats can fix the republican party or vice versa. But if democrats send a clear message to the DNC, they’ll listen. This will never be accomplished by holding you nose and voting for the piece of shit candidate that the party has put in front of you. It certainly won’t be achieved by drinking the party kool aid and convincing yourself that piece of shit isn’t a piece of shit, simply because they’re representing your party.

It’s our responsibility to find better candidates and to support them with our votes, our time, and our money. And if you can’t find another option, maybe you should run! I’m not kidding. But barring those two scenarios, I believe that an epidemic of undervoting would send a message to our parties. We have to stop tolerating the unacceptable.

I am never going to leave the voting booth with that feeling of needing to boil my body just to clean off the stink of what I was just forced to vote for again. Are you?

Please, feel free to share your crappy candidates! It’s hard for me to stay on top of local races across the country, but I an curious!

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