Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Racist? Verbal Diarrhea? Or Just Plain Ignorant? GOP All-Stars At It Again

Last August, when Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn used the term “tar baby” in a condemnation of Obama’s economic policies, he apologized, backtracked and recanted usage of the term because…well, he’s probably not a moron. And using a term like “tar baby” when castigating our nation’s first black president is so offensive that if one has aspirations of re-election in any state other than Alabama (he reps Colorado by the way), apologizing for such a slur is a smart move.

But last week, when Michelle Bachman said “This is just about waving a tar baby in the air and saying that something else is a problem” when discussing Obama’s energy policy, I honestly can’t ascertain if this comment is racist (which is quite possible) or if she is so oblivious to social mores that the statement’s inherent bigotry escapes her (which is equally likely).

Am I being naïve? Maybe part of me wants to believe that an elected official and ex-presidential hopeful with such a close relationship to Jesus Christ would never dare utter such a hate-mongering slur.

I can anal-rape your soul with my thoughts!
But one has to wonder. The woman does have 247 foster children. The woman conducted her entire on-camera post-State of the Union address to an imaginary friend standing camera left. The woman publicly proposed that HPV vaccines cause mental retardation and when  look into the eyes of this photo, I see a woman not only capable of racism, but also arson, battery and kitten genocide.

So was she making a not-so-subtle jab at Barry? I’m sorry but I can not recall ever having even heard the fucking term ‘tar baby’ used to describe a ‘sticky situation’ which both Lamborn and Bachmann have cited in defense of their comments. Taken by itself, one slip like this would be easier to dismiss. But when you take these comments and place them alongside a litany of GOP remarks, one starts to glimpse a larger, more disturbing picture. 

Newt Gingrich, who for some reason is still running for President, famously made headlines earlier in the year when he said “Obama is the best food stamp president in American history.” And unlike Bachmann, I’m willing to concede that Newt has control over his verbal faculties and knows exactly what he’s saying. In case you missed the subtext to his little quote, here it is. ‘Our black president has gotten more black people on welfare than any of our WHITE presidents ever did. And the WHITE taxpayers are footing the bill!’

So how far have we come from the “He’s a terrorist” shouts of the McCain campaign trail? How far have we come from this picture that was circulated via email by California Republican official Marilyn Davenport?

Not very far.

And now, in the latter stages of the ‘Who can out-white each other’ primary, the Republicans have anointed Mitt Romney as their chosen honky. It was a squeaker but in the end, Santorum’s sweater-vest, God-peddling vengeance was no match for Mitt’s Mormony, country club pedigree.

Eager to hop on the accidental racism bandwagon, Romney recently unveiled his latest prop; a non-racist, I repeat NON-RACIST sign that says simply and quite elegantly “Obama Isn’t Working.” And again, like all the other slings mentioned above, this one too can be written off as ‘inadvertently racist.’ Republicans will predictably claim it is an assessment of Obama’s policies and not an affront to the stereotype of black men as lazy, jobless welfare recipients. But come on man. Seriously.

It begs one to question how much racism is clouding the upcoming election. I like to think that after four years, it would be less of a factor. But a recent Pew Survey showed that among white male voters, Obama trails Romney by 26 percentage points.

By comparison, McCain garnered more white male votes by a 16 percent margin. So Obama faces more formidable obstacles than a sluggish economy and high gas prices. He faces an enormous deficit amidst this voting block.

So here I am, a white male voter, asking myself what polls might reveal if Obama were white. Are these poll marks comparable to what any incumbent president presiding over a bad economy would receive? Or are they those of a black incumbent president? I hate the fact that I am even asking this question but I feel it’s a valid one.

I never liked John Kerry. But would a black George W. Bush have received a second term with a resume that included Iraq, Katrina and his annihilation of a five trillion dollar budgetary surplus?

Probably not.

But conjecture like that is futile. In the mean time, let us hope that this sideshow does not persist through to November. Let’s hope Republican leaders put a stop to this. I like to think that the GOP is better than these bullshit shenanigans. But I could very well be wrong.   

Friday, April 13, 2012

In Mitt They Trust - Finally…A Candidate Emerges…Sort Of

Can you hear it? If you listen carefully, you can hear the faint shrieks of 1.5 million home-schooled evangelical Christians. You can hear creationists, pro-lifers and Tea Party zealots from the Bible Belt to Wasilla crying out in one unified and desperate plea, screaming a question that will never be answered…’Rick, why have you forsaken me?!’

Why? The answer is actually pretty simple and I’m gonna go ahead and provide it for you. It’s because God doesn’t really like these people as much as they’d like to think. And furthermore, God, even with all his omnipotence, cannot in and of him or herself, win a primary when a general election looms on the horizon.

This is good news!!!

Well, not for attendees of Jesus Camp or people who agree with Santorum’s claim that college is for snobs and GEDs and elbow grease will lead us into the future. But it is great news for those who identify themselves as moderate, centrist, independent, reasonable and/or sane.

Because now we can get serious. Barring an unprecedented rise from the ashes by Newt; which, given Romney’s general unlikability is not completely impossible, we can now officially anoint Mitt as the GOP nominee. Wait a second… Is Ron Paul even running anymore? I honestly don’t know. If not, I’ll miss him. He’s kind of adorable and he makes me giggle.

Moving along. So the race to the extreme right is over and the wooing of conservatives has crescendoed in conclusive failure. Is that even a term? If not, let us anoint this political moment as such…a conclusive failure…evidence that pandering to the extreme right does not win elections and doing so is a waste of time for EVERYONE. Democrats and Republicans.

Because trying to out-Christian each other will not augment or enhance our fragile yet modestly improving economy. Doing so is futile anyway because Romney is Mormon and let’s be honest, that’s not exactly a cult…but it ain’t exactly Christian either.

Proudly flashing your mega-pro-life credentials will not spur productive discourse about how to handle Iran, how to intervene in Syria should the situation continue to deteriorate or how to continue fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and beyond.

Seeing who can out-fellate Paul Ryan’s fantastically preposterous budget will not bring us any closer to a budget that has a remote chance of passing both houses of a Senate that has not been playing very nicely with each other.

Finding out who can shout “Drill, baby drill!” the loudest will not bring us any closer to energy independence nor will debating how many gunracks can fit in the trunk of a Volt help prevent another Trayvon Martin incident.

So let’s get serious. Finally.

Let’s talk about the vast differences of an incumbent president who embraces the Buffet Rule as a foundation for tax reform; one that will help bridge the ever-widening equality gap. Then let’s talk about the guy who made a pretty damn good living chopping up companies and laying off the spare parts…errr, I mean, people.

Since the right is so obsessed with morals and character, let’s talk about a president who set Health Care Reform at the top of an ambitious agenda right in the middle of a financial meltdown he helped mitigate. Then let’s discuss the moral character of a man who tied a diarrhetic dog to the roof of his fucking car.

Let’s talk about an incumbent that killed Osama bin Laden and helped backseat drive Libya into stability then let’s talk about the guy who thinks earning $374,000 in speaking fees in one year is “not very much” money.

Listen to Barry sing two lines of Al Green and then listen to Mittens singing ‘America the Beautiful’ in a failed attempt to sound like a homo sapien instead of the spineless, flip-flopping automaton that he is.

Let’s talk. Let’s seriously talk about these two very different men, their vastly different worldviews and their startlingly different ideas for our country.

Let’s talk, and I’m not joking, about whether or not Mitt Romney honestly believes that his underwear will protect him from evil spirits, temptations of the flesh or increases in Medicaid costs. Because if the Republican presidential nominee believes in divine super-panties, that is something voters should know before going into a booth and casting their ballot.

Let’s talk about a president that passed the largest Health Care overhaul in American history. And then let’s talk about a Massachusetts governor who passed the same fucking thing but lacks the conviction to admit it proudly because doing so would be politically inconvenient in a primary climate governed by extremism not by logic and certainly not by compassion.

It’s time to start seriously talking about the choices facing this country. I will miss the silliness. But it’s time to get serious nonetheless.

Granted, that would be easier if the Republican candidate weren’t such a fucking joke.