Tag Archives: gop

if you are enjoying the show

Ed Schultz is fired up... against Obama?

There is no surprise that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP held middle class and small business tax benefits hostage in order to win an extension of the upper class Bush tax cuts. This was expected. My surprise is the embarrassing reaction by almost every progressive pundit and ideologue. While it is disheartening to me, Boehner and the rest of the GOP are sitting back with a glass of Merlot laughing at us.

The anger from the professional Left is so inappropriately over the top that, to an outsider, it would seem as if Obama just committed  an act of genocide. The fact is, as progressives, we need to figure out who we are and who we want to be. I always looked at the the Dems as a party of pragmatism, rationality and intelligence. Gut reactions, emotional decisions and macho hardheadedness was always the realm of the GOP, solidified by George W’s “gut” reaction to invade Iraq.  Now many on the Left are starting to sound remarkably similar to the blowhards on Fox News.

While the GOP’s decision to hold middle class tax benefits hostage was reprehensible, the President’s difficult compromise was the right decision. Without this deal, there was little chance the GOP would grant tax cuts for the middle class or extend unemployment for a record 13 months. But instead of heralding the positive points of this plan, now the Liberal pundits are vehemently attacking the President for compromising. This will achieve absolutely nothing.  Politically this can be a powerful statement from Obama to an independent base that is sick and tired of the venomous fights between the Right and the Left. Here is a man that rises above petty divisions.  Here is a President that is not playing the game in Washington, but making sure the unemployed millions have food on their tables.

Instead of focusing their energy on that, the professional Left (Olbermann, Maddow, Press, Schultz…) attack their own President. A President who has achieved a historic compromise by extending unemployment to record levels. A President who was able to keep progressive tax elements in place. A President who refuses to allow gridlock to destroy the economy.

Obama’s too intelligent to fight a war that he knows he can’t win and too compassionate to allow millions of people to go hungry.  To him, that’s worth the $700 billion the GOP is adding to the national deficit. The pundits and Liberal lawmakers who criticize Obama on this compromise are either ignorant or cruel. Is it really more important to look tough than to help people? To these people ideology is more important than pragmatism, practicality and compassion.

Get over it.  It takes more guts to compromise than quarrel.

if you like to watch NCIS

In one of the more interesting surveys conducted  in the last few months,  the New York Times reported on the political television advertising habits of the GOP and the results weren’t surprising:

Republicans bought nearly three times as many ads as Democrats on “Saturday Night College Football,” more than twice as many on “Sunday Night NFL Football” and Nascar racing, and almost twice as many during Major League Baseball games.

Republicans also out-advertised Democrats on crime shows, placing roughly one-third more ads on shows like “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Medium,” “Cops,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “48 Hours Mystery” and “NCIS.”

This leads me to a few unscientific, oversimplified theories:

  1. Republicans see things in black and white. Right wingers aren’t very good at delving into the gray area in subjects.  Sports, cop shows, and mysteries all have very specific winners and losers.  In American sporting events, one team wins, the other loses.  The notable  exception?  Soccer.  And we know how much Republicans love European things.  As for the cop dramas, we don’t see much ambiguity.  There are none of those severely flawed characters who we come to empathize with because of our deep, dark personal desires.  Republicans don’t like to go there.  In reality, Republicans are clearly black and white when it comes to policy, especially regarding crime.  For the GOP, being tough on crime has meant going by the book and not listening to excuses whether it’s illegal immigration or drugs.  There is no room for sympathy or reason: either you win or lose.
  2. Republicans don’t like long complicated storylines. An interesting aspect of the listed dramas is that they are almost all episodic.  There is no long complicated storyline that needs to be explored throughout the season; most of these show’s arcs are resolved in one hour.  This is an example of how Republicans like things to be fixed immediately.  There is no room for pragmatic thought.  It is all about fixing the issue right there regardless of who it hurts.  Republicans want to see simple solutions for complicated problems.  This is most reflected in the GOP’s complaint that the initial health care bill was too long. The right length for them?  3 pages. Democrats gave them 2,409.
  3. Republicans enjoy the simpler things. While most of the dramas the New York Times listed earn very high ratings, they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, critically acclaimed. The shows lack quality story telling, character development, and intricate plot lines.   They may be enjoyable, but they are not “good” television shows.  This exemplifies the Right’s view of the Left as elitist. They see anything new, exciting and fresh as eccentric, intellectual hogwash.

Sure I am stereotyping. And, yes, I do know a few Republicans with good taste in television.  But this study is very telling and there is something to be said for it when we see so clearly life imitating taste.  Something to keep in mind as you go to the polls on Tuesday.

— On a side note, the report also finds that Democrats and Republicans bought equal advertising space for Glee.  I guess this shows that both parties can have shitty taste.

if you fundamentally agree with what the founding fathers say as long as it fits nicely into your own agenda.

It’s no surprise that GOPers are in love with the founding fathers to an almost unholy, idolatrous degree — consider the fact that the Wall Street Journal reports that powdered wig sales are up 100% this year — but like many things the GOP fervently embraces, they tend to pick and choose the aspects of the founding fathers’ ideas which fit neatly into their own agenda.  Case in point, cafeteria conservative Ken Buck is quoted saying:

“I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state.  It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal.”

Oh boy.  First, separating religion and government is absolutely necessary to ensuring that the government doesn’t sanction one religion over another, second, while Buck is technically correct that the idea of separation of church and state is not directly in the constitution, he is failing to mention that one of his crushes, Thomas Jefferson, explained the concept in a letter to a Baptist group in 1802:


The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Thomas Jefferson

Even Jefferson thought it was all semantics.   In fact, many of the founding fathers were not Christian at all.  Hell, Jefferson practiced Deism.

My advice to Buck?  Listen to your ultimate “founding father”: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” It seems like He even agrees with Jefferson, and Jefferson doesn’t even believe in Him!