Archive for the ‘republicans’ Category

Partyng with the Tea Baggers

Monday, April 12th, 2010

On Saturday, I went to the “Taking Our Country Back” Tour at the Sprint Center. It was a whole lot less impressive than I thought it would be. I’m not sure if the place was air-conditioned, or if the presence of Karl Rove sent a chill through the air.

If you’re interested, I wrote a lot more about it at KCFreePress.com.

Kansas City is Spitting Mad at Jo Ann Emerson (R – Mo)

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Jo Ann Emerson’s choice of whom to stand with could not be clearer. On the one hand, you have a mob of crazy tea-baggers, calling a civil rights hero the “N word” , calling Barney Frank the “F word”, and actually spitting on a fellow Missouri Congressman. On the other hand, you have Reverend Emanuel Cleaver, a dignified Methodist minister and hard-working representative of fellow Missourians.

Jo Ann Emerson is making the wrong choice. She’s standing with the spitters.

While she did not do the spitting, she egged on the unruly mob and has refused to reject the vitriol of the tea-baggers.

It’s funny to contrast Jo Ann Emerson’s immaturity and lack of discipline with the class and discipline of her opponent in this election cycle. Tommy Sowers is a straight arrow – if anyone dared to spit on a minister in his presence, no matter what the politics, educator/Green Beret Tommy Sowers would have the right stuff to put a stop to the nonsense, instead of encourage it.

Sometimes, the fog of politics rises for a moment, and you can see what kind of person someone is. Jo Ann Emerson is the kind of person who hangs out with people who would spit on Kansas City’s chosen representative.

The Star Gives Republican Ryan Silvey A Free Pass to Lie

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Jason Noble of the Kansas City Star proved today that he is a stenographer, not a journalist.

Back in the day, journalists had a higher duty than simply copying down whatever lies a favored politician offered up. Instead, they would ask follow-up questions to expose the lie, or even put a sentence in their article explaining that what the politician said was false.

But, at the Kansas City Star, if the lie you are spouting is an attack on our Mayor, you face no such hostility or defense of the truth.

Today, Republican Ryan Silvey pulled a shallow publicity stunt, threatening to harm Kansas City because he wants our city to take tax dollars from basic services and donate it to the County for the stadiums. So far, so good – I understand that Ryan Silvey is part of a minority of people who think that we should not fully fund our police department but we should fully fund stadiums for suburbanites. We disagree, but he’s entitled to his own positions.

Ryan Silvey is not entitled to make up his own facts, though. In defending his publicity stunt, Silvey claimed, “Pulling the money breaches the city’s contract with the Chiefs and Royals . . .“.

Folks, that’s a lie. A big, fat whopper of a lie that no serious observer of the stadium drama could fail to recognize. There is no contract between the city and the teams.

Did Jason Noble challenge the falsehood? Did Jason Noble point out in his article that there is no contract between the city and the teams? Did Jason Noble ask a follow-up question to clarify the point?

No.

(Update: A commenter below points out that the Kansas City Business Journal has the journalistic integrity and tenacity to look at the contracts and acknowledge that there is no legal agreement binding the city to any payment.)

It’s Not Hypocrisy, It’s Anti-Americanism – Republicans on Stimulus

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I try to keep things interesting here, but I confess that the video below is tedious. About 6 minutes into the 10 minute presentation, even the most avid consumer of political trivia will begin to lose interest.

The topic of this tedium is Republicans scoring political points attacking the stimulus package as useless, and then scoring political points spending the stimulus dollars while praising their usefulness. There’s even an amusing clip of Louisiana Republican darling Bobby Jindal actually signing a gigantic check, as if he is the actual source of funds.

There are so many examples of this hypocrisy that it’s boring.

Republicans are caught on tape attacking a policy that they also claim is good and helpful. The reason for this two-facedness is because they feel compelled to attack the President we elected, which is simply a part of their Party of No strategy.

The Republicans have allowed their unprincipled opposition to lead them into true Anti-Americanism. When you can see with your own eyes the good that a policy is bringing to your own constituents – when you cannot help but share your joy at the opportunities and growth that a policy is creating – and then you attack that policy for cheap political points, you must know in your heart of hearts that your zeal for the political blood has led you to attack America itself.

I had plenty of disagreements with the prior administration, and I have some significant disagreements with President Obama, too. But I praised Bush when he did the right things, and I would never dream of opposing a policy that I knew was good for America simply because it comes from the Republican side of the aisle.

It’s okay to be a partisan for your own party, but when it leads you to oppose what you know is good for America, you are actively working against our country. Senator Bond and the dozens of Republicans featured in the following video should be ashamed of themselves, and owe us all apology.

3 Big Differences Between Reid and Lott

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The Republicans have suddenly discovered their previously undetectable racial sensitivity, and are calling for Harry Reid to resign as Majority Leader of the Senate because of some awkward language Reid used to describe his enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s candidacy. They are equating Reid’s stated enthusiasm for Obama’s candidacy to former Senator Trent Lott’s stated enthusiasm for segregation. Sadly, some soft-minded liberals are joining them in claiming that Obama and those of us too smart to fall for this false equivalency are hypocrites.

There is a difference between Reid and Lott, and what Reid and Lott said, that distinguishes the cases for anyone who is neither intellectually dishonest nor intellectually stunted. In fact, there are three big differences, and I’ll point them out for those who think that all unfortunate mentions of race are equivalent, and justification for a political death penalty.

1. What They Said: Let’s look at what Harry Reid said, in his enthusiasm for Obama’s candidacy. He made the accurate observation that Obama’s skin is relatively light, and said that he speaks “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” It uses a ’50s era term for African-American, it (inaccurately?) implies that America might face more difficulty in supporting a darker-skinned candidate, and it implies that the pattern of speech employed by a segment of African-Americans is a broader “Negro dialect”. One might just as fairly express joy that a Missouri politician speaks with no inbred hillbilly dialect.

Distasteful, I agree, and not the sort of thing I like to see from a Democrat.

Trent Lott, on the other hand, said that he was proud to have voted for Strom Thurmond when he ran as a segregationist and opposed anti-lynching legislation, and that “if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” Do I need to map out the differences? While Reid was speaking enthusiastically about electing a black president, Lott was speaking enthusiastically about segregation and wishing that we could go back to the pre-civil rights South and lynching. To find a distinction between the two does not demonstrate hypocrisy, it demonstrates an understanding of the difference between a little insensitivity and a deep resentment of uppity blacks causing problems.

2. Who They Are: As President Obama points out, Harry Reid has worked with him and other Senators on socially progressive causes to help the underprivileged for years. He’s got some credibility on racial issues. He’s built up a store of good will that he can draw upon in assuring his friends that he is sincere in his remorse and forward in his thinking.

Trent Lott was a product of the Republican racist “Southern Strategy” to win the votes of those who believed exactly what Lott said to Thurmond – we’d be better off with segregation and lynching. Lott was an enthusiastic supporter of the Klan-like CCC, and sought to regain citizenship for Jefferson Davis. He voted against extending the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. He voted against the Martin Luther King holiday. Suffice it to say, Lott had not built up a store of good will on racial issues.

3. Reid Has Been Forgiven: It is amusing to see all the pundits (especially the white ones, and certainly including me) and right wing politicians trying to tell everyone else how to think about a verbal exchange between two men who have already put it behind them. The RIGHTeous indignation on behalf of someone who has announced himself satisfied with an apology is enough to make one think that they are more interested in political opportunism than concern about Obama’s tender feelings.

Folks, this thing is not about hypocrisy, for the simple reason that it is not hypocritical to distinguish between a thoughtless remark supporting a black presidency and a career spent yearning for the good old days of segregation and lynching. The intellectually corrupt Republicans and the fuzzy-thinking liberals who are attempting to equate the two are acting as though Lott’s only flaw was one awful remark, and that Reid’s remark is equivalent to a career.

Shoe Bomber vs. Underwear Bomber – A Study in Republican Effectiveness

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Republican scoundrels are spinning the thwarted terrorist attempt on Christmas Day into a reason to attack President Obama, and the media are repeating the frothing opportunism as if it is legitimate discussion. It’s an all-too-familiar pattern of attack and repeat, at a level that leaves thoughtful persons shaking their heads at the breathtaking hypocrisy of it all.

Honestly, it never ever occurred to me to accuse Bush of weakness or failure when the shoe-bomber attempt presented almost exactly the same opportunity to those of us on the left. Foolishly, I viewed the attempted terrorist attack as an attempted terrorist attack, instead of as a welcome cudgel with which to bash our nation’s President.

Commenting on a post by Politico noting the wildly different Republican reaction to the two wildly similar situations, John Aravosis of AMERICAblog does a great job of explaining the difference:

I suspect a few things are going on here. First, the shoe bomber incident was three months after September 11. We were all still shell-shocked. Rather than being afraid to criticize the president, I think we were all so scared, the thought didn’t even cross our minds (and the same thing applied to the media, which was also tempered following 9/11). Second, Democrats aren’t as good at political PR as Republicans are. Republicans are always looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a situation, a crisis. Democrats tend to be more principled. And finally, Republicans are better at shutting down criticism. If Democrats had tried to speak out, the GOP would have accused us of being un-American, and the Democrats would freak.

Democrats are Better People than Republicans

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

But Max Baucus proves me wrong.

Ignoring the morality of it, how do you think that you will get away with nominating your mistress for one of the most important jobs in the United States, and one which involves investigations into the nominee’s background?

Terrorists Defeat Republicans

Friday, November 20th, 2009

It’s sadly amusing to see how upset Republicans are that the Obama administration is going to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other co-conspirators on trial in U.S. District Court in New York City for their role in the 9/11 attacks. The Republicans are frightened to the core about the thought that America is not good enough, not strong enough, not prepared enough to face up to these monsters. They are, in a word, terrorized.

Giuliani is fretting about the danger these bound and shackled men pose to the city, as if Batman: the Dark Knight was a documentary. He’s terrorized.

House Minority Leader John Boehner thinks the terrorists will win their trial, so we should not dare to face them in a courtroom. He’s terrorized.

Senator Jeff Sessions is having nightmares about swarthy men, and thinks they “will turn lawyers, juries, and judges into targets, and will needlessly endanger Americans living nearby.” He’s terrorized.

Thank God we have a president who has defeated terrorism by coolly moving forward as a proud American. He’s not terrorized. And neither is America. Just the Republicans.

Tea-Bagger Potty Line?

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Like most observers of politics, I was amused by the tea-bag parties organized by anti-tax protesters in response to Obama’s tax cuts. The sputtering outrage of the right wing provokes not fear, dread or even respect from those that pay attention. How dare right-wingers protest taxes when Obama is cutting them for 95% of us? How dare the Republicans complain about deficits when the Bush administration launched us on a disastrous path after Clinton had generated budget surpluses? How dare the tea-baggers denounce government spending after Bush created an economic crisis and launched an unnecessary war on the wrong country?

The tea-baggers were not to be taken seriously, so I basically ignored them.

But this morning, I happened across Platte Countian Ivan Foley’s hyped-up coverage of the protest, and saw that it was less of a protest than a gathering. Here is a picture that Mr. Foley took of their “crowd”:

Seriously. A few months ago, that would have qualified as the shortest of the porta-potty lines for Barack Obama’s rally. But, whatever, if they want to count that cluster of like-minded folks as a rally, that’s their right. Personally, I’m a little surprised they could find even that many people to stand with this guy without wearing a hood:

No Idea is Too Stupid to Voice in Jefferson City – or to Win a Republican Majority

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Missouri State Representative Ed Emery (R-Lamar) has proposed totally eliminating the state income, franchise and corporate taxes, and shifting the cost of government disproportionately onto the backs of the mid-Missouri poor through an increased sales tax. This may be the single dumbest thought voiced out loud in Jefferson City in the past quarter century, but it still passed the House on a voice vote.

Just think for half a second, and the flaws of this approach will occur to any but the most slow thinkers. The sales tax is a regressive tax, and Emery’s idea would tax the poor at a far higher rate than the wealthy. It would eliminate virtually all retail business within an hour’s drive from the border, and create boomtowns in our 8 surrounding states. The only positive economic impact would exist only in far-fetched “trickle-down” fantasies, in which corporate CEOs would somehow lower prices rather than simply use their tax boon to finance a new house on the border of Johnson County.

In reality, this thing has zero chance of passing, and only a few of the truly dense people in Jefferson City really think that such a radical, economically disruptive, and anti-working poor proposal is a good idea. But irresponsible Republicans moved it forward because now they can claim on the stump that they voted to eliminate the income tax, and they will draw a hearty cheer from the ill-informed.

In a better world, with better leadership, such a proposal would never see the light of day. In a more dignified time, Emery would feel ashamed of himself for making such a poorly-thought-out proposal, and his Republican colleagues would be embarrassed for him. Instead, we see a majority of his colleagues voting in favor just so they can have a cheap throw-away line in a campaign speech.

We deserve better than crackpot ideas embraced by opportunists.