Conservatism

R2D2 And You

A few days after one of my Money, Politics and Democracy presentations, an attendee wrote to me, saying,

“After asking you a question at the DUUC presentation, I went home and began re-reading the Constitution, thinking that the Supreme Court decision re: Citizens United basically indicated that corporations were persons and therefore were entitled to freedom of speech.  I got as far as Article 1 Section 2 [paragraph 2]: ‘No person shall be a Representative .  .  .’ and thought, ‘No corporation could be elected a Representative,’ so how can those esteemed justices equate corporations with persons?  Surely, the Founding Fathers didn’t envision corporations as persons, so those strict constructionist justices violated their own philosophy and stretched the applicability of the amendment to make it possible to rule in favor of corporations.”

It seems an absurd stretch to extend all the rights of human beings to inanimate objects, in this case called “artificial persons” – that seems to be some kind of a legalistic term for corporations – but that is what the court did.

My view is that money is not speech, but instead, quite obviously, is property.  The view of the Supreme Court is that money is the equivalent of speech and, therefore, cannot be regulated.  While I don’t care for their interpretation, at least a  thin case can be made for that equivalency.  For example, it will cost me money to make a documentary based on my Money, Politics and Democracy presentation.  Given that my presentation is an exercise in free speech, the money spent to produce the documentary has some rough equivalency to free speech.  That is a stretch, but, as I said, at least a thin case can be made.

Not so much with rights for “artificial persons”.  In fact, I can make the case that a robot is an “artificial person”, but it is pretty difficult to envision extending all the rights and protections of citizenship to R2D2 or your Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner.

It seems to me that a strict constructionist would see that, strictly speaking, only people are people and that only people are given rights and privileges by the Constitution, a document which makes no mention whatsoever of corporations or “artificial persons”.  Yet somehow we find ourselves with five justices of the Supreme Court who can’t tell the difference between people and robots.

Strangely, an amendment originally designed to protect the then-freed former slaves has now given way to protection of corporations just as though they were flesh and blood human beings.  It seems that for today’s Supreme Court, the 14th Amendment has been lengthened by an additional sentence, such that it now reads:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.  All of the foregoing shall apply equally and without limit to any corporation or institution of any kind or any inanimate object.“ (text in bold italics mine – JA)

And if that is true, then the 1st Amendment protection of free speech applies equally to those same corporations, institutions and inanimate objects.  Just imagine how repugnant the post-Civil War congress of 1868 would find that.

And things may get worse.

In the McCutcheon v. FEC case now before the Supreme Court the plaintiff seeks to remove all limits to political contributions.  Should those five justices continue to fail to understand consequences and continue to be unable to make simple differentiations that are readily apparent to most of us, then our politicians and our government will go to the highest bidder and the sale of our American democracy will be complete.

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News Bulletin from AT News
Dateline: Washington DC

 
The Washington Redskins are changing their name because of all the hatred, violence, and hostility associated with that word.
From now on they will be known simply as the Redskins.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

This Just In

ExtraOctober 15, 2013 – Washington DC

In a joint press conference called late yesterday by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), accompanied by Republican House Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Reince Pribus, Chairman of the RNC, it was announced that President Ronald Reagan will no longer be the beating heart of the Republican Party.

For decades the idol of conservatives and the touchstone for everything on the political right, Reagan has been summarily rejected as unfit to hold that lofty position any longer.  Boehner explained to a stunned crowd of reporters and hangers-on that this has been coming for a while.  “The last straw was the realization that President Reagan would not have gambled with America’s national and international integrity by threatening to refuse to raise the debt ceiling,” said Boehner.  “Today everyone knows that we can just stiff whoever we want in order to get everything we want.   I mean, debt ceiling?  Get serious.”

“President Reagan had the stodgy attitude of days long gone,” McConnell added.  “That dog won’t hunt in today’s world.”

Not to be outdone at the microphone, Congressman Cantor invoked the new Tea Party mantra first voiced by Congressman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), saying that a default on our debt wouldn’t be a big problem because, “We have plenty of money coming in.”  Cantor continued, “President Reagan just didn’t understand today’s world and we will no longer invoke his name with every exhale.”  He paused and added in a quiet, contemplative tone, “It will be an adjustment for all of us”

In the closing moments of the press conference Chairman Pribus took to the microphone and said, “I just want to make sure that you have a clear and accurate context for this.  All of America’s problems can be traced to one source – the Democrats.  Sadly, they forced on America a president who wasn’t even born in this country and he has single-handedly shut down the federal government.”

The conference ended with no questions allowed and with no indication of who the new beating heart of all Republicans will be.  However, a possible hint came from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was standing nearby, wearing a tri-corner hat and being cheered by Sarah Palin who winked and screeched, “You betcha.”

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Greater Good – Part 1 of 2

America Held HostageThere is a lot of craziness that can be rationalized using the words “greater good”.  Too often the only participants are those with a bizarre and dangerous imagination and with a vested interest in the outcome.  That applies to the separate issues of America’s budget and the U.S. debt ceiling. 

There is a small band of far right wingers who are holding hostage all the rest of the Republicans.  The result of that is that together they are holding hostage the welfare of every citizen of The United States of America.  Even more, by threatening to default on our national debt they are also holding hostage the entire world economy.  Gun to the head of America and the world.  All that matters is what they want.

Perhaps these far right legislators are true believers for whom their ends justify any means, no matter the pain they to cause hundreds of millions – and to perhaps billions – of others.  Lying and bullying are okay, they believe.  Those are just tools to achieve their goals.

They are funded by unimaginably wealthy individuals for whom ever more power, money and control are all that matter.  Those legislators and their fabulously rich benefactors are all hostage takers, packed with hubris, self-interest and a complete lack of concern for others.  “They are bold and proud and certain in the way of clever children blessed with too much self-esteem,” in the words of Ben Fountain’s brilliant 2012 best seller, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The ruination of America is of no concern to them.

For these megalomaniacs, it is all for the greater good.  Theirs.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Sam I Am

Green Eggs and HamFor many decades Dr. Seuss has entertained children and parents with his delightful rhymes, entertaining pictures and compelling characters.  His stories always contain life lessons and they go down easily for millions of children around the world due to his easy style.  One of those lessons seems to have been lost on Senator Ted Cruz (R-Pluto).

Cruz has been doing his fake filibuster to oppose the bill he insisted be passed by the House.  Some might call that crazy, but it is politics as usual for today’s Republicans.

The bill that Cruz is grandstanding against would insist upon the defunding of Obamacare as a condition of passing a continuing resolution to keep the government functioning.  In the event that the Senate refuses that bill, the alternatives that are available are to send a clean bill to the house (sans defunding Obamacare) or to just defeat the bill in the Senate.  Either would shut down the government.  That is how much Cruz hates Obamacare – or at least he thinks that it serves his narrow self-interest to grandstand – or maybe both – that he is willing to paralyze all of America.

So, he blathered on the floor of the Senate, including reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.  The hero of this Seussian journey to a lesson is Sam, who repeatedly tells us,

“I do not like green eggs and ham.
“I do not like them, Sam I am.”

Sam declares this in spite of never having tried green eggs and ham.  Not even a tiny bite.  In the end, he does taste them and to his shock and surprise, he likes them.  The lesson, of course, is not to reject things without trying them first.

I’m wondering if Senator Cruz understands the absurd irony of his reading Green Eggs And Ham during his filibuster, since it is clear that he hasn’t tried Obamacare, effectively saying,

“I have not tried Obamacare.
“I’m limited by my cranial air.”

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Why Would They Say Those Things?

limbaugh_oxycontin

This was before Rush Limbaugh’s cruelty toward Sandra Fluke.  It was in the midst of his racism, but, of course, he’s always in the midst of racial slurs that are presented in the form of dog whistles, like his song “Barack the Magic Negro.”  These appeal to the embedded fear and hatred within his audience, people who long for the good old days when old white guys ruled everything.  Of course, the same goes for his misogynistic comments, suggesting a prehistoric view of women, of the days when men were men and women were possessions.

His vitriol flows like a poison river, snaking into the ears of the gullible, but is Limbaugh a true believer?  What is the America he believes in?

He gave us a hint a while back in an NBC interview when he was asked why he spouts his outrageous stuff.  “It’s all about the ratings,” said Limbaugh.  Not a word about American values.  Not even a nod to true beliefs.  It was the ratings and the advertising money the ratings bring to him.  Rush Limbaugh’s true belief is simple and pure: More money for Rush Limbaugh.

Lawrence O’Donnell calls Limbaugh a comedian, this not to suggest that he has comedic skills, but to separate him from people who actually know something.  That is to say, Limbaugh is in the entertainment business.  And in that spirit, he gives the people in his audience what they want, so they tune in. Advertisers are assured of many ears into which to pour their commercial messages and Limbaugh makes lots of money.  That’s it.

And it is likely the same for the rest of the hair-on-fire radio and television crazies who spout sociopathic lies and insinuations.  Perhaps some of them are true believers – there is no way to determine that.

Nevertheless, once again the advice of Deep Throat rings true: Follow the money.  Then you’ll know why they say those things.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Bull Connor Would Be Proud

Bull_Connor_(1960)Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s and rose to be the Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, AL.  That gave him oversight of the city police and fire departments and the power to enforce segregation, which he did with stunningly brutal efficiency.

It gave him the power to direct the police and fire departments to sic attack dogs and train fire hoses on peaceful, legal demonstrators, many of them children.  Four little girls were bombed to death in the 16th Street Baptist Church under Connor’s watch in 1963.  His influence is surely behind the Alabama State Troopers who used their billy clubs to crack skulls on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965.  He intentionally caused police to arrive 15 minutes after the arrival in Birmingham of a Greyhound bus full of Freedom Riders in 1961, allowing the waiting mob of hate spewing white Klansmen to beat the Freedom Riders with metal pipes, clubs and bats.   Oppression and violence were just fine with Bull Connor.

The wholesale use of violence has abated considerably since those days and surely America is a better place for people of color today.  Nevertheless, we have a long way to go to live up to our creed for all Americans.

And so it was significant that so many gathered for the “Let Freedom Ring” event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2013, commemorating the 50 year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.  So many were there, like Rep. John Lewis, who marched with Dr. King, Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama, Julian Bond, Amb. Andrew Young, Oprah Winfrey and many more.  Important things were said and renewed momentum for progress was urged.  But something was missing.

Missing was anyone on the right.  No Republicans stepped to the podium.  Not a moderate.  Not a conservative.  Not a Libertarian.  Not a single Republican.

President George H.W. Bush was invited, but he is old and not well and was unable to attend.  President George W. Bush also was invited, but he is recovering from a heart procedure, so he did what he could and sent a statesman-like letter.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Eric Kantor were invited, but all refused to speak for equality, for justice, for jobs, for freedom for all Americans.  They didn’t even send a note.

The messages delivered by their absences are unmistakable.  First, Republicans don’t care as much about equality, justice, jobs and freedom for all Americans as they do about appealing to the far right crazies in their party.  Second, it is more important to Republicans to diminish the President by refusing to share a podium with him than to do what is best for Americans.

On a day dedicated to honoring the memory of people and events that changed our country and are a seminal part of American history, the Republicans told Americans that they really don’t care much about them.

It is often more difficult to look at a picture and identify what is missing, than to identify what is present and does not belong.  In this case, it is glaringly obvious what is missing.  Bull Connor would be proud.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The RNC Has . . .

izzy_santaIzzy Santa, RNC Hispanic Communications Director as seen on MSNBC Weekends with Alex Witt, July 27, 2013.

Here is a shortened and pretty accurate transcription of dialogue:

Witt:  The president indicated that there are Republicans who agree with him in private.  Is that true?

Santa:  The President’s programs have failed and Democrats are abandoning him.

Witt:  In talking about Obamacare, the President said that the Republicans can’t just be against; they have to be for something.  What are the Republicans for?

Santa:  Obamacare has failed.

Witt:  How do you think the President’s immigration plan will work for Hispanics?

Santa:  The President’s immigration plan is a complete failure.  (Ed. Note: There is no plan in place yet, so nothing has failed except the passage of the bill.  It is bottled up in the Republican controlled House.)

Witt:  Another question.

Santa:  Attack Obama, blah, blah, blah.

Here are the observed RNC Rules, as consistently obeyed by Michael Steele when he was RNC chairman, Rience Pribus, current RNC chairman and Izzy Santa:

  1. Always attack President Obama and Democrats.
  2. Never answer a question or offer anything creative, new, constructive.
  3. Always attack President Obama and Democrats.

Memo to RNC:  That’s all ya got?  Ya got nuthin’.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The American Disease

We have an advanced case of The Stupids.

This disease can be contracted by constant exposure to public officials saying and doing idiotic things.  It results in eventual Stupids fatigue, marked by lack of reaction to outrageous behavior.  Here are some common causes of this nationally debilitating disease.

  1. Bible-thumping zealots tell us that 9/11 happened as God’s punishment for our nation’s sins.  They say we deserved it.
  2. Deeply repressed homophobes wail in their self-righteousness and tell us how we should live our lives, as they thump bibles from atop their moral superiority.  Then we find out that they are homosexuals.  Worse, we tolerate their hypocrisy because later they “repent.”  Same for governors who hike the Appalachian Trail – in Argentina – and serial cheats who run the Christian Coalition.
  3. Fools blabber constantly about rape, somehow inventing a concept of “legitimate rape,” with its implication that some rapes are not real rapes.  We are left to guess at what that means, but it sounds like they think some rape victims were “asking for it” and don’t deserve to be seen as victims of criminal assault and battery.  Other fools tell us that in the case of pregnancy due to rape, “A woman’s body can shut that down.”
  4. Michele Bachmann can’t figure out in which state Paul Revere made his historic ride, or distinguish between John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, yet she got re-elected.
  5. Our elected officials have kept us in a near-constant state of war for over 30 years – some argue that the number is 60 – and we tolerate the dead kids and the dead economy.
  6. Richard Nixon declared his resistance to exiting the war in Viet Nam saying, “I’m not going to be the first American president to lose a war.” (October, 1969)  So, 45,000 more American men and women were killed before America inevitably lost that war.  That set the stage perfectly for all politicians to make every issue about themselves and their welfare and not about the welfare of America and Americans.
  7. John Boehner wants to lock up IRS people before an investigation is even attempted or charges filed.
  8. Chuck Grassley still thinks that, “They’re gonna pull the plug on Granny” and nobody calls him on his lie.
  9. Rand Paul still thinks that we should not aid hurricane victims.
  10. Paul Ryan still tells us that privatizing Medicare is not privatizing Medicare and half the country believes him.
  11. We now have two Governor Ultrasounds, as the Republican legislature of Wisconsin and its Governor, Scott Walker, have joined Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia and have decided that they know better about medical care than a woman’s doctor, so they require a vaginal ultrasound before any abortion.  And the OB/GYN has to read a statement to the patient that forces the doctor to lie to his/her patient.  Then the patient gets to pay for all that fraud.
  12. The gun bill failed, even though 90% of Americans wanted it to pass.   Perhaps a cover reason for it can be found in the bazillion amendments to the bill, most of which have nothing to do with firearms and many of which are stupid on their face.  And once again Americans have tolerated their elected representatives caving in to the NRA.
  13. Global warming deniers base their claims on complete bunk and the corporate run media, in its fair and balanced way, continues to let them air their views.  Worse, we’ve done next to nothing to deal with the looming danger that global warming will bring, largely driven by our voracious appetite for burning fossil fuels and our corresponding willingness to enrich the oil companies at the expense of planet Earth and its inhabitants.
  14. Congress actually passed a law that protects Monsanto from prosecution if its genetically modified seeds prove to harm or kill people.  This is the same congress that bemoans lack of accountability in our education system.
  15. We continue to pull money out of education, even though our future national welfare depends upon our kids being educated and prepared to compete.

We are distracted by these circuses and, clearly, this barely scratches the surface of the idiotic stuff that has been going on for so long.  Here is the key:

Re-read Number 6.  It is all about the self-interest of the politicians to advance their careers.  In order to do that they need big money.  To get big money, they have to do the bidding of people who have big money, meaning extremely wealthy individuals and corporations.  When they do that bidding, they are working for the monied interests, not for the interests of America and Americans.  That keeps us from dealing with our very real issues, like global warming, for example, because the oil, coal and gas industry people want to ensure the continuation of their gravy train.  Same logic for guns, healthcare and the lot.

We cannot change human nature and politicians will always look out for their own best interests.  So, until we deal with big money in politics, not much will get better.  Not any time soon.  Not until disaster strikes.  Maybe not even then.  Think:  Sandy Hook Elementary School followed by the failed gun bill, that failure being courtesy of threats to lawmakers from the NRA.

Most of us don’t feel disaster until it is in our faces and it becomes personal.  That is simple human nature at work and it is why, for example, we fail to stand up to the big money bullies who would allow an assault rifle in the hands of the fool next door.

Have you stood in a line for eight hours to vote?  Hundreds of thousands of Americans have had to do that and that is disaster.  Has a vaginal ultrasound been forced on you or someone close to you?  That is disaster.  Have you felt the bottomless depth of pain over children being gunned down?  That is disaster.  Does it bother you that you might be targeted by the NSA? It should, because that is a disaster.

The America you believe in is being stolen from you bit by bit, and it will be gone unless you and I disengage from the boob tube and the rest of the distractions that gobble our time, energy and attention and we at last speak up.  Speak up to get big money out of politics.  Everything turns on that.

The Stupids is a curable disease and you and I hold the cure.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Conservatism Today

Conservatism can be defined in many ways, although dictionary definitions typically use the word itself as a descriptor: We should conserve the values and ideas of the past.  Surely, there is some good sense in that.

Another definition, the attribution to which I have not found, defines today’s conservatism this way: Conservatism has become the search for a superior moral justification for self-interest.  That certainly fits well with Paul Ryan’s budget, which calls for $1.1 trillion of tax cuts for wealthy and super-wealthy people.  That’s a lot of self-interest.

Conservatism has evolved from traditional bedrock values to something hateful and uncaring.  It is an expression of the vitriol that permeates society today, the pervasive view that if someone disagrees they must be some form of low life and perhaps unpatriotic.  The focus of today’s conservatism is fiscal, along with a testosterone fueled national defense and war making capability.  That’s it.

Today’s conservatives seem to have strange ideas about why they lost the last presidential election, lost seats in the House and lost the congressional popular vote count.  They don’t think it was because their ideas were unpopular, nor because they were disrespecting of huge segments of the American public and not because they lied and got caught.  They think it was because they didn’t couch their message in the right terms.  They just don’t get it.

People don’t want what they are selling.  It really is that simple.  Their trying to win upcoming elections by “enlarging the tent” to include people of color makes no sense, because once those recruited are in the tent the conservatives are going to metaphorically club them over the head and steal their wallets.  Here’s an example.

As mentioned, Ryan’s new budget proposes $1.1 trillion in tax savings for the wealthy, revenue that would be lost to the federal government.  What is interesting is that when Ryan is questioned about the cost to the government of his gift to the wealthy he declares that it will be paid for through some undefined magical process, perhaps a deus ex machina contraption from days gone by.  That’s what Reagan sold to the American people as “supply side economics” 33 years ago and which was described by President Bush the First as “voodoo economics.”  Bush was right.  It was voodoo then and it is voodoo now.  There is no deus ex machina that could restore that loss of revenue and save us from our self-inflicted national impoverishment.

All that would be accomplished would be to make fabulously wealthy people even wealthier and cut funds for critical national needs.  That is exactly what Ryan proposed and which was overwhelmingly rejected by Americans in the last election.  Regardless, Ryan plods on with his same tired ideas, now in a nifty new green wrapper.  His sleight of hand, though, hides his mean ideas, that taxes and costs will inevitably go up for all but the rich, including the newbies in that conservative tent.  That’s the wallet theft.

Meanwhile, there are other provisions to Ryan’s budget.  Everyone agrees that at some point Medicare will become too expensive.  Ryan’s plan to deal with that is to give each senior a voucher to go to the private healthcare insurance market and buy their own medical insurance policy.

  • Never mind that seniors are, by definition, older and therefore a poorer risk for those insurance companies who may not offer them coverage at all.
  • Never mind that many of our seniors will have pre-existing conditions that insurance companies will refuse to cover.
  • Never mind that those vouchers couldn’t possibly cover the cost of a medical insurance policy and will necessarily mean that seniors will have to take a lot of money out of their piggy banks to pay for their policies.  That assumes that they have enough in those piggy banks both to pay for their policies and also to eat.

Ryan offers absolutely no detail about how his proposal that would kill Medicare is not a proposal to kill Medicare.  Apparently, we should just trust him.  How well did that trust process work for us when President Bush started the war in Iraq on disinformation?

This third iteration of Ryan’s budget proposal is just another effort to kill social programs that so-called conservatives have been trying to kill for decades.  Doing that and making wealthy people even wealthier while leaving everyone else to scramble for crumbs is today’s conservatism.  There is nothing remotely conservative in the historical sense of the word in Paul Ryan’s budget thumping or in the hearts of today’s self-interested conservatives.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

I Hope The President Fails

That’s what he said in mid-November, 2008.  A colleague was expressing his fondest hope for the newly elected president.  What is most significant about this is that he didn’t say that he disliked the president’s policies or that he fervently wished that they would not become law.  He did not hope for a resolute senate that would moderate President Obama’s initiatives.  He stated clearly that he hoped that the president would fail.

I put my best effort into making sense of that, of seeing his comments in a constructive light.  I imagined that this colleague was simply saying that he preferred a conservative world, so he didn’t want to see progressive/liberal ideas become successful.  That thinking refused to last, though, as the full depth of this guy’s meaning sunk in.  He really wanted a failed president and presidency.

His is the point at which present day conservatism departs from traditional conservatism, and from patriotism, as well as from any semblance of good sense.  How could a true conservative want to see our institutions fail?  How could a true patriot want his president to fail?  And where in the world did good sense go in wishing for America to fail?

Weirdly, the Republicans hate President Obama more than they love America.  They killed the jobs bill, they took the country over the fiscal cliff, they threatened national default, they dragged feet on providing disaster relief from Hurricane Sandy – the list goes on and on and all of the crazy stuff that was designed to make the president fail instead hurt the economy, veterans, job seekers, homeowners, workers, the elderly and even the world economy.

Don’t bother trying to find refuge in this “hoping that the president fails” business by seeing it as solely that of my former colleague or just within the R’s in congress or the far right talking heads.  A recent poll showed that 40% of Republicans want the president to fail.  Clearly, a lot of them don’t care who else gets hurt by their destructive attitude, as they pursue their agenda of hate.

The real problem is that they don’t just hate the president’s policies.  In fact, the R’s themselves introduced and supported many of those same policies that would have helped Americans, right up to the moment when President Obama agreed with them.  Then they beat a retreat and shifted into name-calling and derision.  It wasn’t about policy at all:  It was about hating and wanting to defeat President Obama.  For the R’s, that overrode everything else.

Some say that’s race-based, and surely some of the obstruction answers that description.  The R’s did the same kinds of things, though, to Bill Clinton.  Remember that Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the government while trying to neuter Clinton.  They launched investigations into everything that happened during the Clinton Administration, effectively tying up much of the executive branch resources and the president’s attention.

That’s the single strategy in the Republican playbook: oppose anything a Democratic president supports, national consequences be damned.  Our country is tied up in knots by people who don’t care how badly the rest of us suffer, by politicians and pundits who have lost their focus on a better America and instead are focused on destruction.

There was precious little many of us found to support during the eight years of the presidency of George W. Bush, but I never heard anyone hope for his failure.  You might want to mention that the next time you hear someone voice a belief in the equivalency of the political parties in their craziness.  That 40% of Republicans who want the president to fail are clear about what they hate.  Try asking them what in America they love and support.  See if they can get past their vitriol.  I bet they can’t.

Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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