It’s difficult to have Republican friends these days

I certainly used to have Republican friends. In fact, I even voted for Republicans in the past. Why, in the 90s, I even voted for William Weld for Governor of Massachusetts because he was (believe it or not) more liberal than the Democrat who was running.

Hard to believe that there used to be liberal Republicans as well as conservative Democrats.

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cartoon by David Horsey

But thanks to gerrymandering, Fox News, and Citizen’s United, those days are gone. The GOP has gone farther right than anyone would have ever expected and the Democrats have moved right with them.

Issues that would have been considered moderate when I was younger are now thought of as radical liberal ideas. Just look at Europe, Canada, and Australia for examples. Their “conservatives” would be liberals here in America. It’s not that the rest of the world has moved to the left so much as we have gone so far off to the right as to be unrecognizable to the rest of the civilized world.

Many of my more reasonable conservative friends no longer call themselves Republicans, because even they see that it has gotten out of control. How can they support a party that embraces hatred, bigotry, homophobia? How can they support a party that decries diplomacy, that promotes huge deficits, that wants to install a Christian theocracy? How can they support such a childish, incompetent President?

And that’s why I just cannot honestly call Republicans “friends” any more. It’s why I won’t vote for any Republican, even if it’s just for dog catcher. Unless you convince me that you are trying your best to change the party and rid it of Trump and the alt-right, I have to assume that you approve of what the party is doing.

And if you approve of the party that only cares about rich, white, straight, Christian men; that does not speak out against nazis marching in our streets; that thinks guns are more important than lives; that wants to take away the rights of non-Christians — then I’m not sure how we can be friends.

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We have the money!

The United States is the richest damn country on the planet. We can afford it. 

Republicans constantly complain that we can’t afford health care coverage for all, or dozens of other programs that we, the people, could use to make our lives better. Yet somehow they always find money for the things they want…uncle sam money

One estimate says that if we had a national health care program, it would cost $600 billion. Wow! That’s a lot of money! “We could never afford that!” say Republicans.  (Oh, in a completely unrelated matter, here’s an article about how Republicans today passed a bill giving the military $700 billion this year.)

We apparently have an infinite budget when it comes to defending Americans against foreign attacks, but a minor one for protecting us against illness and disease.

Another study shows that if we just raised taxes on the super-wealthy back to levels we had under President Eisenhower, we’d gain $276 billion a year right there.

The fact is that we have the money — we’re like a family that has said, “Sorry, kids, we can’t afford to get your teeth fixed because we have spent all our money on these 30 cars we don’t need and gave the rest to your rich uncle.”

 

Bitching Solves Nothing

Recently overheard conversation:

“I can’t stand Trump and can’t believe he is our President!”

“Did you vote?”shut-up

“What?”

“Did you vote?”

“Well, no, but–“

“Goodbye.”

When bad things happen to good people, sometimes it’s because of blind luck or things way beyond our control. But when bad politicians get elected or pass laws we don’t like, this isn’t because of luck. It’s because we let them get away with it.

You have to get involved if you want to complain about things. You have to make the difference. This is true not only in politics, but in life. If you bitch about how you have a terrible job and no one loves you and the world is screwing you over and you do absolutely nothing to change that, then whose fault is it?

Have you ever read history and thought “If I were alive during the civil rights movement, I would have been marching next to Martin Luther King, Jr.”? Have you ever thought “If only those people had stood up to Hitler earlier, World War II wouldn’t have happened”?

Well, history hasn’t stopped. Now’s your chance to prove you weren’t just spouting off at the mouth. Don’t just bitch and complain — do something!

In many states, there are primary elections coming up. Get out and vote. Even in these small elections (and in fact, moreso), your vote really counts. Even if you don’t know anything about the candidates, go out and vote against the Republicans. Don’t think “Oh, it’s just the County Dog Catcher, who cares what party he’s in?” If he’s a Republican, that means it’s very likely he supports what our President is doing or he wouldn’t be a Republican. And even if he doesn’t, every Republican you elect helps the party grow, raise money, and push its agenda.

Posting memes on Facebook to your friends who probably already agree with your political views accomplishes nothing except making you feel good.

Do something! Participate in a march! Write your congressman! Run for office! Donate to groups that are fighting Trump and his agenda! (May I recommend my favorites:  Planned Parenthood, The American Civil Liberties Union, and American Atheists.)

And don’t ever let me hear you complain if that’s all you’re doing.

 

 

 

More Republican hypocrisy

According to a new survey, Democrats did not support airstrikes in Syria when Obama was President or when Trump was President, by almost the exact same percentage. Republicans, on the other hand, were hugely against them when Obama was President and hugely in favor of them when Trump was President.

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Is there any other conclusion to draw other than Democrats actually stand for something and Republicans are flaming hypocrites?

And there  are plenty other examples. When they block a Supreme Court nominee, it’s fine — when we try, we’re subverting the Constitution; They like “Romneycare” when they propose it — they hate it when we propose it; When Obama takes golf vacations it’s terrible — when Trump takes them it’s no big deal; When Hillary uses a private server, they shout “lock her up” — when Trump does, it hardly makes the news….

I could go on and on.

 

Why the fight against Gorsuch is necessary

“Oh noes!” scream some Democrats. “You can’t threaten a filibuster against Gorsuch! They might use the nuclear option to get rid of that rule, and then they can do anything they want. Save the fight for later.”

I could not disagree more. Putting aside the argument that Gorsuch would be a terrible justice who deserves to be voted down, let’s just talk political strategy.elephant donkey

Here’s the thing — “When they go low, we go high” doesn’t seem to be working. We’re like the kid who refuses to fight back who is constantly being beaten up by the bully. Well, I’m tired of being beaten up. We need to fight the bullies and teach them that they can’t keep getting their way just because they’re willing to fight and we’re not.

Idealism doesn’t do you a lot of good when you’re fighting bad guys. “Please Mr. Hitler, don’t hurt us” didn’t get us anywhere.

The more the Democrats fight now and make Trump look like a big loser, the more they’ll make it clear that they’re not going to just give in and let him do everything he wants. They’re going to block every damn thing he tries to do.

Oh, Republicans don’t like that? Let’s see — where did that plan first originate? Oh, right, with the Republicans blocking every thing Obama tried to do, including bills that the Republicans themselves originally proposed that they later had to block simply because Obama agreed with them. I am not making this up.

Here’s how we’re going to do it differently, though: We Democrats won’t lie. We won’t say one thing while doing the other. That’s how we “go high” — not by refusing to fight, but by refusing to fight unfairly.

You don’t give in to evil. You don’t allow the minority to trample the rights of the majority. (And, let’s be clear, Trump and his people were not and still are not supported by the majority of Americans.)

As my friend Hoyce pointed out, the way some Democrats argue about picking your battles would be as if Churchill had said during WWII, “We won’t fight them on the beachhead, we can’t win that. And we’ll probably let them take about half the streets, we have to pick our battles. But once we find a spot where we can win we’ll totally fight them all out.”

Somehow, I don’t think a quote like that would have made it through history.

Why Democrats should block Gorsuch

Last year, Obama nominated a highly-qualified person to the Supreme Court but the Republicans, using their “block everything” strategy that they’d held during all eight years of the Obama administration, refused to “advise and consent” as the Constitution requires and didn’t even hold a single hearing on the nominee — something completely unprecedented in American history.Courtroom-Gavel

Now they’re upset that Democrats are planning to do something similar to them.

Oh, you big babies. You can dish it out but you can’t take it.

“But this is different,” they say. “We didn’t think the President should appoint someone when there was an election near, because they people should decide this.”

Well, guess what? The people did decide. The people supported Hillary Clinton by a pretty big margin. The Electoral College may have decided differently, but that’s not what you said. The majority of the people didn’t want you or your President to pick the next Supreme Court Justice.

How’s this, then? The President shouldn’t appoint a Supreme Court Justice when he is being investigated for treason. Isn’t that much better reason to deny it? Oh, right — it’s very different when it’s your leader who is accused of crimes that could have him impeached and removed soon.

Typical Republican logic:  “Never hold us to the same standards by which we hold you!”

 

Trump and the Hookers

Let’s assume the current rumors about Trump and the hookers is false (which it probably is).

Can I still revel in the schadenfreude of the whole thing — that a man who spent the last eight years pushing lies about Obama not being born in America now has to deal with his own fake news stories? That people are believing this even though we currently don’t have any proof of it at all?tad-quote

And, just in case they are true, allow me to say this:

Remember when I blogged “Look, the issue isn’t the word ‘pussy’ it’s the word ‘grab.'”?

In this case, the issue isn’t the words “golden showers” — it’s the word “hooker.”

Seriously, the words “President of the United States of America” and “hooker” should never appear in the same sentence.

(By the way, “Trump and the Hookers” is a good name for a band.)