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.)

How to answer Republicans concerning the sit-in

As I write this, the House Democrats are staging a sit-in to protest the GOP’s unwillingness to deal with the problem of guns in America. As usual, people are taking sides based on their party affiliation. Here is how to respond to those who are attacking the Democrats, based on the most common things I’ve read online:
sit in“This is just a publicity stunt!”  Yes, of course it is. All politics is. Sit-ins back in the 60s were publicity stunts. Marches and protests are publicity stunts. The goal of a publicity stunt is to get people talking about the issue. Since we are doing that now, it is clearly a successful publicity stunt.

“The Democrats want to curtail your civil rights because the no-fly list has no due process guarantees!” Oh, now you care about due process? The no-fly list, which was developed under Republican leadership, is one of the GOP’s proudest achievements in their war on terror. Apparently, the Democratic goal of preventing people on this list from getting guns easily has turned the GOP into civil rights advocates. Either that or they’re just a bunch of flaming hypocrites.

“When the Democrats were in charge, they also prevented bills from being voted on!” Yep, that’s politics. Maybe you guys should have staged a sit-in too. The difference here is this: The vast majority of Americans support background checks and other laws to prevent criminals, terrorists and the insane from getting guns easily. I’m talking like 90% of Americans. This is about more than just politics — this is about a group of politicians who are in the pocket of the NRA preventing the American people from getting what they want.

“The laws the Democrats want are bad because (fill in the blank).” That’s an interesting argument. Let’s debate it in a reasonable manner. Oh, right — the GOP isn’t even allowing us to discuss it. How is democracy served by that? Isn’t that their job — to debate bills and discuss important issues, especially issues that the vast majority of Americans want discussed?

Did I forget anything?

What “Make America Great Again” really means

Whenever I hear conservative politicians say things like “Make America great again” I have to wonder. The economy is booming. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in ten years. The deficit has been reduced by 2/3rds. The stock market is at its highest ever and gas prices are at their lowest in years.  Foreign policy-wise, ISIS leaders have been killed, Qadaffi was removed, bin Laden is dead, and we have less troops overseas than we did eight years ago.trump

These are all things that, if a Republican were in office, conservatives would be citing to say how wonderful their President is.

So what do they mean when they say “Make America great again”?

It’s clear that they’re not talking about the standard of living, foreign policy, or the economy. What they want is to go back to the old ways. You know — an America where

  • Minorities know their place and aren’t all uppity and saying “Black lives matter”
  • Gays hide in the closet and don’t demand rights
  • Transgender people are treated like they have mental problems and are shunned from society
  • Women let men decide their personal health issues, especially concerning abortion
  • Non-Christians let Christians force their religious views into the laws
  • Immigrants are kept out so that we can keep a white majority
  • No one questions the rich and powerful or demands that they pay their fair share
  • Health care and other needed necessities are only available to those who can afford it

That’s the America they want back — where rich, white, Christian men run things and everyone else sucks it up.

It’s a definition of “great” that only applies to a small minority of Americans who have managed to convince the simple-minded and gullible that America is not about equality, opportunity, and freedom but instead about allowing those in power to force their views onto the rest of us.

 

 

 

What Libertarians don’t understand

There’s lots of things our government does that I disagree with. So I try to elect people who will pass laws that I agree with. Sometimes I lose and a bunch of laws are passed I don’t like.

I don’t claim then that those laws are “forced” against me and that my rights are being violated.all-cats-are-libertarians-mary-fanning

And that’s the reason why many of us just can’t debate some libertarians, because they have this double standard: If they like the law personally, it’s fine but if they don’t like it, they are being forced to obey it and that’s just evil!

I don’t think laws I don’t like are evil. They were passed through our democratic process and I can try to get that changed. I don’t always get my way. That’s what democracy is all about. Sometimes your side loses.

If libertarians said, “Well, we lost, but we’ll try to win next time” then we can discuss the merits of libertarian philosophy. But instead we often get “You people who won are taking away my right to not obey the laws I don’t feel like obeying!”

Well, suck it up. We all have laws we don’t like that we have to obey. That’s what being in a democratic society is all about.

The main problem I have with libertarian philosophy is that they see programs where we ask everyone to pitch in a little to help everyone a lot as “theft” and then complain that they are “forced at gunpoint” to pay taxes to support this stuff.

That’s where they lose me. Every society in the history of this planet has asked its members to support it in some way. Even the most basic society made you pick berries for the good of the tribe.

We can disagree on how much we should do — that’s a legitimate debate. We can discuss how to make taxation fairer.

But when libertarians say any program is a violation of their rights and all taxation is theft, then instead of looking principled, they just look, well, selfish.

Pick some berries, guys.