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.

Who Supports the GOP Health Care Bill?

GROUPS THAT OPPOSE THE GOP HEALTH CARE PLAN:

  • AARP
  • America’s Essential Hospitals
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Health Care Association
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
  • Families USA
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • National Nurses United
  • National Physicians Allianceclose-male-doctor-stethoscope-footage-011965185_prevstill

GROUPS THAT SUPPORT IT:

  • Insurance Companies

Always remember that the current GOP in the House does not care about you. They don’t care about your health, they don’t care about what experts, doctors and specialists think is the best thing for your health, they don’t care about anything except who is giving them huge campaign contributions.

Fight back. Call your Congress member. Thank them if they voted against this, and shame them if they voted for it. They listen, and more importantly, Senators will be waiting to see how this plays out before voting on it. Make them scared. Kill it in the Senate by making the consequences dire for the House members that voted for it.

And remind them that we are their bosses. They work for us, not the insurance companies.

Fact against you? Just deny them!

Carly Fiorino and the other GOP candidates have railed about for months over a faked video that claimed that Planned Parenthood was harvesting baby parts. It’s been discredited by everyone, and the guy who made it admitted it was fake, but that hasn’t stopped them from repeating the lie.

ppfa-tornoe-final

cartoon by Rob Tornoe

They even managed to get a Grand Jury to investigate this supposed terrible crime. Yesterday, the Grand Jury came back and exonerated Planned Parenthood and instead indicted the guys who made the fake video.

So all the Republicans finally admitted they were wrong.

Ha ha! Just kidding! They instead doubled down on the falsehood, insisting that, despite all evidence to the contrary, they were still right.

Is anyone at all surprised by this? This is the party that regularly denies facts that are inconvenient to their ideology. They refuse to accept climate change and evolution. They insist that trickle down economics work. They claim Obamacare has killed jobs, that gun control doesn’t reduce gun deaths, that “voter fraud” is a major problem, that Obama has raised the deficit, that a majority of Americans are against gay marriage, and that some sort of conspiracy happened in Benghazi (I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what they are talking about there).

And they are easily proven wrong every single time.

While this mindset is not limited to Republicans, one does not see it at the top levels of the Democratic party in the same way you see Republican leaders spout out untruths like that.

I can kind of understand the people at the top repeating these lies as a way to give them more power. Evil leaders have done that forever. But are there no honest people any more in the Republican party? No one who will say, “Hey, that’s not true. We shouldn’t be saying that.”

Apparently not.

 

Republicans want to kill Aladdin!

According to a new poll from PPP, 30% of Republicans favor bombing Agrabah.

As any Disney fan will tell you, Agrabah is the completely fictional made-up country where Aladdin lives. But hey, it sounds Muslim and if there’s one thing Republicans love, it’s bombing things, even when they don’t have a reason to do so. aladdin

I am not making this up.

These are the people who are supporting another cartoon character named Donald Trump for president. These are the people who are willfully stupid and proud of it.

There are other revealing results in this poll which are just as disturbing:

  • 28% support the policy of putting Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WW II
  • 46% support a national database for all American Muslims
  • 54% support banning all Muslims from entering the United States
  • 36% believe Trump’s lie that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered after 9/11

On the other hand, even the most conservative among us believe in reasonable gun control (despite what the NRA tells you):

  • 79% support a criminal background check for anyone wanting to buy a firearm
  • 80% support preventing anyone on a terrorist watch list from buying a firearm

Bottom line: We’re dealing with a party that has been taken over by bigots who believe lies and hate the United States Constitution. And they seem quite proud of it, too.

 

I can’t even

It’s 2015.

And the leading candidates for the Republican nomination for President:

a. Have no political experience whatsoever (remember when they claimed Senator Obama wasn’t qualified for President because he had only been a “community organizer”?)trump

b. Are encouraging the kind of racism we thought all major politicians had run from since the 1960s

c. Are honestly claiming that perhaps we should make American Muslims have special IDs (perhaps maybe even a tattoo on their forearm?)

d. Proudly proclaim their hatred of science and spout out lies about everything from the economy to foreign policy when such lies are easily refuted

I mean, every time I thought that party could not stoop lower, I get surprised. It’s showing us the worst of America — the ugly, racist, stupid rich American that is the cliche of Americans in the rest of the world.  And the Republicans are embracing it.

A week or so ago, I wrote about how it is important for those with integrity to call out those in their group who are not — how good lawyers need to weed out the bad ones, how good cops have to not cover up the excesses of the bad cops, how good Muslims must speak out against the evil ones.

And the same is true of Republicans. But I don’t see it. Where are the Republican leaders distancing themselves from the terrible things Trump is saying?

I have friends who used to be Republicans who now have left the party because of crap like this. But maybe they should instead be staying and fighting, and speaking out against the GOP leadership that allows and encourages this.

Anyway, it’s depressing. It’s why I haven’t posted anything in a while. I can’t make fun of something so over-the-top it looks like a satire already, and even though part of me is saying “Good, this means they’re going to lose in 2016” another part of me grieves for the loss of responsible politics.

The parties from 50 years ago are not the parties of today

“More Republicans supported civil rights in the ’60s than Democrats did!”

I hate that argument, and anyone who says it should be ignored. They clearly know nothing about history.7546-004-7F54297C

First and primarily, it wrongly assumes that the Democratic party and the Republican party are exactly like they are now.

The Republican party was originally the liberal party, fighting against slavery (with Lincoln) and income inequality (with Teddy Roosevelt). But that morphed, and we went through a long period where each party had liberals and conservatives. There were conservative Democrats (mostly in the south) and liberal Republicans (mostly in the north).

The civil rights movement in the ’60s was largely led (in our government) by President Lyndon Johnson (a Democrat) and mostly fought by George Wallace (a Democrat). There were people in both parties on both sides of the issue.

What you can say with certainty was that it was the liberals from both parties that supported civil rights in the ’60s while the conservatives from both parties fought against it.

Today, there is a parallel: liberals are the ones supporting gay rights and conservatives are the ones against it. It just so happens that our parties no longer look like they did 50 years ago — now all the liberals are in one party and all the conservatives are in another.

This is actually a very bad thing, because it discourages compromise. Our government would get a lot more accomplished if we had liberals, moderates, and conservatives in both parties. We can mostly blame gerrymandering for the divisiveness we now have in America.

But the other reason to ignore this comment is because it so stupidly tries to distract you from the real issue:  What do Republicans support today? Usually, a conservative will use this argument when they’ve been attacked for supporting racist policies. “Oh yeah?” they reply. “Well, we were right 50 years ago!”

That certainly doesn’t mean you’re right now.