What ever you care about, are you more likely to be able to have a conversation about it with the GOP or the Democratic Party? GOTTAVOTE.COM
Remember 2010? Don’t negotiate with terrorists.
“This isn’t really a problem with Paul Ryan; it’s a problem with a distinctively American brand of conservative evangelicalism. The aspiring VP can live with a glaring contradiction because his constituency shares his passion for Antichrist ideas. The Sunday School teachers of evangelical America can give you 101 clever reasons why Jesus didn’t really mean what he said about money, power, humility, forgiveness, sacrificial love or politics. The conservative movement dominates American politics because it has cobbled together a simple, internally coherent philosophy rooted in selfishness, pride, radical individualism, nationalism, militarism, and faith in the free market. If you are familiar with Jesus’ teaching in the Gospels, you will recognize this as the religion of Antichrist … or if you prefer, Satan. If you aren’t familiar with the words of Jesus, half an hour with the nearest Bible should remedy the problem. Find the part called “New Testament” and start reading.” — Why Paul Ryan doesn’t have an Ayn Rand problem (via azspot)
“This year is a good opportunity for other voices to speak at the convention and I’m excited to hear them.” — Sarah Palin said in a statement on Gretawire, the blog of Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren.
I suspect the RNC said “thanks but no thanks” to Sarah’s verbal bridge to nonsense, and it’s difficult to put on a brave face when it’s frozen with rage. So instead of doing yet another live appearance on Van Susteren or Hannity to talk about how excited she is to hear from these other voices (ha), a statement was released.
Bright side: with that week now free, Palin will have even more time to hate on the president, support (insert craziest Republican candidate’s name here) and, she says, rally “the base” for congressional seats this fall. And don’t worry, she’ll never be too busy to pop up wherever there’s an opportunity for hate, bigotry, or random iPhone / Facebook publicity in fast food restaurants.
A vote for Mitt Romney (really, any Republican at this point) is a vote for a Teaparty sock puppet.
ABC News: The stunning Texas victory of Ted Cruz, a young Tea Party-backed Republican over an establishment candidate vying for a Senate seat, has already so emboldened the insurgent conservative movement that activists are warning Mitt Romney he had better get on board. “These guys [newly elected Tea Party candidates]” are going to force Romney to the right,” said Andrea Shell, a spokeswoman for Tea Party group Freedom Works. “That is our entire mission.” “If we can elect a really conservative House and Senate that will force Romney to go along with our bold conservative agenda,” Shell said. “He’s going to have to really, really go to the right. He’ll be working with guys in the House and Senate. He won’t be able to get away with too many middle of the road policies, especially on things like the deficit.”
Remember what Grover Norquist said:
“We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.”
WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—
RICK SANTORUM endorses Mitt Romney “in a late night email to supporters” – “He clearly understands that having pro-family initiatives are not only the morally and economically right thing to do, but that the family is the basic building block of our society and must be preserved,” Santorum wrote in the letter e-mailed to supporters. The endorsement comes as Romney looks to shore up his support among conservatives, who powered Santorum to victory in several states, particularly in the south. Last week, Romney and Santorum met for an hour in Pittsburgh, where Santorum stressed the need for Romney to hire conservatives. During the primary, Santorum was one of Romney’s harshest critics, suggesting that he was unelectable because of his health care plan and because of his more moderate views. Yet Santorum, who resurrected his career with his unlikely challenge of Romney down the stretch, said that he was satisfied that Romney would overturn health care. – Washington Post
MITT ROMNEY does have a lengthy economic plan, but it amounts to the same thing Republicans always advocate (there’s no ‘special insight’ from all Mitt’s ‘business’ experience): tax cuts, particularly on the wealthy; spending cuts in domestic programs; eliminating regulations; free trade; undermining labor unions, and so on. The closest thing to an innovative idea is the creation of a “Reagan Economic Zone,” which presumably will create wealth through the repeated incantation of the great one’s name. Which is just the point: if Mitt Romney’s experience in private equity gives him such unique understanding of the economy, why is what he proposes exactly what you’d hear from any Republican who spent his working life in government? It’s partly because Romney is a Republican, and things like tax cuts and reductions in regulation are just what Republicans believe. But maybe it’s also because when it comes to the things government can do to affect the economy, being a businessman doesn’t give you such special insight after all. — Paul Waldman, Prospect.org
MITT ROMNEY was confronted by a questioner about foreign taxes he reported on his income tax returns, a charge Mitt Romney appeared to deny. “I don’t think I paid any foreign income taxes, but I’ll look at it,” Romney replied over the boos of the audience for the hostile questioner. But in fact, Romney has paid over $1.2 million in foreign taxes for “passive category income” since 2000, according to his 2010 income tax return. Additionally he has paid over $800,000 in foreign taxes for “general category income” according to the same filing. — Buzzfeed
REV. JESSE LEE PETERSON says America’s greatest mistake was allowing women to vote — Peterson, a Fox News contributor, tea party activist and personal friend of Sean Hannity’s said in a sermon… that America’s greatest mistake was allowing women the right to vote, adding that back in “the good old days, men knew that women are crazy and they knew how to deal with them.” [...] Despite his statements being online for more than a month, Hannity welcomed Peterson on his show last Tuesday to castigate the Obama administration over “taking credit” for the Osama bin Laden assassination — but the segment didn’t exactly go as planned. – Raw Story
GOP WILL BLOCK student loan bill – Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said the GOP’s stance is designed to trigger talks between House Republican leaders and Senate Democratic leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — so that a compromise can be reached before the July 1 deadline when interest rates on Stafford loans are poised to jump to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. “There will be a compromise worked out,” Kyl said. “When it’s clear that [Reid’s] version isn’t going to go anywhere, I presume that leaders of the House and Senate will get together and find a way to ensure that the interest rate doesn’t double.” Kyl said that the GOP move also stemmed from Democrats signaling that no amendments would be allowed to the bill. – Roll Call News
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
VETS FOR A STRONG AMERICA darkened the President’s image – Vets for a Strong America has gotten a lot of attention for its recent video attacking President Obama for taking too much credit for the Osama bin Laden killing. [...] I haven’t seen anybody point out the truly most egregious part of the video: the obvious attempt to make Obama look like a criminal thug by darkening his image. Remember the hue and cry when Time magazine did that to O.J. Simpson in 1994? Remember the hue and cry when Hillary Clinton’s campaign supposedly did that to Obama during the 2008 primary, even though it actually hadn’t? But this time nobody cares. I guess times have changed. – Kevin Drum, Mother Jones
DAVID AXELROD reminded us of this quote from the Bush-appointed former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates about the killing of Bin Laden: “I worked for a lot of these guys and this is one of the most courageous calls — decisions — that I think I’ve ever seen a president make.” – Bob Cesca
THE RIGHTWING CLAIMED that Obama failed when he drew 14,000+ people to his Ohio rally on Saturday — However Mitt Romney drew only 500 people to his Ohio event yesterday. That was the event where the woman told Romney she thought Obama should be tried for treason (which is punishable by death) and Romney said nothing. The Romney people called the crowd estimated at anywhere between 300-700, “great turnout.” — PoliticsUSA
FORMER SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI) on Monday speculated that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was embarrassed by the “almost lawless decision” in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. “This is a guy who is usually a careful justice,” he told Sam Seder of the Majority Report. “He just started making these sweeping assertions about what corruption was, what companies do, like he was talking at a bar with somebody over a beer rather than anything that was a legal decision. It was really reckless. I am guess he might even be a little bit embarrassed at this point about what a sloppy opinion it was, and how it just asserted things that aren’t proven.” – Raw Story
————————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
REDUCING GOVERNMENT DEFICITS Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education. Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. [...] The GOP front-runner suggests raising the Social Security retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases for better-off retirees. [...] Like Ryan’s budget, the Romney plan would also cut benefit programs other than Social Security and Medicare. They include food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor. Based on the Romney materials, it’s impossible to project the size of the cuts to such programs. Suffice it to say, they would be controversial. [Romney budgeting: Tax cuts for the wealthy + more money for war = austerity for the rest of us]
PAY NO ATTENTION TO POLYGAMY COMMUNES, TAX RETURNS, CAR ELEVATORS, AND SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS! – “Now, though, the general election season is on, and The Times needs to offer an aggressive look at the president’s record, policy promises and campaign operation to answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?” Brisbane wrote. “Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008.” [...] “The warm afterglow of Mr. Obama’s election,” he wrote, “the collateral effects of liberal-minded feature writers — these can be overcome by hard-nosed, unbiased political reporting now.” [NYT Public Editor: NYT 'Basked' In Obama's 2008 Election, Must 'Aggressively' Vet Him Now ]
THE DOUCHE SQUAD: REPUBLICAN TEAPARTY FRESHMEN AND THEIR ‘DO NOTHING’ WORK ETHIC. The book, which will be released Tuesday, shows just how much energy had to be expended on the 87 freshmen who took their oath in January 2011, many of them holding office for the first time. Accounting for nearly 40 percent of Boehner’s conference, the freshmen exercised their clout early and often, imposing their will on the rest of the House Republicans. Many freshmen viewed GOP leaders warily from the outset and compelled Boehner’s team to make the rookies the constant focus of its attention. “I didn’t come to Washington to be part of a team,” Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) told the book’s author. [...] During the debt-ceiling fight, some freshmen were ready to push the government into default. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), a first-time politician who was a surprise winner of a West Texas district, wrote Boehner to express his fear that the debt ceiling was “very possibly a hostage that we’re unwilling to shoot.” In an interview Friday, Farenthold said he has some regret that he eventually agreed, under pressure from local businessmen, to support the compromise, because it brought only $2.1 trillion in savings. “I think we could have survived it,” he said Friday of a federal default. [New book about the GOP freshmen and the very serious business of Washington that's no longer being done]
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS—————————————————————-
US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA will issue an executive order Monday allowing sanctions to be imposed against foreigners who use technologies to carry out human rights abuses, The Washington Post said. The order would target those found to have used technologies including cellphone tracking or the Internet to carry out violations. [...] The executive order, which Obama will announce during a Monday speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria, the paper said. The report came after troops in Syria shot dead six civilians on Sunday in Homs despite the presence of UN military observers in the rebel province to pave the way for a 300-strong mission approved by the Security Council. [The Raw Story]
REPUBLICANS IN THE US CONGRESS are under a “reign of terror” imposed by the party’s conservative wing that also has pushed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the right, President Barack Obama’s senior campaign strategist said on Sunday. David Axelrod, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, cited the Obama administration’s plans for immigration reform as an example of Republican intransigence in Congress. The political process in Washington should not be “monolithic opposition to everything the chief executive wants to do as a political strategy,” Axelrod said, adding that an “implacable group of Republicans” had blocked any possibility of immigration reform. “I think there are a lot of Republicans in Congress who want to cooperate … but they’re in the thralls of this reign of terror from the far right that has dragged the party to the right,” he said. [Reuters]
GOP WAR ON THE MIDDLE CLASS: In her bid to unseat Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is keeping up her populist message, with a new ad out today that notes she “grew up in a family hanging on by our finger tips to a place in the middle class.” It goes on to hit Washington for “let[ting] big corporations like GE pay nothing — zero — in taxes while kids are left drowning in debt to get an education.” The ad comes after Brown joined Senate Republicans in filibustering the Buffett Rule, and in the midst of new reports showing perilously high student loan debt posing a threat to the economy. Watch the ad:
As the Republican Teaparty has taught us since Barack Obama won the presidency, the background of a candidate is completely fair game — particularly if that background does not involve the candidate’s ancestors being passengers aboard the Mayflower (and specifically if one’s ancestors are any race other than white). Fact: these are the people Romney panders to.
Therefore in the interest of public awareness and fair play, Dave Weigel asks: So was there a Polygamy Commune, or wasn’t there?
The write-up wraps with this: “Romney’s father, George, was born in Mexico and moved to the United States as a child. He went on to become the governor of Michigan.” Which… doesn’t tell us what’s being discussed. Let’s go back to what Schweitzer told Jacobs.
While discussing swing states, Schweitzer said Romney would have a “tall order to position Hispanics to vote for him,” and I replied that was mildly ironic since Mitt’s father was born in Mexico, giving the clan a nominal claim to being Hispanic. Schweitzer replied that it is “kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy.” Women, he said, are “not great fans of polygamy, 86 percent were not great fans of polygamy. I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”
Schweitzer did not say that Romney’s “dad’s dad was a polygamist.” He said that Romney’s dad was born into a “polygamy commune in Mexico.” This is true. In the 1880s, Miles Romney — the great-grandfather of the current GOP candidate — established a commune in Mexico with the express purpose of allowing the church to continue that practice after the United States cracked down on it. Miles took another wife in 1897, while living in the colony. Gaskell Romney, his son, didn’t engage in plural marriage. So both Romney and Schweitzer, talking past each other, are right.
The right has endlessly talked, mocked, lied about, discussed, and made great issue of President Obama’s religious beliefs, ancestry, race, and heritage.
Shouldn’t the Republican candidate for president be up to facing the same “scrutiny”?
From The Washington Post:
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is causing a bit of a stir with his comment that Mitt Romney’s family came from a “polygamy commune.”
In an interview with the Daily Beast on Thursday, the outspoken governor suggested Romney could identify with Latinos better if he talked about his family’s roots in Mexico.
It’s “kinda ironic, given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy,” Schweitzer said. (Schweitzer noted that women, in particular, object to polygamy, or the practice of having multiple wives.)
[...] The truth is that Romney should be able to draw on his personal history for ammunition to fight back on issues such as the Latino vote and his image as a fat-cat businessman. But in both cases, fighting back would require reminding people that he’s a Mormon.
In much the same way that Romney doesn’t talk much about his Mexican roots because of the polygamy connection (detailed here in a great story from last year by The Post’s Nick Miroff), he also rarely speaks of his record of charitable giving — in large part, it would seem, because the vast majority of the donations went to his church.
Romney has given more than $11 million to charity over the past 12 years, but 80 percent of it went to the Mormon Church, according to a recent Boston Globe report. So even if Romney wanted to talk about the $1.8 million that went to other causes, he would probably have to broach the Mormon issue — at least a little bit.
What if we request that Willard Romney educate us all a little better on his full family history and his religious faith: Mormonism — and by the same exacting standards and with all the careful insight, civility, and respect as was provided by the base of his own party to our current president.
In 2008, Romney calls Osama bin Ladin “Barack Obama” –
More from Romney:
“As a Republican, I am saying that the way Republicans have talked about this issue has been harmful to the party…The dialogue has been mean, and we find our party facing an uphill battle because of the way we talk about this issue, immigration. I worry about the future of this country in a post-9/11 world. We need to know who is in our country and why…I believe we don’t need a $3,000 fence [sic]. It is a waste of money. I do agree we need a secure border, but we can do so without a fence.” — Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales warned Thursday that Republicans’ rhetoric on immigration could be a big liability in November.
Yeah, he should be worried about the way Republicans have talked about this issue — AND EVERY OTHER ISSUE they talk about: women, gays, the poor, the working class, the middle class, non-whites, Trayvon Martin’s murder, democrats, the unemployed, OWS protesters, the citizens of Iran and Afghanistan and Iraq (God, just enter any country here), Muslims, government employees, teachers, veterans, the uninsured, etc etc etc…
Republicans make Patriot-Eagle not feel like soaring, not even if Ashcroft sings.
Here’s a humorous little reminder from Bill Maher on exactly what these self-named “we the people” teabagging patriots actually know about TAXES:
If you think you might “sit this one out” in November, like you did in 2010, just remember that you’ll be letting these people pick your leadership.
And not a moment too soon. The ‘Nuge’ is one of these guys who likes to call himself and those who agree with him ‘we the people.’ They imagine they’re just that patriotic. Look at what Nugent said at the NRA shindig over the weekend:
From The Raw Story –
“If you don’t know that our government is wiping its ass with the Constitution, you’re living under a rock some place. And that there’s a dead soldier, an airman, a Marine, a seaman, a hero of the military that just got his legs blown off for the U.S. Constitution, and we got a president and an attorney general who doesn’t even like the Constitution,” he said, adding that the four left-leaning Supreme Court justices were “like a stoned hippy” because they “don’t believe in the Constitution.”
Sidenote: Nuge likes to brag up the military and the personal sacrifice of the service members, but Crazy Uncle Ted got a deferral from the draft, like this: (Nugent claims) that 30 days before his Draft Board Physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and a week before his physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether, virtually living inside his pants caked with excrement and urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment.
Anyway, more blather from Ted:
“And if you want more of those kinds of evil, anti-American people in the Supreme Court then don’t get involved and let Obama take office again. Because I’ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Nugent continued by urging attendees to get everyone they knew to vote for Romney and against “this vile, evil, America-hating administration” or “we’ll be a suburb of Indonesia next year.”
“We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November!” he exclaimed. “Any questions?”
In March, Nugent announced on Twitter that he had endorsed the former Massachusetts governor.
“[A]fter a long heart&soul conversation with MittRomney today I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people & I endorsed him,” Nugent wrote.
Romney’s son, Tagg Romney, quickly praised the rocker.
“Ted Nugent endorsed my Dad today,” the younger Romney tweeted. “Ted Nugent? How cool is that?! He joins Kid Rock as great Detroit musicians on team Mitt!”
Update (1:20 p.m. ET): New York magazine reports that the Secret Service is looking into Nugent’s comments as a possible threat on the president’s life.
Indeed, Tagg, how cool IS that? Ted Nugent! Gosh, what a super swell endorsement! Especially because he’s the guy who bragged to a concert crowd in 2007 that he told Obama to suck on his machine gun. How cool is THAT?
Listen, Tripe, or whatever your name is: Nugent plays guitar. That’s his claim to fame. And when he opens his mouth he doesn’t even make as much sense as the homeless guy on the corner, wearing foil on his head and carrying a sign that says something about the end of the world. Also? The homeless guy probably isn’t a total dick like Nugent, and that homeless guy probably isn’t some draft-dodging, yellow elephant nutjob who buys lots and lots of guns to shoot at things that can’t shoot back. In fact, the only people on this planet who would be excited (instead of embarrassed) about an endorsement from this steaming pile of crazy is you, your family, and the semi-conscious, low information teabaggers he rode in on. Look up ‘fail’ in the dictionary — the Nuge will be pictured there.
What a group.
Just what our country needs: more ‘Palin celebritards‘ in political office. Steve Benen reports on a freshman Senator with no desire to actually work:
Two years later, Roll Call reports that Johnson is poised to “purge nearly his entire Washington, D.C.-based legislative team,” in large part because they expect the senator to work on legislation — and he doesn’t want to.
“He’s an interesting case study of someone who has talked more than he has listened, lectured more than he has developed relationships with his colleagues, and now he’s having a tough time because of that behavior in advancing his policy goals,” one senior GOP aide said. “It’s kind of like watching a temper tantrum by a 2-year-old in the middle of the grocery store.” [...]
Sources indicated that when Johnson came to Washington, he put a staff together like “any other Senator” but quickly realized that the day-to-day grind of legislating was not his forte. Johnson said last week that he wanted more of his office’s focus to be on building an effective messaging operation.
Yes, Johnson, like all freshmen, was supposed to do the grunt work of learning how to become a real senator, but according to Republicans on the Hill, he’s decided it’s more fun to give speeches and come up with soundbites.
“Messaging” is fun; governing is hard.
This seems entirely too common in contemporary Republican politics — the challenging work of crafting legislation, assembling coalitions, trudging through the committee process, making concessions, and agreeing to compromises requires a real commitment, and for those who just want to appear on Fox News, parade around CPAC with an entourage, and feel important, there appears to be no desire to actually legislate.
Thanks, tea party. Your movement will be the marker for COMPLETE FAILURE in the history books. Republican celibritards instead of legislators: your tax dollars at “work.” It’s not like our country has any real problems that might need to be actually fixed by honest people with a brain or anything. It’s more important for you to hate Obama and the Democrats and to choose your candidates by their hatred of the same things.
Maybe Johnson is just looking ahead to his own reality show, Fox “News” contract, or the many books that could be written for him one day.
Do Palin’s donors feel as used as Conor Friedersdorf thinks they should? Can you believe they send her enough money that she blew through $418,000 in the first 3 months of 2012, without spending a thin dime on candidates?
Your supporters trust you. For all their cynicism about politics, they believe that you’re different: a faithful Christian with small town values and a commitment to doing right by regular Americans. You’ve used that trust to ask homemakers, retirees and small businessmen and women to send you their money. As the Web page of your official political action committee puts it, SarahPAC is “dedicated to building America’s future by supporting fresh ideas and candidates.”
But that isn’t how you’ve been spending the money.
[...] You’ve also spent $255,000 “on fundraising and a small team of political consultants.” And perhaps there’s a reasonable explanation for the $1,000 you spent at the Disneyland Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
What is it?
[...] Should people who give you money expect that you’ll make more videos about yourself that are totally unrelated to any campaign or issue? Do you think the money of rank and file conservatives is well spent building your personal brand? Why should anyone trust you as a steward of their money again? Did you think you’d get away with this just because the conservative media is curiously silent when popular movement figures shamelessly fleece the rank and file?
For the sake of your supporters, please do not reply by video.
Why does she mistreat her donors? Because she can. Palin lost the 2008 candidacy, along with McCain, and it’s been almost 3 years since she’s been a politician herself — and she quit that gig halfway through! She’s a failed reality-tv star (her first show had 5 million viewers but subsequent shows didn’t do as well so no second season), and until next year she still has a contract to randomly blather on Fox “News.” Oh, and she posts on Facebook a lot, has people write books for her, and talks to rightwing groups for a fee.
Who did she and Tawd endorse for the GOP candidate this year? Newt. And now who does she think would make a great vice presidential pick for Romney? Allen West, the guy who says he “heard” that up to 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party. What could go wrong? I think everything she does at this point is for the lutz.
I wonder what the teabaggers think they’re getting for their money, exactly, when they send in their hard earned dollars to the ol’ PalinPACofGriftandSnowjob? Writing out the check to her ‘PAC’ might feel like you’re buying freedumb, or that you’re supporting Jesus and the American Flag, somehow. But the reasons are probably more along the lines of this image:
“Only in the United States does the conservative party uphold the operating principle that regular access to doctors and medicine should be denied to large chunks of the population. This sort of barbarism is unique to the American right.”
Jonathan Chait writes about the barbarism of the Health-Care repeal crusade in no uncertain terms:
…two parties are fighting over whether access to regular medical care ought to be a right or an earned privilege.
To me, and essentially everybody on the liberal side, the answer to that question is obvious. I’m comfortable with the market creating vastly unequal rewards of many kinds. But to make health insurance an earned privilege is to condemn people to physical suffering or even death because they failed to secure a job that gives them health insurance, or they don’t earn enough, or they happened to contract an expensive illness, or a member of their family did… The principle strikes me as nothing short of barbaric.
[...] Their language is instructive. They decry the bill for requiring “handouts,” and insist, “you have to work for everything you get.” Which is to say, they consider universal health care exactly like welfare — a giveaway of something that people rightly ought to earn on their own.
[...] The House Republican budget, which has become the lodestar of conservative public policy, is instructive. It repeals the Affordable Care Act and leaves nothing in its place to cover the uninsured. It further imposes enormous cuts to Medicaid, increasing the uninsured population even further still. It offers no plan to fill the void it creates. This is not because such a plan lies too far outside its breadth — it is a sweeping statement, including such disparate objectives as deregulating the financial industry, and laying out a vision that would stretch decades into the future. It’s a statement of how the Republican Party would allocate resources, and the crystal clear answer is, Republicans oppose allocating resources to cover the uninsured.
[...] In every other advanced country, the provision of universal access to medical care is a public responsibility. In every other advanced country, this principle has been accepted by the mainstream conservative party. Only in the United States does the conservative party uphold the operating principle that regular access to doctors and medicine should be denied to large chunks of the population. This sort of barbarism is unique to the American right.
God save us.
Andrew Sullivan discussed religion on Face the Nation yesterday and said this about the increase of atheists:
“I think our ability to be reasonable in politics and faithful in religion, and to keep those two things separate, has atrophied to the great disadvantage of religion,” he said during a panel discussion on CBS News’ Face the Nation.
Two other members of the panel, Dr. Richard Land and Rev. Luis Cortes, had said that the separation of church and state was meant to prevent the government from infringing on faith. But it was not meant to prohibit religion from influencing the government.
So, interestingly, that’s what separation of church and state means to rightwing evangelicals. Sullivan continues:
“What has happened since 1960 is that organized groups, like the Southern Baptist Council and other religious groups, have in fact become self-consciously political,” Sullivan explained.
“They have become fused with one political party, the Republican Party — a party that is now defined by a particular religious faith, evangelicalism or far-right Catholic hierarchy. And that is making many people feel that faith in Jesus is about politics and power and partisanship, in ways that’s turning off an entire generation. The biggest growth in any belief sector in this country in the last ten years has been atheism.”
Sullivan said those religious organizations were “muddying” the real “radical” message of Jesus, which was anti-political. Jesus was “only on the cross because he refused politics.”
It’s noteworthy that the tea party is front and center in this type of political-religiosity. And yet not many accept their weird version of Christianity: the ‘Republican Jesus,’ the thought of a God who would reward people like Rush Limbaugh or ‘Murikin patriot/racists or the very wealthy with Heaven, and throw illegal immigrants and welfare recipients (and those who want to help them — socialists!) into the eternal fires of Hell. Imagine Jesus shouting “Bootstraps, people!” to the lepers. This brand of Christianity is just not marketable to the masses.