How Will the GOP Move Forward?

With Barack Obama re-assuming his role as commander-in-chief for the next few years, the only option now is to look forward as he further cements his place in the annals of history as the most progressive leader the United States has known. We will have universal health care. Abortion will not be outlawed. To deal with our deficit, Obama will be standing firm as he pushes for a 1.6 trillion tax hike on the very wealthy– anyone making over 250,000 annually. The DREAM goes on for immigrants. More disadvantaged kids will be able to take advantage of the Pell Grant program, which Obama was able to expand during his first term by cutting out the banks. Medicare will live on. Social Security will live on. The troops are coming home from Afghanistan. The Senate is more culturally diverse than ever before. Gay marriage will become a reality. And as of December 1st, recreational marijuana use will be legal in two states.

I have been unable to properly transcribe my pride and elation over the victory achieved by the liberal base. For all the perceived confidence on the left, there were real concerns that fostered white-resentment would cause an upset at the polls. Major news outlets have mused or offered significant data as to how or why Obama won, twice, making him also the only President to be elected with an unemployment rate well over 5%. Is it a younger, more secular and tolerant following? My theory is based on just that– a growing body of educated atheists and skeptics that have easy access when it comes to acquiring information in this technological age. We’re no longer shooting blind when it comes to religious or scientific theory and faith alone doesn’t cut it anymore. Getting right down to it, we have a GOP that incorporates Christian values to defame any who oppose their policies and furthermore enforce and uphold their version or standard of living to cultivate or retain religious voters. It is no surprise to me then that religion, or Christianity in this case, is the weapon of choice as it has been used or abused to justify the mass degradation and oppression of indigenous groups or people of differing faiths and how it simply does not work in a more secular society. Christianity has murdered millions. Christianity has justified slavery, racism and a bundling of ordinances or laws that promote a ‘moral’ version of civility and order.

Here are a few religion-based quotes that helped shape or reinforce intolerant views and have endured to this day:

It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race. They have been and are a race of servants, but now in the dawn of the twentieth century, we are all coming to see this matter of service in its true light and to find that the only real joy in life is in serving others; not bossing them. There is no servant in the world as good as a good Colored servant, and the joy that he gets from rendering faithful service is one of the purest joys there is in the world. The Golden Age, July 24, 1929, p. 702 – From The Watchtower, a bible-based magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Mormon leader Brigham Young stated: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” From the Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110. These teachings were formally renounced in 1978.

Scriptures used to support anti-gay legislation:

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7 – Old Testament

If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13 – Old Testament

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  1st Corinthians 6:9-10 – New Testament

White-resentment describes the views of working (often religious) middle to upper class whites that have been made to feel that minorities are at the crux of our financial woes and are a drain on the system. Republicans tout the idea, especially near election time, that white families face even heavier taxes to supplement those do-nothing blacks and Latinos. The added religious spiel is nothing more than an attack on the moral values of minority groups to garner more leverage with those same misinformed, angry whites who often have very racist views.

All throughout the campaign, this was the rhetoric as told by the right. Obama wants to give minorities and women free stuff. They attacked Obama for not being American or a good Christian. They say we are a nation of takers. Mitt Romney‘s 47% are a group of whiny and godless bums who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives and feel entitled to government handouts. Recently he credited his loss to just that, refusing to take responsibility for his own party’s shortcomings.

The GOP has a problem. People are not so eager to follow and are more open-minded than ever before. Christianity no longer has the power it once did, the power to divide and conquer. Whites receive more government assistance, per capita, than blacks and data is readily available to support this. Blacks and Latinos work as hard as anyone else and to suggest otherwise is mind-boggling and racist. It’s time for the GOP to unite with the people and to stop with the mind games and race-baiting. We don’t want free stuff, we want jobs, we want opportunity. We want equality for all. When will Republican party develop a political strategy that does not involve anti-gay, anti-women, anti-minority and ultra-Christian language? The world is changing and they’d better change with it.

Binders Full of Women: Debate II 2012

Last night’s debate was held using the town hall format, a place where President Obama tends to shine. And shine he did. There were a few mucky moments where the two candidates seemed to bicker but the President maintained a more civil tone and answered most questions with succinct flair, sticking to many of the talking points that surround his campaign. It may have come across as a bit redundant to political junkies that have followed each candidate as they make rounds around the country issuing stump speeches. There’s just no getting around their platform and the questions asked zeroed in on both the former governor and President’s goals.

Romney was his usual self, angry and on defense, prepped against possible statements regarding the many missteps that have hammered his campaign all year. His message was on jobs and tax cuts, even though he has yet to explain exactly how he would pay for his 5 trillion dollar tax cut without unloading the burden upon the poor to middle-class. I would like to know of each program he intends to cut and which tax loopholes would be closed. Mitt also re-emphasized how his plans will create 12 million jobs over the next four years but later in the debate chants, ‘government doesn’t create jobs, government doesn’t create jobs’.

If you can ignore Romney’s lies and anti-math tax plan, he almost held his own until the tedious topic of Libya came up. He fumbled like a quarterback with a slime-covered football, attacking the President on his handling of the incident.

He continues sputtering and stuttering on the point until the President expertly interjected in order to move things along. Priceless.

The highlight of the night came when Romney was asked the following question from an undecided voter, Katherine Fenton of NY, which President Obama was given the opportunity of answering first:

Question: In what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?

The President spoke of education and the Lily Ledbetter Act but it was Romney’s answer that shook the internet hemisphere:

They said, well, these are the people that have the qualifications. And I said, well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?

And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.

Not only was he lying, as fact-checkers conclude, it was an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. And hilarious! Binders filled with women? Get him those binders! Where are these allegedly smart women?! Surely they exist! I wonder how long it took Mr. Romney to come up with that. It will surely go down as one of the best and funniest gaffes of all time.

Post-debate polls declared President Obama the winner and I agree. It was a good night and liberals ought to feel enthusiastic and hopeful as we head into the final stretch.

Rosen Was Right

Back in April this year, Hilary Rosen made a few possibly disparaging comments regarding Ann Romney, quipping that “she has never worked a day in her life”. Her words were met with a firestorm from all sides– the GOP with panic-struck Dems needlessly leaping to Mrs. Romney’s defense. Needless because Rosen was absolutely correct and unfortunately a very important topic was passed over while the political machine engineered ways to spin this positively in favor of Republicans who sought to acquire and champion the female agenda. Can I get an eye-roll, please?

Ann Romney was a stay-at-home mother who raised five very handsome sons to plague us all with. Ha! I’m kidding, but come now- five little Mitt’s? God help us. Add in the fact that it is quite likely she had assistance from nannies, maids and so on. It is tiring just tidying up my apartment so to find myself able to relate to Ann’s struggles, I try to visualize myself caring for a mansion with five screaming children running about. Yeah, she had help. A millionaire husband didn’t hurt things either.

I don’t begrudge the Romney family their millions. Whether by hard work or devilish scheming, they are rich and that’s fine. So long as he keeps those tax returns hidden, we won’t know either way. What I can’t understand is why Mitt Romney felt the need to insert his wife in such a way, to present her as some sort of economic strategist who understands the issues many women, many MOTHERS, face. It was a bold move and a foolish one, using his wife as a bridge to lure women voters. He got called out for it. Simple as that.

Rosen was not insulting homemakers. She was merely pointing out that Ann, a kept housewife, could not understand the struggles of single or married mothers that have to work outside the home. Perhaps for Ann the fairy tale came true and she married her rich prince but it isn’t the reality for the majority of mothers in the United States. If I had a rich husband, I’d breed like rabbits and stay at home as well. It would be a joy, not a JOB, to take care of my own children. That’s another thing that irks me– that taking care of your home and children is somehow deserving of pay. I believe the current salary estimate is at 70k annually. Oh brother. It is mainly a defensive argument used by stay-at-home mothers who feel threatened by working-class mothers who smugly cast themselves as do-it-all superwomen. Many women believe that raising their children gives them purpose and is deserving of adulation and then there are those of us that want more. Women are powerful and do not have to be mere incubators and child care providers all their lives. They can and ARE doing it all and not always by choice. Working one or two jobs, picking the kids up from the sitter before heading home to a grumpy husband (if she even has one) to make dinner and help with homework. I don’t think Ann gets it.

Yes, taking care of children is hard work and should be taken seriously but to be lauded for it? It’s like congratulating someone for never having been to jail. You’re not supposed to go to jail. You’re supposed to raise the kids you create.

I wonder what Ann thinks about single mothers. I am sure her views aren’t far off from those of other GOP nuts. From transcripts uncovered by those at Mother Jones, Rick Santorum stated:

What we have is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals… We will never solve the crime problem unless we solve the welfare problem. They are deeply intertwined.

Lets try to ignore that he was singling out black mothers, pressing the falsehood that all of us are welfare queens. So we live in a society that bolsters rich, married, stay-at-home mothers while demonizing poor single moms. Well I am a single mom and I have to work. If I opted to stay at home and look after my children so that they don’t become monstrous criminals as Rick the Dick Santorum suggests, I would be called a moocher. One of those 47% Mitt callously spoke of. I will concede that its decidedly more difficult to raise children without the help of the father– no shit. I have to do it all. I’m no Bristol Palin, with rich parents to help me sweep up my mistakes while my baby-daddy (let’s call him Levi for fun) refuses to marry me, take care of his kid and goes about happily impregnating other women. Oh, I guess that sort of thing DOES happen to rich white republicans. Thank god for the Palin family.

This mommy-debate has become stale and still it persists. So to Ann Romney: Get over yourself. You had five kids. Big whoop. You did what you were supposed to. You didn’t do the world a favor by raising your children. You had help. You have money. Many women don’t have the options you do and are doing the best they can with the hand they’re dealt.

Presidential Debate 2012

Where shall I begin?

I apologize in advance for this rant but what the fuck? Mr. President? Really now? Perhaps this is a trick, designed to throw the enemy off the trail before expertly leaping from the bushes with renewed vigor. Or just wishful thinking for my part.

I am disappointed.

Mitt Romney left himself wide open for various attacks. His view on Obamacare with regards to Romneycare, comments about the 47%, women’s and LGBT rights, government level regulation, corporate ‘welfare’ (I did like that one), the 716 billion medicare LIE– that Mr. Romney has not fully disclosed his plans except but to say how he’ll simply do everything’s better– all these things were there, ready to be pounced upon with ravenous glee. Mitt Romney postures with smug certainty as if his mere whiteness will fix everything and calm the masses that fear the re-election of our black and white President. Where was the cross-examination? I expected it and yes, words cannot describe my dismay.

The President appeared calm, if not a tad bored. I detected a measure of irritation in him when Mitt mentioned small businesses and other distortions but these false claims went unanswered by Obama. And the mediator didn’t help things much with his sputtering interruptions and mismanagement of time. What I heard tonight were reiterations of policy points I have studied for the last four years. I believe in our President and he has done much for us and against great odds and opposition. Mitt attacked him shamelessly, taking zero responsibility for how our crisis began or how the Republican party has stonewalled on a number of bills and issues the last 4 years. Mitt’s plans, the little he’s shared, mimic many of George Bush Sr/Jr’s ideas. In other words…nothing new there. 12 million new jobs Mitt? Really? Do tell, because inquiring minds want to know. Why wasn’t he forced to explain himself?

What the fuck?

Mitt Romney is a bold-faced liar and has no plan to help the American people. The only thing he clearly states is how he wants to erase everything President Obama has accomplished and take us back to the Republican way of doing things which are to: erase social safety nets, kill Big Bird, send gays back into hiding, send our young to war, drill for more oil, roll back regulation, pussyfoot around environmental assurances and regulations, tell women when or how she should have sex and make babies, include banks in the student loan process and keep up current loopholes that allow rich people to exploit the very country that helped make them just that, rich. Cayman Islands, Mitt? Anyone? (crickets)

Where is the Secretary of Explainin’ Shit? I need him to make sense of all this.