Imagine if you will legendary Western philosopher Socrates encountering pseudo-Republican philosopher Sarah Palin one day. Watch the deconstruction of the Sarah Palin myth through the use of the Socratic method, which is the classical technique of asking questions to dismantle preexisting ideas.
Ben Quayle wants voters in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District to send him to Congress. The primary is August 24 and early voters are already casting their ballots. This isn’t good timing for Ben, who is a lawyer, but who apparently skipped Ethics 101 while he was in school. He’s been caught out as a liar – repeatedly – in the space of just a few days. He apparently wants to see how far he can shove his foot into his own mouth.
The extremist system runs on pure lies. Anything less gums it up and stalls it. This is as true of the extreme left as the extreme right. This said, it can now be understood why the conservative book writing movement is an exercise in apologetics from the Heritage Foundation to Beck to Coulter; why it has to be. The minute you start acknowledging other points of view, you begin to encourage people to think, to ask questions, to make choices. This must be discouraged at all costs.
It’s a real crazy assortment of personalities dotting the Republican political landscape and it is not easy to say one is crazier than another, but Rep. Trent Franks, who once called Obama, “an enemy of humanity,” stands above all others.
Everyone is by now familiar with the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy. Cries of horror have ascended to the heavens from the right-wing as they denounce Muslim plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero. But xenophobia, to be more precise, Islamophobia, most of it originating from conservative Christians, is not fact-friendly. Bottom line is that it’s getting put where it can be put, to serve an existing need in Lower Manhattan.
The lunatics have assembled like hungry piranha around Tea Party caucus leader Michele Bachmann. Twenty-eight Republican members of the House are listed as members of the caucus. There are currently 178 Republican members of Congress. By my count then, some 15% of the House has declared itself insane and unfit to hold public office.
It was a good day for the Constitution when Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, struck down Proposition 8 as a violation of the Constitution’s free exercise clause. It was proof of as Judge Walker wrote, “Tradition alone, however, cannot form the rational basis for a law.”
Once upon a time, there was an America where politicians would seek to find consensus on issues, who would be willing to compromise in order to get things done – quid pro quo. We can’t all get everything we want, but we can get some of it, and some is better than nothing. That America has been killed and replaced by an age of political nihilism.
Sarah Palin says Barack Obama lacks “cojones.” This, we might note comes from a woman who fully thoatedly endorsed a secessionist movement in Alaska. To Sarah Palin, cajones equal secession and betrayal of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Today’s conservative Christians, who now dominate GOP ranks, are telling us the same thing of the United States, that our nation is the successor to Rome, a new Rome of god’s design. A new City of God. Since there is no evidence to support the “City of God” model, conservatives have decided to invent some. They have taken to the task with great relish, willingly abandoning not only our own 200 years of history, but every single year since the 13th century, including the only real bright spots, the very secular Renaissance and Enlightenment periods.
In the fine tradition of Beck, Limbaugh, and Palin, another Republican a has found a way to get rich, by exploitation. Michael Reagan has announced the email address for “real” Americans. For only $39.95 a month, you can send your email from @reagan.com ($34.95 if you do so by Saturday).
There is a battle being waged in America today over the meaning of liberty. The Tea Party has co-opted the language of liberty, but freedom for all does not interest them. They want freedom for the few at the expense of the many. Real choice, real liberty, is devalued by the limited menu offered by the Tea Party. They want to “take America back” but they don’t want to share it.
One of the paranoid theories that Arizona Republicans are floating to support their immigration law is that Hezbelloah is going to recruit Mexican immigrants as operatives to come across the border and attack the US. According to the GOP, Mexicans are not coming here for a better life. They’re coming here as Hezbollah operatives determined to destroy our way of life. Who knew?
Glenn Beck dislikes government. He also dislikes social programs – such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Those who advocate such programs are, for Beck, “cockroaches.” Beck, a radical conservative, thinks he channels Paine, an interesting feat considering Paine was a radical liberal, who is considered the real father of Social Security.
Just when you deal with one bit of insanity, along comes a recent CNN article on Congress debating the biblical stance on immigration. It gives me cause to wonder what would be transpiring in those hallowed halls were we talking about the Heathen stance on immigration.
Conservatives often confuse the concept of big government with regulation, but as they rail against government regulation and what they see as control of our lives. They don’t mind the corporations controlling our lives but then conservatives have always been big friends of corporate interests rather than the common good.
There simply aren’t enough anti-intellectual, conservative religious, racist and bigoted voters to pass the lunatic agenda of the Tea Party. They can believe their own spin if they wish, but even if you ignore facts they will still be there to bite you in the ass at the end of the day. This is the bleak future that the Tea Party faces in November.
Many on the Left claim that we should ignore Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin; they believe that speaking out against them is giving them free publicity and helping more than hurting them. I’m not one of those who agree with the silent treatment. If we surrender the argument, we also let people like Palin and Beck dictate the outcome. That isn’t acceptable.
The Right and the Tea Party like to think of themselves as freedom fighters in the mold of the Founding Fathers, but a closer look reveals that their revolution is really devolution, because at its core, conservatism is about returning to the past. Upon examination it turns out the Tea Party has more in common with King George, than the Founding Fathers.
Texas, to its shame, by rewriting textbooks, might embrace a mythic America, but that America never existed, and it does not exist, and cannot exist as long as there are people who value our history for what it is, a record not of wishful thinking, but of the past. In the end, what Texas has done does not balance the past; it steals it.