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America the Beautiful Gets Tarnished Thanks To the Radical Right

This is a summation of everything that’s cuckoo in our declining country as of this April, 2012 date with a nod to the 2008 presidential campaign.

America is a mess. Here are some of the more obvious erosion’s. Let’s start with the radical-right religious wing of the Republican Party. Its theological demands on our secular government have effectively ground to a halt any hope of progress on virtually all fronts. While decrying even a hint of government ‘intervention’ into their church affairs (especially taxes), they demand to essentially control the government and set the standards for all women’s rights, reproductive and otherwise. Right-wing religious zealots bullied the president to back off a plan that would have religious organizations providing free contraception coverage. Well over 90% of right-wing women have used birth control.

Not a single one of these zealots has ever bullied Rush Limbaugh, however. They think his characterization of a young female Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke,  as a ‘slut’ among many other despicable identifiers over a three-day period is perfectly defensible within their faith. Ms. Fluke had disagreed with certain university contraception coverage policies. Georgetown officials, including the University President and the priest who heads the campus ministry overwhelmingly backed Ms. Fluke and strongly condemned Limbaugh.

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Limbaugh isn’t the only flash point for the GOP’s ‘War on Women’. The head of the Republican National Committee, a cipher named Reince Priebus, in addressing the GOP’s War on Women, declared “the fact of the matter is it’s a fiction…” And, of course, there’s the Republican knee jerk opposition to the Violence Against Women Act. The latest Progressive Populist has a great read on the subject.

The irony is that biblical beliefs aside, the extremist’s real fealty lies with the likes of Romney’s 1%. And don’t give me that nonsense, “but we love Santorum”. This ‘holy’ opportunist is loaded as well, making roughly a million a year.

Right-wingers love Paul Ryan’s new budget. You know – the one that savages entitlements, makes the rich considerably richer through enormous tax cuts while the average citizens gets a pittance. Ryan puts the onus of paying for those gains on the backs of the poor, elderly and infirm, quite contrary to, oh… Luke 14:18 or Jas3:6.You already know Ryan wants to destroy health care. I suspect the Supremes will beat him to it.

Mitt Romney has a political man crush on Ryan. Enter Paul Ryan in Google, tap the ‘enter’ key and the first entry reads “Mitt Romney for President- Join Paul Ryan and stand with Mitt. It turns out to be a fund-raising site for Romney. There appears to be a not-so-subtle floating of a Romney/Ryan ticket in the offing, though nothing is near official as yet.

These same God-fearing masses who love the rich and hate the poor, especially the black poor, are also the same ones who embrace the most effective killing mechanism in our nation. Their true god…the gun! They’ll kill at the drop of a Skittle. Assorted levels of right-wing, ALEC and NRA-controlled legislatures give them statutory permission through absurd ‘Stand Your Ground’ and ‘Castle Doctrine’ laws to kill whenever they get a little hot under the collar. That is, if somebody rear-ends your car and you start yelling at him, he can kill you because he thinks your righteous anger constitutes a threat on his life. If it gets to trial (doubtful) a judge will pat your killer on the head and a jury of right-wing peers will find Mr. gun-nut  guilty of nothing. More likely he’ll be considered a hero, just like George Zimmerman is considered a hero in gun and racists circles. That is my country circa April, 2012.

There’s more, especially as seen in the beautifully done Game Change, an HBO film examining the inner workings of the John McCain 2008 run for President.  Special emphasis is given to McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin. You can still watch the HBO movie on April 7th as well as the 9th and 17th.

At the beginning of the film, Palin is downright frightening in her ignorance of the issues and current affairs. I won’t go into specifics out of respect for those who might still want to watch ‘Game Change’, but it’s really creepy. The fact that Palin could have advanced as close to the presidency as a single “72-year-old heartbeat” is a ringing indictment of a party that would even remotely consider this hugely uninformed, unstable and oft-times downright weird individual as a candidate for VP. The true hero of the movie is a Republican, Steve Schmidt who is often seen as a guest on MSNBC prime-time shows. He was McCain’s Senior Campaign Strategist and comes off as very bright, committed and essentially terrified at the prospect of Palin getting anywhere near the White House.

At one point a female supporter praises Palin because she “paid attention to us.” Well, ‘us’, put down your guns, stop hating minorities and gays, don’t destroy education, the environment, health care, medicaid, medicare and social security; get real on climate change and maybe others will pay you some ‘attention’.

As Schmidt, Woody Harrelson gives an extraordinary performance and Julianne Moore’s Palin isn’t far behind. I wouldn’t be surprised if both are serious contenders next time Emmy season rolls around.

I’ll wind things up with the biggest obscenity of all; voter repression. I love the truism that we no longer have the voters choosing the elected officials, we have the elected officials choosing the voters. They’re doing this through restrictive and totally unnecessary ALEC model Voter ID legislation and state and local redistricting. I’ve touched on this subject before and it’s the one factor that diminishes America to a shadow of its once-great self. A country admired throughout the world and seen as the political, economically powerful and trustworthy arbiter of all things fair and moral.

What a huge disconnect. In addition to all the above are tax policies designed to repress revenues so services must be reduced or eliminated. Then for-profit companies can step into the breech unregulated. The Glass-Steagall ’99 repeal was just the beginning. Like Sarah Palin, a dangerous percentage of Americans are incapable of processing what’s really happening to them.

For all others, November 6th is perhaps your last and best chance to salvage America.




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