The Purpose Of Republican Presidential Debates Is To Spur Good People To Action—They Are Telling You Just How Mean They Are
I watched the Republican debate this evening.
It was a very bad program—Lousy characters and an awful script.
I realize it was a poor use of my time to watch this debate.
Though this poor decision making on my part would only matter if folks trusted the judgment of bloggers in any case.
I’m hesitant to use my blog to attack these Republican candidates each day, as they are interchangeable with a thousand other race baiting, health care destroying, job killing, fear mongering politicians who could be up on that stage instead. There are so many more hopeful things in life to discuss.
The debate was like a game show where the contestants answer each question in the form of a hate speech.
The most important thing about Santourm, Romney, Gingrich & Paul is that they are up there, and they are saying for all to hear who they are and what they are about.
At that point it is up to each of us to make sure that one of these folks does not become President.
More significantly, it is up to each of us to help create a nation where people like these are not viable candidates for the highest office in the land.
The work of freedom and a more hopeful nation is up to each of us. The point of these Republican debates is to spur good people to action.
There they are up on the stage spewing hate and talking about making the rich richer.
What are you going to do about it?
My favorite television show is the Disney Channel cartoon Phineas & Ferb.
The show is intelligently written, the characters are kind, and a big theme of the show is that we are each responsible to get out and do something each day.
Yet this message of sieze the day is conveyed in a humane way and not with Ron Paul meanness and vindictiveness.
One of the main chacters in this show is Perry the Platypus. Perry is a family pet and also a secret agent.
I was out and about in Houston a few weeks ago and saw the Perry the Platypus graffiti that you see above. The water below the picture is Buffalo Bayou.
You see that Perry is holding a sign encouraging people to recycle. Here is a history of the recycling symbol.
One of the best things you can do when you seize the day is to be of benefit to others.
Checking out the Occupy Wall Street website would be a good start to taking action on your own and being of service to others.
You can laugh or think you know more than people like Donald Trump…..
(Below–Donald Trump. Picture by David Shankbone.)
(Below–Sarah Palin. Photo by T Toes.)
(Below–Ron Paul. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)
And Michele Bachmann.
( Below–Michele Bachmann.)
Just be sure you don’t end up in a concentration camp or living in a dictatorship of some kind.
(The best political history I am aware of Nazi Germany is the three-volume history of Nazi governance of Germany by Richard J. Evans.)
If you think these things can’t happen here, review the history of Native Americans who were almost wiped out by the genocidal policies and actions of the American government and the American people.
Think of Black Americans who have been forced to confront hundreds of years of slavery and Jim Crow.
Nazi Germany was a place you would recognize. There were newspapers, radio, cars, movies, and a politics of left and right in the years leading up to Nazi Germany. These things can happen in the most modern and up-to-date societies.
You are mistaken to give any benefit of the doubt at all to people in our nation who would eliminate the social safety net, deny the facts on where the President was born, establish propaganda channels like Fox News, blame immigrants for our troubles, and slash education funding to the bone so we are all ignorant.
You can laugh at people who believe crazy things. You can think you are smarter than Sarah Palin. You can see Donald Trump as a clown.
History tells us time after time that nothing is so horrible it can’t come true.
It is up to each of us as individuals to make the decision to work together to be certain that people we see as ”stupid, or “ignorant” or as “clowns” don’t end up with the power to dictate our futures and ruin our lives.
The so-called King Street Patriots have won the 2011 Ronald Reagan Award at the recently concluded Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.
(Above–Ronald Reagan in 1980 campaigning in South Carolina with Senator Strom Thrumond. Mr. Thurmond is seen here to the left of Mr. Reagan. Senator Thurmond was a 1948 Dixiecrat candidate for President.)
The King Street Patriots are a Tea Party cell based here in Houston.
CPAC is a national confederation of extreme conservative activists. At the 2011 meeting, libertarian Houston-area U.S. Representative Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll.
Consistent with the views of portions of the American right, Rep. Paul invited an economist with ties to group advocating southern secession to testify before the House committee he chairs.
In what way did the King Street Patriots (KSP) Tea Party cell reflect the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan? Why did this group merit the award?
Did the King Street Patriots match the Gipper in doing to harm to our environment? Remember Mr. Reagan’s nature-hating Interior Secretary James Watt?
Well…even though the Tea Party had a part in electing a Republican leadership in Texas that has pursued environmental polices so bad that even conservative Oklahoma complained to the EPA about the bad air drifting over from Texas, this is not why the King Street folks took the Reagan award for 2011.
Did the King Street Patriots live up to Mr. Reagan’s legacy of making an important 1980 campaign appearance in Philadelphia, Mississippi—near the location of brutal crimes against Civil Rights workers in the 1960’s–and saying “I believe in states rights.”
You got it.
As many Southern whites regress to the solid one-party politics of a shameful past, Republicans and allied Tea Party groups around the nation are working hard to put up obstacles to voting by likely Democratic voters.
With Harris County and Texas undergoing massive demographic change, Republicans are afraid that they will lose control of the county and the state.
As much as I don’t like what the so-called King Street Patriots are doing, they are doing things the law permits. We are not going to change the minds of people in these Tea Party cells. They have a right to act in any manner within the law no matter how offensive and wrong.
The real issue is for folks on our side of the aisle to meet the challenge and to make progress. Progress is always possible.
Voter registration drives of likely Democratic voters should be taking place year round. Lawyers should be in place to defend these registration efforts. Our fellow citizens need to know they will backed up when they go to vote.
Democratic elected officials, along with the civil rights and progressive groups, must work together with the same common purpose we often see on the right. Everyday citizens must be invloved in doing the work of freedom.
It is up to each of as individuals to make the decision to work collectively for the causes we value.
Some resources on the topic of voting—
A new book on the subject of voter fraud is The Myth of Voter Fraud by Lori Minnite.
Here is the web home of the Harris County Democratic Party. Ask them what they are doing to make sure all people in Harris County are being allowed to vote.
And don’t forget–You are your own best resource for the change you want to see.
(Below–1867 drawing of newly freed black men voting. Women would not get the vote until 1920. And of course, near-total resistance to blacks voting went on well into the 1960’s.)
Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul, a Tea Party and libertarian favorite, has switched his position on earmarks less than a week after winning election.
“In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.”
How about that Tea Party? You’re already getting knifed by one of your own.
I’m sure though that these Tea Party folks are not surprised. Rand’s father, Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, loves earmarks as well.
These people don’t have the courage of their convictions. They want others to accept cuts while they rack up federal dollars.
The photo below of many different throwing knives, is just a small metaphoric sampling of the varying ways Tea Party backed candidates will be sticking it to supporters over the next two years. (Photo by Oosoom.)
Of course, no Tea Party supporter I’m aware of has refused federal benefits. It’s all about other people’s pain. It’s all about personal anger at a changing world and a changing nation.
Government has a purpose in people’s lives. The Tea Party knows this, but they are more hung-up on punishing people they don’t like than on having an honest discussion on the matter.
Many politicians who voted against President Obama’s helpful stimulus program have requested stimulus funds for the people they represent.
“Rep. Pete Sessions, the firebrand conservative from Texas, has relentlessly assailed the Democratic stimulus efforts as a package of wasteful “trillion-dollar spending sprees” that was “more about stimulating the government and rewarding political allies than growing the economy and creating jobs.” But that didn’t stop the Republican lawmaker from seeking stimulus money behind the scenes for the Dallas suburb of Carrollton after the GOP campaign against the 2009 stimulus law quieted down. Sessions wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in February urging him to give “full and fair consideration” to the affluent city’s request for $81 million for a rail project, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. His letter suggested that the project would create jobs, undercutting his public arguments against the stimulus.”
From the same article–
“Sessions was hardly alone. Scores of Republicans and conservative Democrats who voted against the stimulus law subsequently wrote letters seeking funds. They include tea party favorites such as freshman Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), as well as Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former presidential candidates.”
None of this will surprise anybody.
Government has got to part of our recovery from this terrible recession. Anger at immigrants, Muslims and the President will be a cold comfort when you need a job, disaster relief , health care, or social security.
Government is part of what makes a society a decent place to live.
Based on those we see seeking stimulus funds, it seems that many on the right realize this to be the case no matter what they tell their supporters.
There is no Texas flag or Confederate flag being used to sell the food despite the talk of secession and treason from far right-wing people like our Texas Governor Rick Perry or extreme Texas Congressperson Ron Paul.
It seems that peddlers of fajitas and tortas may be better and more loyal Americans than some of our leading Republican elected officials in Texas.
I’m sorry that many on the right don’t seem to love our nation anymore.
In any case, you can sell stuff to Texans without being a right-wing crazy.
Liberals love the U.S flag and our federal union. The new health care reform bill, which will benefit millions of Americans, is a fitting symbol of the superior powers of the federal union over the far more limited powers held by the states.
The Houston International Fest runs one more weekend. The last two days are Saturday 4/24 and Sunday 4/25. You should go if you are anywhere near Downtown Houston.
While it is somewhat expensive in my view, the festival is good-natured and attracts all types of folks. There are bands to see, cultural exhibits, and food to eat. The Caribbean is the region of the Earth that is the focus of the festival this year.
While my post here and my blog are on the left, the International Fest is happy to have visitors of all ideological leanings.
A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll reports that 48% of Texas Republicans believe Texas would be better of as an independent nation rather than remaining part of the United States. 35% of all Texans hold this view.
Another result is that Texans disapprove of Barack Obama by a 53%–45% margin. If they don’t like him now when he has a national 64% approval rating, it seems an uphill climb to win the state in 2012.
(Texas is one of four states with a majority-minority population. Most of those minorities are Democrats as are a substantial portion of white voters. Where are these folks? Are they illegals? Do they only have cell phones and can’t be reached for surveys? Are they citizens who don’t vote? I’m sure it’s a little bit of all that. In any case, it’s frustrating.)
I’ve addressed the disloyal comments of Texas Governor Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul a couple of times this week here at the blog. Regular readers may note that this is more often than I generally acknowledge the existence of the Republican Party.
I think criticizing the same people time after time is a waste of time and effort. Life is short and there are so many other things to address. I don’t think repeating the same thing over and over changes people’s minds.
But I feel the point should be made that these folks are so extreme. Can you even imagine that the comments of Governor Perry have made secession something we are talking about? How can real progress ever be made in this state when the governing party consists of people who hold these views?
In Washington, we see a Republican Party that seems to have learned nothing from the failures of the last 8 years. In Texas, we see this extremism in its full flowering.
It seems clear that the main loyalties of the American right are concentrated on anger and grievance and not directed towards our nation and its people.
Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is the second elected Republican in the Lone Star State to talk treason in recent days. (Photo of Rep. Paul, in front of our flag, above.) (Here is a map of the areas represented by Rep. Paul.)
“[Perry] really stirred some of the liberal media, where they started screaming about: ‘what is going on here, this is un-American.’ I heard one individual say ‘this is treasonous to even talk about it.’ Well, they don’t know their history very well, because when you think about it… it is very American to talk about secession. That’s how we came in being. Thirteen colonies seceded from the British and established a new country. So secession is a very much American principle….”
Rep. Paul terms himself a libertarian, even as he asks for $398 million in earmarks from the most recent federal budget, but he is an elected Republican in our Congress.
Last week Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry said Texas could consider leaving the union if it felt oppressed by the federal government. The federal government has of late been oppressing Texas with hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funds
Is the Republican Party of Texas loyal to our union or is it not? What do they think Ronald Reagan would have thought about this disloyal talk?
A recent Rasmussen poll reports that 18% of Texans would vote to leave the union if they had the chance. Another 7% are not sure. That is 25% of folks in Texas would would support or consider supporting leaving the union.
What share of Texas rank-and-file Republicans hold this view? It seems that at least 40% or so of Texas Republicans must hold this view. I doubt it is Democrats that support this position of treason and blind anger.
It’s not just Texas. National Republicans had little problem with putting secessionist Sarah Palin within close reach of the White House.
If Republicans and conservatives want to equate our elected President Obama and our elected Democratic Congress to taxation without representation, they are free to do so.
What I will do, as will liberals and Democrats across the nation, is salute the flag of the United States of America.
National Republican Party leader and conservative leader Rush Limbaugh has defended Governor Perry’s views on treason. Given Mr. Limbaugh’s wide following with conservatives, one would be fair to conclude that the option of tearing the nation apart is a mainstream Republican view.
Ideally in our democracy, competing political parties would offer differing views on the issues before the nation and the people would decide which views they feel are best.
But if Americans have cause to question the loyalty of one the two main parties, and have reason to question the loyalty of the conservative movement, then we may reach the point where Republicans and conservatives can no longer be seen as legitimate participants in the national political debate.
We’ve heard a lot about Libertarian Presidential candidates in 2008, but the facts are that the voting public does not want these people.
Congressman Ron Paul’s Republican primary campaign was a flop. Despite raising a lot of money from a core of true believers, Rep. Paul did not have nearly the success of outsider primary candidates Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 or Pat Robertson in 1988.
Wedded to his government job, Dr. Paul did not run for President on a third party ticket in 2008. Instead, he is running for reelection to Congress in Texas.
Libertarians have nominated former Congressman Bob Barr ( photo above) of Georgia as their 2008 nominee. Losing a 2002 Republican primary to keep his seat in the House, alleged Libertarian Barr is now looking for another government job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
No Libertarian nominee has ever won more than 1.1% of the total vote in a Presidential election. And that was way back in 1980. Ed Clark was the Libertarian who delivered the 1.1% for the faithful.
Libertarianism is a philosophy that says, when all is said and done, that no person has any obligation to assist any other person. Even in individualist America, this view has been soundly rejected at the pools. Mr. Barr in 2008 will be yet another in a long line of Libertarian electoral non-entities.
I’ve been meaning to run this photo for some time. I took it at the 2008 Houston Martin Luther King Parade.
The sign, as you can see, equates Martin Luther King with Ron Paul.
Sometimes you just wonder what is wrong with people.
It pains me to say it, but Republican Representative Ron Paul of Texas is a serious candidate for President who should, for the moment at least, be included in debates, while Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio is not serious.
A serious candidate for the Presidency is not by exclusive definition someone likely to win the nomination. It can be a “message” candidate who represents an important wing of the party.
Democrat Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 is an excellent example of such a candidate.
By this standard, both Congressman Paul and Congressman Kucinich might qualify.
The difference is that Ron Paul is raising money and he ran ahead of some of the so-called serious candidates in Iowa. None of this can be said of Dennis Kucinich.
Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 won a few primaries and finished strongly in number of others. He earned inclusion as a serious candidate all the way to the convention.
Republican Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996 was another example of a credible message candidate.
As the primaries begin, Rep. Paul will have to prove he can routinely win at the least 10% of the vote to establish he can do more than raise money from a core of zealous supporters.
In 1988, Jesse Jackson won 29.1% of Democratic primary votes. In 1992, Pat Buchanan won 22.8% of Republican primary votes.
In 2004, Dennis Kucinich won 3.8% of primary votes. His campaign for 2008 seems no stronger than 2004.
Texas based political blogger Jobsanger has a post today on the subject of Rep. Paul’s unfair exclusion from the Fox News debate last night.
1/16/08—Update—Congressman Paul has run poorly in both New Hampshire and Michigan. He is not winning nearly the votes gained by either Pat Buchanan or Jesse Jackson. I’m not sure you can say Dr. Paul is for real anymore.