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Friday, September 30, 2011

Razzing Herman

"My niggahs"
Oh Herman Cain. According to you, liberals come to my house with briefcases containing doping serums and spinning wheels with black and white patterns on them that create hypnotic whirls when rotated. They overpower me, tie me up, and apply their paraphernalia while chanting "yoooooooou wiiiiiiiiill vooooooooote liiiiiiiiiberaaaaaaaaaal" until I am effectively in their power. It sounds ridiculous, but Herman feels he has to pile on the kook-ology to stand out among this year's crop of Redubyacans. Either that or he's been called an Uncle Tom by one too many black people on the campaign trail (not that I agree with that seeing how Uncle Tom died protecting other black people). 


Back in 2004, the Redubyacan party brilliantly birthed a pernicious rumble that the Democratic party takes the black vote for granted. If Redubyacans know anything about black people it is how easily many of us jump on the bandwagon of victimhood. That line gained traction with some black groups who simply repeated it like they were repeating JayZ lyrics. That was until Al Sharpton gave his address at the Democratic National Convention explaining the logical history between the Democratic party and the black voter. I remember thinking that Sharpton had put the issue to bed. Everyone in the hall was on their feet when he capped off his speech with the words "and I'm gonna ride that donkey as far as I can." No one would ever try to play this trick again, right?


In a strange twist of events, this identical strategy is being dusted off and repurposed by a black Republican. Though Herman Cain will never be president, his inflamat-oratory can not go unanswered. 


Fact is, the reason that blacks had to fight for equal rights in the first place was due to what I call the most successful and insidious PR campaign in human history. In order to get everyone in America on board with slavery, all Whites had to be convinced that Blacks were intellectually inferior and could not function as free individuals. People had to be convinced that slavery was all Blacks could handle. The partisan's reward in this philosophy was that being white automatically gave them stature above others.


During each debate America has had over allowing Blacks another increment in the quality of their lives was one side that clung to the promise of that PR campaign. Their excuses have gone down in the history that people laugh at: It's not the right time, they just don't have what it takes, this is socialism, etc. Tones of those same arguments can still be heard today. That is why I love the topic of Affirmative Action which conservatives always assume means giving a position to an unqualified minority. Just ask Pat Buchanan who complains every time a minority or a woman is nominated to the Supreme Court. In each case he refers to them as "an Affirmative Action hire" with derision. Buchanan admits that minorities have been victims of unfair treatment, and because of this unfair treatment, they are inferior to white people. In his mind, any Black or woman on their way to  the Supreme Court is taking away a job that should go to a white man.


The fact is that throughout our nation's history there have always been motivated black people who have been optimistic dorks (taken from an episode of "The Middle" I just watched) who realized tremendous achievement by any measure in spite of being told they couldn't or shouldn't. Regardless of how capable they were, there were limits to how far they were able to go. Even with his Nobel Peace Prize for Middle East peace negotiations, Ralph Bunche could not have run for U.S. president. Bunche and the many thousands like him contradict Buchanan's monolithic portrayal of black fraudulence whether or not he knows their story.


As for incompetents, they come in all colors yet when a white hire turns out to be a dud the Buchanans view it as merely unfortunate. When a a black person turns out to be a dud, it is elevated to the level of an Affirmative Action crime that the job did not go to a white dud or better. 


I won't mince words. It is not the liberals that assume their black workmates are stealing a white person's job. That is the realm of the conservative (not all), still, in this day and age. Google "Affirmative Action sucks" on your independent study and you will find a healthy horde who attempt to portray how 13% of the population is taking away jobs that rightfully belong to white people who are, by their estimation 100% qualified (?). Let me be clear; these are not people who would ever say anything that wasn't repulsive about Nancy Pelosi.


I'll build my monolith even taller by saying these same people have complaints that go beyond the workplace. Many of them freely associate Blacks with guilt and so champion garbage policy like racial profiling. I won't fake naiveté and insist that black crime is a myth, but I watch "Cops" from time to time. Enough said. 


A big reason that black people "vote liberal" is because Democratic liberal politics in recent history have had a legacy of eliminating supremacy, and/or establishing equality. A big reason black people "vote liberal," Herman Cain, you dumb fuckhole, is that black people ARE liberal. Unlike your portrayal, we are not doing anyone else's bidding. The suggestion that Blacks are incapable of having a liberal bent on their own is racist. When you break down Herman-ese, it sounds even more racist than the crap Pat Buchanan says. 


Cain probably thought he could get away with saying what he did because he's got black skin. It would have been far less offensive if he had used the nigger word. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Certifiable Neo-Republicans Part II

The psychological "uniqueness" of the right is playing out in the audiences of Republican debates this season. While it has been rightly made into a news item I don't think many people are surprised by what they see because this is the type of emotion most people equate with the right. They just don't talk about it much. They also don't talk about how this mindset effects their policy stances.

it is settled that Republicans are not champions of carbon reductions. They mostly dispute the science that relates carbon emissions with global warming, if they believe that warming is happening at all. Many Republicans are paid to deny warming by companies that don't want to be told what to do, but what about the rank and file conservative warming deniers? Why would they ardently follow suit on the line that science is wrong when they aren't being paid?

We know Republicans dislike gay soldiers. They want uninsured people to die, and they cheer vengeance killing by the state. It is not a stretch to accept that they just don't like pro-environmental agendas or environmentalists who have always found more sympathy and alliance from the left. When scientists present a solid case for impending environmental disaster, conservative psychology demands denial because as they see it, admitting that the science on warming is correct is to allow liberals/Democrats/progressives/whatever to control an agenda. So they join the campaign to discredit warming as a moneymaking hoax just to keep anyone they don't want to agree with from any type of control.

Meanwhile, people concerned with warming are not looking for control. They are looking for a way to sustain the planet. They seek ways to implement policies to alleviate the situations of unprecedented conflagrations, extreme weather, and fatigued polar bears. Politics is about solutions. Control issues are about psychology. When psychology is disguised as politics it doesn't work and the result is disastrous.

It has gotten so that even the craziest Republicans like Ann Coulter are trying to draft people like Chris Christie to run for president. He is not pathologically against the environment nor does he hate all people who are different from him, but he does get really in-your-face bitchy which tests well among Republicans. Whether or not bitchiness is enough to get the Republican nod is most likely what Christie is weighing these days. He is well aware that what the base of his party really wants to see is him setting a polar bear on fire.

Here Come the Neo-Republicans and They Are Certifiably Crazy, Y'all

I don't make points that can't be backed up. Over the past three years I have taken note at the unparalleled ire of the neo-Republican party. On one or two occasions I have mentioned being suspicious at the chasm between what they say makes them angry and what they are really angry about. The protestant Tea Party's rise to counter Barack Obama before he even did anything is one thing. Then came their contrived grievances:
- The accusation that Obama somehow singlehandedly raised taxes
- The attempts to portray the deficit as solely an Obama creation
- Creating a religion based on the belief in Obama's foreign birth

It has all led to the gelling of an idea of mine that conservatism today, more than at any time is a psychological bent more than a political one. Fox News era conservatives have been exhibiting anger, delusions, and antisocial behavior that is a signature of their side. The anger and delusion is brought out in the bullet points above. As for the antisocial attributes, there has been many an inkling. The 2004 and 2008 presidential elections had billboard moments including people of color being bullied and threatened at Republican campaign rallies. Rally attendees screamed demands of physical harm on others, mainly Obama. These stories were rebutted with insistence that these were just examples of unfortunate things that happen on both sides. Though I don't have the statistics, I would not agree that this was the kind of thing that everyone does. But it was hard to argue. All I had was my gut instinct.

THEN CAME THE 2012 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES. Crowds cheered the notion of executions. They (plural) yelled that we as a society should let someone who decides not to get insurance die (perhaps before they have a chance to make any payment arrangements). They (plural) booed a gay soldier asking a question via Youtube.

There's your antisocial. Those three points show more than just political anger. Whether it was sadism, hatred, homicidal tendencies, or all of these, it was excessive. The fact that a man boasts his record as an executioner and the crowd is unable to sit there quietly and let it pass is kind of bloodlusty. It left me wondering if they actually wish for a higher murder rate so there are more people to execute. They'd probably be fine with framing people just to keep death row full.

Am I glad that this kookery has played out so tragically over these past few weeks? Only for the fact that my suspicions have been further validated. I don't view this as any kind of victory because the only victory would be if whatever makes the neo-Republican party hate so many different people would go away, but it's not that simple. It runs way deep.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pass this Ab-Toning Jobs Bill!: A Lesson in Marketing


The current Republican Congress' crowning achievement was a bill to repeal so-called Obamacare. They called it "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." Reinstating preexisting conditions was not the priority of voters in 2010, but Republicans had already promised to repeal Obamacare the moment it passed, given their first chance to do so. By the time their first chance arrived, jobs and the economy had become the number one concern. So instead of actually expending any energy on job creation, Republicans tacked the term "job-killing" on to their mediocre opus, used their majority to pass it, and then called it a session. As predicted, the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act died in the Senate.


Because they do the bidding of the greediest rich people, Republicans perceive themselves as the designated drivers of America, and when they don't have the keys, they get very impetuous and feisty. This causes them to go negative and do things like tack terms like "job-killing" onto bills they know will never become law. All that tells the American people is that Republicans have no positive vision. 


Some may poo poo the notion of positive vision in marketing, but positive vision is what sells snake oil. People who hawk wonder-palcebos do it by telling suckers that their fake product will regrow hair or smooth thighs. What sells is a "miracle hair growth formula" and not a "formula that kills baldness." What the Republicans should have sold was the "Penis-Enlarging Repeal of the Health Care Law" or the "Breast-Lifting Repeal of the Health Care Law." They still would have failed in the Senate, but more people would have bought it. 


A simple shift of modifiers would have changed Republican fortunes just a little bit. Currently Congress has an approval rating of about negative five. Meanwhile, Obama is setting up his tent all around the country selling his jobs bill to the people. He's got people yelling "pass this bill" which is reminiscent of the JG Wentworth TV spot in which people yell "it's my money and I want it now." This is somewhat of a positive visions since jobs are positive, but he is also employing the call to action which has the same effect. Odds are that the jobs package won't pass, but he is controlling the message. The people are clearly on his side. 


This is the Obama people forget about when he seemingly disappears for months at a time while Republicans throw kitchen sinks at him. There is more to Obama than the guy that low-balls himself in negotiations. The guy can get out there and sell when he has to. It does help that he is getting the assist from the Republicans who are technically coming out against jobs. It seems like a counterintuitive message on their part, but there was a time when Redubyacans could get away with selling any old nonsense. As I always say, people tend to err in favor of the pro-establishment party no matter how ridiculous their message is. For several possible reasons that won't be tackled here, this is changing. Even in a bad economy, people have had enough of the Redubyacan bullshit. The effectiveness of their 2+2=5 messaging is slipping as Americans slowly come to. 


Michele Bachmann's lying ass is finding this out the hard way. The last positive message she had was $2 a gallon gas. We saw how well that worked which leads us to the next lesson: people only believe ridiculous positive messages when they promise to improve our physical shortcomings. If Bachmann had promised everyone they would lose 10 pounds by voting for her, we wouldn't be counting the days until she drops out race.


This week is starting off with a political bang as Redubyacans look for a way to message against Obama's popular call to raise taxes on millionaires. Will they counter with a positive message of calls to support butt-firming tax cuts? How about wrinkle-eliminating freezes on tax hikes? Nope. They're going with "class warfare." The good news is that the class warfare message has already been tested. The bad news is that it didn't work. Republicans still think it's the time when you could just say "weak on defense" and win. Those days are over. The Republican message machine needs a new makeover. Is there a pill for that?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sooooo Angry

This is a picture of Lee J. Cobb in a scene from one of my favorite movies, "12 Angry Men." The movie is about a jury deliberating in the trial of a troubled Puerto Rican teen charged with the murder of his father. Given that, 11 of the jurors are prepared to send the kid up he river quickly so they could get out of the unpleasantness of the hot and sticky confines of their New York jury room. But one juror played by Henry Fonda puts the brakes on and begins raising doubts because something important is on the line - a person's life.


Since the movie has been out for 54 years, I don't feel guilty giving away that the Lee J. Cobb character is the last juror to be persuaded that much of the key testimony is BS. In the movie, Cobb is happiest when he thinks the kid is about to be fried. He is so angry that he is riled at Fonda's critical and analytical approach. what we find out about Cobb is that his wisdom is a (dys)function of his personal misery. His ill-informed choices have simply made his life more miserable. He is the definition of tragedy. 


I see the face of juror Cobb when I see recent polls of how the Angry American Public would like every member of Congress replaced, including for the first time, their own reps. It is tragic wisdom considering this was the Congress an Angry American Public elected less than a year ago. Miffed at high unemployment and slow growth Americans voted Republicans into the majority in the House of Representatives. Voters identified with Republicans because the GOP was angry too, but not at economic conditions. Republicans were just bitter that they were the legislative minority. In running, they promised voters a slew of actions that had nothing to do with improving economic conditions. They also promised to grind the political process to a halt by being recalcitrant in negotiating with the president. When it came to Republican plans regarding the jobs crisis, the Republican leader in the House John Boehner kept promising they would come about "later." 


Thanks to people that voted their emotions rather than issues, less than a year later we now have a country that is even more angry for getting exactly what they voted for. Who do they blame? Not themselves. They blame the Congress who delivered what they promised. That is tragic wisdom. 


The reward in "12 Angry Men" was that the jurors slowly opened up to reason in a way that 300 million Angry Americans don't have the patience for in this mortal coil. The idea that all 535 members of Congress need to be punished for this economic and political clusterfuck we are in is ham-fisted, extreme behavior more indicative of primitive bumbling than human reasoning. I've said it before and I'll say it again, people get the government they deserve. 


Cable chatter has yet to predict a Democratic victory in Congress in 2012. As soon as one news person suggests that scenario, that notion will carry like wildfire. Pretty soon all the news natterers will be repeating it suggesting to the Angry Americans voting Democratic is the way to assuage their anger. It will become a self-fullfilling prophecy. If Democrats do fully retake Congress, I will of course be happy. Another part of me will still be a bit rueful that it wasn't thought or reason that got us there. It will have been the same tragic wisdom waiting to create another impasse when things get rough again. GO, AMERICANS! No, really...



Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Path to Contention

According to Republican Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, he and his friends once went down to listen to Martin Luther King speak in Yazoo City, MS in 1962 because it seemed like the thing to do. Apparently it was a good place to go watch girls. I shit you not. He actually said this. Not long after his claim it was discovered that King never spoke in Yazoo City in 1962. This bombshell came shortly before Barbour announced he would not be running for president. 


Of all the things Haley Barbour is or isn't, he is at least self-aware. When Barbour speaks, it takes you to the shoulder of a Southern highway after you've been pulled over for driving with New York plates. If Barbour doesn't do uniformed traffic stops in his spare time he should because it was the part he was born to play. Knowing this, potential candidate Barbour had to find a way to fit in with today's Martin Luther King loving America. Unfortunately, the only way he could do that was lie. To get the "biased liberal media" hound dogs off his trail he took himself out of the running completely, for the time being. 


Those same hounds have helped marginalize Bachmann with her provincial arrogance and they are now on Rick Perry's trail trying to link him with his book "Fed Up." Though it may seem like Barbour is the first in a string of loser Republicans, he may actually be playing his cards right for a vice president slot. Obviously more cards need to be dealt his way.


Barbour could only balance a ticket with a moderate on top. Even though Barbour is not total Tea, he is very Tea friendly. He has never had to say the words "Let's take our country back" because his drawl already says it for him. Even if Barbour was the biggest tax and spend liberal pansy, no one would believe it with that accent. While a Tea Party nominee would be extreme enough to round the ticket out with a running mate just as extreme as they were, Barbour knows his best shot would be running with a Romney type. 


Running as the number two would make Barbour's lying about his youthful experimentation with desegregation less of a big deal. People just don't care that much about the VP candidate. Whatever dogs him won't more than he could brush off with a simple "my mistake, it may have been Paul Robeson."


As for Mitt, he would probably jump at a chance to have Barbour on board. After months in his own media blackout, Barbour will re-emerge much fresher than anyone that had just been through any part of the primary process. Barbour at Romney's side would somehow lessen the funk of Romney's past progressivism including Romneycare and his realized pledge to give in to the gay agenda in Massachusetts. 


This is a glimpse of a possibility. Perry is the poll leader currently, but he is also very new. For both reasons he is subject to a scrutiny as intense as his starshine. Perry's cranky anti-everything screed "Fed Up" is the rock from under which he would be trying to scidder if his tail wasn't caught (if I could draw I'd be a political cartoonist). Eventually we will probably have Tricky Mitt to kick around again. As the right-wing dominance of the primary process recedes and cooler heads prevail, Mitt will probably retake a tepid lead as the Tea candidates clamor for the same votes. 


As much as the right of the right fringe is credited with driving Republican primaries, that may be only an early race phenomenon. Bush was not theeee most conservative candidate in the 2000 Republican primaries. McCain was one of the least conservative candidate during the 2008 Republican primaries. All the talk is about Rick Perry for right now anyway. It seems we have all but forgotten Mrs. Bachmann's little victory in the Iowa Straw Poll? Now it's been two weeks since anyone has even asked what her definition of "submission" is. Mitt is far from done. 


Don't think none of this is occurring to Barbour who is probably rooting harder than any other pure conservatives for one of them elitist fellas to pull ahead. He knows he is what they need if they can pull out a nomination. Otherwise, what are you chances as a Mormon driving through the South with out of state plates. That's the time you want a sheriff's escort. 

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