Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Idiots' Delight

Unlike last month's piece, which was devoted exclusively to Don Lemon's impersonation of a tabloid journalist, this month's award will be equally divided among three, make that four, worthy recipients. I know it gets old saying this but stupid never seems to be in short supply.

So, as they say, let's have at it.

Mike Huckabee for saying that there's more freedom in North Korea sometimes than in the United States. Whatever credibility Huckabee once had went the way of the dinosaur  a long time ago.  But when I hear something as asinine as this coming from a supposedly thoughtful man, I can only conclude that the man has suffered a brain aneurysm. Or maybe he just wasn't that "thoughtful" in the first place.

How stupid do you have to be to say out loud, with a straight face, that a country that routinely kills its citizens has more freedoms than America? I'd say pretty fucking stupid. Either Huckabee actually believes this drivel or he doesn't and he's counting on the gullibility of the minions who comprise his audience to swallow it whole. Based on what I've been able to deduce by watching his show on Fox News, that isn't all that hard to do. Most of these low-grade morons have no idea where North Korea is, much less the atrocities it commits on a daily basis.

Jim DeMint for insisting that "big government" had nothing to do with ending slavery. Well, as you might expect, the revisionist historians are at it again. First it was the ridiculous notion that FDR had nothing to do with ending the Great Depression. The market place would've taken care of it had he not interfered, which makes about as much sense as suggesting that parachutes get in the way of gravity.

Then came the nonsensical concept that the Civil Rights Act was an overreach by the federal government. Once more we heard that the private sector would've eventually gotten around to ending discrimination. Never mind that there is no evidence to support that claim or that there was zero interest anywhere in the deep South for doing away with segregation. If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth to some.

And now Jim DeMint has taken this perverse logic all the way back to the 19th century by insisting that the big, bad federal government played no role whatsoever in ending slavery.
Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government.
It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.

Apparently it hasn't dawned on DeMint that Lincoln was the chief executive of that very same federal government; or that it was the Union Army that invaded the Confederate states and forced their surrender; or that the majority of the "people" that ideologues like him keep citing actually supported slavery (especially in DeMint's home state of South Carolina, which was the first Southern state to secede); or that the Constitution that DeMint credits for freeing the slaves, actually counted them as three fifths of a white person.  Oh, and as a side bar, William Wilberforce was English and died thirty years before Lincoln freed the slaves.

And then we have this obsession by Republicans to claim Lincoln as one of their own; "the very first Republican," as DeMint referred to him. But the sad truth is that Republicans like Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt or even Dwight Eisenhower would be outcasts in today's GOP. They would have no place at the table and would, in all likelihood, be called RINOs, Republicans in name only. People like DeMint would not have it any other way. And, worse, he knows it all too well.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for signing a bill into law that prohibits counties and cities from raising their minimum wage. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Governor Fallin, who has been an outspoken critic of Washington telling the states what they can or can't do, basically just did the same to every local elected official in her state. Irony abounds.

The bill she signed into law would prevent Oklahoma City from increasing its minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, even if its citizens support it. For someone who says she believes in the will of the people, Fallin apparently has no problem telling them where to go.

States' rights, my ass. 

Dianne Feinstein for her comments on the C.I.A.'s use of torture. While I appreciate the fact that Feinstein spoke out on the subject, some of the words she chose struck me as rather self serving and hypocritical.

"The purpose of this review was to uncover the facts behind this secret program, and the results were shocking. The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen. This is not what Americans do."

This is not what Americans do? Begging your pardon, Senator, but this is precisely what Americans do and have done for almost two centuries. From the brutality of slavery, to the apartheid and genocide of the indigenous population, to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the United States has had a long and checkered past when it comes to its treatment of people it finds less than desirable. Why should it surprise anyone that we would torture an enemy combatant?

Yes, it is a stain on our history, but the bigger stain is believing, as Feinstein does, that we somehow hold a moral high ground when it comes to this subject.

1 comment:

Schahan said...

Well said Peter.