Category Archives: Democrats v Republicans

Why We Elected Obama

I hear the media asking, “If Obama can’t accomplish anything, why did we elect him?” Many of us knew when we voted in 2012 that the Republicans still had control of the House. Most of us knew that the Senate would still use the filibuster. We knew that Obama had little chance of ticking off the items on his (and our) agenda. We elected Obama with the hope that he might be able to make a start on our wish list in 2014 if we are able to change the numbers in Congress. We may have been hopeful that the Republicans would be swayed by knowing that the will of the people is behind a less extreme right agenda, but we suspected that this would not be the case. We knew that we cannot vote for this incarnation of the Republican Party. If we do we won’t get the person we vote for, we will get all those wingnuts who are making us crazy; people like Jim Jordan of Ohio who thinks the US government is buying up all the bullets or Gohmert of Alaska who thinks the elk find the transAlaska pipeline to be an aphrodisiac and a long line of other really odd characters. (Thank you Timothy Egan for these examples.)

We elected Obama because we like Obama, but we, very possibly, elected Obama because, although he had little room to move the nation to the left, he and most of the Democrats would stand with us against the ridiculously outrageous wishes of this GOP that the country finds itself saddled with today. There is no working with this GOP; there is no compromising. They do not want anything that most Americans want. So Obama has agreed to be the people’s linebacker or tackle or to use a basketball analogy, our guard.

A majority of “we the people” want what Obama wants but, given the obstructionism we all face from Congress, we knew he would at least be our bulwark. We hoped it would be “push ‘em back, push ‘em back, way back” but we are happy with “hold the line, hold the line, please hold the line” (which of course is not much of a cheer but in times like these will have to do). In an article in the NYT’s on 5/3/2013, Timothy Egan says that gerrymandering only lasts a decade and that “eventually demography and destiny will catch up with a Congress that refuses to do the people’s bidding. (Really, a decade?) In spite of this rather rare objectivity, sometimes I don’t think the media even lives in the same country that I live in.

War on Women – A Conversation

Most of this conversation took place in an exchange of emails:
TRIMBY:   (The Republican in my Back Yard ) (He is talking about the Larry Flynt attack on S.E. Cupp, a GBTV employee and a woman.)  Where is NOW?  Where is the media on this??  Of course if this was Hillary, Nancy or some other liberal woman, we would never hear the end of it…
TRIMBY:  “There is no war on women,” Glenn (Beck) said this morning, “at least from the Republican Party.”Earlier in the show, Glenn reported on the story of the union thugs who created a piñata of the face of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. “The war on women is coming from the left and it sickens me. Ann Romney, of course, has never worked a day in her life. The union piñata that is happening with Nikki Haley, the governor, it’s incredible,” Glenn said. The attack on Nikki Haley isn’t the worst attack on a conservative woman Glenn reported today. “One of our employees with GBTV, S.E. Cupp, has been so incredibly wronged. You would think this would be illegal, but it’s not,” Glenn told listeners this morning. The Blaze reported this morning that Hustler Magazine published a fake photo of S.E. Cupp in a sexual act with what appears to be a penis in her mouth. The pictures is published under the headline “Celebrity Fantasy,” and the text beside the picture asks, “What would S.E. Cupp look like and a [d**k] in her mouth?”Here is what Hustler had to say about S.E.: “S.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator, who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.”A disclaimer follows: “No such picture of S.E. Cupp actually exists. This composite fantasy is altered from the original for our imagination, does not depict reality, and is not to be taken seriously for any purpose.”Glenn noted that this is a complete falsehood, and despite the disclaimer on the photo, it will now be out there forever. This morning on radio S.E. joined Glenn on-air to discuss the disgusting attack.
ME:  This is what the GOP does lately. Any criticism leveled by Democrats is picked up by the Republicans and used in a slightly new way against Democrats, sort of an “I’m rubber, you’re glue, anything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” You are citing personal attacks, one-on-one, and, you’re right that that attack you mention in this email, which I had not heard of, is quite trashy and disgusting. I don’t think the Democratic Party has anything to do with that attack. The original war on women was not personal, it was global, in this case meaning against a huge group of women who need health services that are inexpensive and confidential. Starting with Hilary Rosen’s unfortunate comments about Ann Romney, the Republicans have once again shifted this dialogue and made it refer to “mean” personal attacks, whether they were intended to be mean or not.
TRIMBY:  Uh… disagree.  First, trying to separate the direct supports of Democrats and Liberals is impossible.  There are some groups / individuals that are just synonymous with the Democratic party – NOW, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Green Movement, Peta, Lesbians, Gay Rights Organization, Unions, Planned Parenthood, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, Larry Flynt (although you may not aware of him), most of Hollywood, Michael Moore… The Republicans have a number of people on Talk Radio, Fox News, NRA, Tea Party (although they are seen as too conservative, libertarian for mainstream Republicans). To say it was directly the Democratic Party isn’t the point.  Not supporting abortion is not an attack on women – half the women in the country don’t believe in abortion.  The Democrats, in particular have a war on Religion if anything.  So you don’t consider on Mother’s Day, comparing a woman praise of motherhood to Stalin and Hitler offensive… but rather accidental?  Unfortunate?  Really??  How much more hate filled can the left get?  And it isn’t criticism of a policy… this are direct personal attacks on the women and their families…  your answer… it isn’t important, it is unfortunate, it isn’t the Democratic party… Wow… way to support other women… Funny too how you haven’t heard of it… can you image the response if someone did something like that Michele Obama?  Or perhaps Barbara Walters or some other liberal newscaster… Very disappointing comments from you, I figured you would be much more supportive of other women. 
ME: (This conversation has been “improved” but the intent was not changed.) In the abstract I do support women as a group, but in specific instances I do not support each act by any individual woman, since women do act independently sometimes. We are not clones. I cannot agree when a woman acting as a single person does something I don’t agree with. I think that meanness from the members of any political group is reprehensible and that hate talk is cheap and completely unnecessary. People may think they are being witty, but they are not. However, that said, you’re a man, but although you might argue on behalf of men as a gender, you certainly can’t back each man as an individual. You just listed about 20 men that you cannot give your support to.

How Will Democrats Save Medicare?

Paul Ryan, our very serious Republican extremist (who is looking a little less possessed and edgy these days) has designed a budget which includes all the usual GOP requirements – no tax increases (in fact it suggests only two tax brackets, 10% and 25%) and it cuts the corporate tax from 35% to 25%. It also includes unspecified changes to unspecified loopholes. Mr. Ryan would restore all the monies that Obama cut from the military and would put the military back in the active mode that is it currently expected to stand down from. He would change Medicare completely and give it to a private entity to manage. He would subsidize our payments to this insurance conglomerate (with our own money) and, if I remember correctly there would be an oversight group.
This plan is not new. It includes all the delights the Republicans have been promising us. Unfortunately this budget makes us feel like this is Paul Ryan’s government instead of the people’s government. Fortunately we are assured it should not pass in the Senate.
Of course, I don’t favor this budget and I am crossing my fingers that it absolutely will fail in the Senate. However, it does bring up the constant worry we all have about Medicare. Everyone tells us that Medicare cannot continue forever as it is. I often think that I would like to see a version of Medicare for all of us. Right now, with such high levels of unemployment, putting everyone in the health insurance business and everyone who supports the health insurance business out of work is probably not a good move. Obama’s Affordable Health Care Plan was not really designed to save Medicare; it was designed to insure the uninsured. Perhaps the savings we get from this plan will be enough to rescue Medicare, but we’re not feeling it and I think we need to hear many more specifics about this from the Democrats. They need to reassure us by sharing how the “Affordable” plan will save Medicare or they need to come up with their next installment of a plan that will save Medicare. If they don’t speak up people might think the Republicans are the only ones who have any idea what to do, even if their plan will include forcing women to rediscover primitive ways to take care of their business.  You know what they say about “a bird in the hand”.  Where are the Democrats? This might be a good time to speak up.