Michelle Bachmann recently advanced the idea that the new congress needs to go to Washington with a hand full of subpoenas to fully uncover and punish the criminal behavior of the Obama Administration. Why does she want to do this? Why does the Chairwoman of the Republican Tea Party Caucus think this is a good idea?
During President Clinton’s second term the GOP’s extreme partisanship led to impeachment proceedings and severely hampered the effectiveness of our government and its Chief Executive. This distraction may have made some political hay for Republicans but crippled our Chief Executive’s ability to focus on and deal with the growing terror threat Al-Qaeda was preparing to launch against our country. The GOP’s actions provided support, aid, cover and comfort to the terrorists and heightened our country’s vulnerability to attack. Perhaps we should investigate their activities and motives for effectively becoming a Fifth Column for the Evil Doers?
Earlier in the year, Ms. Bachmann’s suggested to Chris Matthews that we should investigate the UnAmerican activities of congress and senate members to root out and expose those who hate America and are actively working for its destruction. I’m not so sure about this; it may lead to the mass imprisonment of the Republicans who obstructed President Clinton’s ability to perform his duties as Commander and Chief. With the GOP gone it would be impossible to form a consensus to effectively govern the nation so I’m kinda lukewarm on this one. After all President Obama and the ruling democrats rely on the good will of the loyal opposition GOP party to show the country that democracy works and that we can all get along.
But because I don’t think Ms. Bachmann’s idea is a good one doesn’t make it bad. After all I’m coming from a pretty partisan place myself. So in the spirit of consensus building I’m trying to understand why she would propose such a thing. Though its a dangerous and scary place to visit, I have tried to get inside Ms. Bachmann’s mind to understand her reasoning why she thinks the congress should spend the next session investigating members for crimes against the republic.
I have comprised a list of 13 reasons as to why Michele Bachmann and the Tea Party may think this is a good idea for the country. Please feel free to add your own.
1. Because its fun to shut the Federal Government down (ask Newt Gingrich)
2. It will heighten partisanship to levels yet unseen
3. Obstructionism is their preferred style of governance
4. Dissent is dangerous to a democracy
(America is long over due for another round of McCarthyism)
5. Enemy combatants sitting in congress must be imprisoned
6. It will demonstrate reactionary street cred
7. Sean Hannity thinks its a good idea
8. Rush Limbaugh thinks its a great idea
9. Glenn Beck tearfully pleads to show no quarter to “Wilsonian Reprobates”
10. Compromise/consensus forming is for sissies
11. Its how Michele Bachmann Mans Up and shows her pair
12. It plays well on Talk Radio and to the rabid dogs in the TP howling for fresh meat
13. 2012 GOP can say we did our best under trying circumstances now give us the White House and Senate. We’ll finish the job. Rove calls it the Coup de Grace campaign. A final silver bullet to the head of the democrats, democratic consensus and Federalism paid and financed by serious 527 money.
You Tube Video: Edvard Grieg, In the Hall of the Mountain King
Risk: consensus, governance, democracy
Political operatives circulate this photo in an attempt to taint the reputation of candidates running for office in highly contested elections. It has surfaced again in the Nevada Senate election campaign of Harry Reid and Sharron Angle.
I recently received an e-mail with this lovely image. The e-mail states that this is a photo that captures the 1889 public execution of Remus Reid for horse stealing and other crimes in the Montana Territory Prison. Remus is an ancestor of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Mr. Reid is running for reelection and is locked in a campaign battle with Teabagger darling Republican Sharron Angle.
The e-mail stated that a professional genealogy researcher (read: political hack) discovered this photo and asked Harry Reid if he cared to comment on it. Mr. Reid’s reply maddened the author of the e-mail, stating that Mr. Reid’s reply is a typical example of his Bull Shit. To quote the e-mail on this disingenuous genealogical inquiry:
“Believe it or not, Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:
“Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honour when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”
NOW THAT’s how it’s done, Folks! That’s real POLITICAL SPIN, or typical Reid “BS”
The real BS of this story comes from Sharron Angle and her political propagandists. This Teabagging wind bag asserts that she has been anointed by God to save Nevada and the Union from socialists, liberals and terror loving anti-Americans (read democrats). God officially came out for Ms. Angle’s candidacy a few weeks ago. Not surprising since Jesus Christ has been the unofficial head of the GOP since at least the Reagan Administration. The breaking news of God’s endorsement of Sharron Angle was scooped by that hard hitting team of journalists at the 700 Club. You can see the story here:
Interesting this deeply Christian women says nothing about repealing gambling or legalized prostitution in her state or ending the wars but will make it her first order of business if elected to repeal the health care bill that extends coverage to all citizens. Curious that God would direct this deeply religious woman to deny health care to the poor and give a free pass to the wealthy riding their camels through the golden eye of the needle. Somehow I don’t think Ms. Angle’s positions are something that Jesus would support.
To make a point of righteous indignation, we get Ms. Angle circulating photos of a public hanging of Mr. Reid’s ancestor. I don’t believe Jesus would approve of this either but Ms. Angle no doubt knows a side of Jesus Christ I have yet to discover. So Mr. Reid responds with some amusing political satire to the inanities of Rovian inspired Teabagger politics and the point becomes the political spin of Mr. Reid.
I imagine Ms. Angle is trying to hold Mr. Reid accountable for the crimes of a distant ancestor that was dead before he was born. Theologically this is not very Christian of Ms. Angle. According to Jesus everyone is responsible for their own salvation. The sins of my father and great great uncles may be visited upon me but I am not responsible nor accountable for those sins. Christianity teaches people are active agents in their own salvation. Ms. Angle should go back to Sunday School. There are loop holes to this belief. According to Pat Robertson, the CEO of the 700 Club, the only exception to this New Testament precept is if you are Haitian and your ancestors made a pact with the devil to rid Haiti of French colonial rule. But as far as we know Mr. Reid is not Haitian (though at press time we understand that Rush Limbaugh is reviewing Reid’s birth certificates) and so would not fall under this rule of being guilty for your ancestors sins.
This e-mail campaign is typical reactionary Rovian electoral tactics. It is born from the same virulent partisan attacks of Andrew Breitbart that demonstrates no allegiance to truth and less to the guidance of any moral compass in journalistic pursuit. Again in my estimation a most Un-Christian practice. Attack an opponent to raise an emotional response using lies and racist symbolism are Tea Party practices that is rife throughout the movement of these little neo-fascist Christian Falangists.
The less said about issues and substantive programs to address the deep rooted problems of our country the better for the Teabaggers and the GOP. The Party of No got their Brown Shirt Shock Troops motivated around no taxes, no social welfare, more guns and prayers. It is the sycophantic mantra for a white middle class movement that patronizes class distress and offers no solutions to their pressing economic and cultural constriction. Nothing about issues. All about raising an emotional response with cliche, platitudes and negative symbolism.
Many of the original western settlers had a hand in the violent displacement that stole land from the Native Americans. Did Ms. Angle’s ancestors occupy Native American land as they colonized the West? Did Ms. Angle’s ancestors rightly compensate Native American’s for their land when they took control of the hood? If Remus Reid horse stealing ways is a valid campaign issue perhaps we should examine the genealogical lines of other westerners to determine how they got control of the land that they currently occupy.
One last point about the e-mail that I found curious was that “Politically” was misspelled in the subject line. The subject line read: Politicaly correct? I wonder if the ignorance born from people who quote words like “refudiate” are seen as badges of honor. These badges (kind of like Rush Limbaugh’s imaginary medals of honor that adorn his puffed up chest) are worn only by True American’s who hate pin headed liberal intellectuals who know how or care enough about the quality and “correctness” (there’s that word again) of communication to use a spell checker. Correctness, accuracy, truth and morals means little to the authors of these e-mails and the Andrew Brietbarts of the world. Its all about the preservation of their cosmology that protects the fundamental truths of political party, social class an eroding culture of privilege and a warped theology.
Who ever is sending this stuff out, Joseph Goebbels would be proud of you. Keep repeating the Big Lie. Pretty soon you’ll begin to believe it yourself and swear its true.
My response to this dangerous nonsense:
You Tube Video: Paul Robeson, Ballad of Joe Hill
Risk: culture, politics, religion, truth
One of the more disturbing Gospel passages for me appears in the fifth chapter of Mark. It is the story of Legion; a man possessed of many demons. Legion lived amongst tombstones and took to cutting himself. The townsfolk were terrified of Legion and bound him with chains. Legion would break his chains and he could be heard howling and cursing his fate as he roamed the night in lonely exile through his mountainous domain.
One day Legion saw Jesus approaching the village and went to him begging not to torment him. Jesus saw that the man was possessed of demons and commanded them to leave the stricken Legion. When the illness left Legion the demons asked Jesus if they could inhabit a heard of pigs foraging nearby. Jesus consented and the pigs went mad and rushed off a cliff into the sea where all the pigs drowned.
Though the story may be the first accounting of a human sickness causing a swine flu infestation it always bothered me. Jesus’ consent to infect a heard of innocent pigs whose sickness compelled them to leap to their deaths is disturbing. Perhaps there is a cultural justification to the story for the prohibition of eating pork and the classification of pigs as haraam but upon rereading the story, it was the desire of the illness to enter the swine. The story is a wonderful examination of the non-discriminate nature of illnesses and disease. Jesus provides the reader with an important lesson not to shut out the ill and to take considered action to engage the malady to effect the cure.
Who amongst us does not have demons or illness lurking within? Indeed we are all Legion. As a person in recovery, I identify with Legion’s state of possession and find great comfort in Jesus’ example of the necessity to heal. He rebuked the use of chains, showed tenderness and empathy to the infirm. He effected the cure and commanded the ill to rejoin the the community as a whole and healthy human being. John Donne’s Meditation 17 is very similar in the importance of community in dealing with illness and tribulation.
Jesus’ understanding of illness and his example as a healer stands in direct contradiction to some of the inane proscriptions for dealing with the swine pandemic that have been put forward. Guided by fear and the desire to politicize the pandemic some politicians are using the swine flu as an opportunity to collect some political capital. The Stepford Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachman; observed with great intelligence and insight that the the last swine flu outbreak occurred while another democratic administration held the White House. Ms. Bachman apparently suspects that the pandemic may be politically inspired and connected to the platform of the Democratic Party in some way.
Twitter and other social networking sites are alive with tweets proclaiming this is evidence of another terrorist attack. Ive seen a bunch of tweets stating this pandemic is clear evidence of Al-Qaeda activity in Mexico using our open borders to destroy America.
This type of thinking is very dangerous. I remember when AIDS first surfaced as a disease. Little was known about its origins and causes. What was known was that many Gay men were becoming infected with the disease and if I recall correctly it was referred to as the Gay influenza or virus. This categorization of AIDS stigmatized the disease and those who were infected. This stigmatization contributed to the spread of the disease because homosexuals who were infected with AIDS would avoid treating the disease because of guilt and shame. Non-gay men who were infected with the disease may have been slow to seek treatment because they believed themselves not to be infected because they did not engage in homosexual activities. In either case the misinformation, stigma and shame attached to the disease by people for the purpose of political gain were responsible for the spread of the disease.
The howling yodelers of Talk Radio and Fox News are also crowing about the political dimensions of the flu. Some want an immediate closure of our borders and question the political resolve of of the Obama Administration to live up to their pledge to protect the Homeland. Glen Beck of FOX TV states that President Obama is a prisoner of his liberal PC convictions. Beck cries through a river of alligator tears about the failure to close the borders is synonymous with an act of sedition that seeks to destroy America.
While Mr. Beck professes a great love for his country he demonstrates a poor understanding of what distinguishes America. Just lurking underneath the surface of Mr. Beck’s demagoguery is blaming Mexicans for the pandemic just as Ms. Bachman blame of democrats for the spread of the disease. Science instructs that illness is an equal opportunity malady. It does not discriminate on the basis of people place or color.
In Mark’s story about Legion, Jesus took action. Jesus didn’t say use a more study chain nor did he say build a wall around us to protect us from this scourge. No Jesus touched Legion. In story after story Jesus touched lepers, blind people, crippled and the dead to cure them. Jesus was available during his ministry to all people and allowed others to touch him so that their faith would free them from their demons. Jesus understood that a wall of ostracism is a poor defense from a pandemic. Ironically its isolation that incubates the disease of body, mind and soul. Jesus stressed that the ill be part of the community to witness and teach others about restoration, rehabilitation, the importance of action and the need to serve.
Politicizing problems obfuscates solutions. The mother of fear is ignorance and the thinking exemplified by Ms. Bachman and Mr. Beck is enough to create 10 pandemics of fear, suspicion and resentment. Little do they realize the real gold that can be mined through the challenge of tribulation. We’ll close with these words from John Donne’s Meditation 17.
Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.
You Tube Video: Louis Armstrong, St. James Infirmary
Risk: isolation, politicization, ignorance
William Jefferson Clinton’s the “Man from Hope” biography reads like a modern political Horatio Alger story. He came from a difficult and confused lineage and used his exceptional gifts of charm and intelligence to advance to the highest public office in America. Early in his first run for President, I developed an admiration for Clinton based on his sticktoitness, fortitude and his ability to keep on coming after getting knocked down by the seeming knockout punch.
He is a living testament to Ma Joad’s closing words from the movie “The Grapes of Wrath.” Say’s Ma Joad, “Rich fellas come up an’ they die, an’ their kids ain’t no good an’ they die out. But we keep a’comin’. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out; they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, ’cause we’re the people.”
In Clinton’s mind he has been crowned by the tide of history to speak for the common people. Any tactics or political counter punches he can deliver on adversaries are justified to ensure that the democratic march of history arrives at a destination that extols a yeoman’s vision of a Jeffersonian utopia. Clearly a sense of entitlement to lead and the justification of his actions will be condoned by fate and history will absolve him.
So he takes risks. He takes the high, medium and low road to achieve the goal of securing the Democratic nomination for his wife Hillary. He will say or do anything to achieve this goal. He is not above stoking racial suspicions and broadening the racial divide to get Hillary the nomination.
Every tactic, any strategy to deliver the dynamic duo to the domicile of their dynastic destiny will be fully employed; the alienation of African American voters notwithstanding. If the Clinton’s use of deft political machinations to get the nomination succeeds they risk the disenfranchisement of African Americans from the Democratic Party. If this strategy succeeds Clinton 2 will raise the Stars and Bars over the White House signaling the return of the Dixiecrats and the triumph of racial politics.
You Tube Video: Look Away Dixieland.
Risk: Political, Cultural, Racial