Archives for posts with tag: Barack Obama
Okay, that does it!  You!  Jane Democrat!  My office!  Now!

Joe Republican!  You too!  On the double!


Okay fine, Jose Republicano, in my office!  Yes, yes, I know, you’re just trying to show you’ve “evolved”  on immigration.  Like anybody buys that for a second.  But that’s another story.

I have had it, just had it with both of you.  I’m used to feeling that way about Republicans, but now that the Democrats are driving me up the wall just as much, I can’t take it anymore.  So the two of you, just sit there and shut up.

Now look Jane, God knows I don’t need any convincing when it comes to the Tea Party.  I know perfectly well how backward their ideas are.   I know that  treating even the tiniest amount of government spending for even the most humane reasons like it’s a sign the cossacks are about to beat our doors down to demand the tsar’s tribute is flat crazy.  I know a bunch of suburban and rural middle and upper class white people talking about how they’re oppressed and fancying themselves modern-day minutemen  rockets way past laughable all the way to grotesquely absurd.  I know that anyone who whines about their Constitutional rights and then admits that they can’t actually explain what those rights are because they don’t study the Constitution is an utter joke.

Oh don’t look at me like that Jose, deep down you can’t abide those weirdos any more than I can.

None of that, none of that, makes the  IRS taking an extra look at them that they weren’t taking at everyone else okay. And if any part of this President’s administration was in on that, than this has President has been breathtakingly unjust.  It is breathtakingly unjust because if they can do it to the Tea Party, they can do it to labor unions or to, or to someone we actually like and isn’t composed top-to-bottom of total nutbars.  We’re still in the who-knew-what-when stage of things, so maybe Barack Obama isn’t that involved.  Even if he isn’t this happened on his watch and this is quite fairly on him.

Hold your righteously indignant horses Janey, I’m just warming up.

In a way, I could almost see scrutinizing a Tea Party organization with a little more care if you’re the IRS.  After all, we’re talking about a group of people who make no bones about how they think paying taxes is evil.  Moreover, the IRS has to play by rules that are a little hard to decipher when it comes to deciding who gets to be tax exempt and who doesn’t.  There is absolutely no excuse and no reason for the White House to go scooping up the phone records of the Associated Press.  That is slugging the First Amendment, the very best thing about this country, right in the gut.  It is part of  what it starting to sure seem like a  pattern of paranoia and securocratic behavior with this administration.

Ooh, what, did I shock you Jane Democrat?  Did I punch a hole in that creepy-looking “Hope” portrait of yours? You’re going to sit there and say you don’t see it too?  The NDAA? Drone strikes that can happen even to American citizens without due process?  Guantanamo Bay still doing a brisk business? Now the AP, just about the most respected reputable news organization in the land has its phone records seized by the government? I thought we voted this garbage out in 2008.  So much of this President’s national security policy is right out of George W. Bush’s playbook which seems to have been published in northern Ireland some time in the late 70s and early 80s.

If you and I are going to derive any good from the nonsense of the last few weeks Janey, it might be this:  it should sober us up enough to realize that much as we admire this President, the search for the ultimate liberal super-hero has not come to a conclusion after all.  There is so much to like about Barack Obama:  a slow but steady economic recovery, a reasonable sorting out of the health care train wreck, a responsible extrication from the madness of the Iraq war, one less Osama bin Laden in the world.  It’s all good stuff and he deserves to be remembered for it.  He also deserves to be remembered for the NDAA, drone strikes, and whatever role his administration  might have played in this latest assault on free speech to occur in the history of the alleged land of the free.    Just because he has a few check marks on his Good Little Liberal Scorecard for supporting gun control (eventually), same sex marriage (when he got around to it) and supporting women in the workplace (especially with all those women he has in his Cabinet– oh wait…) does not mean he’s God’s gift to progressives like he’s made out to be.   We’re always waiting for the Messiah, for a new FDR minus the segregated armed forces and Japanese internment camps, the new JFK minus the philandering, hell we’d settle for the new Bill Clinton minus the philandering.  We’re still waiting.  Barack Obama has his minuses too.  As liberals, it’s past time for us to figure that out.

Get back into your seat Joe Republican.  I’m coming to you yet.

Let’s you and I get one thing perfectly straight.  Yes, it’s wrong those Tea Party groups were picked on.  It was wrong that some Fox reporter was singed by a DOJ spotlight.  None of it, not one little scrap of it, magically transforms your backward cruel ideas into good ones.  The most amazing thing about all these scandals was that it caused what I thought to be a sheer impossibility to happen:  it got people rooting for the Tea Party.  Sean Hannity was actually right about something.  Oh that reminds me, I need to get my clock fixed.

And just cool your jets on all the Nixon comparisons.  Okay, this looks pretty crappy for Eric Holder but until we have a trail of criminals that leads straight to the Oval Office, you’re out of line.  And by the way, as I recall you guys loved that bitter little hobgoblin.

You also loved this control-freak overreach business when George W. Bush was doing it.  Don’t get on your high horse about liberty and the Constitution and freedom when you’re the same guys that gave us warrantless wiretapping and the Patriot Act.  At some level, you’re not angry about the attack on the First Amendment this mess represents.  You’re angry because you wish you’d thought of it first.

You probably think this all makes Barack Obama the Soviet-style premier you’ve all shrieked to high heaven he was from the second the man took the Oath.  It doesn’t and it’s the safest bet under the sun to figure nothing he does ever will.  It just makes  him a flawed Democrat in the White House.  The first President I can clearly remember is Jimmy Carter so really this is nothing new for me.

The problem with you both Joe and Jane is that when one of you gets even a little bit of power anywhere, you seem to make it a priority to use that power to sew the other one’s mouth shut and when you’re the one with the stitching on your lips, you cry foul but when you’re the one wielding the needle and thread you’re just protecting national security or tightening up in-house leaks or some such excuse.   We’re supposed to let everyone have their say and report the facts here.  When the say someone has or the facts being reported aren’t ones you like, you’re supposed to talk more, not try to shut the other guy up.  No one has a perfect record on this.  We’re all of us always trying to take the First Amendment away from one another.

So cool it with the self-righteous song-and-dance.  Both of you.
By the way, I’m well aware of the irony of having criticized you both for not respecting freedom of expression by telling you early on to “sit down and shut up” and don’t bother pointing it out.


I have to admit, I was shocked to learn that “prebuttal” is an actual word.   Look it up in a print or online dictionary and it’s there.  In my defense, there are perfectly legitimate factors that justify my suspicion of “prebuttal”.  We live in an age that has given us such utter gibberish as “effortful” and “ginormous.”  “Prebuttal” sounds like something from along those same moronic lines.  On top of that,  it was Republicans– John Boehner and Mitt Romney to be precise– who were throwing it around on Monday.  The Republicans are the same guys who really and truly think  humanity has played no role whatsoever in climate change, that the evidence for the theory of evolution is somehow not overwhelming enough for them , and that gave us whoppers like “corporations are people.”  Would any of us be shocked if they made up a word, especially one that sounded that lame?

Even more to the point, the very concept of  the prebuttal tells you everything you need to know about the Republican Party right now.

It’s the equivalent of saying “hold it right there.  I know exactly what you’re going to say.”  It’s like Groucho Marx singing “whatever it is, I’m against it” if Groucho was devoid of a soul.  These guys went out of their way to tell anyone within earshot that they had zero interest in anything Barack Obama had to say in the State of the Union address.   I realize that the State of the Union address is hardly a secret before it’s actually given.  The text of the speech is usually made known to the press before the address itself.   John Boehner and Mitt Romney quite probably knew the details before issuing their prebuttals.  But they wanted to make sure everyone knew, or at least thought, that they were prebutting (boy it sounds even stupider as a verb) Obama’s every word.

To most rational people, the very idea of the prebuttal is silly.  It’s the very definition of narrow-mindedness.  Dismissing an idea before you’ve even heard it?  Thinking an idea is bad merely  because of its  source?  That’s foolish.  That’s provincial.    That’s, that’s…

That’s how you win the nomination if you’re a GOP Presidential candidate.

In the Republicans’ world right now, prebutting an Obama speech isn’t pigheaded or the height of intransigent rigidity.  It’s noble.  It’s being uncompromising because that’s a virtue now.   It’s being tough and fighting for freedom and taking a stand and saving this country from becoming a communist dictatorship  and not just being the Party of No, but being the Party of Hell No!

And being the Party of Hell No is a source of pride to the Republican Party.  Fighting for an idea even if it’s as ridiculous as thinking the Obama health care plan is socialism or as unfair as taxing millionaires and billionaires at microscopic rates.  That’s what makes you a Republican.  That’s what will get Republicans to vote for you.  Showing how absurdly obstinate you can be.

But not just absurdly obstinate to anyone or anything.   You’ve got  to be absurdly obstinate in a focused targeted way.  Foused and targeted on Barack Obama.

Charged up as it was in places (“anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about” was pretty strong stuff), the State of the Union address still followed the pattern we’ve come to expect in State of the Union addresses, and specifically what we’ve come to expect in Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses.  There was a brilliant rhetorical performance (love him or hate him, it must be admitted the guy sure can give a speech),  a whole lot of exhortation that didn’t get too deep into specifics, and a whole lot of claims that stood up to fact-checking with varying degrees of success.    Really not all that terribly shocking.  There were some talk of cutting tax breaks for manufacturing companies that built plants here in America and didn’t export jobs, something you would think Republicans could get behind.

Didn’t matter.  None of it mattered.  These guys decided long ago that Barack Obama was the Devil himself.    He could have said water was wet and the next day there would be a Dry Water wing of the Republican Party.    He could have said that no American anywhere should have to pay another penny in taxes ever again and because that would’ve included the poor never having to pay taxes again, it would have been labeled as class warfare.

Of course, they didn’t do anything like that.  They would have needed to actually read or hear the speech before coming up with some specific bizarre reaction to it.  And of course they prebutted the speech before they read or heard it.  At least that’s why they wanted their base to believe.  That’s what their base loves.  That’s how you get them to elect you.

The rest of us will continue to leave off the P and stick with rebuttal.  We’ll wait until the Republican party does or says something ill-informed, poorly thought out and crazily overwrought and hysterical.  Then we’ll get all over them.

We usually don’t have long to wait.