Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Larry Wilkerson: In Foreign Policy, Bush is as Ignorant as Sarah Palin

Wow! Colin Powell's former top aide lays it out straight right here:

Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that as a new president, Bush was like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee whom critics said lacked knowledge about foreign affairs. When Bush first came into office, he was surrounded by experienced advisers like Vice President Dick Cheney and Powell, who Wilkerson said ended up playing damage control for the president.

"It allowed everybody to believe that this Sarah Palin-like president — because, let's face it, that's what he was — was going to be protected by this national-security elite, tested in the cauldrons of fire," Wilkerson said, adding that he considered Cheney probably the "most astute, bureaucratic entrepreneur" he'd ever met.

"He became vice president well before George Bush picked him," Wilkerson said of Cheney. "And he began to manipulate things from that point on, knowing that he was going to be able to convince this guy to pick him, knowing that he was then going to be able to wade into the vacuums that existed around George Bush — personality vacuum, character vacuum, details vacuum, experience vacuum."


Everyone with as much as half a brain already knows Cheney has been president over the last eight catastrophic years. The damage this evil, malicious criminal has done to America will take decades to fix, if ever.

The Republicans must be so proud.

Republican Weasel Coleman Using Every Tactic to Delay Victory by SENATOR-ELECT Franken

Read the whole disgusting story here. Remember, Coleman is the same lying hypocrite who said that Minnesota voters shouldn't have to put up with all kinds of legal challenges in regard to the Senate race. The SOB even called for Franken to concede BEFORE the official result was certified. (Of course, that was when Coleman led narrowly; now that he's behind, he's singing a different tune--naturally.) Consequently, the people of Minnesota could be without a second senator for weeks.

Remember folks, trying to steal elections and subvert democracy is a Republican specialty. We shouldn't be surprised when one of the GOP's greasiest, nastiest frauds tries to do it again.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Republican Thugs in Senate Trying to Block the Seating of Senator-Elect Al Franken

Once again the Republicans spit in the face of American Democracy by trying to block the provisional seating of Minnesota U.S. Senate election WINNER Al Franken. Senator John Cornyn, the right-wing Republican hack from Texas, is telling blatant lies about the electoral process in Minnesota. Minnesota, by the way, has what are probably the most honest and transparent election rules of any state. What Cornyn doesn't like is the voters' verdict--a Democratic victory--and so, he's going to try to overthrow it by any BS tactics he can think of. But once Al Franken is certified as the winner, it will be harder for the GOP crooks in the Senate like Cornyn to steal the election.

It's SENATOR Al Franken to you conservative lowlifes now.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Right-Wing Republican Slogan: Party First, America Last

dday on Hullabaloo says what needs to be said, namely, that the southern right-wing Republicans who now make up the most substantial bloc of GOP voting strength in Congress will act to block EVERYTHING President Obama proposes, even if the measure will help the American people. Excerpt:

...I am touched by the newfound concern of Congressional Republicans about fraud and waste. They took an eight-year break from caring about this, and allowed giant bricks of money to be given away in Iraq, and a government concerned far more with profit taking than fulfilling its regulatory mission. But they can be forgiven for this temporary lack of attention to the destination of taxpayer money. After all, it's a new year coming up, and change is in the air.

It was obvious that the GOP would work to obstruct a stimulus package early in Obama's term. It's worth asking why. I understand why they would want to stop increased union membership that would come from fair labor laws like the Employee Free Choice Act - more union members vote Democratic. And shutting down universal health care would deny Democrats the ability to provide a tangible improvement to the lives of millions of Americans.


Yes, God forbid that the Democrats act in the interests of the vast majority of the American people. Why, the people might then come to realize that the conservatives have NEVER given a damn about them and the whole right-wing charade in this country might collapse.

And Mitch McConnell and Richard Shelby can't have that now, can they?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How Nixon and Kissinger KIlled Off a Chance for Peace in Vietnam

You gotta love those right-wing Republican "patriots". Consortium News carries a shocking report (here) on how Republicans Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger DELIBERATELY SABOTAGED THE PARIS PEACE TALKS IN 1968. Yes, you read that right. The war in Vietnam could have been ended in 1968. Nixon was afraid that if a peace agreement was reached before the 1968 presidential election that Hubert Humphrey would prevail and become president. Kissinger aided in the effort to persuade the South Vietnamese government that it would get a better deal from Nixon than from Humphrey, and the South Vietnamese consequently stalled the negotiations. (You hear that, Senator McCain? Nixon and Kissinger let you and your buddies rot in prison.) 

And if this doesn't enrage you, I'm not sure what would:

The U.S. participation in the Vietnam War continued for more than four years at a horrendous cost to both the United States and the people of Vietnam. Before the conflict was finally brought to an end, a million more Vietnamese were estimated to have died along with an additional 20,763 U.S. dead and 111,230 wounded.

If that isn't the definition of criminality, I'm not really sure what would be.

This is all part of a pattern. The Right Wing brays about its patriotism, but look at the record:

In 1933 a cabal of right-wing business leaders plotted to overthrow FDR in a fascist coup.

During the 1930s, right-wing radicals flocked to the German-American Bund and supported fascist radio preacher Charles Coughlin. 

A certain prominent Republican family helped Adolf Hitler's rise in the 1930s and was entangled in treasonous activities in World War II.

Nixon's sabotaging of the Vietnam settlement.

The Reagan campaign deliberately sabotaged the release of the American hostages being held in Iran to sink Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign in 1980. Reagan's people engaged in treasonous negotiations with the Iranian government at that time. 

The Reagan Administration engaged in the illegal transfer of weapons to the Iranian government in the 1980s, the Iran-Contra scandal. These weapons were being given to the very government that had held our hostages captive for 444 days.

The Reagan and Bush administrations armed Saddam Hussein to the teeth, including the sale of materials for chemical and biological weapons materials.

And of course, who could forget Dick Cheney's business dealings with our enemies in Iraq, Iran, and Libya.

Yeah, the conservatives sure are "patriots", aren't they?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Legacy!

(Click to Enlarge; It's Worth It)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Sewer of Hard-Core Palinism

As revealed in this eye-opening post here by Geoffrey Dunn. Read it and try not to cringe as the sheer evil and malice of the conservative base makes itself as plain as a burning cross.

If Obama can make some headway cleaning up the atrocious mess the right-wing Republicans have left behind, and if Palin is nominated by these mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fanatics, Palin will be wiped out more utterly than Goldwater was in 1964. She'll wipe out the rest of the Republican ticket, too, and maybe fatally cripple the entire conservative movement itself.

So naturally, I'm pulling for ol' Sarah to win the Republican nomination.

Big time.

Vote for Your Favorite Right Wing Con Artist/Lunatic/Criminal/Fool

It's right here, courtesy of the Poorman.

You know, reading through the river of puke that is the right wing punditocracy in America and its enablers in the so-called mainstream media, I can't help but notice not only the smears, astonishing lies, slanders, ugly racism, and just plain idiocy of these expressions, but also the sheer detachment from human reality so many of these sick, pathetic losers display. Poorman has put together an astoundingly good survey of the Conservative Cancer that has brought our country to death's door.

Enjoy!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gee, How Convenient for Karl Rove

If this story doesn't raise your interest, you need to look at it more closely:

A top level Republican IT consultant who was set to testify in a case alleging GOP election tampering in Ohio died in a plane crash late Friday night.

Michael Connell -- founder of Ohio-based New Media Communications, which created campaign Web sites for George W. Bush and John McCain -- died instantly after his single-prop, private aircraft smashed into a vacant home in suburban Lake Township, Ohio.

**********

Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio’s official state election website.

However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.

“Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio's live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.

A few months after this revelation, when a scandal erupted surrounding the firing of US Attorneys for reasons of White House policy, other researchers found that the gwb43 domain used by members of the White House staff to evade freedom of information laws by sending emails outside of official White House channels was hosted on those same SmarTech servers.

Given that the Bush White House used SmarTech servers to send and receive email, the use of one of those servers in tabulating Ohio’s election returns has raised eyebrows. Ohio gave Bush the decisive margin in the Electoral College to secure his reelection in 2004.

"...I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman," said RAW STORY's Investigative News Editor, Larisa Alexandrovna, on her personal blog Saturday morning. "This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened."


Read the article and tell me you don't suspect anything.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Damning Judgment of the American People: Bush is a Miserable Failure

A very enlightening Pew Poll on soon-to-be-ex-President George W. Bush can be found here. Its results represent, to be blunt, a total repudiation of Bush by the vast majority of the American people. My favorite highlights:

As his second term ends, only 13% say Bush has made progress toward solving the major issues facing the country; 37% say he has made those problems worse and 34% say he has tried but failed in his efforts. Another 11% say he has not addressed the major problems facing the country.

More than three times as many people say Bush will go down in history as a poor president (34%) than said the same of Bill Clinton at the end of his presidency (11%). About a quarter (24%) say Bush will be seen as below average and close to three-in-ten (28%) say he will be seen as average. Just 11% say he will go down in history as above average or outstanding.

**********
Americans by a wide margin (64% to 24%) also say that in the long run the failures of the Bush administration will outweigh its accomplishments. The assessment of Clinton in 2001, despite controversy over how he had conducted himself in office, was virtually a mirror image. Six-in-ten said the accomplishments would outweigh the failures, and 27% said the failures would outweigh the accomplishments.

And this just does my malicious little heart good:



I'll be discussing Bush's disastrous legacy more in the weeks to come as we happily count down the days until his rotten administration is through. But the Pew Survey reaffirms what many of us already know:

Worst. President. EVER.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sean Hannity, Liar of the Year!

MediaMatters gives him the big award right here, and, utterly unlike Hannity, actually backs its argument up with factual evidence. In public policy, there is NOTHING Hannity will not lie about. MM's indictment of this walking pile of horse manure is devastating. I can't do it justice simply by citing excerpts--go read the whole thing. The depths of Hannity's total dishonesty will shock you.

Hannity, some conservatives say, doesn't represent them. On the contrary: Hannity is the perfect spokesman for the Republican "base"--racist, hyper-aggressive (as long as other people are doing the suffering and the dying), contemptuous of the poor, pro-torture, militantly homophobic, and capable of promoting any smear and any lie, no matter how vicious, in promoting right wing "goals". In many ways, Sean Hannity IS the Republican Party's hard core. He is an integral part of the conservative cancer that is killing America. By helping to destroy any standards of journalistic decency and by using his public platform to disseminate Pravda-style propaganda, he has dragged public discussion in this country down to new lows. In any rational society someone like Hannity would be ignored and laughed at. But thanks to Fox News and its millions of neanderthal fans, he continues to spread his lying filth through our body politic.

Well, done, Sean, well done! And congratulations on your phony charity. You really are a crook right down to your toenails.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Once Again: The Myth of a "Conservative America"

[From 2007]

One of the radical Right's most successful con jobs over the years has been the marketing of the lie that America is a "conservative nation" with "traditional values" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean). This despite the fact that only about 32% of Americans describe themselves as conservatives. The 68% that call themselves moderate or liberal apparently don't count, I guess. I also guess that the 70% who disapprove of our so-called "president" don't count either. The national media continue to give the Bush Crime Organization a pass on the vast majority of issues, and the national political dialogue is dominated by repulsive rightwing toads like the despicable Ann Coulter, the pathetic Glenn Beck, and the laughable little punk Sean Hannity. In fact, a recent survey indicated that an astonishing 91% of commentary on talk radio is from rightwingers. Add in the entire Fox "News" propaganda apparatus and the rest of Rupert Murdoch's empire, the psychotic ranting of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, the bloodthirsty warlust of the Neocon Chickenhawks who appear constantly on national television, and the cringing, Bush-kissing White House press corps, and one sees clearly the source of the lie that America is solidly rightwing. This report from MediaMatters should help clear things up nicely.

Among the key findings from major, scientifically conducted surveys (click to enlarge):























Now, I defy ANY conservative in America to tell me that these are the views of a "conservative" nation. Respect for the rights of women. Protection of the environment as a priority. Willing to pay more in taxes for government health care. Critical of the crackpot right's interference in private affairs. Equal job rights for gays. Read the whole article--it's truly eye-opening. And then DEMAND that the views of the TWO-THIRDS OF AMERICANS WHO ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE be given the respect and consideration in the mainstream media that they deserve.

Once Again: How the Republicans Became the Party of Racial Hatred

[From 2007]:

When I was a kid, it was the (conservative) Southern Democrats who stood in ferocious opposition to justice for our country's African-American minority. Northern Republicans (such as Everett Dirksen of Illinois) were foursquare for civil rights legislation and used their legislative influence to help make it law. Among the most hateful of the Southern Democrats who opposed equal rights for blacks was the despicable Strom Thurmond, whose opposition to such measures bordered on the pathological. (He wore a diaper so he could conduct a 24 hour filibuster in the Senate against the 1957 Civil Rights Act!) Yes, the deal with the devil the national Democratic Party had made was truly shameful: tolerate the Southern racists as long as those same racists delivered states for Roosevelt or Stevenson on election day.

But in 1963-64 all of this began to change drastically. After John F. Kennedy's shocking assassination 44 years ago Thursday, a new president, a Southern Democrat named Lyndon Johnson, took over. And, fully aware of the political consequences of such a move, Johnson became the greatest civil rights president in American history. (The fascinating story of LBJ's courageous stand in favor of justice--and the price the Democratic Party paid in the South--can be found here.) Johnson was simply magnificent on these issues. His tragic legacy in Vietnam has taken attention away from his leadership on human rights, but it does not change the record. LBJ not only talked the talk, he walked the walk, more than any other president has.

In the same period, far-right conservatives began to take over the local machinery of the Republican Party. They found a hero in Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater. Goldwater, I am convinced, was not personally a racist, but he was willing to look the other way in regard to those who were. Goldwater's opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act made him a magnet to racists all over the country, especially in the former "Solid South". While the rest of America was shifting heavily Democratic in '64, there was a strong undercurrent of what used to be called "white backlash" in the country. It was already propelling George Wallace to national prominence, and it caused many southerners who had never voted Republican in their lives to support Goldwater. In the general disaster the Republicans suffered in 1964, this support stood out in startling contrast. 

From the article linked to above:

The one region in which Republicans gained was in the previously solid South. The five states that Goldwater won outside Arizona (Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana) were the top five states in terms of black population levels. Goldwater's message of racial conservatism carried the day with the white electorate of those states, sometimes by landslide numbers (87 percent in Mississippi). Of the 507 Southern counties that Goldwater carried, 233 had never voted Republican before. [My emphasis.] The Goldwater effect was present even in parts of the urban ethnic North, if more muted...Moreover, while Goldwater was a disaster for most Republicans, of the twenty new Republican members of Congress, nine were from the South, and five were from Alabama alone. Eisenhower and Nixon had won border Southern states like Virginia and Tennessee. Goldwater lost those states while winning the heart of Dixie, the black belt.

And among the Southern Democrats who switched to being Republican was the aforementioned loathsome Strom Thurmond. The national Republican Party took a clear message from all this: opposing equal rights for black Americans (or at least slowing down the pace of such progress) was a political winner in the South (and in parts of Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, or in any white suburb where voters felt threatened by black "incursions".)

Naturally, this racism had to be subtle, lest more moderate or liberal voters be put off. The turmoil of the 1960s, the urban riots in such places as Detroit and Watts (which were tragically self-destructive and harmful to racial relations in America), the anti-war agitation, and the rise of violent crime handed the Republicans the perfect vehicle--"Law and Order" as a codeword for "Let's stop the blacks from threatening White America." Now those who hated blacks could hide behind a convenient label. It is here that the Democrats dropped the ball. Fear of crime was a legitimate issue; a public opinion poll at the time indicated that half the women in America were afraid to go out at night. Foolishly, short-sightedly, Democrats in the late 60s did not work hard enough to address the legitimate concerns of Americans about crime, but simply let the Republicans, in effect, "have" the law and order issue. For fear of seeming to support the racists who were using "law and order" as a cloak, the Democrats didn't take a strong enough stand. We should have said, "Crime is not a racial issue". We should have said "We are for law and order AND justice." We should have pointed out that blacks were among the worst victims of crime. But instead of de-linking race and crime, the Democrats conceded the field to the Republicans. Those who were worried about crime were drawn into an alliance with those who opposed civil rights. Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy", drawn up by advisors such as Patrick Buchanan, worked to create such alliances. The results were disastrous. The Democratic share of the vote dropped from 61% in 1964 to 43% in 1968. In the Old Confederacy, the Democratic share of the vote fell to 31%! Hubert Humphrey actually finished third in Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee, running behind Nixon and Wallace. By 1972, the Nixon-Wallace voter alliance led to an enormous victory for Nixon in the South, who carried every state in the region, the first time ANY Republican had ever done so. Many of these states provided Nixon with astonishing shares of the vote--71% in South Carolina, 75% in Georgia, 72% in Florida, 72% in Alabama, 78% in Mississippi, 73% in Oklahoma, 66% in Texas. Jimmy Carter's regional strength in 1976 seemed a promising reversal of fortune for the Democrats, but by 1980, Ronald Reagan was again able to use subtle (and not so subtle) appeals to racism to win, edging out Carter in many Southern states. In 1984 Mondale was wiped out in the South, losing most states in the region by margins of 20, 25, or 30 percentage points. In the rest of the country. "Reagan Democrats", drawn by the social conservatism of Reagan (and the subtly anti-black undertone of it) helped cement Reagan's national landslide. The "Willie Horton" message of the Bush campaign in 1988 was simply a logical extension of the now classic Republican strategy: stirring up fear of those Awful Negroes was a winner.

Now, for myriad reasons, many of them unrelated to race, many southern voters are now firmly Republican, providing Bush with his narrow margin of victory in 2004 (and making 2000 close enough to steal). The appeals to hatred are no longer overt. But the roots of Republican dominance in the South are clear: Starting in 1964, when the Democratic Party took a stand for human rights, our base in the South began deserting us in droves. The rise of the Republican Party in the South was based, more than any other factor, on race hatred and prejudice, and the Republicans have never repudiated, or even admitted, this shameful history.

To sum up, let me quote the summary to the superb article I have linked to:

In 1960 the Republicans made a serious effort for the black vote, and failed. In 1964 they accepted black hostility and tried to win without minorities. The pendulum that had swung quite far toward civil rights in 1960 now had swung far closer to George Wallace, although it never reached his pure anti-black malice. Neither strategy was successful in the short term, but in the ashes of the Goldwater defeat, Richard Nixon and others saw hopes for a Republican renewal, based on peeling off white voters from their Democratic allegiance. One lesson of 1964 for Republicans was that the open racism practiced by Goldwater's Southern supporters must be decried, denied, and denounced. Yet the second lesson of 1964 for the GOP was central to later Republican victories. If racial politics could draw white voters into the camp of a candidate as extreme and unelectable as Barry Goldwater, then it was indeed among the most powerful forces in American politics. What might it do in the hands of a more appealing messenger? By 1968 the political alchemists of the Republican Party had refined a heady mixture of codeworded backlash appeals and surface adherence to racial egalitarianism. Nixon's 1968 and 1972 "Southern Strategy" campaigns were designed to bring in the backlash votes without alarming the rest of the electorate. More recently, the 1988 Bush campaign used the rape of a white woman by a convicted black murderer to encourage white Democrats to vote Republican, an odious campaign that Barry Goldwater would have refused to run on. While 1964 was a tremendous victory for the Democratic Party and for Lyndon Johnson, it was also the election that taught Republicans how to use racial politics to help pave the road to the White House for the next three decades.

Our country is still dealing with the fateful consequences of the decisions made in 1964, the year that in many ways was the decisive one in modern American political history

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Cancer of Conservatism

When the Republican Party handed itself heart and soul to Big Business in the 1890s, it was the start of an epic battle to defend power and privilege in the United States at all costs. Briefly, under Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican Party was captured by the progressive wing, and TR had little sympathy for the "malefactors of great wealth" as he called them. But by the 1920s the fanatically pro-business, anti-worker orientation of the Republican Party was set. I have wracked my brain and I cannot think of ANY time the Republicans EVER acted in the interests of ordinary working men and women. They and their allies fought savagely against unions, never hesitating to use violence and state power to destroy them. (There is a myth that violence in labor disputes is only union-generated; check out Henry Ford's war against the unions to see a powerful refutation of this, or the war of the coal mine owners against the unions in West Virginia and Kentucky.) 

This pro-business, anti-worker faction of the Republican Party hated FDR as if he were Satan incarnate. It is this faction of the Republican Party that fought against child labor laws, the right of workers to organize, minimum wage laws, worker safety protections, and every other proposal that was designed to grant working men and women the rights and dignity they deserved. The modern descendants of these violently anti-worker conservatives control part of the Republican Party today. They are the ones who voted against financial aid to the Big Three automakers so they could kill off the United Auto Workers, their sworn enemies since the 1930s. We should not be surprised.

The other branches of the modern Republican Party  have an interesting genealogy as well. The southern Republicans are the descendants of the racist fanatics that spent the century between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 violently suppressing African-American rights. They had been conservative Democrats up to the early 60s, but Lyndon Johnson's courageous stand for human rights drove them into a dark alliance with the Anti-Worker Republicans. The Social Conservative Republicans are an offshoot of the Southern Republicans in many ways, and they have allied with ultra-fundamentalists in other parts of the country. These people are determined to achieve "Dominion" over America, seizing power for themselves, and relegating anyone who dares to disagree with their "Holy" mission to second class status. The Social Conservative Republicans are committed to interfering with the private lives of every single person in America. They want to outlaw not only abortion under all circumstances, even rape and incest, but birth control, homosexual behavior, any "non-reproductive marital sex" (check out former Senator Rick Santorum's views if you don't believe me), any sex outside of marriage, and the right of families to let go of their dying loved ones. (Remember Terri Schiavo?) They want to dictate the most intimate details of everyone's life and destroy any notion that religion and public policy should be separate. They also want to see women in a "submissive" role. (Check out Kansas Senator Sam Brownback for a full dose of this repulsive nonsense.) The Social Conservatives are also bitter enemies of science, and they have spread dangerous falsehoods into all public discussion of science-related issues, even going so far as to blame the Holocaust on Charles Darwin!

In short, the modern conservative movement's leaders consist of those who despise working people, those who proudly defend America's horrible racist legacy, the worst of the religious fanatics, and all those who wish to preserve America as an all-white, fundamentalist Christian patriarchy. On top of that is a group I can only call the New Imperialists, (the Neo-Conservatives) dedicated to imposing our "will" on every other nation on earth. And their methods of acquiring and keeping power have been so vicious and ugly as to shame any decent person.

They screamed "Communist!" and "Socialist!" at Franklin Roosevelt, a man whose actions helped preserve American capitalism in its darkest hour. They tried to undermine FDR's attempts to deal with the rising threat of the Axis powers. Their friends in the newspaper business poured out non-stop anti-New Deal hatred in print. After the war, the conservatives latched on to Anti-Communism, not as a genuinely felt conviction, but merely as a means to attain power. Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon became the ugliest practitioners of the dark art of smearing opponents as "Reds". The Goldwater supporters in 1964 eagerly capitalized on white racism in the South and shouted that LBJ was also a traitor, along with all liberals. Because of Johnson's tragic prosecution of a war we should never have been in, Vietnam, and his failure to strongly suppress urban rioting in the 60s, the Right Wing was able to get off the floor. Nixon in 1968 blatantly used a strategy designed to appease white racists while appearing to be "moderate". Nixon deliberately tore the country in two in name of political gain, his worst legacy in my view. (He kept the Vietnam War going as well, even when he knew it was lost, to help gain reelection in 1972. I'll explain in another post why I believe this.)

When the Reaganites gained control of the GOP, they whipped up the Religious Right to support their goals, and an all-out assault on personal privacy and scientific rationality was launched. Creationist insanity was pushed tirelessly, as well as violently anti-gay rhetoric. It was a degrading but effective tactic. And all the while, anyone who objected was tarred as a "persecutor" of Christians and anti-God(!).  

Throughout all of these ugly maneuvers a right-wing dominated media machine was growing. Right wing hate radio was used to paint all Democrats as traitors and anti-American. Radical Right newspapers, such as those supported by Right Wing financial godfathers Rupert Murdoch, Richard Mellon Scaife, and Sun Myung-Moon also spread conservative propaganda far and wide. Fox News jumped on the bandwagon in the 90s, giving platforms to the worst of the Radical Rights's pathological liars--Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, Gibson, Cavuto, Kristol, and all the rest. The right-wing propagandists spear-headed the lunatic drive to destroy the Clintons, regardless of any price the country itself might pay. (The so-called "Liberal Media" is an absurd myth--conservative voices dominate our traditional media.) The Republicans have used this propaganda machine to try to destroy or undermine every progressive politician and policy in America. It is the Right Wing Noise Machine that has been the principal spreader of the fantastic lies and preposterous ideas of the Republican Party and its henchmen.

Today, look what the Republican Party stands for: opposition to American working men and women, the channeling of trillions of dollars to the richest Americans, hatred of gays, hatred of immigrants, continued smoldering racism, opposition to desperately needed health care reforms, opposition to all environmental protections, spitting hatred for science, hatred for public schools, hatred of all those who are not fundamentalist Christians, support for torture, support for rendition, and support for the fantastically corrupt Bush-Cheney regime. The conservative cancer is the perpetuation of all the worst features of American life--intolerance, fear, prejudice, and tribalism. It is this cancer that screams out that Barack Obama is "the AntiChrist", a "Muslim radical", "corrupt", "ally of Satan", and all the other filth we have seen hurled at our next president. The Radical Right is now going to try to destroy Obama and block every reform he tries to institute. We, the Progressive Netroots, must and will fight these dangerous radicals every step of the way.

It is time for the conservative cancer to be  cut out of our body politic. All of our nation's most shameful acts and policies have their roots in it. The humane, progressive, and sensible American majority must, once and for all, put the right-wing minority in its place--and save our country from the death toward which the conservatives have so blindly pushed it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey! It's Not the Unions That Are Killing the Big Three

In addition to inept management, it's this:  Toyota's employees in Japan have national health insurance to fall back on and GM, Ford, and Chrysler don't! Check out this graphic from Kevin Drum, btw: 



Since Japan has a national health insurance system, firms like Toyota and Nissan have far lower costs overall. 

Oh--by the way--the oft repeated canard that American auto workers make "$73 an hour" is a lie. But the statement comes from conservatives, so what else can you expect?

Yes, the Right Wingers Really Are Racist, Sexist, Borderline-Insane Hacks

Check out the most outrageous conservative comments of 2008 here.

I'm sorry, but anybody who says Barack Obama is the AntiChrist is a psychotic.

Period.

No, Obama is NOT Tied to Idiot Blagojevich

This, of course, doesn't stop right-wing media clowns and liars from attempting to do so. The invaluable Eric Alterman utterly destroys the latest attempt here. Key section:



We also learn below that not only did the governor constantly complain about Obama's refusal to play ball with him, but also, via Lynn Sweet in the Chicago Sun-Times, "Blagojevich was under a cloud during Obama's entire presidential campaign, and the Obama team kept him at a distance. The Illinois governor never stumped for Obama -- they did not want him -- and unlike other Democratic governors, he did not play any significant role in the campaign." What's more, "In a sequence of events that neatly captures the contradictions of Barack Obama's rise through Illinois politics, a phone call he made three months ago to urge passage of a state ethics bill indirectly contributed to the downfall of a fellow Democrat he twice supported, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich," Mike McIntire and Jeff Zeleny write in The New York Times.

Don't let the Right's lies continue. Attack their falsehoods at EVERY turn.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Is There ANYTHING Lying Fool William Kristol EVER Gets Right?

Check out the first item here

I tell ya, if this guy hadn't been one of the principal architects of the disastrous Iraq War which has snuffed out the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, he'd be a damned Laff Riot.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Ultra Right Wing's Hilarious Insanity

Revealed for all it's worth in the "controversy" about whether Barack Obama is qualified to be president. My fave excerpt:

Taitz -- the lead attorney in the case the Supreme Court declined to hear Monday morning -- kept making stranger and stranger assertions. At one point, she asked why the government had fined broadcasters for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," but didn't intervene to force the media to report on Obama's allegedly phony birth certificate. She claimed Obama holds passports from at least four countries, compared him to Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, equated the "controversy" about Obama to Watergate, and finished her tour-de-force presentation by saying that if Obama can claim he's a U.S. citizen and win an election, then so could just about anyone. "If a person can become a presidential candidate only based on his own statement," she said, "then somebody like Osama bin Laden, theoretically, can come and write a statement, 'I'm eligible,' and we should put him on the ballot, too?"

Stop, you're KILLIN' me here!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dishonesty and Denial of Responsibility , Right to the End

Jon Stewart puts together another masterpiece on the worst president since James Buchanan:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ben Cohen's Ten Republicans Who Should Go Away

Just priceless. My favorite:


9. Sean Hannity

Fox News presenter Sean Hannity is the quintessential hack - no brain, just a vacant space in his head for GOP talking points. Hannity is a smooth presenter, articulate and emotive, the perfect frontman for the bankrupt ideology he is paid to promote. Hannity has gone from dreadful to absolutely nauseating since Palin ignited his loins, gushing over the re emergence of brainless conservatism and filling his head with dreams of a conservative comeback in 2012. The visible anguish Hannity now shows after the Democratic victory is a joy to watch, clearly karmic pay back for the years of gloating over the sorry state of Democrats. Hannity was sick to his stomach after Obama was elected, and may develop some serious ulcers over the next four years. However, luckily for him, he may get treatment for free if Obama institutes universal health care.


Go read and enjoy them all! (BTW, before you do, can you guess the other nine losers in Ben's list?)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We Will Not Let Them Lie

We will not let them claim that he was a decent president, or a decent man.

We will not let them pretend that Iraq was an accident.

We will not let them claim that they didn't exploit the charred corpses of 9/11.

We will not let them cover up the illegitimate seizure of power.

We will not forget the corruption, the lies, and the criminality.

We will not let them deny that they trampled on our sacred Constitution.

We will hold them accountable for the obscene acts and cruelties that dishonored our country.

We will not let them evade responsibility for the disasters that have overtaken us.

We will not let them write their breathtaking falsehoods into history.

And we will NEVER forgive them.

Ever.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

On Hiatus Until December 3

We have visitors coming to beautiful Kauai tomorrow, and they'll be staying for a week. I'm worn out on politics for a while anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Leadership Looks Like

I am SO looking forward to this man being our president!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Sick, Pathetic Radical Right

Now that they've been decisively kicked out of power, their hysteria and maliciousness are growing exponentially. An excerpt from this post at Democratic Strategist:

One of the hallmarks of "movement conservative" opinion in recent years has been the growing tendency to treat itself not simply as a legitimate or "correct" point of view, or one that promotes policies good for the country, but as a cause that is synonymous with American self-interest, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and indeed, Western Civilization. This trend has naturally led to the depiction of its opponents as un-American, immoral and anti-religious, and, well, barbaric. Within the Christian Right, the need to demonize has become even more intense, in justification of the extraordinary step taken by religious leaders to adopt a "prophetic stance" against the wickedness of society and harness their pulpits and their flocks to the secular goals of the Republican Party.

From this point of view, "liberals" can't simply be wrong or ill-informed or open to persuasion. Those supporting a woman's right to choose must actually favor infanticide, euthanasia and human cloning. Advocates of a less militaristic foreign policy must be consciously aligned with America's enemies. "People for the American Way" favoring mild church-state separation rules must really aim at systemic descrimination against Christians. Proponents of marriage equality for gays and lesbians are actually bent on destroying the traditional family.


It is this frothing, ugly, disgusting sea of paranoia and lunatic-style hatred that right-wing hustlers like Sean Hannity (with his phony veterans charity), Ann Coulter (with her lying,vicious scribbling packaged as books), and Rush Limbaugh, with his  Pravda-like radio program, exploit, feed, and get rich off of. I can tell you, however, that this right-wing filth has deep origins. Ever since Herbert Hoover practically called FDR a Bolshevik in 1932, the Right has been pulling this crap. Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon were spewing the same venom in the 1950s. The Goldwater campaign in 1964 brought these idiots out in force. (I particularly remember a lying piece of Right-wing vomit called None Dare Call It Treason from that year.) Beginning with Nixon's presidency in 1969, the Republicans embarked on a 40 year campaign to paint the Democrats as weak, hostile to religion, traitorous, cowardly, and unpatriotic.  In truth, the Right has ALWAYS hated progressives, has ALWAYS called them traitors, has ALWAYS called them anti-American. What we are seeing now is simply the culmination of decades of vile Right-wing lies and hatred. The truth of the matter is startlingly simple: 

It is American conservatism that is the cancer on this country. It is the conservatives who have been killing America. It is the conservatives who are the threat to America's future--not us. 

Yes, the current insanity is particularly virulent, but it should not have been unexpected. You see, the Right wing has been engaged in a non-stop Hate Campaign for a long time. We shouldn't be surprised at the crude, ludicrous depths to which it has descended.

By the way, it you want a tragic but typical example of the searing damage this environment of Right-wing lies and fear has produced, check Eric Alterman's page here. It will make you sad--and it will open your eyes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is the Republican Party Dying?

Man, I hope so. Any party that is as deeply in the grasp of bigots, pinheads, and out and out enemies of ordinary working people as the Republican leadership is deserves to go the way of the Whigs and Federalists.

Not to mention the Know Nothings. But I repeat myself.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Scum Also Rises

Hate-filled racist cretins are coming out of the woodwork like crazy since Barack Obama won his decisive victory two weeks ago. The Christian Science Monitor has the story here. Excerpt:


The election of America's first black president has triggered more than 200 hate-related incidents, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center – a record in modern presidential elections. Moreover, the white nationalist movement, bemoaning an election that confirmed voters' comfort with a multiracial demography, expects Mr. Obama's election to be a potent recruiting tool – one that watchdog groups warn could give new impetus to a mostly defanged fringe element.

Most election-related threats have so far been little more than juvenile pranks. But the political marginalization of certain Southern whites, economic distress in rural areas, and a White House occupant who symbolizes a multiethnic United States could combine to produce a backlash against what some have heralded as the dawn of a postracial America. In some parts of the South, there's even talk of secession...

...postelection, at least two white nationalist websites – Stormfront and the Council of Conservative Citizens – report their servers have crashed because of heavy traffic. The League of the South, a secessionist group, says Web hits jumped from 50,000 a month to 300,000 since Nov. 4, and its phones are ringing off the hook
.

My God, when, when, WHEN are these people ever going to change? When? 

No Punishment WHATSOEVER for Lieberman

Senate Democrats voted heavily to allow Joe Lieberman to maintain his Homeland Security chairmanship, despite Lieberman's vile, ugly rhetoric in support of John McCain.

Hey loyal Obama supporters! Hey liberals and progressives, the people who make up the most loyal core of the Democratic Party! The Senate Democrats have a message for you: Go to hell.
Kissing Joe Lieberman's ass trumps everything else.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The ACTUAL Cost of the Bailouts: $4.3 Trillion

Not the $700 billion figure bandied about by everybody, it seems. CNBC has the goods here:

That's $4,284,500,000,000 and more than what was spent on WW II, if adjusted for inflation, based on our computations from a variety of estimates and sources.

I think it was the World War II comparison that caught my eye.

Ho-lee Crap.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Joe Lieberman: Lying, Two-Faced, SOB

Just in case my position isn't clear.




And there are Democrats who want this bastard to KEEP his committee chairmanship? My God, talk about Battered Spouse Syndrome.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lieberman ACTUALLY Thinks He Has a Right to Be a Chairman?

Party traitor Joe Lieberman says that he must be given back his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee in the Senate or he will leave the Democratic caucus. This from a guy who threw every piece of garbage at Barack Obama he could think of. He campaigned for McCain, for G-d's sake! This SOB is actually negotiating, even DEMANDING.

Screw him. Strip him of his chairmanship. If he walks, good riddance.



And Rachel Maddow puts in her two cents:


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No, the Far Right Isn't Going to Settle Down

In fact, they're going to get more demented than ever. Bob Cesca is on the case:


Intellectual violence. While not a new term, it perfectly defines what we're seeing now: accusations and smears that so severely confound logic they literally attack -- violate -- reality and the human intellect. It's like a berkzerker dervish of argumentative elbows and fists indiscriminately flailing around, thwacking anything in its orbit, so much so that constructing a counterpoint is literally painful, "Why the hell am I trying to debunk this?! Ow! My head. Aw hell, I need a drink."

There is also a Facebook group demanding Obama's impeachment. Already. Two months before he becomes president.

Here's to the "Loyal" Opposition. They intend to be even more aggressively stupid, dishonest, vicious, and morally repellent than they were in the 1990s. And that is no small feat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On Veterans Day 2008

I would like to lend my small voice to the chorus of those expressing gratitude to our veterans on this day.  There is nothing our country should not do for them, because they were willing to do everything for us. 

By the way, we are down to our last World War I veteran, and the World War II veterans are passing away at the rate of 1,000 a day. Once they are gone, our last living ties to these conflicts will be gone forever, and that's a sobering thing to consider.

God bless the veterans, and may the day finally come when the scourge of war passes away from us forever.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Tale of Two Presidencies

Check out the contrast between the incoming Obama and the outgoing Bush here. Bush is more unpopular than Nixon was on the day the latter resigned from office.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Reflections on the 2008 Election

The 2008 election was certainly the most momentous of my lifetime, and I include in that estimate the crucial 1968 election that began the era of Republican domination of the presidency. I've been thinking a lot about what happened, and I'd like to share some of those thoughts with you here.

1. Nationally, the Democratic Party is in the Ascendancy

Obama will end up with almost 53% of the vote, according to my calculation, once all of the early and absentee votes on the west coast are accounted for. McCain will end up with about 46%. Obama received a higher share of the vote than any Democrat has since Lyndon Johnson's epic 61% share in 1964. While Obama's popular vote margin falls somewhat short of true landslide status (a margin of 10 is generally considered the threshold), his victory was still decisive. Moreover, for the Democrats there are very heartening trends, and for the Republicans there are very ominous ones.

According to CNN's exit polls, the following picture has emerged:

Voters aged 18-24 went for Obama 68-30
Voters aged 24-29 went for Obama 69-29.
First time voters went for Obama 72-27 (!)

Studies show that people often retain voting habits acquired in their late teens and early to mid 20s. While many people switch their allegiances later, still it must be said that the Democrats look to be in good shape among the cohort of voters who are in their young adulthood now, and this bodes well for the future of the Democratic Party. McCain prevailed in only one age group: voters 65 and older, 54-44.

Moreover, consider the ethnic composition of the United States in 2050. You can get a good sense of it, perhaps, by looking at California now. And the Republicans have to see long-term disaster looming if that is indeed the case. All of the growing categories are going Democratic.

Again, according to CNN:

African American voters went for Obama 96-3.
Latinos went for Obama 67-30.
Asian voters went to Obama 63-34

In religious affiliation, according to MSNBC, Obama won among Catholics (54-45), Jews (78-21), those of other faiths (73-22), and those of no particular faith (75-23). McCain prevailed by 54-45 among Protestants/Other Christians (although I'm unsure how MSNBC is defining this category.) In gender, Obama prevailed heavily among women. In education, Obama won heavily among those who have done post-grad work and narrowly among all those with a college degree. Obama also won city dwellers AND suburbanites. In short, the Democrats are in a strong position to consolidate the gains they made nationally.

Obama flipped the following states won by Bush in 2004: Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. (He may yet win Missouri or even Georgia, but the chances are admittedly slim.) His victories in Indiana and Virginia are the first for a Democrat since 1964. Obama ran unusually strongly for a Democrat in the Dakotas and Montana, and he won a respectable 44% in Texas and 45% in South Carolina. Obama crushed McCain in Illinois and California by higher percentages than LBJ won over Goldwater in '64.

In fact, if you look at the numbers carefully, there are 21 states in the U.S. with 10 or more electoral votes, what we might call "big states". Obama carried 16 of them. In fact, thanks to Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, states such as Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Arizona, and even Alaska will be competitive next time.

And check this out: The Democratic Party's candidate has now won the popular vote in 4 out of the last 5 national elections.

Finally, the Democratic Party is now led by a man who raised more money from more contributors than anyone in history, and who assembled the greatest get-out-the-vote operation ever seen. In 2010 and 2012 the Democrats will have these vast resources at their service again.


Oh, and in case I forget: In the last two years, the Republicans have now lost about 57 seats in the House; their losses in the Senate, pending recounts, are potentially 15 seats.


2. The Republican Party is Becoming a Regional Party

For all intents and purposes, the Republican Party has ceased to exist in the northeast. Obama swept the region with 61% of the vote. In fact, over the last five elections, the Republicans have carried a state in the region ONCE--New Hampshire in 2000. Democrats have carried states in the region FIFTY-FOUR TIMES. (And I'm not even counting DC, which is an automatic win for the Democrats.) Obama ran 1,800,000 votes ahead of McCain in the region's biggest state, New York. Congressionally, the 2008 election was a virtual wipeout for the Republicans in the northeast. Out of 22 U.S. Representatives in New England, none is a Republican. Out of 29 House seats in New York, only 3 are Republican. In fact, out of 92 House members in the area, the Democrats now hold a 75-17 advantage. (!) In the Senate, come January, only 4 of the region's 22 Senators will be Republicans. And 8 out of 11 governors in the northeast are Democrats. In short, the GOP has been virtually eliminated in one of the major regions of the country.

In fact, the Republicans are now really only the party of the Deep South. Seven of the party's 21 governors are southern. The GOP's Senate and House membership is increasingly southern (almost half their Senators come from the South.) McCain carried 22 states; 11 of them are southern. McCain will probably end up with 173 electoral votes; 118 were from the South. Obama won the electoral votes of the non-southern states 309 to 55! And this map is almost startling. It shows the counties where the Republicans increased their share of the vote from 2004 to 2008:






In short, the Republican Party is increasingly the Southern Party. The Republicans are no longer competitive in the northeast, as we have seen, but they also face bleak prospects for the foreseeable future in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, and the entire West Coast.

The Republicans are increasingly the party of older, less educated, less affluent, somewhat reactionary white Protestants. Considering the direction this country is going in demographically, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

3. Fox "News" and Right Wing Hate Radio Have Poisoned the Minds of Millions of People Against Obama

Every hideous lie imaginable was thrown at Obama during the campaign--baby killer, Marxist, Communist, Socialist, anti-Semite, anti-white, you name it. There are actually people today who are terrified of Obama because they think he is going to terrorize and imprison whites! (One of them was telling this to G. Gordon Liddy on the radio yesterday. And he seemed to agree!) Many are convinced Obama is going to confiscate their wealth and establish an anti-Christian state in America, complete with Islamic Law! And where did such insane sickness come from? From the frothing lies of Fox "News" and right wing psychopaths such as Coulter, Hannity, Beck, Liddy, Savage, Michael Reagan, Limbaugh, and all of the other far-right sewer rats. This will be one of Obama's most crucial challenges: how to reassure and conciliate those who are literally frightened to death by him and what they imagine he will do. These people will form the passionate, crazed core of the opposition to him, and they will attack him relentlessly. Some may even attempt to do violence to him. This is the outcome of 40 years of right-wing hatred and slander directed at the Democrats--a segment of the population that is thoroughly mentally unhinged at the thought of a black progressive president. Dealing with these wounded people will not be easy.

4. The selection of Sarah Palin as a candidate for Vice President was one of the most irresponsible acts in American political history.

Only now, after the election, are we hearing the truth about the full extent of Palin's shocking ignorance, dishonesty, and instability. People inside the McCain campaign have come forward to tell us that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent instead of a country, that she lacked a basic understanding of how the U.S. government even works, that she in fact knew virtually nothing about any major issue at all. Naturally, the question arises:

Why in the hell did McCain choose her to be potentially one heartbeat away from the presidency??

Palin's selection was an absolute outrage. Many talented and capable Republicans were passed over in favor of her. How dare the McCain campaign put this nation in that kind of danger!

5. Barack Obama will not be able to fix everything right away--or even in eight years.

Obama's supporters are almost euphoric about his election, and with good reason. The choice of this spectacularly intelligent, thoughtful, competent, and talented man to be our new leader is electrifying. He will be a 180 degree contrast to the miserable failure that preceded him. But we have to be realistic and sober in our expectations. The economic, foreign, and social problems the United States faces are so severe that Obama will be tested more than any other president since FDR. He will make mistakes; he will sometimes anger us; he will sometimes fall short. But given his ability, his team, and a cooperative Congress, I am feeling a hope that I have not had for eight long, dark years. In fact, I feel as if my whole body and soul have unclenched and relaxed. On 20 January 2009, I am once again going to be proud of my president.


6. The struggle is not over.

The whole apparatus of right wing hate propaganda is still in place. The hard right conservatives will try to undermine Obama at every turn, and the liars of the radical right will try to destroy him the way they nearly destroyed Bill Clinton. But they will find out that this isn't the 1990s. A mighty Liberal/Progressive/Democratic Netroots organization has arisen to fight back against the tide of sewage being generated by the Right Wing Noise Machine. The radical right wingers think they're going to push us around again. They're wrong. We in the Progressive Netroots are STRONG. We are UNITED. We are FIERCELY DETERMINED. And whenever our political enemies go after President Obama, we'll be able to say this, loudly and proudly:

DON'T WORRY, MR. PRESIDENT--WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wow! Over 125,000 Gather to See President-Elect Obama


From icebergslim on DKos. (Click for bigger image).

VICTORY

Not just for a party, not just for an individual, but for ALL of the American people. This is a great night for hope, for change, and for our future as a nation. Congratulations, President-Elect Barack Obama!!

Why You Should Vote for Obama and Biden Today









VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN!

VOTE DEMOCRATIC FROM TOP TO BOTTOM!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Palin Was the Final Insult

The history of social conservatism in America is, in large part, a shameful and disgraceful one. It was social conservatives who demanded the protection of slavery in the new Constitution. It was social conservatives who helped tear America apart prior to the Civil War by their fanatical opposition to anything that would restrict slavery’s expansion. Social conservatives were the core of the viciously anti-immigrant Know Nothings in the 1850s. It was social conservatives who flocked to the Confederate cause during the war, and it was social conservatives who maintained the monstrous Jim Crow system of neo-slavery in the Deep South (and elsewhere). Social conservatives formed the post-Civil War southern church movement, based on the sentiment that the wrong side had won the Civil War. Social conservatives have, at various times, opposed votes for women, votes for African-Americans, the abolition of child labor, the end of segregation, tolerance of Jews, equality for gays, equal pay for women, biracial marriage, unions, minimum wage laws, workplace safety standards, health care for the poor, reproductive rights (including the right to birth control), the teaching of science in science classes, and environmental protection. Social conservatives were the core of the Klan revival in the 1920s. They were the howling supporters of the lynch mobs from the 1890s to the 1960s. They were Joe McCarthy’s worshippers. They were the George Wallace fans and the core of the White Backlash. They loved Jesse Helms.

 In short, on almost every issue, they have taken the most morally bankrupt stance. They are the enemies of rational thought, the enemies of science, and believers in a religiosity that borders on irrational fanaticism. Many are hoping for the literal end of the world and the physical destruction of the vast majority of the human race. The modern Republican Party has cynically used these people, but it has not let them actually govern.

 Until now. The nomination of Sarah Palin, pushed by the most brutally radical sections of the Republican Party, represents the triumph of the Kristol-Coulter-Limbaugh-Hannity branch of the Party, what I like to call the Timothy McVeigh wing of the Republicans. Palin is the final product of the long and vile history of American social conservatism. She represents the final insult to the rest of the American people, and as such, it is her malign influence that has the Republicans on the brink of a well-deserved defeat. Everything about the way Palin has been marketed is a slap in the face to every rational man or woman in America.

 We were told that being the mayor of a tiny Alaska town (one in which the city manager did the actual work) represented “executive experience”.

 We were told that proximity to Russia= foreign affairs experience.

 We were told that Palin is the “foremost energy expert in America”, a grotesque, laughable falsehood.

Palin believes in demons and witchcraft. Her church believes Alaska will be the End Times sanctuary. Her church believes all Jews will either be converted or exterminated soon. She thinks the Bible is literally true. She believes in “spiritual warfare”. Her views are so extreme that even most Christians are appalled by them. Yet we were not allowed to question her.

 Palin and her husband have played footsie with a group of traitorous Alaskan secessionists, a group founded by a man so hatefully anti-American as to beggar belief.

 Palin considers the John Birch Society to be too liberal and considers progressive income taxation to be “socialism”.

She has an understanding of American government comparable to that of a fourth grader.

She knows nothing about any national or international issue. She is a half-educated ignoramus who thinks dinosaurs and humans lived together and that the earth is 7,000 years old. She is willing to block abortions even for the physically and emotionally shattered victims of rapists, and for 13 year old girls molested and impregnated by their own fathers.

She cannot give a coherent answer to any serious question and, alone in modern political history, she has never been allowed to give a press conference. Her medical records were also embargoed for no apparent reason.

Her administration in Alaska has been fraught with corruption and petty favoritism for her friends and supporters.

Oh, and she lies. Incessantly. Insistently. Repeatedly. About everything.  She throws every smear and slander against her opponents gleefully, revealing an ugliness of spirit that is repulsive. And her hypocrisy knows no bounds whatsoever, as she crows about being against earmarks while governing a state that gets more federal dollars per capita than any other.

In short, she is the sum total and epitome of everything modern American social conservatism stands for—Christianism instead of Christianity, proud ignorance, right wing fanaticism, bigotry of the most vicious kind, contempt for science, contempt for reason, contempt for our democratic republic, and  nauseating, self-righteous hypocrisy and moral fraud. She is wildly popular among the small minority of Americans that the social conservatives, despite their lying propaganda to the contrary, actually are. To the rest of us, she is an insult to our intelligence and our common sense. She, more than any other factor, has helped expose the Republican Party for the intellectually bankrupt shell that it has become. And after her defeat tomorrow, the Republicans will say that they lost because they weren’t conservative enough, and that they should have let Sarah be Sarah.

And the Palinization of the Republican Party will accelerate, as will the irrelevance of the party itself.

A nation’s people can only be insulted for so long. After repeated assaults on their intellects and sensibilities, they will rise up in huge numbers and thunder out, as our great nominee did in August, the following declaration of independence:

ENOUGH.

And tomorrow, their voices will be heard loudly and clearly.

Yes. We. Can