One thing is clear, you really seriously don't know much about us "Not Real" Americans, but we know plenty about you considering how much the Media fawns over your every minor comment and tweet. And of course there's your new book and Manifesto "America By Heart".
Extended Excerpts from ABCNews.
Take a seat, get a Coffee, this is going to take awhile to get all this off my chest.
Before we begin let set some facts straight. When you're railing about the "Left Coast" and those progressive who just want to sit on their laurels for a hand-out let's just remember which states are actually doing most of the financial providing in this country.
Map of Federal Tax Donor and Begger States:
It seems to me that it's us on the West Coast with our innovation and entrepreneurial Silicon Valley, our California Bread Basket and Entertainment Industry (Where America Ranks #1 in World Wide Exports), as well as the Financial Sectors on the East Coast that are all DONOR States for Federal Taxes which are raked in by the "Heartland" in Farming Subsidies and other largess.
So when it comes to being American Entrepreneurs, we don't just talk about it - We Do It. Unlike Alaska who for all their Frontier Spirit are all individually paid a Government (Welfare) Stipend of between $600 and $1500 every year, we have to make it on our own.
But somehow Obama is the one attempting to Redistribute Wealth by putting the tax code back to where it was when we had a booming economy and budget surplus?
We on the Progressives and Left side, not being all that afraid of the "Book Learnin'" or the Google Search are well aware that You Didn't say "'Thanks, but No thanks' to the Bridge to Nowhere". Congress Did that - but You and Alaska still took the money anyway.
In your book you talk about your favorite movies such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while railing that Hollywood wouldn't make such a movie today.
Call it corny, but Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies. It's a movie about hope. It's a movie about good triumphing over evil and idealism defeating cynicism. Most of all, it's a movie about the timeless truths of America handed down to us from our forefathers and foremothers. In other words, it's a movie Hollywood would never make today.
In case you've forgotten, Mr. Smith is about an American Everyman, Jefferson Smith, who goes to Washington to fill the Senate seat of a corrupt senator who died in office. The political machine chooses Smith because he is an ordinary man, a nonpolitician, and they think they can control him. But he holds fast to his ideals—the ideals of the American founding—and eventually defeats the machine. The movie was made in 1939, but its message is timeless: there may be corruption in politics, but it can be overcome by decent men and women who honor America's founding principles, the way the American people do.
Want an example of recent successful uplifting Hollywood film that pits a lowly underdog against the powerful corrupt Government? Try Fair Game featuting Mr. and Mrs. Wilson which has an 83% Rotten Tomatoes Rating. You say Hollywood is afraid to make our soldiers look like heros in movies like Green Zone, except that Matt Damon IS the Hero - while still managing to be a soldier. And did you forget a minor little Academy Award Winner like "The Hurt Locker"?
Here's a Newsflash: Mr. Smith was trying to get an Earmark. He wanted to spend government money on some needy people, orphans, instead of having the money spent on business interests. He was doing something very much like Trying to Get Health Care for 9/11 First Responders. Of course, if you only watch Fox News you would think it was the Democrats who stopped that bill - but the truth is that our real life Mr Smith is Senator Bernie Sanders who railed against giveaways to corporate fat-cats for eight hours, not Senator Jim Bunning who blocked much needed unemployment relief while whining that he's just missed a Basketball game. Also the film's "Smith" wasn't just an "everyman" he was a beginner, a Freshman - arguably if he'd been more experienced he might have gotten exactly what he wanted without all the drama, more like Charlie Wilson's War.
You do know that Eddie Murphy essentially remade "Mr Smith" over a decade ago with The Distinguished Gentleman??, Also - Right?
But to you it seems, the ideals and drama count for far more than the facts.
Jefferson Smith loves the words of the Declaration of Independence, not because he's mindlessly pro-American, but because, as he says, "behind them, they . . . have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little lookin' out for the other fella, too." He understands that those words are a gift, not just to Americans, but to all humanity. But that gift is being corrupted by special interests and forgotten by Washington.
That's what I think so many of the people who make the big laws, run the big corporations, write for the big newspapers, and make the big movies today have forgotten. Americans love this country because it means something, and it has since the beginning. That meaning, many of us feel, is being lost today.
First of all, most of us in Blue Donor America haven't forgotten any of that. We don't all personally "make big laws, run big corporations, write for big papers or make big movies" - although we may work with people who do, or they may be part of our families - we still continue to believe in those ideals, and further we try to live by those ideals in order to prove, not just assume, that America does indeed mean something. We believe that America stands for Justice. That means Justice for all persons regardless of race, sex, religion, orientation, or the circumstances of their arrival on these American shores. It means that the power of the Government should not only be used to Kill people, but also to Save Them.
But apparently those ideals are not what you truly believe.
When Dr. Laura berated a Black Woman on the Air for being "Oversensitive" and used the N-Word with her 12 times - you told her not to "Retreat, but to Reload". You think her N-Word Bandoleer needed a Refill? When Rahm Emmanuel said that the ideas of some progressives were "F-ing Retarded", you claimed he should resign and apologize for attacking Your Son Trig, who to my knowledge has never advocated any Progressive Policies.
"Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the "N-word" or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,"
Any public figure, except for Dr. Laura it would seem.
Then when Rush Limbaugh actually did call Progressives themselves "Retarded People" - you defended him while proclaiming...
"They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh," she said, when read a quote of Limbaugh calling liberal groups "retards." Rush Limbaugh was using satire...
Yes, Rush is great big comedian who should be excused for using satire - but apparently David Letterman isn't and shouldn't get an inch of slack because he can't tell one Palin daughter from the other.
But of course Franklin Graham deserves all the benefit of doubt, even though he'd said "Islam is a very evil and wicked religion, " you criticized his being dis-invited to the Pentagon's National Day Of Prayer.
"Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can't abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith?" Palin asked. "What a shame. Yes, things have changed."
Yes, it is a shame. Especially when Franklin went on to claim that Obama was born with a "Muslim Seed" - even though as a point of fact, his father was an Athiest.
You were also the one who thought it was politically convenient to say that Obama "Palled Around with a domestic Terrorist", except that the man you were talking about has never been tried or convicted of any violent crime . Ever. Thanks to COINTELPRO. As a result there's no legal reason NOT to "pal around with him", meanwhile you pal around with Glenn Beck while one of his supporters got into a shootout with police on his way to Murder members of the ACLU and Tides Foundation. How Domestic Terrorist-Adjacent of you.
When David Brock stepped forward and asked you to condemn the Bomb Threats against NPR for the firing of Juan Williams you laughed at him. So okay, you're not responsible for your choice of pals like Beck or other Fox Contributors like Bernard Goldberg whom admitted Murderers have credited for their inspiration, and even though G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North appear on Fox News everyone else there isn't responsible for Watergate or Iran-Contra but somehow Barack Obama is responsible for what Bill Ayers wasn't prosecuted for almost 40 years ago when he was 8-years-old?
That thinking isn't Fair or Balanced.
As a result of this an other KOOKY and/or MEAN politically opportunistic statements of yours - we progressives aren't your biggest fans, but I guess you know that. In fact, I'm sure of it. You seem to thrive on it. Swat the Liberal seems to be your favorite game.
But the point here is (most of us) don't HATE you. Most of us think you're embarrassing, hilarious and ridiculous, some may think you're dangerous to the nation and a Serial Fact-Mangler - some of may resent being repeated called some Lesser Form of American - but for those outside Alaska who you haven't done anything to personally, there's no reason to really Hate. However it seems pretty clear that You May Hate Us.
The epitome of progressive thinking was Barack Obama's promise, just before the 2008 election, that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." I guess you could say he warned us! But the problem is that Americans don't want a fundamental transformation of their country. Americans are awakening to the fact that, of course our country has changed a great deal since it was born, but our Founders hit on some timeless truths that will never change and should never change. More and more of us view our founding truths as a bulwark, not just against bigger government, but against losing that fundamental sense of decency that Senator Smith fought for. If we forget these truths—or reject that they are timeless—we lose something fundamental about ourselves. No, "transformation" won't save America; "restoration" of our honor, dignity, and freedoms will save America.
Here's another Newsflash: Obama isn't a Progressive - he's a Pragmatist and a Centrist. The America he was talking about was one that would reach across the political and partisan divide to accomplish BIG THINGS in the name of Nationalism and Patriotism. He was expressing a fervent Hope that America could come together and succeed as a Team, not as a rag-tag band of petty rivals.
It's always true that a team working together can accomplish far more than any single individual working alone. You ought to know that from your Basketball days Miss Barracuda.
Rugged Individualism is great, fine and often necessary - particularly if you're playing Checkers or Table Tennis - but in the real world, what really works is Teamwork, especially when we as a nation are in competition with other nations who certainly will not hesitate to commit their national resources to beat our team technologically and economically. America is hardly number #1 in anything anymore, except as I said exporting films, and building mountains of debt.
Some problems exist on a scale and scope that is far too broad for single separate individuals to address, and simply because groups (either industry or government) attempt to address the problem it does not mean that "individual freedom is diminished". It means the problem gets fixed. I have yet to see a single individual build an Aqueduct, Interstate Highway System, or Space Program. Big jobs and big problems require big teams to tackle. To me, and many progressives, whether they are public or private teams is largely besides the point as long as there's a minimum of graft and price gouging.
No, it's clear you don't have the first clue about what Progressivism is, nor do you seem to care.
It's worth asking: Who are the real "progressives" in America today? As President Coolidge said, to deny the principles of our founding isn't to go forward (to "progress") but to go "backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people."
Those who run down American values and think our founding principles are somehow intolerant or theocratic have it exactly backward. The words of the Declaration of Independence, brought to life in the words of the Constitution, are the most liberating, most human-rights- respecting words ever written. They assert the moral and political equality of all men and women, no matter who their parents are or how much money they have. What could be more "progressive" than that?
On this we would agree, the words of the Declaration of Independence ARE Progressive. Very Progressive. In fact, America is Progressive by design and in it's creation. The crux of the problem has been with America's Failure to actually Live up to those Ideals.
Words are one thing, Actions are another. Fulfulling Americas promise requires more than being a flag waving Cheer-leader, it requires getting things done. Difficult things. Things that just might piss some people off.
Take the recent health care debate as an example. The folks pushing President Obama's government health care bill seemed to think that we could be bought. But when we say we believe that our rights are God-given it means something.
Those words in the Declaration of Independence mean that our rights are sacred; government can't legitimately violate them or add to them. The proponents of government health care didn't seem to think that Americans understood this principle—or, if we understood it, we didn't really mean it. They seemed to think we could be bribed by pie-in- the-sky promises; that we were gullible enough to believe that government could manufacture a new "right" to health care and we wouldn't pay the price with our freedom, such as our freedom to keep what we earn, to choose our own doctor, and to buy—or not buy—health insurance.
Basic facts, the Declaration of Independence isn't the Constitution and the Constitution can be added to and changed. This is something that Conservatives never seem to get right. They seem to read the Preamble, about half the First Amendment, 2/3rds of the Second Amendment then Skip to the Tenth Amendment and miss everything else in between. Particularly the Ninth Amendment which says this...
Amendment IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The Rights of the People are indeed Sacrosanct, but the Constitution is not a Laundry List of those rights, rather it is a list of responsibilities, powers and limits on Government.
Part of those responsibilities includes "Providing for the Common Defense and General Welfare of the People" through all "Necessary and Appropriate" means. That may mean Defending the Nation from an Invading Army or an Invading Disease.
Our private Health Care system has massively failed the American people, it is now absolutely necessary and appropriate for Government to take a role in correcting that problem in order to provide for the Common Defense of the people.
Just as our Second President and Founding Father John Adam's determined when he signed the First Health Care Mandate into law 212 Years Ago
In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase health care insurance.
This legislation also created America's first payroll tax, as a ship's owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor's monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship's captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.
So is Obama violating the Principles and Ideals of our Founding Fathers or is he Implementing Them when they've gone ignored for so long?
Apparently you don't think that Americans really should be protected from all that will harm, kill or maim them - even when they've already done their best to protect themselves.
They were wrong, and for proof you don't have to look any further than the shameful way in which Obamacare was written and passed. It was written in secret, behind closed doors, far from the promised C-SPAN cameras. And it wasn't long before we found out why: To win the support of nervous politicians, President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to resort to trading pork in the bill for votes, cutting sleazy deals behind closed doors like the infamous "Louisiana Purchase" (in which a Louisiana senator's vote for the bill was secured in exchange for $300 million in extras for that state) and the "Cornhusker Kickback" (in which a Nebraska senator's vote was secured in a similar fashion). Not only that, but to pass the bill, congressional Democrats had to resort to all kinds of legislative shenanigans to avoid an up-or- down vote. At one point, Speaker Pelosi told a national audience that we'd have to pass the bill to "find out what's in it." She even hatched a plan to pass the bill without the House ever actually voting on it!
And why? Because the support in Congress wasn't there. And the support in Congress wasn't there because public support wasn't there.
You mean C-Span Cameras like these?
First of all, cutting deals and making concessions are always how Congressional Bills are made and always how they will be made. Secondly, the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" was removed from the bill using the "legislative shenanigan" of Reconciliation. Nancy Pelosi didn't actually USE "Deem and Pass" to assume the Senate Version of the bill as already passed through the house. And lastly, all the polls showed that the American People wanted and support Health Care Reform - only that the majority actually wanted Even Stronger reform than was ultimately passed, not weaker.
It was the lack of Stronger Reform that Depressed Democratic Turning this November, not the passage of Health Reform in general.
At President Obama’s recent health care summit, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans breathlessly touted an “average” of recent public polls showing large majorities opposing health care reform. McConnell’s polling average was dubious to begin with, but he was also getting well ahead of himself.[i] In fact, a flurry of recent polls show support for health care reform slowly but surely on the rise. A new survey from The Economist/YouGov released yesterday shows majority supporting passage of reform for the first time since December.[ii] Moreover, recent polls that dig deeper than the topline numbers demonstrate even more support for passage of reform, with the most recent Ipsos survey showing a majority of Americans either supporting the current reform option or hoping for an even stronger reform package.
In this case yet again, it was Democrats who were at least trying to fight against the Fat Cats of the Big Insurance Industry who've been gouging and denying care to 50 Million Americans, leaving them like Mr. Smith's Orphans out in the cold, where an estimated 45,000 of them DIE every year. (Most) Democrats were fighting to help them, while Republicans (and some Democrats) were blocking and fighting to help the Fat Cats.
Still, the bill was passed and the damage has been done. In the end, this unsustainable bill jeopardizes the very thing it was supposed to fix: our health care system. Somewhere along the way we forgot that health care reform is about doctors and patients, not the IRS and politicians. Instead of helping doctors with tort reform, this bill has made primary care physicians think about getting out of medicine. It was supposed to make health care more affordable, but our premiums will continue to go up. It was supposed to help more people get coverage, but there will still be twenty-three million uninsured people by 2019.
There are 50 Million Americans uninsured now, so "leaving 23 million Uninsured" is frankly a vast improvement - one that "Tort Reform" has shown no evidence of correcting. There's nothing in this alternative that addresses Pre-Existing Conditions, nothing that addresses better Preventive Measures or greater efficiencies to bring down costs, nothing that increases access to Medicaid or Local Clinics. Nothing that solves the problem of price gouging by Big Insurance and Big Pharma.
But of course the real issue of the Health Care Debate wasn't the facts - it was the "Race Card" being played.
The worst thing you can say about a fellow American in politics today is that he is a racist. It just doesn't get any more damning than this accusation. That's why so many of us were horrified to hear news reports that people protesting the passage of the health care bill had shouted racial epithets at an African American congressmen as they walked to the Capitol to cast their vote. It was a serious charge, made by supposedly serious men, and repeated endlessly in the mainstream media. At a critical moment in the debate, it overshadowed all the arguments that opponents of Obamacare had made—that the bill would put government in control of our health care, cost too much, and explode the deficit. The racism charge painted opponents of the law with the lowest form of hate, not the best interests of their country or their neighbor.
But was it true? Despite the fact that everyone walks around these days with a cell phone capable of capturing video, evidence to support the charge has never emerged. In the weeks and months after the alleged incident, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart even offered huge cash rewards to anyone who could produce proof that the health care protesters had shouted racial slurs. No proof ever emerged.
The arguments that the Health Care Bill would "Explode the Deficit" were baseless - since the CBO had repeatedly Scored that it would REDUCE THE DEFICIT by $132 Billion - so that issued drowned itself out by simply being a Lie.
You say no "Proof" has emerged? Here's proof of Tea Party Bigotry right here from John Lewis's answering Machine.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: I ain‘t getting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) health insurance, that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Don‘t tell me I got to get some (EXPLETIVE DELETED) health insurance. I ain‘t paying no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) a fine. Tell that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) he can come put my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in jail if he don‘t like it. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) worthless (EXPLETIVE DELETED), all them other (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that voted for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Obama and all them white trash honkies that voted for that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) communist socialist stuff. Dumb mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
I ain‘t getting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mandatory health insurance son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bunch of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) white trash honkies, son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) communists voting for this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
I ain‘t going to fight no (EXPLETIVE DELETED) war, I‘m not going to be forced to do something I don‘t want to do. So (EXPLETIVE DELETED) all y‘all (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You, John Lewis, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) worthless, communist (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Also what's the excuse for Barnie Frank being called "Faggot" in the Halls of Congress because that was caught on Video, not just on Audio like the N-Word-athon above? What? Is "N**ger" a bridge to nowhere too far for you, but "Faggot" is just Okey Doke?
Brietbart was Wrong about Acorn, and Wrong about Shirley Sherrod - he was also wrong about the N-Word (and F-Word) used against Congressional Democrats as the Health Care Bill was passed because there were Eye-Witnesses to the Event.
Despite all the protestations, the facts show that Tea Party Conservatives really are Far more Racially Biased than almost anyone else.
In a broad study of adults in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and California conducted between February and March, the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Sexuality (WISER) asked a number of questions about "racial resentment" — such as whether blacks don’t try hard enough or have gotten more than they deserve. Conservatives are 23 percent more likely to be racially resentful, and Republicans 15 percent more likely than Democrats. However, the institute found that this racial sentiment isn’t simply a byproduct of white conservativism:
[E]ven as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment.
It is untrue, as political commentator Dave Weigel argues, that racism in the Tea Party is merely reflective of its conservatism. The WISER study found that compared to other conservatives, Tea Party supporters are:
– 25 percent more likely to have racial resentment.
– 27 percent more likely to support racial profiling.
– 28 percent more likely to support indefinite detention without charges.
Tea Party supporters are also significantly more likely to hold racial stereotypes, with a majority believing blacks are not hard-working, intelligent, or trustworthy. Their fear of others transcends race, however — the WISER study found that a majority of tea party adherents distrust Latinos, Asians, and other whites as well.
Now, I don't point this out to Smear Conservatives in general. Any individual within any particular group may or may not subscribe to any of these biases, including Progressives. Nobody and no broad group is perfect. This is just looking at the general trend - y'know - kinda like a PROFILE, which is something You seem to Support when you don't think you're going to be on the receiving end of it.
It's also interesting that you don't seem all that shy yourself (even if it is the worst thing you can say about someone politically) to accuse others of Racism when it suits your purposes.
People like Reverend Wright.
The second reason the charge of racism is leveled at patriotic Americans so often is that the people making the charge actually believe it. They think America—at least America as it currently exists—is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country. Barack Obama seems to believe this, too. Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband starting winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people.
So the Real Racist is Reverend Wright, eh - whatever happened to letting a "Christian Minister have his views?" Amazing that you dredge up this old argument, yet here it is. For those few rare people who actually bothered to listen to More than just 5 Seconds at a Time of Wright's statements it becomes clear that his larger point was that we should "Trust in God, Not in Governments." That "Governments may Fail us - and have, but that God Does Not". And most importantly, that "Even if God may Condemn, and Damn our actions - he also Forgives and Redeems".
When Wright Said the following was he more out of line than Jerry Falwell's comments blaming 9-11 on God's wrath over the ACLU and Gays - or was he actually making sense?
"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Rev. Wright said it a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.
"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost,"
Is Wright a Racist because he's NOT ENEMIES with Louis Farrakhan, when Farrakhan has said something very much like your pal Franklin ("Islam is Wicked") Graham when he claimed that "Judiasm is a Gutter Religion?" Your friend says "Wicked", his friend says "Gutter" - how's someone supposed to keep up and Refudiate it all?
Would it shock you to know that Wright was actually quoting Reagan Ambassador Edward Peck, and that the basis of his comment is backed up by former CIA Bin Laden Desk Chief Michael Sheuer in his book "Imperial Hubris"?
In the context of the ideas bin Laden shares with his brethren, the military actions of al Qaeda and its allies are acts of war, not terrorism; they are part of a defensive jihad sanctioned by the revealed word of God, as contained in the Koran, and the sayings and traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, the Sunnah. These attacks are meant to advance bin Laden's clear, focused, limited, and widely popular foreign policy goals: the end of U.S. aid to Israel and the ultimate elimination of that state; the removal of U.S. and Western forces from the Arabian Peninsula; the removal of U.S. and Western military forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Muslim lands; the end of U.S. support for the oppression of Muslims by Russia, China, and India; the end of U.S. protection for repressive, apostate Muslim regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, et cetera;
Do you really think former U.S. Marine Jeremiah Wright is a bigot and an Anti-American because he's made claims, based on history and research, that sound a great deal like your own "Death Panel" charges - or do you simply think he's a handy political foil? Fact is, even though he may be a bubble and half off plum, Jeremiah Wright has been just as misquoted and misconstrued as Shirley Sherrod.
Would you like to see some extreme sounding comments from your own Church and Pastor Muthee, about Witchcraft Exploited in this way?
Playing the Wiccan Card really didn't do much for Christine O'Donnell.
Or do you think that taking one isolated event, or comment, and blowing it completely out of proportion and applying it to an entire 20 year history (as the "Lame-Stream Media" is certainly wont to do) is just as completely unfair as taking a small set of horrifically bigoted signs by Tea Partiers and assuming that all Tea Party Members are Bigots?.
That sword cuts both ways Sarah.
But I didn't write this just to go tit-for-tat on the political posturing, or play Quien es Mas Bigoted. The real issue is what our various competing visions of America really entail. For example you say this.
It also makes sense, then, that the man President Obama made his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call us a "nation of cowards" for failing to come to grips with what he described as the persistence of racism.
But at the same time you proclaim that "political correctness" blocks of from addressing sensitive issues and subjects - well - Those are the Same things.
Eric Holder was absolutely correct, America has hidden from it's legacy and failed to courageously address them in a way that could help finally correct it's problem rather than exacerbate them. It's only by having the Courage to confront these issues and challenge our own preconceptions - knowing full well that at least some of them might be true- that we can hope to move anywhere on Race issues. Pretending there are no issues, has let them simply fester unattended for decades, if not centuries.
It's on THIS that we disagree.
Many on the left also believe that the current call for a smaller federal government and a return to federalism—otherwise known as states' rights—is code for a return to white supremacy.
But is it racist to believe in the principles of the American founding? To revere the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights and to invoke the Tenth Amendment? To want leaders and national policies that respect the wisdom and humanity of these documents?
No, it's not. We on the Left remember that it was President Bill Clinton who actually DID shrink the Federal Government by an average of 15%, while improving it's efficiency, bolstering the economy and balancing the budget at the same time. We aren't AGAINST those ideas in principle. But many of us on the left realize that if not for Federal Intervention Slavery would never had ended. If not for Federal Intervention Segregation would never have ended - if not for Federal Intervention the Great Depression would have left us with a permanent underclass, decimated in despair, poverty and sickness - particularly the elderly. Many of us realize, unlike Conservatives who support the traitorous concept of "Nullification", that the Constitutions Supremacy Clause makes Federal Law - the Final Law of the Land.
The States are NOT Supreme under the Law or Constitution, they are not Countries onto themselves. We are United. The Strongest of us, strengthens and supports the weakest to become stronger.
Again you invoke "The Constitution" but you clearly haven't read all of it, only the parts you like (or can exploit). You ignore the 4th Amendment, the 5th Amendment both of which limit Federal Power and protect personal privacy and Liberty, and as I mention before the 9th Amendment which shows that the Constitution is not a LIMIT on the rights of the people, only a limit on the powers of Government.
You seem to have the Constitution confused with the Articles of Confederation which actually did grant supreme power to the individual states and was a complete and total failure. Individual States couldn't have fought and protected the Nation during the War of 1812. Or during any serious conflict from the Spanish American War to World War I or World War II.
But your question is vital and shouldn't be ignored - should the wisdom of the Constitution be respected? Of course.
The answer is important, because it speaks to the kind of country we are, and the kind of country we were meant to be. Did our founding values produce the country of Reverend Jeremiah Wright's rants? A place where African Americans or any minority would be justified in saying, "God damn America," instead of "God Bless America"? Or did our Founders enshrine a set of principles that gave birth to a just society, despite the obscenity of slavery? Did they, in fact, set the stage for the elimination of slavery? Does America really need, in the words of President Obama, a "fundamental transformation" in order to be a good and decent nation?
I would argue that their values did not produce the country or the atrocities that Wright speaks of, but their actions and failures to act did.
Americans can well ask how, in light of these historical facts, the idealistic words of the Declaration are not the words of hypocrites? How can the meaning of the Constitution not be that African Americans were, and were destined to be, considered less human than white Americans in the United States? If you've attended an elite college or even taken a high school history course, you have probably heard the infamous three-fifths clause denounced as evidence that the founding generation was morally blind, thus all of their works are irredeemably tainted, just like that label on the Constitution warned.
Seeing as you never went to such an "Elite College" how exactly would you know what they teach there? You then go on to argue that the ideals of the Constitution were ultimately destined to overthrow it's flaws, such as the 3/5th clause - which you say was really an attempt by the North to diminish the power of the South. Yet, it also reduced their taxes, so it's not fair to argue the South received nothing from the deal.
In this argument you ignore the prohibition on Congress from ending the importation of slaves until 1808. You ignore the Fugitive Slave Clause which required Non-Slave states to enforce and bolster Slave State Laws. You ignore that all of these elements, not just the 3/5th clause led directly to the Dred Scott Decision which stated that the Constitution Simply Did Not Apply to Africans whether they were Slaves or FREE.
Some of us would say that's a rather severe flaw, but the larger issue is that the 14th amendment which removed and was intended to fix all these flaws - also failed to accomplish that task largely because of the Plessy V Ferguson Decision which established Separate and Unequal in 1896 despite the clear equal protection language of the 14th. Yet again, the promise and ideals may have been there - but the actual practice and implementation wasn't, leaving the promise empty and ideals a hollow shell without substance until the 1954 Brown V Board decision.
But do Conservatives openly welcome that correction? No! They instead attacked the nomination of Justice Elena Kagan because she had clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, who had been the victorious lead Attorney in Brown.
To our great and lasting shame, slavery continued in the United States for almost a century following the adoption of the Constitution. Although the controversy never went away, in the end it took the bloodiest war in our nation's history to end the evil practice. Hundreds of thousands of Americans died, but slavery finally died with them. And in an important and overlooked way, our Founders began this painful process.
In other words, when it comes to America, there is a difference between hating the sin and hating the sinner. To acknowledge honestly the stain of past slavery and racism is not the same thing as saying that America is a fundamentally racist country.
Of course it isn't.
The difference between Jeremiah Wright's position and yours is you seem to think Slavery (and Racism) ended with the Civil War and that's simply not true.
In fact, it wasn't even completely ended by the 13th Amendment which has a rather large exception built into it.
Amendment XIII. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
So you tell me did we end slavery, or did we simply transfer it into the Criminal Justice System? Does that not explain why people have color have become targets of law enforcement, particularly for drug crimes, even when they aren't anywhere near the most prevalent users of drugs?
The fact is that the despite the 14th Amendment which promised the "Equal Protection of the Laws" we still had the "Black Codes" and Jim Crow for nearly 100 years. The fact is despite the 15th Amendment which "guaranteed" Blacks the Right to Vote - there were still Poll Taxes and "Literacy Tests" used to deny that right, also for again, nearly 100 Years AFTER the End of the Civil War!!.
How many Centuries are we supposed to wait for America's Ideals to become America's Reality?
The fact is that it takes more than empty platitudes and ideals to protect and preserve the rights of people. It takes Action and a commitment to implement those values even when it's the most difficult thing to do.
Without Action, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act are just empty promises with no real meaning, something that Reagan knew all too well as he did everything he could to dismantle the implementation of them both, leading us to lingering issues such as the Agriculture Dept. Pigford Discrimination Suits.
The repeated failure by conservatives to walk their own talk is easily shown by the fact that they can't find a Conservative Bigot with a GPS, Map, Flashlight and Magnifying glass even when one of them is Running The Tea Party Express. And when any "Liberal" group tries to point it out people - like you Sarah - attack them, and demand they apologize to Mark Williams, the bigot who repeatedly claimed Obama was a "Indonesian Muslim turned Welfare Thug-In-Chief".
I'm sure the NAACP is still waiting for it's apology from you now that Williams and the entire TPE were kicked out of the National Tea party Conference.
You quote and reference Brietbart, but Shirley Sherrod hasn't received a sincere apology from him yet.
You see, Sarah, living up to your ideals sometimes means doing the Right Thing even when that requires going against people on "Your Side" when their wrong.
As a nation, it means we don't give in to the temptation to use Torture to gain a tactical intelligence advantage, especially since it was General George Washington who originally banned it during the Revolutionary War.
It means we don't toss the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments out the window at the first sign of a threat, or a Scary Muslim Multi-faith Prayer Center in Manhattan that also happens to have a 9/11 Memorial inside it.
As Eric Holder said, living by our ideals take Courage, not Fear.
Rather than wishing that America be "Fundamentally Changed" in a manner that somehow violates the Ideals of the Founding Fathers, what Progressives want is for America to Actually have the COURAGE TO LIVE UP TO THOSE IDEALS.
We want to take the American Dream out of the realm of fantasy for so many and into the world of reality.
That requires recognizing that bigotry has not disappeared, that racial, religious, gender and economic injustice continues, it's not just a fading memory of the past. It's not what it used to be, but It all lives on. The facts and the Statistics on this do not Lie.
White Applicants with Criminal Records are more likely to be called back for a second interview then Black Applicants without one, even when all other qualifications are the same.
Black Males with College Degrees are more than twice as likely to be out of Work than thier White Conterparts.
Companies like Wells Fargo were deliberately roping black borrowers (to whom they referred as "mud people") into high-cost loans, targeting them for these instruments, and even falsifying credit histories to make black applicants look like greater risks than they were, so as to justify the scam?
Neither do these pictures, please note all of this happened After Slavery and the one in the upper Right hand Corner was During the 80's.
After all this we had the fascist racial terrorism, shootings, beatings and lynchings of Ron Settles, Yula Love, Rodney King, Johnny Gammage, James Byrd, Abner Louima, Amadour Diallo, the Jena Six, and most recently Oscar Grant.
When exactly did the oppression ever "End" because that's not what I call Over, but neither would I simply say "America is Racist". America Tolerates and Excuses Racism far too easily. It tolerates Injustice far too often.
Just as you would like to argue that it's Not Racist to criticize Health Care Reform, it's also Not Racist for people like Reverend Wright to Criticize America's repeated failure to embody the ideals that it expounds with events such as the Tuskeegee Experiment.
Wright was pillaried for saying AIDS may have been deliberately spread, but it is true that the Reagan Adminstration was shamefully slow in responding to the epidemic contributing to the deaths of thousands, and whether it's origin was indeed manmade is still an open and hotly contested question that various Scientists, including Harvard Researcher Leonard Horowitz have looked into, but we now know that the U.S. Government actually did experiment with Syphilis by deliberately Injecting it into Guatemalan Patients. Isn't that horrible enough?
America can do better than that. It has to be better than that. It can do better than the reflexive and paranoid internment of Japanese during WWII. It can do better than resorting to profiling. It can do better than GITMO and Abu Ghraib. And it seems at times, that you know this too, when it's convenient...
Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution—a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.
My only wish is that President Obama would follow through on this hopeful view of America. To want a better and brighter future for our country does not mean a rejection of our founding or a "fundamental transformation" of who we are. Instead it means following, in part, the wisdom of the most powerful American voice for civil rights of the twentieth century, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Famously, Dr. King called not for a rejection of America's founding principles, but for America to "rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed."
It's interesting that you invoke Dr. King within pages of intimating that Rep. John Lewis - who Marched with King into Selma and had his head bashed in for his efforts - is now some kind of Race-Baiting Liar.
It's also interesting that you champion now Dr. King's message when at the time he actually made his statements he was called "Socialist, Marxist and Anti-American" by the Conservatives of his time exactly as Barack Obama has been recently, just as you complain the Tea Party has been labeled simply to delegitimize their message. Yeah, that tends to be the problem with all forms of name calling, facts get lost in the finger-pointing.
Be that as it may, you have the answer half right, the answer to the problem was indeed contained in (part) of the Constitution and it simply required living up to those ideals and correcting the flawed parts. But that didn't happen without Sacrifice, Struggle and an ONGOING TRANSFORMATION of this Country.
True Progress isn't easy or comfortable. I see Barack Obama, even with the various disappointments we Progressives have with him, as being far more of a person attempting the bring America in Line with it's True Constitutional Ideals than I see coming from ANY Conservatives, including yourself.
He's not perfect, despite your attempts to paint him as a Anti-Constitutionalist Obama opposed the Individual Mandate and only included it in a bill as a way to appease and attract corporate support and Conservatives who championed that idea since the Nixon Administration including the Heritage Foundation.
But as part of that contract, it is also reasonable to expect residents of the society who can do so to contribute an appropriate amount to their own health care. This translates into a requirement on individuals to enroll themselves and their dependents in at least a basic health plan - one that at the minimum should protect the rest of society from large and unexpected medical costs incurred by the family. And as any social contract, there would also be an obligation on society. To the extent that the family cannot reasonably afford reasonable basic coverage, the rest of society, via government, should take responsibility for financing that minimum coverage.
Just like the Founding Father's who had to make a bargain over Slavery in order to establish the country with the hope that it would get better over time, Barack Obama bet on America to ultimately work this issue out. He made a similar deal to preserve Unemployment Insurance, and continue his stimulative tax breaks to business, and payroll tax cuts to individuals. Time will tell if these pay off.
What we want is what Dr. King wanted. Conservatives (both Democrat and Republican) led by then Republican Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater stood against the Civil Rights Act - Progressives and Liberals (again, both Democrat and Republican) fought for it. Progressives want to see America finally fulfill it's promising and reach it's potential, not fall backward to an idolized period where the reality was that those promises rang far more hollow than they do now. A time that Conservatives seem to reflexively idolize, without analyzing the context or circumstances of Jim Crow, Robber Barons, Child Labor and an 80% Top Marginal Tax Rate that existed then. Conservative Presidents from Reagan to Bush have repeatedly tried to pull us back and Regress This Nation by undermined the implementation or Civil Rights and progress without repent, and today I still I don't see most Conservatives standing up for Equal Rights as they vote overwhelmingly against measures like the Pigford Settlement or repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Far from it.
You're own daughter Bristol said this to Margaret Cho when she criticized her reasons for appearing on Dancing with the Stars ending with this comment.
After first worrying for me in terms of being exposed to those who hate us for what we believe in, both my mom and my dad became my number one supporters.
I will set the record straight, though my mom already did in her bestselling book "Going Rogue"; there were a number of reasons President Obama won in 2008, but the primary reason was that the economy was starting to falter and the majority of voters thought Obama could do a better job than my mom and John McCain. It turns out, two years later, the majority of voters were wrong, but we can talk about that another time.
To my friend Margaret Cho, if you ever have a question, call me girlfriend. Don't ever rely on "sources" who claim to know me or my family. You will be taken every time. And we need to talk. You say you "don't agree with the family's politics at all" but I say, if you understood that commonsense conservative values supports the right of individuals like you, like all of us, to live our lives with less government interference and more independence, you would embrace us faster than KD Lang at an Indigo Girls concert.
Bristol argues that Senator McCain and yourself lost in 2008 because of the economy and that now people "know that Obama wasn't a better choice" because he hasn't fixed the economy (yet).
Except what he has done so far, is this - which saved us from a another Great Depression.
President Obama and his policies are on track to create as many, if not more, private sector jobs this year than President Bush did in his entire Presidency - so the argument that simply implementing more of Bush's policies and nothing more would have produced a better result is frankly ridiculous. No serious economist supports that idea.
Many people online frm Perez Hilton to TMZ have responded to the Cheap KD Lang crack but I think that's irrelevant and childish. The important part is her statement of your "Fear of being exposed to people that hate you for your beliefs".
That's called "cowardice", good on you both for not giving in to that fear.
I'll tell you something honesly, I know I don't hate you for your beliefs - but I do think that you're beliefs are based on Hatred of Others whom you don't think aren't "REAL AMERICAN" enough for you.
Despite the perky smiles, the "ah schucks" homilies, and your need to defend yourself from every attack however slight or correct. the venom is never that far from the surface. It comes out in your criticism of people working for Big Business, Big Entertainment, Government Workers, Unions Workers, and those who've gone to "Elite Colleges". (Big in and of itself isn't bad, Corrupt is bad) It's clear you HATE us. Or worse, you're simply willing to exploit the Envy and Hatred of others for your own gain.
Somethings are worse than being a Bigot or a Racist, and that's being a Bigot Enabler. Hating Liberals and Progressives isn't an less bigoted than hating Black or Gays - particularly when it's often the same exact thing and the same persons on the receiving end.
Further Bristol, perhaps channeling your own arguments, claims essentially that Gays like Margaret Cho should feel welcomed by "Common Sense Conservatives" while just about everything Conservatives are doing in terms of policy is Use the Government to Repress their Freedom, including their ability to marry the consenting person of their choice or volunteer for military service without living in fear of being fired for telling the truth.
It's not a coincidence that the Conservative Family Research Council was recently ranked as a Hate Group.
This is enhanced, as we see Senators McCain and Graham retaliating over the passage of DADT by reversing their support on START. So it seems some Conservatives Hate Gays and Progressives more than they fear al Qeada getting lose Nukes.
They apparently care more about "their side" than the American people, or for that matter, the World.
You want to know what we really don't like about you? It's the fact that you are trying to Twist and Pervert the facts and reality to fit your own self-aggrandized, ever-the-victim view of the world.
You. Are. Not. A. VICTIM. and not everyone is out to GET YOU or Todd.
And no, It's not the fact that you're not our perfect ideal of a Feminist, it's that you can't even admit a simple honest mistake, when doing so would cost you nothing. You don't have the courage to "Refudiate" even the most ridiculous and extremely divisive political positions. When challenged, rather than fix what's wrong and improve yourself and your argument - you DIG IN and double down on the mistake.
And then there are many thousands look up to you and take their cues from you, emulating your slanted view of History, limited understanding of the Constitution, and your "they're all out to get ME" paranoia and narcissism. Permanently Dis-informed and resistant to correction or improvement. Trapped in their own Perpetual Regressivism.
We may or may not ever be friends with you and your Red States of Semi-Real America, but please while you taking our hard earned cash, and benefiting from our innovations, education and perseverance to Progress - try not to piss on our shoes and tell us it's rain.
"Thank You" for actually Implementing the Ideals you claim to believe in would be nice also, but I'm not holding my breath.