Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Beware of Secret Republicans

Since most of us don't wear labels that declare our political party affiliation or dress only in blue or red to demonstrate our voting preference, how can one discern whether a person is a Republican or a Democrat?

There are some obvious giveaways for Republicans, like "Impeach the Kenyan Tyrant" bumper stickers, a Confederate flag on the back window of a 4x4, a showing-scalp flattop, or an AK-47 strapped across the back of the person in front of you at the checkout line at Piggly Wiggly.

Some Democrats are easy to spot as well, like drama teachers, scientists, people with "Run Hillary" bumper stickers, most of the people in your hot yoga class and just about any Black person you meet who isn't Allen West, Herman Cain or Michael Steele.

But be warned. There are Secret Republicans, and they're not always as easy to identify.

For example, let's say you have a friend who claims to be a staunch Democrat, but all he ever does is talk about what a lousy president Obama is and how the Democrats are all a bunch of corporate whores. Strangely, this person never seems to have a bad word to say about the GOP. This should send up a red flag. So if your friend is not a writer for Fire Dog Lake, he may be a Secret Republican. If he has a Hannity coffee mug on his desk next to a Reagan bobble-head, consider that another red flag.

Or suppose your friend claims to be an Independent. Most people usually identify as such due to sheer political apathy, an astonishing lack of relevant information or extreme narcissism. But this Independent friend is fond of telling you how he votes for the person, not the party and leads you to believe that he often votes for Democrats. Problem is, he begins every sentence with, "Well, Rand Paul says..." Unless your friend is Bernie Sanders, he's probably a Secret Republican.

However, perhaps the most difficult Secret Republican to detect is the person who seems to always be proposing an ideologically pure candidate who doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. Being that these pie-in-the-sky, proposed candidates are always liberal darlings, one would readily assume that the person suggesting such is a solid, true-blue Democrat. Yet one must ask oneself, "Who exactly would benefit from running a Democrat with absolutely no chance of winning?"

Of course it's quite possible that this naive person is just that — naive — and is not really Karl Rove in a blond wig, Balinese batik and Birkenstocks. But if that same person starts making noises like, "There's no point in voting," and "Both parties are exactly the same," she may be a Secret Republican.

If not, she's just the same sort of useless, unrealistic, Skittle-shitting unicorn now or I pout Democrat that inflicted 8 years of George Bush and the 2010 Tea Party Congress on us. Come to think of it, that's pretty much the same thing.

©2014 Kona Lowell 

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Disappearing Republican Scientist

Washington, DC. With Florida Senator Marco Rubio's recent pronouncement that climate change is not caused by human activity and any efforts to arrest that change will bring about irrevocable economic armageddon, the Republican Party continues to solidify its image as the anti-science party.

In some ways this is a good thing, as it distracts from the general impression that the GOP is only the anti-woman, anti-middle class, anti-union, anti-minority party, but for Rubio this could be a problem. You see, Florida is basically flat. In fact, the highest elevation in the state is 345 feet, that being Britton Hill. Whoever named this insignificant bump had the good sense not to call it Britton Mountain, possibly foreseeing that Florida would already be a punchline for myriad other reasons. But the fact remains that the average elevation in the Sunshine State is about 6 feet.

Why could this spell trouble for Senator Rubio? Because Florida is already experiencing rising tides and floods as a result of polar icecap melting and very few of his constituents can live for extended periods of time under water, although admittedly it would be amusing to watch his voters try.

Which brings us to the mysterious disappearance of Republican scientists.

Not too many years ago there were about equal numbers of scientists who identified as Republicans or Democrats. But in a Pew poll conducted back in 2009, researchers discovered an alarming phenomenon: Republican scientists were disappearing. Now only 6% of professional scientists claimed to be Republicans. Where did they go? Were they dying off? Were they being kidnapped by foreign governments? Extraterrestrials?

Actually, I lied about the mystery part to add drama. It's about as mysterious as the reason most African-Americans vote Democratic. In other words, people are averse to supporting a political party that hates their fucking guts. And with scientists, it's not just about lack of respect for their persons, but for their very profession and life's work.

This is transparently evident in the Republicans' in-your-face-Poindexter choices for seats on the House Science Committee, from current chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) who has made a career out of opposing anything that might benefit the environment while stuffing his pockets with over $500,000 in oil and gas money, to Paul Broun (R-GA) who believes evolution is "a lie from the pit of Hell," to Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) who opines that global warming will result in world-wide bumper crops, to Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who just knows that carbon dioxide is irrelevant, that polar bears are not becoming extinct and that dinosaur flatulence was responsible for past climate events. And of course to a man they all believe that climate change is a liberal hoax designed to destroy America and to make Jesus Koch cry.

That 97% of climate scientists think that these Republican oxygen thieves are dumber than a crate of football mallets means nothing to them, but it does to the scientists, who are valiantly doing what they can to keep Marco Rubio's benighted voting base from treading water in their living rooms.

The Pew poll cited here was conducted in 2009. I have not seen new numbers, but my guess is that they have not improved for the GOP. And they won't, until Republicans start treating Science and scientists with respect. I mean, Dana Rohrabacher on the Science Committee? That's like putting Michele Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee. Oh wait...

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

America the Stupid

The United States has finally reached the tipping point wherein stupid people comprise the majority of the voting population. Whether the nation can survive this precarious imbalance is unclear, but one thing is certain: stupidity does not beget greatness. Or longevity.

This alarming fact became undeniable with the recent release of the ABC News/Washington Post poll that shows that a clear majority of registered voters, 53 to 39 percent, prefer a Republican-controlled Congress to counterbalance the (as they see it) failed policies of the Obama administration. This majority believes that the Republicans would greatly improve the economy, better handle the federal deficit and more expertly determine what federal spending to cut and which programs to sustain. And these same voters also give the GOP an edge on gun control. Yes, gun control.

Unless one has been living under a rock, and that rock being without cable, the error of these opinions should be obvious.

First of all, it is an established fact that the Republicans, under George W. Bush, are responsible for causing the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. When Bush left office the economy was in ruins (as it is historically after GOP presidencies) and the nation was hemorrhaging jobs at a rate of hundreds of thousands per month. President Obama stopped the bleeding and during his tenure has created over 9 million private sector jobs during 50 plus straight months of growth, all while battling Republicans hell-bent on preventing anything resembling a recovery. And of course the Dow hit record levels. But 53% of registered voters would please like to have their asses reamed out again because they're not sure if it was all that painful and want to be really, really certain.

As to the deficit, principally inflated by gross Republican malfeasance, under Obama it has fallen at the fastest rate in 60 years, but 53% of registered voters polled are seemingly unaware of this and would like the Republicans to have one more chance to see how big that balloon can get before it explodes in their shocked, too-stupid-to-fuck faces.

Then there's the suicidally simple-minded belief that Republicans will somehow cut federal spending in such a way that life as we know it will continue unaffected but all the frivolous waste will be magically eliminated. Two words: Ryan Budget. This conservative wet dream can best be summed up as obliterating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all programs that benefit the poor and the struggling middle class, while shoveling buttloads of the nation's wealth into the gaping maws of the already obscenely wealthy. Oddly, the vast majority of the 53% of voters who support this are not going to be on the receiving end of these shovels. But they have bought into the pathetic delusion that 100 dollar bills will rain down on them as those over-stuffed pigs vomit forth their excess.

And, yes, these same people, some of whom are your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, think that the Republicans will do a damn fine job with the gun issue, because... I have no fucking idea.

Of course this one poll would not be enough to prove that America is dangerously, recklessly and possibly hopelessly stupid. But when one factors in the percentages of our voting population who think that climate change is a hoax, that evolution is a demonic deception, that the sun revolves around our earth, that President Obama is foreign-born and that voting Republican is a viable, real-world option, it becomes less speculative.

Add to that the number of people who base their opinions on Fox News propaganda, that believe Limbaugh is not a lying, junkie pedophile, and that Cliven Bundy is the modern-day equivalent of Davy Crockett clubbing Mexican soldiers with the butt-end of Ol' Betsy in a valiant last stand, it becomes even less theoretical.

Or just read the comments on Yahoo any time there's an article dealing with racial issues.

In spite of this, surrender is not an option. Those of us who care will continue to fight for a country that we can be proud of, one who values all of her citizens, strives for fairness, equality and prosperity for all.

Right now America is exceptional. Exceptionally stupid. We need to change that. Maybe if those of us who aren't stupid all voted...

©2014 Kona Lowell

You can hear a reading of this blog every Wednesday at 7 PM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.