Wednesday, January 21, 2015

At Least It's Not Freezing

From Charlie Pierce:

The GOP has also announced it will be offering a Spanish-language rebuttal, which will be delivered tonight by freshman Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative from a diverse Miami congressional district. But there's a wrinkle. According to a press release from the House Republicans, Curbelo will not be sharing his own thoughts and words with the public. Instead, he will only be reading a Spanish translation of Ernst's speech. Curbelo's office confirmed that he will not be delivering his own remarks. By the way, Ernst has endorsed English as a national language and once sued Iowa's secretary of state for offering voting forms in languages other than English. Her office did not respond to requests for comment. Curbelo has broken with his own party on immigration to support a path to citizenship for undocumented residents. Ernst has repeatedly expressed opposition to "amnesty."

I couldn't watch the SOTU last night. Fact, it was my birthday and our anniversary, and after a great meal of beef stew and some bon-bons, I went to bed at about 9 pm. I knew the speech would be good. Libby said people reported it to be one of Mr. Obama's best. She said when Mr. Obama said he would not be running again, the Republicans clapped. He's good at setting them up, in this case allowing them to show just how infantile they are. After a perfect pause he said, "I already won."

This isn't a new observation, but I'm very sorry, in retrospect, that Mr. Obama did not fully realize that he is dealing with an opposition party that has no interest at all in governance, and does not see the plain truth that there is always a need for governance connected to reality, to the Now. The Republicans have been working the Past and the Future since the moment Mr. Obama was elected. They represent the same body of Americans who, in 1968, got rid of the last charismatic black leader actually capable of effecting deeper change in a social structure that they liked just fine. These Republicans stand behind the idea that it makes great sense to co-join a holiday commemorating Martin Luther King,Jr., with the commander of the Confederate Army and as profound a traitor to the United States and the vaunted "founders" as Benedict Arnold: Robert E. Lee. Robert E. Lee. He was asked by Lincoln to lead the U.S. Army. Had he done so it is likely that there would have been no American Civil War. At worst he would have decisively won the first battle of Bull Run, and that would have been that. It is likely that many of the best West Pointers would not have resigned and joined the Confederate Army, following Lee's example. This is Lee's legacy. In Arkansas and other states, he is commemorated on the same day as Dr. King. Well, they were both Generals. Why not toss in MacArthur?

I wish Mr. Obama had never had the thought that he could work with the Republican Party and build a coalition, and actually get things done. I wish he'd allowed the Bush Tax Cuts to expire when they were supposed to, and never given an inch on the Debt Ceiling blather, and used his powerful skills at rhetoric to show these Republicans for what they truly are: the servants of oligarchs and racists, and the deceivers of the innocent. To assume there is some place a reasonable man can meet with these people is to start out a failure. By making the long long effort Mr. Obama has simply allowed his time in power to drip away. Now he's left with speeches and little else. Before his speech yesterday, Mitch McConnell said "Sounds like his proposals are just more 'tax and spend.'" When I heard that I decided I wouldn't even watch. What does it matter that Mr. Obama can easily make them all look like fools. That's still playing on their turf, where that's the whole point of gaining power. Get elected and get rich.

Here in NC we're racing in retrograde. Last week the Republicans, who've gained total control of state government, fired the President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina without cause. The speculation was, the lone fact against him was he'd been appointed by a Board of Governors which had been controlled by Democrats. That's it. But Duke University trumped that. After proclaiming that a Muslim call to prayer would be broadcast from the Duke Chapel bell tower every Friday at noon (there being quite a number of Muslim students at Duke, a seriously international university), they backed down because of some sort of "threats." NC's own Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham, chimed in with his criticism. Lord how the money rolls in. Maybe they need Coach K to jump over to the Duke academic leadership side of things. He don't quit at least.

As it is, the two top educational institutions in North Carolina have each received vicious wounds in the same week, with precious little succor so far. We're about back to the Speaker Ban. With two Republican Senators, NC may this year resume its place at the pinnacle of bigotry and ignorance which we reluctantly gave up when Jesse Helms retired. Oh fraptuous joy.

Update: I read this today.

The marketing of outright lies is endless and constant. Ads for this film are at the moment endless too. It'll probably win a lot of awards. Most people will then believe the implications of its framework. Voters don't have a chance.

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