Category Archives: Political science

Tea Partiers Motivated by Race; Sun Sets in West

In a follow-up to last week’s “Obese Kids More Likely to Get Bullied,” the Scientific Community has given us this gem: “Tea Partiers Motived by Race.”

For all of us who had a hunch that all those older white people with signs thanking Fox News for being so balanced might have a problem with minorities, there is finally some data to back it up, thanks in part to Christopher Parker of the University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality (UWISERS for short).  UWISERS says that “people who are Tea Party supporters have a higher probability —25 percent, to be exact— of being racially resentful than those who are not Tea Party supporters.”

On the campaign against Obama and his Islamo-Marxist agenda

UWISERS adds that the average Tea Partier is “just as likely to be employed, and more likely to describe their economic situation as very or fairly good.”  And here I thought the Tea Party consisted of the actual downtrodden, middle- and lower-class whites who have something to be pissed off about, like being taken for a ride by Republicans and other hypocrites who preach about family values but have flings with male prostitutes on the side, all the while blaming the country’s supposed moral decline on Democrats because they won’t allow compulsory Christian prayer in public schools.  Does this mean that people with real problems who don’t fall for empty moralizing or “us and them” gimmicks never vote with Republicans or Tea Party candidates?  I sure hope UWISERS looks into it!

In the meantime, look out for “Manga obsession linked to acute social anxiety.”

Gays Finally Acknowledged as Hated Group

Congress has finally stepped up and done something pro-gay, pro-human, pro-democracy: the House passed a bill making it a federal crime to assault people based on sexual orientation, which is expected to make it through the Senate sometime later, and so the U.S. is finally admitting that people are abused, beaten, and even killed solely for being gay!  This is a baby step toward complete legal equality of gay citizens with their straight counterparts.  What’s not to like about this?  The Republicans, of course, have the answer:

“This is radical social policy that is being put on the defense authorization bill, on the backs of our soldiers, because they probably can’t pass it on its own,” House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said.

Translation:

Woe unto you, White Christian America: you are under attack!  These anti-American, anti-Christian, Communist Democrat perverts are making our blessed, freedom-loving troops (never mind that a lot of troops are gay) carry the disgusting weight of this terrible, horrible, sodomite legislation!  They are busy trying to fight for your freedom, not gay freedom!  Yea verily, this day shall live in infamy!

Rep. John Boehner

Rep. John Boehner

Remind me how it’s okay to keep denying equal protection to gay Americans.  Please tell me why being gay is wrong and deserves only intermittent civil liberties, and try not to use any ancient divine command or your own aversion to “kissing another guy (or girl)” as a solid argument.

Obama Weak on Yet Another Issue

With this month’s offering from his “Weak On…” series, President Obama had a hard act to follow: last month’s health care reform episode earned sky-high ratings; everyone was talking “death panels” and “señor citizens”; it featured A-list guest appearances from the likes of Max Baucus and Chuck Schumer; and it even earned him a one-man cheer (actually, jeer) from Congress!

Alas, real health reform and a national conscience that doesn’t resemble a turd flung against a wall will have to wait another few years (and another few thousand preventable deaths) to take shape.  For his next non-act, Obama will (not) tackle gay rights issues– human rights issues– in this country, and will put off acknowledging homosexuals as first-class citizens until at least 2010, when he may finally stand up to the bigoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that the military employs.  His Department of Justice has already decided that the Defense of Marriage Act that denies same-sex couples some 1100 federal benefits afforded to “traditional” couples is perfectly constitutional.  On overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Obama’s national security adviser James Jones had this to say:

He has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I’m sure the president will take it on.

I guess the “appropriate time” is sometime after January 20, 2017, when it will be impossible for Obama to be so distracted by being President that he can’t do anything about the rights of at least 10% of Americans; in the meantime he can take on Aghanistan and the closing of Guatánamo prison camp!  On second thought, look for those issues and more in the coming episodes of  “Weak On…”

So Much for Real Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Discouraging but unsurprising news: attempts to add any sort of public option to the soft, industry-friendly Baucus health care reform bill are dead.  Today the Senate Finance Committee voted 15-8 against the Rockefeller amendment that would have added a robust public option.  Those fifteen “nays” included five from scumbag, status-quo Democrats: Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and– surprise– Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT).  Next came a watered-down symbolic gesture from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which was rejected by a 13-10 vote because, as Baucus says, a bill with a public option could not pass the Senate floor “at this time”.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a gesture.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) makes a gesture.

In a related story, Republicans, with the help of the Spineless Democratic Caucus (SDC), are drafting the Resolution to Say “Suck It” to Poor and Uninsured American Citizens.  The SDC, with at least eight members in the Senate and 37 members in the House, has joined the fight against human rights here at home and plans to stymie any reform that treats health as anything other than a privilege.  More details as they become available.

People Kill People Quickly and Easily with Guns

I was behind one of those vehicles that look like a van that was morphing into an SUV but stopped halfway the other day, and I saw the cutest li’l bumper sticker slapped on the back:

This bumper sticker was purchased because, “That oughtta make them panty-waist pinkos think!”  What it does is show how flawed the logic of the average gun-obsessed blackophobe really is.

Maybe it should read, “If guns kill people, shouldn’t we have as few of them around as possible?”  Of course, that’s not what they’re going for, and in fact that’s the very argument (that no one makes) that they are trying to refute with their clever last line, “Do pencils misspell words?”

The problem with this is that the gun-slinging, killing-in-self-defense-fantasizing idiots don’t understand that the people who are “against guns” are actually against giving guns to morons, violent criminals, jocko-homo frat boys, ‘roid-ragers, drunks, the seriously depressed, people hell-bent on murder, gangsters, pimps, nationalists and others for whom access to quick and easy killing should not be permitted for the sake of a safe and orderly society.  To use the “slippery-slope” argument, a conservative favorite (you’re familiar with, “If we let gays get married, then what’s to stop me from marrying a sheep?”), I could say that I want to own an atomic bomb and forty cruise missiles to protect myself and my family and you’re infringing on my Second Amendment rights if you deny me these weapons; or I could argue that children be allowed to pack heat because the Second Amendment says that this right “shall not be infringed”.  Would anyone say these are good ideas?  Very few would, and only to prove some stupid point– “YEAH, I DO THINK CHILDREN SHOULD BE ABLE TO PACK HEAT!!!  THE TREE OF LIBERTY MUST BLAH BLAH BLAH THOMAS JEFFERSON!!!”

If the slippery-slope examples seem a little unreasonable, that’s because they always are, but we can take something from the second example.  The reasons children shouldn’t be allowed to have guns are the same for the rest of the people mentioned above: they are mentally unsound; they do not understand the consequences of their actions; they act out for attention; they will try anything once; they act before they think; they love shortcuts; they live in fear and jealousy of others, especially others who look or act nothing like them; they make rash decisions; they make horrible mistakes; they think blood and death are really cool; other things like that.

Now for that tricky fortress of logic that cannot be penetrated: “Do pencils misspell words?”  No.  Pencils are not agents, either, and no one outside of an asylum has ever argued otherwise, but pencils are one of the quickest, easiest ways to misspell a word.  If I want to misspell something then, damn it, give me a pencil!

The real problem is that certain people want to be able to do whatever they want to do all the time since they are otherwise law-abiding and would never hurt anyone, but don’t think how under Equal Protection they are granting these rights to everyone, even the ones who have or will hurt someone.  You cannot possibly know if someone is going to use a gun to kill, but you can prevent needless death by preventing some guns from ever being sold, putting tight restrictions on who can get the ones that are available, and seeing to it that the ones who have proven themselves childish, abusive, short-fused, mentally unsound, or otherwise problematic never get to hold a firearm.

And for all the raving about owning whatever guns you want being a Second Amendment right– who cares?  There is an Elastic Clause, afterall, that says we can amend anything we want to amend in the Constitution, including the Amendments themselves.  I am one of those who would like a new interpretation or a complete overhaul of the language of the Second Amendment so that it cannot be used for gun-crazy lunatics who claim they love America more than I do because, “I SUPPORT ALL THE AMENDMENTS BUT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH OUR FREEDOMS!”  So I guess you wouldn’t have wanted to repeal those Prohibition laws, Ricky Junior?

There is Another Rob Who is Always Right

Other Rob, smarter Rob

Other, smarter Rob

That’s right– if you can’t get en0ugh of The Robs that Know Everything, there is this guy, Rob Schofield, from NC Policy Watch.  It may seem strange that I’m writing a spotlight, but let me explain.

Mr. Schofield is a person that I have actually met who is active in local politics, and someone who I always agree with.  I met him in the sacred halls of the Legislative Office Building in downtown Raleigh during my internship with the NC Coalition for Lobbying Reform in summer 2006.  Details of the meeting are described here in my livejournal, written after the first day of that internship.  At the end of the summer, my supervisors let each intern pick two local political players to meet with one-on-one so that we could get a better sense of what they do and how they got there, and all of that.  Rob Schofield was one of my two picks and I was glad to find him, albeit by accident, in recent months because of his prolific, tenacious fight for progressive causes in North Carolina politics.*

He keeps a column at NC Progressive Pulse called Radical Right Reality Check, and his latest entry, from Friday, hits on the hypocrisy of “family values” conservatives in general, and NC Family Policy Council specifically.  To demonstrate that Mr. Schofield has his finger on this progressive’s pulse, this entry came just a week after my status on Facebook that read,

“Family values” is right wing code for “get the gays”, just as “tough on crime” is their code for “get the blacks and Hispanics.”

In the article, which you should read, he calls out the NC Family Policy Council for expanding their concerns beyond their own mission statement in order to cover any and all conservative policies; this time around, they cover the economy and complain about the “Death Tax”, which Schofield points out “is the far right’s approved propaganda term for the federal estate tax [which] is, in reality, a modest tax on a very small group of rich people.”  And all of this crap from North Carolina’s fatheaded, piggish “family values” con men comes on the heels of the disgusting sex scandal involving Mike Duvall, a California Republican who also secured power and deceived constituents by running on the bogus “family values” platform.

I promise: these fan pages won’t become commonplace.  I only thought of Rob Schofield because I was just finishing my “Missed Connections” post to him on craigslist.  How tall should I say I am?  Should I include a pic?

*I was glad to see that the other guy I met with at the end of my internship back in 2006, David Mills of the Common Sense Foundation, who I figured had retired or died, is still alive and fighting the good fight.

Finally, a Pro-Government Site

In every political “debate” going on these days in Washington, nearly every player is acting on the assumption that more government is worse government, echoing the quotation that Libertarians spring one over– “That government is best which governs least,” by Henry David Thoreau*– and if you can find a quotation by a guy like that, well then you’ve really proved something: it’s yesterday’s Fox News soundbite!  The assumption, instead of less government is better, should be better government is better.

Douglas J. Amy

Douglas J. Amy

Here I have found a decent website by Douglas J. Amy, a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College (ahem, a fellow Political Scientist) that gives us a primer for the argument that bigger government isn’t always worse government.

The real problem with American government is that it is not as democratic as it should be.  Affluent special interests have too much power in our political system and the public has too little.

*I am a fan of HDT and want to clarify: his Civil Disobedience was written in 1849 during a time when slavery was still legal and we were engaged in the Mexican-American War– a time when I would be largely against my own government– and doesn’t necessarily reflect his objections to a true, well-run democracy that has evaded us only because the same breed of American caveman that he was concerned with still thrives today and has the resources to pull its weight disproportionately.

Republicans Fear Helping Blacks, Sun Rises In East

Alignment: Right

Alignment: Right

I’m not saying this is news, but it’s nice when a single, well-written article condenses it into something short enough for the afflicted to read.  But if it still isn’t short enough, just tell them your ultra-liberal friend said this:

From the beginning, attempts to create a universal welfare state in the U.S. have been thwarted by the fears of voters that they will be taxed to subsidize other Americans who are unlike them in race or ethnicity or culture.