Saturday, March 06, 2010

Liz Cheney, Fascist

Nope, at this point I have no qualms about calling LIz Cheney a fascist. Nor do I worry that I am being to strident and bringing down the tone of the conversation. No, at times we have to speak truth to power and the truth is that some of the leaders of the conservative movement are clearly fascists and that Liz Cheney is one of them. I'm not speaking in the general way that Hunter Thompson did when he labeled anything politically conservative as either fascist or Nazi (which was just a German brand of fascism after all). I am speaking in the specific: a political ideology that is extremely nationalistic and authoritarian and which seeks to organize the government on corporatist grounds, one which bullies the opposition and governs through intimidation and fear. Fascism is the absurd extreme of conservativism (just as communism is the absurd extreme of liberalsim). And Liz Cheney is a fascist.

In case there was any doubt, read how she has labeled lawyers who helped to represent terrorism suspects and who now work for the justice department as "The Al Queda Seven" and has suggested that they are terrorist sympathizers. She asks if they share our values (she certainly does not share mine--that is my values on justice and the constitution, which she seems not to value at all). In this nation everyone has a right to legal representation. Condemning a lawyer solely because of his or her client list is wrong. It has a chilling effect on our legal system. Liz Cheney is so far off on this that several conservative pundits and lawyers are condemning her statements. One even compared her to McCarthy and said that Cheney might be worse. There is little difference between McCarthy trying to intimidate people into giving up their communist associates and Liz Cheney trying to intimidate people because they had the temerity to offer counsel to someone who needed it. WHen it comes right down to it what we are talking about is guilt by association, being guilty simply because you have associated with communists or with terrorists or with gays or with jews. Hell, in this case we are not even talking about a friendly or a political association. We are talking about lawyers representing clients!!

People have got to stand up to these people and say that, yes, while you have the right to express your opinion, what you have said is fascistic. It is vile and evil and un-American. It could have come right off the pen of Josef Goebles. It is nationalist bullying in an attempt to intimidate political opposition from a reactionary right winger who advocates an authoritarian domestic policy and a belligerent foreign policy.

And that makes you, Liz Cheney, a fascist.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

An old article from Slate

I wrote about this at the time of the election, but I didn't see a lot of coverage of it then. It was too much of a kumbaya moment, I guess. But I somehow missed this article in Slate, demonstrating not only that Obama won while losing a majority of the white vote, but also noting that, since Johnson--and the passage of the Civil Rights Act--NO democrat has won a majority of the White vote.

Can it really be that simple? Can the real reason the republicans have stayed in power all these years and dominated politics in America for so long have been that the Republicans are the party of white people and the Democrats are the party of black people? Maybe: after all, from the civil war onward, wasn't exactly the opposite true?

But then what does it say about us as a people? Is it that whites live in the suburbs and blacks in the cities? Is it that democrats have bought off the black vote with Welfare and affirmative action? Is it that Republicans have alientated blacks and atracted whites through racist policies or subtle racist statements? Does it really just come down to the fact that the progressive agenda favors black people and not whites (when you boost one group of people up you must out of necessity take things away from another). Is it that white America really is racist? It's not an easy question to ask, let alone answer. I don't think, for instance, that the tea party movement is racist per se, but these statistics make me wonder. When they say they want to take back their country, fro whom do they wish to take it back? Demographics show that whether or not it is their intent to say it, they would be taking it back from black people, and I don't just mean the president. I mean the 96%of the black electorate that voted for him.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More on Health Care

Last week I sparked a bit of a debate on Facebook when I said I was proud of my president for the way he acted at the health care summit. My conservative friends got pretty irate in their comments to me. I still feel that way. After thinking about it for a week I came up with this as the true reason:

He finally showed some balls.

He was cordial and he made a true effort at bi-partisanship, but he did not back down on his central premise. It is a premise, by the way, with which I agree: that government and not the market must regulate health care. Non-regulation means that decisons will be made primaily based on a profit motive and not on the best interests of patients. This is unacceptable. Republicans, always weary of any government involvement in anything but the military, adamentaly oppose government regulation of health care. This, not death panals or abortion or even cost, is the real issue because it is fundamental. It is an example of incompatible world views. It is paradigmatic. (indeed, it is the true litmus test of conservativism: if you distrust big government then you are a conservative, it's really that simple).

The obvious response is to ask how can you believe that the government is capable of running the military, the biggest government program in the world, but incapable of running anything else? but I digress.

Our president--my president--held firm. He acknowledged that this was a tripping point but one from which he would not back down. Furthermore, noting that the democrattic plan owuld cover and additional 30 million people but the Republican plan would cover only an additional 3 million, said for the first time that covering everybody was the end goal of reform. I've been waiting for him to say that for a year now!

And the Republicans? Well, when the president offered to include four of their ideas in his revised plan today, they rebuffed him again--showing themselves to be nothing more than nay-sayers, whose only solution is to block wahtever the preisdent does in an effort to make him look bad.

Statemen one and all.