Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The GOP: Party of Death

I began covering the White House two years into Reagan’s first term, and it didn’t take long to become aware of the hold he had on the American public and why facts have no place in politics. It was after the first news conference I covered that I decided to do a sidebar on a couple of presidential answers that were, shall we be polite, wrong. I was told by a top editor not to bother. “But, he got stuff wrong. Don’t we have an obligation to put them on the record?” The answer was “they don’t care anymore. Everyone knows he makes mistakes.”

I thought of this today after reading a couple of articles about the results of recent social science research showing – and I simplify here – that in many cases people refuse to believe the truth about something they had earlier heard the Big Lie about. (Iraq attacked America, Jews plotted destruction of the World Trade Center and vaccinations are worse than the diseases they cure.)

Research also shows that subliminal thoughts of death – mere thoughts, not threats -- can cause otherwise rational people to radically change their views in favor of Republicans. (Note the GOP recasting another windfall for the wealthy as a “death tax.”)

And that, dear readers, is why Republicans from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, keep winning elections. They scare the bejeezus out of Americans by claiming openly, as Dick Cheney does, or subliminally as political ads do, that Democrats will kill you.

Psychologists devised an experiment in 2004 in which college students were shown videos and statements about the U.S. political landscape, some of the presentations with words connoting "death" flashed subliminally between frames.
"The control group that completed a personality survey, but did not do the mortality exercises, predictably favored Kerry by four to one. But the students who did the mortality exercises favored Bush by more than two to one."

It is why a good friend who is now an ex-friend repeatedly ignored gentle arguments that the Bush administration opposed everything that would help her and her family and supported measures that would harm her and her family. She perfectly exemplifies the empty vessel that the chicken hawk Bushies fill with false propaganda that some undefinable “they” were coming to America to kill us in 2004 and that John Kerry would welcome “them” with open arms.

Another scary article (and I really ought to stop reading!) reveals the extent to which the Bush administration watered down and changed conclusions of the independent bipartisan commission it created to make recommendations on improving fairness in American elections. Why anyone thought anyone named Bush would NOT rig the report about election rigging is beyond me, but this article does put important information on the record.

Republicans, led by the Swift-Boat Smear Brigade, are already planning to steal the 2008 election, and, given the fact that Americans are astoundingly gullible to the Big Lie, I urge fellow Democrats to get smarter and co-opt the GOP’s winning tactics. That is, from this day forward, all Democrats should put their brains in the pause mode and begin lying, smearing, cheating and stealing our way to a bigger majority in Congress and occupation of the White House. Larry Craig was a good start, and the shotgun marriage of Jenna Bush is another. Of 33 already "outed" gays in the DC political establishment who vote against gay rights, 30 are Republicans. Go get 'em, Dems!!

Let any critic of my approach step forth and explain how it is that Republicans held Congress for 12 years and the White House for 36 of my nearly 60 years when on most issues the majority of American people disagree with them on most issues. On foreign policy, it is true, often a majority of Americans feel safer with Republicans in the White House. But only till their sons and daughters started dying in both Vietnam and then Iraq, not in vain but for the profit of Halliburton.

If there is a God, George Bush and his henchmen of hate will find that their politically expedient destruction of the rule of law will rebound against them, and they will rue what they have done – one hopes from the already built cells at Guantanamo.


  1. Anonymous1:19 PM

    "Republicans...are already planning to steal the 2008 election."

    What a bitter old man. You have my pity.

    The story you link to explains how there's a proposal in California to change the way that State allocates its Electoral College votes.

    Okay, let have some facts. (Something you seem to *rarely* rely on)

    - Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the United States: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress..."

    Note the words "in such Manner as the Legislature therof may direct."

    Basically, California can pick their Electors any damn way they choose.

    -- The issue is proposed to be put to a vote by the PEOPLE of California.

    So what we have here is California, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States deferring to the PEOPLE to decide how to allocate their Electoral College votes......

    .....and YOU call it "stealing an election."

    To the rest of us who *aren't* crazed and paranoid, it's called the PEOPLE using a democratic process to modify their voice in the Republic.

    Wow, deferring to the people to choose what to do becomes "Republicans stealing the 2008 election" in your fucked up mind.

    Dude, you really need a fucking therapist. A good one.

  2. When Gore got more votes than Bush after Republican state officials barred all votes from being counted and after the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, you pointed to the Constitution and the sanctity of the Electoral College.

    When Bush forces denied blacks the right to vote in Ohio in 2004, you answered that Bush won nationally by a couple of million votes so the Ohio count didn't matter, though it would have given Kerry an Electoral College majority.

    When the District of Columbia is taxed without representation, you point to the Constitution as saying D.C. is not a state. Yet when D.C. wants to ban guns, you claim it IS a state for purposes of applying the Second Amendment.

    Your trouble with political theory and canon, constitutional or otherwise, is that you are probably a Jesuitical flunk-out who looks to ancient text to support any argument that favors a twisted and inflexible view of what is right -- without regard for consistency, precedent or common sense.

    In every single discussion we have had, you have pretended to be James Madison though with the intelligence of Billy Madison. In every single discussion about what America means, you take the side of restricting freedom while liberals, such as I, take the side of expanding it.

    The fact is your philosophy, applied backwards in history, would have maintained slavery, opposed anti-racketeering laws, laid the burden of taxation on the poor, prevented your own ancestors from immigrating here or prospering once arrived, opposed both World Wars, the 18-year-old vote, Social Security, Medicare, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Leave Act, which will allow your relatives to take off of work to be near the padded room when your head finally explodes.

    The subtext of the linked op-ed about voting irregularities is that in recent history, Republicans, as a party, try to stop people from voting. Democrats want more people to vote. Why might that be? Could it be Satan? Nooooo, it could be that Republicans cannot win elections on the merits. So they suppress the vote of minorities, challenge the votes of elderly Jews, threaten legally registered voters with jail, and overall create such a hatred of government that a lot of people don't think it is worth exercising their rights.

    If this were not the case, how come all of as sudden the Republican party, which smears war heroes like McCain, Cleland and Kerry, wants to change about 220 years of election law? Because they can't win California under the rules.

    If you really believe that California's apportionment of the popular vote should be changed, then you would have to argue for dissolution of the U.S. Senate.

    In case after case under the Bush-DeLay reich, the valid arguments of a political dispute are never put to a test because the Republicans keep changing the rules.

    It is you, my short little Mussolini-spawn of misbegotten acquaintance, who needs a better understanding of conservatism. I will be glad to instruct you on what it means, because some of us are capable of holding opposing thoughts in mind without totally cracking up.

    Regarding your ever-helpful mental health advice, I would quote from my favorite of the Gospels: Matthew 7:3 -- "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

    While you're at it, skip forward to
    Matt's Chapter 25 for one of the better declarations of what it means to be a liberal: "As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

  3. Anonymous2:55 PM


    Ira as a child: "Hey, I've just been diagnosed with ADD"
    Friend: "Wow, tell me all about it!"
    Ira: "Let's play catch!"

    Care to try again? Please explain how allowing the PEOPLE of California to decide how to allocate their electoral votes constitutes "Republicans stealing the 2008 election."

    Please refer back to the question each time you get sidetracked.

    Sane person says, "California voters get to choose"
    Ira says, "Republicans steal 2008 election."

  4. I concede there is no statute against "stealing an election." It is a figure of speech like "stealing a base," "stealing the spotlight" or "stealing a glance up a skirt." If you want to claim the election was not stolen, then you would have to agree that Bush v. Gore did not determine the outcome and only issued a per curiam order stopping a recount.

    The entire world knows the election was stolen from Gore, because he got more votes in Florida that Bush did. That disaster might have been one of those "Oh, well things even out" vagaries had he done what every other narrowly elected official does - seek unity and build a larger base. But no, dividing, hating and making sure every policy issue was decided by 50.1-49.1

    Why don't you night-riding, brown-shirted, judge-baiting bully boys believe in counting votes? Because you are essentially fascists who would have opposed war with Germany or Italy. Because you come from stock that routinely persecutes others to cover for your own group's shortcomings.

    It is no surprise that you, Glock, identify yourself with an Austrian who counts among his close friends Jorg Haider, the Hitler acolyte. Your politics don't even amount to a coherent ideology. You simply identify with the powerful because you are pathetically powerless in society and in your own life. You are what assassins are made of. You are an example of the authoritarian personality, yes, a scientifically limited and dated concept, but somewhat revealing. http://www.anesi.com/fscale.htm

    It is the sad modern history of Republicanism to twist words, law and procedure toward selfish, antidemocratic, partisan ends - ends so ugly and unpopular that truly fair and free elections would put an end to the party.

    In a democracy - which of course you don't believe in, preferring to grandly pronounce this is a Republic - fairness is the pillar. Not fairness of outcome but fairness in the sense you don't change the rules in the middle of the game; fairness in that everyone should be starting the race at the same time free of shackles.

    The California ballot initiative was conceived of and is being paid for by Republican operatives, including those who called John Kerry a coward. Therefore, they are planning to steal the next election, knowing that as of now they have no chance of keeping the White House otherwise. You must be cringing in your shorts at the possibility of a woman or a black becoming president because you know, as did slavemasters, what YOU would do if YOU were in their position and suddenly come to power.

    Have you considered for one single second that your views are so fundamentally un-American that had you been alive 230 years ago, you would have been a Tory lynched from the nearest lamppost.

    Bush v. Gore, as you well know, is the only case in the history of this dishonorable court where the outcome was NOT decided on the basis of law but on the basis of who was suing. It is for this reason that the court itself said, "Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."

    In other words, Herr Glock, they said this reasoning has not before and does not now apply to any other case. Ever!! The Court, in furtherance of its hell-bent-for-Bush agenda, cited the 14th Amendment, which you and the entire Republican South would have opposed. Hell, they did oppose it until federal troops intervened in our lifetimes.

    Bush v. Gore was decided not by law but by politics, an admission in the court's own writing and in subsequent accounts by law clerks privy to the decision-making. The decision flouted every conservative principle of juridsprudence that the Republican-appointed majority had previously held dear, specifically overbroad interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

    You are wrong on the law, you are malicious of heart, and you and your ilk are thieves and plunderers of democracy unfit to breathe the same air I do.

  5. Anonymous9:58 PM

    A: My namesake is an entrepreneur, the Glock 17 so named because it was his 17th patent. How many do you have? His inventions are novel, and filled a necessary void. Made him wealthy beyond imagination.

    B: Bush v. Gore is irrelevent to the question of the 2008 election.

    C: Bush v. Gore is irrelevent to all of history because it has been proven beyond all doubt (not just a reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt) that Bush tallied more votes in Florida in 2000 no matter who counted them. Your beloved Washington Post begrudgingly agreed.

    D: Understanding your rectal/cranial inversion as I do, the air that you breathe smells like shit. Take your head out of your ass, Bush won 7 years ago. And, he had more votes in Florida. A FACT. (Ooops, forgot you don't deal with those)

    E: "Stealing" has a definition. You choose to make up your *own* definition. So now you're admitting that perhaps you've "embellished." California gets to do what Californians *want* to do.

    Just because in the dictatorship known as Ira Allen, this might screw up your vision of a Federally-controlled utopia, tough shit. You have to play by the rules. You know, the Constitution, rules like that. You should understand them even more than you do the rules of baseball.

    Bush won. Had more votes in Florida. Counted once. Recounted. Recounted a third time. Declared the winner. Recounted a *fourth* time. CONFIRMED the winner. Get the fuck over it, and SURELY get therapy.

  6. One more time, Herr Glock. Gore got more votes in Florida than Bush did. Not all were counted.


    One of the things that sickened me at the time was a statement from Speaker of the Florida House Tom Feeney that no way in hell would he allow any other result to be forwarded to the U.S. Senate than George Bush -- regardless of what any court were to say.

    Mr. Feeney is now a member of the House, and I am not surprised to learn he is under investigation by the FBI for many practices that landed him on a public interest group's list of the 20 most corrupt members.

    Read all about serial vote-stealer and bribe-taker Feeney at


    You, Gaston Glock, can call me whatever junior high school names you can think of, but there is no more vile insult than to be called a Florida Republican.