}

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Meanhwhile, stuff happened


I’ve been distracted lately, and that’s led me to miss commenting on a number of things I’d normally have talked about. I thought I’d catch up on a few of them, but it turned out that I’m not in a charitable mood, not that Republicans deserve charity, but still. So, this post is what it is.

Hillary’s Choice

Tim Kaine wasn’t my first choice for vice president, but neither was he someone I opposed. What little I knew of him, he seemed good, but I frankly didn’t know that much. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about him, and I now see him as a very solid choice.

I know some Progressives are disappointed in the choice (and many of those on my own personal “short list” were progressives they’d approve of), but some of the progressive antipathy toward him is because of deliberate disinformation from opponents.

The fact is that the list of his ratings on his Congressional record is pretty impressive—and often ratings that any progressive would be proud to have (like 100% from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Human Rights Campaign, and an “F” from the NRA along with 100% from the Brady Campaign). The point is, he has had a solidly Liberal Democratic record.

He’s also from s swing state, is fluent in Spanish, and compared to the two peas in an extremist pod that is the Republicans’ T.P. Ticket, he’s calm, safe, and non-threatening. Given the need to win over Centrist voters, who are the majority of the general electorate, and with the strong possibility of winning over even some disaffected (and frightened or disgusted…) Republicans, this is a very good thing.

So, Tim Kaine is a good, solid choice—and lightcenturies better than his equivalent on the Republicans’ T.P. Ticket, of course.

Republican Derangement Disease

The video at the top of this post from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (which I actually saw on  TV for a change…) talks about the fundamental problem with the modern Republican Party: They truly believe that “feelings” about issues are the same as facts about them. This had never occurred to me before, though it’s so bloody obvious, and it explains why Republicans always say things that are flat-out not true, yet act is if they are.

Like, for example, their ongoing lies about Hillary Clinton. I’ve known about Republicans’ “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” pretty much since the 1992 election. This led Republicans to be willing to lie about the Clintons, to defame them, and smear them to try and destroy them.

Republicans raised that derangement to a whole new level with their “Obama Derangement Syndrome”, questioning his citizenship, his religion, among other things, and declaring every single year that President Obama was coming for their guns—though that last one may have been a cynical ploy to increase sales of guns and ammunition, it’s hard to tell. In any case, this derangement syndrome led them to eight years of pure partisan obstruction, no matter how much harm their partisan games did the country.

No one is a saint, not Hillary Clinton, nor President Obama, nor Bernie Sanders—NO ONE. But neither are they the caricatures hawked by Republican politicians. But Republicans and their allies in their media been so good at spreading lies, smears, and distortions that many of those lies are now taken as truth, even by those who should know better.

The cure for Republican Derangement Disease is simple: Seek out facts. Whenever we see a Republican attack on Hillary Clinton, we should start out by assuming it’s false even as we attempt to verify it. We’ll seldom be able to verify Republican attacks, of course, but we can speak out with truth and facts, anyway. A lie repeated often enough can become the truth, but declaring that the emperor has no clothes can also eventually get through to those who usually refuse to look.

The Republicans' Circus

I watched some of Day One of the Republican shit show—aptly called that because it was such a fiasco, not just because of the norovirus outbreak. Every speech contained stuff that was factually wrong, usually on purpose, or extremely misleading. I stopped watching at some point, mainly because I didn’t want to frighten the furbabies by "talking back" to the TV. I didn’t watch any other coverage, since they wouldn’t and couldn’t possibly say anything I’d want to hear, and their constant lying and smears were making me far too angry.

However, one thing that did happen was extraordinary: After Donald delivered his “I’m a strongman, I alone can protect you” speech at the end of his circus convention, there were five major news organisations that fact checked him—and those are just the ones I saw. I can’t remember that ever happening before. But, then, Donald has earned a reputation as a habitual liar, so maybe it’s not that surprising. The gist of all that fact checking is that Donald was lying or misleading much of the time. No surprise, of course.

Finally, a lighter moment.

The video below is of Jon Stewart on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In Jon’s classic style, he criticised Donald and the Republican media machine. Best line to Lumpy and his mates in the Republican Propaganda machine and all their enablers: “This country is not yours!”


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