Archive for the ‘Sharron Angle’ Tag
I’ve been hesitant to say this out loud, or in “print,” but I have a really hard time believing the polls. And I don’t think they’re very accurate, and I don’t think we’ll see this huge “Republican Tidal Wave” that every major media outlet has predicted, based on the various polls out there.
It’s the superstition in me that makes me think that the instant I articulate my views, they’re automatically doomed to be wrong. So while I’ve had this gut feeling for a while (although not so much today–in fact, I can’t recall having such a sense of despair as I do with the prospects of this election being so grim), I’ve been afraid to actually say it.
But the fact is that the polls have been so erratic, I don’t see how you can rely on them at all. Besides, can a majority of voters really be that stupid as to elect to major government offices some of these crackpots that are out there? Does Kentucky really think that Rand Paul stands with them?
Sorry, but I can’t believe what the polls are telling us. I mean, who actually answers these poll questions, anyway? Who are the pollsters calling? As more and more people move away from land lines and go exclusively with cell phones (like me), and with the national Do-Not-Call registry working in full force, who’s left for these pollsters to question?
My sense is that the folks that are actually answering the pollsters’ questions are the least tech savvy people, the least informed among us. They tend to be older and more conservative. The more progressive among us have moved away from the phone lines, and have migrated to our computer screens to get the bulk of our information. No one polls folks like me.
In a passing way, I’ve tried to research some of the polling methods. Admittedly, I haven’t really looked very hard, but I haven’t found anything that tells me that pollsters are able to adequately account for the way modern technology has changed they way we live our every day lives. I’ve yet to see that they can account for how attached and dependent we’ve become on our SmartPhones. How the internet rules the day.
It baffles me that people can actually take Tea Party candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, and Michelle Bachman seriously.
Then again, the Minnesota 6th has already re-elected Bachman once.
I hope I’m right, and the polls have grossly miscalculated what will take place today. Because if I’m wrong and the polls are right, this country is going to be in BIG trouble over the next two years.
Allow me to start off this post by rehashing a little thing called the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assmeble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
That bolded part right there is commonly referred to as the “Establishment Clause,” and is the basis for the concept of the separation of Church and State. That means that the U.S. Government—or any state or local government, for that matter—cannot declare an official national religion, nor can they discriminate against any religion or any individual or group because of their religious beliefs.
Pretty simple concept. It’s something that (I thought) we all learned in the first grade. I mean, one of the first things we are taught about Thanksgiving is that the Pilgrims embarked on their flight from the Old World to flee the religious persecution at the hands of the British monarchy (or at least that ‘s the way I remember it being taught). The Pilgrims had their own religious beliefs, and they wanted the freedom to practice their beliefs in peace and without being thrown into jail for being different.
It’s long been a source of pride; something that distinguishes the United States from most of the rest of the world. And the United States is the pioneer of religious tolerance and acceptance. Ok, so we may not have always been perfect in that regard. The Jews haven’t always exactly been welcomed by all in this country with open arms. Prior to the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency, being Catholic was considered a hinderence to national office.
But our courts have always held that the right of individual expression, religious or otherwise, is absolute. Santeria may not exactly be an accepted “mainstream” religion, but people are free to practice Santeria as they so choose.
But now comes the Tea Party, whose leaders incredibly don’t seem to believe that there is any such concept of “separation of Church and State” in our Constitution at all. These are people who claim to be Constitutional experts, who want to “return our country back to the Constitutional concepts that the founders intended.” Except that they don’t even remotely understand even the most basic of concepts laid out in the Constitution of the United States of America.
Take Nevada Senate candidate, and Tea Party hero, Sharron Angle:
The Constitution “does not” guarantee the freedom of religion, does not provide for the separation of Church and State. Got it? So Sharron Angle knows what thousands of Constitutional scholars and every Supreme Court Justice in the history of this country apparently does not: That there is no establishment clause, and those “darn liberals” are just wrong, and that Christianity should be declared the official and only accepted religion in this country. None else need apply.
And then there’s the brilliance of Christine O’Donnell, the whackjob Delaware Senate candidate who………aw, hell, I’ll just let you see for yourself. Here’s Rachel Maddow brilliantly laying it out for us:
The best part of that whole piece is that SHE ACTUALLY THINKS SHE WON THAT ARGUMENT!!! The debate with Chris Coons was held at Widener University Law School in front of law students. You can hear the audience gasp and then laugh. Watch as Ms. O’Donnell smiles and laughs with the audience, thinking that they’re with her. She thinks she scored major points.
Newsflash, Christine: THEY’RE LAUGHING AT YOU, NOT WITH YOU!!!
This is the problem with the Tea Party. They claim to be Constitutional experts; that they LOVE the Constitution, and yet repeatedly demonstrate that they have little to no understanding of what is actually IN the Constitution and what it means.
They love the Constitution so much, they want to change it. Do away with the parts they simply don’t like. They want to get rid of the 14th Amendment, the 17th Amendment. They have a twisted view of the 10th Amendment. They believe that the Second Amendment means that everyone should be allowed to own a bazooka, or stockpile any amount of machine guns, and that they should be preparing for war against their own government (and sadly, I’m not exaggerating here).
These people are really dangerous. They clearly don’t understand the world in which we live, but they want to set policy on how we live and interact in that world. They’re anti-government conspiracy nuts who see the bogeyman around every corner. Their tin foil hats are picking up all kinds of signals the CIA, NSA, FBI, and lord knows what other government agencies are using to spy on each one of them individually. They’re terrified of Big Brother, yet what they want to do, in effect, is ensure that Big Brother, in many ways, has even MORE control over our lives.
They don’t understand that with individual freedom comes certain responsibility.
Be afraid, all right. Be afraid of what will happen if these wingnuts actually manage to win positions of authority in this country.
I’m not sure what I expected to see when I dared to venture into enemy territory. I mean, I knew that, generally speaking, the Tea Partiers’ vision of America was not firmly based in reality; that they typically harbor a longing for “a simpler time,” and “the old days,” and that their theories on the economy and politics and health care tend to be more theory and less actual, workable policy. I also know unequivocally that should the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party gain any real power in America then we’re all in for a long, slow descent into third world status.
I’m not sure what I expected to see crowd wise: Would there be thousands upon thousands gathered to lend a full-throated roar to their anti-government rage? No. What I found was a modest gathering of about, oh, 700 or so people (maybe more, maybe less……I’m just guestimating here. But it wasn’t a huge crowd by any stretch of the imagination) that was rather tepid in their enthusiasm.
I must admit, though, that I approached the festivities with a small handful of preconceptions:
- The Tea Partiers tend to be older. Yet I was surprised to find a good number of twenty and thirty somethings. A few even brought their entire family.
- The Tea Partiers have racist tendencies. This one I’m not unconvinced of, but then again, I’m not convinced that they are racist (or do lean to racist tendencies). One thing I can say for sure is that most of the signs they displayed were so far out of the mainstream and so detached from reality, and truly did not lend credibility to the views of this group. In fact, I really have to question the education most of these folks received.
- The Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly white. This one could not have been more true. There was a stunning lack of color in the audience. Now, while those in attendance would argue that just because the audience was entirely white does not mean that they lacked diversity, I would argue that that is exactly what it means. All of these folks are white, middle class, have an irrational fear of government, and love to claim that they have a keen understanding of the Constitution, yet demonstrate every day that they clearly don’t.
I must also admit that I half expected to walk into a steaming cauldron of hate. Though I did find the expected half-witted, half-brained bile coming from the speakers and the signs on display, I found it to be a rather well-behaved, if paranoid crowd.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t the expected delusional rantings about the evil government and the “communist” Barack Obama. About how those dreaded liberals are out to deliberately destroy the country and hand it over to the Chinese or Venezuelans, or whomever the enemy du jour is. That only comes with the territory for a delusional right-winger. After all, there has to be SOMEONE out there that we have to start a war with next, right?
“We are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania.”
Ok, so maybe there wasn’t the cadre of wild-eyed crazies that I half expected (hoped?) to find. But it’s just so easy to dismiss the majority of these people as plain ‘ol ignorant, malleable minions of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and El Rushbo.
And they are that.
That’s not to say that the crazies didn’t show up. They most certainly did, only most of them were featured speakers at the event.
First, I need to mention a prevailing sentiment at this gathering that I found rather disturbing: These folks view health care as a privilege, not a right. In fact, one of the first speakers I heard (sadly I did not arrive in time to hear Sharron “Obtuse” Angle speak……it’s probably for the better) was an obscure California gubernatorial candidate, Chelene Nightingale–Yeah…..I’d never heard of her either—who came right out and declared it!
“Health care is a privilege, not a right.” Which essentially means that if you can’t pay for medical attention, you can just go ahead and die. You won’t be missed. You weren’t wealthy enough to really contribute to society anyway. I could dedicate an entire book to ranting about how wrong that sentiment is, but I’ll save it for another time.
But that’s not the only thing coming through the PA system that I found, well, to put it mildly, objectionable. One speaker accused Barack Obama of being a “Hugo Chavez Wannabe dictator.” And there was plenty of other “Obama as socialist, commie pinko” nonsense (actually, I did see a sign accusing him of being a “commie.” C’mon! That’s so 50’s!)
Then there was a “comedian” named Eric Golub. I put “comedian” in quotes because he obviously thinks he’s funny, and he apparently does have a stand-up act that he takes on the road. I, however, found the guy pretty sad and pathetic. Certainly not funny.
But he brought out his ‘A’ game for this event, let me tell you! Like the joke where he says he agrees “we need to be more bipartisan. We need to find compromises for our government to work. For example, gun control. We conservatives want LESS, those commie liberals want MORE gun control. So all we have to do is take all of the guns away from those liberals and give them to us. And the next time we have a disagreement, we’ll win ‘cause WE HAVE ALL THE GUNS!”
Or the one on tax policy. “We want to lower taxes, while those liberals want to RAISE taxes. So here’s what we do: We take their money and give it to us. What are they gonna say about it? WE HAVE ALL THE GUNS!!!”
Ha ha. I’m ROFLOL.
Or this gem: “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, BRING A BAZOOKA!”
What is it about Conservatives (big ‘C’) and those “2nd Amendment solutions” they are always looking to bring about? (Like the sign I photographed that said “The solution to 1984 is 1776!”)
Or his reference to the Speaker of the House as “Pelosiraptor.” Oh, and you should probably buy this guy’s book………ok, maybe not.
There was also the rhetoric thrown around by Rickey Jackson’s daughter (why the hell did they ask her to speak?). “Obamacare,” she says, “threatens everything about our way of life.” A bit melodramatic, maybe, Candace? Of course, this is a woman who believes that the health insurance companies are the “victims” of “Obamacare.” And that progressive intellectuals “fell in love with Russian and German socialism.” She also tells us that “Obamacare is unconstitutional!” Like she’s some sort of Constitutional Scholar or something.
One positive of the day was hearing the story of Nick Popaditch. Mr. Popaditch is running against Rep. Bob Filner of the 51st District. He seems like a decent enough guy, but I don’t think he is cut out for Congress just yet. I’m not sure he has a full grasp of just what it means to run a government and represent ALL of the people in a district. But he does have a compelling and inspirational story.
Mr. Popaditch is a Marine who was wounded in Iraq. He took shrapnel to his face, causing him to lose his right eye (he wears an eye patch). He also caught another piece of shrapnel that got lodged in behind his left eye, rendering him temporarily blind. The doctors were unsure if they would be able to save it, or if he’d ever be able to see anything ever again. They were forced to remove his left eye to get to the offending piece of metal and remove it, reinserting his lone remaining “good” eye afterward. Today Mr. Popaditch doesn’t see perfectly out of his left eye, but he can see. And for that he expresses his eternal gratitude to the doctors that worked with him.
But Mr. Popadtich has a warped view of the American healthcare system. He says “doctors are mercenaries.” And he doesn’t really have a plan or an idea for making sure the 43 million Americans without health insurance can get it. At least none that he proposed during his talk.
He also decries the evils of “Obamacare,” and insists that it should be repealed. But Popaditch is a realist, and knows that even as a member of Congress he’ll never be able to repeal the health care bill. But, he says, they can defund it, and by gosh, that’s just what he intends to do.
Popaditch also wants to “get rid of all those Czars” (never mind that George W. Bush appointed far more “Czars” than Obama has, but it didn’t seem to bother anybody back then). He insists that government cannot create jobs. And he demands lower taxes (despite the fact that taxes are at their lowest in half a century—yes, that means we are paying less in taxes than we have in a VERY long time).
But perhaps the most disturbing thing about Nick Popaditch, and most dangerous in my opinion, is that he views the world and its politics through his military service. He seems to believe that military force is the answer to all of our problems throughout the world. He would like to see a tougher approach to Iran and North Korea—”we need to rattle more sabers and talk tough with them.” His message: “America will always be able to out tough you and out fight you!” Like dropping bombs is the answer for everything. As if that will make us more secure.
Anyway, I did get a chance to speak with Mr. Popaditch very briefly, and I do intend to take him up on his offer for an interview. I found him to be very personable and respectful and I do think he means well. I just don’t think he has the right ideas about what life in this country is all about. So while I wish him the very best and sincerely thank him for his military service, I hope that Bob Filner retains his seat in Congress next November.
Photos of the event to come……..I have to download them off of my camera first.
A local group of physicians, nurses, patients and health-care activists will rally at Spanish Landing (3900 Harbor Drive) on Saturday, August 7 at 12 noon to counter the National Tea Party Doctors Rally held to protest the recently passed Health Care Reform bill or as they refer to it as “Obama Care.”
Many of the local doctors who favor Medicare For All agree with the Tea Party doctors that “Obama Care” is not the way to solve our health care crisis. But what is the alternative? To continue with increasing numbers of uninsured? To continue to be badgered by insurance company disallowances and paperwork? To ignore the demands of social justice?
Dr. Paul Friedman, San Diego Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) chapter, suggests
“The only effective cure for our health care woes is to establish a single, publicly financed system, one that removes the inefficient, wasteful, for-profit private health insurance industry from the picture,” he said. “Single payer has a proven track record of success – Medicare being just one example. A solid majority of physicians endorse such an approach.” Friedman goes on to say “The ‘doctors’ Tea Party is a fraud. They don’t represent the majority of doctors any more than the Tea Party represents the great majority of voters.”
Jeoffry Gordon, MD,MPH.,family practitioner in Ocean Beach (San Diego), feels that health care is a human right. Dr. Gordon emphasizes,
“In 2008 there were over 200,000 uninsured people in San Diego City. Obamacare depends on expanding MediCal or subsidizing private insurance companies intent on maximizing their income to provide access to medical care which will inevitably continue to create great complexity and waste of resources and continue to impose significant out of pocket expenses on many families. The Tea Party doctors profess to be against both private insurers and government financed care. My question to them is how they expect the poor, the large number of unemployed, and the vast majority of Americans to find the resources to obtain needed medical care in their time of need? The only real solution is to expand the proven, dependable, effective and efficient Medicare system to cover all Americans.”
Both Dr. Friedman and Dr. Gordon support California SB 810 which is based on a single payer system where patients would be able to go to the doctors and hospitals of their choice and not have to worry about being able to afford it.
More on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:
The AAPS believes that Medicare is “evil and immoral.” They do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. They believe that Barack Obama used hypnosis in order to convince the masses to vote for him–everyone who voted for him was hypnotized! (No, seriously! Here it is on their website!) They say that abortions cause breast cancer.
THESE ARE SUPPOSEDLY DOCTORS, ONE AND ALL!!!!
At the Doctor’s Tea Party event here in San Diego, Nevada Republican (Tea Party) Senate candidate Sharron Angle will be the group’s headline speaker. That would be Sharron Angle, who thinks teens who got pregnant due to rape or incest should make lemonade. Who thinks the media should only ask questions she wants to answer. Who wants to abolish the Department of Education, the EPA, Social Security. Who thinks anyone who is unemployed is just lazy. Who wants to impose her version of Christianity on the entire nation, and that the Founders didn’t really intend for there to be a separation of Church and State. And on and on and on and on with her completely whack job ideas.
These people are truly dangerous!
Got this from the comments on John Ralston’s blurb……