As American politics continues to veer off the closest cliff it can find I am left amazed at what passes for intelligent conversation these days within the body politic. I am stunned at what intelligent men and women allow into the national discourse as credible. Of course there is the continued Foxification of what used to be the media but beyond that, individuals who clearly must know better continue to allow people who simply do not know what they are talking about to mangle the truth.
That is why a major thumbs up needs to be given to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; yes, that Chris Christie. I do not like Mr. Christie nor his politics. I think he is a bully who governs like he does not have to answer to anyone. That aside however, he nominated a judge to the State Superior Court in New Jersey this week who was Muslim. The outcry from the faux conservative wing of the GOP was that no Muslim should be nominated because they secretly want to implement Sharia Law. Christie's exact response was:
"The guy's an American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the constitution of the state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America . . . .This Sharia law business is crap. It's just crazy. And I'm tired of dealing with the crazies."
Amen. I'm tired of dealing with the crazies too. As bad as Christie may be on a lot of issues, he is spot on here in calling crap, crap. But what about the rest of the national dialogue beyond the silliness of Sharia Law? Why can't politicians and media talking heads who don't work for Fox simply call crap, crap?
1) The notion that because the average American has to stay within a budget, so should the government, is total nonsense. It is an intellectually vacuous argument. It sounds good in a sound bite, but in reality can you actually imagine of there was a "balanced budget" amendment? Hurricane Katrina hits -- sorry we don't have any money in the budget for relief efforts. Russia invaded Alaska (for my Sarah Palin fans) -- sorry, maybe we can include some money next year to retaliate. The average American family does not have to deal with the types of emergencies that a government responsible for over 311 million people deals with. To compare the two is not even comparing apples and oranges. It is more like comparing seven year olds to the Founding Fathers (for my Michele Bachmann fans).
Not to mention that the average American family carries $14,000 of credit card debt. If you times that by 311 million you get four trillion, 354 billion dollars. Yes, I recognize that I am comparing families and individuals, but the point is the comparison itself is, for lack of a better word, crap. The truth behind the Tea Party untruths is not that they want the budget balanced; they want the government eliminated from doing anything. That is what they believe a balanced budget amendment would do. When the hurricane hits, they would have no problem sending aid, but you would be forced to cut something else out of the budget to pay for it. Thus whittling down the size of government until it could be drowned in a bathtub.
2) Stop saying, "The American people sent us here to"" Just because you managed to convince your one little district, in one state, to send you to Washington that does not mean the American people want you to dismantle the government. That is arrogant crap.
3) Stop the nonsense that the top 2% of this country are the "job creators." Rich people do not get rich by giving their money away. Reagan proved that trickle down economics does not work. The worst part is that the media continues to allow this argument as if it a matter of opinion. It is not. It is proven fact. George Bush Jr. passed two tax breaks for the richest Americans and claimed it would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Since then we have lost more jobs than created. We have decades worth of data to support the FACT that giving tax breaks for the most well off does not create jobs. It is a stale, tired and completely inaccurate talking point.
We are all adults here. As the right wing is fond of saying, we need to have an adult conversation in this country. But that conversation needs to be mediated by the truth. Not shades of grey but black and white. The Republican Party believes in no government. They believe in tax breaks for the richest people, while claiming it is "for everyone." They do not believe in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. They do not have any real solutions for these because fundamentally they do not believe they should exist. How would older people survive? The disabled? The least in our society? The truth is that the GOP does not care as long as the government is not involved. And the Tea Party? They are the Republican Party on steroids.
tea-party-lil-girl-funny by obrag
While I may dislike Governor Christie it is largely because we disagree so widely on policy. But what I do admire is that he has no problem saying what he believes and defending it. If only the rest of his party would do the same. It is difficult to have an adult conversation in the national dialogue when one side is playing hide and go seek with their true beliefs. Their disingenuousness is firmly rooted in a harsh political reality however. That is that the true nature of their beliefs only helps 2% of this country. It is hard to run on that. It is hard to run on ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It is hard to run on the notion that they need to give millions of dollars back to the richest Americans because they will "create jobs" when everyone knows they won't.
That's a tough ticket to sell. Because no matter how you dress it up with the crazies and their sound bites, we all know what it smells like. No matter how many Fox interviews you do to convince us it is "what the American people sent you to do," we all know what it smells like. You see, we all know that a true Republican claiming to want to just "reform" entitlements is about as likely as a judge secretly implementing Sharia Law from the bench. And as Governor Chris Christie pointed out so accurately, that's just crazy crap.