Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AK-47 Politcs, I Am Not a Racist!

David Brooks
David Ignatius
Steve Coll

“Human nature, in no form of it, could ever bear prosperity” - John Adams

"Why do democracies hate women so much?" - Omar40

"Well, I'll be damned"  - Richard Nixon

Wow. Sarah Palin has just finished her memoirs in a blistering four months, and is at the printers now. It will be out in November, just in time for the Christmas book buying season. It's titled Going Rogue - An American Life. Her ghost writer must be good, to whip out 400 pages in such a short time. I wonder if we'll be able to tell which sections were written on too much coffee... I would provide a link, but Amazon hasn't put up one yet on their site.

I've never been to South Carolina, I've always wanted to visit because it's so beautiful. Now I'm curious to travel there and see the sights and wonderfully demented folks myself, their state having given us Mark Sandford, Jim DeMint, and now Dean Allen, who: "... drew 500 people to a fundraiser Saturday that included the giveaway of a $700 AK-47 semiautomatic rifle.

Dean Allen charged $25 a pop for his "machine-gun social," which included the giveaway, 20 rounds to shoot in a machine gun of your choice and a barbecue, held at an indoor shooting range in Greenville. Allen, a Republican, is running for adjutant general, a position that includes administering the Army and Air National Guard, among other things."

It makes a great gift for those old men who never went to war and pretend they are tough-guy hawkish patriots, content on sending other people's kids to war. Hey, I have an Andy Hardy moment, let's invade Iran... "I like to tell people I'm not the country club conservative," Allen told the Greenville News. "I'm the machine gun one."

I find these kind of characters wacky and fun to read about, but a pain in the ass to talk to in person. You can't actually have a conversation where there is give and take, it has to be a lecture or an anger filled rant that feeds on itself indefinitely; it's self sustainable. Too bad we can't harness and sell that energy to the utilities, a few rabid  right wingers could fuel most of the major cities and keep us warm during the long winter nights.

A lot is being written right now in a self righteous mode about Jimmy Carter's statement about Southern White Racism having trouble accepting a Black president. Many pundits immediately wrote columns saying hey, we're not racist, we just disagree with Obama. Which is a valid point, that when you talk about policy, it's about ideas and social philosophy, and race usually is not a factor.

But others, who lack any self introspection, misinterpreted the remarks as saying that anyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. And they are now loudly whining and repeating this argument. I read at least one letter in my local paper each day on this, or a post by my fellow Colorado bloggers. It makes me want to talk like a pirate, ARRRR...

I thought that one of the reasons Obama got elected was because people were tired of mean, vicious attack style politics. But after the election, this style has boomeranged back with a vengeance, Most of the "home-made" signs at the tea party and townhall rallies were taken from lists of sayings provided on websites, and they often gave more than fifty at a time to choose from. So, many of the personal attacks have been planned and organized, knowing that it would inspire people to take things one step further.

In reality, Barack Obama is not a fervent left winger, but a political moderate who enjoys listening and weighing in on both sides of an argument. If the Republicans hadn't decided to just say no and protest everything that he is proposing, and went to the White House for real give and take conversations, they would find more of their agenda being put on the docket. But that would take real change on their part, something that I could believe in...

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