GOP: When Stereotypes Come Home to Roost

We Are Not Racist

PARTY OF LINCOLN? - It's refreshing to see a Republican fight a stereotype about them by taking strong action against a stereotype their candidate imposed on others.

As a party, Republicans have moved from mainstream conservatism toward the outer fringes of their tent.  In getting cozy with their ideological outer edge  they’ve ended up with some unsavory candidates, like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, and Sarah Palin. In essence, the GOP has been out-righted by the far right.

The party spends a lot of time defending itself from charges of supporting only rich people or Big Business. But they complicate their defense by drafting a new Contract on America™ that’s heavy on tax cuts they can’t explain and inviting de facto lobbyists to help author it.

Huzzah for the GOP
Another charge leveled against the party is racism. While you can no more profile a Republican’s race relations philosophy than you can profile an illegal immigrant, sometimes stereotypes are true. This time the GOP stereotype is NY congressional Candidate, Jim Russell.

I Never Said That

STEREOTYPE? WHO ME? - If the stereotype fits you either wear it or fight against it.

Russell became the party nominee after previous candidate, Paul Wasserman, dropped out. Now the party wants to sue to remove him from the ballot over charges that Russell is a racist.

Judging from his public statements about minorities – like his support for eugenics – his racism seems to show as plainly and unequivocally as a southern belle’s antebellum skirt. But, Republicans shouldn’t be  surprised since Russell has run as a Republican – and lost his primaries – no fewer than three times and they’ve never objected to him before.

The GOP frequently argues against the race card charge by pointing out they’re “the party of Lincoln”. The problem is Lincoln died 145 years ago and the GOP of today bears little resemblance to the GOP circa 1860. The not your great-great grandfather’s GOP often discriminates against all manner of people they don’t like – Muslims, gays, and Mexicans alike.  With a record like that and Russell’s, its little wonder why racial stereotypes of Republicans die about as readily as their stereotypes of race.

A Breath of Fresh Air
But in the Russell case, I’ll give Westchester GOP chair, Doug Colety, props. Not only did he denounce Russell, but said, “We’re not supporting him. We’ve withdrawn funds, volunteers, all resources. This is not the way Republicans think.” Although he also used the party of Lincoln gambit, he did take strong and positive action against a virulent racist. A breath of fresh air, someone who actually does hold people – including himself – accountable.

More’s the pity more GOPers don’t do the same. Instead of praising a Governor promoting unfair – and possibly illegal – legislation against immigrants it would be nice if they actually tried to help find a rational response to the very real problem of illegal immigration instead of spreading rumors of fictional headless corpses along the border. Or, instead of attacking Muslim’s freedom of religion and Constitutional rights, they might listen to some of their saner Christian brethren who call for religious harmony.

Although I don’t think I’d ever be one – but I’d also say, “never say never” – there’s nothing wrong with Republicanism or conservatism, it’s the people, like Russell and Angle & Co., who sometimes give it a bad name. It’s admirable that leaders like Colety accept that the buck stops with them. However, if you bolster your own stereotypes, don’t bitch when they’re used against you.

You’ll be better off as will the nation.

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Colbert Congressional Testimony: The Truthiness of the Matter

President of the Colbert Nation

COMEDIAN AS RELIABLE SOURCE - Stephen Colbert is going to testify - in character - before Congress on immigration. The sad part is that he's more of an expert than many of the experts developing legislation about what he only jokes about.

Polls suggest large swaths of the country get their news from faux newsers Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Well, except the far righties who get their news from the faux newsers on Faux News, but that’s a whole other post.

It’s no wonder, Stewart is less biased than most real anchorbots and he’s a master at repeatedly demonstrating that technologically-challenged politicians still don’t get the concept that video never goes away.

Damn that infernal TV contraption!

Colbert – who isn’t a Republican, but plays one on TV – refers to the “truthiness” of his news, which is an unfair assessment. His news is usually far more truth(FULL) than the “real” stuff.

That might be the reason Colbert is scheduled to testify before the House Immigration Subcommittee on Friday.

He’ll appear in character to testify about his experiences after interviewing United Farm Workers President, Arturo Rodriguez, on his show. Rodriguez invited the President of the Cobert Nation to participate in the UFWs Take Our Jobs Initiative – a program that asks regular American softies to apply for jobs as farm workers. The UFW provides training to erstwhile farm workers so they can replace immigrants in the fields. It’s meant as a not-so-subtle bit of hyperbole to answer claims that farm workers are stealing American jobs.

“Somehow, undocumented workers are getting as much blame for our economic troubles as Wall Street, but missing from the immigration debate is an honest recognition that the food we all eat at home, in restaurants and work-place cafeterias, including those in the Capitol, comes to us from the labor of undocumented workers,” Rodriguez said. “According to the federal government, more than 50 percent of the workers laboring are undocumented.”

I once knew a man who traveled all over the world after his retirement as an air traffic controller to play amateur migrant farm worker. He picked oranges in California, avacados in Australia, and tomatoes in Wisconsin. He even had the business cards to prove it. But, that’s a whole other post too.

I’m sure Colbert’s testimony will be just as hilarious as say, Alberto Gonzales’ “I’m sorry, but I can’t recall that particular felony Senator” deny-a-thon during the Bush the Lesser™ administration. However, it’s still a sad state of affairs that Americans have so monumentally wigged out over issues like immigration that we’re better off depending on a comedian to tell us the truth – at least a different “truth” than Jan Brewer can muster.

What’s next the cartoon version of the Constitution?

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Christine O’Donnell: The Day the Laughter Dies

Bewitched

AAAAHHHHAAAAAAAHHHHHAAAA! - Bewitched, bedraggled, and bewildered. Make the comedy stop!

Update Sex columnist calls for “Masturbate to Christine O’Donnell Day”

It’s a hard political season and we can all do with a little comic relief. That lovable lunkhead, Sarah Moosilini, wore a bit thin when she began inundating the country with her 140-word Twitternouncements. Susan Angle brought the funny for awhile, but she’s a dark comic who always leaves audiences a little edgy about whether she’ll exercise her Sec0nd Amendment freedoms on their asses.

Now, there’s Christine O’Donnell.

This chick is a laugh-a-minute. She can claim masturbation is vitrual adultery while keeping a vapid, cute little gapped tooth smile on her chipmunk-serious face. She claims she started dating by canoodling behind the altar with a witchcrafter down at the Wicca Wig Wam and Occult Church and then laughed it off with the airiest, most delightful grin – though the Wiccas seem none too pleased. But Wiccas, cheer up! Republicans didn’t like her at first either, but now she’s growing on them!

However, like any good comedienne, she has a dark side. Her belief that she can cure homosexuals of screaming cases of The Gay™ has alienated more than one of her “friends” and some of her former campaign officials made robocalls against her the day before the primary. And, it seems, she has more skeletons in her Halloween-hating closet than they have down at the Spirit Halloween Superstore.

Combine serious charges of tax delinquency, misappropriation of campaign funds, stiffing her vendors from previous campaigns, and the miscellany that all candidates pick up while swimming in the political death pool and her cute-as-a-button smile might just get wiped off her smug mug in the near future.

As O’Donnell and other attendees at the Tea Par-Tay make it to ballots, there’s much being said about their influence. Dems are rubbing their hands together like a stoned raccoon at a hot dog convention, lulled into Christmas-night dreams of a political disaster averted. The Republicans are asking Daniel Webster to reconsider that whole agreement he negotiated with the devil for them. Independents are frozen in the headlights, unsure which way to turn to avoid the scruffy riff-raff who rave like soap box preachers downtown. And the Baggers themselves? They don’t even get the joke.

The secret to good comedy is to take it right to the edge and not a smidge farther. Making people uncomfortable is OK, profoundly scaring them isn’t. There’s still time before the elections for another few rounds of Palin/Angle/O’Donnell jokes, but not much. It’s about time the adults break up the party and start cleaning things up for the election. We’re tired of laughing to avoid crying. Our sides are split from so much myrth. We just can’t take it any more…

No, really. We can’t.

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