Sheila Samples

A Hopeless Legion of Loons

“Oh, big conniver, nothing but a jiver, done got hip to your jive,
Slippin’ and a slidin’, peepin’ and a hidin’, won’t be your fool no more.”
~~Little Richard

GOP = Death & Destruction

GOP = Death & Destruction

Fear and despair are billowing across the US political landscape, due in no small part to nearly three years of President Barack Obama’s soaring jive even as he was breaking promises to millions of jobless, homeless, helpless Americans. Many of us watched, aghast, as Obama repeatedly took careful aim and shot himself in both feet; then, rather than deciding to fight on his knees, began scrambling around on them in a futile search for bipartisanship.

Ain’t gonna happen. Those hoary old Republicans with whom he has strenuously attempted to bond have been around the political block more than once. Most are sexist; homophobic to the core, and racist from the core… on in. They’re absolutely committed to — obsessed with — not only Obama’s failure, but his complete destruction.

Read the rest at Sheila Stuff.

Politics — Spinning Out of Control

“The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ of non-recognition, no matter how we vote … May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties.”~~W.E.B. DuBois (1922)

In January, after the mid-term election blowout dumped the House of Representatives into the corporate lap, the Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin opened the 112th Congress with the standard prayer, asking the Lord’s Spirit to “descend upon this Chamber; that from here may come forth good news for the poor and healing for the broken-hearted of this nation.”

The good Reverend then demanded of the Lord — “Let there go forth a proclamation to the people that captivity is ended. And the action of true politics will set this nation free.”(emphasis added)

There was immediate news for the poor and broken-hearted, but it was hardly good. House Speaker John Boehner, awash in tears and incoherently mumbling over and over “the American people…the American people,” set about blocking all Democratic legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the “single most important” issue for the Republicans is to make “President Obama a one-term president.”

And then there’s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is arguably the most frightening Republican — and that’s saying a lot — for “the American people.” Cantor is adamantly opposed to anything that does not inflict further pain and sacrifice on the already suffering poor and middle classes, and struggled to shut down the government and blame it on President Obama.

Not only would Cantor and his Republican cohorts privatize Social Security and eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, but they are against all facets of health-care reform, Planned Parenthood, and any initiative that would ease the suffering of children, the elderly or those struggling in poverty.

One need go no further than the Table of Contents of Rep. Paul Ryan’s grotesque Path To Prosperity budget resolution for 2012 to see the stark Republican agenda, and to realize that in no way are “the American people” on that prosperity path. Listed under . . .

Efficient, Effective and Responsible Government — Restraining the Growth of Government by Repealing the Health Care Law

Strengthening the Social Safety Net — Stopping the Abuse of Medicaid by Repealing the Health Care Law

Fulfilling the Mission of Health and Retirement Security for All Americans — Stopping the Raid on Medicare by Repealing the Health Care Law

Pro-Growth Tax Reform — Stopping Job-Destroying Tax Hikes by Repealing the Health Care Law

Once in power, most politicians can be depended upon to do whatever it takes to remain in power, regardless of the destruction they leave in their wake. In his penetrating Drifting Too Far From Shore: The Unresisted Rise of the Elite, Chris Floyd writes…

 

“Politicians are, with the rarest of exceptions, venal, preening, shallow-minded third-raters. Many of them are psychologically damaged, which is what draws them into the pursuit of power — of dominating other people — in the first place. Mostly, they like the perks (material and emotional) of power. They are not figures of deep character and solid principles. Strong political resistance — or even a great lot of noise — can scare them out of whatever ‘principles’ they find expedient to hold at any given moment. The Right has triumphed because no one has resisted it. Big Money has bought off and/or subsumed almost all of the institutional forces that once offered some resistance to its iron-fisted rule.”

I have a real problem with Democrats who refuse to get off their knees long enough to stand up for what they believe in. What do they believe in? Community organizing? Democrats are not evil; they really really want to do what is right, but with few exceptions, they are timid, hypocritical little cave-inskis when it comes to walking their talk. They take the money and call it bipartisanship. I call it betrayal.

However, Republicans, for the most part, are sociopaths — morally and politically corrupt. In her Editor’s Preface to Andrew M. Lobaczewski’s critically important Political Ponerology, Laura Knight-Jadczyk quotes Martha Stout, who appears to be eerily describing modern Republicans, in her book, The Sociopath Next Door . . .

“Imagine — if you can — not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

[…]

“If you are born at the right time, with some access to family fortune, and you have a special talent for whipping up other people’s hatred and sense of deprivation, you can arrange to kill large numbers of unsuspecting people. With enough money, you can accomplish this from far away, and you can sit back safely and watch in satisfaction . . . Crazy and frightening — and real, in about 4 percent of the population. . . .

“The high incidence of sociopathy in human society has a profound effect on the rest of us who must live on this planet, too, even those of us who have not been clinically traumatized. The individuals who constitute this 4 percent drain our relationships, our bank accounts, our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our very peace on earth.”

Keenly aware that fair elections are beyond their grasp, Republicans rely on entities such as the Supreme Court (Election 2000 and the recent Citizens United decision), corporate billionaires such as the Koch Brothers (who organized and funded the Tea Party movement as well as the campaigns of neoconservative governors), and a myriad of fawning, right-wing media.

And, as added insurance, “the American people” most likely to vote Democratic need to be kicked to the curb. According to Think Progress…

 

“Since taking office in January, conservative legislators in state houses across the country have raised the specter of voter fraud to quietly — and quickly — push through a series of bills that would make it significantly more difficult for large swaths of the population to vote, including college students, rural voters, senior citizens, the disabled, and the homeless. Proposed legislation would dramatically change how the country votes ahead of the 2012 elections, requiring Americans in some states to present their birth certificates before registering to vote and show a DMV-issued photo identification at the polls.

“These voter ID bills would not only dampen voter turnout — depressing Hispanic turnout by as much as 10 percent — but also cost cash-strapped statehouses (and taxpayers) millions of dollars. Yet in dozens of states, Republicans have made bills restricting voting a central part of their legislative agenda — passing voter ID bills before they even begin to work on budgets. Conservatives have claimed their assault on voting rights is necessary to combat the threat of mass voter fraud. Yet the Brennan Center for Justice notes that voters are more likely to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud, and the Bush Justice Department’s five-year “War on Voter Fraud” resulted in only 86 convictions out of 196 million votes cast. As The Progress Report’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes, ‘The only fraud in voter fraud is the allegation of fraud.’ Instead, like their assaults on unions, Planned Parenthood, and AARP, conservatives’ anti-voter agenda is aimed at silencing the voices of those who disagree with them.”

North Carolina is targeting its elderly, disabled and college students. South Carolina said too many blacks voted for Obama in 2008 and they didn’t want that to happen again. Kansas is working to require a “two-fer” — proof of citizenship upon registering to vote and photo identification at the polls.

Well, alrighty then. That pretty much knocks a hole in the Democratic voting base, but when you consider the roster of Republicans straining at the bit to storm the Oval Office, it’s difficult to imagine “the American people” turning out to vote for any of them either.

Think about it. Our world — our political world — has been knocked off its axis and is spinning out of control. Neither party can be trusted to do anything that is not totally self-serving.

When we see these selfish, immoral, corporate-owned money changers — both Democrats and Republicans — being hurled out of House windows and doors, it’s possible that the Lord responded to the good Reverend Coughlin, and His Spirit — at long last — will have descended upon the Chamber.

Then — and only then — will our captivity be ended, and we can get about the business of true politics which, hopefully, will set this nation free.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

Hey, American People!

“The time is always right to do what is right”— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Whew. Nasty. That was one hell of a campaign season; one hell of an election. Democrats emerged, bruised and broken, yet their mindset seems to be – hey, we survived Bush, how bad can it be? Sadly, the grim truth they refuse to face is – we didn’t survive Bush…

The radical right-wing, neo-conservative, religious-based, hate-empowered GOP once again owes the half-crazed ideologues in the Supreme Court a hearty thanks for plunging yet another dagger into the heart of democracy with its Citizens United corporate giveaway. And no Justice on that venerable body is more ideologically rigid than Dick Cheney’s hunting buddy Antonin Scalia, who ramrodded the Court’s 2000 Presidential “Selection” for George W. Bush, and is now out there taking aim at the century-old 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which is literally the last barrier to a corporate-owned nation.

The 17th Amendment allows U.S. Senators to be elected by the people, rather than by individual state legislatures. Recently, referring to the Constitution, Scalia said the 17th Amendment “has changed things enormously. We changed that in a burst of progressivism in 1913, and you can trace the decline of so-called states’ rights throughout the rest of the 20th century…”

We need another “burst of progressivism” — and soon. We are in the throes of a political convulsion, an intellectual and moral battle that we are increasingly in danger of losing. It’s time to stop, take a deep national breath, and then…take a deep national bath. This nation has been in a spiraling nose dive for a decade…We need to make a genuine effort to actually see what we’ve only been looking at — actually listen to what we’ve only been hearing.

Neither party spent much time talking about the issues; the real problems facing this country. Perhaps that’s because the Republican party is a greedy force, too corrupt and venal to change — and the Democratic Party is a shameless enabler, too timid and flabby to make a difference. Throw the corporate media in there, where it’s all politics all the time because that’s where the money is, and it’s easy to see — if you’re really looking — why we’re caught up in the patriotic spirit of waving the flag for more tax cuts, trading freedoms for safety and following our presidential Pied Piper into the quagmire of endless war.

Republicans are dangerous. Like Bush, they are morally depraved, in that they feel no guilt or remorse for anything they say or do, regardless of the outcome. It’s far too easy in this Tea Party sodden society to rationalize that murdering, wounding, displacing millions of innocent human beings was, and continues to be, necessary in order to protect the American people.

They say they are against big government, and justify their destruction of the social network by repeating “the american people…the american people…the american people” in mind-numbing repetition, much as Bush justified his bloodlust with a constant “september the 11th…september the 11th…september the 11th.”

The only things Republicans have ever given to the American people is depression, poverty and despair. And their foot-stomping threats to shut down the government until their billionaire donors get a tax cut is a clear warning that more is on the way.

Having a Black man within a country mile of the Oval Office has driven a majority of Republicans, and some Democrats — as liberal radio commentator Mike Malloy says — “bat-shit crazy,” and they are determined to destroy President Obama. Just days before the mid-term election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Really? With the barrage of critical issues swirling throughout this nation — more than 15-million “american people” unemployed and, every day, more losing jobs, homes, unemployment insurance, health insurance, their very lives — yet nothing is more important than destroying the President?

Lest anyone think the old Kentuckian was racist, just days after the election, he chucked his hood and went into safe, regressive “american people” spin, saying for all practical purposes — the american people reminded us this week that we work for the american people and we owe it to the american people and to future generations of the american people to work together to find solutions to present troubles of the american people and to help guide our nation of american people to better days…

“The formula is simple, really,” McConnell said. “When the administration agrees with the American people, we will agree with the administration. When it disagrees with the American people, we won’t … If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction.”

Simple translation — what all Republicans are saying if you listen — Our way, or the highway — and to hell with the American people.

Neither party can escape its history. American people struggling to prevent the American Flag from becoming their funeral shroud should remember that the Great Depression did not come about by accident. While Americans were standing in soup lines, the Republican administration was carrying Big Business through the crisis. Banks, insurance companies and corporate donors all got bailed out; big business got tax cuts — but there was no relief for “the american people.”

Sound familiar? Yes, because President Obama, in his cowering attempt at bipartisanship, is taking us “forward to the past” so rapidly that our knees are hitting our chins for nothing less than endless war, a recession caused by a permanent rich-man’s tax cut and the final shredding of our social safety net. It is likely that our veterans, our children, our elderly will be forgotten or cast aside simply for the enrichment of lobbyists who paid for Republican campaigns and are now swarming all over the Capital.

Time is running out. Like Jon Stewart said when explaining the reason for his Oct. 30 Rally to Restore Sanity on the National Mall, the American people — regardless of their political affiliation — “Know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together.”

So let’s do it! The time is right. Let’s give Scalia another badly needed “burst of progressivism.” After all — like McConnell says — we’re the american people…

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is an OpEd editor, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

Only if we let it

“History will repeat itself — only if we let it”~~Mike Malloy

Hardly a day goes by that we are not inundated with demands to attack Iran. Our media, our Congress — packs of neoconservatives — have been howling for war on Iran for years. And years.

This reckless axis has been relentless in its orchestrated effort to manipulate and influence public opinion. And, if we are to believe the myriad of polls, it’s working. According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, who wrote on July 30 that “polling data for 2010 show a majority of Americans have been manipulated into supporting war against Iran — in large part because more than two-thirds of those polled have gotten the impression that Iran already has nuclear weapons.”

Horror Tent Revival

Is it possible that a majority of Americans can be lured again into the tent of horror to support yet another bloody war? Have we learned nothing from history — the blatant lies that catapaulted us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan? It’s amazing how easily our handlers control us; enrage us; shape our beliefs, our opinions. As George Orwell wrote in 1948 about those controlled by Big Brother…

“A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”

For centuries, those in power have known that fear is the easiest of emotions to work with. As with Iraq, and now Iran, we are paralyzed with fear; fear of “known unknowns” — of factually unsubstantiated threats about Iran’s lust for Israeli blood. Many of us have been ducking and covering for so long that we have lost the ability to reason; even to think beyond the “truth” that is hammered into our national consciousness with blow after blow of an Orwellian sledge hammer — we must support, and protect, Israel, no matter the cost.

It’s tempting to pretend that we believe Iran’s refusal to give up its nuclear energy program — which it has every right to pursue as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — is proof that it is an “evil Islamic regime” whose maniacal leaders are feverishly working to wipe Israel off the map. Tempting to take at face value the sinister warnings of those like Reuel Marc Gerecht, a resident fellow at AEI and Weekly Standard contributing editor, who warned in his April 2006 article, “To Bomb, or Not to Bomb — That is the Iran Question”…

“Given the Islamic Republic’s dark history, the burden of proof ought to be on those who favor accommodating a nuclear Iran. Those who are unwilling to accommodate it, however, need to be honest and admit that diplomacy and sanctions and covert operations probably won’t succeed, and that we may have to fight a war — perhaps sooner rather than later — to stop such evil men from obtaining the worst weapons we know.”

Gerecht, a former consular officer for the State Department and CIA Mid-East specialist, is, like most of his neoconservative peers, pathologically obsessed with Iran’s destruction, and is as good as it gets when using fear and misinformation to justify that destruction.

Porter also wrote in his July article that “the aim of Gerecht and of the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is to support an attack by Israel so that the United States can be drawn into direct, full-scale war with Iran.” Porter pointed out that Gerecht first revealed his “Israeli-neocon fantasy as early as 2000, before the Iranian nuclear program was even taken seriously, in an essay written for a book published by the Project for a New American Century.” Gerecht argued that, if Iran could be caught in a “terrorist act,” the U.S. Navy should “retaliate with fury.”

Now, a decade later, that appears to still be Gerecht’s position. In his ponderous July 26, 2010 Weekly Standard piece, he writes…

“…if nuclear weapons in the hands of Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards are an existential threat to the Jewish state — and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like his predecessors, has said that they are — Jerusalem has little choice. Bombing is the only option that could likely alter the nuclear equation in Iran before Khamenei produces a weapon. The Obama administration might fume, but it is hard to imagine the president, given what he has said about the unacceptability of Iranian nukes, scolding Jerusalem long. […] The left wing of the Democratic party has been going south on the Jewish state for 30 years, but congressional Democrats, who’ve been pushing for new sanctions against Iran more aggressively than the White House, are not that far gone. By and large, the Republican party would hold behind the Israelis.”

Here, Gerecht is echoing the belief blurted out by Netanyahu in 2001 when talking about a broad attack on Palestine and undermining the Oslo Accords — “I know what America is,” Netanyahu said. “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way.”

Sadly, there many more like Gerecht — Dick Cheney and his efforts to do an “end run” around a balking Bush to force an attack on Iran; Norman Podhoretz with his constant refrain “bomb Iran before Iran bombs us”; National Review’s Larry Kudlow who says if Israel furiously attacks Iran, it will be “doing the Lord’s work”; the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and Daniel Pipes with their confident forecast that Bush would attack Iran before leaving office if Obama won the election.

Then, there’s the US Congress, whose members can agree on absolutely nothing to ease the suffering of their own citizens, but stand shoulder-to-shoulder in passing resolution after shameful resolution for Israel’s right to defend itself and against Iran’s right to do the same. If Senator Joe Lieberman’s mouth is moving, you can bet he is demanding an attack on Iran — and he was joined by his cohort Senator Lindsey Graham just last month, who said we must sic our military on Iran, “with the goal of overthrowing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.”

But by far the the most strident is the wild and woolly former UN ambassador John Bolton. He runs at top speed from one media outlet to another, calling for Iran’s destruction — just as he did for Iraq. I can’t help it. This guy is grotesquely fascinating. As I wrote in September 2008 about this issue…

It’s no laughing matter, but the sight of this tousle-headed, “got milk?” maniac running in circles, warning of — demanding — a nuclear holocaust is good for a grin, albeit a grim one. Even as he was being forced onto the United Nations over national and international objections, Bolton was hot on Iran’s trail. He insisted that Iran is the most dangerous critter out there — harboring terrorists, arming terrorists, training terrorists — sending bombs, IEDs, weapons to Iraq to kill Americans. If it weren’t for Iran, there would have been no 9-11 attack because Iran provided safe haven for the box-cutting killers headed our way. Bolton warned if Iran managed to produce a single nuclear weapon, Israel, the United States — the world — was toast. He promised that Iran will come after us. “That’s the threat,” Bolton barked, “that’s the reality whether you like it or not. And it will be just like Sept. 11, only with nuclear weapons this time.”

Time Out

Considering the consequences of history repeating itself, perhaps we should call a “time out” and take a closer look at Iran. We didn’t bother to check out the accusations made by these same bloodthirsty warmongers against Iraq — false cries of weapons of mass destruction, lies about Saddam Hussein aiding and harboring Al Qaeda terrorists — we had but a scant 45 minutes to dive under our duct-taped plastic or we would surely die. Now, after hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings have been destroyed — millions displaced — trillions of dollars wasted, far too many of us say we were not to blame. Hey — we were lied to. Besides, that was years ago. It’s all history now.

Iran, as a major civilization, dates back to 4000 BC and, although it has been invaded by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, even Mongols, it has no modern history of attacking or occupying other nations. However, unlike other areas that continue to be devastated by US and Israeli assaults, history shows that Iran is capable of defending itself. Both its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and frisky little president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have promised to do exactly that if attacked.

In August, Khamenei said “the consequences of a US attack would be grave…not merely regional, but will cover a vaster scene.” If our warmongering babblers took a closer look at that “scene,” they would see the destruction of the 32 US bases in the region as well as the shutdown of the Strait of Hormuz — the gateway to the world’s oil.

Regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions, both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have said over and over (and over) that Iran seeks nuclear power for generating electricity for medical purposes and for its growing population. In 2005, Khamenei issued a Fatwa that “the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that Iran shall never acquire these weapons.” And, in spite of blatant lies and distortions to the contrary, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continues to verify Iran’s pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy.

The timeline of Iran’s nuclear program from the 1950s shows that Iran has never sought nuclear energy for anything other than peaceful purposes. In 1957, the Shah opened the American Atoms for Peace in Tehran, and signed an agreement with the US for cooperation in research on peaceful uses of nuclear technology. And, in 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on the first day it opened for signature.

Before we buy into railings from those like Gerecht about evil Iran’s “dark history” in pursuing nuclear weapons, perhaps we should study the dark history of two other nations — one that obliterated the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in mere moments just 65 years ago…that used napalm, chemical weapons, and deadly toxins against the Vietnamese…that uses deadly depleted uranium to wipe out entire generations, to deform future generations…or perhaps the other one that takes great delight in dropping white phosphorus bombs on a trapped civilian population with nowhere to run…

The Choice is Ours

If our evil axis succeeds in its lust for war on Iran, yet another March 19, 2003 “Shock and Awe” will come roaring through. We can choose to sit, once again transfixed by sounds of explosions, gunfire, sirens, screams — and once again listen to Mike Malloy say in a dead voice stripped of all emotion…

“This is a dark day.
This is a filthy day.
This is a day for shame…”

Or we can rise up and stand firm. As Malloy also says, over and over (and over) — “We know the truth. We no longer have an excuse for remaining silent.”

History is replete with examples of citizens uniting and changing the course of history. When that happens, empires — even a shining empire on a hill — must change…or fall.

History. Round and round it goes. Will the US and Israel attack Iran? Will history repeat itself?

Yes, but only if we let it. The choice is ours.

The Glory of White-Wing Politics

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress… but then, I repeat myself.” —Mark Twain

Much has been written — argued heatedly by ideological TV pundits — over the past several years about the inability of members of Congress to agree on anything. Republicans stomp around like elephants in a china closet, shouting “No! No! Hell No!” no matter what legislation comes before them. Democrats, in a timid effort to reach across the aisle, stumble and fall down, where they just sit, plaintively begging, “Please don’t hurt me…”

Both parties are adrift; cut loose from their moorings — in total disarray. Much of the chaos is a result of the previous administration lighting a myriad of fuses before slinking into the shadows, setting off a string of political and financial explosions designed to blow this republic all to hell. What they failed to consider — and what the bumbling members of Congress have yet to realize is — when the ship of state sinks, everybody on board is going down with it.

Which appears to be what the race-baiting Rush Limbaugh, the self-appointed “leader” of the Republican Party, is feverishly attempting to provoke. Anybody who doubts that Limbaugh hasn’t been in racist meltdown since 2007 when it became obvious that Barack Obama was a threat to White-Wing Limbaughesque “values” just hasn’t been paying attention. Throughout the campaign — from constantly airing the insulting Barack, the Magic Negro jingle to calling Obama and actress Halle Berry “Halfrican-Americans,” to accusing Obama of “disowning his white half and deciding to go all in on the black side” — Limbaugh led the pack.

And he still does. Republicans are united in support of the “I Hope He Fails” Limbaugh Doctrine which El Rushbo announced as millions of relieved — even giddy — Americans gathered at the nation’s capitol for Obama’s inauguration. Just a day later, Limbaugh hit the racist trail, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity…

“[r]acism in this country is the exclusive province of the left. We’re witnessing racism all this week that led up to the inauguration. We’re being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles. Bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president. We’ve got to accept this. The racism that everybody thinks exists on our side of the aisle has been on full display throughout their primary campaign. So I think they’ve done a great job, the media has, of covering up his deficiencies.”

So, it’s all the Democrats’ fault. The Democrats are militantly racist. If we buy into Limbaugh’s rationale, none of his hateful, cruel, racist remarks would have been necessary if the Democrats hadn’t selected a Halfrican-American who threw his grandma under the bus and then backed over her before going over to the black side as their candidate for president. On his October 12, 2009 show, Limbaugh explained just how innocent and colorblind he is…

“I’m interested in people’s hearts and their souls, because that’s what animates us as human beings. Not our skin color. I’m colorblind. I have reached the point where everybody professes we need to go. I treat everybody equally. Nobody is — in the political arena — I don’t care. Male, female, black, white, gay, straight, bisexual. If you are opposed to the things I think are great for the country, I’m going to say so. I’m going to criticize you. Not because of whatever it is distinguishes you from me on a surface basis, but because of ideas. I’m just a lone guy here, in the arena of ideas, sharing mine.”

The Democrats quake with fear at the thought of being labeled “racist.” When Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their January 2009 book, Game Change, wrote that, during the campaign, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was delighted that Obama was the Democratic presidential candidate, and had said privately that “Obama, as a black candidate, could be successful thanks, in part, to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,” all hell broke loose.

Reid immediately apologized to the media, to “any and all Americans,” and personally called President Obama, as well as “House Democrats Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Barbara Lee of California; the Rev. Al Sharpton; CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; NAACP chairman Julian Bond; and the head of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Wade Henderson.”

If there is evidence of Limbaugh or any of his White-Wing cohorts in the media, in Congress, or in the dangerously leaderless, out-of-control Teabagging movement offering even the semblance of an apology for their hateful rhetoric, I am unaware of it. Just last week, on July 2, Limbaugh was in full, bouncing racist fervor. According to Media Matters…

Rush stated that President Obama is “no different than Castro, in the sense that neither will be stopped by a governing document.” He also asserted that “[w]e are not a Third World country here, putting up shacks and huts like the president’s brother lives in.” And if that wasn’t bad enough, Rush “speculate[d]” that Michelle Obama did not attend the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s funeral because of her “authentic slave blood.”

Is anybody, other than a bunch of Dittoheads or his obedient followers in Congress, listening to this guy? As if we didn’t have history to remind us, racism rots the soul of a nation, and the upheaval in Congress has its roots in racism.

This is about so much more than destroying one man, or even one party. Americans — not just Democrats — must find the courage to shout “No! No! Hell No!” to the destruction planned for this republic. Unless we stand up, shake ourselves off, and dare to fight back, the evil glory of White-Wing Politics will devour us.

We have no choice. Because this ship is going down.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is an OpEd editor, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

Keep the Change

Change is the process by which the future invades our lives~~Alvin Toffler, “Future Shock”

Each time it appears that Republicans can’t get any nastier, any more bereft of morality, they wrap themselves in the flag, grab their guns and Bibles, and manage once again to hit the bottom of the ethical barrel. A good example is Ben Smith’s recent startling revelation in Politico.com, which exposed the dirty tricks Republican National Committee (RNC) operatives were planning to play, not only on Democrats in the upcoming elections — but on their own donors. Smith writes…

“Manipulating donors with crude caricatures and playing on their fears is hardly unique to Republicans or to the RNC — Democrats raised millions off George W. Bush in similar terms — but rarely is it practiced in such cartoonish terms.

“One page, headed “The Evil Empire,” pictures Obama as the Joker from Batman, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid are depicted as Cruella DeVille and Scooby Doo, respectively.”

Ruh-Roh. I can’t help it — that’s good for a grin, albeit a ghoulish one. And the “tchochkes,” or swag, such as T-shirts, tote bags, baseball caps, and other useless crap they planned to give to their donors in exchange for big bucks made some of us laugh out loud.

But that’s just the funny part. The far more frightening aspect is the lengths the rabid radical right — not just the Republican Party — is willing to go in order to destroy President Obama and the “socialist commies” who elected him. They are very open about it; proud to be the “Party of No,” and brag about burying Obama under a burning health-care pyre. Nearly a year ago, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint gloated — “this health-care issue is D-Day for freedom in America…If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

Former Bush speech writer David Frum admitted to MSNBC’s Ed Shultz on his March 18 show that negotiation has never been on the Republican’s health-care table. Frum said…

“It’s critical for everybody, and not just the president. It’s critical for us on the Republican side, too. If this thing passes, there is going to be an accountability moment on the Republican side. We had a choice, do we negotiate and try to get some of our values in the bill? Or do we go for total defeat of the president and bet everything on that?

“I was one of those who said negotiate. That advice was rejected. We went for total defeat of the president. If he prevails, it is going to be a shutout of Republican views in one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed in the United States.”

Some are disillusioned with Obama because they feel he has not been forthcoming with his promise of change. They do not seem to realize that, for more than a decade, change in this nation has been overwhelming. Since the Kafkaesque mutation of the Republican establishment, whose metamorphosis into a destructive force was sudden as a result of five right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court stopping the Florida recount in December 2000 and handing the presidency to one of their own even though his opponent won the national popular vote by more than a half million ballots, the change within the Republican party has been nothing less than frenetic.

This is no longer about politics, where opposing sides butt heads, twist arms and kick ass until they manage to agree on legislation that will benefit American citizens on both sides of the aisle. It is not, as Frum said, about merely defeating this president. It is about destroying him; about weaving a noose for him out of lies and dirty tricks; about sending a message to future generations of African Americans that the “White” House means just that.

If you doubt that the right-wing crusade is about race, you are either so oblivious of the past that you see nothing unusual about the present — or you haven’t been to a Tea Party lately. At Tea Parties across the nation, Obama is not only portrayed in hideous caricatures as the Joker, but as others such as Adolph Hitler, Karl Marx and Osama bin Laden.

Initially, the Tea Party movement was started by Congressman Ron Paul to appeal to Americans who were frustrated and fed-up with such things as taxes and wars, but it was immediately co-opted by right-wing think tanks and by Fox News whose target-eyed pundits brayed 24/7 about a massive “white culture” crusade taking over the nation. Racist hatemongers joined the party, especially Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and,in no time at all, had David Duke, a “white nationalist” and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,looking like a rank amateur.

These guys aren’t crazy — okay, maybe they are — but they know exactly what they’re doing. They learned from eight years of K-K-Karl Rove and Dick Cheney that fear and hate are the two easiest emotions to work with. Stir in a generous helping of rage, and entire cultures can be manipulated into a frenzy. And, when those emotions feed on racism, a gathering can be turned into a mob, which can then be whipped into a destructive, extremist riot.

In the Spring 2010 Intelligence Report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Mark Potok examines the “Rage on the Right.” He writes…

“Since the installation of Barack Obama, right-wing extremists have murdered six law enforcement officers. Racist skinheads and others have been arrested in alleged plots to assassinate the nation’s first black president. One man from Brockton, Mass. — who told police he had learned on white supremacist websites that a genocide was under way against whites — is charged with murdering two black people and planning to kill as many Jews as possible on the day after Obama’s inauguration. Most recently, a rash of individuals with anti-government, survivalist or racist views have been arrested in a series of bomb cases.

“As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.

“Last year also experienced levels of cross-pollination between different sectors of the radical right not seen in years. Nativist activists increasingly adopted the ideas of the Patriots; racist rants against Obama and others coursed through the Patriot movement; and conspiracy theories involving the government appeared in all kinds of right-wing venues.”

The SPLC also reports that just in the first year of the Obama presidency, “an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump.”

We are falling apart. We have lost our sense of decency, our sense of direction. The past is overtaking us, and will soon be our future. We are surrounded by increasingly violent gun-toting “Patriots” who are eager to water the Tree of Liberty with the blood of loony liberals, Commies, and Socialists — starting with their Black President who, according to the mad dogs on the right, is determined to destroy the freedoms of loyal Americans.

Are we going to stand here, suffering from change shock — too much change in too short a period of time — and do nothing? It’s tempting, but as Chris Hedges warns,

“To give up acts of resistance is spiritual and intellectual death. It is to surrender to the dehumanizing ideology of totalitarian capitalism. Acts of resistance keep alive another narrative, sustain our integrity and empower others, who we may never meet, to stand up and carry the flame we pass to them. No act of resistance is useless. … But we will have to resist and then find the faith that resistance is worthwhile, for we will not immediately alter the awful configuration of power. And in this long,long war a community to sustain us, emotionally and materially, will be the key to a life of defiance. As long as we are willing to defy these forces we have a chance, if not for ourselves, then at least for those who follow.”

I agree. We must resist — in order to stop the right-wing’s race to destruction before it’s too late — and to change the shock of our children’s future.

Sheila Samples http://sheilastuff.blogspot.com/ is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is an OEN editor, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.