Thursday, July 05, 2012

Save America

Election season is here, and the signs are springing up everywhere. One new sign proclaims: Save America, Vote Republican. I’ve reflected on those signs on a number of occasions during the last two weeks.

After the Supreme Court’s decision that the ACA is Constitutional, Merrimack, NH Tea Party founder Mike Malzone told the Merrimack Patch that he hoped the majority justices all got colon cancer. He posted a lot of ugly and obscene commentary on his Facebook page. The next day he stood by his remarks. A few days later, however, after the story went national, Malzone issued a retraction, saying he’s not a hateful person. Boy – he sure fooled me!

Undoubtedly, the makers of the signs were thinking about Republicans like Mike Malzone when they urge us to Save America and vote GOP.

I reflected upon those signs again, when I read about a study done by State Rep. Robert Kingsbury of Laconia. It seems that Rep. Kingsbury has been gathering data since 1996 that shows a link between kindergarten and an increase in crime in Belknap County. Laconia has a lot more crime than other area towns that don’t have kindergarten, according to Rep. Kingsbury. One wonders if perhaps population density was a consideration during the course of this study, but then one decides that examining the methodology too closely could be damaging to one’s mental health. Representative Kingsbury states that other causes for the increase in crime include declining gun ownership and the fact that boxing is no longer taught in schools.

Sadly for us all, that wasn’t the end of it. Rep. Kingsbury felt compelled to elaborate on his statements. He believes that children are taken away from their mothers too soon. He was quoted in the Huffington Post as saying, “Children go to kindergarten at the point of a gun, children go to day care and it's not the same; there is no point of a gun.” Given that he seems to like guns, this is a little confusing. What if we assigned the kindergartners firearms and boxing gloves?

Kingsbury blames the fact that teachers can’t discipline the way they used to because of pesky lawyers. This all translates as: women should be home with the kids, and teachers should be able to smack the little brats around. You may recall Rep. Kingsbury was one of the sponsors of the 2012 bill that called for the insertion of a relevant quote from the Magna Carta in each new piece of NH legislation. At age 85, Kingsbury has just finished his freshman term in the NH House and is running for reelection. Save America, folks. Vote Republican.

Speaker of the NH House, William O’Brien is also running for reelection. To give credit where it is due, he certainly has done his best to turn NH into a running joke for late night TV comedians. The man who has bullied, browbeaten, and punished members of his own party thinks he deserves to be reelected to the House, and reelected speaker. O’Brien spends a lot of time cozying up to special interests in DC (where do you think that terrific cigarette tax gambit came from?) and on a recent junket to the place he clearly intends to go next, he did an interview with right wing blog Politico. In this astounding interview, O’Brien claims that Governor Lynch isn’t running for reelection because he’s too intimidated by the Freebaglican majority.

Governor Lynch is finishing his fourth term, and has chosen not to run for reelection. He’s the longest serving governor in the state for about 200 years. The last was John Taylor Gilman, who served 14 one-year terms from 1794 – 1816. Lynch has served longer than even the sainted Mel Thomson, for crying out loud. Is O’Brien ignorant or arrogant? You decide. And remember, voting for this ethically challenged, ill-tempered braggart is not just a vote to ensure your property taxes will continue to rise; it’s a vote to save America!

Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh recently disparaged his opponent in the upcoming election. He told voters that Tammy Duckworth is not a “true hero”, and talks about her military service too much. Duckworth, a helicopter pilot, lost both legs in Iraq when an RPG hit her helicopter. Walsh, on the other hand, has been sued by his ex for being a deadbeat dad, to the tune of over $100,000, and never served in the military. A vote for him will surely Save America.

The Supreme Court’s health care ruling brought all manner of unpleasant commentary forth. Matthew Davis, a former GOP spokesman in Michigan sent out an email after the announcement with the heading, “Is Armed Rebellion Now Justified?” On the Conway Daily Sun’s Facebook page teletalk question about the health care ruling, Josh Keys wrote: “Liberals are Mentally Ill, My question is when men like me do not comply with mandates and refuse to allow themselves to be arrested for it. What actions will other Patriots take in response? It is a thin line you Progressive Commie loving Liberals are walking right now, I recommend you brace yourselves.” That’s a direct quote, with faithful recording of the author’s spelling and punctuation.

It’s almost amusing to think that these guys weren’t threatening armed rebellion when shrink-wrapped pallets of cash were being sent to Iraq by the Bush administration. They weren’t and still aren’t upset about warrantless wiretapping, secret prisons, or rendition. None of that stuff is worth a moment of concern. Spending trillions on the invasion of a country that wasn’t a threat to us? So what. Health care for everyone? Now, them’s fightin’ words.

The United States is often called a Christian Nation. The day of the Supreme Court decision I received emails from groups like the Family Research Council, bemoaning this decision. These doughty Christians want to force women to serve as involuntary incubators, but don’t care if they have access to health care. They don’t care if women die in the process. They weren’t the only ones. Convicted terrorist Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue sent out a similar missive. Apparently nothing says “I’m a follower of Jesus Christ,” like denying insurance coverage to babies born with pre-existing conditions. But hey, these are the folks who intend to save America.

“Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.” Harry S. Truman

© sbruce 2012

This was published as an op-ed in the July 6, 2012 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.


Anonymous said...

I've just finished reading Krakauer's book "Under the Banner of Heavan" which I found shocking and astounding. The behavior of the right reminds me exactly of the actions of the individuals and groups in this book. And there is really no difference. People continue to use their God and their bibles as excuses for hateful and deplorable behavior. That they cannot see their hypocrisy and lunacy is troubling. No question this nation is headed toward a terrible place and it appears that many wish this. I too have seen many "Save America" signs. After recovering from being doubled over in hysterical laughter, I'm reminded of the similar rhetoric utilized by the Nazi's during their rise to power and the thousands of dumb cruel idiots that helped them to the podium. Republicans and others on the right exemplify hate in its most naked and ugly form. The point you made Susan between the billions of bundled cash W sent to Iraq and healthcare here is a potent one. And one I know that goes right over the heads of those on the right. "Hate they neighbor" is their mantra. Interesting how messengers of peace are always vilified and persecuted.

Richard Maloon said...

Re: Mike Malzone:

"Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives" Oscar Wilde

Richard Maloon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I'm interpreting Richard M's comment, but I find no "noble motives" to the Christian right wing demanding casino's which goes directly against Jesus' commands. Hypocrisy is rife amongst Jesusland inhabitants.

Julia Riber Pitt said...

Reading this blog makes me realize how messed up NH's political system really is. Even though I'm not a democrat (I reject top-down politics), I will say it is pretty repulsive to see far-right NH politicians say and do these kinds of things.

The other day I was watching a video of a talk at Porcfest (the annual free stater gathering). Around the 25-minute mark, the FSP president talked about her plans to buy up Manchester and turn the city into a "Yankee Hong Kong". I almost threw up.

Is there a strong presence of free staters where you are, by chance?

susanthe said...

Hi Julia,

No, there aren't a lot of Free Staters here. It's too hard to make a living in this area. From what I've seen, many of them are grifter types. I have no use for the FSP. They've located in the more populous areas and the anarchy inclined members have located in Keene.

What slays me is that these people are supposed to be all about LIBERTY, yet the ones who were elected in 2010 all ran as Republicans, and none of them disclosed their FSP affiliation to voters. They've worked hand in hand with the far right to intrude upon a woman's right to medical privacy/bodily autonomy, and some were happy to vote to repeal marriage equality. Then there are the McGuires, who live in Suncook. They had riverfront property. The river moved during a bad storm. Dan McGuire filed a bill to get the state to spend millions to divert the river back (to shore up his property values) even though all of the state engineers said it wasn't feasible or cost effective. Grifters.