The Civil War 2.0.

For some time, I’ve wondered if the rancor in today’s politics has some connection to the outcome of the Civil War. Sounds crazy, right? After all, the Civil War ended in 1865. Yet Teapublicans continue to say things that evoke the elitism and racism of antebellum America. We’ve heard them refer to President Obama as a fascist, socialist and communist. We’ve seen the signs showing his picture distorted to resemble the Joker. And we’re heard them call the President a Kenyan-born, anti-Christian Muslim.

Is it coincidence that such anger and disrespect are directed toward the first president of African-American descent? Doubtful.

Of course, I’m not the only writer to note the obvious. For example, Michael Lind wrote, “Today’s Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority — predominantly Southern, and mainly rural — that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.” And Robert Reich stated, “It’s no mere coincidence that the states responsible for putting the most Tea Party representatives in the House are all former members of the Confederacy. Of the Tea Party caucus, twelve hail from Texas, seven from Florida, five from Louisiana, and five from Georgia, and three each from South Carolina, Tennessee, and border-state Missouri.”

Upon reading these comments, I knew I had to do my own research. Here’s what I found:

The Union consisted of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Of the 25 Union states, only three – Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri – voted for McCain in 2008! And it’s important to note that all three were divided during the war. (In both Kentucky and Missouri, pro-secession governments declared for the Confederacy, but never gained significant control of their states. And Kansas was notoriously split with many Confederate sympathizers.)

Now let’s look at the Confederacy. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia all seceded from the United States. In addition, Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma were divided, and portions of New Mexico and Arizona collaborated with the Confederacy. Of the 16 Confederate states, only four – Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia – voted for Obama in 2008! And of those four, only New Mexico could be considered a blue state.

To take it a step farther, many of the states which attained statehood following the Civil War were settled by former Confederate soldiers and Confederate sympathizers who were running away from the federal government. These include Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, and Arizona. All nine voted for McCain in 2008!

Three other latecomers – Colorado, New Mexico, and Washington – already had significant populations prior to the Civil War. Both Colorado and New Mexico had large Hispanic and Native American populations that were indifferent to the war. All three of these states voted for Obama in 2008!

Hawaii and Alaska were not admitted to the Union until the 1950s, so little can be concluded from their votes, especially since President Obama was born in Hawaii and the VP candidate on the opposing ticket was from Alaska.

Despite Teapublican denials, it would seem that the issues of racism and states’ rights are “gifts” that keep on giving.

Patriots? Or Idiots?

Over the past 40 years, Teapublicans have co-opted patriotism and Christianity. They have cloaked themselves in flags and decried liberals and Democrats as socialists, communists, even fascists. They have blindly supported our military while ignoring our veterans. They have implied that anyone who fails to subscribe to their beliefs is unpatriotic. And they have stated that those who support peace, civil rights, public education, science, and economic fairness are un-Christian.

Hmmm…maybe they should read the Constitution and the Bible in their entireity.

It seems these Bible-thumping, gun-toting Teapublican “patriots” have a few things to learn about their nation and their faith. For starters, let’s take a look at how these so-called “patriots” refer to their duly-elected Commander-in-Chief.

Conservative activist, writer and Catholic, L. Brent Bozell III called President Obama a “skinny, ghetto crackhead.” Teapublican cars and trucks are often covered with bumper stickers stating “What an O-Hole,” “B.O. Stinks,” “A village in Kenya is missing its idiot,” “100% Douchebag,” and “Don’t blame me. I voted for the American.” Moreover, Teapublicans threatened the president and Democratic congressional representatives by carrying guns to their public appearances.

These are not the words and actions of patriots. And they certainly do not reflect the teachings of Christ who asked that his followers help the poor and turn the other cheek to violence.

These are the words and actions of a decidedly un-American, anti-Christian mob of bullies and thugs who have convinced themselves of their infallible superiority. They ignore science, re-write history, promote violence, and deny the civil rights of others.

What kind of patriotism is that?

Newt = John Edwards To The Nth Degree.

When it was discovered that 2008 presidential candidate, John Edwards, had an affair as his wife was fighting cancer, he became a national pariah who was vilified by virtually everyone.

Most vocal among his critics were the “Christian” conservatives who decried Edward’s lack of “values.”

But those same “Christian” conservatives now support Newt Gingrich.  Yes, that Newt!  The Newt who sanctimoniously led the cheers for Bill Clinton’s impeachment as the result of Clinton’s indescretion with an intern. The Newt who later admitted to an affair while his first wife was battling cancer. The Newt who had yet another affair while his second wife (and former mistress) was critically ill with Mulitple Sclerosis.  And who, despite the advice of his wife’s physician who told him that stress would be damaging to his wife, asked her to agree to an open marriage so he could continue his affair!

These facts, along with the Newt’s admission of 84 ethics violations as Speaker of the House should make anyone question his “values.” Indeed, they should be automatic disqualifiers for higher office. Yet here he is, the new standard bearer for “Christian” conservatives in the Teapublican presidential race.

After all, according to these pretend Christians, the Newt’s transgressions are in the past.  They don’t really reflect the man the Newt has become today.

No, they don’t. Today’s version of Newt Gingrich is even more ethically challenged. He is angrier, more vitriolic, more vengeful and more sanctimonious. But it seems that is what’s so appealing to “Christian” conservatives about the Newtster. He voices their self-righteous anger about President Obama and liberals. And following ABC’s interview with the Newt’s ex-wife about his affairs, they’re even more angry. Not at the Newt, but at ABC and the rest of the “lamestream” media for dredging up such an unsavory story about their hero.

“Sure, Newt is no saint,” they say. “But he has repented.” Apparently, his repentance has been so complete that he even earned the blessing of the apparent keeper of the “Christian” conservative’s moral compass – Sister Sarah Palin. That should be good enough for anyone. Shouldn’t it?

And what of John Edwards?  The “Christian” conservatives still consider him a pariah, of course.

Masters Of The Double Standard.

The field of Teapublican “presidential” (and I use the term loosely) candidates have proven, once and for all, that Teapublicans are almost completely devoid of ethics. I’d call them hypocrites, but we’re talking about Teapublicans here, so, for their benefit, I’ll try to use small words.

Teapublicans famously fight for so-called family values, yet many support Newt Gingrich who is twice divorced and whose second wife stated that Newt demanded an “open” marriage. In other words, a marriage that would allow him to boink anyone he wanted. So much for the “sanctity” of marriage issue.

Gingrich also admitted to 84 ethics violations while Speaker of the House and resigned in disgrace. Most of these violations were the result of Newt gaming the system to enrich himself. So much for the anti-Washington, anti-corruption issue.

Turning to the front-runner, Teapublicans are furious with so-called “Obamacare.” But what did President Obama use as a model for his health care reform? Why “Romneycare,” of course. You simply can’t be against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and support Mitt Romney. So much for the government health care issue.

Romney is also a “Vulture Capitalist” (Newt’s words, not mine) who led a private equity firm that purchased undervalued corporations with other peoples’ money, saddled the corporations with large management fees then sold off their assests while laying off thousands of American workers. So much for the jobs issue.

In addition, Romney has admitted to “parking” large amounts of money in off-shore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes. And though he has not yet released his tax returns, he estimates that his tax rate is “somewhere in the area of 15 percent.” Given that Mitt is a multi-millionaire, that’s a nice area to be in, especially considering that much of the middle class is taxed at a rate of 30-35 perecent! And, if Romney is elected and allowed to institute his recommended tax policies, his tax rate will dramatically drop while the tax rate for the middle class will remain virtually unchanged. And the tax rate for the poor will actually go up! Moreover, Romney’s tax plan will add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit. So much for the deficit and debt issues.

Voter support for these two only shows that Teapublicans are not really for anything. They’re simply against Obama. And many of them don’t even know why.

Raising Cain.

For those of you who don’t watch The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, you’re not only missing some of the best comedy on TV. You’re missing some of the most accurate news analysis anywhere.

Lately, Stephen Colbert and Stewart have been exposing the absurdity of the decisions by conservatives on the US Supreme Court ruling that money equals free speech and that corporations have the rights of people. To do so, Colbert created a Super PAC called Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. Then after he learned that he out-polled John Huntsman in his native state of South Carolina, Colbert created an “exploratory committee” to assess his chances of running for President. (No doubt that he would be better than any of the Teapublican candidates, but that’s beside the point.)

Colbert then turned his Super PAC over to his good friend and business associate, Jon Stewart. Now labeled The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC, Stewart claims it is keeping him busy sorting receipts for crown polish, first-class airfare and his new diamond tiara, the intent is to show that there are virtually no restrictions on how much money can be contributed on behalf of candidates and how little control the FEC exerts over that money.

Now Colbert and The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC are asking that South Carolina primary voters vote for Herman Cain. Why? Colbert is too late to get on the primary ballot, and the 9-9-9er has dropped out of the race. So any votes for Cain may be assumed to be votes for Colbert and against the Supreme Court decision.

So, if you’re eligible to vote in the South Carolina primary, please vote for Colbert…er…I mean Cain. After all, if we must have a clown in the presidential race, it may as well be a good one.

The Wisdom Of Iowa.

As a native of Iowa, I’m proud of the common sense displayed by my former compatriots. Iowans (even Teapublican Iowans) tend to be well-educated, relatively well-informed, and compassionate. Despite the media pundits who decry the role that Iowa plays in our national electoral process, I believe Iowa is the perfect place to begin presidential campaigns.


For one thing, Iowa does not lean overwhelmingly to one side of the political spectrum or the other. (It’s neither a red nor a blue state. It’s a red, white and blue state.) The Iowa caucus system is like old-time politics forcing candidates to face voters, often one-on-one. Iowans are generally unafraid to ask questions and speak their minds. And, except for the far right wing zealots and so-called “Christian” conservatives, Iowans tend to be skeptical of campaign promises (remember, Iowa is next-door to the “Show Me” state).

All of this sharpens candidates and weeds out the worst nimrods. Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are prime examples.

Despite her Iowa roots, Iowans refused to vote for Bachmann and her wackadoodle politics, forcing her to suspend her campaign. Despite spending millions in Iowa, Rick Perry garnered so little interest he giddyupped back to Texas to “reassess” his campaign. And one-time GOP front-runner, the ethically-challenged Newt Gingrich, left Iowa with his massive ego bruised and his campaign on life support.

My only real disappointment with the Iowa caucuses is the inexplicable elevation of Rick Santorum to co-front-runner status. But I guess the “Christian” conservatives needed to annoint someone as their new political savior.

Lies, Damn Lies and Teapublican Lies.

In every field or endeavor, there are people who have difficulty with the truth. Most of us tell the occasional little white lie, often to keep from hurting another’s feelings. Many of us tell lies to make us feel better or to explain a mistake. And then there are chronic, sociopathic liars who make statements that are provably false.

It’s in the latter category where Teapublican candidates, Fox News Channel hosts, religious conservatives and their supporters reside.

Want to kill Medicare? You vote to replace it with vouchers then tell your constituents that you voted to “save” it. Want to lower taxes for the wealthy? You re-position attempts to eliminate tax subsidies and create fairness as “Class Warfare.” Want to kill the EPA? You tell people that environmental regulations are “killing job creation.” Want to help your corporate funders privatize government agencies? You talk about “government waste” and let corporations cherry-pick the most profitable functions. Want to distract voters from your role in the collapse of our economy? You blame it on the poor, minorities and unions. Want to get rid of ATF and the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency? You simply block the appointment of the agencies’ directors. Want to make President Obama a one-term president? You block virtually every job creating initiative then tell people that his economic policies have failed.

The load of B.S. coming from Teapublicans would fertilize every planet in our solar system.  And it’s growing by the minute.

How do they get away with such blatant, provably false claims? They count on creating anger and mistrust in government. They count on people who are uninformed or misinformed (in other words, Fox News viewers). They count on voters who won’t take the little bit of time needed to research their outrageous claims.

Will their lies work again in 2012? How informed are you? How about your friends and neighbors?