Monday, July 27, 2015

Huckster Huckabee

So President Obama has responded to Mr. Huckabee's outrageous comment:
This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.
But Mr. Obama's response is, I'm afraid, too tepid:
The particular comments of Mr. Huckabee are, I think, part of just a general pattern that we’ve seen would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.
What I would have liked to have heard is something like:
I would remind Governor Huckabee (assuming he was ever aware of the fact) that this is not just an agreement between the United States and Iran, but an deal agreed to by all six nations that have imposed sanctions on Iran.  And one of those six nations is Germany. For Governor Huckabee to suggest that Germany is returning to its Nazi past is simply outrageous.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Republicans Lie

A bold statement, perhaps, but I'm quoting a friend who worked for years in broadcast journalism, and had the opportunity to see many politicians up close and personal.  His sad conclusion, he told me, was that Republicans lie.

The most recent confirmation comes from Tom Moran of the NJ Star-Ledger Editorial Board on Chris Christie's record of non-veracity.  Politifact's "Truth-o-meter" tells us that 68% of Ted Cruz's statements are false.  And let's not forget Mitt Romney's serial dishonesty during his 2012 election campaign, which justified a weekly update of untruths from Steve Benen with the appropriate title of Mitt's Mendacity.

Now stand by for a wave of untruth as the 2016 campaigns come closer.  I suspect the zombie lies we have already been hearing from Republicans will seem mild by comparison.

Update 7/6/2015  And it continues....

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why the Right Opposes Gay Marriage

I think Amanda Marcotte is on to something in her explanation for the right wing's fierce opposition to gay marriage and their frantic call to maintain "traditional marriage". 
She writes:
The tradition that is disappearing is the belief that marriage is a duty, especially for women  ........  Marriage is, bit by bit, becoming more about a partnership between equals who choose each other for the purpose of love and happiness. Which means it’s becoming less about giving men control over women’s lives. 
To accept same-sex marriage is to accept this modern idea that marriage is about love and partnership, instead of about dutiful procreation and female submission. Traditional gender roles where husbands rule over wives are disintegrating and that process is definitely helped along by these new laws allowing that marriage doesn’t have to be a gendered institution at all. 
"Giving men control over women's lives"  ...  we see that in the right wing efforts to deny contraception and abortion as well. It's all of a piece.

Another Press Fail

Ted Cruz appeared on The Today Show, interviewed by Savannah Guthrie.
"If a state clerk refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, would you agree with that too?" she asked Cruz on Monday morning, noting that people who once objected to interracial marriage used religion to support their beliefs.
"There’s no religious backing for that," Cruz responded.
The natural follow up would be something like, "But in the 1940s and 50s, people were claiming religious backing for their opposition to interracial marriage, just as you are doing today in opposing gay marriage.  Today, we look back and say that those people were using religion as a cover for their bigotry.  Aren't you concerned that fifty years from now, people are similarly going to be saying that you're using religion as a cover for bigotry?"

And if Cruz pointed out that the Bible condemns homosexuality, a further follow up might be, "Yes, but as well as homosexuality, the Bible also condemns eating shrimp, eating raw meat, eating rabbit, wearing linen and wool at the same time.  Does your religion mean you condemn people who do any of those things?  Do you never do any of those things because your religion forbids them?"

But network interviewers are too namby pamby to press politicians like that.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Undermining the First Amendment

From the NY Times:
 This month, in anticipation of the marriage ruling, Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, and Representative Raul Labrador, Republican of Idaho, introduced the First Amendment Defense Act, which would push federal law far beyond the existing religious protections. Sure to be strongly opposed by civil rights groups and most Democrats, the bill would prohibit federal officials from penalizing individuals, businesses, charities or schools for actions based on a conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The title of the proposed law is ironic, as it does exactly what the first amendment prohibits:  it establishes a religious belief as trumping the law of the land.

No Respect for Precedent

In his dissent in Lawrence v Texas, Justice Scalia observed:
"If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is 'no legitimate state interest' for purposes of proscribing that conduct ... what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising '[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution?' "
i.e. the logic of the majority opinion in Lawrence led ineluctably to the conclusion that gay marriage should be legal. And as the majority opinion in Lawrence became a legal precedent set by the highest court in the land, so a  lawyerly respect for precedent would have required Scalia and the other Republicans on the Supreme Court to uphold the right of gay people to marry when the issue came before them, no matter their personal views.

Their failure to do so exposed them as ideologues first, lawyers second.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Campaign Promise Already Kept

When Donald Trump announced his entry into the presidential race, he informed us that
"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created I tell you that,”
Well, if reports like this are true, he is the first candidate to keep a campaign promise as part of his entry announcement: he gave jobs to a bunch of actors to come and applaud his announcement.