Barack Obama has started his campaign for re-election. I got a letter from them this week.
I'm not sending any money, at least not yet. I waited until well into 2008 to do any work for the campaign or send them a check, and unless he faces a primary challenger I really don't like, I probably will wait until the end to help out, assuming I have free time or discretionary cash about a year and a half from now.
I'm registered as a Democrat, but right now they don't thrill me much. I'm much more of an Anti-Republican than I am anything else.
Let's consider global warming, or as it is sometimes known, climate change. (Conspiracy theorists on both sides think the other is to blame for the phrase "climate change", but it was being used in the late 1960s long before this became the political football it is today.)
The Republican Party these days is not monolithic. In fact, there are four acceptable views of global warming inside their big tent.
- It doesn't exist.
- It exists, but it doesn't matter.
- It exists and it matters, but humans have nothing to do with it.
- It exists, it matters and humans may have something to do with it, but Jesus is coming back before my kid's braces are coming off, so it only matters a little bit and not enough for us to change any of our bad habits.
Recall that cap and trade was the conservative alternative to the progressive policy of a carbon tax.
That's their way now. Propose some weak alternative that will not solve a problem in the real world, and if it becomes policy, oppose it.
In Mississippi, a recent poll of Republicans showed that 46% think inter-racial marriage should be illegal, while 40% think it's okay and another 14% aren't sure.
Of course, that doesn't matter to Matty Boy, a lifelong bachelor living in California, does it?
Well, here's a picture of my adorable niece Holly Smith-Smith and her nearly as good looking husband, Cleavon Smith-Smith.
Cleavon was born and raised in Mississippi, where his family still lives. I'd like to think they will be safe when they visit his family, but with the boneheads in charge of the majority party back there, I'm not so sure.
So, yeah, it matters to me.
Of course, that's Mississippi, the armpit of the nation, and they are asking Mississippi Republicans, the cancerous lymph nodes of that armpit. I live in California, progressive, forward-thinking, land of fruits and nuts and good things to eat. What do I care about knuckle draggers 2,000 miles away?
A poll last year of Republican voters found that they oppose openly gay teachers in the public schools by an astounding 73% to 8% with 19% unsure.
Think about this. The issue that killed Anita Bryant's career some thirty years ago is still a fight these assholes want to fight.
Once again, you might ask, what skin is it off Matty Boy's nose? I may be a lifelong bachelor, but I'm not openly gay. (I'm not unopenly gay either, though I don't consider it any business of my employers.) I care because it touches the lives of people I care about, dear friends who are public school teachers and openly gay.
The bigotry has to end. The major political party in this country that still openly courts the bigots need to undergo a radical transformation or it should die before it ruins this great country forever.
And then there is the new great villain of the latest incarnation (or should I say mutation) of the Republican Party, unionized public employees.
I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that public employees banding together to ask for a redress of grievances sounds like a First Amendment right to me. To see the blatant and often clearly illegal union busting that the new Republican majorities are attempting in Wisconsin, Indiana and other places may not be a direct attack on me as a unionized public employee in California, but even in a state where the Republicans need some major sleight of hand to keep from becoming the 21st Century version of the Whigs (or more accurately, the Know-Nothings), I can see that is in my own enlightened self-interest to stop American Republicanism in all its forms with every legal tactic at my disposal.
Here endeth the lesson.