The Bush Family Fantasy
In the Republican debates Jeb Bush had the gall to claim that his brother kept us safe, even though more than 3,000 Americans perished nearly a year into George Bush's Presidency. Trump had to remind him that in fact 9/11 happened under W's watch. We haven't been attacked since Obama became President. He also got Osama bin Laden.
Republicans downplay the former as luck, and claim Obama took too much credit for the latter. Neither is true, but the Republicans never give Obama credit for keeping us safe during two terms, and not just after a major terrorist attack..
The Republicans blame illegal immigrants for America's problems, and Trump shamelessly labeled Hispanics, drug dealers and rapists, followed by, "But I'm sure there are a few who are good people." Now he's insulting Syrian refugees as terrorists, and he wants to bring back waterboarding. Perhaps he should ask John McCain, who he insulted by saying he prefers heroes who weren't captured, whether waterboarding is a smart anti-terror strategy. The Republicans need someone to blame for America's ills so no one focuses on their agenda, which is entirely aimed at the 1 percent. They create fear in the hearts of people who get all their info from Fox News to keep them distracted. But it's the Republican's lamentable lack of agenda that would benefit 99.9 percent of Americans that's to blame.
The Republican candidates pledge to give their billionaire donors more tax cuts and to dismantle every government agency. How will that help the 99.9 percent?
The Republicans' political interests are at odds with those of nearly every American, and they hide this by promising the shrinking middle class they'll benefit from it too.
They won't. Republican voters who aren't wealthy might want to stop voting against their own economic interests. Supporting billionaires' positions when you're struggling financially is counter-intuitive. The Republicans oppose a $15 an hour minimum wage by falsely claiming that unemployment follows minimum wage hikes. In fact it never has. And demonizing Black, Hispanic, and Middle-Eastern people won't create good paying jobs, but it occupies the Republican base by giving them someone to hate.
W. was shockingly unaware there are two Muslim sects, Sunni and Shia or that they detest each other. Isis and al-Quaeda were born from the chaos after Saddam Hussein's demise. Blaming Obama for not leaving more troops in Iraq to prevent the chaos falls on deaf ears since nearly every American wanted our troops out. For Dick Cheney and his friends the war was economically self-serving, and by the way Dick, stop telling everyone that Obama is the worst President ever because you were, without the title. Your
continued justification for the Iraq War even pissed off Fox News anchors.
Chicken Hawks=Chicken Poop
With the exception of Rand Paul, an isolationist, the other Republican contenders are chicken hawks. Each is chomping at the bit to send troops into battle to satisfy the base. Trump says he'd bomb Isis into oblivion, but since we're already doing this he's just throwing red meat to the mob. Jeb insisted he'd go to war again in Iraq even knowing what we know today, and he wants to send ground troops into Syria, which in Yogi Berra vernacular is deja vu all over again.
Not Our Problem
The Middle East is a Muslim problem only Muslims can resolve. Our interference will never create peace between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and it won't make democracy grow either. If we overthrow Assad, a worse dictator or a religious zealot will move in. The slogan, fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here is meaningless and meant to put fear in American's hearts. Our safety is based on not being over there in the first place. And in terms of Israel, which Republican candidates fervently pledge to protect, no Democrat, including Obama ever suggested walking away from them.
Republican challengers adamantly oppose the anti-nuclear treaty with Iran for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is their obsessive hatred for Obama, who they've treated like a black interloper whose success must never be repeated.
They publicly disrespect him, thus emboldening each other's racist attitudes. Their claim that racism is over is racist because it's not. Can anyone imagine the Koch brothers hugging Ben Carson? Yeah, sure you can.
Donald Trump's anti-immigrant lynch mob is proof that America's educational system is broken, because fanatical support for a racist businessman whose simplistic ideas best represent the world views of a comic book hero, is just ignorant. And his steady stream of racist lies is being gobbled up by his mob as gospel. Cheering Arabs in New Jersey after 9/11, a total fabrication is his latest red meat offering, along with America taking in 250,000 Syrian refugees when the number is only 25,000. I don't know if his adherents are the dumbest, most simple-minded Americans in history, but they're serious contenders for the title.
Trump is an unconscionable narcissist whose only goal is to be admired, even if it's for all the wrong reasons. And let's be clear, he has no interest in becoming President. This is a game he's playing like opening casinos and bankrupting them. He's gambling with the lives of Americans who are rightfully concerned, but he offers nothing but egotistical rhetoric. The Republicans are in a Catch-22 with Hispanics. They revile them publicly but they can't get to the White House without their votes. Robin Williams delivered a line to an uptight Army Sergeant in, Good Morning Vietnam that fits Trump's myopic followers perfectly; they're in more dire need of a blowjob than any white men in history.
The Republican debates have the feel of the Roman circus. The gladiators try to bloody each other sufficient to get thumbs up from religious zealots, anti-evolutionists, racists, billionaires, anti-labor activists, angry white men, xenophobes, and high school dropouts. Their attitudes about women are antediluvian, which I'll
define for the Republican base; relating to the period before the flood mentioned in the Bible. And let's not forget the Republican's fake war on Christianity and Christmas, which they manufactured to distract the base and keep them fired up. That more than 40% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim is an admission of ignorance that the base seems proud to display.
Huckabee said yesterday that Obama will make Americans memorize the Koran. And remember the woman at the Republican town hall meeting who said she didn't want the government interfering with her Medicare? Some of the candidates proudly claim not to believe in evolution, climate change, or that the planet is billions of years older than their base insists it is. Anti-science is their true religion.
I admit I'm not an avid fan of Hillary's, but I'll support her because she's smarter than the bag of hammers running against her. And if there's one lesson we learned from the Bush years, it's that brains count in the White House. Electing a Republican means the dwindling middle class would vanish, the 1 percent will get richer, more military involvements, the planet will move closer to extinction, and not one job will be created.
Sure, Hillary is supported by special interests too, but hers don't oppose a $15-an-hour minimum wage, believe that climate change is a hoax, fear the "browning" of America, or that Sharia Law is actually a threat to the American legal system.
The GOP candidates pretend they're Ronald Reagan's successors. They're not, and he would be appalled by their simple-minded rhetoric.
Don't Waste Your Vote
Bernie Sanders is like the curmudgeonly uncle who pontificates over Thanksgiving dinner, and while he may have more egalitarian ideas than Hillary, he's highly unlikely to win. The last time Democrats stood up for their principles they supported Ralph Nader and we lost the White House to one of the worst Presidents in history. It's Hillary or disaster, so remember that when you're in the voting booth thinking about making a principled statement.
From the beginning of his campaign, the billionaire showman has demonstrated a knack for winning the spotlight with incredible boasting and a penchant for lobbing incendiary rhetorical bombs. But in the last week, Trump seems to have outdone himself with his penchant for controversy, and the Republican Party is worried about it.
Earlier this week, the Republican presidential front-runner embarked on a 96-hour-long tour de force of racially charged statements. He re tweeted false statistics about black-on-white crime that seem to have originated from a neo-Nazi Twitter account. He defended the idea that Muslim Americans could be registered in special databases, even as reporters asked him to distinguish between his proposal and Nazi registration of Jews in Germany. He insisted that there were large crowds of Muslims in New Jersey cheering as the World Trade Centers collapsed on 9/11, a claim that has not been corroborated by any serious source. And when a peaceful Black Lives Matter protester at one
of his rallies was assaulted by Trump's supporters, he condoned the act by saying, "Maybe he should have been roughed up."
Trump is no stranger to exploiting racial tensions and tapping into white nationalist sentiment — both serve as the very foundation for his candidacy. But, over the past several weeks, he's been so unabashedly confrontational that some members of the Republican establishment are making a new concerted effort to portray Trump as having gone off the deep end. Whether or not they agree with some of his points, it's clear that Republicans are concerned about the party's public image in the the general election and feel the need to not only take Trump down as a nominee, but distance the entire party from many of his views.
Toward that end, a number of Republicans have decided to ramp up the attacks dramatically: They're characterizing him as an out-and-out fascist.
The F-word: CNN's MJ Lee has a useful round-up of Republicans who are deciding to unite around the "fascist" label. As she points out, a number of prominent voices in the Republican race have decided it's an appropriate way to characterize Trump's rhetoric.
One is Max Boot, an adviser to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who tweeted that Trump deserved the fascist label.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's national security adviser John Noonan thinks the Muslim database isn't just a precursor to a Nazi-like regime, but actually a plain element of one as he launches his attacks agasinst Trump.
Steve Deace, a radio show host in Iowa who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz in the primaries, said Trump was guilty of fostering "creeping fascism".
The very introduction of the "fascist" label by some Republicans is remarkable. But it isn't a sophisticated appraisal of Trump's theory of change as much as an attempt to absolutely repudiate some of his most controversial rhetoric and to draw a line in the sand in what the party should be able to say about Muslims.
The line might be boldly drawn, but it's not enough to stem the party's problem with alienating the Muslim community. Bush and Cruz have called for a religion test for Syrian refugees and for prioritizing or exclusively taking in Christians fleeing the war-torn region. Sen. Rand Paul has called for denying visas to people from countries with active jihadist movements and barring refugees from 34 countries — including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran — from housing benefits. Republican governors across the nation have said that Syrian migrants are not welcome in their states.
Will claims of Trump being a fascist bring him down in the polls? It could hurt. But so far the man has virtually defied every law of politics that forecasters have expected to take him down for months. The reality is that it's not just Trump that feels this way about Muslims, it's quite a bit of America.
AMHERST DEMOCRATIC NEWS