I’ll Put My Cookies Where Your Mouth Is…

So, we’ve have seen the ‘Impeach Obama’ bumper stickers. Every time I see one, I am seized with the urge to tuck a mini-Constitution under the windshield. People understand that this is not England, right? Impeachment does not equal Vote of No Confidence. You can’t just demand the removal of an elected executive (or justice) because they offend thine eye.

Yet we see this over and over and over again. And for some, a bumper sticker just isn’t a large enough stage for the ignorance behind the sentiment.

Because I Said So!!!

You can read here about this expensive display of stupidity here, but I will break it on down for you.  This billboard is currently up along highway 41 in Oshkosh, WI and is under contract to stay up for 6 months at a cost of $1,000.00 per month. The sign was paid for by an unnamed company represented by one Tom Wroblewski. Mr. Wroblewski, when asked about the sign, informed talkingpointed that Washington politics are bad for small businesses (and let me point out that my very small business is doing just fine, thank you very much and STFU because you don’t talk for me). Which is nonresponsive enough, but isn’t the best part.

Wroblewski went on to say – here it comes – that despite the clear and unambiguous directive to IMPEACH OBAMA, he’s not suggesting Obama committed an impeachable offense.

Which leads me to throw down this tasty gauntlet.  If anyone can tell me, (1) with specificity and explicit references to the Constitution and (2) impeachment law and (3) based on ACTUAL REALLY REAL FACTS, exactly *why* Obama should be impeached, I will send you a batch of homemade cookies. You may choose the type – and yes, I will even put green jellybeans and judgment in them if you so elect.

United States of Skittles

And a little random awesomeness to round out the day:

H/T Southern Beale

Tu Es Petrus

It probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that people are trying to pray Obama out of office. At least, it doesn’t surprise me. When it comes to anything pertaining to current use of religion, I am generally nonplussed, but never really surprised by anything I see.  I look at it this way – religion is a rock. You can stand on it and proselytize, sit on it to rest, brandish it as a threat, or throw it as a weapon. But it is, in all circumstances, still a rock. The only differences are how and by whom it is being used.

Christianity may be a majority religion in this country, but I am under no obligation whatsoever to be or even feign being christian. I am not religious and I never have been. I am not even a vague non-observant christian. I was raised in a religion-free household and, to my memory, at least one of my parents was an atheist, however impermanently.

Times change, however, and times can change people. Today, both of my parents are religious – to the point that occasionally makes me personally uncomfortable. I don’t mean in any way that they should change what they do or that I think they are wrong. In fact, I think religion and involvement with the Church has been a good move for them. They are much more involved in community and more social than I have ever seen them be. But it is strange to hear them talk about religion and church as if it has always been a central player in their lives. The first time I got an email from my Dad with the sign off ‘God Bless’ it really through me for a loop. But, like I said, even though I personally do not believe that organized religion is unequivocally good in general (or good at all for me as an individual), I think it fills a need for many people.

So, when I hear about people trying to pray Obama out of office, I am not shocked or outraged. I neither like nor agree with the message that (1) they are an organized group and (2) they have God on our side. I don’t like it when I feel like people are threatening me with religion, but I don’t exactly feel threatened, either. Seems to me like any god worth his or her salt would be pretty happy with Obama, but then again (1) I am happy with Obama and (2) everything I know about Jesus comes from Jesus Christ Superstar, so my view is clearly tilted.

Which brings me to another point: who owns Christianity? Who owns Jesus? Lately, there has been a lot of disagreement over what it means to be a “Christian” — to the point that some feel the need to rewrite the Bible to reflect their opinions. It appears that many conservatives do not like the idea of a ‘love and peace’ Jesus and would like to get back to the whole fire and brimstone style, apparently because the peace and love style is at odds with a conservative sociopolitical agenda. Which seems a little hypocritical to me. People have been using religion as a justification for eons; but now, when religion is used to counter their arguments, they insist that their religion has been co-opted and perverted by their opponents.  To the point that they have to rewrite the Bible?

Why bother? Why not just form your own opinion? Or do you have to have religion on your side? Are we still stuck on the concept of the righteous fight? Does the ‘moral majority’ need God/the Bible on their side in order to keep going?  Do you not know what is right and what is wrong unless you can find a passage in the Bible that can be interpreted (or manipulated) to support your feelings and opinions? Some may think I am doomed to hell, but I cannot imagine being so bound to something that I can make no move, physically, emotionally, or intellectually, until I have received its imprimatur.

The idea of using God/religion/church/faith/prayer as a weapon or tool is as old as religion, it is true, but using religion as the primary focus of a political agenda is, at least for the U.S., fairly new. And clearly is causing a very unnavigable rift in the Republican party. And now the same group that insists it is their right to define the Republican party is now also insisting that it is their right to define evangelical christianity. If I had a dog in either fight, I would be pretty damn riled up.

Tell "The Traitor"...

Me? I Prefer Coffee.

So, in a recent discussion with some relatives, I unthinkingly used the word ‘teabaggers.’ Unthinkingly, because (1) even though these relatives are fairly conservative and (2) I generally heavily self-edit my comments around them, (3) I was pretty out of it and that particular filter wasn’t working. But really, I find it good practice to NOT use interesting sexual terms OR politically-charged language around some of my relatives. See. e.g., here, here and here. This, of course, offended two birds with one stone. But this biggest shocker (oops) wasn’t my verbal slip, but the realization that – brace yourselves – my relatives might actually be of the teabag carrying ilk.

So, the story …  For context, they were taking me to the hospital and decided that this was the perfect time to inform me that they were getting a bumper sticker proclaiming their desire to ‘vote ’em all out.’ Perhaps just to ensure that if by some bizarre chance I failed to make it through a routine procedure, at least I would have died knowing that they really REALLY hate Obama and Congress.

So with a fair amount of nervous laughter, I groggily replied, ‘Oh dear, you aren’t TEA party people now, are you?’  And from there the conversation immediately devolved into an utterly fruitless absence of listening with righteous indignation on one side and confusion and dismay on the other.  You can guess which side was mine. At any rate, I was pretty stunned when the ensuing “conversation” made it clear that said relatives were, if not actual TEApartiers, at least ardent supporters of general teabaggery. I am fully aware that these relatives have drifted further and further right, but I had NO idea that they had gone that kind of right.

Still thinking that perhaps this was just a hunger-induced aural hallucination, I tried to minimize my horror with what I hoped would be a very neutral favorable comment about libertarians, and teabaggers taking over the libertarian party.  Yes, I said ‘teabaggers,’ so it wasn’t exactly a neutral comment.  But I hadn’t slept in days, so tact wasn’t exactly foremost in my mind. And I didn’t start this shit. And at that point I didn’t realize that they might actually be on board with the TEAparty agenda and wrongly assumed that they would think it as ridiculous and potentially dangerous as I.

Anyhow, I immediately said ‘I apologize, I shouldn’t call them ‘teabaggers.’ But alas, it was too late.  Relative A had already started in with the liberals and their awfulness, and Janeane Garofalo made up the ‘teabag’ moniker, and then Relative B joined in with the how dare you insult them, they are “good, hard-working Americans.” I pointed out that they picked the name, but by that point no one was listening. Except, unfortunately, for me.

While A appeared to be enthusiastic about the TEA party agenda, B seemed reluctant to commit. Or perhaps B just wanted to argue. It’s a common family trait; I get it. B said that he just wants better candidates and has decided that he doesn’t like incumbents. I can relate. However, I observed that you can find whatever candidate you want, but you need to find someone who can win. Which means that person has to have the support of a group with money and power. Something about which I know just a little.

And I stated that I could never support a candidate put up by the TEAparty, as the TEApeople specifically wanted candidates that reflected “Christian” values – which seemed both inarguable and inoffensive. But apparently I was wrong. B angrily insisted I was ‘making things up’ about the TEA party and demanded I provide proof of my spurious and outrageous comments.  Righteous indignation, meet confusion.

(An aside: am I the only one who thinks that Fox News has riled people up to the point that “liberals” don’t even have to SAY ANYTHING in order to offend conservatives? They just assume that everything I am saying is rude, false, accusatory, elitist, and part of some major liberal agenda to deride and destroy everything that is “good” and “American ™.” Even when I haven’t said anything at all. Sadly, I didn’t realize until this particular incident that, to these relatives, I had become “them.” And there is a reciprocity there that I am powerless to disarm when no one listens to what I am saying.)

At any rate, as much as I *heart* supporting citation and precedent, I didn’t exactly have the means to provide sufficient documentation for my assertion. And I don’t have any awesome technopathic powers whereby I can verbally hyperlink as I talk. So I couldn’t provide B with the proof right there in the sedan on the way to the hospital. But assured him I had spent enough time blogging, trolling the webs, attending political functions, talking to TEA party folk and READING to feel fairly confident in my simple statement that “TEA party people want extremely conservative candidates who espouse Christian ethics in politics.” B basically told me I was full of shit.

But, if I DID have some totally bitchin technopathic power, I would have pointed to this guy, who heads up the local TEA events, and he has posted here about how they want uber conservative moral majority-type Republicans. And he isn’t the only one – all kinds of heavy-hitting Conservative groups are backing this *ahem* “grassroots” movement. It seems clear to me that what the TEA party folk really want is uber-conservative moral majority-type Republicans like themselves.

But, of course, I didn’t. I just let it go, and tried to close my eyes and think of America. These are relatives and I need to be able to respect them. And if they decided that the TEA movement is for them, well … that is their choice. But it bothers me on a fundamental level. Because even though most TEAfolk will try to tell you that this is not a partisan thing, I am pretty sure it is quite partisan and quite conservative. And then there is the ugliness. I think it is UTTERLY irrefutable that the TEAgroups are now the happy home of many far-right christian conservatives, multiphobes, bigots, and paranoids. They will also try to tell you it isn’t about Obama (but for some it is), or race (but for some it is), or abortion (but for some it is).


And yes, I know that the signs don’t speak for everyone, but why would you choose to join people like that? How can you stand next to someone who is shouting about birth certificates and nazis and muslims? If you don’t feel the same way as the bigots and the paranoids, you can either ignore them or fight them; but by standing with them, don’t you think that you are validating the bigotry and insanity? Or, at the very least, you are saying that the bigotry and paranoia doesn’t matter. Hello, de minimus argument. All I will say is that to the objects of the bigotry and paranoia, it is pretty de maximus.

And while I fully respect the individual’s right to find a candidate that speaks for them, at the end of the day that candidate speaks for everyone in their district and answers to the people that elected him or her. And we don’t get the luxury to ignore the things we don’t agree like. If you support a candidate that has been given the imprimatur of the TEApeople, then you are supporting someone who reflects THEIR views and goals.

If fiscal issues are more important to you than human rights and social issues, that is fine but know that the days where the two were utterly unconnected are long gone. The single-issue people (abortion), the “Christian Values” people (marriage is man + woman, prayer back in schools, abortion, ID), and the multiphobes (immigration and border enforcement, anti-civil rights, anti-welfare, anti-Obama, anti-environmental) want the Republican party for themselves – even if they have to leave the party to do it.

And if you thought you could get around them by joining the Libertarians or the TEA people, you might want to take a quick look around you. They have beat you there.

Separation of Church and State

Community Activists: They Are Coming FOR YOU!!!

Yikeys!  I had NO idea what Obama was up to until I saw this website. The brilliant minds behind this site are bravely letting their voices be heard and risking being silenced by the ObamaNation to let you know (presumably because Glenn Beck told them to) that Obama is planning to arm his liberal supporters and turn them into an SS-esque military group.  

I am totally scared, y’all.  I don’t think we can pretend any longer that “community activists”  are not the largest threat to our way of life.  Right now, Obama is plotting to take away all our guns and give them to those overeducated peaceloving Phriends in Teach for America.  First they will try to educate us – THEN they will KILL us!  And ACORN is actually behind their own “demise” – trying to trick us into believing that they are being unfairly targeted and shortsightedly disbanded, when in reality they are all about to undergo costly “Face-Off” medical procedures (at taxpayer expense) so that they can be reborn as “real” Americans and infiltrate the teabagger festivities.   Also – I hear that all those hairy-armpit chicks in AmericaCorps are receiving ninja training akin to that in the Kill Bill movies.  In fact, I would not be surprised to discover that Tarentino, being an ardent supporter of the the nazi-socialist agendas of education and art, is a secret CZAR and is training thousands of treehugging hippies in the art of iaido right now.  

Hold me.


Ride of the Czars

Ride of the Czars