Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Bagging on Tea Partiers

Insanity is defined by some as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Terminal insanity is doing more of the same because the problem before was you didn’t take a pure enough form of the drug. Tea-party Republicans are like alcoholics, deciding that the pinot noir version of conservatism was insufficient, and we need to go to straight bourbon, or in the case of Sen. Inhofe, only vodka without a chaser.

Self-destruction is often the result of self-deception. How true this is of today’s xenophobic, conspiracy mongering, Beck worshipping, followers of nonsense peddled from the Marketing Firm of Piddle, Pooh and Woo (aka Fox News). The age of enlightenment had a brief and tenuous re-birth, only to awaken the demons and demagogues who may have faced a temporary set-back, but have not changed their goals and aspirations.

This being said, I acknowledge that the tea partiers come in different stripes and many in the corporate elite are worried. There is a populist element to this uprising that should worry them. For years, your corporate Republicans have worked hard to sell middle-class Caucasians of voting against their own economic interests in favor of corporate interests by diverting their attention with social issues and by fostering cultural wars. Their success has now created a monster that may devour them as well. TARP, was as Republican as a flag lapel pin, and many Liptonites don’t subscribe to that brand of Republicanism. Where will all this sort out in the backrooms of Republican-ville, I can’t tell at this point.

During September of 2004, I had the pleasure of meeting with Sen. Bob Bennett and listened to him tell our group that his election was assured, and that it was going to be a Republican year. He rather smugly indicated that social issues were going to doom the Democrats this year. I thought it rather arrogant at the time that he considered his re-election a matter of fact with two months to go in the campaign. Even so, Bennett was an effective Republican senator who represented corporate interests as well as any good conservative could. He was pragmatic enough to work with others to make sure Utah got its share of funding projects for things like roads and public transit. Replacing him will be an ideologue who has more passion than wisdom, whose devotion to irrational dogma is not out of political opportunism, but out of deep-held belief. This new brand of Republican believed Reagan’s rhetoric, never seeing that the rhetoric was purely a political strategy rather than a recipe for good governance. And he will represent one vote in fifty in our Republic. And there are enough like-minded individuals who could join his ranks, that those of us devoted to enlightenment ideals should be very concerned.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Taking the Country Back?

As I’ve watched movements in public opinion, I’ve been struck by how many angry Caucasians are railing about “taking their country back.” What do they mean? Is it a Republican President they want? A Republican Congress? Do we need to remind them of how great it was having that dream team dominating our government? Just how far back do people want to take us?

Conservatives by definition are opposed to change, and perhaps a President with too much melanin is more than they can handle. In listening to so many people who’ve had their hemorrhoids patriotically inflamed by Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, a lot of them focus on a concern about “socialism” as if they know what that is. How many of them if pressed might think of socialism as any government program that they don’t think will benefit them? Services that do benefit them must surely be exempt from the socialist paradigm.

Mostly what I’ve seen in this country, is that the monster that Republicans have created coming back to devour not only Democrats but their own. The conservatives of the past didn’t fail because conservatism doesn’t work, it failed because conservatives weren't conservative enough. If only a more pure brand of conservatism would be employed, surely our country will return to some mythical past that is more a creation of conservative minds than of careful and reasoned scrutiny.

Restorationism certainly is appealing in the hornet’s nest, as the predominant religion teaches itself as a restoration of “true Christianity” in contrast to the fallen away versions that dot the landscape. Restoring a non-historical myth is as Mormon as funeral potatoes and jello salad. It doesn’t surprise me the appeal this has to the faithful here. The question I haven’t figured out, is what kind of landscape do these people really see as their ideal future. How much of the twentieth century do they want to abandon? Civil rights? Deposit insurance? Social Security? Regulations on clean air and water? Until I hear specifics from those who garb themselves in a drink they don’t drink, I don’t know what to think of these people.

If you want to take America back, let me know where you want America to go back to. Or as Sen. Bennett hinted, there is much more heat than light in this movement, and though the water is boiling, the teabags have yet to be immersed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Gardening Blog

I Obi wan liberali, being of somewhat sound mind, have decided to add to my blogging repertoire. Since some of my latest posts over at the "hornet's nest" have been more about gardening and nature than strictly in the world of politics, I have decided to create a new blog for that purpose. This will free me to take on fellow gardeners who may be deranged enough to be tea partying morons during the weekdays but shovel wielding gardeners on the weekend.

Just a word about the name of the blog. I got back into gardening over the past few years for several reasons. One has been financial. Times have been tough at the Obi residence and raising food to eat has been one method of surviving in the wreckage left by W. and his neocons. Second,I found myself heavier than I wanted to be and my doctor told me to lose weight or die. I have turned to a vegetable centered diet, and combined with regular workouts has resulted in a weight loss of fifty pounds so far. Third, environmental considerations have led me to want to produce food locally to not only feed myself, but family and friends. Giving others the bounty of your collaboration with nature is deeply rewarding. Also, I garden with the intention of not only feeding humans, but critters as well. Whether it's hummingbirds, robins, spiders or one of many species, I try to be somewhat accomodating, even though I lose some food to nature. The rewards however, are more butterflies, hummers and other birds, and other creatures that add biodiversity to my residence.

For me, gardening isn't about a victory over nature, it is a collaboration with nature for mutual benefit. There are limits to my collaboration, as squash bugs are not tolerated because they don't just eat the juices from squash plants, they infect the vines with a virus that kills the plants. So there are exceptions.

I hope in this blog to discuss gardening concepts and share ideas with others about what has worked for me and what has not. I may also recommend certain plants and their uses and warn people of invasive plants that are bad choices to foster in your garden.

So, if you are interested in gardening and nature, read along and we can hopefully learn from each other.

So here it is. Come pull some weeds with me.