Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Garbled Fiction & Defending the Shire: Conservative Frenzy Heats Up

Utah Congresswoman Mia Love
With an amusing list of excuses that range from  "I can watch it on TV", to the more blunt "I don't even want to be involved", (yes those are real excuses) the list of prominent Republicans who plan on skipping the RNC convention in Cleveland next week reads like a who's who of the party elite.

The Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich and Mitt Romney won't be anywhere near the Cleveland Convention Center when Donald Trump is presumably anointed the de facto head of the Republican party.

Nor will a host of Republican Congressman and Senators who either openly despise him, or are facing tough elections this fall and are terrified of being associated with Trump when voters head to the polls.

Yesterday I watched a CNN interview with Republican Utah Congresswoman Mia Love.

Ms. Love, who was trotted out like a unicorn at the last Republican convention, is something of an anomaly in this country; a black female Republican Mormon.

She's a GOP stalwart who normally toes the party line, but she made it quite clear during the CNN interview with Jake Tapper that she has no intention of appearing at this year's convention and in polite "poltic-speak" left no question that she has no love for Trump.

The Republican National Convention is next week, and while many prominent party leaders won't be there, a slew of protesters are sure to be.

As Kira Lerner reported in an article for, as the news of the initial proposed amendments for the 2016 Republican party platform planks and policy positions leaked out, it's clear the GOP is trying to take a hard right and steer the party straight into La-La land.

Even as leaders, politicians, cops and families gathered in Dallas to mourn the latest victims of another mass shooting, the Republican party has proposed declaring pornography a "public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions."

Yes, Porn.Worse than guns, wealth inequality or poverty. Porn.

So much for the thousands of Americans wounded and killed by gun violence I guess; I'm sure the NRA had absolutely NOTHING to do with the idea of framing pornography as Public Enemy Number One for the Republican convention.

To the casual observer, it almost seems like prominent conservative figures are determined to use the nationwide backlash of protests against the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police last week (and the subsequent mass shooting of five police officers in Dallas by a disturbed lone African-American gunman) as an excuse to try and whip Republicans into some kind of cultural frenzy.
Danger Will Robinson, Danger ! Pat Buchanan
For example, last week conservative windbag Ann Coulter compared Donald Trump's efforts to demonize millions of immigrants to Abraham Lincoln's efforts to end slavery.

The always grim, perpetual right wing fear-monger Pat Buchanan penned an op-ed in which he warned that "White America has begun to die" due to inevitable demographic shifts in the U.S. population in the next 30 years.

After peppering the text of his op-ed with pedestrian warnings of a "rising tide of Muslim immigrants and refugees", the dependably backwards-looking Buchanan concluded by imploring "Western Man" to "defend the shire, pull up the drawbridge and man the parapets."

(Guessing he'd just watched the director's cut of LOTR: Return of the King before he wrote that?)

But by no means does Mr. Buchanan have a monopoly on high-minded conservative lunacy.    

Count Giuliani
In a scorching Op-Ed on Tuesday, the Editorial Board of the New York Times ripped into former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the divisive, reactionary, overtly racist schpeel he launched into during an appearance on CBS' 'Face The Nation' on Sunday.

Rather than backing off after public backlash, he took his act to Fox on Monday and doubled down.

Taking a cue from the worn pages of the Republican playbook, Giuliani followed an all-too-common tactic employed by conservatives in the wake of unjustified killings of people of color by police; he changed the subject and tried to blame black people for it.

This pandering peddler of loony Birther theories, who once stated that President Obama "doesn't love America the way we do", even tried to pivot the topic from out of control cops to black-on-black crime by offering up some helpful advice for a young black son:

"Be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood and don't get involved with them, son, because there's a 99% chance they're going to kill you, not the police."

The Editorial Board of the NY Times called that hokum "Mr. Giuliani's garbled, fictional statistic".

Garbled fiction pretty much sums of the Republican message as they head into what is sure to be one of the most interesting conventions in years.

Seriously I wouldn't miss this one for the world.

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