15 June, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

It's a slow work day today, my darlings, which means I've had time to find you plenty of delectible Republicon fuckwittery to play with. Even more so than usual. And what the rat bastards have been up to lately certainly justifies my intentional misspelling of the party's name - they're putting the "con" back in "conservative:"

Several years ago, Jeb Bush and Florida Republicans created the nation’s first state-wide voucher scheme, disregarding language in the state Constitution that prohibits state funds from going to private religious schools and institutions. The program sparked a lawsuit, and the voucher system was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court.

So, before Republicans and voucher proponents in Florida can give this another shot, they’ll have to change the wording of the state Constitution. That’s not exactly easy — constitutional amendments require the support of Florida’s voters, and a clear majority of the state opposes vouchers. (A recent poll found only 38% of Floridians think vouchers are a good idea.)

How do conservatives get voters to change the state Constitution to allow for a program voters don’t want? By putting initiatives on the ballot that obscure their true meaning.

Two of the constitutional amendments on this fall’s lengthy presidential ballot are described to voters the following way:

No. 7: “Religious freedom.” No. 9: “Requiring 65 percent of school funding for classroom instruction; state’s duty for children’s education.”

Here’s a pop quiz: How many of you just guessed from the amendments’ official titles that they are intended to invalidate a 2006 Florida Supreme Court and separate appellate court ruling against school vouchers?

If the actual purpose eluded you, then the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission would be pleased. The intent behind the baldly political game commissioners played in putting two school voucher issues on the ballot was obvious: Get voters to approve vouchers without knowing they did.

The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, of course, is stacked with voucher advocates who bypassed the legislature and placed these initiatives on the ballot directly. (The leading proponent on the commission is Patricia Levesque, Jeb Bush’s former deputy chief of staff, the executive director of his foundation, and a graduate of Bob Jones University.)

What we’re left with is a situation in which conservatives have a choice: con voters or convince voters. In Florida, they’re going with the prior. It is easier, I suppose.

Well, when your party is empty of productive ideas, doesn't think much of the peons who are the majority of the voting public, and is flat broke, then yes: conning people is far easier than convincing them. And for all their hue and cry about morals, values and all that rot, they seem to have none of the above.

So they lie. It's what they're best at. It's apparently one of the core courses taught at Bob Jones University, judging from the fuckery other graduates of that institution have engaged in.

Continuing the con games, John McCain has decided to try to win Hillary Clinton's supporters to his side - by outright lying to them. In a meeting with 75 of Clinton's supporters, he presented these whoppers:

McCain, of course, is anxious to stack the federal judiciary with very conservative jurists. Asked about this last night, McCain assured Clinton supporters that “he supported Bill Clinton with both Ginsburg and Breyer.”

Similarly, when asked about marriage equality for gay couples, one attendee said McCain explained that his position is “the same as [John] Kerry’s position.”

In other words, in attempting to divide Democrats, McCain has decided to try blatant deception, and hope Clinton supporters don’t know the difference. There’s no reason on earth to think this will work. Plenty of Clinton supporters are disappointed and resentful, but they’re not crazy.

On judges, McCain thinks voting to confirm Ginsburg and Breyer is evidence of moderation. That’s absurd. Breyer was confirmed with an 87-vote majority. For that matter, 96 senators voted to confirm Ginsburg. Voting with the majority was hardly a bold act of courage for McCain.

Indeed, even pointing to these two votes is a classic red herring. The question isn’t whether McCain voted to confirm qualified judges nominated by a Democratic president, the question is what McCain will do to the judiciary if he’s the president. We already know the answer to that question — because McCain has told us over and over again of his deeply-held desire to make the courts even more conservative than they are now.

Indeed, McCain is telling anyone who will listen that he’d be even further to the right than Bush on this issue, subtly criticizing Griswold, and by extension, the very notion of a right to privacy. McCain did, after all, champion Robert Bork’s nomination. “Might he really be a ‘maverick’ when it comes to the Supreme Court? The answer, almost certainly, is no. The Senator has long touted his opposition to Roe, and has voted for every one of Bush’s judicial appointments; the rhetoric of his speech shows that he is getting his advice on the Court from the most extreme elements of the conservative movement.”

What’s more, McCain will not only replace Supreme Court justices, but also lower-court judges and entire executive-branch bureaucracy with conservative Republican officials.

How conservative is McCain on judges? Even Joe Lieberman has expressed concerns about McCain and the judiciary — and I refuse to believe that resentful Clinton supporters are to Lieberman’s right on this issue.

As for gay rights, for McCain to equate his position with John Kerry’s is utterly ridiculous. Kerry supports civil unions, McCain doesn’t. Kerry supports allowing gay Americans to serve openly in the military, McCain doesn’t. Hell, McCain actively supported and campaigned for an amendment to Arizona’s constitution that would “ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples.” Similar to Kerry? Not so much.

Carpetbagger's holding out hope that these Dems aren't stupid enough to fall for foolery like this. I'm not so optimistic. The Republicons, after all, don't have the monopoly on stupid followers. I think it may be time for Dems to stage an intervention for their fellow Dems.

And speaking of McCain's lies, the next time someone tells you that McCain's tax fairy will help the struggling middle-class, present them with a reality check:

Earlier this week, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center released a paper showing that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) tax plan “offers three times the break for middle class families” than the proposals of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which “would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families.” On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol called the report “good for McCain” because it labels Obama as “a tax raiser” and he doesn’t think voters will be swayed when it’s pointed out that “it’s only a tax on the wealthy.”

But NPR’s Juan Williams strongly disagreed with Kristol, arguing that only the wealthy would view the end of the Bush tax cuts as “raising taxes.” “It’s almost like you guys are out of touch with what ordinary Americans are going through in this country,” charged Williams.


As the Tax Policy Center found, Obama’s plan provides the heaviest benefits to the poorest Americans while McCain’s plan gives its most significant income increases to the wealthy.

Regarding tax cuts for corporations, $175 billion would go directly to corporations each year under McCain’s tax plan. McCain’s plan would also give $3.8 billion in tax cuts to the five largest American oil companies and $2.8 billion to the nation’s largest energy and utility companies.

Oh, yes, so very helpful to the common man. I think we have a new slogan: A Vote for McCain is a Vote for Poverty. Make sure you wield that one along with the "McCain Will Veto Your Beer" slogan, and we may yet win this thing.

What an assmonkey.

There's actually a lot more where this came from, but lunch is over. I'll have to save the rest for later. Whet your appetites for stupidity, my darlings: it's going to be a long night.

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