Democrats and Republicans

AE32E48D-A4FD-46E3-BF88-E95FEAD232EBGroucho Marx once said, “All people are born alike — except Republicans and Democrats.”

Unfortunately, what Groucho said decades ago is even more true today. The partisan divide is at an extreme like I have personally never experienced…and I lived through the Vietnam era, when this country was very politically divided.

We all share stereotypical views of those on the other side of the aisle. For example, if someone you’d never met learned that you were a Republican, they would likely assume that you are not black, lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, nonreligious, or Jewish. If they learned you were a Democrat, they would likely believe that you are not a white evangelical Christian and you don’t live in a rural part of the county.

Most Democrats are left-leaning, liberal, and are usually associated with progressiveness and equality. Most Republicans are right-leaning, conservative, and are associated with big business, economic freedom, and with self-reliance. But to be fair, “most” doesn’t mean “all.” There are plenty of crossovers, like me, a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.

I consider political party affiliation to be like religion. When babies are born, they have no religion. But they are taught about religion from their parents and most children embrace the religious beliefs of their families and maintain those beliefs into and throughout adulthood.

Similarly, babies are not born either Democratic or Republican. But they will typically embrace and follow the political leanings of their families.

My question is what has happened to moderates within either political party? These days moderates are ridiculed as being either RINOs or DINOs (i.e., Republicans/Democrats In Name Only) and of being disloyal to their party (even when being loyal to their party is being disloyal to their country). Political compromise and a willingness to negotiate with the other side are considered signs of weakness.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the primary purpose of a political party is to do everything it can to stymie the other party, thus effectively blocking the government from getting much of anything done. For anybody.

Must See TV

BA828CC8-4C13-4277-9734-F91CB29E468EWow. What a day. I’ve been glued to the TV all day. I thought that Christine Blasey Ford came across as a very credible, sincere witness.

Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, has bounced back and forth between being a vicious attack dog and a whimpering little puppy. Oh, we’ve also learned how much Brett really, really likes beer.

I’m watching Brett Kavanaugh testify now and it’s pretty clear that he came out with both guns blazing, having taken Donald Trump’s advise to stop being such a choirboy wimp and to defiantly fight back vigorously.

The hearing is not yet over, but I don’t see any movement from either side of the aisle. All of the Republicans remain staunchly supporting Kavanaugh and all of the Democrats remain equally opposed to Kavanaugh. Bottom line, because the Republicans hold the majority on the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh’s nomination will make it out of the Committee and be brought before the full Senate, which also has a Republican majority.

So despite questions about his potential sexual assault in high school, despite his having been caught lying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in prior hearings for lower court judgeships, and despite his documented positions on women’s reproductive and abortion rights, Brett Kavanaugh will likely be the newest Supreme Court Justice.

Which, in my opinion, is a sad state of affairs.

Presidential Flag Foibles

7F30F6C5-753F-415C-8826-AE9A7A0F53DFThis morning, breaking with the tradition of flying the flag at the White House at half-staff upon the death of a sitting U.S. Senator through the senator’s burial, Donald Trump ordered that the flag flying over the White House be raised to full staff.

This did not go over well, particularly with veterans. American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan wrote a letter to Trump earlier today in which she said, “The American Legion urges the White House to follow long-established protocol following the death of prominent government officials.”

Rohan’s letter continued, “On the behalf of The American Legion’s two million wartime veterans, I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain’s death and legacy of service to our nation, and that our nation’s flag be half-staffed through his internment.”

A few hours later, Donald Trump released a statement saying, “Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.”

Hmm. The wording of Trump’s statement is eerily similar to that of Denise Rohan’s letter, isn’t it.

It took significant pressure from a group representing U.S. veterans and even members of his own party in Congress to get Trump to do the right and decent thing. And yet some recent polls have shown Trump to have 90% approval rating among Republicans.

Seriously, Republicans?

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

60CE4100-365A-4A3D-9724-0FD8AAFC0EE5You’ve probably seen this photo of these two buttholes at a recent Trump rally wearing t-shirts that read, “I’d rather be a Russian than Democrat.”

Is this really what Republicans believe? Does their hatred toward Democrats actually translate to their taking sides with the country, a declared adversary of American — and global — democracy, that meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump get elected and is likely continuing to meddle as we move toward the critical midterm elections in November?

What has happened to the Republican Party that once claimed to be the party that was tough on Russia and stood for family values? Has negative partisanship become so intense that they are willing to believe the worst about Democrats and to rationalize away the sins and crimes committed by Donald Trump and his cronies?

As Bill Maher said on his HBO show last night, the new Republican mantra seems to be “Better red than well read.”

And as Forrest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

In Other Words — The Blue Wave


46C78B12-BBAB-45D0-A617-3D88E564EF9AIn the two years since Trump was elected, a lot of damage has been done.

The President, his Cabinet, and the Republicans in Congress (and Vladimir Putin) have been fiddling while our nation is burning.

Like me, many voters are fed up and angry, and in less than three months Americans will go to the polls.

We will be sending an important message.

A big blue wave is coming.

2E64CDA9-9659-4EFF-AA52-38290AED6E9FThis post is written for the “In Other Words” prompt from Patricia’s Place. Today’s word is “wave,” and the rules are to write a story or poem of five lines or less using the word “wave.”

This is the first time I’ve participated in Patricia’s In Other Words challenge, but when I saw what the word was, I couldn’t stop myself.