Sunday, August 30, 2009

We Can't Do It!

Here is reason #652 why I'm no longer a Republican. Once upon a time, this country accomplished pretty much everything it set out to do.
  • Defeat the Nazis. We did it.
  • End racial segregation. We did it.
  • Put a man on the moon (during war time, no less). We did it.
  • Conserve energy during an oil embargo. We did it.
We used to be a "can-do" nation. But as the extreme right-wing nuts have taken over the once respectable Republican party, they keep telling us we can't do the things we need to do.
  • Let people marry whoever they choose, regardless of their sexual orientation? It goes against the Bible, so we can't do it.
  • Make our transportation systems more efficient and comfortable by modernizing passenger trains and developing high speed rail corridors? It's too expensive and government shouldn't be subsidizing trains (even though we subsidize roads, airports, waterways and shipping ports), so we can't do it.
  • Develop environmentally friendly energy sources to clean up the Earth's atmosphere? It will cost too much, hurt the economy, and besides, that's just part of the liberal agenda, so we can't do it.
  • Provide affordable health care for all? That would be socialism, which is bad, so we can't do it.
I notice the Republican party has no plan of its own for health care. During eight years of the Bush administration our energy policies focused on more oil, merely delaying the inevitable decline in oil supplies and ignoring global warming concerns. Bush also made several attempts to eliminate the few interstate passenger trains we have left. And those sticklers for strict interpretation of the constitution seem to conveniently forget that religious dogma can't be used as a policy making tool under the first amendment.

Right-wing blowhards on radio and cable TV have resorted to fabricating facts about health care reform, and have gotten their listeners to believe them without question, as evidenced by their behavior at many town hall meetings on the subject. The GOP used to be the more civilized party, but now they can't discuss anything without resorting to lies, name calling, and shouting.

They're treating every political issue as a sporting event where the goal is not to accomplish something worthy, but to defeat the opponent. They hide behind the Bible to profess their purity, and proclaim themselves as innocent victims. Yet, like the Taliban, their only goal is to attack anyone who tries to move forward to a better world. They have no constructive ideas of their own. Their ideology blinds them to the real needs of real people. If it doesn't fit within their narrow world view, we can't do it.

Stop it and grow up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Obama Way? No Way!

The Monterey Herald reported today that some folks in Seaside are asking the city to rename Broadway Avenue as Obama Way.

I'm as much a fan of President Obama as anybody. I support his work on health care reform, I support his efforts in the middle east. I'm behind him on pretty much everything.

But let's not let our excitement get in the way of good sense. So far, President Obama hasn't had time to accomplish much, and it remains to be seen how much he can do. He may indeed be the greatest thing since Abraham Lincoln, but he needs to accomplish something enduring before we start naming things after him.

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger first became governator? Republicans were so ecstatic that they wanted to amend the United States Constitution so that he, a native of Austria, could run for President someday. That was before the state crashed head-on into fiscal reality. Arnold has turned out to be just another mediocre governor in a long string of mediocre governors. Who wants him to run for President now?

Obama may very well do great things. He may not. He may make some huge blunder for all I know. Be patient. Let him make his mark on history before we start imprinting his name on street signs.