Sunday, November 11, 2012

Also in the News: The New America and Challenges Ahead

And yet more end-of-week snippets of news on themes political and religious, from commentary that caught my eye in recent days:

In turning back the despicable last-minute attempt of Ohio Secretary of State (and Catholic) Jon Husted to expand the disfranchisement of minority voters on which Husted was intent throughout the campaign, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley told the state attorney (via Aviva Shen at Think Progress), 

I don’t want to see democracy die in the darkness on my watch, especially with voting.

Maureen Dowd in the New York Times on the failure of GOP voter suppression efforts: 

Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their “traditional” America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot.

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone on the lack of self-awareness that has led the Republican party to its current dead end:

Similarly, the fact that so many Republicans this week think that all Hispanics care about is amnesty, all women want is abortions (and lots of them) and all teenagers want is to sit on their couches and smoke tons of weed legally, that tells you everything you need to know about the hopeless, anachronistic cluelessness of the modern Republican Party. A lot of these people, believe it or not, would respond positively, or at least with genuine curiosity, to the traditional conservative message of self-reliance and fiscal responsibility. 
But modern Republicans will never be able to spread that message effectively, because they have so much of their own collective identity wrapped up in the belief that they're surrounded by free-loading, job-averse parasites who not only want to smoke weed and have recreational abortions all day long, but want hardworking white Christians like them to pay the tab. Their whole belief system, which is really an endless effort at congratulating themselves for how hard they work compared to everyone else (by the way, the average "illegal," as Rush calls them, does more real work in 24 hours than people like Rush and me do in a year), is inherently insulting to everyone outside the tent – and you can't win votes when you're calling people lazy, stoned moochers.

Frank Rich in the New York Magazine on the denial and magical faith-based thinking of the GOP, which has now translated into "intellectual nihilism" throughout the nation due to the constant bombardment of the public with "truthiness" instead of faits by media like Fox:

Daniel Patrick Moynihan might be surprised to learn that he is now remembered most for his oft-repeated maxim that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Yet today most Americans do see themselves as entitled to their own facts, with one of our two major political parties setting a powerful example. For all the hand-wringing about Washington’s chronic dysfunction and lack of bipartisanship, it may be the wholesale denial of reality by the opposition and its fellow travelers that is the biggest obstacle to our country moving forward under a much-empowered Barack Obama in his second term. If truth can’t command a mandate, no one can.

Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario at Addicting Information on Republican Jesus™and how differs from, well, the Jesus you and I encounter in the gospels:

Republican Jesus™ is very different than the Jesus you and I are familiar with. First off, he is White. Not just white, but White. Republican Jesus™ has a special place in his heart for America. Specifically, White America. Do you doubt this? Ask yourself why anyone who believes in a colorblind Jesus would even conceive of praying for the death of Obama? No, only those who follow Republican Jesus™ would even think that such a prayer could, or should, be answered. If you are currently thinking that racism has nothing to do with the unprecedented hatred of Obama, go away, I’m talking to the grownups. 

And, finally, don't miss Floating Sheep on the spike in racist tweets immediately following the president's re-election and where those tweets originate on the national U.S. map.

But the good news to offset the bad news contained in that final piece: listen to Labi Siffre sing in the video at the head of the posting about what happens when you try to take people's rights away (be prepared to discover that they'll run even faster--and turn out to the polls in record numbers).  I can't stop listening to Siffre, a gay son of a Nigerian father and Barbadian-Belgian mother living in a civil partnership with his partner in England.  Who was educated in Catholic schools . . . .

Though Siffre is a British citizen, I suspect that when many Americans who went to the polls this week and re-elected President Obama sing "Something Inside So Strong," we're hearing him sing about us.  And about the nation we hope to see born through our collective action now.

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