Friday, November 16, 2012

Looney Losers Launch Sour Grapes Secession Campaign

I truly intended to steer clear of politics for this column. However, when I read about the secession effort set in motion this week in states that, by and large, voted for Mitt Romney, then quickly spread in a few days, it induced me to stick my two cents into the fray as our nation becomes more sharply divided.
Even Bart Simpson poked fun at Karl Rove (©Fox)
Have you heard about this post-Obama re-election foolishness? It’s even more outrageous than the lame excuses offered by embittered losers Mitt Romney, who said Obama gave gifts to liberal constituencies, and Paul Ryan, who said the urban vote hurt them. It’s even crazier than when Karl Rove went ballistic on election night and stubbornly refused to accept the Ohio voting results on the Fox News Channel.
The secession movement started in Texas the reddest state and, as of November 15, approximately 100,000 Lone Star residents had reportedly signed petitions requesting the peaceful withdrawal of their state from the union. Small numbers of citizens from every other state, including New York, quickly joined the movement and signed similar petitions asking to secede. Residents of a few states without a petition cheerfully signed one from another state.
They may do everything big in Texas, but this secession movement is hardly one of ‘em. One hundred thousand is a drop in the bucket compared to the 26 million people in the nation’s second most populous state.
There’s no chance these sour grapers will succeed in seceding, but if by some fluke Texas did, does that mean the Battle of the Alamo gets annulled? Can Mexico request a mulligan and get back the territory it lost in the 1836 conflict?
At least the state’s right-leaning Governor Rick Perry, who vied for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination and lightheartedly called for his state to break away from the U.S. three years ago, opposes the secession movement. His press secretary told a reporter the governor rejects the current Internet campaign and “believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it.”
Not willing to leave well enough alone, she then criticized “Washington’s tax and spend, one-size-fits-all mind set” and praised Perry’s economic policies.
Referring to themselves as the Texas Nationalist Movement, their petition reads: “Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.”
Petitions from other states refer to the Declaration of Independence to support their demand for independence: “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.”
While most of the petitions come from states that supported Mitt Romney in the recent election, a few swing states and even some blue states, like New York and New Jersey, are also represented.
Within 24 hours of the Texas action, the secession issue mushroomed into a nationwide trend. Disappointed over the results of the recent presidential election, citizens from all 50 states, who are pessimistic about a second Obama term, feel that their state would be better off separated from the federal government. According to dailycaller.com, by the morning of Wednesday, November 14, an estimated 675,000 had signed petitions. However, only seven states have amassed more than 25,000 signatures each.
The losers, and those who voted for them in the nation’s 53 previous presidential elections, in all probability, weren’t too content with the outcomes either. Yet except for one, which led to a Civil War and more than 750,000 dead and wounded Americans, the country survived and we managed to move on.
To offset the secession nuts, there’s an equally silly drive calling for President Obama to sign an executive order to strip the citizenship of and deport anyone who signed a petition to secede from the U.S.
That proposal makes sense for those who don’t like the way the government treats them. Maybe they should just get the hell out.
You don’t want to be part of the union, then go, you inconsequential sore losers!
Hasta la vista, baby!
Isn’t the nation polarized enough without a few jerks with apologies to other jerks for lumping them in with these bozos escalating our differences?
Get over it! If cry-baby secessionists don’t like the way things are or where the nation may or may not be headed, they should just leave. And I hope the proverbial Golden Door hits them in the ass on the way out. Incidentally, I know a few thousand people who’ll help ‘em pack, then be there for the grand departure as they sail, drive, fly or walk away.
Perhaps it’s time to revive the inhospitable phrase overused by those who disagreed with 1960’s Vietnam War protesters America, love it or leave it!
The election’s over. After 236 years, Democracy and majority rule still work. (Maybe not so much in Congress where 20 percent more than a majority is necessary to end a filibuster.) When all the votes are counted, a democracy, such as ours, relies on the willingness of its people to unconditionally, though not necessarily wholeheartedly, accept decisions when they lose. There’s no option in the U.S. Constitution for secession when a democratic decision is objectionable. 
What’s their problem? Stop whining and suck on your sour grapes. Act like adults, not six year olds having tantrums.
You’ll get another chance in four years. Meanwhile, shut up and deal with it.
I only hope that more rational minds prevail and rebuke these secession factions. Anyway, what would they call their new republic? USPOP – the United States of Pissed Off People. Or, simply, the Disunited States.
Maybe it’s time to revive the words Rodney King uttered following the “not guilty” verdict for the four LAPD officers acquitted of beating him that sparked several days of riots in 1992: “Can’t we all just get along?”
Don’t forget, a sore loser makes winning that much more enjoyable!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Voting and Gloating Are Over – Where Do We Go From Here? (November 10, 2012)

The presidential campaign stretched out for 18 months, yet it seemed longer — a lot longer.
At least we won’t be bombarded with those fact-skewing, negative attack ads — until local campaigns emerge less than a year from now.
I’m also fed up with constant robocalls. Why is it that political calls are exempt from “Do Not Call” lists? And don’t give me that free speech explanation. That’s just a flimsy excuse when self-serving representatives fashion expedient legislation to exempt themselves, yet blocks solicitations from private businesses.
One thing this election demonstrated was that the nation’s melting population is more diverse than ever — and must be given attention. While the Democratic Party got an overwhelming majority of the minority vote, it’s going to have to work hard to secure that base and not just count on it for years to come. On the other hand, though the Republican Party is far from being washed up, as long as the GOP adheres to its horse-and-buggy manifesto, it’s likely to remain losers for years to come.
Are reasonable Republican leaders so blind they don’t see the multiracial population makeover growing or will they just continue to validate their defunct 20th century mentality?
Ever since integration spearheaded the civil rights era, the GOP has nourished a hard core base of white southerners. However, as the country’s population gradually transformed, Republicans overlooked the emerging minority, while centrist Democrats embraced America’s constantly melting pot.
Hard core conservatives, who exert significant pressure on Republicans, may not be partial to or recognize the nation’s changing cultural and ethnic mixture. But, if the GOP hopes to thrive and survive, it can no longer neglect minorities that now make up more than half the population and whose numbers are only going to climb in the future. Unless Republican Party leaders stop being manipulated by extremist factions, like the Tea Party and rigid neo-cons, and reexamines its right-leaning ideas, it could remain the underdog for years to come.
Conservatives and some Republicans must stop crowing, “We have to take our country back.” Who exactly do they want to take it back from? Actually, when you evaluate that line, it’s nothing but veiled racism. It simply means taking it back from minorities that have swelled into a majority coalition.
There’s a joke that goes something like: surrounded by Indians the Lone Ranger says, “This doesn't look good, Tonto. We’re in trouble.” To which his Native American sidekick replies, “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”
Nowadays, ‘we’ isn’t a majority of Caucasian Americans, it’s more closely associated with the Constitutional, “We, the people.” People who are white, black, brown and yellow. People who observe diverse religious affiliations  or none at all. People who are heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, transgendered and even asexual.
We is the unconditional characterization of the melting pot that has made our nation more unique than any other.
Republicans have to decide whether or not they’re going to distance themselves from the far right fringe, led by Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, several Fox commentators, Donald Trump, etc. They disgrace the party and deters moderate fence-sitters.
It would be unconstitutional, though certainly applauded by some, to silence extremists’ right to utter whatever the hell they want, but respectable members of the GOP should not fear a backlash or appear reluctant to berate them when they make outrageous, nasty comments. Silence, however, is an implicit stamp of approval.
Besides the consequences of Republican platform issues, the stakes are high for Barack Obama over the next four years. Despite his lame duck status, he must turn this country around or the legacy of the first black president in U.S. history will be worse than that of David Dinkins, New York City’s first black mayor.
The president supports an extension for the bulk of the Bush tax cuts, but wants to end them for households with annual incomes over $250,000. In addition, under Obama’s plan the top federal income tax rate would rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
What is now commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff” is a blend of spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect next year, if Congress does not act. Spending cuts roughly total $1 trillion over the next decade, including $500 billion from defense. Tax increases include the expiration of the payroll tax holiday and of the Bush-era income tax cuts.
Democrats, naturally, maintain that Obama’s reelection was an endorsement of that approach. However, if a deal cannot be reached to ensure that wealthy Americans pay their fair share or Democrats can’t negotiate entitlement program reforms to achieve economic growth — that Republicans favor — before December 31st, no victory will stop the economy from reaching the fiscal precipice.
It remains to be seen if Republicans and Democrats will reach a deal. But, the longer bipartisanship is deferred, the worse it will be not only for the nation, but for those politicians too pig-headed to recognize the problems and priorities staring them in the face. Congressional elections are two years away and if cooperation eludes another legislative session, voters may decide to make some changes when they vote next time.
Most importantly, the federal government must be an active and constructive partner in promoting prosperity, opportunity and American greatness. Consequently, for the good of the nation, our political leaders must formulate a joint strategy to outline a practical course that will put an end to the current impasse that is sapping America’s inner strength and distorting our national motto – E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one.