I recently ran across a cute little piece on the internet, called “100 Things You Can Say to Irritate Republicans.” It’s quite a mix. Some of it is good talking points, such as
10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
Some of it is long-term historical stuff, like
1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
And some of it is downright silly:
67. Republicans don’t want to pay for your birth control, but they want you to pay for their Viagra.
68. Republicans actually NEED Viagra 71. Republicans hate communism, so why do they refer to themselves as red states?
and some are good indicators of how much baloney run-of-the-mill right wingers are willing to swallow;
69. Fox News is owned by an Australian and has a Saudi prince as an investor.
70. Republicans complain about immigrants taking American jobs, then freely give American jobs to foreigners overseas.
What, I wondered, would be on the list of “100 things a Green can say to irritate a Democrat” ?Then I found that a peace group in St. Petersburg, Florida, had already done my work for me, and then some: They came up with an “Obama Fact Sheet,” with 241 examples of Obama behavior that directly contradicts the progressive values so many of his supporters project onto him. Here’s some samples, starting with, as it were, the high (low?) points:
Waged war on Libya without congressional approval
- Started a covert, drone war in Yemen
- Escalated the proxy war in Somalia
- Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan
- Maintained the military occupation of Iraq
- Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan
- Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries
- Sold a record $60 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia
- Signed an agreement for 7 military bases in Colombia
- Touted nuclear power, even after the disaster in Japan
- Opened up deepwater oil drilling, even after the BP disaster
- Did a TV commercial promoting “clean coal”
- Defended body scans and pat-downs at airports
- Signed the Patriot Act extension into law
- Continued Bush’s rendition program
The indictment then moves chronologically backwards through Obama’s political career, showing how he has abandoned his earlier, more principled stands as he has risen in the ranks of power.
- Obama’s military action in Libya contradicts his words from 2007: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation” (read)
- Obama: Drill, Baby, Drill. Obama to open offshore areas to oil drilling — In June 2008, then-Sen. Obama told reporters in Jacksonville, Florida, “when I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts” (read). Obama said offshore oil drilling is “not risky” (read).
- Obama does U-turn on Guantanamo Bay terror trials – will restart military tribunals for a small number of Guantanamo detainees, reviving a Bush-era trial system he once assailed as flawed (read).
The list also includes praise for Obama from Republicans, and I don’t mean that rare breed known as “liberal Republicans.” we’re talking about a former member of John McCain’s election staff:
The absence of a solid anti-war voice on Obama’s national security team means that US foreign policy isn’t going to change – “What does it say that, with 130 members of the House and 23 in the Senate who voted against the war, Obama chooses to hire Democrats who made the same judgment as Bush and McCain?” Neoconservative leader and former McCain campaign staffer Max Boot summed it up best. “I am gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain,” (Jeremy Scahill, 12/1/08).
From that Republican eminence grise, Karl Rove, we hear a tweet: “Thanksgiving Cheer From Obama – He’s assembled a first-rate economic team” (read).
Plus, there’s a link to an article in which the likes of Newt Gingrich and Richard Perle applaud Obama’s selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:
Newt Gingrich told Fox News that she would be “a very formidable secretary of state, and frankly, a lot tougher in defending American interests than some of the liberal secretaries of state we’ve had in the past.” Republican Senator Jon Kyl lavished her with praise, calling her “a very good selection.” The Weekly Standard gushed that she had become “The Great Right Hope.”
“On the whole I’m quite pleased,” explains Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Policy Board and an architect of the Iraq war. “She seems to me quite tough-minded. That’s not a worldview, but it is a predisposition. That’s a good thing. It’s not an easy world out there.”
….Perle says he would rather have a hawkish Democrat than a Chuck Hagel-style Republican as a token bi-partisan appointment. “I heard about others on the list [for secretary of state] that I wouldn’t be happy about,” he says. “Those were mostly Republicans.”
….Perle predicts that Clinton will likely perpetuate the foreign policy approaches that have typified Bush’s second term, when the president pursued goals such as tighter sanctions on Iran. “I’m relieved,” he says. “There’s not going to be as much change as we were led to believe. I think she’s very much in the mainstream. By now, I think the Bush foreign policy is, as a practical matter, the same policy as the policy of the Department of State–which is what I’d expect it to be under Hillary Clinton. Contrary to expectations, I don’t think we would see a lot of change.”
Note: neo-con man Perle says he likes Hilary Clinton better than the unnamed Republicans who were also on Obama’s short list for Secretary of State. Obama was considering Republicans for one of the most critical positions in his cabinet, right from the get-go. So much for all that “hope and change” stuff, eh?
Well, I was curious to see what kind of reaction these 241theses, to be Lutheran about it, would have on our local progressive community, so I nailed them to the wall at Mid-Tenn. Progressive Strategy’s Facebook page, where they provoked a storm of comments, mostly expressing denial and affirming that the only way to create change in America was to work through the Democrat Party. (And I, Sisyphus, will roll this huge boulder up to the top of that hill!) There was one comment, though, that actually did cut to the chase:
…so you’ve successfully brought the problem to the table. I appreciate presenting a problem, but like I told my kids when I was raising them…you can always bring the problem to me, but please bring it with at least an attempt at a solution. What is your solution?
And so I wrote a response, including my best shot at a solution. I will share it with you after this musical break.
music: Will Kimbrough, “I Lie”