Left and Right and Silly

~~By Kenosha Marge

I admit freely, openly and honestly that for many years I voted a straight Democrat ticket. I admit freely, openly and honestly that for many years I was a nitwit for doing that. I didn’t research and I didn’t even care all that much about investigating whether the person who got my silly vote so easily was worthy. If it breathed and had a “D” after it’s name, it got my vote. Come on admit it, most of you did the same thing.

Now all those years and silly votes later I am appalled at my lack of integrity. How can someone, anyone treat their precious right to vote so cavalierly? How could I? I hang my head in shame.

Like many of the left I pooh-poohed the sight of voters in Iraq proudly showing their “purple” fingers. They displayed their “purple” fingers proudly and courageously. Because I was so partisan and loathed George Bush I missed something very important. Among all the death and destruction a good thing happened. Just because I hated the war and those that supported it was no reason to dismiss the joy those people felt because they were finally allowed to vote. Did they all vote intelligently? Do we? They dodged gunfire and the real fear of death to vote. Many Americans stay home if it rains. I am ashamed that my partisanship made me dismiss that pride and courage.

I was a person who had always prided myself on being a good citizen because I always voted. Now I see myself as no better than those that didn’t vote. They might have been lazy, but I was stupid. Sadly there are a lot of voters, left and right that do the same thing I always did. Sadly they haven’t seen the light. If it lives and breathes and spouts the correct talking points and has the “right” as in correct consonant after their name, they’ll vote for he/she/it. Isn’t it amazing how easily satisfied we have become about the people that are supposed to represent us?

The newly smarter me now looks at actions instead of words and deeds instead of the doer. And guess what? There are many times when I would not vote for the Democrat. The first time I came to that conclusion I was totally goshwoggled. How could I have been so blind? Kinda like many people feel once the honeymoon is over.

Having decided in my old age to take off the partisan blindfold I discovered a world of things I had not acknowledged as worthy. If all worthiness is in my party then your party is unworthy. Had I ever trimmed all the rhetoric and high-flying phrases down to that simplicity I might have noticed what a nitwit I was far sooner. I must admit that the words “ better late than never” don’t sound so good to me right now. As we used to say back in my day, it sounds like a cop-out.

I also should have noticed far sooner that are media is no longer made up of the same kind of people we had when I first started watching the news with my parents. It is no longer a “Chet and David” media world.

I always suspected that most politicians, even a Democrat or two, lied occasionally. It didn’t occur to me that people in the business of informing the people did the same thing. People who had their own little section of the Constitution wouldn’t be so crass. Would they? Are they? Damn.

The majority of the print media as well as those that infest our airwaves and television screens are people with little or no integrity. They “spin” the news to make it say what their corporate bosses want it to say and then collect giant paychecks for being liars. Prostitutes give more bang for the buck than presstitutes. They have a higher customer satisfaction rate too I suspect.

One of the sleaziest of these overpaid slugs, by the name of Olbermann, has one of the lower ranked and rated programs on cable news. Olbermann is consistently beaten and beaten badly night after bloviating night in the ratings. This would seem to say that his bosses–that would be GE–are willing to pay this cretin enormous amounts of money to lie, spin, twist, and distort the news for public consumption and to hell with ratings. I am happy to report that the cretinous Tweety Matthews has even lower ratings..

I admit to having watched Olbermann for a while. His shtick grew old very quickly. He did bash Bush when few others were willing to do that. He also made a nightly habit of beating up on some dimwitted or demented female personality. What was with that, I wondered. Time came to prove that is was because the man is a rampant misogynist. Probably has a small or inactive weenie too. That he uses Murrow’s tagline is repulsive.

Now that I have finally opened my eyes and looked around I find that there is very little differences in the two major parties. They both pander shamelessly to their base, they both promise the moon and deliver a pizza, and they are both corrupt. Their issues may at times seem polar opposite but in the end they are alike in that all they truly care about is getting rich, getting power, and getting re-elected.

Common sense, which I once thought I had should have made me see the error of my ways long before I did. The Democratic Party had to show such corruption that I could no longer ignore it before I admitted the truth to myself. None of us likes admitting that we are/were wrong.

As a resident of the great state of Wisconsin I should have been more aware. We after all have foisted men like Joe McCarthy on the public. We have also gifted them with the likes of William Proxmire. Seems almost schizophrenic doesn’t it?

We carry through on that tradition to this day. Our two “Democratic” Senators, Feingold and Kohl both have a “D” after their name. One really does represent all those old-fashioned democratic ideals that I have believed in and thought I was voting for all these years. The other? Not so much. I am proud to have voted for Russ Feingold and equally proud to have voted against Herb Kohl. Both these actions are now done with both eyes wide open and without a partisan blindfold in sight. I even find myself agreeing with my Republican Congresscritter Paul Ryan now and again. Imagine that. A short time ago I couldn’t have.

***

Links of interest:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Proxmire

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece_Award

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=44963

STANDING TALL: DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT

~~By Kenosha Marge

Who are we? What is our own personal identity? What parts of that identity are most important to us? How far are we willing to go to protect the part of our identity that we most cherish?

I will always be an Irish American/Danish American/French Canadian/Ogallala Sioux. That’s in the blood and the bone. I don’t think of myself that way much. I just think of myself as an American.

I did however always think of myself as a Democrat. We were the good guys. We were the people that cared about other people unlike those evil, rotten Republicans that didn’t. Except that attitude didn’t work very well for me because ½ of my family, the maternal half, was Republican. While I didn’t always agree with them, they certainly weren’t evil or rotten. They were in most respects much like the other half of the family, the Irish-American Liberal/Democrat side. Except, to be perfectly honest, they were far more fiscally responsible.

I grew up to be a fiscally responsible moderately liberal Democrat. Voted a straight Democratic ticket, and I always voted, all the time. One slip over the years when I voted for a liberal Green candidate who seemed far more in tune with my beliefs than old Herb Kohl (D-WI) ever was.

Then came the election cycle of 2008. I learned that much of what I was and who I thought I was and who I thought they were was not true. May 31st 2008 a day that will live in Democratic Party infamy for many others and me. The day we knew, finally, sadly, angrily knew, that the party we had been a part of and believed in was as corrupt as the other party. That was the day that I, personally, left the Democratic Party forever. Once my trust is lost it is gone forever.

Now I am an Independent. Felt very strange at first but has grown to be enlightening and giving me a whole new sense of freedom.

As a non-partisan Independent I don’t have to like some politician just because they have a “D” after their name. Right there is freedom from voting for some pinhead just cause he’s a Democrat. And truth be told, I voted for a lot of pinheads.

As a non-partisan Independent I am suddenly listening to what people on the right are saying. And sometimes, much to my surprise, I actually agree with them. Lots of times I don’t. Just like many times I don’t agree with those on the left. That’s the freedom of not being a partisan pinhead. Viva la Independence!

As a non-partisan Independent I have come to see that both major parties are corrupt, dysfunctional, and incompetent. Oh they both bluster and brag on all the good things they do but take a look at the shape the country is in, where the hell were they when it was headed this way? Some very smart people were telling anyone that would listen what was coming. Damn few listened.

Now the parties point their fingers at each other. Smart people know that this disaster is a bi-partisan mess created by elected officials that are too busy raising money and worrying about their next campaign to be much concerned about the people’s business. Too concerned about partisanship and the pecking order and who is in power and who isn’t. As a non-partisan Independent I can tell you who isn’t in power; the American People.

As a non-partisan Independent I have come to see that there is no party for America. Republicans care more about the Republican Party than they care about their country. Democrats care more about the Democratic Party than they care about America. Both parties care more about money and power than their constituency. Oh they talk the talk, rhetoric is cheap folks, takes money to buy whiskey. Damn few walk the walk. As a newly-minted Independent I am seeing this with my eyes wide open for the first time.

As a non-partisan Independent I look at issues not who is saying what. I look at the deed and not the doer. If something is wrong for one party then it is equally wrong when done by the other party. With partisanship attitudes that is seldom true. I have heard people twisting themselves in rhetorical knots defending an act they condemned with vigor when done by a Republican but are now defending when done by a Democrat. And vice-versa, hypocrisy at least is completely bi-partisan.

As a non-partisan Independent I have come to the sad conclusion that I pretty much loathe all politicians. They are a bunch of lying, thieving, bloviating, incompetent nincompoops that aren’t fit to run the Funhouse at a Carnival let alone a country.

As a non-partisan Independent I wish that we had good, honest, competent, leadership. As a non-partisan Independent I can plainly see that we don’t.

As a non-partisan Independent I will therefore have to pick and choose and be hyper vigilant when voting. I will vote for the person and not the party. I will vote for the best of the bad and hope they will grow into their job or at least see that their best interests lie with the people who elect them.

As a non-partisan Independent I hope enough people take off their partisan-colored glasses and vote for what’s best for all the people not just people that think the way they do. I also would hope people would stop demonizing every one that doesn’t belong to the same party or philosophy that they do. We have enough evil bastards in Washington D.C. running our country and our way of life into the ground. We don’t need to help them by turning on each other. They are the enemy. They are the evildoers. We the people put politicians in a position to do their evil deeds.

As a non-partisan Independent I really wish we’d stop doing that.

Part 1–Independent Thinking: PARTISAN NO MORE

Editor’s Note: Originally planned as a double post on the subject of “independent thinking” in the wake of the Democratic Party’s recent actions, we’ve decided to post each piece individually since each has it’s own distincet tone and content. Part 2 will appear on Friday…

Partisan No More

~~By kenosha Marge

When you discard something that has been a part of your identity for all of your adult life it’s frightening. It’s a lonely feeling when you abandon your tribe. It was home. It was comfort.

That was what it meant to me to leave the Democratic Party. It was not a decision I made lightly. It was a long lonely process that ended on May 31st 2008. That was the day that the Democratic Party, the DNC and the RBC decided that democracy didn’t matter anymore. That was the day I became an Independent.

Clicking around the Internet I find many people like me. Many of us now feel free to pick and choose when casting our votes. We do not feel bound by partisanship or loyalty to a party. I also see people who are just waiting for the party to come to its senses so that they can rush back home. I will not do that.

I found out a fundamental thing about myself this election cycle. For years I cringed as fellow liberals called conservatives horrid names and impugned their intellect. I cringed because I had family and friends who were good, decent people and, horror of horrors, Republicans. My maternal Grandparents, who were two of the best people I have ever known, were Republicans. Evil Ratfuckers? That I did nothing but cringe is shameful.

Taking a step back and looking around I began to wonder how many of my other preconceived notions were wrong. This election cycle has challenged the core beliefs for many of us. We look around without the bias of our partisanship and we don’t like what we see. We have had the nastiness and name-calling turned on us by fellow Democrats/Liberals and we are outraged.

Partisanship forces people to hang onto the most outrageous nonsense in an effort to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Some will refuse to see what is indisputable simply because they don’t want to see. What’s the old proverb; “None so blind as those that will not see”? I used to think that only meant Republicans.

We on the left like to pretend it’s only those stupid Conservatives who just won’t wake up and smell the coffee. They have a chance to be right, as in correct, if only they thought like us.

Partisanship allows people to do and say things they would find detestable if done by others.

Senator John W. Warner of Virginia was a man I respected even though I often disagreed with him. I thought him a good, decent man. So I ask myself how could this good, decent man go along with the Bush Administration so over and over again? Did he become evil over night? I don’t think so. I think that he simply put his party before everything else. In doing so he allowed his partisanship to compromise his integrity.

I believe most politicians put their party and their own re-election chances before their country and their integrity. Therefore they don’t actually represent the people who elected them.

I confess that I used to believe, and believe profoundly that all Democrats were better than all Republicans. I still believe that one of my Senators, Russ Feingold, is better than most Republicans. I’m also convinced he’s better than the majority of Democrats. Any time I become upset when he doesn’t vote exactly as I want him to vote, I remember the vote on the repulsive Patriot Act. The vote was 98 to 1. Clinton voted for it. McCain voted for it. Biden voted for it. The one man, with the integrity to stand alone for what he knew was right was Russ Feingold. (Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote.)

Just FYI, when reauthorization came up on March 2, 2006 the vote was 89 to 10 with Daniel Inouye not voting. Voting for? Most of the same cast of characters voted aye with the addition of the Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Clinton, McCain, Biden all voted for the reauthorization. Daniel Akaka, Jeff Bingaman, Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden had the integrity to join Russ Feingold. As I am a supporter of the 30% solution it’s nice to see at least one female Senator with the integrity to vote against this atrocity.

My other Wisconsin Senator is Herb Kohl. How could he be better than a Republican when he basically is a Republican? I really dislike DINOs, RINOs, and Blue Dog Democrats more than any other political critters. No one should vote for people that lack the courage to state who and what they are when running for office.

Another example of someone unafraid to be who and what he is, is Senator Bernie Sanders. He calls himself a Democratic Socialist and is classified as an Independent. Listen to what Bernie Sanders says sometimes and you’ll discover a man of integrity and decency. Men like Sanders and Feingold are few and far between. They do offer hope that people of integrity can be elected, just not many or often.

Partisan Republicans will vote for Republican Crooks over good decent Democrats; indeed they will deny that such a creature exists. Partisan Democrats will vote for Democratic Crooks over good decent Republicans and insist from their partisan viewpoint that there are no good Republicans. Partisan voters insist there is no good to be found in the other party.

And elected officials will follow the party line, with a few exceptions, whether the party line is good for the country or not. Our country is going to hell in a partisan handbasket.