Guest post for Jazz Guns Apple Pie
There’s a saying that people use to explain things they can’t. ‘God moves in mysterious ways.’ Now, my religious practicing went the same way as my piano practice when I was twelve, but I’ve always understood this phrase to mean that we can’t always explain why God causes things to happen. Because it’s God. That’s part of the whole divinity thing.
So when you have political candidates such as Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell, all claiming that God called them to run or it was a part of His “plan,” what does it mean when they keep losing? There’s a couple of ways this can go.
To begin with, maybe it’s a personal thing where He wants them to grow, to learn from their experiences on the campaign trail. Maybe He wants them to learn a little humility in defeat. After all, the meek are going to inherit the Earth.
Continue reading 'God’s Political Plan'»
Before the Christine O’Donnell “One-Night Stand” story came out, I was already thinking about sexism in politics going the other way: toward male candidates. This year, several female candidates have called the manhood of their male opponents into question. Those candidates include O’Donnell who called her primary opponent Mike Castle “unmanly” and said, “this is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on.”
Sure, that’s not the worst thing you could say to someone, but if you use someone’s gender to attack them, isn’t that sexism? When a female candidate’s sex life is made public, it’s done to shame her because some people think women should be sexually modest. When a male candidate’s masculinity is questioned and he’s told to “man-up” or “be man enough,” is that shaming him by saying he’s weak and impotent?
Continue reading 'A Politician’s Manhood'»
Harry Reid’s “Negro” comment turned into a political crisis for the Senate Majority Leader. Before coverage of the earthquake in Haiti pushed the controversy from the news media’s attention, Republicans were calling for his resignation. They said it’s the same as when Trent Lott was forced to resign as Senate Majority Leader after speaking at a birthday celebration for then-Sen. Strom Thurmond. Lott said, “We wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years” if Thurmond – who ran on a segregationist ticket – was elected president in 1948. Sorry GOP. It’s not the same.
Besides the political pressure on Reid to resign, his remarks also prompted talk about a national conversation on race. Professor Michael Eric Dyson said Reid’s remarks were a “teachable moment” for Barack Obama and the president needs to deal with the issue of race. Dyson added that Obama “runs from race like a black man runs from a cop.” That’s not an accurate analogy, nor is it particularly helpful when talking about race, but Obama would be an ideal choice begin a national conversation on race. Dr. Boyce Watkins, though, has a few reasons why Obama shouldn’t begin the conversation. One of which, alienating some white voters, Obama himself probably realizes.
It’s fitting that the issue of race comes up around the time we celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday while at the same time looking back at Obama’s (historic, though disappointing to some) first year in office. While his ascendancy to the Oval Office is proof that America has come a long way regarding race, the national hissy-fit we just had over Harry Reid ungracefully speaking the truth is proof we have a long way to go. Former Al Gore Campaign Manager Donna Brazile said this about the Reid gaffe: “We don’t have a common language to discuss issues – especially issues like racism and the sensitivity around discussing race. And because of that, people often trip over themselves.”
Finding that common language would help start a national conversation on race. But what exactly is a “national conversation?” If the United States is going to make an effort to talk about race on both national and local levels, how would that actually happen? Logistically speaking, how would a conversation on a national scale work?
Continue reading 'Can We Talk?'»
This is why Americans have such a low opinion of politicians.
CNN filed a report about the back room deals needed to get Democrats to pass a filibuster-proof health care bill in the Senate. Take Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. He was the last senator to agree to vote for the bill. What did this Democrat get for his state? The Federal Government will pay 100% of Nebraska’s share of Medicaid funding for all low-income Americans.. indefinitely!
The CNN story goes into detail about several deals like this. When pressed on the issue of back room dealing, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said about the bill, “If they don’t have something in it important to them, then it’s — [it] doesn’t speak well of them.”
It doesn’t? It doesn’t speak well of our representatives to vote for the bill solely because they believe in reforming healthcare? I’m definitely not a part of the Tea Party movement, but their line about corruption in Washington begins to ring true when the Senate Majority Leader says this at press conference.
Government handouts to states or districts in exchange for votes shouldn’t be business as usual.