Tag Archives: birthers

The Trump Gambit

5 Dec

Yesterday a junket of desperate Republicans met with noted Birther and tack merchant Donald Trump, urging him to run for governor of the state of New York against Andrew Cuomo. Among them was local political consultant and public relations maven Michael Caputo and birther tea party freshman Assemblyman David DiPietro. 

In this episode of “let’s recruit the rich guy“, the Republican left on the sidelines is Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a solid Republican executive with wins under his belt, but little name recognition outside of downstate.  Astorino also doesn’t plaster his name on all kinds of stuff or have a billion dollars, nor is he the Sarah Palin of billionaires. But New York State Republicans are not beneath screwing the guy who earns something in favor of the self-funding rich guy. Right, David Bellavia

New York State has a population of just under 20 million people, almost half of whom live in the five boroughs of New York City. Add a million from Westchester, 1.5 million in Suffolk County, 1.4 million in Nassau, 317k in Rockland, 375k in Orange, and 100k in Putnam, and you have about 13.5 million of 19.5 million residents living within the immediate New York City metropolitan area – people who largely have no use for Albany or upstate in general, not to mention western New York. 

Trump’s especial brand of anti-Obama birtherism plays well for like-minded fellas like David DiPietro and his tea party cohorts. While much is being made of the duration of yesterday’s meeting, and the fact that Trump is no longer ruling anything out, this may have something to do with Trump’s new feud against Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman’s office recently brought a $40 million fraud lawsuit against something called “Trump University” – or as the AG called it, a “nationwide scam” and  bait & switch fraud. Trump just this week filed an ethics complaint against Schneiderman, citing the prominent case of Argle v. Bargle

Really what this amounts to is recruiting a richer, downstate-friendly Carl Paladino. Trump is just as plainspoken, just as filled with scandal, just as flawed as our local loudmouth developer, but the difference is that Trump has name recognition downstate, to whom Paladino was a profane stranger, and Trump has actual friends in downstate media – even the NY Post was against Paladino. 

Donald Trump is the dream candidate for the angry, defeatist white male upstate voter with a “repeal NY SAFE Act” lawnsign because to the WBEN listener Rus Thompson set, Cuomo is the devil, and Obama isn’t even human. They aspire to be just like Donald Trump, and they love that he thinks like they do – and he has the money and name recognition to not care what anyone thinks. His downstate bona fides explain why he’s being wooed. 

Donald Trump would accomplish nothing in New York State. He would do nothing for education, for the poor, for upstate’s economic malaise, for Buffalo, or for anyone except the tea party and the ultrarich. I will also bet you that part of the strategy is a fusion party line or two, meaning that Trump would take advantage of the single-most corrupt process in New York politics. 

The headlines yesterday should have read, “Lawmakers to Massage Trump Ego, Trump Reacts Favorably”. 

Arpaio ’16 and the Death of a Bully

2 Mar

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has a message for Barack Obama: Lemme see your papers, boy.

Thanks, Sheriff Joe for your efforts to revive a long-resolved non-issue! It will remind voters that the Republican Party is now owned and operated by fringe reactionary conspiracy theorists. (Layers! Layers! Layers!)

Meanwhile, our local talk-radio station hosts a morning guy who is right on top of the “Obama killed Breitbart” theory, and an afternoon guy who calls women with whom he disagrees a “slut” and a “prostitute”. WBEN should be ashamed of itself for broadcasting this despicable hate-speech on public airwaves, and don’t hold your breath waiting for any Republican, anywhere to dare criticize Limbaugh for anything.

As for Andrew Breitbart, while I feel sorry for his wife & kids, I’ll eschew any phony “RIP”, or gee-I-f*cking-hated-that-guy-but-he’s-dead-now-so-I’ll-write-something-respectful, because he was someone who did not exist to engage in political discourse or to persuade – he existed solely to destroy. Upon the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, Breitbart did not suddenly find a shred of humanity and respectfully observe that event. Instead, he wrote hateful and derogatory things, cheering the Senator’s death. Breitbart wrote,

Why do you grant a BULLY special status upon his death?

Why, indeed. So, I won’t grant Breitbart any special status upon his.

I’m tired of people quietly going along with what is really amounting to fascistic rhetoric out of the rudderless, ideology-free American right wing.

From Birthers to #Occupy and the Great Rejection

22 Nov

It’s somewhat astonishing to consider how our President with a funny name continues to engender a new and unique kind of hatred and derision among a certain population in this country. It’s not so much about his policies, (most of which they’d be misinformed about, anyway), but about the nature and location of his birth.

I’m convinced that someone could dig up a Super8 movie of Barack Obama being born, which also shops the sign indicating that the hospital is in Hawaii, with Diamond Head in the background, and still, that wouldn’t satisfy the incredibly stupid.

Despite the fact that President Obama asked the State of Hawaii to release his long form birth certificate in April 2011, dead-ender birthers still exist, and are making some distinctly ignorant noise about prohibiting Obama from appearing on ballots in 2012.  Late last week, a group of birthers, led by a California lawyer, tried to get Obama removed from the ballot in New Hampshire. When that state’s Ballot Law Commission refused to do so, birthers in the gallery started yelling “traitor!” and “treason”, because those are now shorthand for “I disagree with you!”

In the comparatively short time I’ve been paying attention to politics, the vitriol with which we attack the other side – of an issue, of an aisle – has reached quite literally comical levels. Birtherism is a mere symptom of our penchant to delegitimize our opponents, and I think it began in earnest during the Clinton administration. Our 90s two-termer carved a middle way between liberalism and conservatism, which often enraged both groups. Those on the right, however, didn’t just attack Clinton’s beliefs or policies; they attacked the very notion that he was fit to serve at all. That this draft dodging, pot-smoking, hippie womanizing liar would dare to co-opt certain Republican platform planks, and that his uppity wife might want to get involved in reforming a horribly broken health care insurance system were too much; he had to be not just opposed, but destroyed.

Just ask Ken Starr.

So, when genuine issues about the 2000 vote in Florida arose, the left retaliated against George W. Bush, whom they still consider to be the worst President ever, brought into office on gold-plated rails thanks to a corrupt, politicized conservative Supreme Court that suddenly discovered the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection clause”.

Bush won re-election in 2004, but not before a group supporting him took John Kerry’s Vietnam heroism and defiled it with lies. Kerry couldn’t just be defeated – he had to be destroyed as a person.

So, when you have a multicultural President in uncertain economic times, the crazies come out in full force. He’s a communist usurper who wasn’t born here, is an Indonesian/Kenyan Marxist hell-bent on turning Bill Ayers into the Emperor of the Politburo. It’s the second revenge of the Bushists.

Or something.

The 2012 Republican field of arguably viable candidates runs the gamut from “batsh*t insane” to “completely insincere panderer”. They have a unique opportunity to re-brand themselves and mount a serious challenge against an embattled President with very bad poll numbers and a crap economy, yet they can’t get that together.  Mitt Romney appears to be the least offensive, least insane, likely nominee. In 1996, it wasn’t much different, what with Bob Dole emerging as the least repugnant from a cast including Christianist Alan Keyes, “Single Issue Steve” Forbes, and Nazi apologist Pat Buchanan.

The tit-for-tat is phenomenal in that the same crowd that impeached Clinton over perjury in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit are now denying the very existence of “sexual harassment” as a societal ill, a crime, or a tort.

The vitriol and the deepening of socioeconomic and political cleaves that’s taken place over the last 20 – 30 years, and the lingering nature of the Great Recession and the 2008 bailouts have left us with a fundamentally broken national political system. The Occupy movement, which belongs to no one, seems to be articulating a Great Rejection in our politics and economy – a post-Reaganist re-engineering of societal priorities seems to be in order.

It’s a shame political disingenuousness isn’t an exportable good or commodity. At least then, we’d put a dent in the trade deficit.

 

Donald Trump, The Republican Id

1 May

Last week was a big one for The Donald, who by the way, envisions himself to look like this:

Note the rays of golden sunshine and the Roman sky

His constant drumbeat about the President’s long form birth certificate and promotion of the issue from the bowels of conspiracy theorist websites into the mainstream news resulted in the President releasing his original long form birth certificate.  A conspiracy theory which had been demoted to the same arena of credibility as fake moon landings, 9/11 as an inside job and Paul Is Dead was brought back to life by The Donald himself.

Some would say (beginning with The Donald himself) that Trump was responsible for forcing the hand of the President and it was a victory for Trump as he explores running for President himself in 2012.  I guess Trump could call it a victory to have the sitting President refer to him on national television as a carnival barker and a sideshow.  Perhaps Trump could call it a victory to have the President rope-a-dope him into a corner only to have that President hit him with a massive haymaker of truth. But, that would be denying reality.

However, reality won’t stop Trump from continuing to claim victory, just as reality will not stop internet conspiracy theorists and charlatans like Alex Jones from claiming the conspiracy obviously runs deeper than even he believed.

And since we all know that denial of reality is now a core tenet of Republican politics, the birth certificate issue won’t die on a national level, either.  It’s just taking a breather. We live in two Americas now, the first in which rational people have grown-up fact-based conversations about policy, the second is a self-informed bubble of irrational id into which seeds of fact can find no purchase in the rocky soil of ignorance.  As Johann Hari of The Independent put it last week the current Republican strategy, embodied by Trump looks like this:

Insist(ence) that any fact inconvenient to your world view simply doesn’t exist, or can be overcome by pure willpower. Soon, the US will have to extend its debt ceiling – the amount of money the government is allowed to borrow – or it will default on its debt. Virtually every economist in the world says this would cause another global economic crash. Trump snaps back: “What do economists know? Most of them aren’t very smart.” Confront the Republicans with any long-term social or economic problem, and they have one response: it would go away if only we insisted on our assumptions more aggressively.

Uninformed arrogance, thy name is Donald Trump.  The unreleased id of the Republican Party and the current frontrunner…until someone more crazy comes along.

Deep Thought

4 Feb

The American left has a lunatic fringe just as looney as the right’s.

The left, however, keeps its lunatic fringe where it belongs – on the fringe. We don’t turn it into our base.

Palin/Taitz 2012!

22 Sep

The Teabaggers’ own Gabor sister, Orly Taitz, doesn’t know when to quit when it comes to the birther soldier case. I love that about her.  The birther soldier herself is en route to Iraq and complaining about Taitz.

Palin-Taitz 2012

3 Aug

Why not?

[HTML1]

BLOCKBUSTER! OBAMA'S REAL KENYAN BIRTH CERTIFICATE!

3 Aug

That other Kenyan Birth Certificate for Obama is, like, totally a forgery.  I have the real one.  MUST CREDIT WNYMEDIA.NET!

birthcert

Hey, Birthers

23 Jul

Was Obama born in the US?