Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Bad, the Ugly and the Good

Yesterday was such a depressing news day.

 First, I learned that my state, Indiana, threw out long-time Senator Dick Lugar in favor of a guy, Richard Mourdock, who believes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are unconstitutional, who spent $2 million of taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit to stop the Chrysler bail-out and who has said his idea of bipartisanship is forcing the Democrats to come to the Republicans. I have split my ticket several times to vote for Lugar because I believed his vast knowledge of foreign policy and willingness to work with Democrats for the good of the country outweighed my disagreements with him on other issues. That kind of attitude is now verboten in today's Republican party. I'll be doing no more ticket-splitting.

Second, I learned that North Carolina voted yes on Amendment One by a wide margin. That state already had a law limiting marriage to a man and a woman but that wasn't enough. No, they had to codify their bigotry right into their constitution. That'll show'em that we mean business, by God!

Third, I learned that polls show the Scott Walker recall effort in Wisconsin is an absolute tie. Hopefully, this will change but the powerful conservative Republican millionaires and billionaires are pouring tons of money, from states all over the country, into Walker's campaign - about $25 million so far. Can the will of regular people like teachers and firemen and cops and nurses win out against a huge dollar disadvantage. Is America even still a democracy? I guess we will see in June.

Fourth, I learned, or re-learned, really, that the first target of most Republican governors elected in 2010 was public education in their states. They have cut their education budgets by millions, if not billions. It appears to be the goal of this new breed of ultra-conservative Republicans to take down the teacher's unions, even if they have to destroy the system to "save" it. Screw all the students who'll be hurt in the process. Of course, their second target is women's health and work place issues, passing hundreds of new anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-Equal Pay for Equal bills.

Fifth, I learned that Rush Limbaugh started a new Facebook page specifically for women who side with him in believing women who use contraceptives are sluts and prostitutes. He calls them RushBabes and the page got more "likes" in a few hours than the NOW Facebook page has since it started. Seriously, what kind of woman glories in being a RushBabe? When I worked at the Sheriff's Dept and saw women come in to leave money in the commissary account of the men who gave them them black eyes, bruises and broken bones, I swung between pity and anger at their lack of self-respect. I feel the same about RushBabes.

Then in the midst of all that ugliness, President Obama came out in favor of gay marriage. I don't know how much longer it will take for the virulence of the 21st century Republican party to run its course but the president is on the side of the future in this one. Conservatives can slow it down but they can't stop it anymore than civil rights could be stopped when its time had come. It is fitting that an African-American president should be the first to affirm the civil rights of another discriminated against minority.