Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, August 21, 2017

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

The sort of people who watch cable news coverage of terrorism 24/7 seem to think it’s your patriotic duty to run around with your hair on fire. It’s the American Way.

Following the latest mass shooting event in San Bernardino, California, President Obama gave a nationally televised address from the Oval Office. Because last week’s killers were a husband and wife team of deranged Muslims instead of the stereotypical lone male demento, the White House sought to offer reassurance.

As is his custom, Obama expressed calm determination.

“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he vowed. “We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for. Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless.”

Among much of the electorate, however, calm and resilient have gone out of fashion. Overstimulated by a presidential race resembling a WWE promotion, they look for something along the lines of professional wrestling extravaganza, with heroes, villains, vainglorious boasting, and hyperbolic threats.

The affiliation between Donald J. Trump and World Wrestling Entertainment head honcho Vince McMahon has been previously noted here. Indeed, the portly GOP candidate with the flowing hair has participated in WWE spectacles with former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali—to name just one Muslim-American athlete he was unable to recall after Obama’s speech. (Trump has also conducted a one-sided public feud with former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.)

Trump himself, however, was very far from the only GOP hopeful to respond to Obama’s speech with bombast. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, ex-commander of the Princeton University debate team, vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS as president.

Remember “Shock and Awe”? Like that. “We will carpet bomb them into oblivion,” Cruz promised. “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”

Is he really threatening to nuke ISIS’s ragtag “caliphate”?

And then what? Re-occupy Iraq? Syria? With whose army? For how long? The senator needn’t say. It’s simply a pose.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio thinks Americans aren’t frightened enough. He told a Fox News audience that “people are scared not just because of these attacks but because of a growing sense that we have a president that’s completely overwhelmed by them.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also ran to a Fox News studio to denounce “the idea that somehow there are radical elements in every religion” as “ridiculous,” an argument Obama never made. Indeed the president’s GOP detractors spoke as if confident their intended audience had no clue what his speech actually said — probably a good bet.

To Bush, as to all the rest, the president’s failure to pronounce the words “radical Islamic terrorism” has left the nation undefended. This odd bit of magical thinking has become an article of faith on the right.

This obsession with the phrase “radical Islam” puzzles me. Why if only Obama had uttered the magical trope, it seems, a bespectacled duck resembling Groucho Marx would have descended from the ceiling with a crisp new $100 bill, throwing ISIS terrorists into disarray.

Oops, wrong TV show. And yes, I’m showing my age. On Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life everything depended on guests accidentally pronouncing the secret word.

But yes, of course Obama has resisted saying that the U.S. is at war with Islam. So did George W. Bush, Kevin Drum points out, “and for good reason: he wanted all the non-terrorist Muslims in the world to be on our side. Why is this so hard to understand?”

Basically because everything is hard to understand for Fox News initiates emotionally committed to binary thinking: good vs. evil, white vs. black, Christian vs. Islamic, etc. After all, this is pretty much the same crowd that Trump has spent years persuading that President Obama’s a foreign-born imposter of suspect loyalty. Counting higher than two strikes them as decadent, a sign of weakness.

Along with his race and his suspect parentage, it’s precisely Obama’s resistance to melodrama that makes this crowd think he’s weak.

“ISIL does not speak for Islam,” Obama insisted. “They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world—including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology…”

“That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities,” the president added. “This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse.”

Far from weakness, it’s precisely because he sees America and Americanism as infinitely stronger than ISIS that Obama retains the moral authority to speak such hard truths.

Led by Trump, Republican blowhards have thrown it away.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks after arriving in his helicopter as a group of children race towards it for ride during a rally in Sarasota, Florida November 28, 2015.  REUTERS/Scott Audette 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 The National Memo

105 Responses to Why Are Hard Truths So Hard For Conservatives?

  1. The first thing that comes to mind when I hear pseudo conservatives endorse and support Donald Trump’s anti-Constitutional proposals is that they have no idea what traditional conservatism stands for.
    The claim made by Marco Rubio about President Obama being overwhelmed by terrorist events is nothing short of hilarious, especially when we consider that the claim was made by a member of the party that controlled the White House when the grand pappy of all terrorist attacks took place on 9/11/01. Talking about being overwhelmed! I guess that in the absence of relevant ideas, and when confronted with a force determined to destroy the GOP from within, people like Marco have no choice but to criticize calm demeanor and objectivity, even if doing so makes him, and his ilk, look like fools.

    • 1) They are not unConstitutional. Explain to us how they aren’t?
      2) Marco Rubio is a motor-mouthed idiot who never appears in the Senate. He will not be our candidate.
      3) What just happened on Obama’s watch? Can it happen again in the next year? Sure it can.
      4) They aren’t looking like fools. Your side and your candidate are.

      • No joe the only one looking like a fool is YOU, and you are very good at it. In fact I think we should honor you with a trophy.

      • What, the church shootings, the Littletown shootings? The white supremacists who shot and killed police officers in Southern California, earlier, the motorcycle gang shoot out? Home grown terrorism which this guy was. American born. We have been used to them since I was a little girl. I am 66. Boehner, refusing to draft a law calling them this with the caveat, he would not make laws against patriots. Really??

      • If you don’t understand why singling out all members of a religion violates the First Amendment, there is no point in me trying to explain it to you.
        I don’t think Rubio has a chance, and hopefully Cruz too.
        What just happened under President Obama’s watch is similar to what has happened throughout U.S. history. Violence is part of our history and our culture. What is different between what has happened during President Obama’s watch, and what happened when George W. Bush, A Republican, was President and CiC, is that we have not had another 9/11, and hopefully never will.

      • Joe, you and the “uninformed voter” only have a 100 more silly platitudes to offer and you will get your “Conservative Merit Badges” and a special ribbon of “Exceptional Adequacy” each, you lucky rascals.

    • Sorry Dom, but 9-11 occurred because of the previous 8 years of terrible foreign policy by none other than Mr. Bill Clinton. His lack of foreign leadership set the stage for the planning of the 9-11. Don’t tell me you’re one of those non-believers who figure that Bin Laden could have constructed, recruited and trained for the 9-11 attack in 8 months! Evidence showed the training and planning was started during Mr. Clinton’s watch. Had Gore not blown his “insurmountable lead”, the attack would have occurred on his watch. Would you be as critical about the “grand pappy” attacks?

        • Speculation at best. Obama has even refused to be briefed about terrorists threats (documented by the media to show he thinks Muslims are not terrorists). So, given that, then you’re saying Obama would have been like Bush.

          • You say what you want, claim what you like, all under the guise of “Informed Voter,” but it doesn’t make it so. I say, you’re a whore. And not because you need to be, but a willing one, because you like it. Now, I’m informed of that based on the best evidence available. All well documented, as everyone knows. So, to deny it is futile. Now, I don’t know about you, but I sure feel better, and superior!

          • Please PROVE that Gore would have prevented 9-11 from happening. I’ll accept a quote from Mr. I Invented the Internet saying he would have fixed the foreign policies of Bill’s admin. Since Obama is ignoring terrorists reports, please PROVE how he would have prevented 9-11. Well documented? I think NOT!

          • The foreign policy of the Clinton administration resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of American soldiers killed during his tenure, compared to other modern day Presidents.

          • Yes, Clinton gutted our foreign involvement and left our allies to fend for themselves. His policies alienated the US with their allies. This is the same strategy that Obama is going to take with Syria when he announces we’re going to support Assad instead of try to overthrow him. Pulling most of our troops out was the reason military casualties dropped, not because his policy had a positive affect on the situation.

          • Ending a medieval crusade in Iraq was the right thing to do. 9/11 was planned by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian. It was financed by Saudi Arabian members of the Wahhabi sect, and 16 of the 19 terrorists that carried out the attacks were Saudi Arabian. Leaving Iraq, and caring for the lives of our soldiers is something we should all be proud of. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Al Zarkawi, the ISIS mastermind and promoter of a Caliphate conceived his ideas during his imprisonment in Camp Bucca (Camp Hell). He followed up on his idea after he was released for good behavior. Al Zarkawi was killed during a bombing raid in 2006. A man that adopted the nom the guerre al Baghdadi, took over and he remains the leader of ISIS. The mess we are seeing today is not the result of things we are currently doing, or something that Clinton did. It is the direct result of a Republican foreign policy that proved to have disastrous consequences.
            I spent 30 years overseas, and have relatives and friends in many countries. The feedback I get from them is the exact opposite to what you said. They deplore what W did, and cannot believe what Trump is saying. They admire and respect President Obama.

          • I base by opinion on my personal experiences in contact with people outside the US plus feedback from a brother who lives in Europe. That experience is that Obama’s performance as president is mostly negative. Ratings for presidents has Obama as high as 18, but most rankings have him in the 34-38 range. A few sites have him ranked 43.
            Regarding Trump, he was vetted and proven to be correct in his comments about illegal aliens committing crimes. Why do you think the liberal media stopped talking about his comments within 48 hours? It was because evidence was presented that showed he was right. On Trump’s comments about temporarily halting Muslims from entering the country, the talking liberal media has claimed it would be unconstitutional. They have even gone so far as to quote several legal scholars who claim it would be illegal. Well guess what? It would not only be legal to halt Muslims from entering, it has already been done. In 1952, under a Democratic Congress and with a Democrat in the White House (Truman), a constitutional statute (not amendment) was passed. It calls for halting the immigration of groups that are judged to be against the safety of the country. In 1979, Carter was the first president to use this statute when he halted all Iranian immigration after the Iran crises. Carter even made the 40,000 Iranian students in the US register. The result was that more than 50% were deported. What do your “relatives and friends in many countries” have to say about a president who ACTUALLY did what Trump has suggested that we should do? If suggesting something got Trump “cannot believe” comment, I can’t wait to hear what Carter or Truman (for passing the statute) will garner.

          • I watch foreign media every day, and have relatives and friends in the UK, Sweden, France, Spain, and Venezuela. The feedback I get from them, and what I hear in the foreign media is the exact opposite to what you claim.
            Do you honestly believe all, or even most, illegal immigrants are criminals and/or rapists?
            The difference between what former Presidents did when they banned the entry of certain elements, or incarcerated the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, is that they were targeting foreign nationals from countries that attacked us, or that had carried out attacks against our country. Trump is banning the entry of 1.5 billion Muslims because two Pakistanis carried out a terrorist attack that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, CA. Had he targeted Pakistanis, I doubt anyone would have been outraged. Targeting members of an entire religion because a tiny minority of them are engaged in radical quests is unbecoming of a person who wants to be POTUS. His discourse, extremism, immaturity, and irresponsibility have a lot more to do with being a narcissistic bully than leadership.

          • Sometimes you show you actually have intelligence, but mostly you ramble. Trump, nor I, ever claimed that the majority or all illegal immigrants were criminals. They do comprise more of the criminal population than other segments of the population. So why concentrate on allowing them to stay? 1.5 billion Muslims into the US? There are only 1.6 billion worldwide. You actually want ALL Muslims from the world to enter the US? Targeting a religion that has at its core the destruction of the US is enough to justify keeping them out until we know we’re not letting in radicals. The CA woman was “totally vetted” per our horrible standards. Can you imagine the slaughter that dozens of already radicalized Muslims will wreck? The problem with folks like you is that you’re used to Republicans who are more interested in keeping their rich way of life rather than do the bidding of the millions who elected them to confront the illegal actions of Obama. Boehner was broomed out because he never thought the folks that elected people to get him into power were serious about stopping Obama. And Trump’s statement was not the result of just 2 (what happened to the third shooter?) Muslims. Worldwide shootings show that Muslims are bringing their fight to conquer the world. The US needs to wake up!

          • Please PROVE Gore would not have prevented 9/11. It’s just another asinine meaningless conversation with a winger. Please PROVE Obama ignores security reports, and wears his underwear inside out while you’re at it. It’s all vacuous claptrap. Now let’s talk about the ‘rumor’ there’s a Right Wing Fascist leading the GOP. who says he wants to be President.

          • My request for proof was in response to imavettoo who claimed that Gore would have prevented the 9-11 attacks from happening. You joined forces with imavettoo to make it appear that Gore would have not been caught like GW was. The fault for 9-11 lies squarely with Clinton and his horrible foreign intelligence and policies.

          • Coulda, woulda, shoulda is not any better then speculation. President Obama works with other world leaders, he is more informed then you can grasp.

          • He works with world leaders to protect the Muslims. He has shown he will not do anything to help the millions of Christians who have been made refugees and even being persecuted in their own countries. Obama’s agenda is to destroy America. Wake UP!

      • DO YOU EVER ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING. BUSH DID NO WRONG informedVoter your BUTT. Even Cheney believes Trump is Nuts

        • Yes, GW had his faults. Obama’s are worse in that he’s deliberately trying to destroy America. When did you ever believe anything that Cheney said? Now you’re going to quote him? At best you’re a hypocrite.

          • You’re probably one of those folks who think it would be illegal to block Muslims from entering the US. You probably think it would be illegal to make Muslims already in the US to register. You would be wrong on both issues. Halting the immigration of Muslims and making those already in the US register are in fact legal actions. The media would have you believe otherwise and you low information folks just swallow their crap and repeat their fallacies. Here’s a test for you since you call Trump “nuts”; can you name the Democrat President that did both the above actions that you’re calling Trump “nuts” for proposing?

          • You perform your role as Shill-in-Chief with such dedication and with the utmost alacrity that is surpassed by none. Your devotion to being a myrmidon is simply outstanding, and a source of constant amazement—well done!!

            We’ve noticed in some of your posts a fondness for accusing others of visiting porn sites. Are you, in a Freudian way, revealing your own tendencies??

        • Once again, you are mistaken. Desert Storm was extremely popular among both parties, and the American public FULLY supported it. While some may have hated us for it, most countries loved us for it. All the legwork , planning, and training for 9-11 took place during Clinton’s years. This has been proven many times. Since Clinton’s intel didn’t uncover it, then the fault belongs to Clinton. I don’t think too many of your liberal friends would claim otherwise.

      • Bush II ignored the bin Laden briefing for several reasons. (1) The invasion of Iraq needed a Pearl Harbor-type incident, whatever it might be, (2) Bush was lazy and couldn’t be bothered with what might happen, (3) he figured that someone else would take care of it, and (4) he wasn’t the real President anyway. President Obama is definitely not lazy and knows he’s the President (and will get blamed for anything untoward that happens on his watch). The “lone-wolf”-type attacks are difficult to stop, but the big ones, like the ones on September 11, 2001, produce many indicators–all of which were either missed or ignored in the days before 9/11. (And if you’re going to blame Bill Clinton for 9/11, then don’t forget to blame Dubya for the mess in the Middle East.)

        • Very feeble attempt to change the blame. It took Obama 6 years to admit that Fort Hood was a terrorist attack – so don’t say he know’s about being blamed. The 9-11 attacks were conceived and worked out during Clinton’s years. They took months and months and it was Clinton’s ignorant foreign policies that allowed Bin Laden to actually train for the attacks. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, during the first term, completely screwed up our foreign policies. When GW ran in 2004 his slogan was “he kept America safe” and it paid handsomely for him. Obama kept his foreign policy record off the table and the lap dog media kept its failure out of public view.

          • You forgot the first WTC attack, which occurred on Bill’s watch in 1993. Using your reasoning, that was GHWB’s fault, as were the USS Cole and the embassy bombing a in Africa. Sorry, but but the lazy puppet, GWB, did nothing to stop what he was told was coming.

      • The slaughter and destruction that took place on 9/11/01 was not caused by the issuance of a Fatwah, by planning, seeking financial supports, training, or organizing. While all those things are disturbing, none materialized in damage to the USA while President Clinton was in office. It could be argued that he was lucky, and we could speculate about what may have happened if pregnant chads did not deny Al Gore the victory he earned, but the bottom line is that the attack occurred 8 months after George W. Bush became President, and that is a fact. BTW, I don’t blame W for what happened, if nothing else because I am convinced that even if he had attended the daily national security briefings, even if he had focused on the warnings passed on to him by Clinton and brought up by the NSA and other security agencies, there was simply not enough information available to prevent the attack.

      • And Clinton’s two attempts to kill Bin Laden was merely him covering up his actions with Monica like the Repubs claimed at the time.

      • Another uninformed comment from the “much-traveled” voter who, by the way, canvassed a statistically-significant sample of Europeans on their opinions on what they think of America, and surprisingly they all concurred with his impression of affairs in the US.
        (A sampling of a half dozen Europeans in bars and restaurants doesn’t qualify in case you were unaware).

        • The newspapers and news broadcasts while I’m in those countries tell me much more than what the US media filters to keep the US population from throwing Obama out of office.
          Are you that naive and are saying that the 9-11 attacks were not planned during Clinton’s terms? Talk about being low information.

    • Base Republicans as you know, as they continue to demonstrate, haven’t been small ‘c,’ conservatives for quite sometime. Authoritarians, yes, absolutely! Racists, sure, Segregationists, and militant proponents of an unconstitutional Christian Holy Book dominance over a secular, democratically elected State. Trump’s policies plays perfectly into a great deal of that. Especially as they’ve found recently to their dismay, the corporate faction only wants their money, and doesn’t support their fanatical social agendas against Gays, and legalized abortion. They’ve been casting about for a real zinger since Bush screwed the pooch by invading Iraq. Which they believe gave them Obama. And now they think they’ve found one!

  2. Will the GOP base listen to anyone but Trump? The press? When they are reminded we’ve been here, and done this kind of thing in the past, and deeply regretted it? The current Republican Leadership? When they warn them a vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton? Our intel experts, when they warn them Trump’s message is exactly what ISIS hopes to produce? A cultural and religious war. Or our allies abroad? When they are told what Trump is saying is harming the effort to elicit the help of other Arab Nations in the region to take the ground fight to ISSL? Do they see what fools they’re making of themselves, displaying their total lack of understanding the situation? Or, how horribly embarrassing their behavior is to our Nation? To have such an ignoramus come proposing such bigoted initiatives, and hateful claptrap, and leading in the polls of one of our major political parties for all the planet to hear? Sadly, the answer is no to all of the above. And so now the question becomes, how can we, say most loudly, and effectively, to the World, in support of our Constitution, and our values. Not me! Not in my name!

    • I do worry about our reputation in the international community. There are large portions of the world, allies included, that completely despise the USA. The ONLY reason they haven’t come after us is because of the might of our military. They don’t respect us but they respect our firepower. It’s one of the reasons why I get so annoyed when I hear Republicans whining about rebuilding our military and making it strong again. FFS, we spend like ten times more than the next country on our military. We could probably cut our spending by half and still easily have the mightiest military in the world.

      Cons think they live in some kind of little bubble and what they say only affects what’s going on in our own country. They have no global perspective whatsoever. That have no idea how the international community feels about the Bush years and what Obama has done since. Needless to say, it’s pretty damned good about the latter and pretty damned bad about the former. People worldwide are paying close attention to our next election because who gets elected here affects the entire world. Cons are terrified of another Dem getting elected but the rest of the world is terrified of another Con getting elected. Americans have a short term memory problem but the world does not. They remember all too well how badly Dubya screwed things up.

      If the day ever comes where we don’t have the dominant military in the world, the USA is doomed. We’ve pissed off way too much of the rest of the world. If they had any reasonable shot at taking us out, they would absolutely take it.

      • I agree except for the world taking us out.

        Remember what happened to Napoleon and Hitler? Both DID NOT realize the vast distances of the USSR, and lost the wars on the backs of cold Russian winters and long supply chains. The USA is no different. Have you even driven from one side of our nation to the other? And that’s on smooth interstate, Imagine all the bridges gone?

        Transportation toast! Besides the fact that every redneck idjit has about 25 guns and 5000 rounds of ammo? Who would want to try to take us over?

        • *If they had any reasonable shot

          If the current GOP ever got complete control of the country with their insane tax plans, they could very well lead us into another Great Depression. It’s possible that our country could fall into such great disarray that it would not be all that difficult to take us out. Plus, there are other ways to destroy the USA that does not involve military might. With the current trendiness of anti-science dopes and an already failing educational system, it’s more likely the doom of the USA would come without a single shot fired.

          Oh and yes, yes I have driven across the continent. Twice. Solo on a motorcycle both times. Those were the days. Circa 02-03.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/40fd20ff4491d5575f484fffa2d664990ebf3814b2bbf843b308e240346ab66a.jpg

          • Yea, me too, ’76 on a 650 yammie, and ’82 on a R75/7.

            And boy are bikes a lot better now!! Took a little KTM on the “Dragon’s Tail” in May. Best road in America!

          • A man after my own heart. AL-AZ in ’02 on an ’83 750 Suzuki. AZ-FL in ’03 on an ’02 1400 Suzuki. I gave up the cruising around North America days to live in Hawai’i. I don’t regret the decision but those were some good times.

        • Tell the BS to the Chinese! If our enemies took Los Angeles or New York, they would have a port to bring in replacements and supplies. All major military countries have portable bridges and military engineers. As to resistance being too harsh, tell that the Russians after the Chechens.

          • Though I mostly agree with you, it is apparent you HAVE NOT traveled across SW America in other than A/C comfort. Two days march in that dessert (what 30 or 40 kms west of LA?) and the Chinese and the Russians would be shriveled up prunes.
            And they have about 1500 km. plus to get to TX!

            Yea, right, chinese and/or russians trying to “invade” TX. THAT won’t end well, believe me, I’ve lived here almost all my life…

          • Despite the well meant nature of your reply you forget one major fact. Unlike the US, Russian and Chinese troops don’t get used to AC like us. Also they both have areas in the own countries similar to the American southwest. So training for it is not a major problem. As to Texas, you have fallen for the “Red Dawn” fallacy. That is a small band of American patriots would fight so hard that the enemy would go home. You actually think the Russian or Chinese would care about killing everything in sight or from a distance. Why would they care. Subject: Re: Comment on Why Are Hard Truths So Hard For Conservatives?

          • Yes they have desserts, but they don’t fight battles there!

            JP, I agree w/ you 99%, but being extremely fit, I traveled across America a couple times on a motorcycle, and it was pretty tough.

            I’m sure the desserts of SW or the terrain of the Rockies would EAT Chinese and Russians alive.

            No, I don’t fall for the “Red Dawn” fallacy. i.e. ‘my govmet never gonna get my guns” mentality. But the US spends about 5 times everyone else’s military, so I’m sure, at least in my lifetime we’re good.

            You have a fantastic day, and remember we’re Americans, we aren’t fearful!

          • First of all it is desert not dessert. Next, I have traveled through the Southwest including Death Valley. Since modern armies spend most of their travel in vehicles not marching like in WWII, it is no big deal. So the American West and the Rockies are no great problem. Just like our American ancestors, they can find ways to do it. Subject: Re: Comment on Why Are Hard Truths So Hard For Conservatives?

          • JP Since I’ve never seen you write a single thing I don’t like, I’ll just agree to disagree on this issue. You have a fantastic day!

          • Aren’t we living in the best of times?

            I have a firm positive opinion about you, a total stranger, from a thousand miles away, all because of our comments! Amazing.
            Thumbs up JP, you have saved me hundreds of comments against our resident trolls. You have a great weekend.

          • What is the Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times.

            Subject: Re: Comment on Why Are Hard Truths So Hard For Conservatives?

      • Speaking from NZ:

        – We appreciate what Obama has tried to do… but note that he has failed at some of it due to a deliberately obstructionist Republican party.

        – We are amazed that your election is so full of appalling, bigoted idiots on the Republican side… and they are popular. Also amazed that you don’t have a strong non-partisan Federal Commission that draws all election boundaries fairly… and enforces election quality (and limits the money allowed, and the time to 2-3 months).

        – We are surprised that Obama is called a Liberal. In most other westernised countries he would be quite a way on the right of the centre.

        – We are stunned Obama has so far kept you out of another ground war in the Middle East… and that the people that have been wrong almost every time are still being listened to when making the case for one.

        – We have no idea how people rise to any sort of power in the USA through being pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, religious, bigoted, intolerant or racist.
        ANY of these things would exile you to the ignored loony fringe here. How people get elected when ALL of them are their platform is quite frankly scary.

        – Your predatory and disloyal corporations, especially Big Pharma are successful, yes… but also appalling, inhuman, and horrific in the way they pursue their greed across the globe. This may be the current truest “exporter of American Values”.

        – We are appalled at the way you meddle in international affairs (while still being glad you’ve got our back… sigh) especially the record of the CIA. I’m not sure anyone will get over you legally torturing people to death. Especially when, as usual, some of them are completely innocent. Guantanamo as a way to continue human rights abuses is beneath you.

        All in all you have gone from a shining example of what countries could be… to backslide in a huge way on every metric there is.

        Obama is probably the only bright point you have internationally, and even he has given himself the authority to drone anyone to death he likes in any country without due process or a declaration of war. It is legal for him to literally kill me with a drone here in NZ if he felt like it.
        Basically we’re just meant to trust that the people you kill deserved it… oh, yeah… except when they were innocent. Ooops.

        So you’re pretty much the equivalent of the mad old uncle under the stairs who has a gun and stalks the hallway mumbling about his glory days and the voices in his head.

        • This was an excellent response. Thank you. I think some of the less stupid Cons would be shocked at how favorably the international community sees Obama if they were to ever break out of their Fox bubble and read some international views. Of course, the majority of the stupid ones would just call it a liberal scheme. Anything that is not right wing extremist propaganda is a liberal scheme to these people. You’re correct about Obama being a right of center Centrist. The fact that they see him as a liberal just shows how far right they gone. Even the center looks far left to them.

          It certainly would solve a lot of our problems if the majority of Americans got to vote in the majority of what we want. More people vote against conservatives than vote for them and yet they get majorities. Without cheating the system, they would not hold the power that they do. It annoys me to no end when Cons brag about the “voice of the people” putting them into office when they got a minority vote. No, it wasn’t the people that gave you power, it was a rigged system.

          I have things I like about Obama and things I don’t but not going into yet another disastrous war in the Middle East is right up at the top of the favorites list. You’re not the only one who cannot understand why so many Americans keep listening to the people who screwed it up so badly to begin with.

          “- We have no idea how people rise to any sort of power in the USA through being pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, religious, bigoted, intolerant or racist.
          ANY of these things would exile you to the ignored loony fringe here. How people get elected when ALL of them are their platform is quite frankly scary.”

          I quoted this entire paragraph because yeah… it is freakin’ insane. It goes back to the bubble that so many Americans live in. They have no idea how insane their “normal” looks to the rest of the world. Denying climate change and other anti-science BS is another example of this sort of behavior. If you ran on anti-science platforms in other countries you would get laughed out of the building. Not here though. I’m a big science junkie myself and it drives me insane to see so many of my fellow citizens who deny scientific facts. You have to remember, we still have large portions of the population who won’t even accept the realities of evolution and the age of the planet. We would be the laughingstock of the world if we elected a president who is a creationist.

          It’s also pretty shameful how so many defend a healthcare system that toys with people lives in the name of profit. They call Obamacare a socialist scheme when in reality it is and always has been a capitalist scheme. It is still a system designed to make people rich at the cost of people’s lives. Big Pharma wants you to trade your life for being able to have a life. You better hope this sort of BS never comes to NZ.

          I have never understood the meddling in international affairs. It’s not our job to police the world. We can’t even properly take care of our own people. Yet, so many of our politicians market in fear. They scare voters with international incidents so they will ignore how badly we are getting screwed over at home. Sadly, it works all too well.

          Isn’t it sad that we have fallen so far that a center right guy like Obama passes for what is a bright point? When looking at what the left/right spectrum should be, I have a lot of issues with him. When comparing him to the Cons, he looks like a miracle worker. If the current incarnation of the right wing extremist Cons ever got complete control of the country, I would seriously consider moving somewhere else before they destroyed what is left of the USA. I’ve already fled North America because of them. Thankfully Hawai’i does not have a strong GOP presence but them getting control of the WH, Congress and most importantly, rigging the Supreme Court would probably screw things up here too.

          Does NZ accept new citizens? I might need a new country lol

          • I bookmarked the link. What’s the weather like year round? I am pretty spoiled on my tropical weather. How are other things like the economy, standard of living, etc.?

          • Come visit some time. It’s pretty much lovely. Politics is minimal, we are rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world, the local values still revolve around fairness, humbleness, sports and the outdoors. Crime is average. Guns are heavily regulated (although with a strong outdoors/hunting culture you can still get a rifle firearms license easily (pistol is very hard) if you are willing to train, install a gun safe for the police to check, pass a background check, pass a psych eval, have at least one person vouch for your sanity in writing to the police, and wait about 4 months) hence homicide by gun here is around 20 times less likely than the USA… NZ gun related homicide rate was 0.18 per 100K people (2013), compared to the USA’s rate of 3.55 per 100K people (2013).

            The weather varies depending on which end of the country you live in. Top of the north island temperatures range from 28C day/14C night in summer, to 16C day/6C night in winter. Ocean water temp is 21C in summer, 12C in winter. I wouldn’t call it tropical, but perhaps semi-tropical. For serious heat at this latitude you need a large land mass. (Brisbane on Australia’s East coast is renowned for high temps and high humidity. Last summer it was 35C at 100% humidity for a couple of weeks.)

            Dunedin at the bottom of the South Island, is around the same summer temps, but might see snow and -2C days sometimes in winter. Generally even in the South it stays above freezing in winter.

            Population is ~4million with a large number of immigrants from the Pacific Islands, Asia, England and South Africa. Auckland has almost 2 million of these despite not being the Capital. If you like quiet, the entire South Island only has 800K people. 😉
            Even Auckland is small enough that it doesn’t suffer much from the extremes of very large cities. i.e. Extremely bad places and extremely wealthy places. There are no places in Auckland that would be considered unsafe to walk through during the day. During the night there might be a couple of spots I’d avoid.

            Like Hawai’i the natural landscape and preservation of the environment are features. We have a strong “Green” political group, dedicated Government agencies for the environment (One is literally called D.O.C – The Department of Conservation.) People generally come here for the lifestyle and the easy access to beautiful places for boating, hiking, hunting, or whatever floats your boat.

            I love it here. The lifestyle is out of this world. Without earning that much there are locations to live here that you’d need to be a multi-millionaire to access, elsewhere. Two years ago I was renting half a 3 bdrm house about 100m from Takapuna Beach (Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/mBE5bETzisJ2 ) for ~$150USD a week: Here’s a pic:
            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Takapuna_beach_autostitch.jpg

            Also do a Google Image search for: Tutukaka
            One of my favorite places.

            The culture is relaxed and friendly, and all-in-all, after travelling overseas, when I return this place feels like kindergarten… i.e. safe, fun, and without a lot of the hard edges of other places.

            For more prosaic info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand

            Hope that helps. 🙂

          • You certainly make a compelling case for living in NZ. I will definitely be looking more into it. Hawai’i is pretty sheltered from the insanity that goes on in the mainland USA but if it ever started bleeding over into the islands, I would definitely look into moving. I know one thing for certain and that is I never want to live in North America again. Well, Canada wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so freaking cold.

            A 4 month waiting period to buy a rifle? Holy crap! Cons here lose their mind if they are asked to wait a few days. One of the best things about Hawai’i is our strong gun laws. We also have gun death rates 7 times lower than the national average. I believe there were only 16 gun deaths in our state all of last year and most of those were in the city (yet another reason why I don’t hang out in Honolulu).

            Is it difficult to find work and support yourself there? How tough do you think it would be for an American like me to move there and set up a life?

  3. Why
    do data journalists keep missing the political story of the year?

    That’s
    the challenge posed by the Washington
    Post‘s Dave Weigel to FiveThirtyEight‘s
    Nate Silver and The
    Upshot’s Nate Cohn, two key numbers maestros who have continually predicted
    the demise — or understated the rise — of Donald Trump.

    The
    political story of the year is that Trump has consolidated non-college educated white Republican
    voters in a way nobody expected
    could happen. His appeal is driven largely by these voters’ anxieties,
    manifested as racism and xenophobia.

    We
    see this in the way his campaign lifted off after his attacks on Mexico and
    Mexican immigrants in his announcement speech. And his further ascent, which comes
    after weeks of lying about “thousands and thousands” of American Muslims
    celebrating 9/11.

    Reckoning with Trump’s very classy bigotry is
    tough for many who seem reluctant to accept that it is the animating force behind his rise. It feels inappropriate to
    ascribe those motivations to millions of Americans, years after the Supreme
    Court declared that we’d pretty much solved racism.

    This
    political story of the year is just a comically exaggerated version of the
    crackdown predicted by analysts like The
    Washington Post’s Greg Sargent — and the GOP autopsy itself — if
    Republicans didn’t pass immigration reform. It’s the tragedy of California’s conservative backlash against immigrants from the 1990s, repeated as farce.

    Decades
    ago, white voters in California felt the changes that much of the country is now
    experiencing. Demographic shifts combined with the natural consequences of
    conservative economics sparked a partisan crucible of bad intentions — which
    resulted in California’s GOP winning some pyrrhic victories that have given way
    to a general decimation of the party.

    There
    are some unabashed racists who support Trump, but his larger support is the sign
    of a seriously troubling phenomenon that cannot be ignored. Aging white voters —
    especially those who have no college education — feel an acute loss of status,
    opportunity, and security. To deflect their angry anxiety away from the
    conservatives who have engineered the hollowing of the middle class, they’re
    being encouraged to rage against ethnic minorities.

    • Why do you suppose that is, moron? Because average Americans are hurting because of the legislation liberals have made. By letting in all these vagrants the average American cannot get a job. 900 million of them. What don’t you see. You would rather bring up a non-citizen over a citizen. We don’t get it. We think America first!

        • No you are wrong Schmucks comments are some of the funniest and most inaccurate ones. His hyperbole is so hilarious and the #’s that he pulls from his butt are fantastic. 900 million of them, I guess he means most the world’s Muslim population. Just wait a little bit and he will pull out his “I have a Master’s degree statement”

      • Says the supporter of the party that sends more money to the wealthy, the corporations and the Pentagon every chance they get.
        What an idiot.

  4. Republicans need
    to stand up to Trump’s bullying

    THE
    GROWING ugliness of Donald Trump’s campaign poses a challenge to us all. We have
    seen the likes of him before, in the United States and elsewhere: narcissistic
    bullies who rise to prominence by spreading lies, appealing to fears and stoking
    hatred. Such people are dangerous.

    Like
    many Americans, our first inclination was to ignore Mr. Trump. The Huffington
    Post, you may recall, announced that it would feature
    him in its Entertainment section, not in its coverage of politics. He was a
    buffoon, a disseminator of ludicrous rumors about President Obama’s birthplace.
    He lacked the qualifications, experience or knowledge to be president. He was
    running to promote his brand. We wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

    Our
    assessment of Mr. Trump was correct, but the tactical response was not. His
    popular support has hung steady at about 30
    percent of Republicans, and his candidacy has tugged the debate toward
    divisiveness as his bigotry has drawn cheers and many of his rivals have strove
    to mimic him. Now some detractors opt again to disregard his lies, but for a
    different reason: Criticism from establishment politicians and tough questions
    from establishment journalists, it is feared, will only fuel his self-portrayal
    as the truth-telling outsider.

    That
    may be so, but it cannot justify silence. Just in the past few days, Mr. Trump
    has repeated the lie that President Obama intends to admit 200,000
    Syrian refugees; the
    correct number is 10,000. He spreads the lie that thousands of American
    Muslims openly celebrated the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center; in
    fact, there were no such
    celebrations. He tweeted afalse
    statistic that blacks are
    responsible for 81 percent of murders of white victims; in fact, 82
    percent of whites are killed by whites.

    These
    are not random errors. All of them appeal to the basest instincts in supporters;
    they reinforce fears and prejudices. All of them, Mr. Trump knows by now even if
    he did not know when he first stated them, are false, but he does not care. The
    amplification of the lies is accompanied by growing intolerance in his campaign,
    with Mr. Trump praising
    supporters for beating a protestor, crudely denigrating anyone who
    challenges him and penning
    reporters into designated zones so
    that they cannot speak with his followers. And all of this

    • No, he’s not bullying. He is stating what we have been wanting to say for 3 decades…… He gets us.

      When a country is in bad shape (which has been the case many times) the people become desperate (so apparently you don’t seem to see how bad it has become) and they will hold onto a leader whom they believe can save them. In this case, Trump is a true American with American values. You just don’t get it.

      • Problem is Herr Schmo… I have studied the Weimar Republic and your propaganda laden rhetoric you repeat from Fox noise is identical to the gutless types in Germany who needed a “strong-man” like Trump to make them “feel safe”. It’s your kind who’s only too ready to end civil liberties in their own country from out-and out cowardice.

        Let the terrorists terrorize YOU so you can change YOUR lifestyle. Most Americans are made of sterner stuff.

      • joe TRUP IS A BULLY, TRUMP IS A TYRANT, TRUMP IS A DESPOT, TRUMP IS FASCIST, but he gets you and you get him. What a wonderful marriage. Hopefully he will go back to Germany where his ancestors are from and take you with him, since you won’t live without him.

      • Your country is in bad shape because you keep voting for the people who are destroying it.
        The “Trickle Down Economics/Less Taxes on the Wealthy” party has successfully drawn the vast majority of both wealth and increase in earnings to the top 1%.
        Why do you think people are desperate?

      • He “get’s you”???
        He can HAVE you!
        I have never been prouder – nor felt safer – than to be excluded from your “collective”!
        Trump is ANYTHING BUT a “true American”, and most certain spews the most ANTI-AMERICAN VALUES rhetoric we have ever had the displeasure to witness on the political stage…
        Talk about “radical lunatics”, much???!!!

  5. Here is the question to as the conservative fear mongers, How many people have died at the hands of radical Islamist in the US under Obama. Then check that number with deaths from vending machines. We should fear vending machines as much as Islamic terrorists. You are 10 times more likely to be electrocuted then killed by a Muslim terrorist. I guess conservative are just easily scared. ISIS only had to kill 14 people to get them to throw the first and forth amendments right out the window.

    • Dude, you apparently don’t see the writing on the wall. Sitting around in LaLaLand is not serving you well. Since you don’t see the end result I will be more than happy to point it out to you.

      BLM has resulted in anarchy
      Tying the hands of authority results in what?
      Influx of migrants from the South has resulted in more street violence.
      Influx of Muslims into Europe since the wall came down has resulted in Western EU downfall.
      Reduction of weapons all over the world has resulted in EU downfall.
      Massive immigrants from the 3rd world and Muslim countries has resulted in EU downfall and horrendous terrorist attacks.

      Why fuel the problem when you can end it simply. What don’t you see? We see it very clearly and we don’t want the results here. The complete ruination of Western culture. Russia is succeeding…. Gee I wonder why? I just see a bunch of American idiots when I look at liberals. Before it’s too late. For the sake of your children and grand children why do you wish carnage on them. Why not rather try to keep them safe by eliminating the problems.

      • Crime is down not up,The Mexicans are leaving faster then they are coming in. The EU’s downfall is because of economic problems started be a crash on Wall St. Just how many terrorist attacks have there really been. The Russian economy is in the crapper. Is it amazing how few deaths it take for Conservative to run scared. Get your fact straight.

        • Now, now bob don’t go confusing poor little Joey boy with real facts. He seems to have a thing about Putin and Russia. He always claims that Putin is better than President Obama (I think he has a picture of Putin bare chested on a horse pinned to his bedroom wall). As for Russia vs the US economy it’s not even close – the dollar is up, stock market up, unemployment own, etc.

          Bob you have to appreciate his hyperbole like ” For the sake of your children and grand children why do you wish carnage on them. Why not try to keep them safe by eliminating the problems.”
          I can always count on Schmuck for a good dose of hyperbole most mornings along with my coffee.

      • There is a totally unfounded assertion in your post, and that is that Western Europe has experienced a “downfall,” whatever that is. Another unfounded assertion is that the number of weapons “all over the world” has somehow been reduced (when the major arms producers of the world have never been more successful at selling their products “all over the world”). You also state that “street violence” has increased, which is a dubious assertion at best and connecting it to immigrants is even more dubious. Which authorities’ hands have been tied, and what does this “tying” consist of? (And what about the “terrorist” attacks committed by white people with assault weapons in the U.S.? You just want to forget those?)

      • You need to get out of the mirrored room you recite in, it is driving you bunkers. Your remarks RE SO stupid, JUST what is Russia succeeding in? We want your stupid trump to shut-up and stop spewing hatred, that is bring harm to our nation. Did you not hear Richard Engal say that. He knows first hand how this RIGHT WING RHETORIC is effecting our nation.

      • Let me school you. Muslims have been in Europe since the Ottoman Empire, thus one of the reasons for the Yugoslavian war in the early 90’s when the UN including America under Clinton took part in and 169,000 refugees admitted including Bosnian Muslims. In 1956, America under a republican president over threw a democratically elected leader in Iran, where are we now? Nuclear neurosis. After 9/11 we illegally invaded Iraq under a republican president and where are we now? ISIL. Terrorist attacks. See the future? It is now upon us and now you want another village idiot to make it worse. Saddam was a despot, no question but he held the peace in his region. We seated a despot in Iran and now you run scared any time they breathe hard. America made a lot of this bed. Lying in it is like that princess and the pea, isn’t it? Oh, 380,000 Russians were admitted after the fall of the USSR!!

  6. Our flag is not just one of many political points of view. Rather, the flag is a symbol of our national unity.

    The American flag represents all of us and all the values we hold sacred.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t carry just a piece of cloth to symbolize his belief in racial equality; he carried the American flag.

  7. Well, it is obvious that, while we may not know how to deal with dangerous fools in positions of influence and those who aspire to positions of influence in government, our allies and our enemies do know how.

    Our international allies know a foul wind when they see it. They will ban some of ours from stepping foot into their countries, and rightly so, and they will shun some, in essence, have nothing to do with us.

    Our enemies will use the antics of these fools against us, as they did in San Bernadino, and as they will do again. The laziness and lack of raw courage that neglects our domestic security has enabled the enemies the fools fear the most to exploit it to their advantage. The irresponsibilty and hate rhetoric, the perverse abuse of our Constitutional Freedoms with which they determine which religion is protected by our Freedom of Religion, only confirms what those enemies say about us. The continuing nefarious attacks on our President and our government at all times, and during the worst of times, by these fools, weakens us. All of what they do, weakens us.

    We may be conditioned to suffer fools for the sake of politics, but the rest of the world will not.

    I hope the GOP is pleased with the press coverage in London they have given the Brits and with the fodder they have given to the enemies for the past 7 years. I hope the mass media in the US is satisfied with what they helped to create, by engaging in their own brand of politics that has been anything but serious journalism.

  8. The “truth” is hard for the Conservative Party to perceive, let alone understand, because their sense of reality has been radically altered by being “in-out-in” states of belligerence, intolerance, bigotry, intransigence, truculence, and similar dysfunctions.

    A lifetime of those negative influences are keys to distorting a person’s knowledge of who she/he is, and causes them to drift into an “other-worldly” sort of altered existence.

    This is the primary symptom which they in the aggregate display as we witness them foaming at the mouths and rolling in the aisles at rallies, blather on the floor of the Senate or in the House of Representatives, and walk about with guns/rifles in hand as they seek to intimidate “the other” with the 2nd Amendment as their bludgeoning Guide.

    Such is the hellish condition they have eagerly consigned themselves to.

    • I don’t get the “in-out-in” phrase. The wingnutz, by and large, seem to be constantly “in” one or several of those dysfunctional states.

      That said, yours is a great post. One of the best I’ve read here lately. Dead nuts on target.

      • Thank you. My first instinct was to speak of our conservative friends as being mired permanently in a comatose-delusional state.
        But I had a moment of compassion, and decided to give them some slack, hoping that at least they have brief moments of clarity when they fall asleep.
        Bless their tortured little souls—I’m getting misty.

        • Yeah. I feel like I might be getting a little moist myself….

          NOT! I have nothing but disdain for the whole lot of them – the Sunday school cons, the country club cons, the xenophobes, the homophobes, the skinheads, the gun lovers, the rednecks, the greedy guts – the whole panoply of wingdings.

          If only I could be nice – like you. I guess I’m just too cranky…

Leave a reply