Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

If you didn’t have enough evidence yet that the Tea Party – the bizarre right-wing movement that’s been moving in from the fringes of American politics lately, determined to “take back their country” from the scary black man who somehow took charge – is actively dangerous, then here ya go.

Christine O’Donnell is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in the state of Delaware, and could be elected into office this November. And she thinks distributing condoms will spread AIDS.

I know a lot of people probably like her mostly because she seems like one of them, and that she “shares their values”, whatever exactly that means. It’s hard not to make your initial judgments about someone on a sub-rational level, a gut sense on whether they seem like the right sort of person. I know I liked Obama based on how he looked and how he spoke, non-specific recommendations from other people I liked, and snippets of reputation, before I could tell you anything about his politics.

But it’s really kinda important not to let that continue to be the one driving force that defines how you see someone; to latch onto them as “one of us” and be forced to justify any other position they take, whether or not you’d normally agree with it. I’ve become somewhat disillusioned about Obama since his election. Maybe I’m still overly hopeful, maybe I’m being too quick to be cynical and should give him more of a break, I’m not really sure – but the important thing is that I’m trying my best to base my opinion rationally, on what he says and does.

I’m never quite going to get there, not perfectly. But it’s important to try. And it’s important to be aware when your preferred candidate has expressed support for a policy based on incorrect information, which will result in an increased spread of a deadly disease.

This kind of introspection is something the Tea Partiers don’t seem to be great at. They don’t seem to be basing their allegiances on actual policies or views on things, in any rational way, as there doesn’t appear to be much consistency as to what they stand for. O’Donnell has spoken out against pornography, and campaigned against masturbation. Carl Paladino used to email colleagues video clips of bestiality.

How much do the people who shout their support for the Tea Party movement actually understand the people they’re championing?

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Between laziness and a trip into London to see another of Robin Ince’s variety shows at the Bloomsbury Theatre last night, I seem to have inadvertently taken a few days off from saying anything here. Let’s get back into it.

“Disposable sleeves” introduced for female Muslim medical staff, for whom baring their forearms is unacceptably immodest. Another of those stories that makes me wary of being part of the immediate, knee-jerk anti-Muslim backlash, but my sympathies are not strongly with the religious camp either. The part that actually matters is that medical staff wash their hands and observe other basic protocols to minimise infection rates. Nobody else is obliged to care about your own personal and irrelevant set of values, so if they compromise safety regulations then your values can fuck off. However, if this is something in which thousands of staff across the country can be relatively easily accommodated, and are capable of doing the jobs to the standards demanded of anyone else in their position, it’s likely harmless enough.

This is what’s wrong with Conservatives in America. Pretty much all of it, extensively researched and referenced. And like the author seems to, I really want to see right-wing politics actually start being about right-wing politics again, not the insane bullshit that’s come to represent it lately. A lot of the responses in the comments thread show a head-deskingly painful tendency to miss the point. There’s not much attempt to repudiate any of the points made; much more common is the argument (and I use that term in the Monty Python sense) that “oh, the Democrats do bad stuff too”. If you want to make a list as comprehensive as this one of examples of left-wing hypocrisy, hyperbole, and hatred, then go ahead – I’d be fascinated to read it. Doesn’t change anything about how irrational and douchetastic the representatives of the GOP have acted in recent years.

– A hearing this Thursday will determine the fate of Simon Singh’s appeal against the preliminary ruling on meaning, in his ongoing legal battle with the British Chiropractic Association. Actually quite nerve-wracking at this point, but there’s a real chance it may go fantastically well. Many of the usual bloggers and activists will be present at the judgment and reporting on the proceedings. I imagine I’ll be reporting on their reporting not too long after.

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