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Monday, October 6, 2008

Let's Get Something Straight Here

Man, I had to read this before I've even had my coffee today. A comment from eilandkind on my post, What We Learned.

I figured if I had so much hatred shining through in my political entries, I should share it with all of you and let you see my reply.

***

Water tangob, only water, maybe you should try that next time.
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about the confusion liberal women leave me with.
I've been trying to understand your meltdown, as demonstrated by some feminists who want to jump out of high windows, because of desperation over SP.
I realised after reading your post, about Republican men and Barbie dolls, that it is the typical old story of liberals, who cannot, for the life of them, put themselves in the shoes of a conservative. At least intellectual conservatives can look at both points of view and make a choice, but it is impossible for liberal intellectuals, who seem to only be 'tolerant' towards people who think and act exactly the way they do.
You are dead wrong when it comes to the generalisation of Rep men, none of the Rep men (and that includes my husband) think the way you think that they do.
I have to wonder how many Republicans, you've actually ever met in your life.
I am totally baffled, I must say. Politics in the USA, taught me a lot more than what a doctorate in anthropology, would have done.
Anyway, I've decided not to comment on your political entries anymore, it is hard for me to understand how so much hatred can shine through in your political entries as opposed to your other entries.

***

Dear eilandkind,

Here it is, once and for all, and then you're welcome to read or not read my blog as you see fit. I really don't care one way or another.

I am a fiscal conservative.
I am a social moderate.
I believe in the separation of powers.
I believe in the separation of church and state.
I do not believe that the government should deny any woman an abortion or access to birth control.

Back in the day, before the Republican party began to appeal to religious conservatives with the election of Ronald Reagan, you would find that this would have been their platform. I'm sure even your husband would agree that his party's ideals have shifted somewhat.

If you can tell me that George Bush and the Republican party have upheld these ideals, please illuminate me and millions of other people who are heartbroken at the shambles that this Republican president has left our country in. We are in the biggest financial crisis that our country has ever faced. My two baby nieces and children all over this country will inherit the most massive debt of any country in history. Is that fiscal conservatism? Do you remember something called the Patriot Act? An Attorney General named Roberto Gonzales? We see our constitutional rights being unraveled before our eyes. All of this wilfully done under a Republican administration.

And you think that McCain and Palin are going to be a change from the past eight years? In 2000, I would have said perhaps, because John McCain was a different candidate then. Since then, he has given up any credibility of the "maverick" qualities he once had. Now that word is completely hollow. Check out the senator's voting record.

John McCain chose a candidate who is much less tolerant than even you accuse me of being due to her strong religious beliefs. There were several other qualified Republican women (Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole or Olympia Snowe, to name a few) but he chose one with such extremist beliefs that would ensure votes from the farthest right of the political spectrum, a small portion of the electorate, but a very vocal one. Strong religious beliefs are fine, but they have no place in the political arena. Go back and read the Declaration of Independence, which makes it very clear that governments created by humanity derive their powers from the consent of the governed, not from anyone's god.

The reason many women (and not just liberals or feminists as you are so quick to assume we are) dislike Sarah Palin is that they can see she is relatively unschooled and has a very narrow view of the world. She governs a state that has fewer residents than the city I live in and little or no access to or interest in diverse opinions, all of which does not convince us that her experience is even close to being relevant to the enormous job ahead of her, whether or not McCain would live out his entire term of office. She has never encountered people from other countries until quite recently and has never developed any world view. In her time as mayor, she ran her own small town into $25 million of debt. Look it up.

You are incredibly naive. A doctorate in Anthropology or anything else doesn't matter if you don't understand what is happening before your eyes.

Now feel free to move on. You don't need to keep checking in to see if I've answered your comment. Here it is.

29 comments:

Greg October 6, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

indeed.

I have had to explain to newcomers more than a few times that it was not long ago that California voted republican statewide, and even places like San Mateo County were reliably semi-republican, even more so in off years due to turnout issues. It was not until 1988 that Democrats won a seat in the legislature in the north part of SM county and that was only because the incumbent had been there one term and was hit with a ton of negative ads from Willie Brown. It'd been GOP for 104 years.

What changed was exactly what you describe - when the party began to eject anyone who did not subscribe to a strict, "conservative PC" code of conduct that included a statist approach to moral issues and religion, people began to swing to "Decline to State" and less than 20 years later, well, here we are.

Heck once upon a time CASPAR WEINBERGER was a state rep. from SAN FRANCISCO. And most of Reagan's early cabinet was from Hillsborough. Now? Hillsborough is a top Democratic donor base. For those of us who grew up here, that is like, shocking.

julochka October 6, 2008 at 9:55 AM  

will you please run for vice president? ms. parker. :-) excellent job.

Red Shoes October 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM  

TB, I have much respect for your patience in crafting this reply to such a bizarre comment.

Eilandkind, I'm a conservative regarding foreign interaction and a social liberal, and oh yes, I'm a feminist. (Will there ever come a day when that is not a dirty word?) And yes, Palin disgusts me on every level. That's secondary, however, to the fact that the current administration has let absolutely everyone down. Furthermore, the Republican trend towards enacting policies resulting directly from their religious beliefs flies in the face of the founding documents of this nation. I cannot support that, and I never will.

Caroline October 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM  

Brava.

Nothing wrong with a political debate as long as it's not spiralling into a personal attack. I think you responded with maturity.

julochka October 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM  

sorry to comment again but i can't help myself...are you sure we didn't go to beauty school together at the university of Chicago? ;-)

tangobaby October 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

Hi greg,

Thank you for bringing yet another layer of evidence to the story. Your perspective here shows how the change in thinking is reactionary with a history and a reason behind it, from the local level to the top seat of power.

Hi julochka,

I think Joe Biden will do a fine job! They don't need me.

Hi red shoes,

Thank you, and know that I wrote this before I had my coffee. But I was pretty clear on what I wanted to say, so it didn't take caffeine to make the words come together.

And thank you for stating your mind, too. I loved your comment.

Hi caroline,

Thank you...I really appreciate your observations on this.

Hi julochka again,

I almost snorted my tea when I read this one. I think we were in The Science of Lash Tinting and Public Opinion in American Democracy together. Didn't you sit in the front row near the fire extinguisher?

:-P

n a n c y October 6, 2008 at 12:59 PM  

And why is it that type of Republican thinks that if they insult you enough you will come around to the 'right' way of thinking?

Octavine Illustration October 6, 2008 at 1:12 PM  

oooh, exciting. a blogging political debate. i love it. so important to be having conversations such as this. rather we communicate our beliefs to others who may not share our viewpoints rather than preach to the choir. you rock.

Eilandkind October 6, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

Tangobaby, the fact that you posted my comment in a blog post, proved my point, that you only move in crowds that agree with you, or do you post every disagreement with you, like this?
I am not trying to convince ANYONE of my own POLITICAL point of view, I am trying to point out, how unfairly you are portraying conservatives and other people, who do not believe the way YOU believe.
People can believe what they like, I don't care, but I DO care when they belittle people who don't believe the way they do and try and humiliate them.
I'm moving on.

tangobaby October 6, 2008 at 2:13 PM  

Hi n a n c y,

'Cause it's hard for them to address the issues? How hard is it to dipute the facts I've listed here?

Hi octavine,

I'm sure I'm still preaching to the choir as evidenced by eilandkind's reply after yours. C'est la vie.

Hi eilandkind,

If you don't want people to read your comments, then don't post them in a public forum.

And actually, the comments you see here are what I get. I don't moderate comments and I don't delete them. Yet.

Move on. Please. Share your wisdom elsewhere.

dutchbaby October 6, 2008 at 4:44 PM  

I guess I'll weigh in somewhere in the middle. I agree with eilandkind that some of your statements about the republican party are too sweeping (especially the Barbie statements), but I disagree that they were hateful. A bit exuberant maybe, but not hateful.

I am dumbfounded as to why eilandkind would take issue with you publishing her comment in a post. Why would she not be flattered that you gave her words greater exposure?

I think it is exciting to have a healthy exchange of ideas. The trick is for all parties to keep their eyes and ears open and to remain civil. I know it's a tall order, especially for me, but I think it's worth striving for.

tangobaby October 6, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

Hi dutchbaby,

You know I'm glad to see your comments here because you're one of the brightest people I know.

That being said, I'll clarify my Barbie comment, for what it's worth. People in this country are very intrigued by pretty people (part of the enormous sway that celebrities have over us) and they enjoy a good fairy tale or Cinderella story. When I see Palin, I see a pretty face with not a lot of the necessary smarts behind it. When I saw her actually speaking her own mind (as when being interviewed by Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric), it furthered my opinion that the only time she sounds confident of what she knows is when her handlers have given her the thoughts she should have. She cannot speak off the cuff intelligently on basic questions without repeating a bizarre mantra of unrelated information.

I think the McCain campaign, perhaps NOT to be confused with the Republican party, is fishing for anyone (not necessarily Republicans) who might find that combination of good looks and confident, if flawed, dogma attractive. When I see photos of people waving giant lipsticks and cutouts of pitbulls with lipstick mouths pasted on them, that also reinforces my opinion. The lipstick matters. If she wasn't pretty, lipstick wouldn't have even entered into it. I think people are titillated by the idea of having a beauty queen lead them. It's a projection of our mediocre vanities.

To that end, part of the fun in blogging is being excited, ebullient or dramatic, as suits a person's mood and what they have to say, and I'm glad you appreciate that point! I didn't sign up for this to be sweetness and light every day, but you bet your bottom dollar that I'll be honest about something if I write it down.

Thanks again for your comment. I really appreciate it.

Elizabeth October 6, 2008 at 5:07 PM  

Golly Gee Tangobaby,
We all know you to be on the side of the Joe Sixpacks of the world. Just look at that entry on the bluegrass. Now that is downright folksy and not at all hateful! Wink wink...
xo
E

tangobaby October 6, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

OMG! Elizabethhh!!!

You just made me laugh REALLY LOUD out loud at work and now people know I'm screwing around.

You bad!!!

xoxo!

dutchbaby October 6, 2008 at 5:33 PM  

I knew you didn't mean the sweeping statements about the Republican Party, but I can see where it would offend some. I am glad to read your clarification and I agree wholeheartedly with it. In fact, I will take it even further. It's not just lipstick that matters, it's physical appearance in general. Remember the Nixon-Kennedy debates?

It's a shame that McCain showed such poor judgment in choosing Palin. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for her. She is clearly not qualified, she shouldn't have been asked, and she shouldn't have accepted. I am sad to see any woman ridiculed relentlessly, even if I am diametrically opposed to her beliefs. I feel that this VP selection is not only a giant step backwards for the GOP, but for women in general.

tangobaby October 6, 2008 at 8:10 PM  

Absolutely dutchbaby. Here in SF, I see it too. We have a dashing, handsome mayor who must have one of the most mediocre if not downright sub-par records, but people cut him a lot of slack because he's dashing, has nice hair and a very perfect smile.

Meanwhile, the violent crime in this town is rising and goes unpunished, the public transportation is a mess and so are the streets. And he's a Democrat.

Good looks does not a politician make. But it sure works to hide a lot of ills for some people.

I read somewhere that Nixon refused to participate in other debates after that one because he appeared so poorly on television. Is that true?

I actually don't feel sorry for Palin. She appears to be enjoying herself and obviously believes she is capable so to me she reaps whatever benefits or repercussions she deserves. No one is making her stay if she suddenly had a change of mind. I think it's like that study I found somewhere, about people not knowing their incompetence.

namastenancy October 7, 2008 at 12:34 AM  

Ah, another drive by bomblet from an offended conservative. It amazes me that so many - not all mind you - think that we have no right to "hang out" with those of like mind. As if watching them ruin our country and parts of the world weren't bad enough, "we" have to give them even more of our time, our minds and, if they could take it, our souls. Any criticism is seen as "belittling. " Yet, look at how the current McCain campain is behaving (and never mind the last 8 years, Katrina, attack on women's rights, Iraq, Wall Street meltdown due to fraud, etc).

If they continue to accuse Obama of terrorist connections and whipping up their supporters to believe that he is, himself, a terrorist, and even to the point where members of the audience shout "KILL HIM!" they also deserve to lose.

How unfair is it to list the facts of the last 8 years? They speak for themselves.

tangobaby October 7, 2008 at 7:19 AM  

Hi namastenancy,

In fairness to poor eilandkind, she was upset because I made a reference to Republicans and Barbie dolls. And I guess she didn't like that I played Palin Bingo during the VP debate.

Because those things are mean and I shouldn't poke fun about conservatives but try to be nice if I have an opinion.

Like you said, nice like Sarah Palin is nice. BTW, this blogger is from South Africa originally. I hope before she moved to this country she was right up there helping to defeat apartheid because you know that was really mean too.

BTW, anyone know how Nazi Germany got started? Watch some more of these Palin videos where she accuses Obama of being a terrorist, and you're off to a real good start, or that McCain video you refer to where someone yells out "terrorist" and "kill him". Germany's economy was in the toilet when Adolf Hitler came to power, and he was able to channel that economic frustration and disaster into the murder of millions of people.

paris parfait October 7, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

Bravo, Tangobaby! That's my girl! xoxox

Christina October 7, 2008 at 9:16 AM  

LOL! Aww damn! They made you pull the big guns out huh??

I love it!

Liz October 7, 2008 at 11:50 AM  

Dear Tangobaby

Well, first, I just want to be thankin' you for keepin' the political fires stoked, that's the way to put some heels on, and I just wanted to be remindin' you that if perhaps the gloves are still on, they really shouldn't be white, since it is after Labour Day an' all. But golly gee, you shur inspired some spirited thoughts here! Back home, in uhm, the Bay Area, we call that debate!

Your Truly.... ;-)

tangobaby October 7, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

Hi Tara,

I feel like my sister's got my back...I learn a lot from you, my friend. Thank you.

xoxo

Hi christina,

I guess if facts were guns, the RNC would have been blown away by now, huh? Good thing they still are funding their smear campaign 100%.

Smells like desperation to me.

Hi Liz,

Not only will I put away the white gloves (although I have a lovely pair from my grandma, circa 1940), I have also put away my white shoes and white pants.

No worries though, I have gloves in many colors, and hats to match! I will look quite season appropriate if I ever have to duke it out.

And welcome to my blog, and I thank you for the comment!

tangobaby October 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

LIZ!

LOL! How many blogs do you have, honey? I thought you were a "new" Liz.

hahaha

silly me. Well, welcome back, then!

Limerick Tango October 7, 2008 at 4:11 PM  

If you're looking for nazi references, I was at a talk by an Obama campaign adviser on their use of 'social networks' at the weekend. A lot of people at the talk spotted that its really not that difficult for those people canvasing every door on their voter list and them wearing brown shirts.

tangobaby October 7, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

Hi Limerick,

Having studied the history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust in college, I have to say that it takes more than a brown shirt to make a Nazi.

I'm utterly repelled to see that the RNC has resorted to the kind of fear-mongering polemics that truly did give the Nazi party its terrible power. Unfortunately, many people here aren't even interested in American history, let alone European history.

Limerick Tango October 8, 2008 at 3:02 AM  

I agree the brown shirt is the last stage but the creep towards it starts long before that. Having access to the voter registration lists so that you can hassle people into voting is very easily the first step.

The same speaker had just come from a talk in Berlin where they had been appalled at the idea that anyone had access to the voter registration lists (for obvious reasons)

tangobaby October 8, 2008 at 6:01 AM  

And I think that deliberately inferring (or having your proxies, such as your VP candidate or Rupert Murdoch/FOX, do your dirty work for you) to say that your opponent is a terrorist and questionable racially, all from a national platform, is an even more slippery slope.

You need someone to vilify and rouse hatred for before you do anything else. When the crowd yells out "terrorist!" and "kill him!", then you're doing a good job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYzritaQEn4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVFWahLTdUo

mrs. sarah ott October 9, 2008 at 5:36 PM  

funny how the eleinkland lady didnt mind insulting democrats but was offended by your own civil descriptions.

tangobaby October 10, 2008 at 7:01 AM  

Hi sarah,

I think she was more upset because she thought I was making unfair and mean statements about Republicans in general. Whatever I might have to say about the McCain campaign doesn't mean that I think that about all Republicans and I will be sure to distinguish one from the other in future.

However, if I was a Republican, I'd be very upset at how the McCain campaign is conducting itself right now. The language and accusations coming out of that camp is off the charts.