An Open Letter to Conservative Americans: This Is the Same Bunch of Republicans Who Caused Our Economic Meltdown in the First Place and Have Embarked on a Disgusting Campaign of Stoking Irrational Fears of People of Color, Muslims, Gays and Anyone Else Who Isn't a So-Called 'Red-Blooded Patriotic American" -- If You Vote to Put These Paranoiacs Back in Charge of Congress, You Will Send Our Country Plunging Down the Toilet
(Posted 5:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday, November 2, 2010)
NOTE TO READERS: Today is Election Day in the United States. As millions of voters across America cast their ballots in this midterm congressional and state election, polls show many races for Congress too close to call, with party control of both the House and Senate hanging in the balance. In a commentary first posted on his own blog, Russ' Filtered News, in March, Russell King, a Wisconsin-based blogger and lobbyist for progressive causes, wrote a lengthy "Open Letter to Conservative Americans" that lays bare the case against voting for the Republicans in today's election. The 'Skeeter Bites Report is republishing King's article -- with his permission, even though it is not copyrighted -- in a last-ditch effort to persuade voters to not make a grave mistake with their ballot. -- Skeeter Sanders, Editor & Publisher
By RUSSELL KING
Dear Conservative Americans,
The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now. You've lost me and you've lost most of America. Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.
First, the invitation: Come back to us.
Now the advice. You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice and fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/communo-fascism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more. But you have work to do even before you take on that task.
Your party -- the Republican Party -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum has become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred.
Let me provide some examples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.
If you're going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you'll have to start by draining this swamp:
A LONG RECORD OF GOP HYPOCRISIES
You cannot flip out — and threaten impeachment -- when Democrats use a preliminary procedure (deem and pass) that your party used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that's centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.
You cannot vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against is especially ugly) -- 114 of you (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more!
You cannot fight against your own ideas just because a Democratic president endorses your proposal.
You cannot call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own idea.
Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Guantanamo? You cannot have it both ways.
REPUBLICANS KINGS OF CORPORATE WELFARE EVEN AS THEY BLAST RUNAWAY SPENDING
You cannot carry on about the evils of government spending, when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts!
You cannot refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Democrats because they didn't meet with you.
You cannot rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.
A DOUBLE STANDARD IN BLACK AND WHITE
You cannot complain that the president hasn't closed Guantanamo, yet campaign to keep it open.
You cannot flip out when America's first black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when white presidents did the same. Bush did it. Richard Nixon did it. Even Dwight Eisenhower did it. You didn't utter a peep when Bushheld hands -- and even kissed on the mouth -- leaders of countries that are not on "kissing terms" with the U.S.
You cannot complain that the Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called "Underwear Bomber," was read his Miranda rights under Obama when Richard Reid, the so-called "Shoe Bomber," was read his Miranda rights under Bush -- and you remained silent (And, no, Newt Gingrich, Reid is not a U.S. citizen either, so there's no difference.).
You cannot attack a Democratic president for not publicly condemning a terrorist event for 72 hours when you said nothing about his Republican predecessor, who waited six days to comment on an eerily similar incident (and even then, he didn't issue a condemnation). The Obama administration did so the day of the event.
You cannot throw a hissy fit, sound alarms and cry that Obama freed Guantanamo prisoners who later helped plan the failed Christmas Day underwear bombing, when, in fact, only one former Guantanamo detainee -- released by Bush -- helped to plan the failed attack.
You cannot condemn those blaming the Republican former president for an attempted terror attack on his watch -- then blame the Democratic incumbent president for an attempted terror attack on his.
You cannot mount a boycott against singers who say they're ashamed of President Bush for starting a war, but remain silent when another singer says he's ashamed of President Obama and falsely calls him a Maoist who makes him want to throw up and says he ought to be in jail.
You cannot cry that the health care bill is too long, and then cry that it's too short.
You cannot support theindividual mandate for health insurance, and then call it unconstitutional when Democrats adopt it and then campaign against your own idea.
You cannot praise criminal trials in U.S. courts for terror suspects under a Republican president, and then call them "treasonous" under a Democratic president.
You cannot propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Democrats put your own ideas in a bill.
You cannot be both pro-choice and anti-choice on abortion.
You cannot condemn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes, when you've paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines.
You cannot condemn criticism of the president when U.S. troops are in harm's way, then attack the president yourselves when U.S. troops are in harm's way -- the only difference being the president's party affiliation (and, by the way, armed conflict does NOT remove our right and our duty as Americans to speak up).
You cannot be both for cap-and-trade policy and against it.
You cannot block debate in the Senate on a bill, then bemoan the lack of "open debate."
A REPUBLICAN DOUBLE STANDARD EVEN IN EXPRESSIONS OF HOMOPHOBIA
This is true, too, if you're taking GOP money and giving anti-gay rants on CNN (Are you reading this, Carl Paladino?).
Taking right-wing money and GOP favors to write anti-gay stories for news sites while working as a gay prostitute, doubles down on both the hypocrisy and the prostitution (Are you reading this, Jeff Gannon?)
This is especially true if you claim your anti-gay stand is God's stand, too (Are you reading this, Ted Haggard?).
When you chair the House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children, you cannot send sexually explicit e-mails to 16-year-old boys -- which is illegal anyway, but you made it hypocritical as well (Are you reading this, Mark Foley?).
HAVE YOU REALLY FORGOTTEN GOP'S SORRY RECORD WHILE IN POWER?
You cannot criticize Democrats for not doing something you didn't do while you held power over the past 16 years, especially when the Democrats Democrats have done more in one year than you did in 16.
You cannot spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare.
You cannot praise the Congressional Budget Office when its analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it's unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don't.
You cannot vote for extending unemployment benefits under a Republican president, then vote against extending them under a Democratic president. Either you support unemployment benefits or you don't. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.
You cannot call the reconciliation process in the Senate "out of bounds" when you used it repeatedly.
You cannot spend taxpayer money on ads against spending taxpayer money.
You cannot condemn individual health insurance mandates in a Democratic bill, when the mandates were a Republican idea.
You cannot demand everyone listen to the generals when they say what fits your agenda, then ignore them when they don't.
You cannot whine that it's unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party's first black national chairman admits you've been doing it for decades.
You cannot complain about a lack of bipartisanship when you've routinely obstructed for the sake of political gain -- threatening to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation in one session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented -- and admitted it. Some admissions are unintentional; others are made proudly.
This is especially true when the bill is the result of decades of compromise between the two parties and is filled with your own ideas.
You cannot question the loyalty of Justice Department lawyers when you didn't object when your own Republican president appointed them.
SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES -- AND MORAL HYPOCRITES
You cannot preach and try to legislate "Family Values" when you:
# take nude hot-tub dips with teenagers (and pay them hush money);
# cheat on your wife with a secret lover and lie about it to the world;
# cheat with a staffer's wife and pay them off with a new job;
# try to have gay sex in a public toilet;
# authorize the rape of children in Iraqi prisons to coerce their parents into providing information;
# seek, look at or have sex with children;
# replace a guy who cheats on his wife with a guy who cheats on his pregnant wife with his wife's mother.
FOR YOUR OWN SAKE, YOU'VE GOT TO KICK THESE OFF-THE-WALL LOSERS TO THE CURB
You really need to disassociate with those among you who:
# say that "Comrade" Obama is a "Bolshevik" taking cues from Lenin. Lenin died nearly 40 years before the president was born;
# ignore the many times your buddies use a term that offends you and complain only when a Democrat says it;
# say Obama "wants his plan to fail…so that he can make the case for bank nationalization and vindicate his dream of a socialist economy;"
# equate putting the good of the people ahead of your personal fortunes with "terrorism;"
# smear an entire major religion with the actions of a few fanatics;
# say that the president wants to "annihilate us;"
# compare health care reform with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a Bolshevik plot, the9/11 terrorist attacks, or reviving the ghosts of communist dictators (And, by the way, it's also not Armageddon, either);
# equate our disease-fighting stem-cell research program with "what the Nazis did;"
# call a bill passed by the majority of both houses of Congress, by members of Congress each elected by a majority in their districts, an "an unconscionable abuse of power," a "violation of the presidential oath" or "the end of representative government". . .
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
So, dear conservatives, get to work. Drain the swamp of the conspiracy nuts, the bold-faced liars undeterred by demonstrable facts, the overt hypocrisy and the hatred. Then offer us a calm, responsible, grown-up agenda based on your values and your vision for America.
We may or may not agree with your values and vision, but we'll certainly welcome you back to the American mainstream with open arms.
We need you.
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(This article, although not copyrighted, is republished with the permission of the author and was edited for length. The full-length version of this article can be found on King's Web site Russ' Filtered News.)
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The 'Skeeter Bites Report Copyright 2010, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.