Republican No More

Once upon a time, I was a good little Republican who voted for George Bush I, Bob Dole and even GWB. Then I got smart. Now I'm just pissed off.

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Location: Tennessee, Afghanistan

I'm fascinating. Enough said.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Patiently Waiting....

I have known for years now that I could no longer support the Republican party as long as they were acting like hypocrites--the out of control spending, the infringement on personal liberties, the total break down of our international persona, etc--and now I'm watching the Senate race in Tennessee with bated breath. The Republican candidate is less of a typical conservative in Tennessee than the Democratic candidate (I'm not thrilled with some of Ford's stances, but I'm working on it) and perhaps, if the stars align correctly, the voters in this state will use their brains instead of their televisions to vote.

For the first time in YEARS (the Fred Thompson campaign, to be exact), I am actually EXCITED about a candidate and that is refreshing, albeit rather surreal since he's a Memphis Democrat.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Word Play

I cannot help but think, in my own little loaded word-obssessed mind where I often sit back and ponder discussions such as these, that a huge part of the problem in this debate is one of the phrases that keeps coming into play:

Cut and Run

The person that threw that phrase out when the idea of withdrawal came out essentially made the challenge to the rest of the boys on the playground and called them sissies if they decided to wuss out. And in this day and age of blog-a-minute, I've-got-a-schtick (no, that's not code), here-let-me-scream-at-you political debate, it's not good to be the wuss. Or to be associated with a wussy country or a policy, so before the logic can be processed or anything even resembling reasonable discussion can applied, folks are fighting back and forth on blogs and forums and as a result, we (not at OT, but the general "we" of the cyberworld...I've been absent from here, so examples are not intended to be OT-specific in the least)end up with:

REP; You callin' America a bunch of cowards?

DEM: No, I'm saying that Bush is an idiot.

REP: The hell you are. You're saying we should just let them win and admit we're sissies and can have our asses kicked? Kerry and the liberals just want us to roll over.

DEM: You're a dumbass? I didn't say that. I said that your president is a baby killer and an idiot and our Senate is filled with people who....

REP: Baby killer--you want to talk about baby killers? You think it's okay to let people have abortions, but you don't want us to free the Iraqi people and let them have a democracy like we do? Don't you like democracy. What are you? A communist?

DEM: I'm a patriot and a true American who will stand up and scream that they are right no matter what and refuse to even listen to any discussions that go against his or her own political stance because that's what patriots do.

REP: I'll show you patriotism...I've got six purple hearts. No way in hell we should leave Iraq. You don't anything about what a true soldier feels.

DEM: You just like to play with guns, so you'll never understand. If you think Iraq is so worth fighting for, why don't we enlist your adult daugthers to go over there and fight even though they have absolutely nothing to do with any of the decisions that you make or your policies? How would you like that?

REP: Why don't you just move to France or Canada?

DEM: At least we'd have decent health care.

REP: Yeah, and Michael Moore would make a movie about you then.

DEM: I'd rather have Michael Moore's movie than Ann Coulter's book.

REP: Well, Ann Coulter or Janine Turner look a hell of a lot better in a dress than Janeane Garofalo or Barbra Streisand.

DEM: Ann Coulter is a man in drag....send her to Iraq.

REP: If she was there, she'd do a better job reporting than that g.d. liberal MSM who all hate America and are trying to support the terrorists.

DEM: If she was there, the terrorists would surrender immediately...but there aren't any terrorists in Iraq. We're fighting in a civil war of our own making and we're the only enemey. Can't you see that? If we leave, they'll sort it out on their own just to prove they are stronger than we are because everyone in the world hate the United States, except Tony Blair and the government of Namibia.

REP: Civil war? Eff that. You know, if we'd have just nuked about half the damn country in the first place, we wouldn't be worried about this crap. Of course everyone hates America--until they want our money or our jobs. They're just jealous of us because we can whip their ases and they know it. They want to be just like us because we're the

DEM: I've got dozens of pages of statistics to prove that America is not the best place to live. Here, let me show you all of the reasons why we're all terrible people who don't care about education, health care, civil rights, baby seals or the plight of the snail darter. We have problems of our own to take care of--get the hell out of other people's backyards and worry about our own....and we should be sending money to Africa. They have a lot of debt.

REP: We need to build a fence and forget about everyone else. If the wimpy liberals would just quit kicking and screaming about "human rights" and putting pressure on our glorious troops to be peacemakers instead of kick-a warriors, we could win this war in about three weeks and then get to work on hauling these illegals out.

DEM: And how would they win this battle? With aluminum foil body armor? The administration refuses to give the troops any equipment because they are all just stupid and incompetent. Besides, they don't care about the troops--they just wanted the profits, so as long as the war lasts, they're happy because they're making money. It doesn't concern them if a few thousand people die--Bush laughs at funerals, you know. And, he can't read, either.

REP: Yeah, well, you want to talk about funerals? Let's talk about your boy Teddy Kennedy and that girl he killed. How about HER funeral? Wonder what Cindy Sheehan would say to her mother, huh?

DEM: Laura Bush should be in jail--she killed someone, you know. And Cindy Sheehan is just a grieving mother. How would you feel if your son was killed and no one except every news outlet in the country would listen to you talk about it?

REP: Laura Bush is a saint. You leave her out of this. At least she knows what a First Lady is supposed to do and she does it. I've not seen her on the news spouting off ideas or opinions or anything substantial that means anything about anything and that's exactly how we want our women in the political arena to be. Not like YOUR fine example, Billary.

DEM: You just wish that Bush was half as successful as Clinton. Clinton was the best.president.ever. He'll go down in history as a true American hero who was slandered by the right in a desperate grab for power. He was misunderstood and maligned by the convervative media and the right wing conspiracy who was threatened by a strong woman and a powerful Washington outsider.

REP: Yeah, he'll go down all right. Bill Clinton was a lying adulterer. If he he'd paying attention to Osama on his watch instead of paying attention to that tramp Monica, we wouldn't have to put our brave troops in harm's way.

DEM: It's always about the Clenis, isn't it? And where's Osama now, huh? Your brilliant brain trust hasn't been able to find him yet, but they've blown up half of Iraq. Maybe he's hiding with the WMDs.

REP: I'll tell you where Osama is. He's out there hiding somewhere and taking advantage of the leaks that the MSM is providing him with our military plans. That reminds me, I need to call my sentator and start pushing him to ban all media reports on anything related to the military and the war and terrorism. This information crap is nothing but subversive and treasonist.

DEM: You are incapable of having an original thought that wasn't programmed into your head by Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity. I'm through with this debate because you are simply too stupid for words.

REP: Why do you hate America?

Hmmmm, and what was the policy/issue/problem again?

I've been on both "sides" of the political blanket, so to speak, and am currently rather firmly planted in the Democratic realm on most topics, but I've never understood the prevailing notion in political debates that if someone doesn't agree then they are either:

A. stupid
B. incompetent
C. evil
D. selfish
E. all of the above

Since I've been on both "sides", I'm fairly sure that I'm not stupid, evil, selfish or incompetent, at least not on the things that seem to be debated so hotly in the political fray, but that's not really the point.

I know that Iraq is a very complex problem with shades of Viet Nam and a whole host of diplomacy and miltary issues that I am glossing over here, but the debate at home has become so charged with Us vs. Them that there doesn't seem to be any attempt to actually work together to figure out a solution.

With all due respect to my fellow posters above whom I admire, the idea that we could just pick up and walk out tomorrow or the next day? Not even remotely plausible and, I might also add, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, I agree that we need to leave Iraq as soon as humanly possible, but to just throw up our hands and leave would be a monumental disaster, not only for us as an international power, but also for the humanitarian reasons that we ARE there. If the ten thousand deaths so far are tragic, then just think about the consequences of a "cut and run" approach.

And, to those who don't want to leave, well, obviously that's not really going to work either, is it? We could very well be there until Doomsday at the rate we're going because our very presence is going to be a catalyst and the problems will never stop. Also, as was pointed out, a homegrown insurgency has to, at some point, have a homegrown solution.

A plan to leave does not require a deadline per say, but it should absolutely outline some specific goals for the Iraqi independence. I think we can all agree that it is highly unlikely that we're going to leave and it's going to look like some sort of Utopia, but we owe it to them to at least make sure that we've put some semblemence of structure in place. What are those goals and those structures? Hell if know. That's not my area of experise. I don't even pretend to claim to be some sort of expert in Middle Eastern culture or political science or constitutional law. I am, however, pretty damn experienced at negotiating and problem solving and this "debate", for all that's at stake, has become more about each side than the central issue. There has to be compromise in this situation and until those who are in the power positions are willing to compromise, then we'll be in this quagmire. It cannot be about "We're right" and "You're wrong" or "Bush sucks" and "Kerry's a puss". I found myself agreeing with Hilary Clinton of all people the other day when she was being soundly booed...and that was rather a turnaround because I'm not exactly a fan.

I do not think it is a smart strategy, either, for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government...Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain. I do not agree that is in the best interests...If we're going to win in November then we have to be smarter, tougher, and better prepared than our opponents, because one thing they do know how to do is win and we have to reach out to people who may not be able to agree with us.

I included the part about the election and the Democrats because I think she makes a very valid point, but the first two sentences could be applied to those in either party.

I have family in Iraq. My husband was there the first time. I have friends who have spouses and children there and who are more than ready for them to come home. I'm sure there are those in the military who are ready to come home, but there are also those who are willing to stay and fight until the bitter end and who will support them. Who wants whom to come home based on emotional reasonsing is unfortunately irrelevant in this discussion. If we allow ourselves to make this type of decisions based on emotion, then we become no better than those whom we are trying to defeat (and no, I'm not calling anyone here a terrorist).

Words, words, words. Cut and run, stay and fight, bully, some point, we're going to have to realize that inflaming the other side for the entertainment of our own only ends up screwing both sides.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fair is Fair

I took the kids to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. It was a rousing success. Great little gallery and fantabulous kids' center upstairs. We will return, even if I do have to gag a bit when reading plaques acknowledging Bill and Karen Frist for their sponsorship of various paintings throughout.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Friends in High Places

Dammit, dammit, dammit. I cannot believe that I am not the next nominee for SCOTUS. I've made significant strides for women in my fair county (for example, I was the first county commisssioner to be pregnant while serving a term...and I did it TWICE). I have met some famous people, some political people and even some fairly smart people. I have umpteen college diplomas. So why not me? Could it be was because I never held the oh-so-legal job of head of my state's lottery. Or, could it have been because I wasn't all buddy-buddy, ass-kssy with GWB? Clearly, I need to start cultivating my friendships with potential presidents because that is one sweet job to get without having bupkus in the qualifications department (well, at least compared to say, forty-eleven plus other possible choices)

Monday, September 05, 2005

A picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Go, Chuck!

From Chuck Hagel:

"We should start figuring out how we get out of there.
I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the
longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur."

Amen, brother, amen. Now, can you figure out a way to make the dofus at the helm listen to you? Perhaps you should start by breaking down the big words. I see lots and lots of syllables there and he doesn't seem to cotton to those. Then, I suppose, we need to throw in some dirty words because he apparently DOES cotton to those. Maybe something like this?

We've stuck our fucking noses in there long enough and made a goddamned mess out of the whole Middle East and given all the fuckers over there a reason to hate us(at this point, we probably better show a map to him). If we don't get the hell out of Dodge, things are going to be fucked beyond fixin'.

I'll just sit back and wait for Dr. Rice to invite me to work for the State Department.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I just got a letter, I just got a letter....

okay, not JUST. It was probably a month ago, maybe more. I just cleaned out a gigantic stack of mail, most of which arrived while I was in London. The letter is a form letter, but still, it's a letter. From his honor Bill Frist. And get this? He wants ME to send him some money. And some opinions. He even included a handy dandy survey that he is insistant that I fill out and return so that I can help shape the Congressional Agenda.

It's chockablock with bold words and all caps: LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES SURVEY, SURVEY DOCUMENT, TENS OF THOUSADS OF DOLLARS, VALUABLE, IMPORTANT, COMPLETE, RETURN. And, tucked in there not once, not twice, but three times, I am assured that my contribution of $500, $250, $200, $100, $75 $50, or even $25 will help the Republicans build a "rock solid foundation of grass roots support for President Bush's Second-Term Agenda" (his caps, not mine).

My favorite quote:

Americans believe in President Bush's and the Republican Party's vision to secure a safer, stronger, feer and more prosperous future for America. They also expect that vision to be translated in action.

I guess those who don't believe are? Aliens? Canadians?

And, never let it be said that our esteemed Senator for Tennessee isn't all about the consensus building. Why heck, he even mentions the Democrats in the letter. Several times:

As Senate Majority Leader I expect the Senate Democrats to obstruct and delay us at every turn and I know groups like will distort and attack our agenda. And it is my responsibility to protect and strengthen our Republican Senate Majority.

As Senate Majority Leader I will make sure we use your valuable insights to help shape our Agenda and produce the groundswell of grassroots support necessary to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

Our strategy to oversome the Democrats' filibuster in the Senate depends on local grassroots support. So returning your completed survey along with your most generous contribution is critical. Every dollar counts.

The best way to overcome a Democrat (sic) filibuster is to show widespread grassroots support for the issue or nominee.

(bold original to the's evidently the most important point)

And that's not all, but you get the jist. What I especially love, though, more than anything in the letter, is the complete and utter lack of basic high school grammatical skills. Do you see the sentence fragments? How about the run-on sentences? He's the Senate fricking Majority Leader, as he tells me many times, and he has no one to edit him? He went to uber-schools and has numerous degrees and he can't even write a stinking sentence? Democrat filibuster...uh, the hell? What is that?

Saddest of all is that I'm getting this because I probably signed up for something when he was running for office. Clearly he never wrote me any letters back in the day, eh?