Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse we have thousands of Americans standing up and shouting, "Send her back!" and people being arrested for saying they would put a bullet in the head of a sitting congresswoman. Brace yourself...it's gonna get worse. It's Sunday Morning Coffee my weekly look at stories you've seen or missed...all laced with my commentary. It's what I get to do...
Depravity There Isn't Another Word
What is going on in terms of spreading fear and hate coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is simply depravity. When my friends who are members of the Republican Party can not bring themselves to condemn the sitting president there is only one reason. They agree with him and his message of hate and bigotry.
It's a marketing message from "45" and it's getting through. Meanwhile the "duck & cover" coming from loyalists is amazing. They use "moral equivalency" saying, "Everybody says racist things." or "One part is just as bad as the other!" or completely lie and say that the GOP never said anything bad about President Obama. Forgetting all the times they stayed quiet or endorsed everything from "birtherism" to saying Obama should go back to Kenya "or wherever".
Depravity and it's catching on.
Love It or Leave It
The "it" of course if America. This saying was first popularized during the awful days of the 1950's when then Sen. Joseph McCartney (R-WI) and his misguided effort to "...root out the communists who are hiding in plan sight". It was a time of the "Red Scare" and later when people demonstrated against the Vietnam War we were told "Love it or leave it!". (Ironic that the saying is on the "Friendship" church sign in Virginia this past week.)
I take a different view. If you love your nation you have every right to voice your opposition to those who seek to squash the progressive values of our nation. This should be a rally cry for those of us who think health care is a right. Or sho think wage inequity is morally wrong. Or that people, no matter the color of their skin or how they worship (or don't) should be treated with respect.
Leaving America to the people who spread fear and loathing won't happen because we'll continue to speak up and use our voices to call for justice and our feet to march for equality and our hands to vote in 2020. Keep the fight going.
She Has Not Changed...
A friend of mine pointed me to a story from 2014 when then candidate Joni Ernst railed to a group of conservatives that she would work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cut the food stamp program and tell "the church" it's their duty to care for people. If you want to read that piece from Church & State here you go.
She is not Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and her spots have not changed. She is still one of the loudest and more shrill of those calling for the government to shrink from it's responsibility whenever it comes to caring for people.
More money for the war machine and damn the people on food stamps. Never mind that the vast majority of them are elderly and children.
We have a fundamental disagreement. I believe that it is the role of government to care for those people who can not care for themselves. Government should not be handing out buckets of cash to wealthy corporations who have the ability to raise their own funds...thank you very much.
But it has become who we are. And we see it even in local issues. For example, Facebook just secured another 20 years of property tax exemption in little Altoona, Iowa. And it was done by that city council with zero input from the citizens of that town. Supporters hail the decision...I think the third of such agreements. Meanwhile the folks who are paying the taxes have no input. Government working for Corporate America...it is the new welfare system.
Today is the beginning of something most people know nothing about. It's called The Three Weeks. Observant Jews around the world mark this day as the start of a period of mourning for the loss, not once but twice, of the Temple in Jerusalem. During this time many Jews refrain from entering into contracts, getting married or other joyful events. It is a time of introspection and consideration of what it is that we can do to uphold the values laid out in the Torah.
I share that with you only to underline the fact that one can be both faithful and progressive. We who are deeply involved in progressive politics often shun talking about our faith. I'm not sure that's a good strategy. It's when we turn away from the values of caring for others, be they "widows, orphans" or "the stranger in our midst" is when we see destruction...and sadness.
Sorry for the lesson...but it's on my mind this morning.
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday.