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Restraining Your Inner Fourth Grader! (by Elizabeth Burke) March 19, 2009

Posted by Suzanne Robinson in politics.
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I am a grown woman, but I have to admit that as soon as I read an article last week on Politico.com about the website,  ImSorryRush.com,  I could not on it click fast enough. It was as if my inner Fourth Grader was busting to get out and poke fun of the perceived “loser” in the class. The website is set up like the old Mad Lib game where you fill in a silly word or phrase for each Mad Lib indicated – and the topic is the recent rush (pardon the pun) of Republicans apologizing to Limbaugh for negative comments made about him in other arenas.  Now you too can crawl on your knees to the Altar of Rush.  

It seems that in the past few weeks, the most astonishing thing has been happening. The otherwise calm, cool and collected GOP seems to be eating themselves alive. First there is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s disastrous response to President Obama’s speech and the collective impulse to shove him under the bus. Then there is the daily iteration from the far Right in the visage of Rush Limbaugh, repeating his desire to see this Administration fail; the multiple verbal Michael Steele gaffes; Senator David Vitter (R-LA) (of the caught-with-a-prostitute fame) once again caught acting out, this time at an airport berating the airline staff for not letting him thru a security door to board a plane about to take off. Up North, the continuing morality play of Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston just went pfft and turned into a trash-talking “he-said-she-said” cat fight straight out of People magazine! 

And of course, drug-addicted, obese, thrice-divorced, arrested-for-prescription-drug-fraud, currently-living-in-sin, malcontent conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, (yes 2 mentions!) being anointed the titular head of the Republican Party. There is more, but I think you get my point.

Common sense says that the Democrats should Leave Well Enough Alone. We have the White House, most of Congress and sadly soon, one more seat on the Supreme Court. We should be gracious and thoughtful.  We should QUIETLY – with focus – take the high road.

Quite frankly, the GOP is doing an excellent job of self-immolation. All the Dems need to do is pull up a log and toast some marshmallows over their fire. The latest attempts by the Left, to smugly point fingers and laugh through cupped palms at the auto-cannibalism of the GOP, needs to be stopped. It reeks of pettiness and bad sportsmanship and undermines the actual progress the Democrats have made in uniting the country in a time of economic crisis. 

But as a barely restrained Fourth Grader at heart, I know how easy it is to poke fun at the weak!  Let’s take the case of the brand new Chairman of the Republican Party, Michael Steele. Just one day after he publicly decried Rush as ‘incendiary” and “ugly” he had to get on his knees and grovel for the big guy’s forgiveness.  He then made, what I believe to be truthful, comments on his belief in a women’s right to choose, and his assertion that homosexuality is how one is born and not a choice (comparing it to being born Black, imagine that!) And before you can say “Please Rush don’t hurt me” Steele is backpedaling so fast, I got whiplash just reading about it! In just over 2 months, the GOP knives are sharpened and there is already infighting about his possible impeachment. Impeachment!! Even Conservative David Frum said he was sickened by the attacks on Michael Steele for saying abortion was an ‘individual’ choice. The Right eating the Right is wrong.

Indeed, there are rumblings within the GOP to have Wisconsin’s Norm Coleman replace Steele. But, well, it seems Coleman is currently under FBI investigation. Word leaked only a few months ago that the FBI was looking into allegations that the former Senator’s family received $75,000 in secret payments from a longtime friend and benefactor. Those payments went unreported on Coleman’s financial disclosure form, leading some congressional ethicist to draw parallels to the corruption case that ultimately took down former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. Oh for God’s sake.

Now for an example of a GOP rising star totally missing the point, let’s talk about Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC.) Just last week in response to a comment by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Sanford warned that the recently-signed stimulus bill could spur a Zimbabwe-style economic collapse:

“What you’re doing is buying into the notion that if we just print some more money that we don’t have, send it to different states – we’ll create jobs… If that’s the case why isn’t Zimbabwe a rich place?”…”why isn’t Zimbabwe just an incredibly prosperous place?” 

Sanford has said that he will reject a portion of the stimulus money that would expand unemployment benefits, which now hovers at about 10.4% in SC. He has also promised to turn down $700 million meant in large part for education programs if he is not granted a waiver to instead use the money to pay down his state’s debts. If your house is burning, do you take the buckets of water, put them aside and save them in case this happens again, or do you take the water and PUT THE DAMN FIRE OUT?! 

A conservative South Carolina newspaper, The State, penned an editorial on Sunday blasting, (ripping to shreds) Gov. Mark Sanford for his political grandstanding. The best part? Republicans in the South Carolina State Senate are currently laying the groundwork to accept the stimulus funds Gov. Mark Sanford is promising to reject. Defying their own on their own! “Without the stimulus funds, teachers would lose jobs, prisons would be closed, and inmates released early,” Dan Cooper, a Republican state representative, told the Associated Press. 

Even totally inconsequential Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) went to the Altar to seek His forgiveness for daring to criticize His Holy Loud Mouthed One. All he said was this: “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party.”  Of course within days he was tripping over himself to say “As long as I am in the Congress, I will continue to fight for and defend our sacred values. I have actively opposed every bailout, every rebate check, every so-called ‘stimulus.’ And on so many of these things, I see eye-to-eye with Rush Limbaugh.”  So sad. I assume his constituency all have jobs, homes, health care and didn’t need any of that money.

And of course, amidst all the outrage (!) this week focused at the AIG psychopaths, a pitchfork wielding Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) suggested that these hookers-without-a-heart-of-gold commit suicide in the honorable old tradition of Japanese Hari Kari. Of course barely minutes later, scrambling to explain his comments, he inadvertently had a verbal malfunction “From my standpoint, it’s irresponsible for corporations to give bonuses at this time when they’re sucking the tit of the taxpayer,” Grassley explained.  Look, when they make it this easy, what’s a girl to do?

That said, as a self-described Lefty McLiberal, lover of all things green, pursuer of clean energy, hugger of those less fortunate and crier at State sponsored torture, I find it embarrassing that there are some in the White House that are actively working to tie the GOP to Limbaugh and his ilk.

What works in a guest blog post does not necessarily fly as party policy. 

Formalizing these behind-the-hand whisperings and deep-in-the-tubal-interweb musings is really adolescent and amateurish, a “distraction” as the President was so fond of saying in the days of his campaign, when he spoke of a new kind of politics that would transcend partisan pettiness.  And while it appeals to everyone’s inner 4th grader, I’m still an idealist who believes that Obama’s promise to be better than this is something we all can and must strive towards.

I don’t believe the Democratic National Committee should be spending one dime to hold a contest to find a new theme in their ongoing campaign to portray Rush Limbaugh as the true leader of the Republican Party. The slogan, “Americans didn’t vote for a Rush to failure,” will be splashed across a billboard in Limbaugh’s hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida, and printed on T-shirts, a Democratic National Committee official told CNN. My Fourth Grade self inwardly laughed and clapped her hands with glee while my rational adult side sighed deeply and shook her head. 

It’s easy to attack the GOP while is at it’s weakest in over 40 years, as they struggle to fight its way out of political inconsequence, searching for a message that doesn’t encompass the ugliness that we have seen through festering mouthpieces like Ann Coulter, Hannity, Rush and the entire Fox news channel.  

 

It makes for a stronger statement for us, the Democratic, to show restraint. Both parties have made huge errors recently, most notably taking out the legislation requiring Executive pay limits from the stimulus bill.  

This image of high ranking Dems hunched over, rubbing their hands in glee, jumping on the bash-wagon like rats jumping on a well-stocked-ship needs to stop. We need to let the Republicans find their own way, make their own mistakes, fall all over themselves trying to out-conservative each other, threaten each other, and destroy their party all by themselves.

These are scary and uncertain times for the rest of us. I want a rational hand steering the ship, and we have that, and the crew better stop acting like 4th Graders and focus on getting the country back on it’s feet or they will be out on their asses in less than 4 years, with little left to crow about.

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Comments»

1. barry - March 20, 2009

Since you sent this to me I have to respond. Typically in true Liberal fashion. You need to tell Lies to make your point. The left always finds villains with People Like Rush Limbaugh or George Bush. Never with Islamic terrorists who want to kill you!
We all know exactly what Rush Meant. No matter how much mean spirited , hate filled moonbats like Keith Oberman or Rachel maddow will tell you.
Rush did not mean he wants the country to fail. Just his horrible liberal policies, which will be hurtful to the country.
The hypocrisy of it all is almost laughable. The left whines and cries when we pick on the “Messiah”
Yet, you fail to mention that in a poll taken in 2006. 51% of Dems said they wanted George Bush to fail. This is a fact. They also undermined the war on terror and hoped our troops would fail, so Bush would look bad!
All the left could do is find a “boogeyman” like Rush. While Obama puts in the most radical , left wing agenda in American History.
The left doesn’t care that one of the presidents first moves in office was to send $900 million dollars to Gaza, which most certainly will go to Hamas. The Nazis of our time.
He is putting an end to most of the weapons the Bush administration put in to against terrorism. ( I know this is not even on your radar).
He just put a halt to all “legal” raids against all Illegal immigrants! He already has one of the most corrupt administrations in history. I am sure you are not too familiar with history and have read few books. but I can assure you the appeasement of Murderous dictators like Chavez, Castro and your buddy in Iran Ahmadinejad is not the way to go.
In true nasty liberal fashion, you call republicans Racist and homophobic( which I take very much offense at). You cannot debate the true facts. so you call names. which is also laughable. The left ( Keith oberman, Rachel maddow, al franken, move on.org, daily kos) say and print some of the most hateful things I have ever seen and heard. its disgusting!! When Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with Brain cancer all I hear was good wishes from conservatives. When Tony Snow was diagnosed, all I heard was “I hope he dies a slow painful death)….how sweet and compassionate of you guys!
You are right when you say these are scary times. Unfortunately as history shows, the liberal never gets the real threat!
cheers
Barry

2. Circle T - March 20, 2009

Thanks, especially, for the nod to my fellow Georgian, Phil Gingrey!

3. Brook - March 20, 2009

Nice analysis, Liz. You’re right on and I love your writing!

4. Liz Burke - March 20, 2009

HAHA!!!! Georgia never ceases to make me laugh!!!

5. Liz Burke - March 20, 2009

My first hate mail! I am now truly a success!

6. Tommy J - July 1, 2009

Barry, it sounds like you have been ingesting fluoride as you watch FOX News. You know your just (re)itterating Right propaganda? Think for yourself man. But thank you for sharing your completely one sided unilateral point of view. I unlike Liz here am glad the GOP is clawing itself to death. And I smile at the certainty that as your generation gets older mine will come into its own and bring with it progressive socialism, atheism, and hopefully a de-centralized banking system. What is it you support about the GOP anyway? Aren’t they supposed to be fiscal conservatives? It seems they forgot the fiscal aspect when they doubled the national debt and started an 2.33 billion dollar a week war with Iraq for no particular reason. And drop the whole terrorist boogey-man rhetoric nobody is buying it anymore. You sir may be stunned to see that 36% of Americans understand that 9/11 was a black flag operation to throttle America into a proxy war in the middle east, and that “terrorism” is not an actual threat to the US or its citizens. Just as the Lusitannia was to WWI, Pearl Harbor to WWII, the Gulf of Tonkin the Vietnam, and the OKC building was meant to be, so drop the terrorist BS, we are all sick of it and it insults our intelligence that you think we are stupid enough to believe it. But I’m glad to see that a few of you are sticking to your oppressive christian neocon guns. Good luck with that but the people are waking up, we are getting hip to your shit and it won’t stand for long.

P.S. I know this is an old thread I’m not trying to be a necromancer but this guy needed it.


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