September 29, 2018

Memories and Stories | Cuimhní agus Scéalta

Our memories are our stories. We can construct them in the spirit of vengeance or forgiveness.

Is ár scéalta ár gcuimhní, a bhfuil iad a tógáil i ndíoltas nó i ndíolghadh.

September 8, 2018


From Karli Thompson, Democracy for America, 7 September:

URGENT: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski need to hear from you IMMEDIATELY about Kavanaugh's dishonesty on Roe v. Wade. Will you take a minute to make an emergency call to their offices now?

An email leaked to the New York Times yesterday confirmed what we already suspected: Brett Kavanaugh lied when he told Susan Collins that he believes Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Not only that, but during questioning yesterday, he referred to birth control medication as "abortion-inducing drugs" -- a construction used by the far right to demonize birth control and pave the way for severe restrictions on a woman's right to regulate her own body. ...

A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to strip women of their bodily autonomy. Period. ...

From Zephyr Teachout, 7 September:

At last night's final debate, one of our opponents took the personal and petty attacks to a new level. He took a page out of the Republican playbook and used a gendered attack against Zephyr — calling her "unhinged."

Why? Because Zephyr correctly pointed out that he voted with Wall Street lobbyists to roll back key provisions of Dodd-Frank. ...

From Ben Jealous, Democracy for America, 8 September:

On Thursday night, at his rally in Montana, Donald Trump finally did it -- he attacked me personally:

"In Maryland, the Democrat candidate for governor wants to give illegal aliens free college tuition, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Come on in, free college!"

He attacked my plan to extend tuition-free community college to all Maryland residents, including DREAMers. And he attacked it with the same hateful language he always uses -- rhetoric meant to divide us. ...

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Almost all of such e-mails from these and other campaigns have this tone of desperate import and apocalyptic battle. Granted, they are to people who have already expressed support for the causes, or at least the people and organizations promulgating them, but frankly, they should be a complete turn-off to anyone who has any self-respect.

The first example about Kavanaugh is a baldfaced lie. Twenty years ago, Kavanaugh wrote, as legal vetter of an opinion piece in support of one of Bush's appeals court nominees, that the statement “It is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land” may not be accurate. He did not say that he himself does not accept it as such. And he told Collins that he does.

Similarly, regarding his reference to "abortion-inducing drugs": In the case in question he recognized that the general requirement of the ACA to provide contraception included, indeed, "abortion-inducing drugs" (such as RU-486), which some religious groups could not accept. He also stated in the same opinion "that the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations".

Regarding the second example, I have not seen or even read about the debate in question, but in fact, Dodd-Frank protected potential home-owners only by severely limiting their access to credit. Instead of facilitating families to buy homes on fair terms, Dodd-Frank turned the market over to landlord/investors. The "rollback" that was made was actually good, raising the threshold of assets for a bank to be subject to the severe restrictions of Dodd-Frank. To criticize voting for that change simply because "Wall Street lobbyists" supported it does seem rather unhinged. And it is certainly unhinged to think the adjective is "gendered". Omarosa Manigault Newman's book Unhinged is just one major example of the term's frequent use in reference to Trump.

Finally, Ben Jealous: You weren't attacked personally. Your plan to provide free community college to illegal aliens was. And it was not done with hateful language, but simply mocked on its face.

Almost all "rhetoric meant to divide us" is coming from the Democrats like this. They mischaracterize, lie, and hide behind identity politics in an obvious inability to defend their own policies or honestly criticize policies they oppose. Anything that some of them might have to offer is getting overwhelmed by their continuing derangement over Trump's election. And as long as that dominates (persecution of Trump is in fact Teachout's primary campaign promise), they can not overcome their implicit disdain for voters.

(I am sure that fundraising e-mails from other campaigns are just as bad — I get only these "progressive" ones because I donated to Bernie Sanders's primary campaign. And they rather underscore that they aren't actually very progressive, but little more than politics as usual.)