Saturday, May 9, 2015



What misperceptions about people like yourself make you the most upset?

"The tea party is racist".

This myth was started by the media, who just couldn't understand how anyone could oppose the agenda set out by the first black president. The tea party actually predates President Obama by a few months,  with a record-breaking campaign money-bomb by Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul.

This event occurred December 16, 2007, which was the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The tea party movement really got its national kickoff on Feb. 19th, 2009, when CNN reporter Rick Santelli went on an on-the-air rant calling for a modern day tea party to protest government spending. This spark set the kindling on fire; kindling that had been set up by Bush's and Obama's spending. Within a matter of a few months, the two of them had spent trillions of dollars in the 2008 Economic Stabilization Act, TARP, The Stimulus bill (ARRA), and the banking and auto-industry bailouts.

It took the media almost no time to pick up on Democratic talking-points that the tea party was racist. My own congressman, Andre Carson, perpetuated this storyline with reluctant help from Rep. John Lewis. Rep. Carson claimed that a crowd of tea party supporters shouted the N-word at him "at least 15 times" as he and Rep. Lewis walked to the capital building to vote on Obamacare. Unfortunately for Rep. Carson, despite dozens of media cameras and recorders, many which were at the scene and following them into the building, no one has ever been able to substantiate his story. In fact, there is a $100,000 bounty for any evidence that this ever happened. The money remains uncollected.

Rep. Carson, at a separate event, also described tea party-affiliated congressmen of wanting to see blacks "hanging on a tree". Many Democratic strategists again picked up on the line that the tea party is a racist organization, despite the lack of any evidence.

The tea party is for smaller government, and fiscal responsibility. Doesn't seem racist to me.

Well, we all have our biases, for certain. But I don't think you have to come up with a conspiracy involving the media, the Democrats, and a specific event to explain why many people think that the tea party is full of bigots. I'm sure there are some racists in any large group of people, and the tea party has to have some then right?

I'll bet you know some people that suspect that President Obama was born in Kenya. Or that he is a Muslim. Now, why would they think that? Why Kenya, of all places? Why Muslim, of all religions? Does it have something to do with his skin color?

But if someone called me a racist, I'd acknowledge that, yes, I do have biases. I'd try to figure out what I can do better.

This reminds me of the idea of a microaggression. Small biases can still hurt, and can add up, like many, many paper cuts.

I think you may be inadvertently proving my point. If enough people say something over and over again, it seeps into the collective mindset, and becomes true for many people. The "I read it on the internet" syndrome. When people in leadership positions say something, it gives it much more weight, whether it's true or not. When African-American congressmen say something happened, and the media circulates it as fact, many people will tend to believe it. Having the Democratic party claim the group is racist, and having the media circulate that as fact seals the deal. After all, the media never lies and is certainly not biased.

Having a few people who are bigots in a large group would not cause the general population to label a group as racist.

Wait, how did I prove your point? I do have biases. We all do. As my very smart 15-year old daughter says: "You can't argue that you aren't a racist, or not sexist. You can only show by your actions that you are not."

If you say someone is a Muslim from Kenya enough times, and the media repeats it as a news story,  before long you have a lot of people who believe it.

But back to the original question, what misperceptions get you upset?

The misperceptions that I find most troubling are those ideas from the right about President Obama... some are really bizarre, and have no basis in reality. For example, the idea that he is a socialist is crazy. I wish he were a socialist! The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare if you like, is anything but a socialist system. Mandatory payments to healthcare companies?

The fact that Obamacare is not a socialist system does not preclude President Obama from being a socialist. If anything, his most recent actions have given credibility to the idea he's a dictator. I don't need Congress, "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone".

The idea of the Federal government, under the President's leadership,  expressing a desire to control healthcare in this country is the reason many people believe he has socialist tendencies.

So, he is secretly a socialist? Hey, wait... you agree that Obamacare isn't a socialist system. That's great!

But dictator? Isn't that a bit over the top? As far as I know, he follows all of the laws of the United States. (Well, we need to talk about drones.) Of course, people are free to question, and even challenge any activity by a President. If they weren't allowed to challenge actions, then that sounds like a dictator. Anything else is just sour grapes, because he does have those rights as a President. Right?

But what I find most troubling about people's reactions to President Obama is that he really isn't all that liberal, nor progressive.

I think he's a typical big-government, tax and spend liberal. We'll talk about Obamacare some other day (we may have to split it into several issues…).

My brilliant niece is correct. (Obviously gets that from the Blank side of the family.)  Look at the actions of the president. He has a total disregard for the regular workings of government. Rather than working towards solutions with Congress, he attacks Republicans in every single speech he gives. Then, he says he's going to go it alone. What does that say about him?

As far as I know, he's not broken any laws, but he certainly has pushed well beyond the constitutional limits of the executive branch. Several of his agencies' moves have been shot down by the Supreme Court  and other Federal courts for exceeding limits placed on them by law. Again, he doesn't feel he needs Congress to get things done. He's unilaterally changed laws, enforced parts of laws that he likes, and has directed the Justice Department not to enforce other laws.

Apparently he can do that, because, as you said, he hasn't broken any laws. So, you are upset that he is working the system to his advantage.

I don't find the the term "tax and spend" to be derogatory, by the way. "Tax and not spend" would be bad. Or, as many Republicans would like: "not tax and spend". That is really bad. But these are just names... let's talk about a specific policy.

He isn't working the system. He's tossed it out. He certainly isn't following the restrictions placed on him by the Constitution.

Actually, he's the reason for gridlock in Washington right now. The President has modified laws to suit his needs, but he can't create laws out of whole cloth.

Take immigration, for example. I think most people would agree for a deal to go through, the border will need secured (for Republicans to get on board) and some type of pathway to citizenship will need to be hammered out (for Democrats to sign on). But Republicans would be crazy to send that bill to the President's desk, because they know he'd enact the pathway portion, but totally ignore the border-security provisions. So, they will send him nothing. It doesn't pay to compromise to get a deal done, when your part of the settlement will be disposed of. The President does not have that right. He is trying very hard to fundamentally change the way American government works, change the balance of the three branches, and not for the better.

I don't think you can blame President Obama for the gridlock. "...Mitch McConnell said in October 2010 that his party's primary goal in the next Congress was to make Obama a one-term president..."  And in Robert Draper's book, "Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives" it is reported that "as President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington."

Gridlock was their stated goal.

Putting on my cynic hat, it is fine for the Democrats if the Republicans don't send the bill, for whatever reason. As long as Republicans are seen as the problem, this will not play out well for them. The number one growing population in the US is the hispanic population. Marco Rubio had it right, before he didn't. Jeb Bush has to walk a tightrope, until the primaries are over.

Predictions: Jeb Bush will be the Republican nominee. If he becomes president, he'll tweak Obamacare slightly, and then it will be called Bushcare (not to be confused with the "Nails and Wax" salon that offers a different service by the same name), and become friends to the Latinos.

Now, there's someone we can both fight against!

I agree. Let's put these misperceptions in the past, along with Bush and the Clintons, and move forward to the future!

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