Nel's New Day

August 20, 2012

Moderate Conservatives Drink the Kool-Aid

The closer we get to this year’s general election—78 days at last count—the “moderate” Republicans start to drink the Kool-Aid and buy into the talking points that their party leaders spit out. One example is a columnist for Portland’s The Oregonian, Elizabeth Hovde, whose yesterday’s column began by extolling Rep. Paul Ryan, VP nominee, for his youth before leading into the standard Fox lies regarding the supposed virtue of the GOP.

Hovde is a complex person. Even before she had a skiing accident 18 months ago and spent a few weeks in a coma, she showed a liberal side. For example, one of her early columns supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act to give women a right to sue for fair pay. In another she wrote, “Health care needs to be a right rather than a privilege. It makes no sense to offer fire protection, police services and a K-12 education to citizens while denying basic life care to people.”

Most recently, she agreed that the Supreme Court decision that requiring minor children convicted of murder to die in prison is “cruel and unusual punishment.” She also accepts marriage equality and opposes charging women more for health insurance than men.

In the past, she has been open about the results of her traumatic brain injuries (TBI). She has written that one cognitive change after TBI is “problems with judgment.” She certainly showed poor judgment in her most recent column.

One of Hovde’s claims is that “social issues … are no longer center-staging mainstream Republican agendas.” Obviously, she ignored all the anti-abortion bills that rolled through the House in the past 18 months, possibly because she was recuperating during half that time. Almost nine months ago Ryan supported the Sanctity of Life Act, a bill stating that “human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.”

As recently as June, the House tried to pass an anti-abortion for Washington, D.C. but failed. This was the month after all except seven Republican House representatives voted in favor of a bill imposing fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions to control the child’s gender. The “war on women” during the past year has also featured the Republicans’ outrage at women getting free contraception after the Catholic bishops riled up the GOP faithful. The Republican party platform also calls for constitutional amendments prohibiting abortion and legalizing personhood.

LGBT rights is another front-and-center social issue of the GOP. House Majority Speaker John Boehner leads the charge to maintain DOMA, the 1996 law that prevents marriage equality by spending $1.5 million from tax payers on lawsuits—and that’s before the case goes to the Supreme Court. Mitt Romney has promised to overturn the law that allows lesbians and gays to openly serve in the military.

Republicans also push school vouchers to the extent that they would eradicate non-religious schools. In the meantime Republicans are intent on allowing prayer—Christian, I’m sure—in all public schools. And they want to also violate the separation of church and state by allowing judges to post the Ten Commandments.

Climate change is another big social issue for Republicans. Because they don’t believe in human-caused climate change, Republicans strive to remove all regulations, ensuring that human influence on the climate destroy the planet. Stop health care, move everyone off welfare, get rid of immigrants—the GOP list goes on and on in the arena of social issues. Young people may be less concerned about social issues, but that isn’t currently the Republican voting base.

When Hovde asked Romney about the lack of young people in the Republican party, he gave the party line: “As they recognize ours is the party dedicated to preserving freedom for ourselves and our friends, … they’ll learn ours is their party.” Part of freedom for me is give women control over our bodies and recognizing marriage equality. These are two freedoms that Republicans are determined to take away from us.

One very annoying statement in Hovde’s column, again straight from Republican lying talking points, is the piece about the top 10 percent of households paying more than half of the federal taxes. As always, her statement suffers from the sin of omission, that the top 10 percent makes almost half the income in the United States. The top 10 percent, as of 2007, controlled 70 percent of the country’s wealth; they can afford to pay 50 percent of the taxes.

Also in 2007, the top 20 percent of households have 85 percent of the assets in the country. Since then, the bottom 80 percent has lost even more to the top tier of wealthy people. If the home is subtracted from the assets, the top 20 percent has 93 percent. I can guarantee that the people who pay “no” taxes, according to the myth that Social Security and Medicare taxes constitute “no” taxes, would be delighted to pay more if they had a salary increase.

Another of Hovde’s statements is that “Obama wants to keep boosting failing systems.” Showing how wrong she is will take an entirely separate column, complete with charts. She also said, “Republicans want to shake things up.” I cannot have any faith in a party with no ideas, that just wants to “shake things up” without providing any benefit to people. Sounds like an earthquake or tsunami to me, and these are disastrous.

A year ago, Hovde wrote about how disadvantaged children of divorce are in their education and personal growth. A few months after that column, her husband left her and their two children, explaining that her accident had taught him that “life is short.” I wish the best for all of them. But I would like to think that Hovde learns about the trials that poverty causes for people no matter how hard they try to act responsibly, as Republicans think all people can do. Unless, of course, she’s lucky enough to have other money to support her.

1 Comment »

  1. Elizabeth has manifested herself into a nasty and bitter woman devoid of compassion. I could care less of her heroic awakening from her ski accident, that’s not the point; she floats outrageous opinions in the local press that defy empathy. She’s just another Oregonian hack like David Reinhard that will say anything or write anything for a dime. I can’t imagine anyone, other than a sociopath spewing garbage about fellow Oregonians in need, while at the same time giving Mitt’s ilk a pass. Liz is almost as nauseating as Orin Hatch. She has no business writing opinion pieces.

    Like

    Comment by Jerry C — September 8, 2013 @ 9:58 PM | Reply


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