The GOP “Is Alarmingly Unified”

mad tea party

Berry Craig: Tea Bagger candidates like O’Donnell and Rand Paul in my native Kentucky loathe unions and “big government” as much as the GOP gentry does. Mr. and Mrs. Gotrocks know they can count on Tea Bagger Republicans to keep-government off the backs of the wealthy folks.

Let the “Patriots” Rave

bill o'reilly

Berry Craig: So, my leftist fellow traveler, the next time you get one of those Obama-is-a-Kenyan-born-Islamo-Socialist emails, hit the delete button on your computer. Go outside and enjoy these lazy, late summer days that are fast waning. Let the “patriots” rave.

“It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again” in Mayfield

mosque rejected

Berry Craig: This lifelong Mayfield resident hopes the Somalis submit another petition and get a mosque. There are two shopping centers in town with several empty store buildings.

Republicans Used to Like the Whole Constitution

gop moving right

Berry Craig: In today’s uber-conservative Republican party, President Eisenhower would be a socialist, too, even a Red, and Nixon would be a liberal.

The New Know-Nothings

cactus

Berry Craig: Of course, the Republicans – and even the Tea Baggers – would have us belief that their beef is with “illegal” immigrants. But they’re not fooling anybody. Most of these neo-Know Nothings are white people who have a problem with Latinos north of the border, period.

It’s the Country, Not the System, That’s Stacked Against Liberals and Progressives

Historian Richard J. Hofstadter

Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.

“This Is Really About Tearing Obama Down”

Eugene Robinson

Berry Craig: A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation’s first African-American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down.

Pistol-Packing Politicians and the Prince of Peace

second amendment

Berry Craig: Now one office seeker from the Wild West is appearing in a TV commercial, shooting guns and invoking the Almighty. She’s Machine Gun Gorman, an uber-conservative candidate for Congress in the Arizona Republican primary.

Profiles in Cowardice

bob ford

Berry Craig: naysayers can hide at their computer keyboards and snipe away like Wild West back-shooters. The cyber-bushwhackers are safe in the knowledge that nobody knows who they are. My guess is a lot of them wouldn’t write what they write if they had to sign it.

It’s Plain Whose Country the Government-Haters “Want Back”

tea party racism

Berry Craig: It makes most Republicans and Tea Baggers hopping mad when somebody suggests that outright racism, or pandering to racism, underlies most of their anti-government rhetoric. But there is no denying the GOP is what the Democrats used to be — mostly the white folks’ party.

“Why Is the Media So Anti-Union?”

ill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO, leafletting Louisville packing plant. (Photo: Mandy Dixon)

Berry Craig: Generally, the smaller a paper or TV or radio station is, the greater its bias against unions. Their anti-unionism is sometimes as plain as their front doors, which are often plastered with decals or stickers proudly proclaiming chamber membership. The fact that the chamber is openly pro-business and anti-union apparently doesn’t trouble local media owners about conflicts of interest.

‘Well, That Freedom Ain’t for Me’

Williamsburg

Berry Craig: The show featured a slave mother’s explanation of the Declaration of Independence to her young son. “…Freedom isn’t something that these men plan on giving us,” she said. “…All of this talk is about them getting their freedom, or more freedom because they’re already free….I told him, ‘Son, these are the same men that will beat Negroes nearly half to death…They call us, who God has created, their property…No, son, these men will not free you. And my son looked at me and said ‘Well, that freedom ain’t for me.’

Return of the Doughfaces

teaparty

Berry Craig: The Republicans of the 1850s were democratic revolutionaries. The Tea Baggers are reactionary counterrevolutionaries. Their movement – not coincidentally almost all white — represents some of the worst traits in the body politic, notably racism, sexism, nativism, militarism, jingoism, homophobia, religious bigotry and greed.

Keep Grant on the 50

Berry Craig: When Reagan said he was a “states’ rights” guy, “he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon” and “tapping out the code,” Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times in 2007. “It was understood that when politicians started chirping about ‘states’ rights’ to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you. And Reagan meant it.”

Chock Full of Nuts

s-TEA-PARTY-TAX-DAY-large

Berry Craig: The video shows Tea Baggers answering questions about why they are protesting. Almost all of their replies are the usual right-wing rants against President Obama’s “tyranny,” “socialist agenda” and “onerous taxes.”

Party of “Lincoln and Liberty” More Like Party of “Davis and Disunion”

Lincoln-and-Davis

Berry Craig: My guess is the Tea Bagger-tilting, neo-Confederate GOP is disturbing the eternal rest of some other Republicans. I remember Republicans whose politics were considerably to the left of Dixie Democrats. Some were even liberals to one extent or another.

Tea Baggers, Ku Kluxers, and Red Shirts

Berry Craig: The Tea Bagger movement’s spiritual forebears – the White Citizens’ Councils and the George-Wallace-for-president-in-‘68 crowd come to mind – went apoplectic when Congress passed historic civil rights bills in the 1960s.

Cuéntame: Facebooking Teabagger Bigots

Cuentame

Berry Craig: Caballero also said that “From calling Mexicans ‘filthy, stinking animals,’ to listening the likes of Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin deliver hateful speech after hateful speech, to the increased use of violence in their words and actions, Teabaggers have come out in full force against our community.”

Why Are Liberals Such Wusses?

Weakling

Berry Craig: Turn on the TV. Open a newspaper or a news magazine. Browse the blogosphere. The Republicans or their Tea Bagger pals are tearing us a brand new one. Liberals typically respond by turning the other cheek and crooning another chorus of “Kumbaya.”

Lone Star State History Books and Bumper Sticker “History”

confederate-flag

Berry Craig: Just in time for next year’s sesquicentennial observance of the start of the Civil War, the Texas Board of Education apparently wants new Lone Star State history books that favorably compare Jefferson Davis to Abraham Lincoln.

Love Thy Tea Bagger?

Noam Chomsky

Berry Craig: Somehow Noam Chomsky thinks the Tea Baggers, some of whom are putting out Palin-in-2012 bumper stickers, are ripe for leftist picking. He says Tea Baggers are just plain folks who are angry because they feel like they’ve been shafted by “the system.”

“History Is a Protective Armor Against Being Misled”

Old Car

Berry Craig: Republicans like McCain love it when Buick Guys trash “liberal elitists.” They love it more when Buick Guys vote Republican. Never mind that that the polices of the GOP (and its conservative Southern “Blue Dog” Democratic soul mates) help make the rich richer and leave Buick Guys living in housing projects and driving heaps.

Will the ‘Socialist’ Slam Swell Socialist Ranks?

Brian Moore

Berry Craig: “Conservatives still consider ‘socialism’ to be an all-encompassing evil word,” Moore explained. Thus, tagging Obama a “socialist” enables covertly racist conservatives to “to get away with bigotry,” he added.

Plucked Chickenhawk Still Squawking

Tom Tancredo (top), Saxby Chambliss (bottom)

Berry Craig: Tom Tancredo, who has characterized the Iraq war as “America’s noble sacrifice,” fancies himself as ultra pro-military and a super hawk. The New Hampshire Gazette calls him a “Chickenhawk” because he dodged the draft and Vietnam in his salad days.

Silly Podunk Kentuckians Who Talk Funny

Continental Plant Demolished

Berry Craig: I’ve never heard of a real corporate executive who had a conscience attack and sided with workers at a plant he or she was about to downsize or shut. I don’t know of any members of Local 665 who have found better jobs than the ones they had at the factory.

Boehner, Cantor, and Mitch!

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Mitch McConnell

Berry Craig: I’m glad to see Obama starting to show some spunk. His recent performance at the televised Q&A with the House GOP brass was a great start. It got rave reviews at our central labor council. “He looked those Republicans right in the eye and kicked their butts,” said one delegate, a retired Machinist. “But he needs to do more than that.”

Why Would Union Members Vote Republican?

richard trumka

Berry Craig: The union-haters must still be in hog heaven over an AFL-CIO-sponsored poll that showed most Massachusetts union households supported Republican Scott Brown over union-endorsed Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us

Hubert Humphrey with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Berry Craig: I’m a union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat. I support a public option. But you can bet your snow boots if I were a Bay State voter, I’d have trudged through a blizzard to cast my ballot for Martha Coakley, Brown’s Democratic opponent.

Tea Baggers and “Populist Anger”

Berry Craig

Berry Craig: The Tea Baggers have bought into Social Darwinism, the 19th century gospel of the rich and powerful that extolled the “free market” as almost divinely inspired. “God gave me my money,” Rockefeller said. Social Darwinists said if you’re poor and powerless, it’s your own fault. Some Tea Baggers feel that way about health care. “YOUR HEALTH YOUR PROBLEM,” said another sign at a Tea Bagger rally.

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