Sometimes I wish I had been doing this blog back during the Presidential election when political discourse was all the rage....if, by rage, I mean the growing anger of "When the hell is this election going to end?" But alas, I missed the moment; politics when there isn't an election looming lacks something. Now, all we have is the latest "impending (fill in the blank) crisis that will destroy America forever!" Certain doom again? Didn't we have certain doom last week?
As I've mentioned before here at I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, I am a registered Republican and have been my whole adult life. I got it honest from my mother who admired Richard Nixon, liked Gerald Ford alright, could NOT stand Jimmy Carter, just loved Ronald Reagan and thought George H W Bush was an OK kind of guy.
You can imagine 8 years of Bill Clinton were hell for her.
But here's the thing: my mom has experienced the same concerns I have regarding the development of the Republican Party into some kind of circus more concerned with bad mouthing the opposition instead of getting things done, too often looking to what they thought was right for the party, not necessarily right for America.
For example, my mom liked George W Bush. She thought he looked very handsome in his flight jacket. She also thought that deep down, George may not be the smartest guy but he was a good guy at heart. A good guy surrounded by others with less than good intentions or the best judgement.
In 2008, she did something she hadn't done since 1964 when Barry Goldwater scared the shit out of her. She voted for a Democrat. But not just any Democrat but Barack Obama.
Let me tell you, she caught hell for that from some members in her family. And I'll be honest, mosty of that was motivated as much by racism as any true differences with Obama's political and economic views. But mom stood by her decision. The dealbreaker for her was John McCain picking Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. Of all the men and women in the GOP, was this the very best person he could pick? It became clear to her what her function was when she heard her speeches that spent way too much time telling us how absolutely bad Obama was.
My mom may not have known much about Obama but she knew this: this young man, married with two children, was not seeking to destroy the American family, was not Satan in the flesh, was not a radical Muslim, not a hidden terrorist awaiting his orders from a secret cabal. Was he the best man for the job of President? Who knows, really, until someone gets the chance to do what they think is best. She saw a good man who wanted to do right by his country. She didn't know who the hell Sarah Palin was describing. Whoever it was, my mom wouldn't for someone that terrible. She just did not see Obama as being that terrible.
4 years later, she voted for him again. This time, Mitt Romney had left her unconvinced he was going to look after her and people like her. She was left unsure of who he was other than a handsome face in a suit. So was George W Bush; she liked him but look where that got us. She didn't think Romney was going to do much better. She didn't totally agree with Obama on everything. She was bugged by his declaring his personal support for gay marriage. (As a 75 year old woman in the deep South, the fact that she voted for a black guy and is not opposed to gay people existing is probably about as good a sense of progress you're likely to see from her generation. There is no way her mother before her would have even tolerated any of these things.) But she took the broader view and felt he was with her on more things than he was against her.
I love my mom for just being my mom. And I respect that she does what we're supposed to do. She thinks things through and decides what she thinks is best, not just parroting back what she's told she's supposed to think. She knows no candidate is going to be in complete lock step with her views. Go with who you feel is the best person, regardless of their party.
Amen to that!
One of my followers on Twitter is Top Conservative Cat. In the grand tradition of Stephen Colbert, TCC punches holes in the excess silliness of hard right positions by actually posting tweets that support those positions. Today, TCC posted this:
Well, the Bush White House thought Colbert was on the level as a conservative pundit when they invited him to headline the White House correspondents dinner 10 years ago. (The next year, the featured performer was Rich Little who performed cutting edge political humor from 1974.)
So I decided to run with this and came up with 10 (yes, TEN!) other.....
- Hee Haw was cancelled many, many years ago.
- Rush Limbaugh's only partially a carbon based life form.