Monday, February 29, 2016

Is this how the party of Lincoln dies?

I don't like Joe Scarborough very much. In fact, I disagree with this former Republican congressman and current cable TV/talk radio host about most things.

But I certainly agree with his latest remarks about Donald Trump's refusal to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists:
...MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked if "this is how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies," in a column for the Washington Post on Monday.

Scarborough, who has been repeatedly criticized for his apparent on-air coziness with Trump, wanted to know how the billionaire real estate mogul couldn't know who Duke was.

"The first question is why would Trump pretend to be so ignorant of American history that he refused to pass judgment on the Ku Klux Klan before receiving additional information?" he asked. "What kind of facts could possibly mitigate a century of sins committed by a violent hate group whose racist crimes terrorized Americans and placed a shameful blot on this nation’s history?"

Trump has repeatedly bragged about having the "world's greatest memory" so it's hard to believe Trump doesn't know what the KKK stands for, he wrote.

"The harsher reality is that the next GOP nominee will be a man who refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and one of its most infamous Grand Wizards when telling the ugly truth wouldn’t have cost him a single vote," Scarborough said.

He concluded: "So is this how the party of Abraham Lincoln dies?"

During his Monday morning broadcast, Scarborough said Trump's supposed lack of knowledge of Duke and the KKK were "disqualifying."

He's wrong about one thing. Today's Republican Party is no longer "the party of Abraham Lincoln." The GOP abandoned Abraham Lincoln - and any claim to his name - when they adopted their 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists.

The whole point of that strategy was to take the South - all of those racist Dixiecrats who'd been solidly Democratic since the slave-owning days of Lincoln - from the Democrats. It worked, too. It worked remarkably well.

Politically, it was hugely successful. The GOP attracted a lot of northern racists, too, especially when they managed to convince working-class whites to see economic issues in terms of race (thus getting their support for tax cuts for the rich).

And have you seen the absolute hysteria since the election of our first black president? The Republican party is no longer the party of Lincoln. Donald Trump is just a symptom of that, not the cause.

Still, he's a pretty remarkable symptom, don't you think? Can you imagine a candidate for President of the United States needing to think about it for awhile before repudiating the Ku Klux Klan, needing to think about it before rejecting the support of white supremacists?

Of course, what that means is that his supporters will understand, when Trump eventually came out against white supremacy, that he was forced into it by 'political correctness' and the 'liberal media.' His delay will make that perfectly clear.

So now, Trump can claim that he (eventually) made the right decision, while racists will remain convinced that he actually agrees with them. It's just that that hated political correctness forced him to say otherwise. That's a winning argument in the Republican Party. And it might even work for the general electorate - or, at least, the especially clueless among us.

Joe Scarborough said something else about Trump in his broadcast this morning:
“I mean is he really so stupid that he thinks Southerners aren’t offended by the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke? Is he really so ignorant of Southern voters that he thinks this is the way to their heart — to go neutral, to play Switzerland when you’re talking about the Klan?"

Hmm,... will Southern white Republicans really be offended by this? I don't know. These people were wooed into the Republican Party in the first place by racism. But let's just see how much support Donald Trump loses from this, shall we?

If he loses any support at all...

PS. Here's Joe Scarborough's editorial in the Washington Post. It's short, but in some ways, it's even better than as excerpted above. For example, he also says this:
The day I hung up on Donald Trump, I asked on air, “Is this what Germany looked like in 1933?” Later, I warned Republicans that Trump’s rhetoric could lead to a brokered convention where “the party will kill itself.” But it looks like I overestimated primary voters in the early GOP contests. A brokered convention is now just the fantasy of Republican elites and Marco Rubio fans.

Yes. Just imagine that. He compared his fellow Republicans to the Nazis and ended up overestimating them. How often does that happen?

PPS. Rachel Maddow also has an editorial in the Washington Post. She talks about the white supremacists who've been making robocalls for Donald Trump. Then, she continues:
The racist American Freedom Party is technically running its own candidate for president on a “Stop White Genocide” ticket, but its heart is clearly with Trump. A statement from the group announcing that first round of racist robocalls in Iowa called Trump “The Great White Hope.”

Before the first votes were cast this year, Trump’s candidacy was also being hailed and welcomed by the American Nazi Party, the KKK-affiliated “Knights Party,” the skinhead and neo-Nazi online forum “The Daily Stormer” and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

Duke started praising Trump on his radio show during the summer, saying that Trump’s campaign was doing “some incredibly great things,” but he stopped short of fully endorsing Trump’s candidacy. Now, Duke is overtly calling on his supporters to join the Trump campaign: “Voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage. . . . I am telling you that it is your job now to get active. Get off your duff. Get off your rear-end that’s getting fatter and fatter for many of you every day on your chairs. When this show’s over, go out, call the Republican Party, but call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer. They’re screaming for volunteers. Go in there, you’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mind-set that you have.”

Call the Republican Party, call Donald Trump's campaign headquarters, and there you'll find people with the "same kind of mind-set" as KKK members. Yup, I guess so.

Donald Trump could have repudiated this - I mean, clearly repudiated this, right from the start. He didn't. He made it clear - to these white supremacists, at least - that he welcomed their support. He has, in effect, made it clear that he agrees with them.

You see, the very fact that the 'liberal media' had to pressure Trump to (very reluctantly) repudiate the racists, however half-heartedly, just demonstrates to the racists that Trump agrees with them. As I say, it's just the 'political correctness' - which every right-winger loves to hate - of the 'liberal media' - which they hate even worse - which has forced him to say otherwise.

That's exactly what these racists want to hear.

But this still isn't how the party of Lincoln dies, because the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. That died a long time ago.

Make Donald Drumpf again

John Oliver just gets better and better, doesn't he?

Oh, and here's In fact, I just bought a cap. :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Being an atheist doesn't mean that you're rational

Perhaps I should have used the full title? Being an atheist doesn't necessarily mean that you're rational.

Either way, this is a great video - a bit depressing perhaps, but only because people remain people. No, people aren't getting worse. It's just that the crazies can easily find a soapbox - and an audience - these days.

But the solution to problems of free speech is more speech. This video is excellent, isn't it?

John Oliver: abortion laws

John Oliver has been off the air for a couple of months or so. I've missed him. Oh, I've never actually watched his entire show, but I've certainly missed these video clips. He does a great job, doesn't he?

John Oliver makes me miss Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert a little less. Well, maybe not much less. But he's definitely their spiritual successor, wouldn't you agree?

(Yes, I know that Stephen Colbert is still on the air, but his new show isn't anywhere near as good as the Colbert Report used to be. Right now, I'd say that John Oliver is the best at this sort of thing, followed by Seth Meyers. I watch Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore, too, and I enjoy both of them, but I've still got to give the nod to Oliver and Meyers.)

Duh! Of course it's about race!

As TPM points out, this latest snub is the ultimate attempt by Republicans to delegitimize our first black president:
"I'm amused when I hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the Constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there," Obama said.

But in the blatant declaration that Obama should not even put forward a new Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's death, Republicans are continuing to delegitimize a president that they have long sought to undercut. Many observers view the Supreme Court emerging drama in the Senate as the pinnacle of the drawn out, deep-seated and racially tinged effort to block America's first black president from leaving a lasting legacy on the country that elected him twice.

Obama's presidency has been marked repeatedly by moments where opponents have sought to define him as "other." As recently as September 2015, 43 percent of Republican voters still believed Obama was Muslim despite Obama's strong and consistent public affirmations of his Christian faith. Twenty percent of Americans still thought Obama had been born outside of the United States despite the fact that the president has publicly turned over his birth certificate identifying that he was born in Hawaii. [Funny, but Ted Cruz was not born in America, and neither was John McCain. Neither of those facts tended to bother the 'birthers,' though.]

"Clearly, you have an element in the Republican Party who is very uncomfortable with diversity in this country," says Cornell Belcher, the president of Brilliant Corners Research & Strategies and a former pollster for both the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign.

Some congressional actions against Obama have been blatantly demeaning and disrespectful, from the time Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) screamed "you lie" in a visceral outburst at Obama as he delivered a health care address before Congress in 2009 or the time Rep. Steve King said in 2008 before Obama was even elected that that if Barack "Hussein" Obama won the White House, terrorists "would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11."

Earlier this month, the Senate and House budget committees broke with decades-old tradition and decided not to invite the president's budget director to testify before their respective committees about the president's budget, a move that one senior staffer to a Congressional Black Caucus member concluded came "from a dark place."

The Supreme Court fight has resurfaced uncomfortable and troubling questions about the nature of the opposition to Obama and the willingness of his opponents to defy norms and conventions that previous presidents were accorded.

"Reagan appointed someone to the court in his last year, LBJ did the same thing," says Michael Eric Dyson," a scholar and author of The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race. "Why was it legitimate for those men in an earlier epoch, but not Barack Obama? How can we conclude anything but race?"

Of course it's about race. It always was. This has been unprecedented in American history, from the very start of Barack Obama's first term, because a black president was also unprecedented in our nation's history. Many racists will simply not accept a black man in the White House, no matter what. (That includes racists who would indignantly deny being racist, too.)

Indeed, this began even before Barack Obama took office for his first term. Before Obama had proposed anything at all, Republican leaders met and agreed to oppose whatever he wanted, no matter what it would be. And they held to that, even when the Democrats adopted the Republican plan for health care reform.

Can you imagine that, for any other president, for any white president? How about when America was at war? How about when America was fighting two wars, and while our economy was also collapsing in the worst economic crash since the Great Depression? How about at a time of national crisis?

It's absolutely unbelievable that any political party would have done that to a white president, and it's even more unbelievable that they would have gotten away with it, if they'd tried. At any time, let alone at a time of national crisis! Can you imagine the uproar - from the media and the public alike - if Obama had been white?

Can you imagine the reaction if the Democrats had done that to George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan? It wouldn't have happened. Period. Of course this has been about race. The very lies that Republicans spread about Barack Obama are only tolerated, let alone believed, because the president is black.

Oh, sure, they'd lie about any Democrat. Certainly, they'd oppose any Democrat. But the extent to which the Republican Party has sought to delegitimize this president is unprecedented in American history. They don't just oppose him. They're encouraging their supporters to think of Obama as not really a legitimate President of the United States at all.

Don't you know that he's not really the president, because ACORN stole both elections for him? Don't you know that he's really Kenyan, and not really an American at all? Don't you know that he's actually working with his fellow Muslim terrorists, and not really for America? All of this, and more, is said about our first black president in an attempt to delegitimize him. He's not really the president, you see, not really an American at all.

That wouldn't even be attempted if Obama were white. Certainly, it wouldn't work. Even Republicans aren't dumb enough, most of them, to believe the lies they spread about Barack Obama - and Michelle Obama, too, I'm sorry to say - if they'd been white.

And from the very beginning, the disrespect they've shown to the President of the United States would not have been tolerated - not even within the GOP itself - if the president had been a white man, certainly not without the president actually doing something to merit it.

This has to end. America has to decide, once and for all, to move forward, rather than back. To be honest, I don't really care who wins the Democratic nomination for president. But we have got to elect another Democrat - especially given the situation in our Supreme Court - if we want America to survive and thrive in the 21st Century.

The Republican Party's notorious 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists was hugely successful, politically, and they've used that power to do a great deal of damage to our country in recent decades. But it has to stop. We have to become better than that.

The Republican Party has done this to itself. It can't win, not with these kinds of tactics. America, as we know it, will not survive if we keep heading further down that terrible path.

Monday, February 15, 2016

John Oliver: Voting

This is about one thing: suppressing the vote. In particular, it's about suppressing the minority vote and the poor vote. It's about suppressing the vote of Democratic-leaning American citizens. Period.

There are lots of bullshit comments about this video. "Everyone should have an ID." Irrelevant. "IDs are easy to get." Not everywhere. Indeed, Republican politicians are simultaneously closing offices and otherwise making it harder, not easier, for Democratic-leaning citizens to get an ID.

Are you worried about fraud? Why? For two decades, Republicans have searched desperately for evidence of in-person voting fraud, without finding any. At the same time, this solution to a nonexistent problem will likely disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of American citizens. At the very least, it will discourage voting, and our voter turnout is disgraceful, already.

Face it, no one would commit fraud this way. It would be completely asinine - not accomplishing anything, while risking jail time and fines, both. Plus, it would be very, very easy to determine if fraud had occurred, since there's a record of everyone who votes. If in-person voting fraud was a thing, it would be quite easy to demonstrate it.

No, if you really wanted to commit fraud, there are much better ways to go about it - ways that these voter-suppression laws wouldn't affect at all. Heck, at the very least, there's absentee voting. Of course, that would have no effect either, and would be equally easy to discover, but it would still be far more likely than in-person voting fraud.

No, forget all those desperate arguments, and just look at the results. Republicans know as well as anyone that in-person voter fraud is a nonexistent problem, but that these laws have the potential to hugely impact voter turnout among Democrats - not everywhere, but in many states. That's why they do it.

This isn't about voter fraud. It's an attempt to keep some Democrats from voting. Period.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Fact-checking Ted Cruz's climate denial

Ted Cruz lied. Surprise, surprise, huh?

But I was quite impressed by the clever way this video clip demonstrated that.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Best candidate money can buy?

Charles M. Blow calls Marco Rubio "a too-slick-to-be-trusted stripling who oozes ambition with every obviously rehearsed response." And Chris Christie hammered Rubio in last night's debate for being "scripted" by his handlers (which Rubio then demonstrated to the audience by continuing to repeat his prepared soundbite three more times).

But that's not what bothers me the most about Rubio. What bothers me the most is that he's pretty much owned by billionaire Norman Braman.
He has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s campaigns. He has financed Mr. Rubio’s legislative agenda. And, at the same time, he has subsidized Mr. Rubio’s personal finances, as the rising politician and his wife grappled with heavy debt and big swings in their income. ...

A detailed review of their relationship shows that Mr. Braman, 82, has left few corners of Mr. Rubio’s world untouched. He hired Mr. Rubio, then a Senate candidate, as a lawyer; employed his wife to advise the Braman family’s philanthropic foundation; helped cover the cost of Mr. Rubio’s salary as an instructor at a Miami college; and gave Mr. Rubio access to his private plane.

The money has flowed both ways. Mr. Rubio has steered taxpayer funds to Mr. Braman’s favored causes, successfully pushing for an $80 million state grant to finance a genomics center at a private university and securing $5 million for cancer research at a Miami institute for which Mr. Braman is a major donor.

Even in an era dominated by super-wealthy donors, Mr. Braman stands out, given how integral he has been not only to Mr. Rubio’s political aspirations but also to his personal finances.

Now, there's even more information about that teaching job:
Marco Rubio has received plenty of attention - and criticism - for skipping Senate hearings and votes as he campaigns for his White House bid.

But this isn't the first job where Rubio has taken heat for failing to go all in. Documents and records obtained by NBC News suggest that as a visiting professor at Florida International University, he worked less than 10 hours a week and missed three-in-10 classes during his first semester of teaching - all while making more than most part-time visiting professors. ...

For that, he would earn $69,000 ...

Yes, Rubio was paid $69,000 for working less than 10 hours a week and missing three out of ten classes that semester. (And this was at a time of "layoffs and tuition hikes caused by what the university president called 'the most serious budget crisis in our history.'")

Note that he didn't even teach the class by himself. His "longtime friend and pollster Dario Moreno" taught the class with him, and by Moreno's own admission, Rubio didn't even have to grade papers. (If you're a teacher, or you know a teacher, you should know what a huge deal that is.)

So why did the golden boy get such benefits? Well,... maybe because his billionaire backer, Norman Braman, gave $100,000 to the school?

Norman Braman owns Marco Rubio. His money is everywhere in Rubio's life, both his private life (and his wife's) and his public life.

I know that the five Republicans on our Supreme Court have declared that "money is speech," but this guy owns a U.S. Senator and a guy who might well become President of the United States. Certainly, if he does become president, that will be almost entirely a result of Braman's money (which not only bankrolled Rubio's U.S. Senate campaign, but started his political career in the Florida state legislature, too).

This isn't particularly unusual. Now that we've sold our country to the highest bidder, billionaire sugar-daddies are common in the Republican Party. Sheldon Adelson almost single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich in the presidential race in 2012, and Foster Friess did the same thing for Rick Santorum.

Other billionaires are bankrolling their own candidates, or pooling their money into Super PACs. But even for Republicans, the extent to which Braman's money pervades every aspect of Rubio's public and private life is just astonishing, isn't it?

And I'm sure he's got the best handlers that money can buy. Whether or not that means he can win the presidency is an open question. But if this doesn't work, there's plenty more money out there to try with other candidates.

What have we done to our democracy? Make no mistake, we did it to ourselves. Certainly, we elected the Republican presidents who appointed right-wing ideologues to the Supreme Court.

(OK, maybe we didn't elect George W. Bush in 2000, but we let the election get close enough that the five Republicans on the court could appoint him to that position. And the fact that Republicans were a majority on the court was because of our previous bad decisions in electing presidents.)

Of course, when it comes to presidential candidates, the entire Republican slate is horrible. As Charles Blow points out, the top three finishers in the Iowa caucus were "a much-loathed anti-institutional who has shown a pyromaniac’s predilection for wanting to torch Washington rather than make it work; the real estate developer spouting nativist and even fascist policies with the fervor of a prosperity preacher" and Rubio, scripted and packaged and entirely bought.

What have we done to ourselves?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

AronRa interviews Rebecca Vitsmun

Rebecca Vitsmun is always great, isn't she? She's just so sparkling, so funny, so... likable.

The first 15-20 minutes of this is especially good, as she talks about surviving the tornado that destroyed her house (the whole community, in fact) and then being outed as an atheist on national television by Wolf Blitzer.

There's a reason why the video clip of that went viral, and that reason is Rebecca Vitsmun. Watching this, it's easy to see why.

Happy Birthday, Ronald Reagan

Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. Well, if he were still alive, at least. In honor of the occasion, maybe you'd like to read this obituary.
Even at age twelve I could tell that Jimmy Carter was an honest man trying to address complicated issues and Ronald Reagan was a brilcreemed salesman telling people what they wanted to hear. ... I spent the eight years he was in office living in one of those science-fiction movies where everyone is taken over by aliens—I was appalled by how stupid and mean-spirited and repulsive the world was becoming while everyone else in America seemed to agree that things were finally exactly as they should be. The Washington Press corps was so enamored of his down-to-earth charm that they never checked his facts, but if you watched his face when it was at rest, when he wasn’t performing for anyone, you could see him for what he really was—a black-eyed, slit-mouthed, lizard-faced old son-of-a-bitch. He was a bad actor, an informer for McCarthy, and a hired front man for a gang of Texas oilmen, fundamentalist dingbats, and right-wing psychotics out of Dr. Strangelove. He put a genial face on chauvanism, callousness, and greed, and made people feel good about being bigots again. He likened Central American death squads to our founding fathers and called the Taliban “freedom fighters.” His legacy includes the dismantling of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the final dirty win of Management over Labor, the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base, the embezzlement of almost all the country's wealth by 1% of its citizens, the scapegoating of the poor and black, the War on Drugs, the eviction of schizophrenics into the streets, AIDS, acid rain, Iran-Contra, and, let’s not forget, the corpses of two hundred forty United States Marines. He moved the center of political discourse in this country to somewhere in between Richard Nixon and Augusto Pinochet. He believed in astrology and Armageddon and didn't know the difference between history and movies; his stories were lies and his jokes were scripted. He was the triumph of image over truth, paving the way for even more vapid spokesmodels like George W. Bush. He was, as everyone agrees, exactly what he appeared to be—nothing. He made me ashamed to be an American.

Yup, that about sums it up.

Oh, and he was elected, at least in part, thanks to the Republican Party's 'Southern strategy' of deliberately wooing white racists. Remember those famous "Reagan Democrats"? They were working-class white people who'd been persuaded to see economics in racial terms.

Heck, Lee Atwater himself admitted it:
It has become, for liberals and leftists enraged by the way Republicans never suffer the consequences for turning electoral politics into a cesspool, a kind of smoking gun. The late, legendarily brutal campaign consultant Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

Anyway, you can read the rest of that if you want. But here's another perspective on Ronald Reagan:
No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill informed. ... “You could walk through Ronald Reagan’s deepest thoughts,” a California legislator said, “and not get your ankles wet.”

In all fields of public affairs—from diplomacy to the economy—the president stunned Washington policymakers by how little basic information he commanded. His mind, said the well-disposed Peggy Noonan, was “barren terrain.” Speaking of one far-ranging discussion on the MX missile, the Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton, an authority on national defense, reported, “Reagan’s only contribution throughout the entire hour and a half was to interrupt somewhere at midpoint to tell us he’d watched a movie the night before, and he gave us the plot from War Games.” The president “cut ribbons and made speeches. He did these things beautifully,” Congressman Jim Wright of Texas acknowledged. “But he never knew frijoles from pralines about the substantive facts of issues.” Some thought him to be not only ignorant but, in the word of a former CIA director, “stupid.” Clark Clifford called the president an “amiable dunce,” and the usually restrained columnist David Broder wrote, “The task of watering the arid desert between Reagan’s ears is a challenging one for his aides.”

No Democratic adversary would ever constitute as great a peril to the president’s political future, his advisers concluded, as Reagan did himself. Therefore, they protected him by severely restricting situations where he might blurt out a fantasy. ... His secretary of the treasury and later chief of staff said of the president: “Every moment of every public appearance was scheduled, every word scripted, every place where Reagan was expected to stand was chalked with toe marks.” Those manipulations, he added, seemed customary to Reagan, for “he had been learning his lines, composing his facial expressions, hitting his toe marks for half a century.” Each night, before turning in, he took comfort in a shooting schedule for the next day’s television-focused events that was laid out for him at his bedside, just as it had been in Hollywood.

His White House staff found it difficult, often impossible, to get him to stir himself to follow even this rudimentary routine. When he was expected to read briefing papers, he lazed on a couch watching old movies. On the day before a summit meeting with world leaders about the future of the economy, he was given a briefing book. The next morning, his chief of staff asked him why he had not even opened it. “Well, Jim,” the president explained, “The Sound of Music was on last night.”

If I were the kind of guy who'd give up on America (I'm not), I'd say that Ronald Reagan was the beginning of the end for us. He might not have been as disastrous as George W. Bush - and even Bush looks reasonable compared to today's Republican politicians - but this is where we started to go downhill.

Reagan wasn't responsible for everything. He wasn't smart enough for that. But I never understood why he was so popular. With Republicans? Sure. Faith-based people will believe whatever they want to believe, and Reagan was just as shallow as television.

But why he still has a generally good reputation today, I'll never understand.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Elizabeth Warren: America's rigged justice system

This is the person I want to elect President of the United States! Oh, I'll be happy enough with either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. But if I really had my choice, it would be Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

PS. I'm always being told, usually by particularly clueless progressives, that there's no difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties. Look at what Republicans are trying to do in the House of Representatives, as Sen. Warren explains so well, and tell me that.

Hell, look at the plethora of 5 to 4 decisions - disastrous decisions, when all five Republicans have their way - in the Supreme Court and tell me that.

You won't agree with anyone about everything. (I hope not, at least.) But there are huge differences between the parties - and yes, I mean between Hillary Clinton and any Republican, too.

Barack Obama dividing Americans

On Wednesday, Barack Obama visited a mosque:
President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wanted to assure Muslim-Americans that they were an important part of the country’s successes despite the rhetoric coming from some Republican presidential candidates.

Obama delivered his comments in Maryland after meeting with Muslim leaders at the Islamic Society of Baltimore. It marked his first visit to an American mosque as commander-in-chief.

He said that he had two words for Muslim-Americans that he said they don't get to hear often enough: "Thank you," both for keeping the country together and serving their neighbors.

He noted that this is "a time of concern" and "of some fear" for Muslim communities across the United States, attributing some of it to the "inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans that has no place in our country."

“We’re one American family and when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted it tears at the very fabric of our nation," he said.

"We’re one American family and when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second class or targeted it tears at the very fabric of  our nation."

To Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, that was Obama dividing us, "Always pitting people against each other." Funny, isn't it? It's just like how Barack Obama divided America by being black, I suppose.

Obama should have realized that many Americans hate and fear black people. So why divide us by being black?

Likewise, many Americans hate and fear Muslims, so why divide us by telling American Muslims that they're an equal part of our country, one part of the "American family"? That's just so divisive, isn't it? LOL

Republicans, on the other hand, know how to bring us all together. Like this Republican state representative in New Hampshire:
A Republican state representative in New Hampshire on Wednesday submitted testimony to a state House committee hearing arguing that giving public assistance to Muslims amounts to treason. ...

"Giving public benefits to any person or family that practices Islam is aiding and abetting the enemy. That is treason," [Ken] Weyler wrote in his testimony...

Yeah, why couldn't Barack Obama have united us by calling some Americans - including those who've fought and sometimes died for our country - treasonous and "the enemy," based entirely on their religion?

After all, there's nothing that unites people like religious bigotry, right?