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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

GOP takes nation on a sharp turn to the right: Are they going too far?


The rabid right-wing of the Republican Party, swept into office in Congress and taking over statehouses in many states because of widespread voter dissatisfaction with the status quo, is wasting no time putting their conservative agenda into play.

A rapid push to restrict abortions while expanding gun rights is sweeping the nation, put into place by GOP governors and state legislators who see their election as mandates to do whatever they damn well please.

Democrats find themselves out manned and out maneuvered from one end of the country to another as Republicans push through polling station photo ID laws, clamp down on public employee unions.

Reports The Associated Press:

A tug to the right was in the cards ever since voters put the GOP in charge of 25 legislatures and 29 governors’ offices in the 2010 elections. That is turning out to be every bit as key to shaping the nation’s ideological direction as anything happening in Washington.

A close-up review of the first wave of legislative action by Associated Press statehouse reporters shows the striking degree to which the GOP has been able to break through gridlock and achieve improbable ends. The historic and wildly contentious curbs on public sector bargaining in Wisconsin, quickly followed by similar action in Ohio, were but a signal that the status quo is being challenged on multiple fronts in many places.

The realignment in Florida has produced a law imposing more accountability on teachers, along with 18 proposed abortion restrictions, some bound to become law. Immigration controls are motivating lawmakers far from borders, constitutional amendments against gay marriage are picking up steam, Michigan is shortening the period people can get jobless benefits and Indiana may soon have the broadest school voucher program in the U.S.

At least 20 states are going after public-sector benefits, pay or bargaining rights.

Republicans rammed through a law closing Virginia’s 21 abortion clinics.  Missouri Democrats sat back and offered little resistance when the GOP passed a tax break for business that they had stopped for the past 10 years.

About all the shell-shocked Democrats can do is hope Republicans will overreach and turn off voters. Polls suggest that is happening with voters suffering “buyer’s remorse” and wondering why they put the party of the elephant into power.

“You can’t get up on every issue when you’re in the minority,” Missouri state Sen. Tim Green, a Democrat from St. Louis. told the AP. “So you pick the ones you’re most passionate about.”

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35 thoughts on “GOP takes nation on a sharp turn to the right: Are they going too far?”

  1. As to the question posed by the article’s title, yes, the Republicans are going too far. So did (and will) the Democrats when after the excesses of one the electorate chooses to throw in the other. Each election has degenerated into a bait and switch plan that only crawls out of its hole after the election.

    It must be borne in mind that the success of the Republicans was due primarily to the ineptness of the Democrats. President Obama has turned out to be “all hat and no cattle” as they say in Texas. His version of aggression morphs quickly into petulance.

    The nation is not being served. It’s the other way around, with the agenda(s) of both parties paramount, regardless of the damage done to the fabric of our society. And that to me is the rub; do these people not see that they are pouring very corrosive agents upon the glue that holds our society together?

    Recently I ran across a quote from Lincoln, in which he was discussing the lack of accomplishment of many of his generals at that time in the Civil War. He said, “The chicken is the wisest of animals, for it does not cackle until AFTER it lays an egg.”

    What’s being laid all over the place sure doesn’t smell like eggs.

  2. No matter who we elect and for whatever reasons, we Americans always seem to be afflicted with “buyer’s remorse.”

    Why? We vote for change, but when some one actually tries to implement it, we don’t like it.

    I can’t wait to see if we field a candidate willing to run on the “I won’t change a damned thing if I’m elected” platform or an “I’m a don’t-rock-the-boat, status quo kinda guy” platform. If we value honesty from our candidates, they should all run on such slogans.

    Have your cake and eat it too? Not these days. America is in deep shit. Our country has changed radically and seemingly irrevocably in the last 100 years. It will take radical and immediate change to right this ship.

    Social issues are a distraction. Both parties need to lay them to rest. We need to work toward restoring fiscal and monetary sanity. We need to restore free and fair markets. We need to end managed trade deals for the benefit of the few.

    We need to end the Fed. End Wall Street speculation and the various other forms of financial rape. We need to end the wars. for starters.

  3. clearly the conservative activist SC has ruled that everyone should be allowed a weapon and i choose for everyone an AK … the federal government should disburse an AK w/ one box of ammo to everyone who can walk

      • And they issue ASSAULT RIFLES, no less.

        Boy Keith… who’d a thunk it… what with the Swiss murder rate, and all!

        • Those evil, right-wing Swiss extremists! I think we need to bomb the piss out of those heathens. As soon as we’re done with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and newcomer Libya, of course.

          Get in line folks, anti-war, we-won’t-babysit-a-civil war, Nobel Peace Prize-wielding Barry Soetoro is at the helm, and he wants you to be freeeeeee! Weeeeeee!

  4. I enjoy the Canada comparisons with their 3% total population being Black and Hispanic. Take a look and examine murder rates and incarceration in the U.S.A. by Black/Hispanic/White/Asian. Almost like when a comparison of our economy is made with Sweden.

    I’d love to see strict gun control legislation in the states but that’s not happening soon. I’d also like to see our drug laws addressed since that could certainly alleviate some of our burgeoning prison population.

    • Pointing out facts is now considered racism. Not to mention that Canada’s total population is around 34 million, only nine million more than the state of Texas.

      Stricter gun laws would only make more victims of violent crime. Maybe, just maybe, if we had a little more prosperity, a few million more high-paying jobs, there wouldn’t be so much crime.

      The “War on Drugs” has to end.

    • As you wish… per the March 2011 article on Political Calculations via Google:

      “In 2006, Canada saw 606 homicides, while the United States experienced 19,160. Let’s next take the relative sizes of each nation’s population into account by finding the number of homicides in each country for each 100,000 people.

      We find then that Canada saw 1.94 homicides for each 100,000 people in its population, while the United States saw 6.42 homicides for each 100,000 people in its population. These figures represent an apples-to-oranges kind of comparison however, because they do not take the racial and ethnic makeup of each nation into account.

      That’s important because of the pattern we found in the United States for who kills who. Here, we found that the vast majority of the offenders in homicides are of the same race as their victims. Because the United States has very large minority populations (blacks and Hispanics) which are largely absent in Canada, we must exclude the numbers of homicides of black and Hispanic victims from the U.S. totals to make a much more accurate apples-to-apples kind of comparison of U.S. homicides with Canadian homicides.

      The chart below reveals what we found when we compared Canadian homicides with the portions of the U.S. population that most closely resembles the Canadian population:

      After comparing just the portions of the U.S. population that is most similar to the makeup of the Canadian population, we find that the U.S. sees approximately one additional homicide per 100,000 people than does Canada, with 2.87 homicides per 100,000 people compared to Canada’s 1.94 homicides per 100,000 people.”

      Of course, the stats do lie, as we can’t really escape all those murderers who were discounted from the intermediate analysis.. which says the US has a total murder rate of 3.31 times that of Canada.

      Guess Keith won’t be quite so warm and fuzzy in Canada now, knowing his chances of getting killed there are about 1/3 of those here – even in Toronto, which has a rate close to the total rate for Canada. Oh well, can’t live forever.

      • Almandine wrote:Because the United States has very large minority populations (blacks and Hispanics) which are largely absent in Canada, we must exclude the numbers of homicides of black and Hispanic victims from the U.S. totals to make a much more accurate apples-to-apples kind of comparison of U.S. homicides with Canadian homicides.”

        Nice try…but no cigar.

        Minorities are NOT “largely absent” in Canada! Indeed, Canada sports a whole province full of Francophones (in Quebec) who seem to get along just fine with their Anglophone counterparts there and in the rest of the country..

        And while persons of English heritage still make up some 21 percent of the population in Canada, nearly 16 percent are French, 15 percent are Scottish, 13 percent are Irish, and some 10 percent are German. The rest of the county is made up of a whole patchwork of immigrants from other races, countries and cultures.

        The truth is that, dating from the time of Confederation in 1867, Canada has ALWAYS been a multicultural society made up of of a multitude of different minorities who, for the most part, still seem to get along.

        And aren’t persons of color and Hispanics in the USA just as dead from gun violence as their Caucasian brethren?

        Any way you try to cut it, the bare, per capita numbers relating to violent crime and homicides tell an absolutely GRUESOME story about what life in the United States has now become for many American citizens. And your (and others) feeble attempts to manipulate those statistics along racial and/or ethnic lines to make them tell a far less gruesome story is absolutely laughable.

        The bottom line here is that I and my family STILL feel safer walking the streets of Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver than we do walking the streets of New York , Chicago or Detroit.

        Perhaps that’s because we ARE.

        • I think Keith touched on the root of the issue earlier — it is a matter of American culture to be more violent. The guns don’t inherently cause more violence, they are merely a symbol of a more violent people.

          Strict gun control would not be an issue if enough Americans had a different attitude, one that didn’t associate safety with armament. There is a clear psychological condition, one based on fear and defense, that causes many folks to feel the need to have weapons handy. I do not have that fear. I’m sure those that do will think that I am naive. I think that they are paranoid.

          But statistics show that I will be as safe, or safer, during my life, even though I am unprotected by armaments. I have no expectation that what I have said will have any effect whatsoever on the attitudes of those who “need” their guns, just as they will not convince me to be afraid of imaginary threats.

        • Firstly, you will see that I did not write that bit you quoted, but as stated clearly… it taken directly from the PoliticalCalculations website, as were the stats you claim I tried to manipulate. Note that the quote ends right before I stated, “Of course the stats do lie…” and based my conclusion only on per capita crime rates… hiding nothing.

          My point in all this is not to deny the violence in our culture, nor other essentially pornographic (not merely sexual) aspects of our society, which has truly gone to the dogs. My point is your simplistic approach to your argument, which could easily be explained away as the big bugaboo by other competing influences. Thus, the iron fist of govt approach in Singapore can be the real reason their people don’t commit violent crime, and as stated below, the Swiss issue assault rifles to every single male 18 years old or older, without horrendous consequences.

          As for logtroll’s following assertion, I too feel safe without weapons handy, even though I do own hunting weapons kept locked away. Perhaps the reason that feeling of safety seems natural is because I don’t “walk the [back] streets of major cities at night” or perhaps the culture in my local city of one million inhabitants is not really that much to worry about. Sorry you feel the need to worry wherever you are.

          • You gents may now be onto something….that a lot of this has to do with vast differences in culture.

            Indeed, in Canada, many of the people I interact with on a daily basis seem to perpetually feel the need to say “I’m sorry”, even when the alleged slight is so small as to be all but unnoticeable. It’s almost as if “I’m sorry” has now become the national motto.

            In the USA, that same slight is often grounds for someone to blow the perpetrator away with an AK-47.

            • Or as is almost universally the case here, as well, the slight goes unchallenged or merely receives a look, a word, a gesture, or the feeling that the person is having a bad day.

              Don’t know about you, but except for war, I’ve never actually known a person who got “blown away”.

              • Almandine wrote: “Don’t know about you, but except for war, I’ve never actually known a person who got “blown away”.

                How about that little 9 year old girl (and a Judge) down in Tucson a while back whose only “crime” was that they were attending a rally for their local US Congresswoman…a lady who has also now been permanently maimed as a result of gun violence?

    • I have to agree. Increases in violence can be correlated to increases in poverty and population density and not gun laws. We can just as easily point out increases in violent crime in Great Britain where guns are outlawed.

  5. Hmmm…A brief reading of a few news articles concerning the Virginia law to “restrict” abortions reveals not a law to restrict abortions at all, but one that would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospitals. But still we see the “left” condemning this as a restriction on access to safe abortions.

    And of course we all know why the “left” loves abortion. So these so-called “liberals” won’t have so many black babies around that may have the chance to grow up and carjack their Lexus’ or spew more C02 into the atmosphere. But they paint it as a women’s rights issue, particularly a poor women’s rights issue.

    One might reasonably argue that this is indeed a “back-door” restriction on abortion or a means to force the closure of some clinics. If so, then make that argument.

    Would we have the same argument if this pertained to your average hospital? After all, abortion isn’t exactly a tetanus shot. Hospitals are heavily regulated.

    As for the rest, when had freedom become a radical right-wing ideal? Oh that’s right – ever since we’ve been told how dangerous it is.

    • Do you have any evidence to support your contention that ” So -called “liberals” won’t have so many black babies around that may have the chance to grow up and carjack their Lexus’ or spew more C02 into the atmosphere.”?

      That’s a pretty rash (not to mention racist) statement. Would you care to now back it up with some facts and figures?

      The truth is that there are many progressives in this country (like me and my family) who absolutely abhor the continued NEED for abortion.

      Folks like us firmly believe that if there were more education made available to poor women regarding their contraceptive and other choices in the matter (as opposed to the Bible thumping, Christian Right’s near obsessive preference for “peddling ignorance” in such matters…perhaps the NEED for widespread abortion might eventually go away entirely.

      It’s been my experience that education always trumps ignorance. And it is largely ignorance that is driving the shockingly high abortion rates we now see in our country.

      • Yeah I guess it’s racist to point out racism in others. I’m not talking about your average ne’er-do-well “liberal” either, but the ones in government that no more give a crap about the plight of the poor or minorities than they do about you or me.

        Education? I find it hard to believe that poor black women don’t already know that having sex can lead to pregnancy. Moreover, I’m sure they may be quite aware that condoms and other forms of contraceptives are readily available from those same clinics where they do go once they get pregnant.

        They sure as hell are educated enough to know where to go once the damage is done. And who might be the ones to educate them? The schools that they drop out of when they’re twelve years old? Their teachers, who don’t give a damn about any thing but surviving the day without being stabbed or beaten? Their parents?

        There also happens to be plenty of resources – some of them even run by evil Christians – that offer education and counseling to pregnant women where abortion isn’t the only alternative on the menu.

        Do you really think all these Democrats love blacks? Or do they just love the black vote and the women vote?

        LBJ was an overt racist, but he fought for and passed the Civil Rights Act, despite immense pressure and at great peril to his reelection bid. Does that mean LBJ suddenly was no longer racist, or does it mean that even a racist can be an otherwise moral person, and not let personal prejudice stand in the way of what is otherwise moral?

        Does telling the truth mean that I’m racist? If so, I’ll be sure to inform my black friends Wyatt and Shaq (yeah he looks like Shaquille O’neal) and my Columbian friend Estoban.

      • How would one “back up” a personal observation on bystanders’ motives with facts and figures related to the act of abortion? It’s his opinion… as is yours above regarding guns and violence.

        The fact that you cited a few numbers on overall crime that didn’t even address your contention about gun lovers’ values and culture… given your obviously expert command of statistics… clearly shows the lack of applicability such tangential numbers can bring to supporting opinions.

        But go ahead… call him a racist. What folks like you firmly believe is that ONLY you have all the right answers… and only you should decide what everyone should think, feel, believe, say, etc.

        BTW – what caliber of firearms are they using in those shockingly high numbers of abortions? Clearly, those docs must be homicidal maniacs.

  6. I think the gun rights are back in the media because all over the world, when the citizens of any nation show disapproval of the government, the government seems to want to ban guns.

    We can all agree that both parties screwed all of us over the years since the end of WW2. The hovering black cloud that warns us all of the end of times is nothing but a message from some devil worshipper. The one world order under Bush 41 was fed by the religious right who wanted another Christian Empire to take what we wanted from other nations. I will never understand why Americans gave into this plan without a single warning sign.

    The voters frankly did not give damn about their own futures financially and allowed their own children to lapse in academics. What the hell happened to our values?

    When I became aware of the internet I felt America would have a stage on which to protest our lazy ways. Am I the only one who calls religion a cult? I was here. I owned a television in the early 60s and was horrified at what the major television studios called entertainment. I remember burlesque with the pratt falls and pies in the face and there it was coming into my living room. I tossed the damn thing out.

    The best education must come from the home with several generations adding to the agenda of why America is special. Just thinking about the migrants who came here to be free were threatened by the white male straight Christians and there was no peace in any city.

    In the years that I have been on line, I have met few free thinkers. This God thing did a job on American citizens and anyone who can read can trace this back to the years of European Renaissance days. America had its own inquisition and it is in full force today within the Republican Party.

    I do not believe in God but I believe in human development. Every child that is told to disregard evil things like evolution will lose some of the human talent to think in depth. Our universities are developing robots to do the math for their projects. They even have decision makers programmed to think like a human. When they program God into the hard drive, they will blow themselves up.

    Almandine, Capitalism cannot survive under corruption. The free will to grow in the system must rely on a culture of honesty. America lost this culture many years ago when it turned to the Lobbyists to run the nation.

    The only solution is relegated to the Congress and it is why we must know how these critters will run the nation. I’m not certain anyone could have predicted the movement against Obama. Obama cannot rewrite the tax laws and he cannot stop racism. This open hatred for Obama came from several sources. The GOP charged him with being a Muslim and many media critters charged him just because he is black. It doesn’t take much for the south to rise up again when they elect men like Hayley Barbour and the Christian ministers who will do anything to ban homosexuals. The American voters don’t even want to think about these issues.

    We are heading for a time where we must take sides on the issues and bring the wing-nuts out of the house and senate if by their phoney hair pieces.

  7. Translation: “Welcome to the United Police States of America””.

    Sadly, our once benevolent and welcoming USA is looking more and more like an armed camp…a nation that ALL foreigners (not just those who would do us in) are now staying away from IN DROVES.

    It would also appear that these same far right wing nuts are now clamoring for a return to the largely unregulated, “free market capitalism” that their Republican predecessors put in place back in the late 1990s.

    That’s when “free market” Republicans like Senator Phil Graham and his like-thinking buddies pushed for repeal of part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, thereby opening up the US financial market among banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies.

    Up until that time, the Glass–Steagall Act had very effectively prohibited any one financial institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company. Graham and his wing-nut followers believed that banking regulation should be left up to the banks. In essence, he and his cronies put the “Fox in charge of the Hen House”.

    Today, there is no longer any lingering doubt that the large scale repeal of Glass-Stegall was one of the principal underlying causes of the global financial meltdown of 2008 that has since put not only the USA, but the rest of the world into the financial toilet. We are largely still there.

    And I also find it absolutely fascinating that it’s often the far right (mostly Republican) “Bible Thumpers” (you know…those absolutely irritating people who continually wave their beloved book in our faces…you know, the book that tells us “Thou Shalt Not Kill”) who are often the very same people now pushing for expanded gun rights.

    Dare we call all such people hypocrites?

    • Bill Clinton signed Glass-Stegall… revving up the corporatism and cronyist banking that are not free-market capitalism… gun rights are not tantamount to love of killing… and it’s not only those on the far right who embrace liberty, something you clearly have no interest in. THAT attitude is what welcomes the Police States of America.

      • You contend, “gun rights are not tantamount to killing”.

        I respectfully disagree.

        As I’ve noted in other posts on this subject, I firmly believe that our US “wild west” culture…a culture that since our country’s founding, has officially enabled (if not encouraged) personal violence by allowing ordinary citizens to have easy access to lethal weapons and other firearms…has a lot to do with the fact that ours remains among the most violent cultures on the face of the planet.

        Perhaps a comparison of the rate of such violent crime in some of Canada’s “big cities” (a country where there are very strict controls on the private possession and use of firearms) versus the USA will better illustrate my point.

        In 2007 for example, the homicide rate for the Canadian city of Toronto was 3.3 per 100,000 people. Now, that’s a lot of homicides! However, that rate PALES in comparison to other US cities like Detroit (33.8), Atlanta (19.7), Chicago (15.5), San Francisco (13.6), Boston (10.3) and New York City (6.3). What’s more, Toronto’s homicide rate is only marginally higher when compared to other large Canadian cities like Vancouver (3.1) and Montreal (2.6).

        Toronto’s robbery rate also ranks low, with 207.1 robberies per 100,000 people, compared to Detroit (675.1), Chicago (588.6), Los Angeles (348.5), Vancouver (266.2), New York City (265.9), Montreal (235.3) and San Diego (158.8).

        The low crime rate in Toronto has resulted in that city having a reputation as one of the safer cities in North America. Recent data from Statistics Canada also shows that crime has been falling steadily in Toronto’s census metropolitan area since 1998, a total drop of 33% for all crimes reported between the period 1998–2008.

        Now, all of this begs the obvious question: WHY?

        What’s so different about the crime rate (and particularly the homicide rate) in a large Canadian city like Toronto, as compared with equally large American cities like Detroit, or Atlanta, or Chicago?

        I still contend a LOT of that difference has to do with the fact that the ownership of guns (particularly handguns) is highly restricted in Canada.

        And Canada isn’t the only place that enjoys a low crime rate because guns in private hands are tightly controlled.

        Singapore is well known for strict restriction on gun ownership. Gun ownership is restricted to sports shooting and owners are required to have all of their guns secured at the armory of a registered club.

        And, as Singapore (like Canada) has strict controls on firearms, hardly any crime is committed with guns. Indeed, Singapore’s overall crime rate is one of the lowest in the world In fact, their Regional Security Officer (RSO) recorded that the total number of cases of criminal homicide in the country at the end of 2007 was approximately…are you ready for this…EIGHT!

        That’s NOT eight hundred or eight thousand…that’s EIGHT! And THIS in a country of nearly 5 MILLION people!

        So, please don’t continue trying to make the case that widespread gun ownership is NOT a significant contributor to a country’s high rate of gun violence and that we, as private citizens, are somehow “safer” when we are all armed to the teeth.

        These comparative statistics are telling us something else entirely.

        • You bungled the quote… vis-a-vis the “love” of killing… because your interpretation, of course, can’t be sustained except by twisting the facts:

          Regarding Singapore as a model of civic decorum, a couple of passages from the US State dept travel website:

          Singaporean authorities define “arm” as any firearm, air-gun, air-pistol, automatic gun, automatic pistol and any other kind of gun or pistol from which any shot, bullet or other projectiles can be discharged or from which noxious liquid, flame or fumes can be emitted, and any component thereof. This definition also includes any bomb or grenade and any component thereof. The unlawful possession of any arm or ammunition could result in imprisonment and caning. Any person convicted of committing a crime with an arm could receive punishment which could result in the maximum penalty of imprisonment for life and caning.

          Singapore customs authorities’ definition of “weapon” is very broad, and, in addition to firearms, includes many items which are not necessarily considered to be weapons in the United States, such as dive knives, kitchen knives, handcuffs and expended shell casings. Carrying any of these items without permission may result in immediate arrest.

          There are strict penalties for possession and use of drugs as well as for trafficking in illegal drugs. Trafficking charges may be brought based on the quantity of illegal drugs in a subject’s possession, regardless of whether there is any proven or demonstrated intent to distribute the drugs. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Singapore has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses. Singapore police have the authority to compel both residents and non-residents to submit to random drug analysis and do not distinguish between drugs consumed before or after entering Singapore in applying local laws.

          Visitors should be aware of Singapore’s strict laws and penalties for a variety of actions that might not be illegal or might be considered minor offenses in the United States. These include jaywalking, littering and spitting. Singapore has a mandatory caning sentence for vandalism offenses. Authorities in Singapore may also impose caning for immigration violations and other offenses.

          Singapore enforces strict laws pertaining to the propriety of behavior between people and the modesty of individuals. The Singaporean law “Outrage of Modesty” is defined as an assault or use of criminal force on any person with the intent to, or the knowledge that it may, outrage the modesty of that person. Penalties may include imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, caning, or a combination thereof. Men are sometimes accused of inappropriately touching other people, often women, resulting in their prosecution and punishment under this Singaporean law.

          There are no jury trials in Singapore. Judges hear cases and decide sentencing. The Government of Singapore does not provide legal assistance except in capital cases; legal assistance may be available in some other cases through the Law Society.

          Seems to me that when it comes to crime and punishment, the folks in Singapore are worried about most everything… and they damned sure can’t defend themselves from anything. A regular paradise, eh?

          • Amandine wrote: “Seems to me that when it comes to crime and punishment, the folks in Singapore are worried about most everything… and they damned sure can’t defend themselves from anything. A regular paradise, eh?”

            Believe me, its a wonderful feeling knowing that I can walk down almost any street in Canada…including most large Canadian cities…at all hours of the day and night and be 99.9 percent sure I won’ t be mugged or killed.

            That single feeling is well worth any restrictions the Canadian government might decide to place on the private ownership and use of firearms.

            It has often been said that the PRINCIPLE job of government…any government…is to keep its citizens alive and free. Allowing (or in the case of the United States, enabling) its citizens to also blow each other away by allowing them to posses all manner of lethal weaponry seems to me to be very much at odds with that one simple principle.

            As I noted earlier, I firmly believe that our US “wild west” culture…a culture that since our country’s founding, has officially enabled (if not encouraged) personal violence by allowing ordinary citizens to have easy access to lethal weapons and other firearms…has a lot to do with the fact that ours remains among the most violent cultures on the face of the planet.

            Unfortunately, and as the debate in these threads has suggested, that “wild west” culture is now horrifically embedded in our psyche in the United States of America and is clearly not about to go away anytime soon.

            And while I will readily agree “guns (in and of themselves) don’t cause crime” I also find it extremely hard to discount the equally compelling argument that their easy availability to ordinary citizens in the United States of America is certainly a major contributor to our country’s relatively high crime rate (particularly its homicide rate) as compared to other nations.

            Specifically, if the relatively easy ability to obtain and then carry a concealed firearm were NOT options open to that certifiable nut case down in Tucson who shot and critically wounded one of our members of the US Congress, I doubt seriously whether a funeral for this absolutely innocent 9-year old little girl who just happened to be in the line of fire would have made headline news.

            For, just as such things as airline crashes and other such horrific disasters often entail a series of human decisions and the ability to carry them out, so, too, does the ready access to such widespread lethal weaponry in our US culture often lead to (and thereby enable) the final decision to rob someone at gunpoint…or blow them away in the heat of the moment as was the case with this little girl.

            That is, without ready access to a gun in the mix, I firmly believe the (obviously mentally disturbed) perpetrator of such horrific human agony might very well have thought twice about committing such a horrific crime. And if he hadn’t thought twice (or was incapable of doing so), at least there may have been some forewarning to others about exactly what he was preparing to do.

  8. Doug, you hit the top priority on banning abortions with the right message. The GOP has become the religious right and every chance they get they will focus on a religious agenda. You must remember the early days of Reader Rant when your members went a bit crazy following the prohibitions set by President Bush 43. I know you had some health problems and the quality of the forum went manic.

    We are in a different period at this time but the leaders of the religious right have gained power within the party agenda basically because that is all they have to offer. When President Bush put the churches on federal payroll the church leaders took over the GOP.

    I found that during this time of the neoconservatives many of us fiscal Conservatives were not accepted as citizens and members of the internet political forums. It was a time of downsizing the influence of the women. The combined Christians on CHB tore the hell out of rational discussions including the spending of millions of dollars building God into everything Republican.

    The only action that any dedicated American can follow will be to take the Republican Congress back to the beginning of their party plans. The history of the Christian churches destroying entire governments is an old plan; this time it worked. I fear they have gone too far with their terrorizing the American voters with fears of hell and damnation.

    Very few here have any interest in separating the church and state so any effort to unseat the GOP will be a failure. I believe we waited too long to even discuss stopping these religious right wing nuts and they have made their dirty little world of hypocrisy into the new GOP.

    I regret that they turned ugly on President Obama but that was to be expected. In my opinion, he is no closer to being what is needed as far as leadership is concerned but he is miles ahead of any Republican currently being discussed.

    We have no action to counter this mess and we will all have to sit tight and wait for the results of the next two years. With cuts in Social Security and Medicare pending on the seniors in America, many are looking at Mexico to be able to afford to live any longer. The GOP will redesign our entitlements to reflect Christian values. I remember the days of finding blood soaked girls who died of botched abortions in dirty motel rooms. The GOP solution to this was to force the women to raise unwanted babies as punishment.

    This sounds like the old days of the European inquisition where the churches were thrilled at how many of their parishioners turned in their own wives and daughters for recognition.

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