Mama Was Wrong
“I’ll stop nagging you about everything you say when you quit with the sarcasm.”
That was my life as a teenager. There was virtually nothing I could communicate with my mother that wasn’t met with her constant complaints about my tone, my bitchiness, my sarcasm, my general snottiness. I couldn’t offer up a “good morning” without being accused of moodiness or being menstrual or just been a typical teenager and it left me so frustrated, I simply stopped talking at all. If I was going to be nagged about every attempt at communication, then let her bitch about a grunt or a nod. I was a good kid, an obedient kid and a respectful kid but the last of many kids. I think my mother was just tired of being a mother by the time I reached my teens. Dog knows I would have been. I came to realize, it wasn’t the message, but the messenger.
This reminds me of the modern GOP.
Every day, the leader of the party, Reince Priebus, hits the airwaves to talk about GOP “rebranding”. He thinks it’s all about their “tone”, not in the substance of their message. At the risk of turning into my mother, I wanted to dissect the messages coming out of the Right-Wing of our country just to make sure I wasn’t responding like my tired mother with a perceived petulant teen. Let’s take a look at a few issues:
Dave Agema, Michigan, Republican National Committeeman, ran for his job telling the Party that there weren’t enough “real Conservatives” to stand up to, oh, I don’t know, non-batshit-crazy Republicans? He has no tolerance for Liberals, Progressives, Democrats or even members of his own party who don’t take hard-line stands on every social issue while touting the virtues of “small government”. He doesn’t like taxes. He doesn’t like spending money that doesn’t help the uber wealthy. He despises social programs and Mr. Agema has no tolerance for poor people, single women or homosexuals. Last week, Mr. Agema took to social media to offer up the “real facts” about homosexuality – linking to an article by Frank Joseph, M.D., he stated the following:
“Frank Joseph, M.D. asserted that homosexuals have “between 20 and 106 partners per year,” that “50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals,” and “[h]omosexuals account for half the murders in large cities.”
In a closer look at the article, I noticed it
was posted on a cheap-looking and cheesy website called “Tradition In Action” and clicked on their “ABOUT” link. They describe themselves the following way: “Tradition In Action is committed to defend the perennial Magisterium of Holy Mother Church and Catholic traditions. TIA also works for a restoration of Christian civilization, adapted to contemporary historical circumstances.” So I took a look at who is behind Tradition In Action, and it turns out it’s a man named Atila Sinke Guimarães, an author and self-described “journalist” who has waxed endlessly on the Catholic Church and their cultural and religious relevance on the social issues of the day. His writings have been so thoroughly trashed by credible church historians as to render him irrelevant. I find it fascinating Mr. Guimarães will blather endlessly about the relevance of the Church on social issues while conveniently ignoring the pedophilia rampant among the priests within the church. Until they clean up their mess, a majority of Americans find their stance on the immorality of birth control and homosexuality irrelevant at best and deeply hypocritical at worst.
But back to Frank Joseph, M.D. On the article to which Mr. Agema linked, there lists no credentials for “Dr.” Joseph, no biography, no link to another website or anything about him. I did a Nexus search for Frank Joseph, M.D., and the name is so common, after an hour of attempting searches of the name and “homosexuality”, “gay” or even “deviant”, I gave up. Okay, so I can’t find anything about the author, so let’s take a look at the substance of his treatise on the secret statistics of the American homosexual…
The article was written with a clear anti-gay agenda and not with the clinical precision of a physician accustomed to publishing scholarly articles required to stand up to peer review. He does not use clickable links in his article but posts them in a photo form at the end. “Dr.” Joseph uses information twenty and thirty years old, published during the initial AIDS scare when so much misinformation was being spread about the LGBT community, none of it can be considered credible, all of it being proven wrong with time.
What we end up with is a national figure, using information published by a discredited author, using an article by a mythical writer using antiquated and also discredited figures to attack a group of Americans whose lifestyle isn’t his cup of tea. Not exactly a compelling argument for encouraging others to join him in his little hate fest. There have been calls for Mr. Agema to resign. Typical of the Modern Republican, Mr. Agema has chosen to double-down and continue his attacks on the LGBT community. Of course, he’s not alone. Today, Sue Everhart, chairwoman of Georgia’s Republican party voiced her opposition to marriage equality over the weekend by warning that people will use same-sex marriage to commit tax fraud. Her argument isn’t that homosexuals will use marriage equality as an excuse to commit tax fraud, but straight people will. She said:
“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart said. “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan. I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits? I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal. I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman. There is no way that this is about equality. To me, it’s all about a free ride.”
Ms. Everhart, you fail to realize that current laws on marriage equality do nothing to prevent straight people from participating in this “free ride” you describe. While I give you high marks for creativity, I call bullshit on your claim that the average American will participate in sham marriages to avoid paying taxes, laughable given the tax avoidance scams of the very rich.
So, while Reince Priebus thinks it’s not the message but the delivery, he’s dead wrong. It ranks right up there with the GOP holding a seminar on how to talk to African Americans or telling them to shut up about rape or doing their best to win the hearts and minds of Latinos in order to get their votes. They can’t seem to help themselves.
If every day Republicans must reset their “remark accident” calendar, then maybe it’s not their tone, but the message itself. Maybe they have so many homophobic sexist bigots within their party, it’s time to stop talking about “rebranding” and do something useful, like change the way you think about people who don’t look like you and adopt policies more reflective of the populace. Stop clinging to the big money men who are paying your party to spout this vile crap. Think about it – we spend so much time talking about their ridiculous ass-backward social views, it’s a great diversion so people aren’t paying attention to how the Right is systematically defunding the government to make it unworkable. Who benefits from a government that can’t afford to regulate business or help poor people? Rich people who own big businesses. They want to be completely unregulated so they can rape, pillage and plunder the earth while keeping as many people poor and out of work as they can. If you keep the masses uneducated and hungry, they’ll do just about anything to survive, including turn on one another and bow to the will of their corporate masters.
It’s not the delivery Reince, it’s the message itself. Arkansas Republican Don Young referred to migrant farm workers as “wetbacks”, drawing a rare and open rebuke from House Speaker John Boehner to immediately apologize to the Latino community.
Regardless that 56 percent of Americans fully
support Roe v Wade, last week, North Dakota has all but officially made abortion illegal in their state (unconstitutionally, I might add), by passing a fetal heartbeat bill – meaning no abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Want to know how I’m pretty sure it’s unconstitutional? The Governor signed it with the proviso that the state must set aside a legal fund to pay for the challenge to the law that is sure to come in court. When you have to waste taxpayer money for a legal defense fund because you know what you’re signing is against the law, you’re not acting in good faith, Governor. In using the 6 week benchmark, the state knows most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by that time. And there is no exception for rape or incest here. This is a case of the Republican Party deciding that you MUST carry the product of your rape to term. The fetus has full constitutional rights, but the incubator can essentially piss off. From 6 weeks on, the State of North Dakota owns your ass, girl! We used to call that slavery, but hey, slavery is the new “God and North Dakota Loves Fetuses Program”. Once you’re born, you officially become the slave’s problem. By the way, the new law does not specifically rule out abortion to save the life of the mother, but the law punishes any doctor who performs an abortion with up to 5 years in prison, a $5,000 fine and the loss of his or her medical license, so it’s more likely a woman will die than a doctor will chance that kind of punishment. It’s the price we pay for being God’s children though, right? The deaths of women are a minuscule price to pay for our personal Salvation, right? Boy, if this doesn’t convince women the Republican Party is for them, what will?
And the GOP continues with their cluelessness on the gun issue. With more than 90 percent of Americans wanting our government to pass a comprehensive background check bill, Congress is saying it’s just not American, though that’s what Americans are demanding. It gets worse, of course. Despite the irrefutable facts surrounding guns and domestic violence, the Colorado GOP is set to fight for the right of batterers across their fair land. While it’s true that nearly one-third of all women murdered in the United States in recent years were murdered by a current or former intimate partner, in 2000, 1,247 women, more than three a day, were killed by their intimate partners. Colorado’s motto: “Sometimes You Just Have To Tell The Bitch Twice”. Congrats to the Colorado GOP. They managed to take two issues, women and guns, and roll them up in a single insult.
Reince, your party just “conducted an autopsy” of the 2012 election. You claim the cause of death was in your vocal cords, but you need to find a more opinion neutral coroner. Turns out the cause of death was that your party doesn’t have a heart. With Sam Brownback as the Governor of one of the most socially conservative states in the union (Kansas), I wouldn’t ask the Wizard to take you any time soon to find one there. It’s not your tone, Reince. Your party has no heart. Until you find one, you’re on a fool’s errand to capture the allegiance of women, minorities and the LGBT community for life support.
Mama was still wrong. It’s not your “tone”. And until you accept that undeniable truth, you will remain a party of Tin Woodsmen, rusting under the raining tears of a compassionate America.
Carol Baker is a freelance political writer. She is a frequent contributor to Here Women Talk.
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Excellent. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. The GOP can change the packaging all they want but in the end it’s the same ole shit.
“Think about it – we spend so much time talking about their ridiculous ass-backward social views, it’s a great diversion so people aren’t paying attention to how the Right is systematically defunding the government to make it unworkable.” It’s all part of their grand plan.
When I had my own free-lance research business, the theory was that if you couldn’t find something, most likely it didn’t exist. I’d be willing to bet that Frank Joseph, M.D. doesn’t exist.
They think if they drop a frozen turd in a punchbowl, they can call it an ice cube and we should feel grateful. You and I see it as a vat of spoiled punch. They call it “rebranding”.
If you are poor, a woman, a minority, I believe you’re insane for supporting the Republican Party. They are oppressing anyone who isn’t rich, white and male. I find my worth not in what’s dangling between my legs, but what’s beating in my chest.