You’ve gotta admit, it just doesn’t feel right. Conservatives rail against “illegals” “sneaking across the border” with language laden with racial code — despite the fact that most immigrants are white and just overstay their visas. But then a Christian evangelical white family from Germany is denied asylum and conservatives rally around their cause? Seriously?
From my latest for Salon:
Look, this is how racial stereotyping works. No one comes right out and says, “We only like the immigrants who look like us.” They say things like, “The immigration system worked very well up until the mid-1960s” (Rep. Michele Bachmann) and “White America was kind of unified” in the 1950s, which “made it easier for society to function” (Bill O’Reilly, ignoring that Irish folks like him were once considered non-white). They call undocumented immigrants an “invasive species” that “contributes to the overall deterioration of the culture of this society” (Rush Limbaugh). The racialized message is mostly implied but nonetheless crystal clear — white immigrants, especially from Europe, are good, and dark-skinned immigrants, especially from Mexico, are bad. Which explains how a swath of conservatives so opposed to immigrant rights could be shouting from the rooftops in support of one family from Germany.
Read the rest here.
As the Supreme Court considers two landmark marriage equality cases this week, I look at the growing bandwagon of Republicans supporting same-sex marriage — and how the reasons why might ultimately be more harm than help to the gay community:
In the interest of expediency and bringing as many unlikely conservative allies on board, the gay rights movement may give cover to or even amplify a set of narrow values that rank married families as better than un-married families, two parents as better than one parent — norms that continue to divide up America into good people and deserving families versus everyone else. And even if we temporarily succeed in getting gay folks added to the “good” category, is it worth it? Plus do we really think that’s the way we or anyone else will be treated equally?
The piece looks back at the history of the marriage fight within the gay movement and left to right. Check it out and tell me what you think!
I’m conflicted. On the one hand, I’m happy to see the Republican Party and especially its conservative wing self destruct. On the other hand, I think we need (at least) two functioning and representative political parties for the good of our democracy. Herein lies the rub.
From my latest column for Fox News:
The Republican establishment also seems to be missing the biggest problem, that voters are increasingly rejecting Republican orthodoxy that the party nonetheless continues to push. Witness the House Republican budget, a plan that voters solidly opposed in the 2012 election and in exit poll after exit poll, including rejecting the man who proposed it, Paul Ryan. A party that would double down on such an unpopular agenda isn’t just lacking good data systems but fundamentally tone deaf.
You can read my full reflection here.
Reacting to the faux outrage on the part of conservatives in America that by denouncing a reckless anti-Islam film, President Obama was somehow abandoning the value of free speech, I wrote the following for Salon:
A month ago, when an armed man attacked the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., conservatives blamed the fact that the organization had been labeled a “hate group” for inciting the attack. Never mind that the hate group label was intended to condemn the sort of violence that the Family Research Council’s extreme homophobic vitriol encourages. Tony Perkins, head of the FRC, said that groups that labeled his organization a hate group should be “held accountable for their reckless use of terminology.”
But now, when an offensive anti-Islam film promoted by a right-wing Christian preacher is clearly to blame for violent riots spreading thought the Middle East and appeared to have played a role in the death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, the far right in America is defending extremist rhetoric against Islam and attacking the Obama administration for condemning the inflammatory film.
I hope you’ll read the rest — and join me in marveling at the hypocrisy.
In my latest column for Salon, I reflect on Mitt Romney’s speech at the RNC. I write that Romney may actually be a very nice and moderate guy but it doesn’t matter — he’s just a mask for the unyielding and extreme power of the Republican right:
So what if the speech Romney gave last night might be closer to his inherent temperament than the nasty campaign he’s been running? Who cares? It doesn’t matter either way! The fact is, Mitt Romney is now the candidate of the Republican right, whether they wanted each other or not. The radical wing of the Republican Party is now providing every drop of money and muscle for Romney’s campaign. He owes them and they own him.
In my latest Salon column, I write that no matter how much conservatives try to deny it, Republicans indeed launched a war on women:
Despite the fact that our nation is climbing out of a historic recession and struggling with still-too-high unemployment and other serious challenges, the Republican leaders of the current, 112th Congress have declared passing anti-choice legislation a “top priority.” In fact, the third bill introduced in the Republican House of Representatives was not a jobs bill or a bill to rein in foreclosures but legislation to ban federal funding of abortions. Overall, the current Republican House has held eight votes on choice issues — the highest number since 2000.
And Mitt Romney’s hands are anything but clean. In the essay, I also detail how Mitt Romney flip flopped to become more conservative on women’s issues — and chose Paul Ryan as his running mate in no small part because of Ryan’s own extreme anti-choice record.
In my latest column for Salon, I write that Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin isn’t an extremist exception in the Republican Party — he’s the new norm.
When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more. In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration. He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.
Further in the essay:
Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of. Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.
And then I go on to detail other areas of extremism creeping into the Republican mainstream. Please check out the full piece here and spread it around via the links on Salon’s page.
In my most recent column for Fox New’s opinion page, I explore why Paul Ryan may be a popular choice with the conservative base — but is a disastrous choice for mainstream voters and America. Here’s an excerpt:
Paul Ryan is clearly intended to appeal to the conservative Republican base. As the activist Ilyse Hogue put it, Ryan is most likely to be “voted prom king at Tea Party High.” Conservative leaders still chafing about Romney are practically giddy about Ryan. Glenn Beck called his selection “tremendous news.” Rush Limbaugh said, “We now have somebody on the ticket who’s us,” alluding to Ryan’s right wing authenticity.
And yet, with this choice, Mitt Romney has fully wrapped his campaign’s arms around Paul Ryan’s budget, which Romney previously praised and called on the Senate to adopt. And while the conservative base may be thrilled at the prospect of gutting government to fund more tax breaks for billionaires and oil companies, ordinary Americans are not.
You can read the entire piece here, including details of the Romney-Ryan plan to raise taxes on 95% of Americans to pay for even more tax breaks for the rich.
Republicans are desperately trying to varnish their new vice presidential nominee with the re-written legacy of Ronald Reagan. But Paul Ryan just doesn’t fit the mold. I discuss Paul Ryan’s record — and Reagan’s! — on America Live with Megyn Kelly, video courtesy of Fox News:
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