GOP promised I’d be speaking Arabic, paying $5 for gas and could marry my cat by nowAll Out Politics, Bottom Highlights Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Commentary: All Out Politics
Dear Republicans of 2008 and 2012:
I thought I’d give you a week or so to savor your progeny’s big wins before throwing a wet blanket over your victory party in the form of a reminder about your unfulfilled promises from the presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012.
I know ‘08 and ‘12 didn’t really go the way you wanted. Your elephantine ego has no doubt been feeling a little bruised these past six years. Oh sure, you did have 2010. But we all know what was really going on there: Dick Armey introduced the nuttiest among your ranks to a vague notion of constitutionalism, picked a random event from American history (the Boston Tea Party) with which to harness and dress up racist rage about an African American’s sudden ascension to the presidency and his success in passing sweeping health care reform after others from Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton had failed to do during the course of 100 years.
Then you and everyone else watched with gaping jaws and wide eyes as we in the media actually breathed undeserved life into your Frankenstein monster.
Only now has the political mutation that 2010 spawned finally died. That’s a fact evidenced by the demise last Tuesday of the political life of out gay Republican and Tea Party darling, Carl DeMaio.
Back to those promises you made in 2008 and 2012. You do remember those promises, don’t you? Let’s start with ‘08. You guaranteed we’d all be speaking Arabic if then Senator Barack Obama was elected to the White House. For me, as a journalist, that would be a highly marketable skill.
Now before you lecture me on personal responsibility – you know, that stuff on which you based your arguments against “Hillarycare” back in the early 1990s – I didn’t just sit around waiting to be magically bestowed with fluency in Arabic. I took a class.
Yet, I often find myself sitting in a hot tub with newly settled Syrian refugees at a neighborhood gym in San Diego’s “East County” completely incapable of conversing with them in Arabic. In fact, I only know one person who has learned Arabic since Obama was elected. You promised we’d all be speaking Arabic by now if America chose Barack Obama to lead this country in the post-911 era. That hasn’t happened, not even close. To quote one of your parties beloved sages, Congressman Joe Wilson: “You lied!”
Forget it. Let’s fast forward a little …
Remember the campaign of 2012? You should; it ended just two years ago. You promised, if we wanted to see $5-a-gallon gasoline at the pump, we should just go ahead and re-elect the president. America followed your advice, and I believed you about what would happen. I even bought a Prius for God’s sake! I thought, “OK, I know there are a couple of risks associated with buying this hybrid.”
For starters, I’d have to put up with one of my dear Republican friends chiding me for buying what he “cleverly” (and endlessly) refers to as the “Toyota Pious.” Then there’s the potential expense of several thousand dollars if the hybrid battery goes bad after the 150,000-mile warranty on it ends. There is no extended warranty on the original hybrid battery, just the powertrain and other parts.
But I weighed the risks. I even did a cost-benefit analysis factoring in the $5 per gallon gasoline price that President Barack Obama’s re-election was supposed to ensure. In the end, I found that indeed it would be worth the risks and the cost for me to buy the Prius.
Heck, maybe I’d even get to secretly enjoy feeling just a little bit superior to the dude driving the Excursion next to me at an intersection now and then about saving money on gas – if not about helping cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
But wait. Hear that? That’s the sound of screeching Prius brakes and me exclaiming, “WTF?!” when I saw ARCO’s price for unleaded yesterday. Three effing dollars and five damn cents? That’s it? It’s 2014, two years since Obama was re-elected. Are you freaking kidding me? Where’s that $5 a gallon gas you promised, GOP? Huh, where? You promised. You lied.
Fine. Fine. That’s fine. Cheap gas will help the economy. Hopefully, we won’t resurrect Hummer and all start buying absurdly large SUVs again just because gas is cheaper than it’s been in decades when adjusted for inflation. Unless that happens, GOP, I’ll forgive you for the whole unfulfilled $5-a-gallon gasoline promise.
Removing my tongue for a moment from the inside of my cheek where it has obviously been planted throughout this commentary, let’s acknowledge that like the rotten underpinnings of 2008’s sarcastic GOP promises that we’d all be speaking Arabic if Barack Obama ever became leader of the free world, there is a shade of bigotry equally dark and unforgivable beneath another broken promise from the GOP of recent-past elections.
Perhaps Rick Santorum put it most succinctly when he infamously guaranteed that gay relationships with a Supreme Court seal of approval would create a right to engage in bestiality. He also promised that society’s very fabric would be undermined: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.”
Since that formerly leading Republican made his outlandish promises, America has become a nation where more states allow same-sex marriage than don’t. Yet contrary to dire GOP promises, there has been no rush of humanity trying to marry siblings and house pets.
One would think that even with a newly empowered GOP taking over both houses of Congress, in 2014 such silly warnings would be things of the past. But a new and unexpected opportunity to derail what had appeared to be an unstoppable train of progress toward marriage equality in all 50 states arrived two weeks ago.
With the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that same-sex marriage bans in four states are not unconstitutional, that court bucked what had been consensus among its peers in the nation’s other high courts of appeal. The 6th Circuit has resurrected arguments Santorum’s other homophobes’ repugnant arguments. We will soon enough hear guarantees that same-sex marriage causes everything from incest to Ebola. I promise.
What matters now is how much America has evolved since 2008 and 2012.
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