When I tell you this, your response is going to be, "WHY???"
I listen to Greg Garrison and Rush Limbaugh. Know your enemy, I guess.
Garrison, rather fittingly, speaks only in extremes. He's the human superlative machine. Everything is the WORST or the BEST, the HIGHEST or the LOWEST, the DUMBEST or the MOST INGENIUS. Nuthing is ever, "Eh." Where Reagan was "the great communicator," Garrison is "the great exaggerator."
Yesterday was no exception. Garrison was picking apart Obama's following comment:
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”
In a startling foreshadowing of his own spin, Garrison actually stated, "You have to flip this phrase to get its meaning," which to Garrison meant Obama is going to prohibit you from owning SUVs, have the government "in your home regulating your thermostat," and use a federal regulatory agency to fine you for not being the right weight.
There was a time, not too long ago (by which I mean "right now under George Bush") when two offices existed called the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport and the Surgeon General. Their respective goals were to get people to exercise and to eat healthier. They didn't support mandatory exercising programs, mind you. They just "used the bully pulpit" to convince people it is beneficial for them (and the nation) to engage in this kind of conduct.
I'm not trying to hurt anybody's feelings, but we, as a country, are overweight. And I don't care how many Moniques you have in the world saying "they love themselves as they are," if you are too heavy, you have greater health risks. This isn't about asthetics, people, it's about avoiding serious medical conditions that result from being heavy. Also, weight is often correlated with energy level, so you see a vicious downward spiral. I tire easy because I'm heavy, and because I'm tired, I don't feel like exercising, which makes me feel bad self-image wise because I'm not making progress, which depresses me and makes me even more lethargic. I daresay that obesity decreases American productivity as well.
If Barack Obama wants to say we need to slim down, I'm all for it. (I'm trying it myself). Same for encouraging us to drive fuel efficient cars and be more prudent about our energy use.
Government leaders have always tried to encourage us to be better than we normally are. I WANT that in a leader. In the 1970's, Republican Mayor William Hudnut of Indianapolis orchestrated a city beautification plan with a simple commercial showing him picking up a piece of trash, wadding it up, and throwing it over his shoulder into a trash can. I still remember that commercial like it was yesterday. The tag line was "Give it the Hudnut hook." And it worked (for a while). People stopped throwing trash out of their cars, and they would actually pick up trash on the street. This was a value (our streets are not your trashcans, numbnuts!) being implemented by governmental leadership, not coercion.
Garrison misses ALL of this and assumes coercion is Obama's goal. But he can only reach this conclusion, even in the faux way Garrison customarily supports his arguments, if he disrgards the entire ending phrase of Obama's comment, which is CRITICAL.
Obama says we can't eat what we want, drive what we want, burn up our fuels like we want AND expect the world to follow our lead. What Obama is essentially saying is that if we want to be a leader in any area, we have to walk the walk. That's common sense...which is why Garrison completely misses the point.
Another thing that bothers me about Garrison is that he continues to refer to Barry as "Barack HUSSEIN Obama." In what way does associating an opponent to a dictator by something as trivial as a shared NAME do anything but poison public discourse? Isn't it sufficient for you, Greg, to attack Obama's alleged "lack of experience" or his association with Reverend Wright? Why do you fan the insinuation that he is somehow foreign or even Muslim, as many people still contend. This is an astonishing whipsaw maneuver. On the one hand, many conservatives argue that Obama is a secret Muslim because he attended a school as a child and wore "funny clothes." At the same time, they attack him for putting his Christianity so front and center, as he did in Kentucky. So, in sum, Obama is a Muslim jihadist except when he's promoting his Christian faith.
This gets me back to Governor Daniels (NOT his real last name). I have said this before. UNTIL Republican commentators like Greg Garrison STOP calling him HUSSEIN Obama, I'm going to call the Governor Mitch DanielSALAAM. Your Governor, as pasty white as his is, is Arabic, something he is very pseudo-proud of it, and I know this because he keynotes at the Arab-American Institute, which gave him an award for his service.
The Governor is first-generation Syrian. You know Syria, that alleged hotbed of terrorism. If anybody has a REAL connection with the Muslim world (even though he has always been a Christian like Obama), it's Governor DanielsALAAM.
Don't get me wrong, folks. I don't care that my Governor is Arabic. In fact, I welcome it. What bothers me is that Governor Daniels has been so silent with respect to the assasination of Obama for the middle name "Hussein." That's why I contend he's only pseudo-proud, or proud when it benefits him politically raising money from the Arab community.
To his credit, I'm told Governor Daniels told a select group of Christian religious leaders that they have to stand up to all religious intolerance and to speak out when Muhammed is attacked. That's commendable. And privately, Daniels would probably call the American soldier who shot the Koran "an idiot." But during an election year, I bet you won't hear him say it publicly.
Every candidate has some version of the "my roots" portion of their stump speech. Something like, "My grandfather owned an olive oil business in Corleone, Italy, and his son, my father, came to American as a child to learn an honest trade and capitalize on the American dream while making offers people couldn't refuse."
Has anybody heard Daniels talk about his Syrian heritage in Southern Indiana? Imagine how much good it would do to combat religious and racial bigotry in our state to know our Governor is of Arab descent, to have him say, "I am a Hoosier, an American, and an Arab." The fact Daniels does not more publicly embrace his heritage makes me wonder whether, if the State knew, he WOULD be Governor. And therein lies the tragedy. It's a great opportunity for enhancing tolerance being lost to political expediency.
So, to repeat, it's Governor DANIELSALAAM, Garrison. DANIELSALAAM!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
When I tell you this, your response is going to be, "WHY???"