Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Garrison - Happy-Go-Lucky Prosecutor Turned Bitter and Divisive

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!



Wilson46201 said...

I have always been amused at the Daniels campaign using "green" as their official color -- wait until Greg Garrison discovers which religion claims that color...

Anonymous said...

God bless Greg Garrison. He's a man without a clue. The country's economy is tanking with gold hitting $930 an ounce and a barrel of oil at $130 moving to $200.
Inflation at horrendous levels with the greenback losing more than the paper they print it on is worth.
Garrison really needs to get out more. If he looks around him he'll see an America on the brink.
Sure, I'd cast my vote for McCain and his lackeys wouldn't you?
As the world caves in around him Garrison is by no means the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Makes one wonder if he drinks too much or is just too stupid.

Anonymous said...

I vote for too stupid.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, IBM hosted another of its annual Global Innovation conferences, where they focused on an emerging trend shaping business, society and public policy and began discussing how to get out in front of it. That year, they focused on the health crisis (note: I didn't say "healthcare"--quite a different animal). The top killer was, and is, heart disease and the gathered members of the medical community noted that this was a disease whose ravages could, largely, be curtailed by changes in habits--smoking, diet, alcohol comsumption, stress levels, exercise. In short, the doctors said, their patients needed to change the same things that they've been telling them to change for the last 50 years!

Even if a person's health was at stake, the doctors explained, these people still didn't make the changes they needed to make....even if they'd had a mild infaction or a stent surgically implanted.

What they found was that only one in nine, roughly 15%, made the necessary changes to their health while the rest suffered increasing angina, diminished quality of life or death.

One out of nine.

Gradual, incremental changes didn't do it--even with knowledge of dire consequences. Sound familiar?

Now, researchers are predicting that one out of every two of our children will develop heart disease or adult onset diabetes due to excess weight--in many cases, before they graduate from high school (a doc friend in AZ tells me of children as young as 8 with Type 2 diabetes!). Our children are predicted to be the first generation that will not outlive their roughly 20 years.

Pediatricians have to crack the parents' disbelief that Junior is simply "big boned" or will just grow out of it. Junior, Twinkie in one hand and Nintendo joystick in the other, is unphased. Pediatricians, themselves, are rallying to figure out how they could be so good in the first several months of a child's life (tracking markers to prevent failure to thrive) and when a child actually has diabetes or heart involvement while they suck out loud with everything in between.

This figure, one out of nine, plays itself out in other places (kind of like the 13,000 weirding that you described in an earlier post). One out of nine new businesses succeed in the first five years. They fail for many of the same reasons I described above, poor habits (and a lack of understanding of the brain-based mechanisms that keep habits locked in place), poor structural supports and rampant justification.

In your post, you point to how Garrison attempted (hopefully for ratings and not because he's so lost in the weeds) to spin Obama's on-point discussion of how we're eating and driving ourselves to ruin for political effect.

One out of nine. Maybe, in a few short months, that will be the number of car owners who will be able to afford to gas up.

Anonymous said...

The late Mitch Daniels Sr would be surprised to learn that his son is first generation American.

You need to take a deep breath and relax, IPOPA.