AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Opinion

September 25, 2013

Are liberals afraid of standing up for policies?

Editor's note: Stephen Dick, 60, a newspaper columnist and associate editor of The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind., died at home Monday of natural causes. Dick's weekly political column was distributed by CNHI News Service and published in CNHI newspapers across the country. At The Herald Bulletin, Ind., Dick directed news coverage. He previously worked for The Kokomo, Ind., Tribune and Alexandria, Ind., Times-Tribune.

He was also an award-winning editorial writer.

Dick was a resident and native of Muncie, Ind. He was a Ball State University graduate and served in the U.S. Navy.

This is his most recent column.


******************************

What are liberals afraid of? At the Missouri State Fair in August, a rodeo clown, a white man named Tuffy Gessling, walked around in an Obama mask.

An announcer told the clown to stay put. Don't you want to see Obama gored by the bull? he asked.

Cheers went up from some of the crowd. A Daily Mail report later noted that rural Missourians don't take to President Barack Obama's policies.

The skit was done in jest and was taken to task by Missouri officials. (Tuffy was banned from the fair forever.) Regardless of the skit, what should be shocking is that rural Missouri voters don't vote for Democratic policies - though they should. That ought to perk up the ears of Democrats everywhere.

We've heard all the reasons for this phenomenon. Journalist Thomas Frank summed it up well in his 2004 book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" just before George W. Bush was re-elected.

Frank wanted to know why people vote against their economic self-interests by casting their ballots with Republicans. He did a fine job answering the question.

Evangelicals vote against abortion, school prayer bans and anything that hints at sexuality, and they associate those issues with Democrats.

Less-educated voters see minorities and immigrants as threats to their livelihoods and associate the empowerment of those two groups with Democrats.

Never mind that their livelihoods often are impacted by the type of cutthroat capitalism that Republicans cheer.

In the 30 years since Reagan, Democrats have always played bridesmaids to the GOP's bride when it comes to policy.

Even when the Dems held a majority in Congress, they were conciliatory to the opposition.

They followed Reagan down the yellow brick, supply-side road. They waved flags as both Bushes went into Iraq. They shuddered when Newt Gingrich unveiled his Contract for (should have been "on") America.

They taped their mouths shut and sat on their hands when Clinton vowed to end big government as we know it. Impeaching Bush junior after lying to go to war and sanctioning torture was "off the table," according to Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker.

Compare that to today when Michigan Rep. Kerry Bentilovio, a tea-party Republican, said it would be a dream come true to impeach Obama.

"I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him, and I couldn't stand being there," Bentilovio said in a quote picked up by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times.

As Dowd summed it up, "For some of the rodeo clowns clamoring for impeachment around the country, Barack Obama's real crime is presiding while black."

After two centrist Democrats -- Clinton and Obama - party members seem appeased just to have their logo on Pennsylvania Avenue. Those presidents and members of Congress have done very little to promote Democratic policies.

As a result, Republicans have moved steadily to the right, and ideas that were once howlers when Barry Goldwater espoused them are now the norm.

We get bank deregulation, war without end, war on women and minorities, and an economic system that rewards the rich for being rich.

It's not only Democratic cowardice to stand up to the right-wing surge. The right has a highly organized network of think tanks and deep pockets (think Koch brothers) to feed free-market, undemocratic ideas to Republicans who take them all the way to the goal line, especially in some states where they command huge majorities.

Liberals have nothing like this. They sit back and think that the common sense of Americans will eventually triumph.

I confess I don't know what liberals are afraid of. But the 2014 midterm election is just around the corner, and Republicans are already demonizing Hillary Clinton well ahead of 2016.

What are liberals doing? I don't know, but I know what they should be doing.

Published Sept. 21, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Forced-pooling hearing should include those affected

    It's hard, after all we’ve seen, to imagine that the long-simmering debate about fracking for natural gas is as simple as either side says it is.

    April 18, 2014

  • Protecting reporters and the right to know

    If it had been solely up to government officials at the time, how much do you think Americans would have learned about the Watergate break-in and the White House cover-up that followed? Maybe nothing.

    March 12, 2014

  • Dispute over meetings warrants public attention

    Something funny is going on in Pulaski Township.

    February 7, 2014

  • Mister Rogers vs. the Unity Tree

    I was walking by Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue last week when struck by our city’s “Unity Tree.” It’s a curious thing about the Unity Tree: it only comes out at Christmas time — yes, Christmas.

    January 17, 2014

  • Drilling anywhere in PA has implications for all

    If you drink water, read this.

    January 10, 2014

  • Sudden snow sometimes creates idiots on roads

    Spring in December seemed to have sprung last Saturday when the sun was shining and the mercury rose above 40 degrees. The prediction of freezing rain for Sunday appeared way off the mark.

    January 3, 2014

  • Online gambling study ordered for Pennsylvania

    Coming on the heels of a report noting that total revenue from Pennsylvania slot machines for November was down 1.3 percent from last November, the state Senate recently passed a resolution, calling for a study of gambling in Pennsylvania, including the possibility of legalizing online gambling.

    January 3, 2014

  • Obamacare stumbles over the basics of signups

    Every new program is bound to have a few glitches. But what’s happening right now with the nation’s new health insurance program and online signup efforts is disturbing. And it creates uncertainty regarding the entire concept of health care reform.

    November 26, 2013

  • Anti-cyberbullying efforts may be having effect

    Parents everywhere must be rejoicing, because a new poll suggests that cyberbullying among students seems to be decreasing.

    November 26, 2013

  • A veteran, 90, recalls Patton, Ike, freedom

    I recently took my two teenage sons to a talk by Frank Kravetz, a 90-year-old World War II veteran who survived Hitler’s Nuremberg prisons. Frank published his story in a memoir, “Eleven Two: One WWII Airman’s Story of Capture, Survival and Freedom.”

    November 26, 2013

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide