Friday, March 26, 2010

It's the Republicans Who Should be Scared of the Tea Party

It seems no one in Washington, whether they're a Democrat or Republican, is spared from the public's wrath in the wake of healthcare reform. Wait until the first Tuesday in November, both parties have been warned, the nation's capital is in for another shake-up. The Democrats argue that Republicans are on the wrong side of history and that voters, energized and thankful for healthcare and other social reforms, will vote the donkey party back into another majority of both houses of Congress. Republicans counter that Americans are fed up with big government and the liberal excesses of Obama-nation.

Spicy rhetoric aside, Americans are faced with three choices for government:

1 - A liberal, socially-conscientious system that focuses on inclusion and improvement
2 - A conservative, self-righteous system that aims to keep everyone in their place
3 - The Tea Party, you know, the one whose spiritual leader is Sarah Palin

We all know which way America is leaning.

While the Democrats definitely have their work cut out for them and have to shift their focus back to issues of national security and those two wars we're fighting overseas, it's the Republicans who ought to be scared. Not scared of the Democrats, mind you - they've already lost that battle. No, the Republicans should be afraid of the Tea Party. That rogue group could either drag the GOP into the far right fringes of political and religious extremism or force them to return to their core values of fiscal prudence. Either way, the GOP is pants-down in this situation. At the moment, they're a caricature of a party forced into a serious reckoning with the lowest common denominator of political debate.

Meanwhile, that "hopey changey" thing is working out for the Dems just fine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On Healthcare: It's Good to be Polarizing

Yes he did! President Obama's efforts to introduce a health care reform bill finally paid off last night. A narrow 219-212 vote will now send a healthcare reform bill to the President's desk, after a year of contentious debate that many still think may be the undoing of the Democratic party. As for President Obama, it's certainly curtains for his bipartisan approach to leadership. With a resounding "no" from the GOP, the President and the Democrats must lead the charge for healthcare reform, and it would seem every other major national issue, alone. Is this leadership or tyranny?

If the Democrats have put their necks out on the line in favor of the lofty ideal of granting access to healthcare to more Americans (32 million more of them), so too have the Republicans with all of their fear mongering (death panels! socialism! niggers and faggots!) and their staunch commitment to being the party of "no." This time around the Republicans have lost and all they're left with is a tea party, bitter words, and the hope of divine retribution come November.

The Democrats, and our President, have certainly taken a beating over the last few months. Many, including yours truly, wondered if healthcare was worth undoing all of the progress the party had made over the last two years. Would healthcare, we wondered, send Obama down the path of Jimmy Carter, rendering him a visionary thinker but ineffective leader? It even seemed as if the media, the same people who some say were complicit in placing Obama in power, were reveling in his plummeting approval ratings and the increasingly loud din of the tea party movement.

But here we are, with a momentous victory that casts a ray of hope yet again on the future of the American spirit. Our country has started a new chapter in our narrative, one that is relentlessly optimistic and very much in line with the vision that our country was founded on. A huge gamble was made and we're all the better for the outcome.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Yes, GCL is Still Alive

Dear Readers,

No, I haven't abandoned the blog. Though I should, right? I mean, the Dems just can't get anything right and that Obama, God bless him, he's beyond any sort of help that my little piece of cyber space can offer. With that in mind, I've taken an unofficial break from blogging - James and I took a little vacation and then I went and got myself a new job. Actually, James got a new job too, so we've been all sorts of fun these days second guessing ourselves and fretting over this new chapter in our lives. Anyway, please bear with me for another few days and GCL will be back, stronger than ever. Promise.

Monday, March 01, 2010

(Not) Talking Mom (and myself) off the Ledge

Just weeks after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the headlines herald doom and gloom yet again for another nation in the Americas. This time around, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Chile, triggering aftershocks and tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific. It's only natural, of course, for anyone to be scared and upset by these events, but when you believe that natural phenomena are a sign of the Apocalypse - the end of the world - well, then, how do you remain calm?

Picture it: Saturday morning - after hearing the news of the Chile disaster - I found myself playing hopscotch across the mine field that is my mother's faith and her interpretation of the Bible and world events. "This is it, oh my God, the end is upon us," she'll moan, and after listening to her sob and pray out loud I hear a hasty "I'll call you later" and then a dial tone. By this point, after narrating in Spanish to me what CNN is saying (as I'm watching it in my home), my mother needs a more immediate, visible reaction from an audience, so she hangs up on me to work my father and my brother into a lather. Which means that in two minutes I'll get another phone call, deriding them for not playing along - err, caring about what's going in the world - and then I reassure my mom that I am very much a Christian, and yes, I do believe this is a sign of things to come.

It's a conversation that never gets old for either of us, given our penchant for the dramatic and mutual love of wine. For us, natural disaster + white zinfandel = we're all going to hell in a handbasket, starting with my "stupid" father and my "useless" brother.

I should know better. I shouldn't poke at crazy and make it dance, but I can't help it. For all I've read in school and learned in the world, I shouldn't be so preoccupied with the end of the world, but I am. Call me provincial, accuse me of being scared of eclipses and snowflakes, I don't care. Believing that these horrible events aren't random, but in fact part of a bigger plan, helps me cope with the uncertainty of life in these modern times. Besides, what else would I talk about with mami?