It’s getting on late afternoon, which means it must be about time for another Republican debate. They’re showing up more often than rate-increase notices from the cable company. I try to catch as many as I can, because they’re not going to go on forever. By mutual agreement, they are capping the number at 665.
I find them fascinating. But there’s no danger I’m going to be voting for any of these people. I have a pretty basic set of priorities: I want to see serious progress getting away from a dangerous and unsustainable fossil-fuel economy. I want an equitable and steeply progressive tax structure. I want regulation in place to prevent the plundering of assets by a piratical sliver of the population. I want sound science and a long view to prevail over ignorance, short-sightedness and religiosity. I want a single-payer health care system that covers every American.
So what we’ve got in the Republican horse race is the promise not to disturb the profit engine of the private insurance industry, the promise to remove regulation, and several propositions for shoving even more of the tax burden onto the middle class. We’ve got the governor of Texas, which is in the process of flaking off and blowing away, insisting that if the climate is changing, it’s only because it wants to change, and putting his state under the protection of the Dunderhead Fairy. One fellow put out an ad featuring his campaign manager taking a long drag on a cigarette. Not to be outdone, another readied one showing her manager in a Klan hat failing to scoop poop. Meanwhile, all expressed a willingness to drill right into our uteruses in case there’s oil there. The only guy who actually put in a sensible health-care program is swearing he didn’t. To their credit, the panelists did stop hopping up and down and nit-picking and throwing shit at each other long enough to scoff at the theory of evolution; and everyone anticipates the Almighty will show up at some point as soon as he is ready to make an endorsement.
Not my cup of tea, as it were. I didn’t think we had any common ground at all until they weighed in on the Personhood Amendment. They’re in favor. The Personhood Amendment would define a fertilized human egg cell as a human being deserving of all the protection of the law. As a liberal, I agree it’s important to pinpoint the moment a human is created, so we can know when to start taxing it, but there’s a lot of disagreement on what that exact moment is. Some would point to the time of fetal viability; some would say at birth. Some propose a probationary period until age eighteen. Many believe a fertilized egg is at most a potential human, although the same could be said about sperms. (Sperms are unquestionably alive–zippy, even. And you can’t beat their slick delivery system.)
The amendment might have the effect of outlawing many of the most popular forms of birth control, such as the Pill and the IUD, because they make the womb inhospitable to the implantation of the petite human, which would then drift and wither and die before it ever learned how to pull a slot machine. It is being proposed in Mississippi, and no wonder. Sure, Mississippi is already solidly in first place in births to unwed mothers, at over 50%, but Louisiana is hard on its heels. Something had to be done.
At any rate, finally I can get on the same page as the Republicans. I think we can all agree that corporations are just people, too, really large bloaty ones, with their own hopes and desires and Facebook pages, but they’re big enough to take care of themselves. What we need to protect is the fetal corporations, those little entrepreneurial blastocysts trying to grow to the point they can live on their own. And in order to protect and nurture them, the local book store, the cottage industry, the neighborhood fix-it guy, we need to ensure they are able to thrive in their environment. We need to make sure they have an adequate infrastructure, sewers and roads and whatnot, educated workers, and a population of decently-compensated potential consumers. If guaranteed health care were extended to all, that would help them immensely.
So there’s our common ground. Jump on board, Republicans.
Murr’s All-Star gallery of blastopreneurs, in order: Donna Guardino of the Guardino Gallery; Néna Rawdah of St. Johns Booksellers; Timothy of the Community Cycling Center; Barbara McLean of The One Stop Sustainability Shop; and Jehnee Rains of Suzette. Shop local, people!
I am on your side. Your second paragraph has the makings of a solid basis for a great nation. Murr for president and your party for Congress and Senate. Of course, it will prove to be impossible to register you or your party under current state rules which allow only establishment people and parties. Having learned it from America, Putin applies the same rules in Russia where they openly call it "managed" democracy.
Personhood amendment – as opposed to the ERA which was to finally make women persons of equal standing under the law?
I want to see serious progress getting away from a dangerous and unsustainable fossil-fuel economy. I want an equitable and steeply progressive tax structure. I want regulation in place to prevent the plundering of assets by a piratical sliver of the population.
Me too! But that puts people like us at odds with every Fox Noise watching moron who believes as long as I'm okay screw the rest of you losers.
corporations are just people, too, really large bloaty ones
If corporations are people there is a real reason to keep the death penalty.
If you decided to run for office there would finally be a politician I could vote for. I'm not American but if I was I think I would wait to see who the Almighty eventually endorsed. I hope He/She does "save America" and while He/She is at it maybe Canada as well.
Yay for gently nurturing the fetal corporations! As for the "Personhood" amendment in Mississippi, I think it has too many unintended consequences. Or maybe they're intended consequences. In any case I donated to Mississippians for Healthy Families, which is fighting the amendment. Votenoon26.org.
If we want to nurture the little corporations, then we have to buy their products and services. That is what makes little corporations into big ones, right?
Universal health care – we have it here in Canada. In 2010 it was estimated that the annual per capita cost was $5600C (paid for by taxation, of course). Many things, like dental work and drugs, are not covered, but a stay at the hospital will not bankrupt a family.
I can't run for office. There are too many photographs, and I don't have the insomnia for it.
pcflamingo: I think all of those are INtended consequences! I did have the pleasure of watching my house guest fill in the "no" on her Mississippi absentee ballot.
Right on, Margie–anyone who can should stay off the internet to find the very cheapest price for something, and walk down the street and shop where their neighbors work.
Murr, will you be my friend? Please be my friend. I don't think I could survive the sarcasm if you ever took against me. You are right on, brilliant, and scathing.
I agree that abortion terminates a human life. I don't know that is necessarily the worst thing that could happen. I have worked with too many un-wanted, un-loved "accidents." A life of abuse, self-loathing, and despair, or no life at all – which is better?
This is killer: "As a liberal, I agree it's important to pinpoint the moment a human is created, so we can know when to start taxing it, but there's a lot of disagreement on what that exact moment is." Thank you for that.
This post is brilliant and should be required reading for everyone, especially Republicans.
"So what we've got in the Republican horse race is the promise not to disturb the profit engine of the private insurance industry, the promise to remove regulation, and several propositions for shoving even more of the tax burden onto the middle class."
Yet they wonder why, oh, roughly 99% of their own party isn't satisfied with the slim pickins. Apparently the horses' promises aren't resonating.
And Romney reveals his lack of principled-ness every time he opens his mouth. Recently when he asserted his "political position" that life begins at conception, he said that belief is not informed by any theology. So what does inform his political position? Certainly not science. Not any respect for women.
Oh oh oh! I know: It's informed by his politics, i.e., whateverthehell I gotta say to get elected.
Im gonna go ahead and agree with nearly all of this…. great post. You know Im almost tempted to vote out the incumbent in every race… no matter if I like them or not… to send the message….. "you lawmakers are all guilty by association".
Wow, what a great post, I couldn't agree more with your take on things. I followed you here from Betsy's place (What makes you think I have cats?) and I'm really glad I did. It's not often I am so entertained by a kindred spirit. Just a glance at your blog roll and your archives makes me glad I don't have much planned tonight! Nice to meet you.
I think I have fallen in love with you. Your hopes/wishes/political leanings are so close to mine. You just express them better. And I really admire your courage in watching the debates. I say bad things to the television in political season here in Oz.
I love this post! Thank you.
1. We need to shift the Overton Window (look it up) towards "NO SLAVERY FOR WOMEN."
2. How many religions offer either last rites or memorial services for the 25 – 33% of fertilized eggs that result in miscarriages? NONE! Too many hypocrites spoil the broth.
3. If corporations are now people, it's fair to ask them to prove their patriotism. And community-mindedness. And generosity.
How tragic that, as the world hurtles off the edge of reason, Republicans have limited their choices to a group of potential nominees who are either unaware of the problems facing us or uncaring. No one is listening to anything even vaguely approximating the wisdom you impart. You just might be the best blogger I follow. You are consistently a joy to read and to savor.
This site is frightening, and I'm sure there are some Republicans who will try to shut you down. The problem? Way too much common sense here, and expressed so well, by a whole bunch of people.
Actually, I think you're starting to sound like a Canadian. Wow, a Canadian living the the United States?! Awesome! There's a chance for progress yet!
Hip Hip hooray for Murr Brewster! You said it all so well. You go girl!!
Personhood for a zygote? If we're assigning personhood, how about a real goat? They're lots smarter–as are the other animals suggested for personhood, dolphins among them and, of course, educated turtles, sez this turtle tutor. Koko the signing gorilla claims it for herself, and being able to say so has to be worth something. "It's interesting that for years, Koko has answered the question 'Who are you?' by signing 'Fine animal gorilla,' but more recently Koko has responded with: 'Fine animal person gorilla' or just 'Fine person gorilla.' (koko.org, Gorilla Foundation)
Rob-bear has it right. There's a whole bunch of people contributing to this site via their excellent comments, but it's apparently not scary, because I have no trolls. I will know I have arrived when somebody really hates me. Which would be their loss, because I'm perfectly adorable in person, if you're not put off by drool.
Thank you, Rose, Rose, Betsy, and lifeintheboomerlane (which I resemble)! And KNiZ, who made me look up Overton Window. In my little way, I've been trying to shift that window. Once an architect, always an architect. Oh wait. I'm not an architect.
I love you more with each brilliant blog you produce. You are the prime example of the enlightened human being.
Thanks! Have I landed on your blogroll yet?
"Have I landed on your blogroll yet?"
You'll be on mine, shortly.
I can't even begin to find the inner resources to say things as well as you do, so when I read your posts all I can comment is Right ON!
brilliant post and it should be
required reading for everyone,
Bdw comethru my blog sometime +follown
I hereby dub thee an honourary Canadian. The Queen doesn't know but she would probably agree if she did. Oh don't get me wrong, Murr, we've got some of those Texan types up here too. In fact, one of them got voted in as Prime Minister. But it's a national sport to keep an unflinching eye on our politicians, wield the sharp sword of sarcasm when necessary and knock the arses down to size (slightly below my knees and I'm short). In that regard and with the skill with which you do it, you could be a good Canuck. As it is, you're a damn fine Amurcan. You give hope to all of us who still care.
Love your blog. Thanks for posting to mine so I could find yours. And I think I shall link to yours.
Hallelujah and Amen!
If Barack Obama starts repeating your second paragraph over and over and over, he will win the 2012 election going away. Great post!
Just flat brilliant Brewster. Geez, I which I had thought of that. But I'll dang sure vote for it.
You don't really need any more people to tell you how great you are and how great your writing is, but here I am telling you just the same. It's so comforting to know there is someone in the world that I completely agree with.
I"ll be the judge of that, Anne! And oh, Tiffin, an honourary Canadian? REally? That just makes me all tingly, and a little chilly. If only you had Drop Bears.
The Republicans sure do love the fetus but hate the child especially any special needs or governmental assistance it may require. Gotta love you and your blog!
You may stop clapping now, Murr.
You must be syndicated in the newspapers of the world, the internet, Huffington Post. Why don't they find you—we need to get your articulate voice out there.
I must not be, shaatzie. Nobody's sending me a check.
Man, Murr! I could be a Republican too!
"I want to see serious progress getting away from a dangerous and unsustainable fossil-fuel economy. I want an equitable and steeply progressive tax structure. I want regulation in place to prevent the plundering of assets by a piratical sliver of the population. I want sound science and a long view to prevail over ignorance, short-sightedness and religiosity. I want a single-payer health care system that covers every American."
Murr, the above has just become my personal elevator speech. I'm in Pokhara, Nepal, and should just be enjoying the hell out of what's here, and I am, but whenever I get a chance to get to the interwebs and read your blog I can't help adding my voice to the growing number of Murr fans. But I agree you shouldn't run for office. The system couldn't stand the shock, you would unhappy, and who would we look to for our daily dose of hilarious reality?
Adding to your excellent list, I'd like to see the men and women who've been through hell in Iraq and Afghanistan get the mental health treatment they need and the benefits they deserve. The Republicans like to pose as the pro-troop party, but they are on course to resist absolutely any measures the Super Committee might float, thereby allowing all vet benefits, including retirement pay and medical treatment, to take a shameful hit.
Love you, Murr, and love it when you turn that laser wit on right wing idiocy.
Murr for President! I'm on your team, girl.
Now that Andy Rooney has retired from 60 Minutes, I think you should apply for the job. You definitely deserve a larger audience, my friend. Observations like this are just genius. I, of course, couldn't agree with them more.