Sunday, October 24, 2010

NAACP - Caught In The Tornado Of Tea Leaves

Caught In the Tornado of Tea Leaves
A.H. Scott

Oooh, I guess I'm going to step my toe into the stormy debate that's happening in this country. Well, here's my short take...

Why is it that the NAACP would waste their time and energy on a group of people that don't give a damn what they think about them?

The fact is, it isn't the candidates (of the Tea Party & GOP) that is the problem. The problem is the electorate, who are going to vote for them.

No candidate is the problem.
The electorate is the problem.

And, before going any further; those who are going to vote for the Tea Party & GOP are not some blind mice, who don't know what they are doing.

Going back to the theory that implies people are voting against their own best interest.

I see things just the opposite. I think the people who are of voting age know exactly what they are doing and who they are voting for.

And, in some ways, what the NAACP is doing in going after the Tea Party movement; has weakened the potency of this organization. Being blunt, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the last group that persons of the political persuasion within the Tea Party even consider in their minds.

In fact, President Ben Jealous is playing into the hands of those Tea Party members. He must understand that his words fall on deaf ears. There is nothing that the NAACP will say or do, which will make those who believe in the Tea Party or GOP to change their political focus.

From Christine O'Donnell in Delaware to Sharron Angle in Nevada and then Joe Miller in Alaska; those who support them know exactly who they are voting for. With only two weeks left until the November election, nothing anyone from the outside of their political ideology says will make them think differently.

Don't try to change other people. It's a fight that can never be won.

Candidates such as this trio mentioned above and many others across the country have an agenda. It may not be one that the NAACP and mutual groups may agree with. But, then again, a candidate is just the potential figurehead. Those running for office are the vessel for change. It may not be the change that I believe in. Yet, the emptiest of vessels are filled with the votes of those who believe in a certain cause.

Democrats and the NAACP should stop focusing on the Tea Party as the flashing neon light. Those who disagree with the Tea Party and their political brethren should take a closer look at the filament that provides the illumination of an election.

Filament for this period of American life, is a bubbling dissatisfaction with the government. And yes, at this point in time, it is headed by Democrats. C'est la vie! The donkeys are the ones in the dock of being judged.

This historically lauded organization, which has done so much for the rights of all Americans; has been in a tizzy over the Tea Party. It's sad to admit this, but the NAACP has begun to spin around chasing its own tail.

Chasing one's tail, takes the eyes off the prize.

More over, they have fallen into the trap of their opponents. Just like the fly into the spider's web, President Ben Jealous has taken the bait.

On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 program, dated Wednesday, October 20, 2010; NAACP President Ben Jealous was a man of stature, who began shrinking as the interview with Anderson progressed. 

The reason for Mr. Ben Jealous being on this program was the NAACP releasing a report on the Tea Party. Yet, it soon turned to the subject of the report's underlying ideology.

Bingo! Focus is shattered, once again!!!

Mr. Jealous was left at one point during this interview on CNN, using the blanket of using the - MacArthur Genius Award label as some sort of armor against the questions that he was truly refusing to answer. 

Now, Anderson Cooper doesn't need me to defend him against being biased against Mr. Jealous or the NAACP. But, I think I will have to do that a bit.

A simple line of questioning about Leonard Zeskind, led to the heart of the reason why the NAACP had done this report and study on the links between persons in the Tea Party and other extremist groups. Now, in no way am I diminishing Mr. Zeskind's work at the Institute for Research and Education of Human Rights. But, I am pointing out that those who oppose all that Mr. Zeskind and Mr. Jealous' organizations stand for, will never accept any form of study or report that they place in the public square. 

To my way of thinking about this situation, those people who agree with the Tea Party will not have seen the statistical information gathered by the NAACP as a valid report. But, they would have viewed a man trying to divert the public's attention to his own study with a flurry of non-responses to Cooper's questions about the liberal leanings that underpinned this entire report.

Don't get me wrong, but I think philanthropy is a wonderful thing. Then again, when a foundation's name is used as some sort of patchwork defense against inquiry, it dilutes the shimmering glow off of a great award that has been bestowed upon the honoree.

Mr. Jealous' constant waving of the MacArthur Genius award as a golden flag against criticism, was a sad sight. To think the President of the NAACP has to be on television trying to get his point across and just withering right before the camera's lens, shows the Tea Party and their supporters have already succeeded in their political mission.

Majority of the citizens, both liberal and conservative, will granted such a notable grant from a philanthropic foundation. Thus, hearing NAACP President Ben Jealous groaning on and on about the researcher being a person lucky enough to be bestowed that award, became a reason for someone to close their ears and mind to any other words coming out of his mouth.

Democratic leaning organizations, such as the NAACP, should be quite frugal in the area of resources. Saving money and man (woman) power; will make their battles in the future more politically potent.

They need to regroup and refocus on what matters most to them.

Princeton Professor of Melissa Harris-Perry in an interview on the Rachel Maddow Show, dated October 19, 2010, made an excellent observation that the Democratic Party should heed: 

.."So, why is it if the Republicans believe that you could go hard on bigotry and get sufficient white votes, given the demographic realities in this country, why don‘t Democrats go hard to get another winning coalition? Why don‘t Democrats go in a strong way for African-American, Latino, green voters, for those voters who are, in fact, what would constitute a core - racial minorities, progressive environmentalists and labor? Instead, the party has consistently attempted to try to hold on to sort of their segment of what they perceive to be the bigoted vote."..
(source: Rachel Maddow Show, 10/19/10) Harris-Perry was precisely on point. 

And, here's a tiny piece of advice to all the groups who fly the democratic-progressive-liberal flag - Be Selfish & Be Self Centered.

Let a Democrat be a Democrat.
And, a Republican be Republican

Be yourself. And, stay true to your values. (No matter what they may be)

For now, that's all from this end of the keyboard.

Take care & hope you'll leave a comment.

A.H. Scott

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whining V. Winning

Whining V. Winning:

A Musing On Sighing


A.H. Scott

As days spin towards November's election, I couldn't resist letting the words flow. Okay, we all know the issues and the candidates. Yet, what I've been wondering to myself and in speaking to others, is one thing - why are the Democrats always on the defense?

And, then it hit me as I've been hearing the chattering classes talk about the Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Wow, it's remarkable that anyone would actually think that money and politics go hand in hand. Are you kidding me?

Now, corporate power isn't anything new. Yet, the Supreme Court's decision had a way of standing logic on it's head. Then again, this isn't the point of why I am writing this.

Getting back to the defensiveness of the Democrats. To me, it seems that every time there is something that happens in the political sphere; Dems are sent shaking in their boots and quaking in fear of what Republicans might do next.

Oh, come on, give me a break, Democrats. Now, of course, there are the Democrats whose backbones are that of concrete resolution. And, to them, I applaud. But, that fanfare of approval is few and far between.

When the Supreme Court made it's ruling, I was a person who disagreed with it and wished they would have ruled in the opposite direction. Then, I shrugged my shoulders and went on with my life.

Oh, don't get me wrong. It's an important case and it's an important ruling. But, then again, we as the voting public have seen the power of the purse and those of us who don't have the luxury or privilege to be the ones to set the politcal agenda. We can sit and pout or protest and get a sore throat in screaming for vengeance against the corporate machine. But, then we go back to work to pay the rent/mortgage and provide for our families.

Instead of steamrolling back and forth over the ruling, progressives/liberals/Dems should regroup and move forward. Standing stuck in place, will never be a way to stay afloat.

I don't agree with all Supreme Court rulings, including this one. But, then again, there is no recourse beyond the highest court in the land. This is the way they ruled and have been given the flashing green light for corporations to be interwoven into the category of individuals.

Hearing those who proclaim to constantly know what's best for the electorate on television and radio, go on and on about the injustice of the decision; seem to miss the point of what is happening in the present moment.

Right here, right now - the fact is that the decision from the Supreme Court isn't going away. So, those who oppose the ruling better swallow their pride and reposition their political laser in a different direction.

The direction that should be taken at the present time, has to be ceasing the constant whining about not winning that Supreme Court case. But, instead gather up your wallets and checkbooks and begin the unpleasant process of battling the GOP and their supporters on the same ground. Now, the footing might be a battleground that some progressives/liberals/Dems and others of similar political views, feel is beneath them.

But, sometimes it takes a pit bull or junkyard dog to do the job that a poodle or pomeranian can't. Those who are against the ruling should have some backbone. Enough to make sure that they are not always caught on the short end of the stick of justice.

Now, I am not rejoicing for the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commision. Yet, what I see at the heart of this case is one thing - MONEY.. Now, if those who are against the ruling truly want to fight it, then toss your dollars and cents into the political ring.

Otherwise, cease whining and begin winning.

Don't get frustrated, get financial. Don't get bogged down in a super-analytical thesis of the world coming crashing down around us, as the effect of this ruling takes effect. And, don't go on a breathless ride of guilting the voting public in reciting a roll call of American history.

History is in the moment. And, the moment is now. Winning won't come free. Freedom isn't free. But, it won't come to citizens of the United States of America without blood, sweat, tears and bank notes.

The performance of Liza Minelli and Joel Grey express it better than I ever could. Here's a few words of sly wisdom coming from the great musical "Cabaret", written by John Kander and Fred Ebb:

A mark, a yen, a buck or a pound
A buck or a pound, a buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go round
That clinking, clanking sound
Can make the world go round

Now, whether it's something I adore or abhor, it is a fact of life. And, a reality which isn't going anyway. 

So, I'm just one voice out here in the American political wilderness watching the wheels of life turn the colors of red, white and blue. And, this is my sentiment for a simple day in October.

Okay, now you've read my semi-coherent rant on the issue of whining and winning. And, I know that I'm not the only one in this universe that thinks along this path. Now, it's up to you. Let me know what you think about the state of politics today. Maybe, you'll agree with me. But, I hope not. Life wold be a boring existence if we all only listened to the voices that concur with our way of thinking.

Go for it...

A.H. Scott
October 12th, 2010

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hello, World...!!

Well, this is just the beginning of letting the butterflies of my musings free for all the universe to see.