1. Obtain a gun.

2. Provide ammunition.

3. Vote to pull the trigger.

BANG.

And the Democratic party drops off the House floor.

At least, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. If I lived in Nuñez’s district, I’d be royally pissed that I voted for him (because I probably would’ve) and would be willing to sign any paper that would kick his ass. Democratic party leaders don’t seem to realize that they’re in danger of dying out without this kind of stunt. If you’re going to assert your belief in balance and diversity, you better damn well show it, because it isn’t just voters who write letters to congresspeople.

4 thoughts on “Manual for foot-shooting

  1. I wish this article would expand more on the point raised in the quotation: “It has now turned into a ceremony more in line with Veterans Day and with ideological overtones that were not presented or agreed to.”

    The separation of church and state issue was hinted at repeatedly and brushed aside with emphasis on Republican anger.

    The “Democrats have to tolerate everything” line is an old strawman the religious right likes to fling around whenever Democrats do anything that can be spun as unpatriotic or anti-Christian.

    It sounds like the Republicans in question were trying to politicize this “celebration,” and the Democrats tried to put a stop to it.

  2. I’d like to know how to de-politicize Independence Day. It’s not a celebration of war, but of a political statement. As such, Denton may not have been the best choice for a speaker, but if you can’t come up with anything better, it’s childish to just fall back to dissing the opposition. It read as though the event was planned and ready to go forward when the kibbosh was issued, which was also not the greatest PR move. This is the Assembly, for cripe’s sake, and Democrat-controlled at that. Why in the hell not VOTE on it? Or were they afraid there’d be some Democrats who might want to hear what Denton had to say? If nothing else, it might be a look into the mind of the other side–gathering ammo instead of providing it.

    Also, I’m not suggesting we have to tolerate everything, but if, as you say, saying so is a low blow from the other side, we do need to take the high road. I’m interpreting this as a voter, not a political analyst. People are turned off by dirty politics, lies, and hypocrisy. While inviting a rabid right-winger to speak can be interpreted as dirty if you’re a rabid left-winger, we should all be grown-up enough to let words slide off our backs. Providing freedom of speech for only the speech you want to hear is hypocritical and is not in line with the First Amendment. Democratic voters, as I remember things, tend to be more highly educated than Republicans, and thus better equipped to recognize hypocrisy when they see it. (Also less likely to engage in hyper-religious hypocrisy themselves.) Whatever the motives actually were, Democratic voters are going to see this and be turned off. And that’s the foot-shooting I’m talking about.

  3. I guess what bothers me is the comparison the Republicans are making here between celebrating Cinco de Mayo and turning Independence Day into a celebration of a) the military and b) Christianity (which is what this article’s references to “separation of church and state” suggest Denton wanted to do). I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with celebrating Christianity, of course, but (I know firsthand from all the time I spent on that conservative message board that) the religious right would like nothing more than to simplify the American Revolution into the liberation of oppressed Protestants from under the heel of a Catholic tyrant. Protestant/Catholic tensions certainly played a part but obviously the conflict was much more complicated; however, right wingers are given to using distortions like this to justify Christian-centric policy (for example, using their interpretation of the bible as the primary basis of social policy, such as the ban on gay marriage). In a broader culture-war sense, the degree of credibility with which a politician can say “this is a Christian nation” determines the extent to which s/he can enact discriminatory legislation with impunity.

    The solution does not, of course, mean excluding Christianity from multicultural celebrations. But a better time to OFFICIALLY celebrate Christianity would be Christmas or Easter. The Revolution and the question of what the soldiers in that war fought for are instrumental to interpreting the Constitution. If we discuss religion in the context of independence day, it should be to give thanks for our individual freedom to believe and worship as we personally choose, instead of taking religious orders from the government.

    So, is it hypocrisy to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in honor of diversity, but refuse to celebrate Independence Day under the pretense of honoring diversity while effectively bolstering Christian primacy? I don’t think so.

    Is it hypocrisy to reject a speaker for an event you’re organizing, when you object to what he’s going to say, if you claim to support Democracy and freedom of speech? Not unless we equate freedom of speech with facilitation of speech.

    Granted, this isn’t fantastic publicity, especially if it’s perceived as the suppression of an unwanted opinion rather than the interception of a dirty political trick, but in the long run it may have been the best option available. If the Democrats had waited to take a shot at Denton’s speech, it could easily have backfired. The Republicans would fire back and criticize the shot, and the Dems would look even worse than they do now. In the long run, looking back, they’d be a trivial fringe and the record would show that the powers that’d been had supported a speech essentially declaring the religious freedom intended by the second amendment was the freedom to be Christian.

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