I am especially gratified to see U.S Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., making such a rapid recovery from an assassin’s bullet. We can only hope her convalescence continues to progress so she can return to work as a voice of reason in her state’s delegation to Congress.
It seems, however, not all Americans view the mass shooting in Tucson as a reflection on certain elements of our society and what large a part guns play in the national psyche.
It didn’t take Fox News talk-show host Glenn Beck long, for example, to start talking about shooting people in the head or the forehead. I know there are those who are convinced that Beck speaks metaphorically about everything and that his "shoot-them-in-the-head" rhetoric is a metaphor for something else.
I’m not the smartest or the dumbest guy in the world, but I can’t figure out how one makes a metaphor of a direct request to shoot "them" in the head. If that is a metaphor, then Beck is an electronic hologram and doesn’t really exist. Maybe that would be better for all of us.
Speaking of loosely wrapped minds operating a tongue, I couldn’t help but wonder what country U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., was talking about when she mentioned in Iowa that our founding fathers tried to abolish slavery. Additionally, her display of remarkably inaccurate graphics during the rebuttal of the president’s State of the Union address was so obviously biased and inaccurate they were laughable. Except nobody was laughing.
Before the Bachmann bit we had the "official" Republican response to the president’s speech from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. His misrepresentation of the work and policies of President Barack Obama also were blatantly wrong and misleading.
For anyone paying attention, the Bush Administration handed off the stimulus work to the Obama presidency, where it was implemented to stop the hemorrhage of jobs. It worked despite the input from professional economists who said $750 billion was not sufficient to save the economy. Two years later, we still haven’t spent all that money, and job losses have slowed while employment and Gross Domestic Product growth has improved almost every month since.
Furthermore, the bailout of General Motors worked. A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote that GM showed a profit of $4.2 billion for the past nine months. It has paid back a significant part of its loan with expectations of settling all of the debt.
Additionally, the bank bailout loans are almost paid back with interest and the government will make money on the deal. I’d say that isn’t too bad for a "failed economic plan." When one considers how very close the world was to complete financial collapse, we should be thankful we had a steady hand on the tiller of the nation and could afford to do the things we did to prevent it.
House Speaker John Boehner, another Republican, chipped in with disparaging commentary about the president neglecting to mention America’s exceptional nature. I guess he nodded off when Obama mentioned that at length in two or three different contexts. It also was in the written version of the speech.
Then there is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also a member of the GOP and a failed contender for vice president. Once again she launched into a diatribe of incoherent comments that rewrite American history, both past and present; complained about being picked on by those who are making her rich (the media) and has a what-the-heck (well, she didn’t use "heck") moment of her own by accusing the president of having one. Obama didn’t say it, she did.
Is this the best the Tea Party can produce as their front people? Are there no other members of this now-validated movement who can voice a comprehensible message?
I heard some pundits say Republicans are fearful of Palin and Bachmann because their supporters will attack them if they criticize the two. I guess this all speaks volumes about how deep the Republican bench is with ideas and viable national candidates.
My fellow progressives and I look forward to the next six years of the Obama administration. We will fix problems created from the previous administration and get our country working again, fiscally sound and once more a leader in education and healthy citizens.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.