Category Archives: Politics

Charles Darwin For Congress! If I Had Lived In That District He Would Have Had My Vote.

Charles Darwin is alive and well in the state of Georgia.

That is, if by “alive and well” you mean “in theory.”

Rep. Paul Broun decried evolution, the Big Bang theory and other scientific discoveries as “lies straight from the pit of hell!” Granted, his audience was a church group. But in the age of Twitter and YouTube you need to be a little more careful about what you say in public.

Republican Representative Paul Broun was running unopposed in the 10th Congressional District in Georgia. But I knew nothing of the man since I don’t live in his district. (And the fact that I’m not very political, which is a nice way of saying I’m too self-absorbed to follow politics.)

I educated myself on the man this morning. Here is what I learned:

He is a nut.

I was going to list his crazy voting record, his fourth marriage, his feeling that Obama is a Marxist dictator. You can read about it all here. Suffice it to say, he’s crazy.

And he was re-elected. And is representing Americans in our government.

It’s a sad, sad day, indeed.

While watching the election returns (TV muted) I saw the results flash on the screen, Paul Broun 57% and Charles Darwin 0%. I thought, poor Charles Darwin. Named after a famous British naturalist and he still can’t get a vote. And then I thought, how horrible that his lack of popularity has to be broadcast so blatantly. But then I saw Obama gaining ground on Romney and I was distracted again.

I forgot about it until this morning.

An article on an online news magazine got my attention. Jim Leebens-Mack, a professor at the University of Georgia, started a Facebook campaign “Darwin for Congress” as a response to Broun’s ridiculous church-evolution rant. As a result, Charles Darwin received almost 4,000 votes. Not enough to beat Broun’s 209,000 (scary) votes, but an admirable showing, all the same. Especially since Darwin would have to be a party to Congress from the grave. Or the great beyond. (I embrace all theories of the life in the hereafter.)

Even more amusing are the other write-in candidates that peppered the ballots: Big Bird, Anyone but Broun, Anyone else, and Bill Nye The Science Guy.

Apparently, these voters were just as upset but unaware of Charles Darwin’s bid for election.

Too bad.

Maybe Charles would have had a chance.


Filed under Because I'm Curious, I'm Baffled (And Because I Love The Word Baffled), In the News, Politics

Surf’s Up, Dudes. But Jane’s Hangin’ Loose On the Sand.

I’ve ridden the wave. The Liking-George W. Bush-Not-Liking George W. Bush wave.

 The Matt Lauer special that ran last night has me questioning the ride. Each crest and trough was determined by what I was gleaning from the news media. Whether is was Fox News singing his praises or SNL parodies or CNN quick to point out moments that seemed like weaknesses in the poor man.

These little soundbites didn’t paint an accurate picture. And logically, I knew that then and I know that now. Yet I still formed an opinion. Good. Bad. Indifferent. It was all I could go on.

Last night, George W. Bush spoke with the candor one can only use after a president leaves office. After the fact. In hindsight. And it wasn’t all pretty. He acknowledged his failures and weaknesses. He spoke of what he would do differently and what he wouldn’t change.


 “You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else.”–Anonymous.

I was impressed with his candor.  His honest reactions to criticism and blame. And he never blamed anyone else for his choices. He never used Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld as scapegoats. He owned each and every action he made as President of the United States.

He spoke with such sincerity of the two sides to every decision he made. With some of his toughest decisions, he laid out the facts he had and the options he considered. Then he explained why he chose option A or option B.

What surprised me the most was my own reaction after the interview had ended.  Logic tells us that humans are fallible. That presidents make mistakes. But we expect our world leaders to be perfect. We want our presidents to be perfect. Listening to President Bush last night I began putting myself in his shoes and wondering what in the world I would do, given the same mind-boggling situations.  I decided that I would have made some of the same mistakes and that maybe some of his mistakes weren’t mistakes after all.

Walk a mile in a man’s shoes. I remind myself of this all the time. Who are we to criticize someone when we don’t have all the facts? Isn’t it impossible to form an opinion when the media chooses what we hear? Who am I to deem President Bush a success or a failure?

President Obama deserves the latitude and consideration that I didn’t afford our last president. Deciding whether I agree or disagree with his policy and choices will be difficult without hearing from him exactly how he came to his decisions. But it’s my responsibility to sift through the, albeit biased, information and come to a compassionate conclusion. I need to remind myself that hindsight is 20/20 and to be careful in my judgements.

Instead of riding the media wave, I need to step back onto the sand and take in the bigger picture.


Filed under Lessons Learned, Observations, Politics

Tsk, Tsk Mr. President. Are You For Us Or Against Us?

We place high hopes in our presidents each time they take office. And me, Jane, Pollyanna of Blog World (ok, in the real world, too) was so energized and excited during the 2008 election year. It was wonderful to see people passionate about their candidates. This was not a campaign for the apathetic. People voted in droves. I loved the message of hope and renewal each presidential candidate promised, but that Barak Obama truly embodied.

President Obama is a great orator. And I believe all Americans hope and pray that he is the great leader his speeches imply he can be.

But then, he delivers a speech like this one at the University of Wisconsin.

President Obama spoke to a crowd at the University of Wisconsin on September 28th. First he said this,

“I hoped and expected that we could get beyond some of the old political divides between Democrats and Republicans, blue states and red states, that had prevented us from making progress for so long because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans.”

And then he said this,

“The other side would have you believe this election is a referendum on me or a referendum on the economy, a referendum on anything except them.  But make no mistake.  This election is a choice.  And the choice could not be clearer.”

And then this,

“If the other side does win, they will spend the next two years fighting for the very same policies that led to this recession in the first place.”

Whether we believe these comments is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that our President (and I mean our in every sense of the word) is pitting two sides of our great country against one another. To me, this is akin to a parent of two children, choosing the side of one child and egging that particular child on in the fight. Supporting him. Cheering for him.

Argue with me all you will but our President, my President should save this rhetoric for his own campaign speech. Now that he is in his elected office, his job should be to unite the country, not divide it.

Oh sure, his job right now is to drum up support for his party so that the nasty, evil step-child doesn’t snag the bigger bedroom.

There are other people who might be better suited for a divisive speech such as this. A leader in the democratic party who is not currently representing all constituents in their region.

There is a better place for this type of speech. A rally of Democrats, for example. Not a public forum of mixed company.

And there are ways to do this without causing a great emotional divide. 

First,  mention the names of the Democratic candidates you support in your speech. By name. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett. Or U.S. Senate Democrat, Russ Feingold. Tell America (or in this case, Wisconsin) to vote for them. Because you agree with their policy. Because you know they will work for all of us to better America.  Because they stand for what you think is right for America. Logically point out their value to the American people with examples.

But to pit both sides squarely against each other. To throw an emotional blanket over the issues at hand. To call the sides “us” and “them.” To lump all people with a D as the perfect child and all people with an R next to their name as the other, awful, evil step-child?

Suicide, my dear Mr. President. Suicide.

When I heard him calling it an us vs. them fight? (Insert loud scratching sound of the needle to the 33rpm record here.) I wanted to say, “Whaaaaaaaa?”

Didn’t you just say you are proud to be a Democrat but you are prouder to be an American? If you’re not about uniting this great country of ours, what are you about?

Every American out there that voted Republican in the 2008 election, that has been admiring your progress, enjoying the hope and change you have promised our dear country, will be offended. They will hear your rallying cry of us vs. them and they will side with the group they feel comfortable  and familiar with. They may even passionately show up to the polls in droves, hoping to defeat the golden child running against their underdog.

I have been a voting member of society for over 25 years now. Some of my candidates have won. Some have lost. But always. Always. I have supported the president that did get elected to office.

I don’t speak badly of my president.


I may disagree. I may be embarrassed by his actions. I may hold my breath each time he opens his mouth to speak. But I stand firmly behind his leadership because he now represents ALL of America.

All of Americans.

All of us.


Filed under Politics, Soapbox