Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Invoking His First Amendment

Anyone keeping up to date with events across the pond will be both atonished & exasperated by the response of the Republicans & their fellow travellers to last November's election defeat. This has given rise to what's known as the "Birther" movement, a rag-tag collection of right-wing eccentrics who claim that Obama shouldn't be president because he is actually Kenyan.
Yes, I know.
All this & a good deal else is commendably covered by the likes of the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ ), Raw Story (http://www.rawstory.com/ ) & Media Matters (http://www.mediamatters.org/ ).
The most recent absurdity perpetrated in the name of US political debate revolves around Obama's health care plan. Town Hall meeting have been beseiged by corporate shills, paid by the private health firms to start baseless rumours & shout at the top of their voices, far-Right fundamentalists & those por saps who watch Fox News...& believe it. The latter group claims that Obama has a secret plan to introduce "death panels", which would administer federal euthanasia for anyone over 65.
It's therefore reassuring to know that a truly maverick voice has taken to cyberspace to give his take on events (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/senator-sanders-unfiltere_b_255836.html ). Bernie Sanders, a senator representing Vermont, is described as Independent. He sees himself as a socialist, probably the dirtiest word in the American political lexicon. However, Senator Sanders sees no reason to backtrack from the label. In UK terms he'd be somewhat to the left of New Labour, normally an unremarkable stance. In US politics, however, such a stance is both surprising & heartening (http://www.sandersunfiltered.com/ ).

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