Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Letter to the Editor - Star Tribune, Tuesday, June 17

Here's the link to my latest letter to the editor in the Star Tribune. It's in reaction to a piece in Friday's paper by Paul Krugman about how Republican's can no longer use racial division as a political tool.


It's the last letter in the bunch under the heading: Race and the '08 Election, Not a GOP Issue

I wrote it because I think it's important for Republicans to stand up and reject the labels the left puts on us.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why In The World Did You Pick That Name?

I've been asked the above question by many friends and family about my blogsite's name being, "friendlyneighborhoodrepublican.blogspot.com." I have a lot of answers.

First, I know it's a really long name. I tried to choose "fnr" instead, but it was taken. I then shortened it to "fnrepublican..." Then someone told me that I had just named my blog "effen republican..." So I had to use the full name.

I've had acquaintances who want to check out the blog ask for the name and say, "You'd better write that down; I won't remember all of that." So I oblige. I have to repeat it a lot so people get the whole thing. But this is my name, and I'm sticking to it.

Why? It's important to me to use the name "friendly neighborhood republican" because it's who I am. I am your neighbor, your friend, the woman you see at the grocery store. I go to the movies. I love my dogs. I break with my party on certian issues, like gay rights. I am part of a community. I make my own decisions.

I am not the boogeyman the left paints all Republicans to be. Indirectly, I have been labeled, (just to name a few) a "child hater," "anti-choice," "anti-feminist," "bigot," "stupid," "religious zealot," and let's not forget Al Franken's gem, "fucking shameless."

Some would assume I'm against education because I don't believe there should be a Department of Education at the federal level.

They’d consider me insensitive to the mentally disabled because I agreed with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissenting argument in a case that outlawed putting low-IQ inmates to death. He made the right decision because the law opened up a huge loophole for death row inmates to jump through by intentionally doing poorly on IQ tests. It was a bad case. If they had tried it without the giant loophole, I would have been for it.

As for those labels, I am pro-life, not “anti-choice.” I think you can make all the choices you want as long as they don’t result in the death of someone else. And I’m not “anti-feminist” just because I am pro-life. I believe in equality for women and believe strongly that abortion hurts women. But that’s another blog.

Governor Pawlenty recently vetoed a bill that would have expanded required genetic testing of newborns. To Democrats afflicted with knee disorders (they jerk the moment someone doesn't agree with them) that would mean "Republicans Hate Children." The reason he vetoed the bill, however, was because it didn't give parents enough power to keep a child's samples from being used in long-term research. Most of the left's examples of how much Republicans hate children are along these lines. The simplistic thought is to say, "That's good for kids, but Republicans don't like it. That means they hate children." The linear thought process says, yes it would help children but we can't okay it until it covers all the bases and doesn't create new problems. (insert exasperated sigh)

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a bigot. I once threw a friend out of my home for using a racial epithet. One example of so-called Republican bigotry was used in a column by Paul Krugman of the New York Times. He said Republicans used stereotypes of welfare queens driving Cadillacs to increase the racial divide. The problem with that argument, however, is that statistics have shown that more white women were on AFDC than women of color, so how was being against welfare abuse and negative social engineering racist? This is typical of the swiss-cheese arguments used to paint conservatives with a bigot brush.

Mensa would disagree that I’m stupid. I don’t use religion as a basis for any of my political beliefs. And Al Franken’s comment, well, says more about him than it does me.

If Democrats would quit proposing laws full of holes, bills full of pork and start trying to have linear thoughts, much of the glue for the labels they stick on Republicans would disintegrate.

I don’t let Democrats define me. I am a unique individual. I’m also a Republican. So I’ll keep my long, hard-to-remember, hard-to-type blog name. It suits me just fine.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Don't Blame Me...

I've been really busy lately, and this may seem lazy, but I feel the need to repost a previous blogpost I wrote about Al Franken's "I'm a satirist" excuse. It's still really relavent:

So Al Franken finally paid a $25,000 fine—one that he ignored for more than a year--for failing to carry worker’s compensation insurance for his employees. Why should he have to pay? Plenty of people don’t.

While I was growing up, my father ran a small business of which he was very proud. He would always rail against his competitors, most of whom didn’t run their businesses on the up-and-up. “They don’t pay workers comp, they don’t pay payroll taxes, it’s all under the table!” he would rant. I used to wonder, well, if everyone else isn’t doing it, and no one is bothering them about it, then why are you paying? If you stopped paying all of those silly fees, wouldn’t you be able to buy me more clothes? Gosh!

Just joking. Well, not exactly joking, because I’m not really a comedienne. You could say I’m more of a ... satirist. Many of my published works would most certainly be considered satire, so I guess the label fits.

It’s the label Al Franken hides behind. When I think about it, this new title could come in really handy for me as well. I have always tried to be an upstanding, law abiding citizen, but who knows when one might need an “out” when she gets into a little trouble. “But officer, I wasn’t really speeding. I was just demonstrating for my son, in a rather droll manner, the driving habits of certain people in our culture whom I don’t respect. You can’t give me a ticket. I’m a satirist.”

How liberating! I could do anything and expect to get away with it! I could play by different rules and be held to a different standard than everyone else!

I could, at will, discount all of the other things I am, such as wife, mother, writer, friend, neighbor, daughter, sister, pet owner, aunt, grandmother. When in trouble, I could throw all of these titles away and hide behind Franken's favorite word: satirist, just as Franken often uses it to replace what should be his most important title: Senatorial Candidate.

If anyone were to bring up any illegal, distasteful, racially insensitive, boorish, frightening behavior, I could just say (and just for fun, in a degrading, stereotypical parody of an Asian accent) that they were trying to avoid talking about real issues, like how our roads have too many pot holes. But that argument would be hollow because my detractors, by pointing out how they dislike my behavior, would in effect be saying, “Your satire helps show us who you really are, and we don’t much like or trust that person.”

Let’s have a small civics lesson for those who still don’t get it. Parody and satire are protected forms of speech in the United States. You have the right to use them to say anything you want and be protected from libel and slander suits under the umbrella of this Constitutional right.What this right does not do is to stop people from being offended by the content of an individual’s protected form of speech. The reader or listener can find it distasteful, racist, reckless, and find it to be a true window into the personality of the person saying or writing it. It does not protect the satirist from public opinion, and negative public opinion can be a pesky little problem for a political candidate.

Because I'm a satirist, why aren’t I running willy nilly through the countryside doing and saying things without regard for anyone but myself? Because I am my father’s daughter. I have pride, integrity and a backbone. I try to do the right thing in the first place, not just after I get caught doing something wrong. But I’m not running for office...

Al Franken is.