The "Weaponization" of, Well, Everything Apparently

The next person who says something is "woke" will force me into court on assault charges.

The "Weaponization" of, Well, Everything Apparently
The scene of the crime. 

I have had a theory for a long time that many on either side of the political divide are so afraid of the other guys getting into office that we forget that those extremists we fear will ultimately screw it up, and the pendulum will swing back.

It will swing back because the vast majority of voters who live politically between the 20-yard-lines of politics, though they may lean left or right, are essentially sensible. They can be seduced momentarily by a snake charmer, but eventually the flute stops playing and they realize the mistake and move to correct it at the polls.

"Vote Nixon, honey. You won't regret it."

My parents were Republicans, at least from the 1960's until I lost them; in 1997 for my Dad and 2008 for my Mom. JFK was the last Democrat I remember my Dad voting for in a Presidential race. My generation of early boomers with our long hair, free love and crazy music were impossible for him to come to terms with. His feelings about the Rolling Stones sounded a lot like my fellow boomers on Facebook bitching about Rihanna at the Super Bowl.

I mean she wasn't my cup of hemlock either, but then again, I'm not the audience they were going for. I'm sure my 25-year-old daughter loved it. For the record, I lean more toward the halftime shows with Bruce, McCartney or Prince.

But back to my Dad. When my Mom had a stroke and was in the hospital beginning her long road to recovery, Dad and I sat in the waiting room for her to come out of anesthesia. He commented on the cost of it all, and that even with a good retirement pension and company plan, without Medicare, it would be tough to afford.

I said, "Dad, repeat after me. Thank you Lyndon." And he did. Before that, he even turned against the Viet Nam war when a young man from our church,
probably the guy he wished were my brother, was killed. His disgust with the meat grinder was such that when I had fallen asleep the night before and missed the first televised draft lottery, he called and woke me up, almost shouting into the phone, "You're number 282, buddy!"

For my Dad, Nixon campaigned on ending it, but took his own sweet time about it.

That and later, my Mom's health, were pivotal points for his rock-ribbed conservatism. And those things don't hold a candle to the Vesuvius of insanity
being spewed daily in the Congress now.

I wrote about Social Security and Medicare a few months ago, and the basic Republican antipathy toward the programs begun by two of the most progressive politicians ever to darken the towels of the White House, FDR and LBJ. I mentioned in my earlier piece the plan from Senator Rick Scott of Florida, natch. Here's what I said about Scott last October...

Remember me? Skeletor?
"Here's why Scott exhibits Mt. Everest levels of hypocrisy. His last job in the private sector was as co-founder and CEO of Columbia/HCA hospital corporation.
Under his watch, the company was found guilty in the largest Medicare fraud case up to that time. Here's what Politifact had to say...
'In December 2000, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Columbia/HCA agreed to pay $840 million in criminal fines, civil damages and penalties.
Among the revelations from the 2000 settlement:
• Columbia billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs for tests that were not necessary or had not been ordered by physicians;
• The company attached false diagnosis codes to patient records to increase reimbursement to the hospitals;
• The company illegally claimed non-reimbursable marketing and advertising costs as community education;
• Columbia billed the government for home health care visits for patients who did not qualify to receive them.
The government settled a second series of similar claims with Columbia/HCA in 2002 for an additional $881 million. The total for the two fines was $1.7 billion.' "

My favorite part of Rick Scott's denial tour was him telling a Fox news anchor that that bit about Social Security and Medicare were liberal talking points, and the anchor answering, "Now, Senator. They are in your plan." Again, a Fox Network anchor.

Now I know I'm late talking about this, but when President Biden called out Republicans in the State of the Union address for wanting to end the programs, the
boos were loud and long. We all knew who he meant, but the defensive protestations began immediately.

One of the most puzzled "who me?" faces in the crowd on the GOP side was Senator Mike Lee of Utah. His expression was a visual demonstration of the
general feeling that Biden had unfairly accused people like him of wanting to kill the only lifelines many elderly have. You know, the same Mike Lee
who said this...

"I'm here right now to tell you one thing you probably have never heard from a politician: It will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up from the roots and get rid of it," Sen. Mike Lee.

Let me tell you, Mike, why you've never heard that from a politician, well except Medicare cheat Rick Scott. Because until now, no one has been dumb enough
to propose it. Herschel Walker would think twice about saying that, for crying out loud. If you want a picture of two guys on a political kamikaze mission, just look at
these nimrods.

These are two government programs, along with Medicaid for the poor, that have almost universal approval from the public, no matter their political affiliation. But in some fit of Ayn Rand-induced Tourettes or something, some Republicans think it's a peachy idea to propose. If Mitch McConnell were still alive, he'd be laugh them out of the room, and he never laughs.

"Hey, Bono! Down here!"

During said booing, we saw a lot of the representative from Georgia, Marge the Bounty Hunter, wearing some sort of white fur coat made from clubbed baby seals no doubt, calling the President a liar. In fact, shouting through cupped hands that he is a liar.  She had planned, though it was not allowed, to oh-so cleverly illustrate her dissatisfaction with the administration's reaction to the Chinese balloon by bringing a big white, helium-filled balloon into the chamber. Luckily, no intelligence will be gathered below this particular orb.

"it could have carried Jewish space lasers, for crying out loud! Do your research!"

Now, there are two words I'd like to consign to the ash heap of history if that were possible. The words are "woke" and "weaponize." If Florida Governor Ron DeSantis talks about woke anything again, I swear I'll chunk an orange at him. After all, it's not just for breakfast anymore. And Short Trump is so prickly, that if anyone
speaks out against his truly alarming plans for what was a pretty nice place to live, that entity will reap the whirlwind. Just ask the folks at DisneyWorld.

I'd bet on the rat. No, the other one. 

When the park was in the planning stages, the Disney folks, in that case, Walt himself, agreed to take care of all the utilities and sewers and the like for the large chunk of land they were to use.

The company paid the cost, not the state. But since they voiced disagreement with the Governor's plans regarding gay folks, he has taken steps to "strip"
them of that "right." In other words, the state and anyone who lives near Disney will now pay for it in taxes. He punished Disney by saving them money.

Yeah, Ron. Let's keep the government out of the private sector. Well, except for this. 

Now he wants to go after banks and other financial institutions who dare to practice what is known as DEI, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Heaven forbid we should be diverse and inclusive, and Ron is just the guy to corral it from his booster seat in Tallahassee. Our own Greg Abbott has vowed the same kind of retribution in Tejas if this diversity stuff goes too far.

From the Austin American Statesman Newspaper...

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office is cautioning state agencies and public universities against using diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in hiring, claiming that doing so runs afoul of federal law, according to a memo obtained by the American-Statesman.
Gardner Pate, Abbott’s chief of staff, wrote in the Feb. 4 memo that it’s “inconsistent with the law” for state agencies to fund diversity, equity and inclusion positions with taxpayer money. He said using such initiatives as an employment screening tool violates employment laws and leads to the “alienation of individuals from the workplace.”

Because of course, the quickest way to alienate someone from their workplace is to sit them next to a black or gay guy.

But try as they might, Abbott and Dan Patrick may have to ban a few more books to catch up to DeSantis who rejected a math textbook for being too "woke." Math? A train driven by a lesbian leaves Boston going 30 miles an hour, and a train driven by an illegal alien leaves LA going 50 miles an hour. At what point will they meet and start a protest?

Chairman of the Whatever Crap We Don't Like Committee.

Then there's weaponization. It is the word du jour when you want to claim something has been turned into a club to beat you with, like the FBI or, well, pretty much any part of the government you don't like at the moment. Thus, Representative Gym Jordan's "weaponization of government" hearings. This is where he is attempting to prove that Uncle Sam hates conservatives so much that he told Twitter to censor all the Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine advice and the posts about Bill Gates and Fauci wanting to control you with the vaccine President Trump approved.

Never mind that Twitter was and is under Elon Musk, a private enterprise. Like IBM in the old days making guys wear white shirts and black ties, they can censor pretty much whatever they like, but especially horse paste.

The whole thing played out like a scene from "Duck Soup" and I was moved to remember a Groucho quote, "I've a good mind to join a club and beat you with it."

I may have the wrong Marx brother here. 

Our favorite GED recipient, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, and boy are they proud of that, gave a sermon in Dallas essentially calling upon the Lord to kill Joe Biden, but, you know, in biblical words.

I may also have the wrong "pistol packin' mama" here. 

At the Capitol, Marjorie Taylor Greene attended a briefing from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Chinese balloon shootdown and yelled "Bullshit!"

Matt Gaetz invited an admitted murderer to lead the pledge of allegiance at a committee hearing. Well, OK, at least it wasn't a coed.

Come on. Trust me. 

I'd be surprised if Speaker McCarthy isn't under suicide watch in the wake of this week's edition of Chock Full 'O Nuts.

So, as I told my Democratic friends when Reagan was elected, and Republican ones when Clinton beat Bush, just be patient. They'll do something dumb or repugnant and the pendulum will swing back.

"Mr. President, I'd like to introduce my wife Lucretia."

To paraphrase Lord Acton, "Absolute stupidity will do stupid crap absolutely" or something like that. And he never even met Marjorie.

Roger Gray has toiled at the journalism trade since 1970 and his first radio news job at KTRH in Houston. Over those woefully misspent years, he has worked in radio, TV and written for magazines. He was twice elected President of the Texas Automobile Writers Association and was elected to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. He covered the first Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, Oslo Accords in Israel and peace talks in Ireland. He interviewed writers, actors, politicians and every President from Ford to George W, and none of them remember him.
Now, he is part of the Texas Outlaw Writers, and if this doesn't pan out, the outlaw part will still work as he will indeed resort to robbing banks.