Burch: A not-so-super majority

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

According to Tennessee conservatives, the silver lining in the very dark cloud of the recent national elections has been the creation of a “supermajority” of Republicans at the state level. So now, they would have us believe, conservatives will be able to guide the ship of state away from the dangerous reefs and shoals of liberalism. But what if the ship is being steered away from modernity, basic science and common sense, by a confederacy of dunces? Here are some of the more moronic things many members of the “supermajority” seem to accept as gospel truths:

Like evolution, global warming is “untrue.” Never mind that polar ice caps and glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising. God is in control and frets constantly about human sexual relationships, so the best way to avoid floods and other natural disasters is to keep gays from marrying.

Non-heterosexuals should be denied the right to marry and should not be protected from discrimination in the workplace because God “hates” homosexuality (even though Jesus Christ never said a single word about homosexuality, according to the Bible).

People should be allowed to “pack heat” in bars, restaurants, parks, parking lots and presumably schools, kindergartens and day care centers. Never mind that conservative legislators and judges would toss us in the hoosegow if we showed up with loaded weapons at their legislative plazas and courtrooms. Politicians and judges obviously deserve much more protection than innocent children and their mothers.

Fertilization is not a biological process but the result of Divine manipulation. Therefore, if young girls are the victims of rape, they should be forced to carry and bear their rapists’ babies, even at the risk of their lives, health and sanity, so as to not thwart God’s will.

Since only God can make decisions about fertilization, pregnancy and birth, the use of contraceptives is a “sin.” This is the official position not only of the Roman Catholic Church but also increasingly of lunatic-fringe evangelicals as well. The “logic” is pretty simple: if it is a “sin” to keep a fertilized egg from dividing, it stands to reason that it is also a “sin” to prevent an egg from becoming fertilized in the first place. After all, who are human beings to overrule God in such matters?

A just-fertilized egg has exactly the same rights as a fully developed human being with 100 trillion cells (give or take), despite the fact that without a brain and nervous system an embryo cannot think or feel pain. Since a fertilized egg is a person, females must become slaves to nature and their reproductive organs, in a return to the Dark Ages.

Even though conservatives do not want government to provide financial aid to poor mothers and their children, Planned Parenthood must be defunded, which means many more unwanted babies will be born to poor girls and women, increasing poverty, drug abuse and crime.

State governments can always do everything better than the federal government, so we should have 50 FEMAs, 50 FDAs, 50 EPAs, etc.

Business can always do everything better than either the federal or state governments, so we should return to the unregulated nation-bankrupting ways of the George W. Bush era.

While the war with Iraq was fought on false premises, we should attack Iran for exactly the same reason: weapons that do not exist and could not be used if they did.

I could go on, but hopefully I’ve made my point. The divine Oscar Wilde once said that the only sin is stupidity. I find it hard to imagine leaders any stupider than George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. And yet they are the stars of the Republican universe. Here in Tennessee, we have legislators who are every bit as zany. How do such dimwits end up with so much power? We, the people, keep electing them, to our shame.

Will our supermajority of dunces steer Tennesseans to safe harbors or run us aground? I am reminded of the chorus of a Harry Chapin song: “The dance band on the Titanic played ‘Nearer, God, to Thee.’ ”

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

180 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 3:39

Now, Rat you should be civil!! Stop at a I65 truckstop and shoot the breeze with your buddies and think about the cold beer and the pickled pig's feet that you are going to enjoy at rhe tavern,beer joint or sports bar that is your weekend country club.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 4:06

Oh, he still hasn't figured it out! It's killing you, isn't it Junior?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 4:47

Enjoy your gin, Junior. :)

By: yogiman on 11/30/12 at 4:47

If I wanted an article in the NCP, BenDover, I'd send it directly to the paper. They're decide if they want to print or post it. After all, it's their paper, isn't?

You don't need an "on-line editor" (like Mike) to decide if they want to let you post it.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/30/12 at 4:48

Blanketnazi2.............A skip chaser? Is that how you met Slacker and Nemo?

I bet you were well qualified for all the "skippers" tricks.

By the way, curiosity has gotten the bettet of me. How do you differentiate yourself from the people you call scumbags?

Got to run, it is martini time. Looking forward to trading insults with you on Monday.

II can't resist. What are the requirements to being skipchaser? It takes one to know one or what?

By: Captain Nemo on 11/30/12 at 5:17

Is that your best come back Ratputin. Your are fishing with out a rod or hook. Just dropping bait in hope you get a strike.

And if you haven figured it out yet I'm Rat and I never lived in neighborhood.

BTW truck stops is were I mostly fill up, and long other travelers. I have even seen Catholics, buying gas. You need to get out more and not dwell in your make believe world.

By: yogiman on 11/30/12 at 5:18


If you issued the 1%'s money to the 99%, how long do you think it would be before the 1% would have it all back again. There's a little "push" called incentive that so few have (1% perhaps?). The 99% seems to think they should get "their money" over night.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 5:35

To be employed as a skip tracer you have to have a clean background and a stellar credit score. The person who trained me was an retired cop and I have cops in my family. They know how to search public records so I know where to look. That and a little ambition and intuition and a taste for data mining and you can do some successful skip tracing. My background includes auditing so I know when books are being cooked as well. You can try to bury the evidence but it can be found if someone wants to find it.

I've run across enough scumbags to smell one a mile away. I define scumbags as shady people who are frauds and thieves. Doesn't matter if they are low class or high class - they're still scumbags.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 5:37

It's extremely satisfying to witness a scumbag get his comeuppance and for the people who have been defrauded get some sense of justice. And to see people who cook the books get fined or do jail time.

By: Captain Nemo on 11/30/12 at 6:15

Rasputin you better leave her alone. But I hope you don't.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/30/12 at 6:48

Nemo, he just made a common misstep. People who are thieves and frauds automatically assume you must be one in order to read them. They don't know how to relate to someone who is not like them so they never know how you're going to react or reason. And he obviously thinks that a skip tracer is a repo person - that's a whole other ballpark - one in which I would never want to play.

He's more common that he realizes.

By: Mike Burch on 12/1/12 at 2:53


Thanks. It seems completely obvious that many of the GOP's bizarre positions are the product of bad religion. The Bible can be very dangerous in the hands of people who refuse to admit that much of it was written by men more insane than Hitler ... men who stoned girls to death for not bleeding on their wedding nights, or being raped. Men who sold their own daughters into sex slavery.

People who believed all the Bible owned slaves, burned women at the stake as witches, created Inquisitions and Holy Wars ... under Bush Junior they started two new Holy Wars in the Middle East, rather than admitting that 911 was the result of Israeli and US injustices, and putting an end to them.

By: Mike Burch on 12/1/12 at 3:08


You said:

More like what created what. If you believe evolution, we were not created in any one's image. We've evolved from one thing into another. So the creator is automatically foreign to us. The ultimate alien.

No argument there. When I talk about the Bible, I speak from the standpoint of the Bible, but I don't believe the writers knew much about God, creation, evolution, etc. If we don't give credit to the Bible and other ancient religious texts that are full of errors and contradictions, what can we say about the Creator, except that certain things about the nature of the universe may suggest intelligent design? Even if that is true, still we know nothing about the nature of the Creator.

Perhaps the best argument for intelligent design is the more advanced stages of evolution. How did animals accidentally evolve to fly, when so many things have to work together in harmony for flight to occur? How did the male and female reproductive systems manage to evolve and stay in synch? How can an eyeball evolve by accident, when so many things have to work together, but none of them are beneficial until sight emerges?

I don't discount the possibility of intelligent design. But that doesn't make me believe the Bible, a primitive book written largely by ancient barbarians who made God seem like the Devil, probably because they attributed natural disasters and war losses as "the wrath of God."

By: Mike Burch on 12/1/12 at 3:17


If you think I write diatribes, you haven't been reading what you write yourself. You sound like an insufferable bigot railing at "inferior" people for not being like yourself.

If there were only two people in the world, there might be decent commerce with just two people. If there were two people who controlled 99% of the wealth, and 300 million people with next to nothing, the crowns would rest uneasy on the heads of the lucky two.

That is my point about the 1% and the 99%. You may be the second coming of Marie Antionette, and in your opinion entitled to live a life of luxury, but if the system is radically unfair to millions of other people, they may come looking to turn your head into a bowling ball.

So in my opinion -- which you are free to ignore or call a "diatribe" -- it is better to have a more just system that allows everyone a chance at success. You seem to be intent on blaming poor people for being poor for a lack of effort. But there are many poor people who work hard, who keep falling further and further behind, because the system is rigged against them.

I simply think that the system should be more fair, and thus give more people the chance to succeed. And I'm not convinced that you're as superior as you believe. Most highly intelligent people are capable of empathy.

By: govskeptic on 12/1/12 at 5:40

"Religion mad conservatives'? This from a woman whipped Metro Sexual mind
that hates religion and a manure spreader of the very far left. There are millions
within this country that are Conservative in many ways without faith playing any
part in their voting or living. The Republicans can embrace them, but the far left
never will. Our good state will be just fine with the Super Majority in both
houses, especially compared to so many others wanting Federal Bailouts.

By: parnell3rd on 12/1/12 at 6:32

I read one propanganda filled paragraph and that is all you do. And then you start calling people names with your flock who believes every word you say. You should have been a writer in Nazi Gemany.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/1/12 at 6:57

That is a laugh, p3 complaining about people name calling.

By: Ask01 on 12/1/12 at 7:23

There will come, I hope, a point at which these elected representatives will realize they can no longer pander to the lowest common denominator.

Even though they publicly champion the family values, guns, and God rhetoric, the cold, harsh light of reality will hopefully shine through and they will realize the extremists are not the only ones they represent. Hopefully they will face the fact posting signs at the state line advising visitors to set their watch (analog, of course) to the 1950's only plays well as a joke, not in reality.

At this moment, the euphoria has not yet dissipated. They are still revelling in what they perceive as a tidal wave of support,

That wave, however, will eventually fade and begin to recede, particularly fast if the economy continues to sour. Especially if their big city Republican cousins in Washington continue to speed the bus toward the financial cliff. If they drive the bus through the guard rails, apparently just to spite the President, I predict the greatest rout suffered by a modern political party in recent memory.

As the electorate, recognizing the role played by the Republican opposition selfishly protecting their own interest, and those of a minority group, react to punish the guilty parties, the backlash will be felt, I believe, even in the Tennessee legislature.

I am afraid I got a little carried away, but I wanted to get the point across that the legislature needs to back off the far right rhetoric, or risk losing some support. I wanted also to stress if the US Congress fails to act, allowing a steep increase in taxes, their will be consequences as we witness the trickle down theory actually working as voters lash out at the party responsible, that backlash even reaching to the state houses.

Have a great day folks, time to do the shopping.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/1/12 at 7:29

You too Ask 01.

By: Ask01 on 12/1/12 at 7:35

Thanks, Captain Nemo.

That should have read "there," not "their." Sorry, brain cramp.

By: yogiman on 12/1/12 at 8:37

In your 11/30/0847 post, gdiafante, you referred the word [opinion] had two "i"s. Didn't you also notice it had 2 "n"s, 2 "o"s and one "p"? Shouldn't you take a "p" to spell it?

By: Captain Nemo on 12/1/12 at 8:56

It is a beautiful day gdia.

By: yogiman on 12/1/12 at 9:56

I've scanned the US 1408, Title 8, Sect. 1401, gdiafante. It is regarding "Nationals & Citizens" of the US at birth. I didn't see the definition of "natural born citizen".

According to my education on the Constitution, our founders placed the requirement of being a natural born citizen as that particular requirement for only 2 offices; the President and Vice-President to be sure that official would be true Americans for this nation without any foreign influence. I believe they should have added the 3rd "backup" to that requirement, the Speaker of the House, who took over when the VP retired under Richard Nixon and left Gerald Ford in place. What if he had grown up in China before becoming an American?

Congress cannot change the Constitution without the consent of [we the people]. If your man Barry [knew] he was a Constitutionally eligible man for the office, why did he question John McCain on his eligibility. Why did he vote in John McCain's favor when the Senate made the decision he was eligible because BOTH of his parents were American citizens? Why did Barry refuse to answer questions on the subject? Why has he hired lawyers and spent over 2 million dollars to keep his identity secret? Is he legally Barack Obama or Barry Soetoro?

What was the first Executive Order he signed when he usurped the office

By: yogiman on 12/1/12 at 10:21

Well, B2,

I fully agree with you on your definition of scumbags. That's why I consider Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama as a scumbag. I can't stand a liar and a thief... and especially a usurper of the Oval Office.

Being the man I am, I'll fight to the until the end or until I'm proven wrong. So hang in there and support your beloved usurper.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/1/12 at 4:58

Another beautiful sunset.

By: Loner on 12/1/12 at 10:04

Another asinine comment from our resident douche bag, Yogiman.

By: yogiman on 12/1/12 at 11:12

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, Loner.

Ignorance is the acceptance of someone as your president who refuses to identify himself.

By: yogiman on 12/2/12 at 4:32

I have a question, Mike. You question George Bush on his "unregulated nation-bankrupting ways".

My question: Is Barry Soetoro bankrupting us in [regulated nation-bankrupting ways]? What regulations has he used to bankrupt us deeper into debt that all presidents combined before himself; in less than one term?

You state the war with Iran was fought on false premises. Was it? Do you know what's on the other side of the hill before you reach the peak?

Do you know what's around the corner before you go around it?

I wish you could tell me the best kind of crops I should grow the summer I'm gong to have next year.

By: yogiman on 12/2/12 at 4:51


You can so readily condemn Republican politicians because of their party's name only, yet you can so readily accept Barry Soetoro as your president in name only because he claims to be a Democrat.

So tell me, you condemn George Bush, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney as stupider than you; so how about giving me the names of the brilliant Democrats who assisted a usurper into office.

I used to think you was more intelligent that that but you have proven me wrong to accept someone by name only.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/2/12 at 12:35

Today is another nice day Loner.