Icky Ricky and Which Mitt: A tale of two roosters

Once upon a time, a rooster named Which Mitt decided he would be a better barnyard leader than the Big Owl.

 But Icky Ricky, another rooster, also wanted to be the one in charge.

 They began crowing, loudly and nonstop, to see who had the scariest stories about each other and about Big Owl.

 “Which Mitt isn’t rooster enough to beat Big Owl,” screeched Icky Ricky. “And if Big Owl isn’t knocked off his perch soon, he’ll force every animal to eat broccoli! And he’ll let birds mate with bees! And then he’ll let them kill their offspring!”

 “I’m more rooster than Icky Ricky. My hens have the fanciest nesting boxes in the chicken house,” crowed Which Mitt. “We need to stop wasting feed and vet care on animals who don’t have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep, because if they don’t already have them they probably don’t deserve them.”

 Many of the animals believed the scary stories about Big Owl, but some were a little scared of Icky Ricky too, and a lot of them didn’t trust Which Mitt. They began braying, bleating and yowling: “Oh, what will we do? Who will save us from Big Owl?”

 They finally decided they were more alarmed by Icky Ricky than suspicious of Which Mitt. After that, all the roosters’ scare stories were about Big Owl, and they got scarier and scarier.

 “Big Owl is trying to brainwash your young! He’ll enslave us all!”

 Big Owl won again, mostly because he hadn’t done anything as scary as Which Mitt claimed. Life in the barnyard went on.

 A few of the animals still feared Big Owl, but the ones with bigger brains got tired of hearing the same old stories crowed at them.  

 Some of them began to wonder whether they’d been afraid of the wrong animals. And when the roosters crowed, nobody listened anymore.






Class warfare, indeed

The party of greed, guns and God has now stooped to a new low in shameless hypocrisy – branding Obama’s call for higher taxes on the wealthy as “class warfare.” Almost as sickening is their pious claim that calling on corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of the bill for the enormous benefits they’ve received amounts to “divisiveness.”

In truth, Republicans have waged class warfare against anyone who isn’t wealthy. During Republican administrations from Reagan on, wages have fallen or remained stagnant, jobs have moved overseas, workplace benefits have been gutted and unions attacked. The goals of the GOP have been to protect property instead of people, to “unburden” business from laws mandating basic fairness and to kowtow to the rich in return for their favors.

It’s long past time to stop appeasing people who deride centrists as radicals and brand liberals as traitors. It’s time to start acknowledging the truth – there is such a thing as class warfare in this country, it’s been directed against the poor (a group that includes more Americans than ever) and unless we protest it loudly and insistently, it will persist. The Banana Republicans would love to turn this country into a Third World haven where 90 percent of the population slaves for the top 10 percent.


It’s time for the grownups among us to quit indulging the tantrums of the political 2-year-olds hollering “No!” unless they get their way.

One way to accomplish this would be for Democrats, Independents, Greens, Libertarians and moderates of all kinds to join the Republican Party. Take it back from the fanatics who denounce those even slightly left of center as extremists, Marxists or terrorists.

Today’s Tea Party followers are political Puritans – strident, inflexible, judgmental, convinced of their moral superiority and suspicious of anyone who doesn’t see everything as either-or, black or white and right or wrong.

Like children and fundamentalists of all kinds, they’re full of irrational fears, seeing monsters where none exist and unable to see any merit in opposing views.

Good parents don’t attempt to reason with, placate or compromise with toddlers throwing tantrums, for the very good reason that toddlers don’t have the mental capacity or life experience to be reached in those ways. As we’ve seen, giving in to them worsens the misbehavior.

Elections often are swung by a handful of votes. This is why the Tea Party has succeeded in gaining influence despite its small size. It is well organized and very active in getting out votes.

Politicians pay inordinate attention to such groups, knowing that they can provide a winning margin in a close race.

So it really shouldn’t be that hard to swing the pendulum back towards middle ground.

Switch your party registration to Republican. Then find a moderate Republican office holder near you, identify yourself as a Republican voter and tell him or her you support them. Even better, do a little volunteer work on their campaign. In primary elections, vote for anyone who isn’t a hard-right extremist.

None of this will prevent you from voting for the candidates of your choice in general elections, whatever their party might be.

If we don’t help the Republican Party strengthen its moderates, we’ll all be dragged down by kicking, screaming naysayers.