For Independence Day: If You Fly the Confederate Flag, You Don't Deserve a Holiday

Senator Henry Wilson knew the score. At an event referred to as a "colored people's celebration," the July 4, 1865 Independence Day rally was the first after the end of the Civil War. It was held on the grounds of the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., and one of the purposes of the gathering was to call for "the immediate, complete, and universal enfranchisement" of all African Americans, as Frederick Douglass put it. Wilson, a Massachusetts Republican, had been an outspoken abolitionist and supporter of the rights of blacks, long-free and just-free. Later a vice-president to Ulysses Grant, he was the featured speaker that day.

Wilson had no patience for for anyone who still supported the "cause" of the Confederacy, mocking the mayor of Washington, D.C. for refusing to attend (and eventually getting mightily pissed at Andrew Johnson). He addressed how the nation should handle the unsteady future, so soon after the end of the nightmarish war and the assassination of Lincoln:

"Pardoned rebels, and rebels yet unpardoned, flippantly tell us that they hold in their hands, yet red with loyal blood, the rights of loyal colored men, of the heroes scarred and maimed beneath the dear old flag. I tell these repentant and unrepentant but conquered and subdued rebels that, while they hold the suffrage of the loyal black men in their hands, we, the loyal men of America, hold in our hands their lost privilege to hold office in the civil service, army, or navy. The Congress of the United States has placed upon the statute-book a law forever prohibiting anyone who has borne arms against the country, or given aid, comfort, and countenance to the Rebellion, from holding any office of honor, profit, or emolument in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States."

That was an in-yer-face proclamation there. Of course, in 1872, the Amnesty Act got rid of those restrictions on almost all former Confederate soldiers, thus ensuring that freed slaves would get dicked over post-Reconstruction.  Still, in 1865, Wilson's stand was clear. The people of the southern United States were disloyal, conquered rebels, and they should be treated as such.

There is something poignantly dumb about the fact that there will be a Confederate Heritage Rally in Tampa, Florida 150 years after the event on the 4th of July 1865. That the focus of the event will be the flag of the conquered rebels is pathetic. "Come join us in preserving and defending our proud Southern heritage. BRING YOUR FLAGS!" the rally-goers are commanded. Someone else informs the group that websites and stores are sold out of Confederate flags, so he doesn't know where he'll get one. Someone else says that they should order cakes with the flag on it for "Lee-Jackson Day, Confederate Memorial Day, Jefferson Davis Birthday, State Day (i.e. Florida Day, etc.), Confederate Flag Day," and that "commemorating an important Confederate battlefield victory would all be our major cultural holidays days."

Everyone who heard Wilson's speech way back when would be appalled to the point of despair to know that, a century and a half later, on Independence Day, the rebels don't believe they lost to the nation whose day they are supposed to be celebrating.


Judge to Bobby Jindal: Don't You Get That This Marriage Debate Is Over?

Perhaps, at the end of a farcical situation, it's appropriate that a judge named "Marty Feldman" put the final nail in the idiotic coffin.  U.S. District Court Judge Feldman, who does not have comically googly eyes and was appointed by Ronald Reagan his own self, told Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who does have a comically skinny neck, to stop being such a cockknob and that everyone can get gay married because of the Supreme Court.

In fact, Judge Feldman's order goes full gay. It "specifically requires the state to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize the marriage rights of couples who married legally in other states. The ruling also orders the state to allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt children, to have both spouses names placed on birth certificates for their children, and to file joint tax returns." Feldman was responding to a lawsuit filed by a same-sex couple (that sex being "dude") who thought it absurd that they couldn't get a marriage license post-SCOTUS decision.

And, because nothing says, "Fuck your ignorant, arrogant fuckhole" like making someone dish out the cash, Feldman ordered that "plaintiffs in each of these consolidated cases are awarded their costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys' fees."

So just one day after taking a mighty stand for religious extremism against the secular laws of the nation, Jindal was forced to lick his own sore anus today. "This order directs the agencies to comply and all questions about processing benefits should be directed to them," a spokesperson for Jindal said. Jindal's Alamo had been Orleans Parish, the only place where the state controlled the filing of marriage licenses. Every other parish had complied with the Supreme Court. So it went about as well as the Alamo.

Are we done? Texas? Alabama? Are we gonna need troops sent in to enforce the law, like after desegregation? One can suppose it all depends on a combination of cowardice and cravenness in our politicians. And since we're talking about Republicans running for President, we can expect a pageant of fuckery and lots of bullshit talk of religious independence on Independence Day.


Disembodied Asshole Sharts That He's Running for President

Yesterday, in a high school gym in New Jersey, an angry, giant, disembodied asshole announced that he's running for president. The giant asshole paraded, preened, and pronounced his qualifications and complaints in a series of sharts, which is where it seems like an asshole is just farting when actually it's blowing out shit bits, defiling everything around it, usually just underwear. But this being a speech by a disembodied asshole, the crowd and the gathered media were sprinkled with the asshole's fecal spray.

The asshole introduced his poor, shit-smeared wife by saying that she lost a coin toss, and that's why she stayed at home and he became a politician. And what was her role? "[S]he is largely responsible" for the breeding and raising of the asshole's four children. The asshole apparently wants us to believe that had he lost the coin toss, had tails failed, he wouldn't have tried to run for office. It's the lying logic of the asshole, the anecdote far more significant than the truth.

We learned about the asshole's upbringing, about the asshole's parents, about the asshole's entirely ordinary lower middle-class upbringing followed by an entirely ordinary college experience, and we were probably supposed to be just amazed that a disembodied asshole could climb this far. But this is America, and white assholes get wiped clean and first all the time. An asshole is not a man of the people if he accepts gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars from a king. An asshole is not a regular guy at all if he bows down to billionaires in order to receive the Midas touch of their gold-covered dicks.

Then the asshole outright lied about his accomplishments, about how much New Jersey loves him, about how he wants to work together with everyone when, time and again, the only way you get to work with this asshole is to give in to what he wants or he will shit all over you and tell you that you brought it on yourself by acting like such a fuckin' toilet.

The number of contradictions within the asshole's speech piled up. He was proud of all his vetoes as governor of New Jersey but then talked nearly romantically about "a country that was built on compromise." Bizarrely, the asshole added, "If Washington and Adams and Jefferson believed compromise was a dirty word, we'd still be under the crown of England." The Rude Pundit may not have read the same history that apparently disembodied assholes read, but he's pretty sure that we're not under the crown of England because the Founders didn't compromise on independence.

And, as befits a giant asshole, he got more angry as he talked about what he sees as wrong with the nation, right after he said that the country wasn't angry. He talked about his love of his job and New Jersey, right after he talked about how much time he spent away from the state that elected him governor twice and now despises him with the heat and pain of a spicy pepper sausage hero from the Seaside Heights boardwalk being crapped out. He blew loose stool all over President Obama, who he had embraced as his state's savior in 2012 after the catastrophic storm that flooded him to a huge reelection.

Finally, the disembodied asshole brought it all back to himself because assholes are, if nothing else, self-centered: "Only in America, only in America have we seen time after time after time, the truth of the words that one person can make a difference." This was shortly after the asshole had said, "I heard the President of the United States say the other day that the world respects America more because of his leadership." Putting aside that that's not actually what Obama said, apparently the asshole's "one person" can only be the asshole.

"I mean what I say and I say what I mean and that's what America needs right now," the asshole spit out towards the end of his speech, which didn't have a single actual plan or policy in it.

Then the giant, disembodied asshole sauntered through the vaguely enthusiastic crowd that seemed vaguely suspicious of the asshole. Perhaps that's what's happened since 2012 and 2013. Perhaps, finally, people realized, "Wait a minute. He's just an asshole. Fuck that asshole."


In Brief: Rand Paul Is So Awesome That He'll Hang Out With a Traitor

Rand Paul is a different kind of politician. He's the kind of presidential candidate who will meet with anyone. Are you a rancher who refuses to pay federal grazing fees that every other rancher has to pay? Did you invite a bunch of armed fucknuts, paranoiacs, and numbskulls to threaten an insurrection against the federal government, which could have killed everyone there with a single Hellfire missile? Are you a crazed racist hick who openly "ponders" if "the Negro" was better off in slavery?

Even if you're all that in one, Rand Paul will meet with you and legitimize your bugfuck insanity, Cliven Bundy.

Obviously, the next step will be for Paul to hang out with Klan members and Aryan Nation "soldiers," followed by a sympathetic jailhouse visit to Dylann Roof. Because that's just how fucking different Rand Paul is from your typical presidential candidate, bitches, and you can't handle his amazing awesomeness and don't you want legal pot?

(Truth be told, earlier today, the Rude Pundit could not, for the life of him, remember whether or not Rand Paul was actually running for president. Not that it matters.)

Post Today?

People, it's been a day, as we used to say down south. Probably elsewhere, too. 

The Rude Pundit has a thing or two to say about the throbbing asshole who sharted his way into the presidential race today. He'll try to get to it tonight. 


In Brief: Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Guzzle Raki Until He's Blind

That's the police in Istanbul, Turkey, using water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse a gay pride parade that had marched into the central square. No one was exactly sure what pissed off the authorities, but, since it's Ramadan, the festivities probably made some tight-ass, fasting Muslim fundamentalists cranky. The party continued on other blocks, though.

In the United States, you can bet that fuckholes like Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer, and Ted Cruz all wished they could hold the hoses at pride parades all over America, blowing the happy right off the celebrating faces.


The Lesson of This Week: We're Sick of the Past

It's rare that you get to feel like you live in a moment of real change. Oh, sure, there will be some documentary down the line that will proclaim that this decade "changed everything." That's kind of a bullshit thing. Every decade changes everything (see CNN's series on the 1960s and now the 1970s). Time works that way. In fact, the failure of some to recognize that everything changes is one of the only consistencies throughout the years.

This week, the American people and the Supreme Court and President Obama declared the past done. Obviously, we need to learn from the past. But the idea is that you learn from it and then move forward. You don't pretend it didn't happen. And you sure as shit don't live in it. You live now, with an eye to the future. Otherwise we're damned to repeat.

We didn't damn ourselves this week. Oh, no. Quite clearly, the zeitgeist of the nation is that we are fucking sick of those who want to try to drag us backwards. Fuck them. Fuck that.

The easiest, most obvious example is the nearly blindingly fast pivot on the Confederate flag and other public displays of pride in the Americans who rebelled against the United States to defend slavery. From people finally admitting that they are ashamed of their slave-owning ancestors (or the ones who aided and abetted slavery) to the Mayor of New Orleans calling for the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Circle, we have quickly reached a point where anyone justifying their love of the Confederacy is seen as a racist asshole deserving of contempt.

And the Supreme Court this week had bad news for Americans who want things to go backwards. No, sorry, go fuck yourself, it said, we're not going back to the savage healthcare system we had before the Affordable Care Act (which, yes, is not perfect, but is a helluva lot better than it was). And your religious beliefs from the past aren't worth two gerbil shits when it comes to recognition of the right of two consenting adults to marry. If the only thing you have to defend your goddamned mean dumbness is "That's the way it's always been done," then you have nothing.

These next few days are going to be overloaded with overheated rhetoric from the right-wing commentariat, all trying desperately to drag us back into their cruel, racist, homophobic past. We will hear about how God wants things, as if that has jackshit to do with how we create our laws. We will hear about constitutional amendments, which is the only way to change what the Supreme Court did (and, yes, the Supreme Court is the final word on the Constitution as it exists today). We will hear hysteria and moaning from people who are watching as the past, their past, the past they have clung to and believed in and lived for is murdered right before their eyes by the vicissitudes of progress. They are becoming isolated, these past-clingers, and they have revealed themselves as, at best, useless or, at worst, destructive.

Finally, let us exult, briefly, before we righteously criticize him again, that the transformative legacy of President Obama was affirmed this week. As he said in his interview with Marc Maron, which was released on Monday, you cannot deny that the country is a better place than it was before he took office. If you try, you are lying. We voted for the man, most of us twice, and, damn, some days it's good to feel proud of that. Let's enjoy that for a moment before we remember, oh, yeah, drone war and banker-coddling.

The future is ahead, with all the hard work it takes to get there. Onward.


The Supreme Court Victory for the ACA: Punching Scalia in the Balls

What fucking country was Antonin Scalia talking about in his epically spit-flecked dissent on the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell? The majority said, pretty clearly, "Yeah, you can go fuck yourself with your poorly-worded phrase" and allowed subsidies for people buying health insurance on the federal exchange. Why are they buying it on the federal exchange? Because they live in states where they have governors and/or legislatures who couldn't give a shit less about poor and middle class people.

Scalia wrote, no doubt while Clarence Thomas was blowing him while Sammy Alito was rimming his asshole, "The Court predicts that making tax credits unavailable in States that do not set up their own Exchanges would cause disastrous economic consequences there. If that is so, however, wouldn’t one expect States to react by setting up their own Exchanges?" Big Tony Scalia ain't a dumb man; in fact, he is a regular at the cabal meetings where, pre-masked orgy, fat conservative fucksacks talk about how much they hate that Negro president - they look at Clarence Thomas, who laughs, laughs, laughs - and how they want to destroy anything he's touched. But this part of the dissent is Scalia living in fantasy America, where Republicans do the right thing to take care of the regular people.

This ain't that America. This is the America where blithering, ignorant assholes decided that having the federal government pay for expanded Medicaid in full and then 90% of it was some kind of crazy socialist plot to keep the poors alive and voting Democratic. This is the America where Jesus-crammed-up-the-ass Republicans would rather spend time passing restrictions on abortion rights than worrying about shit like school funding. They forced their citizens onto the federal exchange because they don't give a horny rat's dick about them. And Scalia knows this. He was just fluffing the fucknuts, putting lipstick on a dead pig.

The six-justice majority (so let's be clear - it wasn't even close) knew it, too. They knew that there was no way in hell that Republicans at the state or federal level would do anything but vile fuckery when it comes to the Affordable Care Act because they have so much of their empty agenda riding on its failure. So their decision essentially recognizes that, yeah, shit, of course the people who created the Affordable Care Act wanted the states to run exchanges and were shocked at all the Republicans who suddenly decided that the federal government controlling part of their state's economy was cool. And the majority went ahead, punched Scalia in the balls, and said, "You know what? You may want to force fist your beliefs into your citizens, but that's ideological rape, fuckers. Knock it off. Enough. We're done here. Assholes. Sheesh." (Put that in legalese and it's the essence of Roberts' decision.)

The Rude Pundit had skin in this game. As he's mentioned before, his sister and her family (including delightful kids, one of whom has a pre-existing condition that requires expensive-ass treatment) are on a health insurance plan from the federal exchange because Louisiana is led by a power-hungry, skinny-necked loser. Scalia would have condemned the Rude Sis to poverty. Instead, she's an independent contractor and her husband started a small business, all because Obamacare freed them from the tyranny of health coverage through employment.

Meanwhile, conservative spoogebuckets will spray their acid spooge, declaring the end of the nation and the beginning of another kind tyranny, just like such tyrannical countries like Germany and Japan, who know what tyranny actually looks like. Meanwhile, millions of people still fall into the savage gap between Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion that their states deny them.

Meanwhile, for most of the nation, we have a status quo, and that is life under the Affordable Care Act. The least Republicans could do would be to move on and fuck up something else. But, you know, they won't. They want to make the United States into Scalia's cruel, divided country. That's the only way to victory.