We haven’t had a Vice President who used the F-word since the last one

By John Hopkins
April 2010

I woke up this morning to a terrible racket outside. Since the so-called “ObamaCare” bill just passed, I thought it must be the arrival of the Four Horseman to herald Armageddon.

It was just two dogs. But it was a close one, and I’m still shaking. I’m sure all these Republicans, conservatives and Tea Partiers are right when it comes to predicting doom for the American Way.

They are concerned that health care overall will be paid for by their kids and grandkids.

They could be right.

But why didn’t they have those same concerns from 2000 to 2008, when a Republican president spent the budget surplus he inherited, using accounting trickery to fight two wars that future generations will have to pay for. And this one is dying for.

Some are concerned about the future of this country; a few are forwarding emails about keeping God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

They could be right.

I hear some lamenting life today and pining for the way things used to be, when God was in the pledge. Of course that “under God” phrase was added in 1954, it’s not like it has always been there.

The pledge was written in 1892 and it gave allegiance “to my flag.” Not only did it not mention God, it did not even refer to the United States. That was added in 1923 and “of America” was added later.

The last change to the pledge was “under God” in 1954.  Therefore “God” has been in the pledge for 56 years, after spending its first 62 years without it.

Now that we have that settled, I wonder just how far back these champions of liberty want to go? Maybe 1892, when the pledge was first written – and 161 blacks were lynched in America?

I know, many of today’s conservative political activists insist race plays no part in their opposition. After all, the GOP is the party of Lincoln!

They could be right.

Unless you know history. Then you’d know that Lincoln’s party folded soon after his murder, and the Southern Democrats morphed into today’s Republican party. The party of Lincoln? Hardly. The GOP’s roots reveal it to be the party of Jefferson Davis, Jim Crow and KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.

I understand that conservatives are angry over health care, and race has nothing to do with their opposition.

Which explains why last weekend one protestor waved a placard of Obama dressed as an African witch doctor, and why members of the Black Congressional Caucus were spat on by demonstrators in Washington.

I’m sure Obama’s ethnicity played no role in all the opposition against him. I think last election people so admired the sound of Obama’s full name that they made sure to use “Hussein” when referring to him. Those were the good old days! Lately, many seem to confuse Obama with Hitler or Stalin.

Surely, none of that had anything to do with racism, fear-mongering or hate.

And then I got an email about Vice President Joe Biden’s use of the “F-bomb.” The GOP appears outraged at Biden’s curse, and the Dems lack of civility.

They could be right.

The “F-word” hasn’t been used by an American vice president since the last one. Remember, a Democratic senator said good morning and Cheney replied with the old “F-you?”

Where did civility go? Maybe if the Dems didn’t hide civility, it could have been used by that Republican who yelled “You lie” during an Obama speech? Or the one recently who shouted “Baby killer?” Both of those incidents happened on the House floor.

All the God-fearing, patriotic Americans who shout down anyone with a different opinion could have borrowed some of that civility. Or those conservatives that are now making death threats against anyone who voted for health care.

One caller threatened that snipers were coming to kill the children of anyone that voted “yes.” The threats are so real that 10 members of Congress have asked for extra security.

Now, I ask you, is that civil?

Republicans, conservatives and Tea Baggers say the United States is going to hell in a handbasket.

They could be right.

They inch us ever closer to the damnation reserved for hypocrisy every time they stand silent when death threats and racial taunts are made; or when they cherry-pick their outrage to criticize a Democrat, while turning a blind eye to the Republican who did the same thing.

Republicans, conservatives and Tea Baggers would have us believe that there are dark days ahead for the United States of America.

They could be right.

Because hatred is always wrong.