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Response to Anti-Liberal E-mail - Linus Gets It

Libtards First PanelI need to quit taking the bait so easily. Somebody sent me another political e-mail that I couldn't resist responding to. This one wasn't nearly as high brow as the typical right wing rant. It consisted of 3 strips of the comic, Libtards (the name in and of itself lets you know the level of discourse to expect). This comic rips off the Peanuts, and in the strips I saw, at least, consisted of political conversations between Linus and Lucy, with Lucy representing the liberal and Linus representing the conservative. I'm not going to repost the comics here, but I will provide links if you want to read them for yourself.

Libtards Strip 1
The first strip started with Lucy saying, "I voted for Obama because he's black," followed by Linus listing all the supposed problems caused by Obama.

Voted for Obama because he's black Only a small minority of people voted for Obama strictly because he's black - probably about the same number of people who voted for McCain/Romney strictly because they're white.
Deficit Obama took office during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Deficit spending is exactly what the government's supposed to do in that situation to stimulate the economy and get things back on track. So, you can't have it both ways. Either the economy is recovered and we can stop deficit spending, or the economy is still hurting and requires deficit spending from the government.
NY Times - Judging Stimulus by Job Data Reveals Success

Let's also not forget that government spending as a percentage of GDP has been steadily decreasing since Obama's first year in office.

Federal Spending
(Source: JaredBernsteinBlog.com)

(In my opinion, this is a fault with the Obama administration - stimulus spending has been too small, explaining the slower than hoped recovery. The current sequestration is going to hurt the recovery even more.)
Unemployment Unemployment has been improving since the worst of the Recession.

U.S. Unemployment Rate
(Source: TradingEconomics.com)
Benghazi I agree that this is a problem, but also one that's been blown out of proportion.
Think Progress - What Everyone Should Know About The Benghazi Attack
Gas prices Gas prices showed a fairly steady rise from 2003 to 2008 under Bush. Then there was a sudden drop, after which prices relatively quickly rebounded to what they'd been previously, but have held fairly steady for the past two years without further increase. So, even assuming any president had much control over gas prices, I don't see where Obama's done a bad job.

Gas Price History
(Source: GasBuddy.com)
Immigration crisis Illegal immigration peaked in 2007 and has been decreasing since then.
CBS News - Illegal immigration to U.S. drops after rising for decade
Solyndra What about it? There were nearly 40 projects in that loan guarantee program. Most of the projects were successful. Solyndra wasn't. I wouldn't expect every project in such a program to be successful.
Think Progress - Five Things You Should Know About Solyndra During The 2012 Campaign
National credit rating Maybe you could blame Obama for not showing enough leadership here, but the downgrade was clearly due to the GOP in congress, and the way they played chicken with our country's economy and reputation.
Think Progress - The Downgrade Trifecta: S&P Slams Third GOP Debt Stance For Jeopardizing U.S. Credit

Libtards Strip 2
The second strip started with Lucy saying, "I am pro-choice!", followed by Linus listing all the things our tyrannical government prohibits.

Can I choose to smoke? Yes.  Cigarettes are still legal.
Can I choose a large soda? Other than one local government (NYC), everyone has always been able to buy large sodas.
Can I choose to own a gun? Yes.  Even the recently failed gun control laws were only trying to institute universal background checks, limit clip capacity, and limit one particular type of firearm (assault rifles).  A few years ago, Obama even signed into law a bill that allows people to take firearms into national parks.
NBC News - New law allows loaded guns in national parks
Can I choose an incandescent bulb? First of all, it depends.  Some states are phasing out incandescent bulbs.  Federal laws are only mandating new efficiency standards (albeit, ones that will be hard for current incandescent bulbs to meet).
Wikipedia - Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs: United States

But more importantly, Lucy was right in this comic.  Our energy use is too high.  Global warming is a real threat that we must face, and switching to more efficient light bulbs seems like a small price to pay to help reduce our carbon output.
Can I choose low-cost coal? Again, Lucy is right.  According to Wikipedia, "Although coal power only accounted for 49% of the U.S. electricity production in 2006, it was responsible for 83% of CO2 emissions caused by electricity generation that year..."  How selfish do you have to be to want to continue using so much coal simply because it gives you a little cheaper electricity, when you're passing off all the problems of global warming to future generations?  Our nation should be transitioning to cleaner power sources.
Wikipedia - Coal power in the United States
Can I choose to honor God? Yes.  You just can't use tax-payer money to do so.  Granted, there are mostly local cases where someone doesn't understand the law, but no widespread attempt at suppressing religion.  In fact, the problem's mostly the opposite - people abusing their positions to use taxpayer money to push sectarian beliefs and not respecting the Establishment Clause.  (When's the last time you heard a politician end a speech without saying "and God bless America"?)
ACLU - ACLU Defense of Religious Practice and Expression
Americans United

Oh, just for the hell of it, let's turn this around and ask a few hypothetical questions to Republicans.

Can I burn an inanimate object like a flag? Not if we had our way.  Even though it causes no actual harm to anybody, it seems disrespectful.
Fox News - Houses Passes Ban on U.S. Flag-Burning
Can I marry whoever I want? No.  Even though marriage has been an ever changing institution, from polygamy (even in the Bible) to arranged marriages to no inter-racial marriages just a few decades ago, we're going to pretend that 'traditional marriage' is something real and outlaw the marriages we don't agree with.  And we'll even try to get an amendment passed to the Constitution that takes away freedom.
Star Tribune - Marriage Amendment
What about in my heterosexual marriage?  Can we do things a little 'wild and crazy' in the bedroom? Nope.  Missionary style only - at least in 13 states.
Huffington Post - Why Do Virginia, 13 Other States Want To Keep Their Anti-Sodomy Laws A Decade After SCOTUS Ban?
Can I hook up with a girl from a bar?  Shack up with my long term girlfriend? Not in Virginia.
Sodomy.org - Virginia's Sodomy Law
Can I smoke a little pot? No.  Drugs are immoral (even if marijuana and several other illicit drugs are less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol).
Wikipedia - Substance abuse
Can I buy a bottle of fine scotch whiskey on a Sunday afternoon? No.  And you can't go car-shopping, either.
Wikipedia - Blue law
Can I vote? Going against 200 years of tradition - not unless you have a driver's license, even though voter fraud is a non-existent problem.
Mother Jones - UFO Sightings Are More Common Than Voter Fraud

And if we think you're going to vote against us, we'll do what we can to make it harder for you to vote.
Think Progress - Florida Republicans Admit Voter Suppression Was The Goal Of New Election Laws
CommonDreams.org - Land of the Free? Home of the Brave? Only When It's Convenient

Libtards Strip 3
Here's the third and final strip from the e-mail. This one began with Lucy claiming, "Republicans are racist, sexist, homophobic, gun-toting religious fanatics," with Linus pointing out that liberals support Muslims who share all those same traits.

Okay, he has a bit of a point, there. Too many liberals, going too far in trying to be tolerant and multicultural, accept the negative aspects of some cultures.
SamHarris.org - Dear Fellow Liberal: An Exchange with Glenn Greenwald

But it's important to remember that there's a lot of diversity among Muslims just like Christians. Just like you shouldn't try to tar all of Christianity because of the KKK, Hutaree, the Army of God, modern day witch hunts, or the like, you shouldn't try to tar all of Islam because of Muslim extremists. In fact, this is a large part of the reason why many liberals are so quick to defend Muslims - because there is real discrimination against them.
Wikipedia - Christian terrorism
Wikipedia - Army of God (United States)
Guardian - Children are targets of Nigerian witch hunt
Think Progress - Fox News Reignites Islamophobic Campaign Against The 'Ground Zero Mosque'

So, this was just more of the same that I've come to expect from right-wing e-mail forwards - straw men and distortions of the truth, though in a much cruder format than I'm used to seeing.

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