Though west Michigan is home to many in the reality based community, we still have to interact with far too many from the Tea Party. The region that gave us reasonable Republicans like Gerald Ford, Paul Henry, and Vern Ehlers has also sent Pete Hoekstra and Justin Amash to Congress. As the paper of record in the area, The Grand Rapids Press knows which side its bread is buttered on and has endorsed accordingly. The Press endorsed Mitt Romney and John McCain. It endorsed Pete Hoekstra for U.S. Senate. It endorsed Justin Amash because he explains all of his present votes on Facebook. And unless its website was hacked, today's Grand Rapids Press should give the Republicans pause, because this shutdown is not going to end well for them. Join me below the orange squiggly to see why.
My brother is an intelligent man. Sure, he’s conservative (he’s a banker...what else could he be), but he’s not lock-step with the wackos who have taken over the Republican Party. He’s also onboard with the need for alternative energy—he’s gung-ho over a plan for us to pool our money with like-minded people to build windmills. So a conversation we had over Christmas caught me off guard.
"You know what happened," he said. "George Soros was pumping billions into speculation on oil prices, and it drove them up, which in turn started the economic collapse." I didn’t know where to begin. George Soros? He’s the bogeyman of the Right, and I have little doubt that he got that information from Faux News. But my own brother? His words are just the tip of the iceberg of the accusations making the rounds.
Anecdotal evidence is not a reliable predictor. I am a scientist, and I should know that. But it's hard to ignore what I've observed this summer.
I live in a lonely purple oasis in the midst of the deep red territory of Western Michigan. It's not uncommon to read a letter to the local paper proclaiming that one can't be a Christian and vote for Democrats. Our Representative, Republican Vern Ehlers, routinely gets bashed by writers to the local newspaper because he's too "liberal," even though he votes with Bush about as frequently as McCain. (In his previous life Ehlers was a physicist, so he doesn't pull any punches when telling people that our society uses too much energy.) We're right next door to Republican Pete Hoekstra's district, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee who went on Faux News to claim that we'd found the WMDs in Iraq. But judging by conversations and yard signs, it's going to be an Obama blowout here.
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