Skip to main content

As a public service to those who find themselves inextricably cornered by aggressively ill-informed Republicans at work, on the train or at family gatherings, presented here are ten indisputably true facts that will seriously challenge a Republican’s worldview and probably blow a brain cell or two. At the very least, any one of these GOP-busters should stun and confuse them long enough for you to slip quietly away from a pointless debate and allow you to get on about your business.

1. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbingly growing number of Republicans like to claim.

2. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Definitely more “Occupy Wall Street” than “Grand Old Party” by anyone’s standard.

3. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

4. Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.

The Ronald Reagan Republicans worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among its other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”

5. Reagan raised federal taxes eleven times.

Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes - no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual Republican handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.

6. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.

Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States; the Supreme Court’s decision held only that individual states could not make abortion illegal. That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that Republicans love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:

Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 2 conservatives, 3 liberals, 2 moderates.

Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.

By ideological orientation, the decision was for Roe all the way: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment it was Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.

7. The Federal Reserve System was a Republican invention.

Republicans, and, truth be told, many Democrats, despise the Federal Reserve as an example of government interference in the free market. But hold everything: The Federal Reserve System was the brainchild of financial expert and Senate Republican leader Nelson Aldrich, grandfather of future Republican governor and vice president Nelson Rockefeller. Aldrich set up two commissions: one to study the American monetary system in depth and the other, headed by Aldrich himself, to study the European central banking systems. Aldrich went to Europe opposed to centralized banking, but after viewing Germany's monetary system he came away believing that a centralized bank was better than the government-issued bond system that he had previously supported. The Federal Reserve Act, developed around Senator Aldrich’s recommendations and - adding insult to injury in the minds of today’s Republicans - based on a European model, was signed into law in 1913.

8. The Environmental Protection Agency was, too.

The United States Environment Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by President Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but if it hadn’t been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.

Oh, yes - Republicans might enjoy knowing Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.

9. Obama has increased government spending less than any president in at least a generation.

Republican campaign strategists may lie, but the numbers don’t. Government spending, when adjusted for inflation, has increased during his administration (to date) by 1.4%.  Under George W. Bush, the increases were 7.3% (first term) and 8.1% (second term). Bill Clinton, in his two terms, comes in at 3.2% and 3.9%. George H. W. Bush increased government spending by 5.4%, while Ronald Reagan added 8.7% and 4.9% in his two terms.

Not only does Obama turn out to be the most thrifty president in recent memory, but the evidence shows that Republican administrations consistently increased government spending significantly more than any Democratic administration. Go figure.

10. President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most people know.

The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone 56% of Republicans still believe is a foreigner.

Okay, feel free to drop any or all of these ten true facts on your local Republican windbag. Tell him or her to put any of these choice nuggets in his or her teabag and steep it. Then sit back and enjoy the silence.

Note: Although the facts are 100% true, the context is, of course, one of humor; the oxymoronic reference to "Republican Brains" in the title should have been a dead giveaway. Additionally, as everyone knows, there are no facts in the Republican cosmos, only Fox News Alerts.

Originally posted to Richard Riis on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

kos, Meteor Blades, skybluewater, Renee, Alumbrados, Maxwell, Angie in WA State, zzyzx, Sylv, jo fish, KeithH, TXdem, jec, RF, sarahinwi, hazey, sagesource, Chi, Phoenix Woman, itsbenj, grollen, Timaeus, Trendar, glitterscale, daninoah, mndan, TrueBlueMajority, Danno11, newjeffct, bosdcla14, Emerson, dengre, alicia, Shockwave, EdinPHX, Sherri in TX, Wintermute, cotterperson, raygunnot, UTLiberal, hyperstation, eeff, dsb, willard landreth, figdish, Sandy on Signal, Cambridgemac, windwardguy46, bethcf4p, cvannatta, expatjourno, bookbear, hubcap, Bogleg, Paulie200, eyeswideopen, thomsirveaux, bronte17, TracieLynn, EricS, sponson, justme, cyberKosFan, fugwb, parker parrot, BlackSheep1, kalihikane, Wee Mama, mik, sfgb, teresahill, macleme, CoolOnion, highacidity, mkfarkus, Paradox13, MisterOpus1, Transmission, chimpy, roses, samddobermann, pedrito, Dhavo, taonow, ivote2004, puck nc, badlands, retLT, Fe, Torta, jalbert, rioduran, Cedwyn, antirove, sidnora, litigatormom, Chrisfs, dksbook, wader, dejavu, Nag, Moody Loner, annan, emmasnacker, sockpuppet, TexDem, Miss Jones, Noodles, madame defarge, lezlie, hoolia, White Buffalo, exiledfromTN, Spot Cat, homo neurotic, Jujuree, Steven Payne, defluxion10, raster44, razajac, AmyCat, RebeccaG, bsegel, Timbuk3, lcrp, Schup, riverlover, Dood Abides, Brian82, walkshills, bwintx, Bendra, peterj911, zerelda, ybruti, Sembtex, KellyB, mungley, bobnbob, KayCeSF, tomjones, NapaJulie, Mosquito Pilot, jcrit, poemworld, lyvwyr101, Emmy, boran2, bibble, Ohkwai, kmbaya, libnewsie, rapala, CPT Doom, kbman, Duke1676, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, ZZZzzz, NoMoreLies, Ckntfld, UFOH1, Unit Zero, wmc418, BluejayRN, blueyedace2, rimstalker, caul, WildRice, subtropolis, SherwoodB, Tonedevil, Erik the Red, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, Kdoug, TigerMom, Dobber, Unforgiven, Left Coast Resident, reflectionsv37, FutureNow, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, Beetwasher, LNK, Ex Con, vulcangrrl, SaraBeth, Dr Squid, Sun Tzu, GreyHawk, elbamash, cspivey, Kayakbiker, Ice Blue, peteri2, ivorybill, Steve in Urbana, markdd, davidslane, Cecile, kaliope, Isara, Let Freedom Ring, Tool, rb608, SBandini, spunhard, Savvy813, Thursday Next, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, FindingMyVoice, coolbreeze, Joes Steven, Pluto, sillia, kkjohnson, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, xaxnar, Jim R, Reality Bites Back, martini, esquimaux, Commonwealth, Sanuk, gwilson, snazzzybird, BachFan, BalanceSeeker, myboo, 417els, Mr Bojangles, Clytemnestra, tobendaro, Themistoclea, hungrycoyote, profundo, tonyahky, Yellow Canary, seefleur, kestrel9000, technomage, Rolandz, KenBee, ktar7582, Son of a Cat, fou, luckydog, blueoasis, SherriG, global citizen, erratic, twigg, gpoutney, Libby Shaw, tapestry, JVolvo, unclebucky, plf515, MarciaJ720, ER Doc, Unitary Moonbat, doinaheckuvanutjob, middleagedhousewife, ProgressiVoice, llbear, Turbonerd, AmBushed, democracy is coming, CA Nana, lastamendment, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, una, blueoregon, SD Goat, Temmoku, Quicklund, bmcphail, Aaa T Tudeattack, Reel Woman, FlamingoGrrl, factbased, john07801, BeninSC, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Wanda517, Loudoun County Dem, tgypsy, camlbacker, possum, ksp, mamabigdog, ColoTim, offgrid, gloriana, linkage, blue71340, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, Mary Mike, certainot, sfbob, Wendy in FL, newpioneer, bnasley, mbh1023, Misty Fowler, akdude6016, Back In Blue, millwood, Moderation, Bridge Master, jhop7, carpunder, RudiB, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, homerun, Prof Haley, South Park Democrat, theotherside, Empower Ink, chicago minx, gizmo59, rmonroe, JDWolverton, 123man, MKinTN, revm3up, TruthFreedomKindness, also mom of 5, TX Freethinker, kingneil, Phil N DeBlanc, wayoutinthestix, ScottyUrb, poligirl, Senor Unoball, Foundmyvoice, prettyobvious, bythesea, ozkid, Laughing Vergil, ajr111240, lineatus, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, RandomNonviolence, hwmnbn, dewley notid, Hanging Up My Tusks, bluesheep, Jeff Y, ashowboat, Gemina13, sewaneepat, nokkonwud, gas28man, rbbnhood, 59stevenm, psilocynic, Nica24, WearyIdealist, GrannyOPhilly, Diogenes2008, shortgirl, statsone, fayea, oldliberal, Fiddlegirl, 207wickedgood, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Bule Betawi, multilee, rubyclaire, WhizKid331, scwlaw, Animeraider, litoralis, lostinamerica, Carol in San Antonio, eltee, CanyonWren, be the change you seek, Nebraskablue, Gorilla in the room, notrouble, Zotz, DefendOurConstitution, aunt blabby, ukeman, platypus60, COwoman, Shelley99, histOries Marko, IreGyre, PhotogHog, sfarkash, haremoor, nancat357, Livvy5, davespicer, purplepenlady, Wendy Slammo, Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno, collardgreens, Larsstephens, Lefty Ladig, HeadnHeart, BlueOak, Railfan, BigVegan, commonmass, parse this, brentbent, Ejeanbob1, jbjowe, The Distillery, Renie57, awcomeon, eXtina, estreya, theBCI, leftywright, cindiloohoo, Luma, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, FrankCornish, freeport beach PA, 2questions, dagnome, ATFILLINOIS, NM Ray, Arenosa, SevenSix, gulfgal98, Hoopgreen, anonevent, DerAmi, AJ in Camden, DiegoUK, rja, beolba, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, Loose Fur, MikeMaloney, soaglow, Its a New Day, Actbriniel, All In, slice, rmabelis, Sunnyhorse, jimcbq, Eric0125, Hooscal, redlum jak, yellow cosmic seed, kerflooey, Front Toward Enemy, MidwestTreeHugger, oldmilitant, ozsea1, Old Jay, spooks51, Bob Duck, bluebluelady, slowbutsure, humanmancalvin, henrythefifth, fwcetus, Buckeye Nation, KCthinking, Mr MadAsHell, ardyess, Intheknow, Toyotabob7, FarWestGirl, lexalou, RoughAcres, OhioNatureMom, kiwiheart, Hatrax, imokyrok, lillyspad, SoCaliana, GardenGuy, jakewaters, CoExistNow, armd, trumpeter, marleycat, zukesgirl64, sethtriggs, coffeeprocessingmachine, Carolyn in Oregon, cyberpuggy, IllanoyGal, thomask, awsdirector, dle2GA, KVoimakas, rk2, Yogurt721, floridablue, unapologeticliberal, fbw805, bluedust, VTCC73, TN TRUTH, Roman General, Joe Jackson, Marihilda, Vatexia, Dbug, blue aardvark, SteelerGrrl, Sonofasailor, GraciesDaddy, too many people, stlsophos, StratCat, caryltoo, No one gets out alive, BlueDragon, AnnetteK, livingthedream, Only Needs a Beat, GenXangster, Artryst, ridemybike, stormicats, JTinDC, RhodaA, bluezen, Heart n Mind, StonyB, leathersmith, cwsmoke, Invictus88, Mindful Nature, Siri, MikeyB33, Citizenpower, IndieGuy, rexxnyc, Eric Nelson, nellgwen, midgebaker, S F Hippie, orpurple, winglion, a2nite, Deep Texan, Trotskyrepublican, HighPlainsBlue, swedepi, shanesnana, Forward is D not R, jan4insight, 2ho2bstr8, belinda ridgewood, Free Jazz at High Noon, Karelin, ScrewTheGOP, MorganLvr, bobthebear, Arahahex, BusyinCA, MartyM, cheesehead77, ricklewsive, Philbutrin, wxorknot, cassandracarolina, bryduck, james321, Vote4Obamain2012, arizonablue, rat racer, Glen The Plumber, T C Gibian, George3, ZatCSU, pashber, databob, Melanie in IA, fauve, Robynhood too, ShoshannaD, CalBearMom, Patrick is Lucky, sfn61, kooth, Hammerhand, Greatwyrm, TheLawnRanger, MsTribble, MarkW53, MugWumpBlues, ForestLake, DamselleFly, Dallas L, Tigger Too, Dancun74, akadjian, Witgren, 84thProblem, wendilee1956, LeftArmed, weck, dbeerthuis, The Hamlet, emaycee, Alhambra, leeleedee, Jollie Ollie Orange, ReverseThePolarity, JerryNA, paccoli, howabout, ChiaPetMcKenzie, helpImdrowning, Icicle68, ti bon ange, GrannyRedBird, ET3117, CripplertheMighty, rigcath, lightning bug, Another Grizzle, LilithGardener, zsn, XenuLives, ChristineM, BlueSpy, pipercity1, tubaguy, sparkysgal, oslyn7, Esi, Left Out Loud, starduster, TheDuckManCometh, Mystic Michael, Paul Schaafsma, mojo11, MID Gadfly, Rich Lyles, CA wildwoman, GeekGurl2000, Dodgerdog1, thatchry, ConnectTheDotsUSA, Will Stark, thanatokephaloides, kathybbb, ptressel, docclay, Hacim Llih, SueZbell, oldhippy48, cpr4life, Prickly Pam, DinoSue2, Christopher Thigpen, Sandika, davehart, dblues, railhunk, Hholly, silverfoxcruiser, Ebro, ChristieC, bobcat41702, brandongardner, Scathach, csm, WednesdaysChilde, Hau, nicestjerk, Blackwolf53, Queenofdragons6, Abinold, sandygerhart, Pockets McGurk, MacBernac, grgcatfish, Classic33, Kioma, jmjmis, kirkhansen9, kgoodwin1960, alpen, bigleaf, Coco Puff, Antitheist, nia, bewarebias, KenSchnick, ekschichl, Couragity, DNA DEM, Rapunzela, gwarr, funtony47, kirchner5590, sjmitchell830

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site