Squirrel!

In the charming animated movie UP, a recurring joke had the dog distracted from his task of the moment by the appearance of a squirrel. For a while, it became a meme–if a debate threatened to get personal, or a line of inquiry a bit too probing, someone would yell “squirrel!” to change the focus and break the tension.

“Squirrel!” became shorthand for distraction, and an inability to continue focusing on the task at hand.

Today’s “squirrel!” is fear of lurking transgender folks in the bathroom.

It isn’t only bathroom use, of course.

Some public schools are starting summer vacation several days early. Others are contemplating a four-day week to cut costs. And more than 200 teachers in Oklahoma City were handed pink slips in March.

But instead of addressing a burgeoning budget crisis that threatens public education and other critical state services, Oklahoma lawmakers have been busy debating proposals to criminalize abortion, police students’ access to public bathrooms and impeach President Obama.

It isn’t only Oklahoma, either. In fact, some of the most egregious examples of misdirection can be found in Congress, where 50+ votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, interminable investigations of Benghazi, and attempts to impeach the head of the Internal Revenue Service, among similar distractions, have consumed the energies of lawmakers to the detriment of actually doing the nation’s business.

It’s hard to know whether the surreal political landscape we currently inhabit is simply a “phase” we are going through–sort of a national adolescence–or whether it is the beginning of a disintegration of the Republic– evidence that in an increasingly complex modern world, responsible citizenship and self-government are simply beyond our capacities.

If it is the latter, the really worrisome question is: what will replace it? If–as most of us fervently hope– we are just experiencing the dislocations of social change and “paradigm shift,” what sorts of policies should our elected officials be putting in place to safeguard a Constitutional system that has served us well, while still responding to the challenges of globalization and modernity?

But hey–let’s worry about Target’s bathroom policy.

Squirrel!

31 thoughts on “Squirrel!

  1. How about we end the money in politics? Where the congress critters don’t have to spend half their day out of the building and running to an off site location to drum up funds to run their campaigns? Let’s start with making them punch time clocks so that they are actually accountable to the citizens they represent. Maybe, just maybe, if they didn’t have to call people for money, they would have time to actually do their jobs?

  2. Fran; I have wondered all along about Donald Trump being a “squirrel”…or a “red herring”, tossed before the public with a surprise waiting for us during the National Republican Convention? Could that explain the unexplainable meteoric rise of our national fool to the presumptive nominee for President of the United States?

    Other than the obvious Trump support of racism, bigotry, xenophobia and violence; there is no logical, rational, common sense or supportive cause apparent in his entire campaign. His name and face are well known due to decades of financial and marital fiascoes and suddenly – he is the hero of the Republican party. Until the past two weeks or so they have made no claim to recognize or support him or any of his campaign issues. I stated before and will state again; if he is elected, let the White House orgies begin!

    I believe you are right and I stand with you; Donald Trump……..SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sheila,

    “It’s hard to know whether the surreal political landscape we currently inhabit is simply a “phase” we are going through–sort of a national adolescence–or whether it is the beginning of a disintegration of the Republic….”

    That’s an easy call—-it’s the beginning of the end for the Republic–it’s no “phase.” That’s the only possible scenario when you take a microscopic look at the DNA of our socio/political environment. In this case, it’s not a “double helix” but CAMOUFLAGED THEOCRACY in the form of a “double ring” with the outer ring SHIELDING the inner ring.

  4. And; there will be no transgender bathroom facilities in the White House or any government building. We will return to “whites only” public areas if he is elected and if we do NOT clear Republicans out of Congress and put SCOTUS back in working order.

    We have work ahead of us; concentrate on the issues and let the squirrels run where they choose.

  5. ” CAMOUFLAGED THEOCRACY”
    Good analysis, Marv.
    And, Louie Gomert, you’re the Second Coming

  6. “It’s hard to know whether the surreal political landscape we currently inhabit is simply a “phase” we are going through–sort of a national adolescence–or whether it is the beginning of a disintegration of the Republic….”

    If it is, indeed, the latter are we, the American people, just going to sit back and watch this happen as if it’s just another reality show on TV and do nothing to stop it? This would be nothing short of a cataclysm for all of us and the ripple effect that it would likely have regarding the rest of the world could be even worse.

    Some how, some way, this has to be stopped before our political system and our political institutions become smoking wreckage. Changing the channel on the remote won’t help. Not at all.

  7. …you pretend like those issues are “lesser” or “non-issue”.

    Perhaps you forgot that for others they are very important issues. Just because you disagree with them doesn’t mean they are factually less important/non-issue.

    Could it be argued that some are trivial or wrong? Sure. But the government isn’t supposed to just disregard them without thought; all their constituents must be heard. And some of them are very important:

    The legal killing of innocent children purely because of the stage of development they are in. (Medically and empirically abortion is killing a human being. This is fact.)

    And the whole reason for separate sex facilities was for women’s rights to use a safe, semi-private, and comfortable facility in public. They still have that right, but it is being trampled on people who wish to live a lie about who they are and how they were born. They are factually the sex they were born and gender dysphoria is the result of chemical and neurological imbalances within the body.

    Honestly liberals should be thankful the religious nutjobs have the loudest voices here because they don’t realize that science backs their stances on these two issues while pro-choice and pro-Trump bathroom people stand on fuzzy logic and mere subjective feeling arguments.

    It doesn’t mean they’re not distractions from more underhanded usurpations of our rights but they are distractions used by all sides of Washington’s political groups.

    It also doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed.

  8. One last point: if the transgender bathroom issue really is such a non-issue then legally we need to remove all instances of separate sex facilities. Boys and girls should sleep in the same rooms, bath in the same rooms, change in the same rooms, etc. Why even have different sex facilities if it doesn’t matter?

  9. Imagine a theocracy led by a man whose only god is the almighty dollar. The far right has become so used to throwing bones to the religious zealots who vote for their candidates that we now have a yard littered with bones. Only Ezekial could be happy about that.

  10. “Only Ezekial could be happy about that.”

    Come to think of it, perhaps we really do need candidates who can breathe some life into the dry bones of the voters.

  11. “In fact, some of the most egregious examples of misdirection can be found in Congress, where 50+ votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, interminable investigations of Benghazi, and attempts to impeach the head of the Internal Revenue Service, among similar distractions, have consumed the energies of lawmakers to the detriment of actually doing the nation’s business.”

    It isn’t only the misdirection in Sheila’s quote copied and pasted above; it is the entire GOP movement to drag us back into the middle of the 20th Century – if not further back – with their racist, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic, pseudo religious laws we are dealing with today.

    In the words of Muhammad Ali, “If you are still using the solutions at 50 that you used at 20, you have wasted 30 years of your life.”

    The GOP is forcing their 30+ years of wasted life view on this country and we must stop them on November 8, 2016. This entire election is as vital to saving the United States as was the 2008 presidential election to save us from the Bush/Cheney destruction which changed history in this country. The few steps forward regarding rights of LGBTs have been forced back in time along with birth control and abortion rights for women. The equal work for equal pay remains at a standstill along with raising the minimum wage. Muhammad Ali’s words are well worth listening to and heeding if we expect to move forward; dragging the GOP kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

  12. Donald Trump’s candidacy is a very large squirrel. He was entertaining for awhile but has become the tiresome same old insulting stuff. Aside from a wall on the Mexican border and a trade war, he’s flip-flopped his way through multiple issues and concentrated public comments on repetitive declarations to ‘make America great again’ and ‘believe me’. When pressed, he says he doesn’t to reveal details – probably because he doesn’t have any. He’s a huge distraction from serious public discourse, and he has the distinction of being both the squirrel and the nut.

  13. The military has term for misdirection. It is called a feint. You attack a certain sector and hope to draw off the enemy’s forces to that point. The after a bit of a wait, you attack another sector with the main offensive, hoping the enemy reacted to the feint. Football has it’s reverse and baseball the pitcher has a change up.

    The American Republic has decayed over my boomer life time. Maybe it never existed. The 1% has controlled politics since the beginning. When I went to Europe back in 1972 for a month. People were amazed Americans bought into the “Lone Gunman” theory that killed Malcolm X, JFK, MLK, and RFK.

    The Social Issues are important. They do hide the fact that both Political Parties are Neo-Liberal when it comes to economics and protecting Wall Street.

  14. Louie,

    “The military has a term for misdirection. It is called a feint.”

    And, the military also has a delightfully descriptive term, FUBAR. If I were giving the State of the Union address, it would be short and sweet, FUBAR.

  15. DJ, freedom at all is freedom for all. America prioritizes freedom. Yours cannot come at the expenses of mine.

    The problem today is conservatives and liberals are no longer different sides of the same coin, they are different coins. Conservatives prioritize power, liberals freedom.

    Those that embrace the past, not the future, heck not even the present, want the power to turn back the clock. Those that look to the future embrace progress, a future purposely better than the past and even the present. As our founders knew for certain what future is better than freedom?

    What’s going on now is the Revolution and the Civil War being re-fought without gunpowder and over different geography.

    History has taught over and over that the formula for national success is not 50% power and 50% freedom. Liberals and conservatives aren’t equally right and wrong. We knew that in the 1770s and 1850s.

    Conservatives release squirrels because selling power for the few requires distracting those who must surrender their freedom.

    The future requires liberals to focus on the brass ring of freedom and not be drawn off by the herd of trivial distractions racing around the screens that have become central to life.

    We have done it before when our view of life was real and not produced. The question is can we now when the biggest squirrel is virtual reality?

    Some say no but I give humanity more credit than that.

  16. Marv, your comments intrigue me, confuse me, and increase my appetite for more. On June 2 you predicted “in the next 30-45 days we will be going from not only the idea of executing abortion providers but also, to the execution of plans which will destroy what’s left of American democracy and ultimately, I’m afraid, of Planet Earth.” How does your idea of CAMOUFLAGED THEOCRACY relate to “…the POLITICAL TSUNAMI that was created in Dallas after JFK’s assassination”? I understand some former GOP candidates are certainly theocrats, but Clinton or Sanders? I consider Trump a ‘none’; not an atheist but one who doesn’t even have a thought about it.

  17. I don’t believe that Trump is a “squirrel”. The issues of the Republican party are the “squirrel”. The social issues of transgender, “one man, one woman” marriage, guns and abortion are the “squirrel” issues. These are the issues that the Republicans run on because they have no domestic economic plan (except for the special interests that give them money) and no national security plan (except those of the special interest groups). The Republican party isn’t pro-life for children or adults, and they believe in welfare for the rich.
    Trump is the result of “squirrel” issues because the GOP puts the party interests before national interests.

  18. Perhaps it’s simply the pendulum swinging back the other way to counter the Obama years?

  19. Of course liberals are as prone to squirrel distraction as conservatives and the release of squirrels among them stems from the same source, those for whom reality is in the way.

    The anti-vaccine meme is one such source. It can be argued that Trump is another. He simply doesn’t matter. What he thinks and says is as irrelevant as what the Kardashians think and say. We should just let him play with his nuts and ignore it completely.

    We have important work to focus on picking the next President and restoring Congress, the Supreme Court and several state houses to working order.

    Let’s stay focused.

  20. It just goes to show that when people run out of ideas but they want to make an impact, they talk nonsense. Like little kids, but instead of growing up they are stuck there.

  21. Wayne,

    “Marv…..How does your idea of CAMOUFLAGED THEOCRACY relate to “…the POLITICAL TSUNAMI that was created in Dallas after JFK’s assassination”? I understand some former GOP candidates are certainly theocrats, but Clinton or Sanders? I consider Trump a ‘none’; not an atheist but one who doesn’t even have a thought about it.”

    You’re 100% correct on all accounts. Neither Clinton, Sanders, or Trump are theocrats. However, Trump is definitely a good candidate for conversion.

    The EPICENTER of the Political Tsunami that was created in Dallas is predominantly religious whereas the epicenter of the Nazi movement was predominantly racial [Judaism was considered a race]. Overtime time and space the two attributes—Christianity and race MERGED in Germany— as they are now doing in the U.S. within the Republican Party through years of using CAMOUFLAGE or “dirty tricks” right out of the “unclassified CIA Manual” which is now available on Kindle at Amazon.com.

    It has taken much longer for http://www.DEMOCRACIDE.info to start taking place in the U.S. because of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Germany’s experiment with the Weimar Republic only lasted a few years. We have had almost 250 years of democracy.

  22. Have y’all read that Trump may be having problems with senility? It would explain his inability to make sense speaking. I don’t thi he could focus long enough to explain his views.

  23. Our attention is subject to diversion by Republicans from infrastructure, education, progressive taxation and other important issues to nothing issues in order to keep voters occupied with laissez faire policies and pretended burning social issues which are not issues at all. Such attempts at diversion should be ignored in favor of a discussion of the real issues facing us on both state and federal levels. Who occupies what toilet is not nearly so important, for instance, as who occupies the Oval Office with his or her finger on the atomic button, and congressional attempts to equate them via diversionary tactics that eat up precious legislative time that could have been used to pass important legislation dealing with our real problems goes beyond description as a political tactic; it verges on the unpatriotic and seditious.

  24. Lmao… “liberals are all about freedom”…

    Unless you’re Christian,
    Unless you like guns,
    Unless you hate taxes,
    Unless you’re in your fetal stage of development,
    Unless you hold a view outside their preferred homogeneity,
    Unless you believe in a separation of sexes in bathroom/shower facilities,
    Etc.

    Heck, many of the “liberal” politicians have supported or backed “three strikes you’re out”, high incarceration, the war on drugs, the war on terror, warrantless government spying, a lack of transparency, etc.

    When it comes to political agenda, liberals and conservatives are the same side of the same coin.

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