Showing posts with label Scott Kleeb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Kleeb. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Of pipelines, poseurs and posturing putzes

On a continent 100-percent wrested from native Americans by the white man, and in a state where the United States Army rounded up the Ponca and forcibly delivered them into starvation in the Indian Territory, you have to have a lot of damned nerve to start whining about "not from here" and "carpetbaggers."

Of course, that doesn't stop some Nebraskans if there are political points to be scored.

Enter Jane Fleming Kleeb, who had the unmitigated nerve to have been born in Florida. But it gets worse. She also had the gall to have married a "Nebraskan" raised overseas . . . who has a Ph.D. from Yale. Yale!

But it gets worse than that. The Kleebs are Democrats, and they run for office -- he for the U.S. House and Senate, she for the Hastings school board.

But it gets worse than even that. Jane started something called BOLD Nebraska. We hear that it's full of lib'ruls and "radical enviro cronies" and stuff.

Furthermore, BOLD Nebraska is against the Keystone XL pipeline, through which TransCanada wants to pump Canadian "tar sands" oil trans-Nebraska on the way to Gulf Coast refineries. Kleeb had the gall to suggest it might really screw up the Nebraska Sandhills -- and the massive aquifer below them -- if this new project started belching the corrosive gunk across one of America's most environmentally sensitive regions.

Tuesday in Lincoln, Kleeb and her "radical enviro cronies" were brazen enough to pack a U.S. State Department hearing on the pipeline.

But --
Dare I say it? Can you stand it? -- it gets even worse than that. Take a nitroglycerine pill. Please.

OK, I'm just going to come out with it. In the course of her carpetbagging opposition to controversial Canadian toxic-sludge pipelines traversing much of Nebraska's water supply, Jane Kleeb. . . .

Jane Kleeb . . . .

The outsider, the carpetbagger Jane Kleeb. . . .

I CAN'T even say it, it's so horrible. The Leavenworth St. blog, as loyal and authentic a Nebraska institution as there is -- it's Republican! -- is made of sturdier stuff than I, so I'll just let it break the awful news:
Jane Kleeb likes to stick out like whenever she is out protesting or marching or generally putting on the pouty face with hands on hips.

Well she was making herself “be seen” at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln yesterday during the State Department hearings on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

But what was she wearing? Take a look.

Yes folks, that is a “Future Farmers of America” jacket.


We are sure Jane will say she was “urged” to wear it, or she didn’t know the rules, or she was trying to represent or some other breathless retort.

But we get it Jane. We get it with the jeans tucked into your boots and the giant belt buckle and now the FFA jacket:

You’re a poser. You are pretending to be something you are not.

You know, like pretending to care about the Sandhills or aquifer, when you’re really just trying to stop the the Canadian oil at the behest of your radical enviro cronies and sugar daddies.

NO, THOSE engaging in the fine art of American politics never pretend to be something they're not. Absolutely unheard of.

Can you imagine Mitt Romney in blue jeans? George H.W. Bush in a supermarket checkout line? Michael Dukakis in a tank? Hillary Clinton speaking with a Southern drawl in a black Baptist church?

Michele Bachmann pretending like she's not six kinds of crazy?

Deal we must, though, with Jane Kleeb in cowboy boots . . . and a Future Farmers of America jacket.

Apparently, you're not supposed to wear cowboy boots unless your day job involves trudging through cow patties. And you're not supposed to wear an FFA jacket if you're not actually a member. It's kind of like present-day tea partiers -- who live in suburban comfort and only make vague threats about revolting against "tyrants" -- dressing up like it's 1775 and waving Gadsden flags.

Only worser.

In a comment, the state Republican Party Chairman Mark Fahleson explains how much worse:
Wow–that’s not really Jane Kleeb wearing an FFA jacket, is it? As the former president of the Waverly FFA Chapter who remains proud of and thankful for his FFA experience, I can assure you that the hallowed blue corduroy is sacrosanct. A non-member (even a former member like me) wearing the jacket is like a non-Catholic taking communion at Mass. Whether it’s non-physicians wearing white coats at pressers or faux cowboys posing as Nebraska ranchers, apparently what matters to Nebraska’s leftists is the visual, not the truth.
MIGHTY BIG TALK for someone from Kansas City, Mo., doing his level best to tar an "outsider" who stands against Canadian carpetbaggers (ones with a long history of leaky pipelines) cutting through the Nebraska Sandhills with a toxic-sludge superhighway.

Of course, I am not surprised that the head of the Nebraska GOP hails from Missouri. I'm from Louisiana, myself, and we Southerners know a thing or two about Republican carpetbaggers.

What really concerns me, though, is that someone can be so warped by politics and partisanship that he can compare an FFA jacket to the Holy Eucharist.

Catholics believe that the consecrated bread and wine has become the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. If you don't believe that, you have no business partaking of it, and you have real problems in calling yourself Catholic.

We call it "communion" for a reason -- it is both sign and cause of our unity as Catholics and of God within us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this about Holy Communion:

The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."136 "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."137

"The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."138

Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139

In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."140
AND THE Nebraska Republicans' secular sacrament of the day, the Holy FFA Jacket? It's just a jacket.

Granted, it means a lot to a lot of FFA members who earned one, but when you unstick yourself from stupid and gain a little perspective, you realize that blue corduroy jacket is a lot like the faux outrage of political hacks -- you can get along just fine without it. And them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Huskers like us some Bob Kerrey

Nobody saw the Scott Kleeb blowout coming in Nebraska's Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

Republocrat Tony Raimondo,
the grain-bin king from Columbus, had the bucks to cover the airwaves with testimonials about what a gosh-darn good boss he was. And if you wanted to send a nice feller to Washington to set 'em up with a mighty fine silo and a couple hundred horse tanks, Raimondo was your man.

And 25 percent of Democratic voters saw it that way.

But 69 percent voted for Kleeb (pronounced KLEB).

NOW, WHY WOULD they go and do that? Vote for the hunky, 32-year-old Ph.D. whiz kid who's only lived full-time in the state since 2005 . . . and who got his undergrad degree from Colorado, for God's sake.

Well, it could be that Democrats didn't trust the party-swapping Raimondo.

But I think it's more that Kleeb -- born in Turkey and raised in Italy by expatriate Nebraskan parents -- was an honest-to-God cowboy until a couple of years ago. Was on the rodeo team at CU. Worked as a hired hand on a relative's ranch in Custer County every summer . . . and for a whole year after graduation before heading off to Yale to get all degreed up.

He's the new Bob Kerrey. And Nebraskans like them some Bob Kerrey.

Nobody's giving Rockin' Bob 2.0 much of a chance against uberdweeb GOP ex-Gov.
Mike Johanns -- or Yo-hans to George Bush, who made him Agriculture secretary despite not knowing how to pronounce the man's name. I say they're nuts.

Repeat the mantra: Scott Kleeb is the new Bob Kerrey. And Nebraskans like them some Bob Kerrey.

If Kleeb can run a little more rightward on the social issues while tying Johanns to every colossal screw-up by the Bush Administration and pointing out early and often exactly how the Republicans have governed contrary to the interests of Main Street America and the working man, I think he can win. All he needs is the money to match the big corporate contributions the GOP Escort Service is so good at raking in.

But if Kleeb, a Catholic, wants to win, he has to exhibit the courage of his convictions on the social issues -- if indeed he shares the convictions of his faith on issues like abortion, gay marriage and, yes, a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. Frankly, the "personally opposed but I don't want to piss off the abortion-loving party zealots" position isn't fooling anybody,
as noted in an Omaha World-Herald feature last week:

Rita Paskowitz, a 59-year-old Democrat, said Kleeb talked without saying much. A supporter of abortion rights, Paskowitz didn't like his answer to her question on abortion.

Kleeb told her he personally opposes abortion but accepts the fact that legal abortion is the law of the land.

"I guess the cowboy hat makes me see him riding the fence, not the horse," said Paskowitz, who remained an undecided voter Thursday.

THE FACT IS, people passionately dedicated to vacuuming, poisoning, dicing or skull-puncturing unborn children to death mistrust a candidate the second he says "personally opposed." The quickly added "but" only convinces an apostle of "choice" that the pol is a weasel to boot.

And the waffler loses pro-lifers at "personally opposed" because they know the "but" is coming, and the "but" means he's going to vote in Congress the same as if he thought abortion were a lovely stroll in the park.

My party's fatal flaw is that it champions murder to the detriment of its own political interests. What Democrats, for the most part, refuse to understand is this -- that for decades now, pro-lifers and other social traditionalists have, for the most part, been voting happily against their own economic well-being in order to remain true to some greater truths.

Likewise, for decades now, the Republicans have been exploiting that . . . and then screwing over the masses with impunity because, after all, where are the "values voters" gonna go? To the Party of Lust and Abortion?

What would there be to lose if a Democrat plainly stated "Any solution to a problem that guarantees someone's going to end up dead -- like in abortion -- is no solution to anything. I am in favor of crafting solutions to unwanted pregnancies in which there are no losers"?

What if a Democratic candidate were solidly Democratic -- solidly pro-little guy -- on all the economic and policy issues, but also solidly in favor of crafting solutions where babies don't die? Forthright in decrying the fundamental injustice of a society that deems some must perish to solve others' crises?

To turn the GOP strategy -- the one that invented "Reagan Democrats" -- on its head . . . where, then, would the Dems' abortion lobby go? To the Republicans?

The ranks of the true-believer abortion zealots are thin, much thinner than the ranks of committed pro-lifers. Where most Americans reside would be that gray zone where folks don't necessarily want to repeal Roe v. Wade, but where the idea of abortion draws a solid ewwwwwww -- and where people would like the "choice" free-for-all to be decidedly dialed back.

That gray area is not hostile territory for a pro-life candidate who's "right" on all the other issues.

IF SCOTT KLEEB has the guts -- and foresight -- to realize where his bread is really buttered, he can get back the Reagan Democrats . . . and he can take out the Bush toady Johanns.

"To thine own self be true" ain't just Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act I, Scene iii), it's also good advice.