This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

And… boom

Yesterday was one of those days when the Universe wraps itself around my head and humps my skull just to show its dominance. Sort of like the times Coco climbs on top of Chuck’s backside and moves her lady parts in and out, in and out, as if that would even work if things were functioning, and Chuck just stands there and lets her do it, sometimes glancing over at me as if to say, she thinks I’m buying this. She really thinks this is intimidating, and we both know that all this means is she is a total fucking nutjob.

Except, I believe the Universe very much when it tells me it is in charge. And a lot of what happened and then continued to happen yesterday falls squarely into the bag of things I will not write about on this website. And that bag is labeled PRESERVING MY RELATIONSHIP WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

I think things were made worse by my mood, one of wanting to walk around shooting randomly at things that could splatter or at least topple over in a magnificent way, and I don’t even believe in the right to own a gun. In the last few days I have received innumerable requests to weigh in on what is currently going on with the circus that is the Republican National Convention, and I call it a circus because I’m trying to be nice. You have to understand that my family reads this website, and in order for us to have a working relationship I have to be careful when I write about certain things. But my blood pressure is such that if I don’t say a few things about this then my head may just explode, and then it’d be all their fault. And they’d go to jail. So this is how I’m rationalizing what I am about to write.

I am angry. I am infuriated. And I don’t think I would be if Sarah Palin were a qualified or competent choice as McCain’s running mate. But the fact, the reality is that she is not. And instead of demanding better from their party, instead of going, wait a minute, no, we deserve better than this, many Republicans are contorting themselves into a denial of reality. (please read this, it’s a report from the AP, not some spooky liberal blog that wants to kill babies) And that right there is what has been going on for the last eight years.

And I am just so damn sick of it.

Any time I engage with one of my conservative friends or family members, or sometimes the conservative commenters on this website, it usually devolves into them screaming about WELFARE! and TAXES! and THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING MY MONEY AND GIVING IT TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T WORK! And what they don’t understand is that this is not the issue at all. What I and many of my more liberal friends want is to HELP people, not give them a free ride, but also not to ignore those who would benefit from us tossing them a life jacket.

Case in point: Because Leta was diagnosed with plagiocephaly when she was two months old, she cannot qualify for private insurance until she is thirteen years old. So the only insurance we can get her is high-risk insurance that costs us upwards of $300 a month. Just for her alone. And even then that insurance won’t cover anything until she has reached a $3000 deductible. I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a white, middle class family who could afford to send me to college, as did my husband, and we have enough work experience to run a business that makes it so that we can afford this insurance for our daughter. We don’t have to make the choice between buying food or insuring our daughter. We are really fucking lucky.

But what about the family who cannot afford that insurance for their child? The family who can barely make rent, and if they stretch the budget they can eat three meals a day all week, let’s hope nothing bad happens to their kids because then they’re screwed. Kids, go hug your father, he’s off to one of his three jobs, none of which provide him insurance. And it’s not because he’s lazy or unwilling to work, it’s that his family couldn’t afford to send him to college, or he came from a family that didn’t know they should encourage him to go to college because they were busy trying to survive. If giving up more of my paycheck could help get this family adequate healthcare, then PLEASE. TAKE MY FUCKING MONEY.

I get the feeling that people around the world are looking at this election as a gauge to see if America is finally ready to wake up and realize that we are not the only country on this planet. They are waiting to see if we are going to put yet another fundamentalist loon in charge of public and foreign policy, someone who doesn’t think that global warming is in any way caused by humans, so screw the rest of you who live here on this planet, we need that cup of oil with breakfast in the morning.

To my readers who do not live in America, who are not American, please know that there are so many of us here who are disgusted with what we have let happen in the last eight years and are doing everything we can to ensure that it stops. We are just as scared as you are of those around us who have their fingers in their ears and are going LA LA LA LA LA in an attempt to convince themselves that their behavior and their policies are not in direct violation of the teachings of the God they think put them in power.

Vote Obama 08

  • Kim

    McCain had his choice of every single US-born 35+ year old, and Sarah Palin was the most qualified? Really.

    The man has serious contempt for the American people, if he can make a choice this cynical. He’s 72. He’s been treated for cancer four times. She’s half a heartbeat away from being president if he’s elected. This can not happen.

  • DJ

    Yay we love you!!!

  • Anonymous

    After McCain’s VP announcement, I turned to my roomate and said that his move makes me want to vote for Obama even more (If that’s even possible) Her reponse? ” Not me. I won’t vote for someone who is not patriotic”

    Really? I mean – I’m all for everyone having their own opinion and voting for whom they want. But keeping your head buried in the sand is just plain dumb.

  • Ann

    Thank you, Heather.

    YES.WE.CAN.

  • *hug*

  • Elizabeth

    I’m sorry, but I can’t actually believe that you have all of the facts in this argument. Yes I’m Republican, but if Palin isn’t ready for the task of SECOND IN COMMAND, how can you say that Obama is ready for first? He is obviously lacking experience and no die-hard Democrat can deny that… unless they’re crazy and that’s not so farfetched. I just don’t get the democratic party. I am more than willing to admit that John McCain is old, and will probably die in office, and whatever and whatnot, but Obama is full of words and not much else.

    And for the record, I think its disgusting that Democrats always say how they feel disgraced with America, and really aren’t proud of their country (Hello Michelle Obama). MOVE B*TCH, GET OUT THE WAY then. That’s how I feel. Go live in one of the third world countries and I guarantee you will get help from America, because trust me, we aren’t billions in debt by giving back to our own people, as you all complain about. We’re in debt due to different reasons, but one of the main ones being that we help our foreign allies and less fortunate countries.

    I do sincerely believe the Republicans are better at looking at both parties and seeing good in both parties. Yes, its politics and of course you agree with one more than the other, but you don’t have to act like the Republicans are the devil-incarnate.

  • Heather

    What about Dooce for VP!!

    I agree with your position, that is why I am picking Obama. Hopefully he will bring the change that America needs.

  • This is excellent. I can’t discuss politics with my family either, for similar reasons. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for this.

  • Liz

    ONE MORE THING (in response to other comments). I used to be a welfare caseworker. While there are people who abuse the system, I would argue that these constituted less than 5% of my caseload. While there are some policies that could use reform, the welfare system is a huge success in this country. I saw more people work their way out of poverty in those three years than I could have imagined. People in this country are honest and good and just want to be able to live their lives. Very, very, very few people actually WANT to rely on the government, trust me.

    AND I WORKED WITH MOSTLY SPANISH SPEAKERS. GASP. THERE ARE ACTUALLY HONEST, HARD-WORKING MEXICANS IN THIS COUNTRY.

  • I was diagnosed with epilepsy in my twenties. Try getting private insurance after that.

    You’re right, Heather, and there are so, so many of us right there with you. I am so happy to see so many people who see the same way I do. Yes, we totally can.

  • Liz

    I was wondering how long you could hold your breath about this. I too have been suffering from high blood pressure all week. The republicans are here in my home town not more than 10 miles away from my HOME with this convention.

    After last nights convention speeches the first thing I did this morning was log onto Obama’s website and donate.

    Somehow we’ve got to figure out how to make it to November without getting ulcers.

  • I live a few miles outside Wasilla, AK.

    EVERYWHERE I GO I am surrounded by OMG, SHE’S TEH AWESOME!

    It’s disheartening.

  • damn. that last paragraph ruined it from me. now i cant use my stock “thats-just-typical-american” phrase and might even have to start liking a couple of you blokes….

  • Nicole

    Thank you, Heather! You said it.

  • AMEN, sister!!

    Thanks for saying it, and doing so with remarkable poise and restraint. 😉

  • Andrea

    AMEN SISTAH!!!!! Love ya, Heather.

  • Take a deep breath.

    I enjoyed this write up. I can’t say I totally agree with you.

    What I hate about the “rebuplicans”: They fail to acknowledge how luck plays a big role in anyone’s socio economic status. Like your tangent said you and your husband are lucky to have had the background that you had as you can now afford to weather the storm of life.

    What I hate about the “democrates”: They take taxes and only pretend to give them to the “poor”. As most people’s definition of the poor equates to the situation you described with a father working 3 jobs and barely getting by and not affording health insurance. The government’s definition of rich is anyone with a job; anyone.

    I used the quotes around the parties as I am only refering to politicians. Most people who claim to be either are just working people trying to make life a little better and just have differing opions as to go about that. I mean this in general as a vast majority. There are always a few assholes who are the most obnoxious and ruin recess for the rest of the class.

    The politicians in my opinion are all just profesional embezzelers who claim to be democrate or republican based off of who ever they can get in bed with.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. I also don’t understand how I suddenly became a sexist this week because I think that a mother with a special needs infant and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter should have other more important priorities than running for VP. And yes, I WOULD say the same thing about a father in the same situation. I am so disgusted. I cannot wait to vote.

  • Anonymous

    Amen! And I kept wondering… after I would scour the nytimes and npr websites and would go to your website for some much needed humor and witty perspective on daily/family life…”what does dooce think about all of this?” I had a feeling that you were all about Obama and what you just wrote does not shock me at all. And, btw, I totally agree. However, I was totally prepared not to hear you expound on this topic as I know you are (currently) trying not to incite outrage from your family or conservative friends/readers… but apparently you felt really strongly about this and it almost seems like your outrage is something similar to a shaken carbonated beverage in a bottle with the cap almost screwed off…I totally commend you for sharing this feeling with us! Thank you so much. Thank you for putting it out there and risking upsetting people, including those close to you. Because this is important and it needs to be talked about! I couldn’t agree more with what you said and feel comforted knowing that there are others out there willing to risk upsetting others to stand up for what they believe in and express their sometimes incendiary opinions! You have always made it clear that you are progressive and you always question the status quo, but in expressing how you feel you have also exhibited strength! This is our life and it is too short to let these nuts stay in power!

  • Joansy

    Great post. And I’m with you 100%.

    I have a few Republican friends and I know there’s no way they’ll vote for Obama, but I’m doing my best to push them to Bob Barr. My friends are more of the Libertarian/economic freedom types who don’t go believe the anti-choice/religion in control of government aspect of the Republican party – Barr is a much better fit for their beliefs.

    I haven’t seen much discussion of McCain’s plan to count employer-paid health insurance benefits as income and then tax it. That will cost most of my friends at least $5,000 a year more in income tax. So much being afraid of more taxes from the Democrats. Many, many Republicans are going to find themselves in a world of economic hurt if they win this election. Add to that the billions of dollars in debt that we’re leaving our children to pay, most of which went to the benefit of Halliburton and oil companies, and it’s enough to make this momma cry.

  • Sarah

    I don’t know – from where I sit at this cubicle in a professional IT job in Quebec .. things sucks here too! Sure, we have medical and dental insurance up the wazoo and it didn’t cost $8000 out of pocket for me to give birth to my son. But, we have the other end of the spectrum, 40% tax on our wages – it’s almost criminal – welfare that does not discriminate between the ability/inability to work. Just the other day I was at the dentist and a well dressed lady came out from her cleaning with her 6 small children. The has all been in for cleanings, and fillings, and she was blabbing away on some blackberry. I later find out, she was a welfare recipient – all the dental paid for her kids – sure you may say that is good for the kids, but what the hell is she doing on welfar while the rest of us shlepp to work paying $1.50/gallon on fuel and getting taxed 40% .. and she’s taking away on her blackberry soaking up the governments (earned by US!) money. At least in the states, you get to keep most of what you earn. I know the medical situation sucks. But maybe more education about not having tons of kids if you cannot feed/care for them would be better?

  • Andrea

    .”..or he came from a family that didn’t know they should encourage him to go to college because they were busy trying to survive.”

    AMEN to that! OH! That’s what I can’t get some people to understand. That even with the availability of student loans and pell grants and whathaveyou, it still doesn’t help all people. There are families that just can’t afford for their children to go to college. They need them to stay home and work to continue to help the family survive. And no matter what they do, it’s never enough.

    I know the welfare system is flawed. I’ve witnessed that first hand. Reform is due. An overhaul. But not a “lets abolish this and make people fend for themselves.” I thought we, as Americans, cared for our neighbor. And I though that was something Jesus taught us, too.

    My head went kaboom! several times last night. Listening to the crap. Seeing the reactions from the crowd. It made me sad to realize so many people buy into that. So many people seem to not care about their fellow man.

    “My money!” Fine. Stop paying taxes. Let’s take away all taxes. Watch the roads get repaired then. Watch education improve in any way then. Have fun with all your extra dollars then people. Pft.

  • Anonymous

    It does not matter how someone was raised–rich, poor, motivated, denied, whatever. My parents didn’t send me to college, and I sure as hell did it. My parents didn’t buy me a new car for graduation, and I sure as hell did it. My parents didn’t get me a job at their engineering firm (my parents don’t even have college degrees), and I sure as hell did it. Everyone has the ability to provide for themselves and their family if they are not truly disabled in some way. There are no excuses for the thousands of people on welfare who have 21 children and don’t pay taxes. No goddamn excuse. And, quite frankly, it’s people like you, Mrs. Armstrong, that allow this shit to go on. Oh, poor people, they are sick, they don’t have a house, they don’t have a job. Oh, poor, poor, people. FUCK THEM.

  • D

    I was a single mom in college at the age of 20, and on welfare for three years, until I got my first job and no longer qualified. I feel you on a lot of the issues you have with Palin, and with the RNC and its members as a whole. I disagree, however, that the Other Side has a better option, is more honest, is more in tune with America, or has any more interest whatsoever in how our daily lives unfold. Their policies are just as biased, just as laden with rhetoric, and utilize just as many skewed statistics. Where you see good coming out of the Dems policy, let me assure you that there are other realities of the policies they will institute that will NOT appeal and are even now tucked away in secret, dark places, waiting to be deployed when we’re not looking, like ripples on the proverbial water.

    There is no good candidate this year. There hasn’t been since I started voting almost 20 years ago. I say, carry on and fight your fight, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you loathe one party’s candidate that the other party’s candidate is automatically in the clear–then you are no better than those you hate. Choosing the President is a privilege, and being the President is an honor–I want to vote for an individual who has character and can be trusted to LEAD us, not simply grandstand and further his career through speechmaking and reaping the profits from bestsellers. I’m still waiting.

  • Sophie Godley

    I adore you. I’m so glad you and your blog and your wonderful pictures are part of my life, everyday.

  • Fortunately, I come from a VERY liberal family (that’s what happens when you are from Burlington, Vermont) so we can have discussions about the state of the world without anger or fighting.

    Palin? Really? My mom and I were just wondering if that really is the best the republicans could find. And if so, how scary is that? I hope McCain’s choice completely puts their ticket into a downward spiral because if the American public buys it, I don’t know what to think.

    And finally, to end my comment, I’m a legal aid attorney and I specifically do consumer law and let me tell you, the banking, mortgage and credit industry and Congress have totally fucked the middle to lower class AND NO ONE GETS IT. Plus, the idea that folks want to be poor is B.S. I can’t name one client who is delighted to be on food stamps and SSI but without any source of a REAL safety net, education assistance, or health insurance, they are fucked.

    End of tirade. In other words, I agree.

  • Amy

    DOOCE FOR PRESIDENT!! DOOCE FOR PRESIDENT!! VOTE FOR THE BLURBODOOCERY PARTY AND LIVE IN A BETTER WORLD!!!

  • Officerlove

    Wow. I would like to start by saying that I have read your website for years and while there have been times when I have not necessarily agreed with you, I have still read your opinion or rant or whatever it was at the time. However on this particular subject I think you are very much mistaken. Everyone thinks their views are the correct ones, but you are a typical liberal in the sense that you are extremely angry over what is happening and probably completely blinded by your parties’ views. Sarah Palin doesn’t deserve the personal attack by you or anyone else. Do you know her personally? Have you ever had any of her experiences? Do you even care what type of person she is or do you just hate her because she is in the Republican party? You actually remind me a little of her- in a good way.

  • steph

    While McCain would not be my first choice for the republican party, Obama just scares me.

    I am all for helping others, but totally against entitlement. While there are true families that need help there are way more that milk the system. As a good citizen, I do plenty, donate constantly, volunteer and what not, I don’t need the government to tax me for me to help others. I absolutely don’t want the government anywhere near my health care. As a public school teacher I see how much they can screw up a system and don’t want to depend on them to tell me what dr I can see and when. And while I think other energy sources are desperately needed, I also think it’s ridiculous that we depend on dangerous countries for our oil and don’t see why there can’t be a middle ground. And lastly, until Obama sees iran as the threat that it is, for the safety of “our children” in America, I absolutely don’t want to see him in office.

    But despite our differences, I still love your blog and enjoyed reading the posts and the comments to see what others (outside the media) think about this race. And bottom line, Like or dislike obama or palin, the amazing thing is, young america is into this election, watching, learning, reading and voting. That to me is awesome!

  • Fantastic Post! ..and I am one of those Americans who is in fact sad to be an American ..and I don’t even have a choice in the matter.

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie, The reason you are sexist is because you are ignoring the fact that these five children have a father. Or did you forget? Governor Palin is not a single mother. Since when is child rearing strictly for the mother, and not the father? Weird.

  • Good for you for f-ing saying it Heather! It’s infuriating and pointless to argue with most conservatives so I’ve stopped for my mental health. And as a woman, there has been this mode of even if I am liberal I can’t bad-mouth Sarah Palin because she’s a woman and holy cow this whole election is all about gender and race and so because I am a woman I can’t critique a female VP candidate. I call bullshit and I’m glad you did, too. And if I see one more photo of Sarah Palin and/or HER CHILDREN wielding guns for what looks like recreation or hear another statement about hockey moms, pit bulls and lipstick, I’ll barf.

  • Heather,
    My son had craniosynostosis when he was born – similar, but not exactly what Leta has. He had surgery at 4months to correct it…still has an assymetrical forehead if you look close, but not many people notice.

  • Heather,
    I’m going to link to you on my blog today, not because you need the traffic but because you have said here what I’m feeling. I applaud you and I thank you.
    Jane

  • Much love and appreciation.

    But more than that, HOPE that any of your readers who might happen to be Republican would just take your point into consideration, and realize what you are talking about.

    I believe this is THE chance for USA to rise up.
    A chance to once again be a country that many other countries can look up to.

    If You (as a country) don’t take that chance this time…I dare not think of the consequenses.

    Thank you for writing this, and anything else you write.

    Best wishes to the three of you,
    Jeppe Morgenthaler
    Copenhagen, Denmark

    (for those unaware: a country in Europe…you know, where CULTURE comes from) (sorry, coudn’t resist ;-))

  • Heather, you ROCK. I have the same problems with some of my family in the very-red-state of Oklahoma, but this year we cannot stay quiet. I was at the Dem Convention last week, and 1) I wish you could have been there, and 2) I wish while you were there they would have had you speak.

    I’m a woman, but as it was put on the Daily Show, as a proud “Vagina American” I’m not going to vote for someone who isn’t right for the job just because we both have the same special parts. She opposes the rights of my special parts, anyway.

  • Kat

    Also? We already HAVE socialized healthcare. It’s called Medicare. And I stongly doubt that my grandmother would still be voting for John McCain if he threatened to take that away in favor of a market-driven system.

  • Sara

    Heather, you are a total genius. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me the courage to email all of my conservative friends with the AP article

  • chiquita

    Amen, Heather. We must win this one. It is hope against death. Maturity against toddlerism (no offense toddlers, but they shouldn’t be running the country.)

  • Hard to stomach someone who has risen to the position she currently finds herself in by her very engagement and leadership on the sidelines of her kids’ games, in the cafeteria for PTA meetings, in the basements of city halls for council meetings, listening to the various groups and neighborhood voices and making decisions based on these united voices, now mocking this very sort of community organizing and rallying a crowd to chant “Zero! Zero!” as a response to Obama’s service to just the kind of people she once represented as a mayor.

    Heaven forbid that we vote for a candidate who listens, learns, studies, analyzes, and (shocking) grows throughout the process, and throughout life. Thank goodness she was born with all the knowledge she needs for being second, or even first in command, since she only has sixty days to express this to us. It’s too bad that all that community organizing got us were the very rights and privileges that she, and we, enjoy today…in that crowd last night the message was clear – not only should we lobby for less government, but less government that we each have less of a stake in.

    I had trouble sleeping last night.

  • Lacey

    Palin is such a fucking joke. It makes me really sad. Obama 08! Hooray Heather!

  • Ya know what I’m sick of … everyone saying that Palin is not qualified. She is no less qualified than Obama. However, they are all comparing her qualifications to Obamas … and she is not even running for President. It’s Vice President, people. Stop comparing Palin and Obama … start comparing McCain and Obama.

    People are scared and they have to attack Palin any way they can. I do understand this.

  • Anonymous

    You are so correct…conservatives have their heads so far up their asses they can’t see what’s in front of them.

  • Katie

    Well written! You are right to be angry, and terrified. I truly believe we (Obama) will win in November, but we have a lot of work to do to get there. It’s not going to be easy, and even after we win, things still won’t be easy – there’s a lot of work to do to clean up the mess that’s been made over the past 8 years.

    For the record, I am a patriot. I love my country dearly, and that’s why I care so much about this election.

    Read Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant. It’s a remarkable book, a real eye-opener.

    And dooce for VP? I’d totally get behind that!

  • One of the reasons I love reading your blog is that you remind me that my prejudices about America are just that – it’s far too easy in the UK to write all Americans off as, frankly, selfish idiots who erroneously quote the bible while driving cars the size of France and toting guns. I know better really, but thanks for challenging that sterotype!

    I also find it heartening that you manage to find a way to express your political beliefs with such passion while also striving to preserve your relationship with your family. Too often I bite my tongue when members of my family spout homophobic or racist views. Or, I speak my mind and decide that I will be happy without any further contact from them. Neither position works for me. Here’s hoping I can learn something from you.

  • Zoot

    As a former recipient of government aid as I struggled to be a single mom and graduate from college – I thank you. You hit the nail on the head as to why I was at a Democratic function last Thursday – even in the heart of Red Alabama. Because those programs that other’s tax dollars went to – those programs made it so that I could get a college education even though I was a teen mother. I will not turn my back on those programs now.

  • sarah reed

    Thank you for saying all this. My husband and I both work from home for a university we both attend online. We have two small children. We make enough money paycheck to paycheck, and we have a little bit of savings, but we have no healthcare. We are not lazy. We are bettering ourselves, and we know we will get there. Neither of our parents made enough to send us to college, and neither of our parents cared enough to encourage us to go. We make too much to qualify for public assistance, but too little purchase health coverage. We feel screwed over while we struggle with bad teeth, chronic headaches, depression, stress disorders, etc. that are all left untreated. My husband, who has a replaced heart valve will need open heart surgery again in less than 10 years. If we don’t have health care by then, I don’t know what we are going to do. When I was seriously ill, i did what Bush told me to do: GO TO THE ER. I now am in debt nearly 5,000 for some antibiotics.

    WTF?

    I work 40 hours a week. He works 30. We both attend classes online part time, and take wonderful care of our children, work for a leading university, and yet we both don’t matter enough to get some basic medical care when we need it.

    That’s a fucking shame indeed.

  • KT

    Thank you for posting this. I know you will probably get grief for it, but I think this is a lovely way to explain how you (and a lot of other people, including me) feel.

  • Mike C

    Hi, this is the first time I came to your web site on my own. My now ex gf reads you everyday as will I going forward.
    I want to thank you for speaking your mind on this topic. It really hit home reading your words on HELPING the less fortunate. Watching the RNC last night and again you tubing it this morning at the office made me feel like I was watching a cult prepare to take over the good in the world without consiquence.

    Vote OBAMA 08′

  • Jane

    Thank you so much. Everyone in the office where I work is on the Palin bandwagon because she is *gasp* a woman when all I want to do is scream like bloody hell and run out the back door! It has really helped me get through the day knowing that someone else shares my thoughts.