Thursday, May 28, 2009

An AHA moment!

I was reading an article somewhere, it may have been at and I had a Eureka moment. I was thinking to myself, "Why are conservatives so outspoken? Why is there this constant, unending uproar about everything and anything from the right?" which got me to thinking about the fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives. Now, I do not mean differences about ideology and policy; that's obvious. I got to thinking about behavior.

For instance, all this uproar about Sonia Sotomayor. Most polls I have seen show that about 70% of the general public approve of the president choosing her for the Supreme Court. And when I go on the political ticker blog on or Yahoo Buzz about political stories there is this huge, loud vociferous protest in the comments. And it's disproportionate; the 30% disapproval translates into at least a 50% percent negative amount of comments on CNN. And let me tell you, Yahoo Buzz is overwhelmingly owned by the far right.

So I was thinking to myself, why is this? Here is my theory:
Conservatives have an almost pathological need to prove that their views are right; to prove to EVERYONE that they are right and anyone whose opinions vary from theirs in unequivocally wrong. And it's not just an ego thing, they're zealous about it. Now, I chose the word "zealous" very deliberately. It's almost religious and evangelical; like they are on fire to go out and tell anyone who is willing to listen about their views. They digest the talking points about different issues and repeat them as if they were gospel: 
  • Sotomayor will not be true to the Constitution because her empathy will cause to make rulings based on her feelings instead of the law
  • She's a reverse-racist because of the quote where she says, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
  • She's a liberal activist because she said that policy is made in the court of appeals.
And on and on... you've heard or seen them all, probably. In this instance and in every other instance, incidents and words are taken out of context and misconstrued to their advantage. 

Not to say that liberal politicians don't do the same thing; I would be remiss to say that it doesn't happen on both sides. It most certainly does. The difference is that the conservative "base" absorbs these distortions and disseminates them until they becomes pervasive. There are hard-core liberals who also do this, but not on the scale that conservatives do.

So, these distorted facts are accepted as actual facts. Those who disagree with these "facts" are more often than not painted as un-patriotic, socialist, immoral, etc. Even people within their own political party are suspect if their views do not fall into this narrow framework. They call them RINOs: Republicans In Name Only. ...I've never heard anyone ever referred to as a Liberal in name only.

This tactic was brought into their playbook and perfected by Ronald Reagan, the conservatives' messianic figure. For Reagan there was little to no gray area on subjects: right/wrong, moral/immoral, patriotic/traitorous. He spoke plainly and ground the issues down to their most basic essence and painted his views as right and patriotic; those who held an opposing view were wrong and at the very least, less than patriotic. It still echoes through the GOP platform to this day.

This has escalated over the last eight years to the point where the ultra neo-conservative movement really cannot sustain itself any longer. Republicans have fallen out of favor with the American people over the mishandling of the economy, the destruction of the environment, the bloating of the government on their watch, the nearly-botched war in Iraq, torture, etc, ad infinatum... If they had been more inclusive and governed from the center and with less arrogance, they would have led our country down a much better path. But they continue to disavow and belittle moderates within their party and as they do so they will have less and less appeal to the average American. It is going to be a long time before the reins of the party are wrested from their hands. The moderate wing of the party has to become much more vocal and find their own charismatic leaders who are able to drown out and eventually cancel the noise emanating from the far right end of the political spectrum.

Until then, we liberals will take care of the country for you...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Worst boss in the world

I have a fairly new boss and I hate him.

Now, I will admit that hate is a strong word and people bandy it about and it has a tendency to lose its impact as it is used more and more. So let me make this clear: with all possible vehemence and with the taste of raw spite in my mouth, let me say,

"I hate my boss"

Not to blow my own horn, but I am a good, productive, conscientious worker. I was stretched thin by my job for years working ten hour days for years without complaint and without help. I've done everything in my power to make myself indispensible to my coworkers. Less than a year ago, I finally got help at work and I am thankful. But that means that I had to, understandably so, cut back my hours. And now with the economic downturn, not one minute of overtime is allowed. So when the clock strikes five I have to be out the door no matter what. That means if I need to drop off paperwork in the lab (I'm now in a different building on the hospital campus) I need to go over to the lab before 5:00. 

Yesterday I to go drop off paperwork for the couriers, so I went to the lab on my way out the door. Unbeknownst to me a request for a housecall was faxed to the lab late in the afternoon. The office that faxed it to the lab never called to let us know that they wanted a last-minute request and sent an email and let a voicemail message on my coworker's phone to make sure that it was all set an hour after they faxed it... 

Needless to say, it wasn't taken care of. The next morning at 7 am, my coworker came in and saw the request, entered it to the system called the phlebotomist out on the road and the patient was drawn - no delay in patient care. At 8 am (after everything was taken care of) the office called and left a voicemail message on my phone to see if the request had been taken care of. If they had checked their fax machine they would have seen the confirmation sitting there in the tray.

This office like to cut corners and do this sort of stuff all of the time, mostly because I've worked extremely hard to create a good relationship with this clinic, not to mention they are also part of the hospital. In spite of this, in spite of the fact that it was their cutting corners and submitting this request in a sloppy, irresponsible manner, they complained to my boss.

Now instead of talking to me about what happened after the complaint, my boss sent me an email saying "it has been pointed out that there was no one in the office between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00." 

He left the office at 3:15. He walked past my desk and in his usual, awkward way said goodnight to me! Not only was I in the office, so were the transcriptionist and one of the pathology secretaries! So I replied, with a dash of faint sarcasm, exactly what transpired and when and that there were in fact 3 people in the office at that time. I also told him that in spite of the fact that I left the office a few minutes early to go to the lab that I told the secretary where I was going and that I was punching out from over there, just in case someone did call for me.

It's like I am stuck in the movie "Office Space." If the job market were not so bad I'd be giving out resumes like they were on fire.