With the possible exception of Barry Goldwater for whom I have have always had a somewhat grudging admiration and a few others, perhaps John McCain before he developed a taste for the flavor of George Bush’s ass and decided that performing oral sex on Jerry Falwell, indeed the entire religious right was a natural rite of passage on the road to earning the Presidency, Republicanism has always been abhorrent to me.
My animus toward the GOP probably began during my early residence in the womb of a Mother who was a Democrat, a long time member of the UAW and the daughter of hard scrabble Sicilian Democrats from Connecticut as well as exposure to Willie Higgins my paternal grandfather who was a printer, a pressman and a lifelong Democrat. (except for the part about FDR sending his son to fight a war in Europe. Willie loved Harry Truman, but hated FDR, there may be a lesson about war or public relations or whose ox is being gored in there somewhere.)
Anyway, I came by my liberal passions early and honestly and before the end of elementary school had begun to feel a strong disdain for Hamilton and all he represented and a deep affinity for Jefferson and what I saw as the enlightened, egalitarian ideals of a more liberal political philosophy.
With this background it should be quite understandable that the October election was celebrated around my house as “the night of the living Democrats” and great sighs of relief were breathed over the weighing of the Republican anchor on the Ship of State which contains our mutual American asses.
However, it seems that my smug satisfaction with the coming Democratic majority was somewhat immoderate and premature because those Republican bastards are lame ducking the hell out of the country before the Democrats take office.
After nearly four years of bombings, from the air and from roadside ditches, after four years of blood, death, murder, torture, rape, beheadings, and a host of other unspeakable acts perpetrated on a daily basis by one faction, or militia or clan, or sect upon a rival clan or sect or militia, the Iraq study group is talking of threatening the Iraqi Government with….Ready?…Sanctions?
This from the Iraqi Study Group’s “Executive Summary:”
“If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government,” the report’s executive summary says.
This, in a country where the electric power is on for maybe six hours a day, clean water is sometimes available, three thousand people a month are being slaughtered, major portions of the physical and social infrastructure have been destroyed , remain unrepaired and the National Regatta is a Sunny Saturday spent watching bloated corpses drifting lazily down the Tigris.
I believe that this is where I came in, where we all began four years ago, with Sanctions.
Born On This Day In 1922
If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television – can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
On a shelf above my computer is an old, very fragile, dog eared paperback copy of “A Peoples History Of The United States.” The pages are turning yellow and the binding is dried out and broken. Every time I open it I have to make sure that I put the pages back in the correct order.
I bought it back in the early 80’s and it has been with me ever since. I’ve read it cover to cover several times and referred to it on countless occasions over the years.
In the early nineties, I believe it was in the spring of ninety two, after the second or third reading I was moved to write the author a letter of thanks.
I thanked him for writing a book that I wished that I had the talent, insight and energy to write and for his struggles in the civil rights movement in the 60’s as well as his significant struggle against the war in Vietnam.
The midterm election is barely over and the religious far right is already acting out over incoming Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison’s stated intention to be sworn in using the Koran rather than the Bible.
Ellison, the first member of the Islamic faith to be elected to the United States Congress has served in the Minnesota Legislature. His desire to use the Koran at his swearing-in ceremony has apparently caused great consternation and hand wringing among some of the luminaries of the religious and not so religious right. Fox News’ Sean Hannity, famous for making mole hills appear as mountains could not pass up an opportunity to dig in to this nonsensical non issue last week.
His invited guest was a guy named Dennis Prager who I am told has a right wing talk-show in Los Angeles, I envision the type of show that Donald Fagin sang of in “Night Fly.”
“So you say there’s a race of men in the trees, I wait all night for calls like these.” Donald Fagin
“Mister Manners,” George Will (pictured above in the second grade) asks:
“Can’t We Wage Aggressive War, Kill Thousands of Innocent People,
Destroy American Liberty And Still Be Civil?
By now everyone has heard all about the “Teapot Tempest” surrounding Senator-Elect James Webb’s alleged rude treatment of the President of the United States at their recent meeting.
Webb, who was awarded the Navy Cross for valor under fire and two Purple Hearts for wounds received in Vietnam has a son serving in Iraq. When President Chicken-Hawk asked Webb how his son was doing, Webb replied that he wished that the troops would soon be leaving Iraq. When the president responded with the comment “that’s not what I asked you,” “how’s your boy?” Webb replied, “that’s between me and my boy Mr. President.”
George Will, our “Mr. Manners,” remarked on this event in the Washington Post a couple of days ago, writing:
“Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor. Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency. Webb’s more gross offense was calculated rudeness toward another human being- one who, disregarding many hard things Webb had said about him during the campaign, asked a civil and caring question, as one parent to another.”
The nearly always erudite, often boring and constantly pompous Mr. Manners, who has been described as a “wax figure” and who, I suspect, carried a briefcase to school in the second grade, seems to have gotten his shorts in more of a wad than usual over this incident.
I don’t remember having heard heard that expression since Myrna Loy used it in describing someone to William Powell in an old “Thin Man” movie from the ’40s.