Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A response for Slapped Enough

Slapped Enough (which as Dave Barry would say, sounds like a good name for a rock band) said the equivalent of STFU. Sorry, ain't gonna happen anytime soon. In a comment on "A quick note, and a serious one" he said:

You are WRONG. Stick to what you know best.

Anyone who reads CycleDog regularly knows that I prefer writing comedy, if only because I'm inherently lazy. It doesn't require research and it's definitely more fun to have a few laughs.

But on the other hand, I have a perfectly usable brain that doesn't shut down until I fall asleep, and sometimes not even then. I read a wealth of material, not all of it about cycling, and I love the last truly barbaric blood sport in our modern world - politics. It's essential to approach it with equal parts skepticism, moral clarity, and a good feel for irony as politicians and their spokesmen try to influence our opinions and our votes. And sometimes, just sometimes, I despair for the future of our democracy. Why? We seemed doomed to repeat the same mistakes of the past because we cannot or will not learn from our history. We see the re-emergence of McCarthy-ism, anti-American witch hunts, and a reincarnation of the Know Nothing Party. We see an ugly mosaic of hate groups claiming to be patriots. We see the Republican Party, until recently firm in the belief they had a permanent majority, reeling from a decisive repudiation delivered by the American electorate.

This tsunami of change is daunting and frightening to some. Denial is preferable to admitting defeat and accepting change. The Republicans have seen themselves as masters of the universe for such a long time, it must be overwhelming to become the minority party. Again, denial kicks in to insist that the election was stolen, or that President Obama is not really a citizen, or any other reason that can be used to justify the continuation of the obstructive course they've chosen. Like a petulant child in the throes of a temper tantrum, the Republican party cannot be reasoned with just now, and while it's certainly tempting to put a boot in their ribs while they writhe on the floor, good manners and a strong sense of fairness forbids it. It's disturbing to see the party of Lincoln, a party which fought to preserve the Union and bring freedom to all the people in the United States, reach the point of defending the indefensible: torturers, profiteers, war-mongers, and the like.

It's wrong. It does not serve the American people, nor does it serve the long-term interests of the Republicans. Much as I loathe the sanctimonious hypocrisy they display all too frequently, I'm realistic enough to know that as the pendulum swings both ways, they'll someday return to power. When that time comes, I hope they can govern with the same graciousness and good will that the Democrats have displayed. But I won't count on it.

Patriots don't talk secession. Patriots don't put party ideology above the well-being of their nation and fellow countrymen. But that assumes we act for the benefit of our fellows. Jefferson thought otherwise. He believed that we all act in self interest, so checks and balances are built into our government. We've seen what happens when one party simply ignores those checks. We've skirted uncomfortably close to an imperial presidency unencumbered by the rule of law or any adherence to the constitutional processes. And the American people decided they didn't like what they saw.

At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, protesters chanted, "The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!" Ordinary people challenged our nation's power elite and were assaulted and jailed for their effrontery. Make no mistake - the whole world is watching right now to see if we're a nation of laws or a nation of lawless men.



Blogger The Donut Guy said...

Good stuff.

Ain't like someone is holdin' a gun to your head making you read Ed's blog.

You can disagree or even better-write your own blog with your own opinions for us to read.

Personally, I like hearing all sides.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...


In my little corner of Shangri La we're only talking about recalling the governor. I had no idea there's talk of secession elsewhere.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

The secession nonsense came from one of the tea-bag events in Texas, Fritz, where their governor said that the state is free to leave the union at any time. Since then, various people have agreed with him, finding nothing wrong with the idea of disassembling our country after they lost an election. I work with people who find nothing wrong with the idea of torturing people, and in fact, support it as a means of interrogation, though I suspect it has more to do with unfocused rage and revenge.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

Is this different from all the folks who went to Canada or who slapped "He's not my president" bumper stickers on their cars after the Florida fiasco? There was some pretty strong emotion about that during the entire Bush presidency.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

There's a great deal of difference between Alec Baldwin threatening to leave the country and the governor of Texas talking about taking the whole state out of the union. I don't recall anyone buying up guns and ammunition in such quantities that they became scarce.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

Here's another view. I really don't see how exaggerating the hyperventilations of a few extreme loudmouths is any different than the people who make a big deal about Obama's preference for spicy mustard.

You know that I hang out with a lot of conservative Christians. A handful of them (a very small handful -- and the rest of us roll our eyes at them) listen to the ravings of conspiracy theorists. They take off the wall comments made at a conference somewhere and blow it way out of proportion into black helicopters and a world dictatorship. You're doing the same thing here.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

I'll grant you that Oklahoma and Texas may have a higher proportion of the loudmouth weirdos than California, Illinois or Colorado.

Though California has its own interesting brand of loudmouth weirdos -- it's an interesting state.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Thanks, Fritz, I needed to hear that. If 75% of Texans are against any idea of secession, it's obviously not something to worry about. I can go back to worrying about alien abductions, black helicopters, and Wally's ballooning bar tab.

You're a pal!

5:17 PM  
Blogger Master Link Cog Blog said...

And don't forget that Todd Palin is a member of the AIP. Google it so I don't have to explain that to you. I'm glad that we didn't get Caribou Barbie and Great Granddad running our country. Oh, they might have let Rush Limbaugh do that, huh...

7:55 PM  

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