It's the end of the world as we know it...

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6.11.04

Politics and Coooking

Where do moderate Republicans go now?
In the aftermath of Senator Spector’s comments concerning Bush’s potential Supreme Court nominees, and his suggestion to put an Oliver Wendall Holmes, Justice Brandeis, Thurgood Marshall, or Benjamin Cardozo on the bench (all activist judges), it occurred to me that between the social hatred the Republican Party is currently basing itself on, and Bush's big government and highest deficit, anti-fiscal conservativism, the moderates must feel like they are in hell. Where can they go - what are they to do? They can't go to the Democrats side b/c the Democrats are "liberal" (and let's not forget how evil that word is) –- look at how someone like Jeffords was vilified when he saw the writing on the wall. At the same time, they can't in good conscious truly stick with the Republican Party -– as a lifelong Republican told me, the Republican Party left them. Do the moderate Republican (like McCain and Spector) want to be associated with the "new" brand of Republican Senators. Politicans like Tom Coburn (Oklahoma), who thinks that doctor's who perform abortions should get the death penalty. Jim DeMint (South Carolina), who believes that gays and single mothers should not be allowed to be teachers, and Bunning (Kentucky), who is from almost all accounts senile and probably suffering from Alzheimers represent the new direction of the party. 11 states banning gay marriage (and 8 of those states banning civil unions as well) represent the hate of the new Republican Party. Someone like Spector, an old school, fiscal conservativism, small government type of guy probably wants no part of that agenda. Chances are he sees the Repubican Party has left him. Rock and a hard place guy...rock and a hard place.

Kerry's Mistakes
I am sure that people are reflecting on Kerry’s mistakes. I’ve laid out the three that bothered me (admittedly as a liberal – not as "heartland America") the most.
(1) Liberal
He should not have run from the liberal tag - he should have said, "Look, I've was elected Senator of a liberal state, Massachusetts, and when they elected me, I looked them in the eye and swore to them that I would fight for their liberal values and beliefs to the best of my ability. I understand that a state like Massachusetts is more liberal than the rest of the country, and I make you, the citizens of the United States, the same promise that I made to the citizens of Massachusetts: I promise that I will fight for the moderate, middle of the road values of the majority to the best of my ability." He should not have run scared from the label; that just turns it into a bad word. We can't run from the label - we are what we are. What we need to show is why more people should be liberals, not hide from it. Turn the word from the Republicans attack on us to our banner. I'll make my friend Susan (who recently got engaged! And she actually gave me responsibilities in the wedding! Like planning the bachelorette party. There are other responsibilities for the maid of honor, but that's the most dangerous part...And yes, in my emotional week, I got all weepy-eyed when she asked. She and her fiance are like a fairy tale. And I only believe in fairy tales sometimes. (Those times where I'km not thinking about my life.)) ;-) Where was I? Oh, yeah, I'll make her happy and I'll quote The West Wing here. "Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave it to Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.'" -The West Wing.
(2) Iraq
He didn’t properly address his vote for the war in Iraq. He should have said, "Look, if I knew then what I know now, I never would have voted for the Iraq War. And I'd like to think that if our President knew that Iraq didn't have any WMD, knew that there was no collaborative evidence of a link between Saddam and Bin Laden, knew that Iraq wasn't a threat to the US, then he would have not asked Congress for authority to attack Iraq either, and rather, would have focused on Bin Laden and the real threat." That vote, and his inability to effectively answer it, hampered him the entire time.

(3) Flip Flop
He should have likewise said that when new information comes out, opinions change. This is the part that frustrated me most with America. It doesn't make sense to hold onto wrong beliefs and information just because you want to stay consistent. "Consistency" means we would still have slaves. "Consistency" means segregation. "Consistency" means women would not be able to vote (or work). "Consistency" isn’t something to strive for. It sucks. I still maintain that one of Kerry's strongest arguments was that first debate when he said that, "It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong." But he let that idea go. Americans are stupid. 30-second slogans like that are great - but you need to repeat them over and over before they sink in.


What I Learned on Tuesday
On Tuesday I learned, in no uncertain terms, that the majority of this country looks at the world, America's role in the world, and our responsibilities as citizens in a fundamentally different way than I do. Up until Tuesday night, I believed that the majority of the people believed in civil rights. In the basic tenants that, "all men are created equal." That torture was wrong. That what I consider bedrocks of our country, like the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment should not be gutted our of facist reactionary fear. What I learned was that "equality" to the majority really means, "equality for people like me." That the majority is more concerned with itself than with protecting anyone. That discrimination is perfectly acceptable. That is pathetic - and they have no concept of how dangerous their views are, the slippery slope they have traversed down.


"When they took the 4th Amendment away, I was quiet because I didn't deal in drugs... When they took the 6th Amendment away, I was quiet because I had never been arrested...When they took the 2nd Amendment away, I was quiet because I didn't own a gun...Now they have taken the 1st Amendment away, and all I can do is be quiet." –Fred Albury

That is, of course, modified from Martin Niemoeller's quote: "In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."

And another twist to it is the brilliant essay, First they came for the Muslims, that Stephen Rohde wrote in the aftermath of the Patriot Act. "First they came for the Muslims, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim. Then they came for the immigrants, detaining them indefinitely solely on the certification of the attorney general, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an immigrant. Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a suspect. Then they came to prosecute noncitizens before secret military commissions, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a noncitizen. Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced "sneak and peak" searches, and I didn't speak up because I had nothing to hide. Then they came to reinstate Cointelpro and resume the infiltration and surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn't speak up because I no longer participated in any groups. Then they came to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without any charges and without access to lawyers, and I didn't speak up because I would never be arrested. Then they came to institute TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System) recruiting citizens to spy on other citizens and I didn't speak up because I was afraid. Then they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it only aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to America's enemies, and I didn't speak up ... because I didn't speak up. Then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up."

But what scares me most of all is that it has always fallen on the judiciary to protect the minority from the tyrannical majority. For example, in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education, public opinion clearly wasn't on the side of the Supreme Court. It took 9 brave men - some going against their personal beliefs and opinions - to come down in favor of equality, in favor of progress, against discrimination. Would anyone argue that was wrong?? (Well, maybe some of those red state voters...and Bush -- there is no question that the Brown decision was judicial activism. The very type of stuff that should not occur until the majority of the population was ready for equal rights for minoroties. And yet, if it wasn't for 9 men forcing society to accept the future, I'm not sure we'd be there even now. Look what happens when we give the majority the chance to decide about equal rights for another minority fifty years later.)

Unfortunately, today, the judiciary is becoming PART OF the problem. Just as reactionary. Just as dangerous. Federal judges are appointed for life. The reason this is so is to protect them from the majority will. They are not doing their job when they ignore this responsibility. And under Bush, with a possible 4 Supreme Court Justices nominees, it will only continue to do so for the next generation. God help us. THAT'S what scares me most.

Cooking 101
I have melted plastic all over my flat top stove. I've discussed before how I am completely incapable of cooking. So I tried making Avgolemono soup. It's a Greek soup, egg lemon (if you want the recipe, let me know.) Anyway, at one point I was supposed to mix the eggs in the warm (not hot!) chicken broth (heated for about two minutes), so I picked the pot up and moved it over then poured the eggs in and put it back on the heat for a minute. I smell something burning but couldn't figure out why. After another minute (very important not to overheat - I'll tell you why in a second) I pick the pan up ... and saw that I had a piece of plastic that was stuck to it and that it had melted and stuck to the stove. Sigh...

Then, when heating the soup up later in the microwave, I made it to hot too fast. What does this mean? It means that the eggs cooked in the soup (they were raw, remember) and I had little bits of cooked egg floating in my soup. Gosh, I'm completely useless. I was talking to my sister at the time, and she told me what I should do is take a cooking class. Oh, but not to learn to cook. That would be a waste of time, b/c I am just incapable of cooking. She told me to take a cooking class to meet a guy who knows how to cook. Now maybe I'm wrong on this, but wouldn't guys in cooking classes ALSO not know how to cook?? Luckily, I do know how to order in...

1 Comments:

  • At 4:10 AM, Blogger Meghan said…

    John Stewart made a really great point on The Daily Show the day after the election. He said something to the effect that of course it's easy for people in the midwest to vote on national security issues and about feeling safe with Bush in office because they happen to live NOWHERE NEAR any likely terrorist targets. It's easy for them to make blanket judgements on homosexuals because they have never met one (one they know about, that is...just because they're not out, doesn't mean they're not there). I know it's a bit extreme, but I feel like things could get bad enough that people would start fleeing America like the pilrims did to avoid religious pursecution.
    I like your quotes about inaction; it's a point I often try to make. It wasn't women who showed up in the 20's to give themselves the right to vote...they couldn't. It was the men that realized it was time for change (well, their women gave them no choice). It wasn't the blacks that voted for their own civil rights, it was the majority of the people that recognized it was time for change.
    This stem cell hogwash boggles my mind as well. There was a time when it was thought of as an abomination of god to cut people open (i.e. surgery), and the research of this had to be done in secret. But today, even the most religious zelout accepts it as a natural medical procedure. When your wife goes in to labor, you don't drive to the church, do you? No you go to the hospital, where every modern miracle of science goes in to bringing that baby safely in to life. The rightous right wants us to ignore the forward moevement of science, then we have to take it all away, or it's just hypocritical. I hope your priest knows how to heal a stab wound, because without medicine, it's going to have to be some divine intervention.

     

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