Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good Works Very Scarce

Blogging is one way of fighting the evil that has just been ousted from the congress, two other branches of government to go. Thanks, all of you.

Trying to speak to the country's needs, trying to stand strong and be a positive force for change has been far from easy historically, and it has been well nigh impossible for the past six years. As some one who also entered into discussions with the voters, pushing for the enlightened vote this country enjoyed, I want everyone to realize it isn't over. We won, but that doesn't mean we can stop keeping the demagoguery of the right wing in the minds of the public.

Faced with a group of power brokers who will stoop to any lie, will pervert the Department of Justice into defending the truth from the public, who do not quail from spending lives and our future for the next decade at least - the burden of keeping up the heat on the demagogues is pretty heavy. While I write as forcefully here as I can for a return to values and justice, I really want also to encourage the rational voice to be louder, stronger, more demanding.

While I watched enviously a replay of a February event where several journalists addressed a group in Boston on the subject of the Catholic church in a changing government, I want to acknowledge the role of the panelists, and thank them too. They included Tim Russert, James Carville, E.J. Dionne, arrayed against some wingers.

E.J. Dionne, made a resounding point about the vacuousness of opposing abortion while resisting giving families the means to support and care for their children. Panelist Peggy Noonan tried to counter with a 'basic rightness' argument in opposition to abortion, but only diverted without answering the argument.

It's always been my contention that if you want babies to be brought into the world there is no better means than providing living wages. [And I have always encouraged anyone who wants to prevent abortions to offer a good home to children whose families can't afford them. Of course, these children may not be the blue-eyed blondes on the billboards throughout the south.]

I happen not to think that the right wing has any true respect for life. If they did, they would give the rights and means to our less fortunate citizens with increasing rapacity. I'm glad to see that this is a point other voices are making.

It is also the experience of anyone who grew up in the 60's/70's that abortion is always available to the wealthy, it's only the poor being penalized for sexual carelessness, by outlawing abortion.

The same E.J. Dionne wrote recently a very encouraging analysis of the voice of the U.S. as expressed on November 7, 2006. It was about real issues that concern real respect for life, respect that the right wing doesn't have, and tries to avoid acknowledging.

It wasn't all that long ago that Democrats and liberals were said to be out of touch with "the real America," which was defined as encompassing the states that voted for President Bush in 2004, including the entire South. Democrats seemed to accept this definition of reality, and they struggled -- often looking ridiculous in the process -- to become fluent in NASCAR talk and to discuss religion with the inflections of a white Southern evangelicalism foreign to so many of them.

Now the conventional wisdom sees Republicans in danger of becoming merely a Southern regional party. Isn't it amazing how quickly the supposedly "real America" was transformed into a besieged conservative enclave out of touch with the rest of the country? Now religious moderates and liberals are speaking in their own tongues, and the free-thinking, down-to-earth citizens in the Rocky Mountain states are, in large numbers, fed up with right-wing ideology.

Only a few months ago, it was widely thought that accusing opponents of wanting to "cut and run" in Iraq would be enough to cast political enemies into an unpatriotic netherworld of wimps and "defeatocrats."

Now the burden of proof is on those who claim that fighting in Iraq was a good idea and that the situation can be turned around. The Iraq Study Group's grim description of what's going on is the accepted definition of reality. Polls show majorities embracing the report not, I suspect, because most Americans are conversant with its every detail but because they see its take as closer to the truth than the president's accounts over the past three years, and because it appears to point toward disengagement.
[emphasis added]

While I would prefer the writer just said 'the president lies, people die, and the public doesn't accept that any longer', I am encouraged by this expression of the growing rejection of the cretin in chief.

It's especially nice to see the use of religion by dishonest people to cover the ugliness of their social injustice revealed for what it is.

For a thorough, if lengthy, discourse on the origins of the separation of church and state, treated this well after the election in 2004;

Such secularists fell into "Chicken Littlehood," as Reform Judaism's Leonard Fein put it in his confession. Frightened out of their wits by Bush, they overlooked the unique aspect of America's separation of church & state. Its in the Constitution.

Article VI: 3 "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

A successful candidate affirms support for these clauses & laws allowed under them. You can't call yourself a secularist & vote for someone known to be an opponent of Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation between Church and State." Serious secularists must take the issue directly to the people, exposing each & every politician who would break it down.

There is much more history that follows that excerpt, worth your while if you have the time.

The veil of religiosity used by the GOP base has been thoroughly torn, and lies in big tatters. It's time to tell the right wing that wrapping themselves in altar cloths has gone the way of flagwrapping, it's hypocrisy of the worst kind. Demagoguery is the object of this religious posture, and it has disserved this nation extremely badly. We have a lot of recovering to do. I am glad of the public rejection that bloggers, press figures, leaders, public figures are showing to the disorder of the right. Keep up the good work.

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