Saturday, January 08, 2005
We are a day late in bringing you Mr. Chas. Pierce's regular Friday-morning letter to Altercation:
Lord, they're doing it right out in the open now. There were a dozen candidates for AG, but they deliberately threw up AG for AG in order to stick a finger in the eye of everyone who's said "Abu Ghraib" in public over the past year. They're being very clear that they have embarked on a historic mission not only to demolish Social Security, but to salt the government so that nothing like it ever arises again. (They're even bragging about the lies they're going to tell in order to accomplish it.) And this is only part of the reason why three women made me ashamed of myself this week.
Ever since November 2, my wife has been following the shenanigans in Ohio. (And talking about boasting in the open -- Ken Blackwell's done everything but hold a press conference in a pirate suit.) She's a better journalist than I, and her outrage was pure, and I spent a lot of time being oh-so-blasé about the whole business, giving it the Irish pol wink-and-a-nod, and wringing my hands. Then, yesterday, up popped Rep. Jones and Senator Boxer, on the same day that a committee of the U.S. Senate was quibbling over the meaning of the word "torture," and I thought, good on all of you, and shame on me.
Because sometimes it's just good to say "no," simply for the sake of saying it, because doing so lessens your complicity in a comfortable politics in which the destruction of American ideals is more admired for its clever tactics than it is condemned for its lasting damage. This is a government of vandals, and shame on anyone too dumb to realize it, or so ambitious that they'd make peace with it. Shame on any Democratic legislator who didn't line up with Boxer yesterday, especially the ones that gave pretty speeches and voted the other way. Shame on any Democrat who votes to confirm Alberto Gonzales. Shame on any Democrat who attaches himself to any Social Security plan while this administration is in office. This is a time to say no, just for the pure hell of it. Trust me, there's no political price to be paid that you're not already paying, piecemeal, out of your souls.
Marquee of the Grand Lake Theatre, Oakland, CA. Image courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.M.