Saturday, October 20, 2007

Values Voters Weakened

How can so few carry so much clout?
This weekend is a wake...bury the corpse of ideology now.

Greenville, SC (TBC) 2,000 "conservative", "values voters", just plain activists gather for a Summit? My such a lofty term for such putrid a gathering. This sorry assembly warrants the front page of the Washington Post? 2,000 people ride on the same subway every morning yet they do not constitute a political block. Wow. How out of balance and ballast this ship of ours has become.

This is the Value Voters Weakened; not the advertised "Value Voters Weekend". As the bulk of the Republican presidential hopefuls come to kiss the feet and asses of this obtuse minority, let us not forget who got us to where we are today. The neo-conservatives and their hand-picked front man, George W., have done more irrepairable damage to the GOP than any other force since Reunification. The death knell is tolling yet the zealots cling tightly to the flimsy gauze they proclaim as their God given mandate. Please. Let's all call a truce.

Not to point fingers but, the far right has introduced an element into the political arena that has mutated and metastasized beyond recognition. The fatal tumor that put Lee Atwater in an early grave lives on. When will we excise it for good?

Did it begin with Goldwater or Reagan? Was it Nixon’s rise and fall, rise and fall? Was it the short-lived 'Republican Revolution' of 1994 with Newt's hypocritical, hyperbolic fingerprints smeared all over? Who knows; who cares. Where is Bob Livingston now? Where is Denny Hastert going?

They (we?) managed to impeach Bill Clinton; how rabid was their (our) hatred. Sadly, they see not the law of the land nor do they honor our Democracy. Louder and louder the cries of outrage; indignation has spawned an industry (Fox News, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, et al...) and given small-mindedness, intolerance and sleazy political tactics a prominence beyond logic. Why?

The loudest of critics, cynics, fanatics and bigots; the most hawkish of the hawkish, never had the fortitude, character, courage or patriotism to serve when their time came. Some, like Sean Hannity, were not yet even a thought to Mr. & Mrs. Hannity. Yet he can bloviate and holler, over talk and under think everyone with an opinion that differs with his? Where did this lump come from? Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Doug Feith, Richard Cambone? Did any one of them experience basic training or combat? Certainly not. Passion from a safe distance is easy to acquire especially when one is firmly ensconced behind the formidable walls of deferments and academia. What pitiful, soulless men can send other men’s children to war with impunity? Those possessed by the delusional notion that their Ph.D. theses’ were realistic. They actually thought - believed - they could change the world? Introduce Democracy to nation-states in the Middle East? Seriously?! They acted on beliefs defying history, reality, and simple common sense. That is just the latest of lethal missteps on the ‘right’ that will reverberate for generations to come.

Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and has been for decades. Accept it, move on. Gay marriage?...what 0.001% of the population wishes to exercise this option? So be it. All the Supreme Court appointees favorable to the right fringe will not overturn the legal, moral and ethical precedents of law and medicine established since then.

The GOP must, at some point, begin to adopt pragmatism rather than ideology. They are in a no win situation and these 2,000 garbonzos gathered for this Value Voters Weekend are nothing more than hijackers seeking to lead a sinking ship into the rocky reef sooner. If we continue to support a war of attrition in which the best we could ever pray for is a Pyrrhic victory, then we might as well stop all the yelling and recriminations now.

Let's get it together folks or, I speculate, we will be out of the White House for several decades. Those of you that actually thought Sam Brownback had a chance to win the White House might stop, take a breath or two and think in realistic terms. The lesser of two evils? Between a rock and a hard place? The only reason clichés' are cliché is because they are true. Sam says his yellow brick road ended “just short of the White House”? Someone ought to tell Sam the truth; his yellow brick road never got beyond the city limits of Topeka or the narrow confines of obese, single issue farmers in Iowa or dimwitted pulpers in New Hampshire. Ask Gary Bauer about “values voters” in those states, Sam.

Myself, registered as a Republican in 1977 when, if any of you are old enough to recall, that was not a popular designation. In the course of the subsequent years, I have witnessed the ebb and flow of "conservative" ideals and ideas; watched as they became a thin veneer to front all these horrible "social" ills that drive the GOP primary process. This is to our disadvantage and shame.

We live in a purple country...neither Red nor Blue is our Union nor our composite states. Think. Think for real..objectively.

If pragmatic, realistic, mature thinking cannot prevail within the GOP, then, we should all be prepared and ready to accept Hillary Clinton as President come January 2009.

We can continue to descend on this road we have obviously chosen or, those of us with some measure of realism, can begin to steer our floundering ship to navigable waters. Leave Dr. Dobson, Tony Perkins, The Family Research Council, the Club for Growth and all the other countless hooligans, charlatans and pirates of the far right who have literally stolen our Party. The Republican Party was never what it is today. Men the ilk and character of Mitch McConnell, Trent Lott, Ted Stevens, James Sensenbrenner, and all their colleagues would never have attained their offices back in the day of true conservatism. Let’s not forget Mark Foley, David Vitter, Larry Craig, Duke Cunningham and the host of “moral”, “ethical” GOP’ers who have led us down this blind alley, this dead end.

Blather, bluster, bark and bite have replaced civility, dialogue, compromise and protocol. Both sides are to blame; each Party is as guilty and culpable in this nightmare as the other. It must cease. We are forfeiting far too much in lives, national treasure and common decency.

Facts are facts. The truth is not malleable nor open to interpretation, revision or stubbornness. We live in perilous times facing an enemy that does not even measure time as we do. Our Nation born in 1776, pitted against fanatics who cite Biblical and Koranic passages as valid, just cause for their actions? What ever became of foreign policy, the State Department, diplomacy? Why has this ill-conceived, deceitfully justified war in Iraq lasted longer than World War Two? Yes, indeed...neo-con thinking and action at its best. A world turned upside down, billions upon billions tossed into that cesspool in the desert and 2,000 Republicans gather to discuss gun control, abortion and gay marriage? How far can these lunatics get their collective heads up the radical rights ass?

We need people in power that have the integrity to step beyond moronic, senseless partisanship who will actually assume the responsibilities of their oaths of office.

Posted by our man on the trail for the Brooding Cynyx; Cletus E. Yoder - Campaign 2008 correspondant.

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