It Will Take More Than A Finger
Since 1980, America has been dammed.
That's D-A-M-M-E-D - as in 'blocked by a barrier constructed to contain the flow or water' and not D-A-M-N-E-D - as in 'To condemn; to declare guilty; to doom; to adjudge to punishment; to sentence; to censure', although maybe a case could be made for 'To doom to punishment in the future world; to consign to perdition; to curse' since 2000.
In 1980, the Republican Party managed to capture the and contain the spirit of America behind imaginary walls more real than those of a Free Speech Zone. But those walls, stretched to the breaking point and straining to burst, are showing cracks.
Traditionally, at least since the Civil War, the American military leans Republican while not getting involved in active politics. It is rare for retired officers, freed of the unwritten code of honor that holds them back from political expression while on active duty, to come out in open support and endorsement of a political candidate.
George Warmonger Bush has been doing everything he can to demonstrate that he has the support of the military by appearing repeatedly in front of safe audiences of active-duty personnel whose officers will have ordered them to demonstrate a behavior favorable toward the Commander-in-Chief.
But retired officers no longer have that obligation. Once off active duty, they are as free as any other citizen to express their politics. Twelve retired flag officers have publicly endorsed John F. Kerry for President.
It doesn't stop there. The Democrats are pulling Republicans away from that party.
Steve Brozak isn't prominent or powerful. This is the first time he's run for office. So why does he merit a lusted-after spot to speak at the Democratic National Convention? It's his political armor, which few Democrats can equal.
Lax on defense? He's a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who says U.S. troops in Iraq lacked the numbers and equipment to do their job.
Tax-happy? He's an investment banker who cautions about overspending.
Just another party hack? He was a Republican for more than 20 years until switching allegiances last year.
Disloyal? Brozak volunteered to return to active duty the day after the Sept. 11 attacks. If his newborn daughter hadn't kept him awake the night before, he might have been passing through the World Trade Center, bound for work a few blocks away, when the jetliners rammed the towers.
Now why would a man with such a pedigree turn Democrat? Maybe because as a military officer he remembers his oath to protect and defend the nation and the Constitution from ALL enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC????
Losing the support of the military is certainly a crack in the GOP dam, but not as serious as the crack that represents Ron Reagan! Publicly splitting with the party of his family, apearing before the assembled members of the 'enemy' party, railing against a stand on an issue near and dear to the Luddite wing of the Republican Party, he has to be viewed as a traitor to the cause. He is, or rather was, a party insider. If it wasn't for his family connection, the vituperation to which he would be subjected would make the flap over Teresa Heinz Kerry's run-in with a fascist word whore seem like a spat between playmates.
But even Ron Reagan's defection isn't the biggest crack:
Much to the dismay of the Bush campaign, Nancy Reagan has just said no to appearing at the Republican National Convention next month.
GOP sources ... speculated her son might be behind the snub.
Like Nancy is too old and feeble to make such a decision on her own???
The woman who pushed Don Regan out of the White House isn't going to be cowed by a few party hacks!!!! She will continue to make up her own mind until her own mind quits working altogether!
Republican officials refrained from publicly criticizing Nancy Reagan for the no-show. Privately, however, some were upset as well as disappointed by the decision, which has been known to the White House for some time. "I don't think she could have missed the symbolic significance of her son going to their convention and her not going to ours," a senior GOP official told the Daily News.
Long before her husband's death, Bush-Cheney and GOP campaign strategists were eager to have her appear at the convention, even though her support for expanding stem-cell medical research using fetal tissue implicitly criticizes Bush's more restrictive approach.
Friends of the 83-year-old former First Lady said she is understandably still grieving for her husband, who died June 5 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. "My guess is that she reached the point of emotional exhaustion in dealing with the old man's final goodbye," a prominent California Republican source told the Daily News. "But I was a little surprised she's not going to be there."
A downcast senior GOP official confirmed Nancy Reagan had never committed to appearing at the convention, but was nevertheless dubious of the official explanation. "The 'not feeling up to it' line is bull----," the official said.
"Something happened in the last month, and whatever it was was real."
Aides to the former President did not return calls seeking comment. In recent years, Nancy Reagan has curtailed her public schedule, but last week greeted the new aircraft carrier named for her husband when it arrived at its San Diego homeport.
She's willing to traipse around an aricraft carrier just like George did (although in a way that is fitting considering the circumstance - UNLIKE a certain AWOL Air National Guard pilot!) but not attend the biggest function of the party which made that aircraft carrier naming possible? The CHEEK of that ungrateful woman! Certainly Republican positions on certain issues couldn't have had anything to do with her avoidance of the God Obeisance Party Convocation - er, convention.
This deliberate snub by the widow of a major party figure represents a bigger crack in the dam than any I have yet presented, but the biggest crack I've saved for last (natch!).
Analysts say last week's election results show the movement has lost steam
Jul 26, 2004
The religious right took the Georgia Republican Party by storm in 1988 and has been wielding influence ever since. But after last week's primary elections, some are wondering if it is beginning to lose some of its political punch. Some political analysts read the results as a sign that the movement birthed by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson has lost some steam in the state where the GOP was until recently led by former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed.
I plan on watching this trend to see if it grows and spreads. I'm hoping that it does, for religion has no place in organized politics.
Our Constitution was specifically designed to oppose the inclusion of religion as an official part of the governance of our nation. Anyone who ever read European history would easily grasp why this is so. I won't go into it now, but read up on such things as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and the Thirty Years' War when you get a chance. Religion was abused during both as a tool of oppression and hatred.
Our Founding Fathers would have known about these events (and many others, including some which occurred in the Colonies in their own times) as these tales were at least as fresh to them as the latest news about Mary Kate and Ashley are to people today. They would have understood the grave implications behind those sordid and religiously-motivated travesties, and would have sought to keep such religious influences from tainting their efforts toward changing the course of history, away from tyrannical despotism of whatever source.
But I digress.
What these cracks are telling me, the amateur social analyst, is that maybe America is regaining the sanity we lost on November 22, 1963. Maybe we are again remembering those things which made our country what it was - special in the eyes of the world - and are seeing those who would take that away from us forever. Maybe we are rising up to act to save our traditions and our heritage.
I certainly hope so! Despite my nom-de-blog of pessimist, I actually have a lot of hope that people are seeing these things, and that they are ready to act. I hope they take up the mallet and the sledge hammer and help hasten the progress of the cracks in the GOP dam and release the spirit of the nation to flow freely once again. And when that happens, it really will be Morning In America Again.
Let Freedom Rain!
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