Letter From California
07/28/06 0553.21 pst
San Jose, California
“Are these people nuts?” Pat Buchanan recently demanded on television, incredulous at the neo-con compulsion for crushing states—you know, missile and bomb runs, blasted civilians, armies rushing across borders flattening homes and blasting civilians, armies in skirmishes where villages are razed and civilians blasted, armies in urban battles obliterating office towers and blasting civilians, reserves occupying the country torturing prisoners and the regular army blasting civilians. Throw in a few more war crimes like using phosphorous and sniping women, eight billion dollars a month, and fostering hatred all over the world, times that by three, not a problem, fellow citizens. Nuts, one supposes, is as good a word as any for this horrifying evil insanity.
Citizens of California were still bleakly cheered at the description, for at least the label was being applied to somebody else for once; a store in New York to this day proudly proclaims it stocks more fruits and nuts than California. Relief soon turned to dour loneliness again, though, as once again somebody stole our attention and we were ignored, as always. Modern electoral politics in the GOP schemata of victory, incredibly, ignores and writes California off; all Californians would be thrilled to be called fruits and nuts if only a Democrat were president and we were important again.
Events creep, crash and unfold across the national and media landscape while hapless California Democrat citizens can only watch in mounting horror and despair. Long, long ago the state was crippled by a shameful initiative process and emasculated, term-limited legislature, so our politics has evolved into a completely reactionary state. We’ve simply forgotten how to confidently invest in government to proactively enhance human life, so our government simply tries to stamp out problems as they occur in clumsy, messy stabs of half-assed effort.
Horror and despair will seem like hyperbole to many, but Californians just watched the Secretary of State call the vicious and brutal war upon Lebanon a “birth pang” before jetting off to a piano recital in Asia. Something very, very, very bad is coming, everyone knows it after that little stunt.
It is true, yes, that California has two senior Democratic Senators to possibly influence the course of events, but Feinstein and Boxer turned out to be two more useless, clueless 21st century politicians, failure and death their hallmarks to the new millennia.
Feinstein, of course, voted for the current mayhem in Iraq and has displayed absolutely no leadership at all in attempting to get us the hell out of there. For reasons no one can explain Feinstein is untouchable in the California and national press so she’s going to win another term this year in a total walk, even though she’s plainly one of the most stupid, evil turncoat Senators we’ve ever had, a voting record that to this day makes Dick Cheney cackle with glee.
Along with the piano recital Californians just watched a horrifying, vicious betrayal to the base when Barbara Boxer, our other august member of the world’s oldest deliberative body, jetted to Connecticut to defend Joe Lieberman—along with our old very dear friend who used to visit us so much, Bill Clinton.
The stupidity and shortsightedness of this move is breathtaking in its Bushian scope. Boxer cannot be judged by one action in her career, but to staunchly defend and campaign for the greatest Democratic proponent of the Iraq war who has a voting record of Feinsteinian dimensions is going to be a gaping, eternally bleeding mark on her record.
It is bad enough that California Democratic liberals who were always against the war watch this election cycle emerge with no defined Democratic opposition—we’re the weak spineless leaderless hosers again. But to then have one of our very own cherished liberals knife us with ridiculous obfuscations (Markos called them lies) for Lieberman just as election 2006 interest begins to creep is a blow that will not be forgotten.
The Republicans never, ever would have done that to their core activist base approximately 90 days before an election. California liberals just watched the Democrats pull this stunt and wonder if the insanity will ever end.
Truth and Peace are in very, very short supply these days, everyone knows that. Nothing would give many California liberals more joy than to proudly work, write and campaign for their elected Democratic officials, but until Peace becomes more important to them Truth will have to do.
Turning a blind eye to stupidity that wounds us horribly is what liberals so often accuse Republicans of doing. The truth is that if the Democrats win this Fall it will be almost entirely from a default option on the horrors of Bush, nothing more, a disgusting scenario that nonetheless is worth hoping and watching for from the Golden State.