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12:34 am EDT 54°F (12°C) in Monroe, MI
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Let's be honest: I really don't like spending most of my time thinking or writing about politics. For one, I have a real life and a job to attend to, and second, I have never had (nor do I have) any intentions of turning this site into something along the lines of DailyKos. I'll leave it to DailyKos' founder, the amazingly cute Markos Moulitsas, to spend several hours per day ranting about the latest misadventures of the wacky right wing. But not tonight; tonight, I must speak out about the complete lack of "testicular virility" in the Democratic Party — except for Rod Blagojevich, that is. (For the non-Illinoisans among my readership, the governor of the Land of Lincoln found himself in hot water last week for using those words to describe the political fortitude he showed in revoking state contracts from a company owned by his brother-in-law.)
By now, I'm sure most people have heard about the "compromise" reached late Monday evening by a group of 14 U.S. Senators that, at least for now, ends the controversy over judicial filibusters and the "nuclear option" the Republicans wanted to use to nuke the rule of law. Under the terms of the agreement, Democrats supposedly retain the right to use filibusters against future Bush nominees, while Republicans get the "up-or-down votes" they have been championing for three of their Wacko Satanic Righty nominees: William Pryor, Janice Rogers Brown, and Priscilla Owen. All three of these judges have demonstrated long histories of ruling in favor of corporate rights over individual rights, authoritarianism over freedom, and extreme right-wing ideology over the Constitution. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) had threatened that if the filibusters were not ended, he would invoke the so-called "nuclear option," which would involve overturning a Senate rule that requires 60 of the 100 senators to vote to invoke cloture and end the filibuster. Of course, the fact that this would have flown in the face of over 200 years of Senate tradition meant nothing to the Republican hegemonists.
We may as well face it: those who believe in the United States of America as originally intended by our Founding Fathers have lost. America as a whole has lost because of the lack of testicles and spines demonstrated by the Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) had threatened to use parliamentary tactics such as quorum calls to bring Senate business to a virtual halt if the nuclear option had succeeded. WELL, GODDAMNIT, SHOW SOME FUCKING BALLS AND STAND UP FOR WHAT'S RIGHT! That's exactly what the Democrats should have done — they should have forced the Republicans' hand by continuing the filibuster standoff. Frankly, Frist may not have even had the votes needed to overturn the rule; several moderate Republicans had publicly expressed reservations with the idea of ditching the filibuster for judicial nominees, and Frist may not have been able to come up with the 50 votes (which, with the tiebreaking vote of Vice-President Dick Cheney added, would have been sufficient to win the vote) he needed. Even if they did manage to win that vote and eliminate the judicial filibuster, they still wouldn't get much else done with the Senate at a standstill.
Democrats talk a good game when it comes to partisan battles, but when push really comes to shove, they cower in fear, begging the Republicans not to maul them to death. This country and everything it stands for is in grave danger if the only thing we have between us and a theocratic dictatorship is 44 castrated wimps. (In the case of female Democratic senators, I suppose you'd have to say they lack ovaries instead of lacking testicles. Anatomy aside, the intended meaning should be abundantly clear.) They think they "won" something by retaining the right to filibuster "in extraordinary circumstances," as the agreement states, but in reality, they and all decent, fair-minded Americans are going to lose big-time with Owen, Pryor, and Brown on federal appeals courts. No, it's even worse than that; the Democrats didn't just lose, they fucking forfeited!
I'll go back to the "extraordinary circumstances" wording of the agreement for a minute. Democrats, it seems, are assuming that they will be able to filibuster any future nominees who are as extreme as Owen, Pryor, and Brown. However, they are ignoring one blatantly obvious fact: the only trustworthy Republican is a dead Republican. The agreement didn't say that Frist can never again attempt to impose the nuclear option, and in fact, Frist has so much as admitted he's going to try the nuclear option the next time the Democrats filibuster a nominee. See, to the Republicans, there isn't a damn thing that would constitute "extraordinary circumstances," and you goddamn well know this is going to come back up — a lot sooner than you think.
Honestly, I'm almost ashamed to call myself a liberal or a Democrat anymore. I believe in true progressive values — things like tolerance, equality under the law, social justice, and concern for the welfare of every single citizen. Unfortunately, there seem to be almost no Democrats, especially in the Senate, who share these values with me; in fact, it seems that the Democratic Party has become nothing more than "Republican Lite." It's pretty clear to me why Americans have voted Republicans into control of the White House and both chambers of Congress: they actually have the testicles to stand for something. The fact that almost everything they stand for is satanic and evil doesn't really matter to John Q. Public. All Mr. Public seems to concern himself with on Election Day is the ferocity with which each candidate has defended his/her positions, and frankly, nobody wants to vote for a weak-kneed pussy (again, that's not an anatomical or sexual reference) who doesn't clearly articulate what he believes in. All of that said, I am seriously considering whether I should just stop voting altogether — I mean, even if Diebold machines aren't converting Democratic votes into Republican votes, it's not like anybody who has a legitimate chance of winning an election has the guts to de-fuck this country. Third parties would be all fine and good if they had any chance of winning, but I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.
Part of the problem is that Republicans have systematically, over the last 30 years, mis-appropriated Christianity to more or less scare people into voting for them. A lot of people who believe in that virulent, anti-Christian brand of fundamentalism, I suspect, are economically disadvantaged as a direct result of their lack of education. The recipe goes like this: take poor unemployed Appalachian folk with IQs of 75 and three teeth, add the lies of "Christian" preachers who convince them that "special rights" for blacks and gays are responsible for their predicament, and bake in the oven of Republicans who pander to these people's stupidity and ignorance. "We'll 'protect' marriage," they say, leaving off "by taking away those 'special rights' the faggots don't even have." They continue, "We'll make sure those faggots can't 'recruit' your children by preventing them from teaching and foster-parenting, removing children's books that even mention the existence of same-sex love from the shelves, and even condemning that big fat homo SpongeBob Squarepants." Right off the top, the Republicans assure themselves of the votes of 20%-25% of Americans by dehumanizing an unpopular 5% or thereabouts.
The truth is that Jesus is not about condemning people who just happen to love other people of their own gender. Jesus is not about sticking it to teenage girls who made the simple mistake of having unprotected sex, in spite of the fundamentalist attitude that the bitch slut whores deserve to be stuck with a child they can't properly care for. Jesus is not about overriding God's plan for all things in the universe, as right-wingers tried so hard to do in the Terri Schiavo saga. (Face it, God's plan was not for Terri to live or miraculously recover; He certainly would have done something before Terri died, if that was His plan.) Jesus is not about destroying the planet's ecosystem by plundering through more and more resources in the name of "damn it, freedom means I'm free to do whatever the hell I want without regard for the consequences" selfishness.
Jesus is about love, compassion, universal tolerance, and making the world a better, more peaceful, more just place. We progressives must start hammering that point constantly, with double the tenacity and perseverance radical right-wingers have shown in their campaign of lies. It won't happen overnight — it's taken the right-wing liars 25 to 30 years to get to the point they are at now — but we must do it. We have to reclaim our country for the principles it was founded upon. We have to reclaim our Jesus, the Jesus that, as I was taught as a child, is all about justice for all denizens of the Earth, no matter whether they are white, black, brown, yellow, red, green, or purple, gay or straight, male or female, liberal or conservative, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu — "all are one in Christ" (Galatians 3:28). This truth shall set us free from the right-wing nutjobs who use Jesus' name to support their lies, hatreds, and evils.
This evening, I'll be boarding a Greyhound bus down to Louisville, KY, to go pick up my car. I should be arriving in Louisville around the ass-crack of dawn Thursday, and once the dealership opens, I will head over there and take care of business. Once all of that is done, I'm going to be driving back up to Michigan, and will probably arrive back there Thursday afternoon or evening. After that, I'll get four days off to relax.