Monday, November 13, 2006

Bye bye bullies!

Nice editorial from Salon describing some of the big GOP losers as bullies. Particularily relevant is the description of Virginia's George Allen as a bully, which for all intensive purposes is what led to his unexpected downfall. It is rewarding to see George Allen take this fall, a feeling similar to that in childhood when the schoolyard bully receives his just deserts. I hope that George Allen will take this opportunity to reflect on behavior that up to this point in his life has served him well. It is not too late for Mr. Allen to grow from this experience and to become a better politician. One thing I would recommend is for him to do some civil rights work and to develop a better understanding and sense of compassion for those less fortunate. In the meantime, good riddance!

From Salon:

Nov. 13, 2006 | The votes are counted, the Democrats control Congress, and everyone knows the 2006 election turned on two things: Iraq and GOP corruption. But before we move on it's worth savoring one more aspect of Tuesday's results: the repudiation of the culture of bullying and intimidation perfected by Republican leaders, especially since 9/11.

George Allen's defeat was the clearest example. Everyone knows he stepped in "Macaca," but the debate about the word's racial meaning threatened to obscure the basic message: Allen was caught on YouTube doing what comes naturally, bullying somebody, somebody who just happened to be the lone brown-skinned man at his campaign event. Sure the racism mattered, a lot, but it was the bullying no one could deny. And when Salon, just a few weeks later, revealed the senator's habitual use of the N-word in college, one factor cited by witnesses who came forward was seeing Allen, the bully of old, captured on that video.

But Allen's not the only bully who lost on Tuesday. In the last year Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tried to transform himself into a good Catholic conservative motivated by love, not hate, but Santorum sealed his defeat in 2003 in an interview where he equated homosexuality with bigamy, polygamy, incest and most famously "man on dog" sex. In the furor that followed, Republican leaders from Sen. Bill Frist to President Bush defended Santorum, head of the Republican Conference, who held onto his leadership post despite the storm. "The president believes that the senator is an inclusive man," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. "The president has confidence in Sen. Santorum and thinks he's doing a good job as senator -- including in his leadership post." Pennsylvanians obviously disagreed.

Then there's Donald Rumsfeld. Given his unconscionable botching of the Iraq war, it may seem a small thing to accuse Rumsfeld of mere bullying. But his complete control over war planning and execution -- as well as over the president's perspective on them -- stemmed largely from his capacity to belittle and intimidate everyone from Condoleezza Rice to generals to the Pentagon press corps. So many images from Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" have stayed with me – Rummy "snowflaking" the Pentagon with his orders on little white post-its, micromanaging every aspect of the defense department, is one of my favorites. But one of the most damaging sections depicted his work to make sure Bush didn't pick Adm. Vern Clark, the outspoken chief of naval operations, as his first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2001. "Clark was the one officer who might survive Rumsfeld and preserve some sense of dignity and independence for the uniformed military," Woodward explained, and Rummy preferred the more pliable Air Force Gen. Richard Myers. Rumsfeld got his way, on that choice and countless others – at least until last Tuesday.

One bully who wasn't on the ballot last week, Rush Limbaugh, got maybe sweetest thumping of all. Here's hoping soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent the bloviating radio host flowers and candy, because he cost Jim Talent his Missouri Senate seat – and the Republicans their Senate majority -- by mocking Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's symptoms. (Thanks for having that camera in the studio, Rush -- your monstrous ego was your party's undoing.) Now Limbaugh is claiming he feels "liberated" by the Republicans' losses, because he no longer has to "carry water" for inept GOP leaders. That's just good comedy. From Vice President Dick Cheney to President Bush to beleaguered Denny Hastert after the Foley scandal, Republicans in trouble made it a point to head to Rush's studio and cry on his man-bosom about Democratic perfidy. Let's hope the nation is soon "liberated" from Limbaugh's abuse.

There's almost no way to overstate the extent of the political sea-change last Tuesday's election results represent. Allen's defeat has particular importance, since as recently as last spring he was considered a frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2008. Allen was cut from the same cloth as Bush, two transplants to the South – Allen from Southern California to Virginia, Bush from Connecticut to Texas – who embraced certain Southern stereotypes, from cowboy boots to nicknames to a faux-down-home suspicion of book learnin', but not much Southern dignity or decency.

So what about President Bush? Has he learned from the drubbing of these bullies last week? He's pledging a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation, but I'm not optimistic. What's that old saying Bush mangled, "Fool me once...won't get fooled again?" The president who lost the popular vote in 2000 nonetheless ruled as one of the most radical leaders in U.S. history. The president who got a chance to start over, with wide popular support, in the wake of 9/11 instead ruled as the bully-in-chief, presiding over a regime that made dissent synonymous in treason. Arrogant in victory, he's humble in defeat. Democrats are to be forgiven if they have a hard time trusting the new Bush. But given voters' professed support for the party's priorities, from a minimum wage hike to a timeline for Iraq withdrawal, Democrats should be sure to test him, early and often.

1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Mike and all,

A very appropriate photo of Mr. Allen as you'll soon see...

Eleven Roars Loudly

I want you to pay very close attention to the fact that my birthday was August 11th, the day of Mr. Allen's "Macaca" gaffe. His defeat during month 11, along with many of his ilk, was an apt belated birthday present for me. Also notice that my last name is Page, matching the so-called "page" scandal associated with Mr. Foley. Inspect my photo in my Free Ebook... to see the hat I'm wearing and you'll better appreciate the full scope and import of these recent events.

The following article will further expand your understanding of the nature and purpose of the current social earthquake. Notice the statement "11 Roars Loudly" As you will see throughout my articles and books, the number 11 holds very special and purposeful meaning by symbolizing truth and justice and serving as a hidden key to prove the truth and accuracy of my writing and deeds. Many have scoffed at my assertions in recent years, but I have provided stunning and comprehensive proof of who I am, what I truly represent, and what I have accomplished.

NOTE: The referenced messages contain heavily symbolic leading paragraphs, they are not to be taken literally. Let Wisdom's Seventh Chapter unseal the symbols

Now comes the truly important work of preventing the excesses of the last six years from ever happening again. As long as people cling to money, religion, and politics, these seemingly never-ending cycles of evil scoundrels, war, great struggles, and repeated injustices will never end.

These scoundrels need to be taught a lesson about truth and justice that all of humanity will take to heart, once and for all.

Did it ever dawn on you that money, religion, and politics are the prime sources of human struggle and continuing to beat a dead horse (or donkey, or elephant) will never solve our seemingly never-ending cycles of calamities? One good lesson to take from this election is that politics is a repeating cycle that will always produce greedy scoundrels who must later be defeated or else. Why beat your heads against the same old wall any longer when the door has been sighted and waiting for you to open your eyes and "see the light?"

Truth, Wisdom, and Justice are non-political, non-religious, and non-monetary. Here is Wisdom !!