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Monday, April 20, 2009
All Grown Up
Newt Gingrich is fuming because President Obama shook hands with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela -- and smiled! Left-leaning organizations say they feel betrayed because Obama isn't going after the CIA agents who tortured.
I'm not an expert at much, but I spent a good 30 years in childhood and can attest to the fact that grown-up positions suck from a child's point of view. Of course, I can't know the exact breadth and depth of the challenges our president faces, but I can say this: he's acting like a grown up in dealing with them.
As a self-described, proud-ass liberal, I'd love to see him go Rambo and run roughshod over the Michelle Bachmans and Newt Gingrichs of the world. I'd like to see him make them cry. I'd like to see the torturers punished as part of an orgy of leftism that would include Bush, Cheney and Rove as cellmates and Gonzalez and Ashcroft and the rest of that regime living under an overpass together.
I'd like to see him get a wild-eyed gleam in his eye -- the one that made me so nervous with Bush -- and kick some serious ass.
But, Obama's not a cowboy. He doesn't want to be an astronaut or a fireman when he grows up because he's a fully functioning adult who has to keep it together while the kids are growing up.
Would he like to belt a couple of these jerks in the chops? I'm sure he would. But, in a two-party system, when you exclude the other party as the Dems were excluded for eight years, bad things happen. That pretty much puts the kibosh on a gib-smacking rampage.
So, metaphorically, Pres. Obama is holding a barbecue for those crappy neighbors who never mow their lawns in order to talk with them about property values; he's shaking hands with a teacher whom he despises because his kid needs a good grade for college; he's working 60 hours a week with that knuckle-cracking idiot in the office who makes his head ache.
He's doing this because grown-ups don't have the luxury of cartoonish revenge. When adults are laid off, they don't go in and shoot up the office; they curse their fate and update their resume because it's not about just them. It's also about the kids -- us.
Grown-ups forego revenge and grand gestures because they're planning for the future of others that they greatly care about.
So, he will extend his hand to those who badmouth America because grown ups say, 'sticks and stones..." And, he will treat tantrummers like Boehner and Cantor and Perry as adults in the expectation that they eventually will recognize that's what they're supposed to be.
So, when Newt is pissed off about a handshake, Pres. Obama patiently explains that the old ways of doing business didn't work -- and a handshake isn't a contract. And, to the left he explains that torture is a terrible thing, but prosecuting what was legal at the time is a waste of resources and our only recourse is to ensure it happens no more.
That's what a grown-up does. Nobody's happy, but there is a consistency of purpose and vision and there's a guiding ideal behind both situations.
Still, I would never underestimate his desire to keep us safe on the way to our own "adulthoods." Having lived through one of the most childish regimes in memory, I'm OK with having an adult in the White House.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
How's This for Brass Ballage?
On Tuesday, Republicans argued that the entire electoral process in Minnesota is filled with doubt.
In a fundraising plea to supporters, Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that the court’s ruling was “fundamentally misguided” and failed to resolve the equal-protection and due-process violations alleged by the Coleman campaign, saying that some 4,400 absentee ballots remain uncounted.
“It’s frankly shocking that many of the same Democrats who so loudly decried voter disenfranchisement during the Florida recount in 2000 have so quickly run away from that principle when it no longer fits their political agenda,” Cornyn said.
Holy shit! Let me say that again more slowly: Holy. Shit.
This guy is looking to 2000 Florida as a bright and shining moment for his party? And, if you break his statement down, he's saying that the Dems were right and principled in their stand back then. But, he's "shocked" they're not supporting Coleman's position in 2009.
Let me break it down for you Mr. Cornyn: 'We try not to support cheaters. We're kind of weird about that.'
And before any of you get on your high horse [Crazy Michelle Bachman, I'm looking at you!] and say, 'Oh! He's not cheating; he's just exercising his rights under the law." BS! Norm Coleman is a cheater.
Coleman is cheating the citizens of Minnesota out of representation; with his assertions, he is cheating and cheapening the legacy of the decent principled people of Florida who back in 2000 had tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people of color bamboozled out of their votes; Coleman is cheating the U.S. by blocking a senate vote during a time of stress and change; he is cheating because he's not looking for fairness or equality or justice -- he just wants to win.
Here is Coleman's legacy: When the Election Night tally had him up by a few hundred votes, he publicly begged Franken to concede -- even though a recount was automatic by law -- in order to save the people of Minnesota the cost of a recount.
'It's what I would do,' he lied.
This reminds me of the old Southerners during the Civil Rights era who decided to filibuster -- I believe Strom Thurmond read the phonebook for hours straight -- in order to block votes on the Civil Rights bill.
My hope for this sleazebag is that he goes the way of Rudy Boschwitz and falls out of everyone's memory forever.