Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The recent blowout election that gave us President Barack
Obama resulted in a flood of emotion that engulfed both parties. The one thing
they had in common was that neither party could believe it.
Political comedian Mort Sahl once said, �Liberals feel
unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they�ve
If we have learned nothing else about Republicans, it�s
that, with few exceptions, they are vindictive, immoral, blood-thirsty, and
just plain power-mad. Republicans are so much better at destroying things than
Democrats are. They say and do whatever it takes to win. And if that doesn�t
work -- they seize it anyway.
So we were braced for another disappointment -- not because
we didn�t share Obama�s vision of change and his hope for a better life for all
Americans, but because voting machines were frantically flip-flopping votes
from Obama to John McCain, minority voters were purged, telephones jangling
with robocalls that smeared Obama as an alien terrorist -- and John King over
at CNN kept ramming solid red �magic� maps in our faces as proof that McCain
could not lose.
So, what happened?
We woke up. After snoozing through massive homicide,
refusing to confront genocide, ignoring fratricide and the
hopelessness that has driven an alarming number of our military to commit
suicide . . . we woke up. We stood united against a national addiction to
chaos, bloodshed and corruption. We voted for a leader who promised to break
that addiction, and to heal this nation in the name of the people. By election
night, we were giddy with relief. We clambered aboard that ship of state and
rode the wave of long-lost hope -- free at last. Obama�s win ripped a hole in
the political air, and millions of us stood weeping as the blissful sound of Democracy wafted through every nook and cranny to swirl
around this magnificent moment in our history.
But that was election night. Republicans, terrified of
change, were in shock -- in total disarray. But the next morning, they were out
in force -- maggots streaming from rotten turds whose blossoms had been stomped
on. The Heritage Foundation warned against the danger of the Left�s �radical
agenda� of health care, education and energy. House majority leader John
Boehner was either drunk or stupidly arrogant, or both, when he maintained that
Obama may have won, but his �far-left agenda� was out of step with the majority
of Americans. Boehner did concede, however, that House Republicans might work
with Obama �when it is in the best interest of our nation,� and only when it
promoted �superior Republican alternatives . . .�
Boehner�s predecessor, Dick Armey, was quick to point out
that Obama didn�t win -- Republicans lost. And they lost because they were just
too damned compassionate. Armey is chairman of FreedomWorks,
which advocates scrapping the federal income tax, kicking older folks out of
Social Security to keep from overburdening the young, and of course freedom
-- such as that of network carriers to manage and control Internet content.
According to Armey, Republicans have simply forgotten their principles.
Richard Haass, Council on Foreign Relations president,
hissed, �The one thing I�m sure of is, events will test him. . . . There will
be coups. . . . There will be genocide. . . . There will be terrorism.� Gee,
Bush hasn�t completed his sprint to the finish line yet, and those like Haass
are already waxing nostalgic for the Bush Doctrine.
Georgia Congressman Paul Broun called Obama a �Marxist� who
was determined to set up a jack-booted Gestapo civilian security force to use
against citizens -- an ominious tactic taken right out of Hitler�s playbook. In
the ensuing flap, Broun refused to apologize, or to acknowledge that the �civilian
national security force� proposed by Obama is, in reality, a two-year-old pilot
program -- The Civilian Response Corps of the United States of America
trained and equipped to �deploy rapidly to countries in crisis or emerging from
conflict, in order to provide reconstruction and stabilization assistance.� The
State Department has already deployed members to Sudan, Chad, Haiti, Lebanon,
Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Intolerance, hate -- racism -- runs deep within the heart of
this country. It�s easy not to be racist, to support civil rights, equality,
but when confronted by a change so abrupt, so momentous as the election of an
African-American president, many white Americans have problems calming their
inner beast. William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the
Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, said, when
discussing the hundreds of threats against Obama since Nov. 4, that the
election of a black president is �the most profound change in the field of race
this country has experienced since the Civil War. Racism is like cancer.�
Ferris added, �It�s never totally wiped out, it�s in remission.�
Remission? Perhaps, except for those like the feral,
all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing, all-feeling, all-concerned -- pretty much
all-everything -- �Maha Rushie� Limbaugh, who has been in shrieking racist
meltdown since the day Obama announced his candidacy. Referring to Barack Hussein
Obama early and often, Limbaugh stoked racist fear by warning millions of
Dittodeadheads they were being taken over by a �half-minority.� In April 2007,
he aired an insulting Paul Shanklin parody, �Barack The
Magic Negro,� and went from that to trying to whip up murderous riots at
the Democratic National Convention.
Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their gang of slimy supremacist clones
inflame the fires of fear and hate on a daily -- hourly -- basis. They know
exactly what they�re doing. �The economic mess Bush has gotten us into is
all Obama�s fault! The Obama recession is in full swing! We will soon be in the
throes of an Obama depression! Obama�s going to raise our taxes! Obama�s coming
after our 401k retirement checks! Millions more will lose their jobs! Quick --
burn a cross -- hang a noose in your tree before it�s too late!�
And Michael Savage warns that Blacks don�t want just a foot
in the door; they are poised to take over the entire nation. On his Nov. 18
broadcast, Savage said, �I am telling you that there�s gonna be a wholesale
firing of competent white men in the United States government up and down the
line, in police departments, in fire departments. Everywhere in America, you�re
going to see an exchange that you�ve never seen in history . . .�
If that�s not enough to send us screaming into the night,
our knees hitting our chins, Lisa Miller, former front-page religious writer
for the Wall Street Journal, now Newsweek�s Society/Religion
editor, asks, in a shameful, code-word-laden piece, �Is Obama the
Antichrist?� Miller quotes several right-wing evangelicals, and she says
conservative Christians believe a great battle is imminent. �After years of
tribulation -- natural disasters, other cataclysms (such as the collapse of financial
markets) -- God�s armies will vanquish armies led by the Antichrist himself. He
will be a sweet-talking world leader who gathers governments and economies
under his command to further his own evil agenda.� Miller says, given Obama�s
liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, it�s no wonder that �Obama
triggers such fear in the hearts of America�s millennialist Christians.� And,
if we want proof -- one of the winning lottery numbers in Obama�s home state of
Illinois was 666 -- which Miller says everyone knows is the sign of the
Beast, or the Antichrist.
The fascist lies and smears of Republicans and their
doppleganger radio creeps should come as no surprise to those paying attention.
However, the ripples of uneasiness and fear surging through Democratic ranks as
a result of these assaults is a bit puzzling. Perhaps it�s because after eight
years of covering -- and uncovering -- deceit, lies, and monstrous war crimes
perpetrated by George W. Bush, they are hesitant to trust another president
regardless of his party affiliation. Or, perhaps they�re afraid to have hope
because they believe George Orwell�s flat, no-wiggle-room assertion that -- �All
issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions,
folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.�
Whatever the reason, each day brings a new rash of criticism
about Obama�s choices for his transition team, his economic team, his foreign
policy team. His selection of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, probable
selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and his decision to keep
Robert Gates as Defense Secretary for at least a year resulted in cries of
betrayal throughout the left-wing blogosphere. For two Democrats to agree on
any one thing would indeed be change. Everybody has his/her own views as to who
should make up the cabinet. And, since I�m the most liberal Democrat I know, it
seems obvious that Obama should have put the environment into the hands of the
award-winning former Vice President Al Gore, justice into the hands of
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, and defense into the hands of former
Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark.
Those on the left who complain that Obama is �loading up his
administration with Clintonites� should pause and take a deep breath. Anybody
old enough to serve -- who has the experience to serve -- would
necessarily come from either the Clinton or the Bush era. Which would you
prefer? We should remember it is Obama�s policies, not theirs, that will be put
into effect. Obama promised change -- to be honest and up-front with all the
people. He is keeping that promise.
Last week, in three days, Obama held three press conferences
wherein he outlined policies that reach far beyond the immediate crisis, such
as his plan to boost the economy by creating 2.5 million jobs. �We�ll put
people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing
schools that are failing our children,� he said, �and building wind farms and
solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that
can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive
in the years ahead.�
Millions of us who voted for Obama are weary of fighting our
way through the tangles of an Orwellian world. We yearn to live in a Wellstonian world, one where � . . . politics is not
about observations or predictions. Politics is what we create by what we do,
what we hope for, and what we dare to imagine.�
Obama is not perfect. The problems Bush is only too happy to
dump on him are almost insurmountable and getting worse by the day. Obama will
make mistakes, but he has promised that, with our help, the hopes of all
Americans can be realized. Together -- we can change the direction of the country.
We will not jump ship. Come hate or high water -- we can do
Yes. We. Can.
Samples http://sheilastuff.blogspot.com/ is
an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer.
She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at email@example.com.