Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Political Capital, and Fools  

There is more than one tsunami in the world today. The physical world is a mirror for the inner world. The physical reality of the planet, a mirror for inner reality.

Are we an aberration, or are we a trend? There is a tsunami of public action by elected officials in this country, to destroy the social programs meant for the most needy of our lot.

And...the largely silent foreign government response to our actions in Iraq, may yet prove that we are a trend. Is their silence tacit approval of the American way, as it exists in this moment? Are these foreign governments hoping for better times to emerge, and using appeasement in the meantime?

Trends can be broken. Probabilities changed, altered.

Yes, some governments have withdrawn their troops from Iraq. This is an expedient way of saving lives, as much as a form of protest.

Perhaps governments are taking the silent approach so as to appease the monster, leaving its citizens to take up the mantle of "USA, Out of Iraq".

But remember the plight of children when there is but one, playground bully. The bully rules with terror, and sometimes violence. But allow one child to draw a line in the sand, punch the bully in the nose, and proclaim, "You will cross this boundary no more," and watch the bully reveal himself to be the coward that he is.

Who will draw a line in the sand? Who will punch the bully in the nose?

Our Senate is about to bend over backwards, or should I say, forwards, to approve an advocate of torture, someone who internally, with others, presided over a policy that harmed Iraqis, sometimes murdered them, and shamed the U.S. for an eternity. Not one senator has the courage to stand up to this man and vote against his nomination.

I just called Mary Landrieu's office. I could hear a pin drop as I asked the assistant why is it not a single senator, it looks like, will oppose the Gonzales nomination. Rumon has it, the assistant said, that democrats are saving up their political capital, for the supreme court nominations.

Or hiding the fact that they have no capital, because it was wasted when they chose not to oppose the war in Iraq, when they chose not to oppose the medicare bill, when many of them voted for the tax breaks for the rich, when not a single senator voted with Senator Boxer to challenge the electoral count in Ohio, when only 31 U.S. reps. had the courage to vote with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, to challenge the vote there.

What gives? And why? Why the hoarding of political capital? Since congress believes, apparently, that it is capital that is being saved, I will operate from that premise. Capital hoarded, is capital not invested. Capital hoarded is capital not spent to employ the people. Capital hoarded by a few is less, much less, capital for the many. Funny how the political strategy of our Congress mirrors our economic strategy these day.

When Congress finally shows some balls, and opposes the supreme court nominations, it will be a day late and a dollar short, in terms of credibility.

What is dissent, but a necessary exercise in human freedom?

The lack of dissent, leads to capitulation, and capitulation benefits no one, not those hoarding political capital, not those attempting to save their political ass, and not even those who are attempting to save their personal, private ass. Events have a way of catching up with a people, a nation.

We know dissent can be dangerous. Just look at Paul Wellstone. But dissent is made more dangerous by the lack of voices speaking up, the lack of involvement to reclaim our democracy. They can't assassinate all of us.

I believe many of Congress carry a secret, firm belief in their lack of safety. Many in Congress are afraid. There can be no other explanation for their continuous, inability to take on the bully on the playground.

Who will cross the line drawn in the sand by the bullies now in charge of our government, who are decimating our treasury, sending our young men and women to be in harm's way in Iraq, and dismantling our social programs?

Who will throw the first punch to break the nose of this bully?