On Hackett, Hillary, & So-Called Moderates – COWABUNGA!
Paul Hackett – a Fighting Dem, Iraq War Vet with a spine, a man who dares to call Bush a “sonuvabitch”, a man with integrity who very nearly beat “Mean” Jean Schmidt in one of the most conservative districts in one of the most corrupt states in America – is out because Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer thought him to be too “uncivil” for the Capitol Hill cocktail circuit.
Hillary Clinton – a triangulating carpetbagger who’s rattling sabers against Iran, pandering to the wingnuts with the Flag Burning Amendment and pandering to the bluenoses with her anti-sex scene video game bloviating – is considered the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Everywhere I look there are these so-called Democrat moderates who made sure poor taxpayers would be stuck with overwhelming debt (Biden and others on the Bankruptcy Bill), made sure female taxpayers’ right to choose is more likely to be a quaint anachronism (Nelson and others who wouldn’t filibuster Scalito), made sure gay and lesbian taxpayers remain second-class citizens (supporters of DOMA), made sure taxpaying American workers have to “race to the bottom” to compete with pennies-on-the-dollar overseas labor in countries that don’t have pesky environmental and worker’s rights legislation (supporters of CAFTA), and made sure more peaceful law-abiding plant-smoking taxpayers get locked up in the “War on (Certain American Taxpayers Using Non-Alcoholic, Non-Pharmaceutical, Tobacco-Free) Drugs” in order to look “tough on crime”.
Enough already! No taxation without representation!
The backroom party machinations that have caused an honest, plain-spoken man with bravery and integrity like Hackett to bow out of a Senate race is the final nail in the coffin of the two-party system in America. We don’t have a liberal and a conservative system of adversarial opposition parties anymore; we have the moderate-right- and the far-right-wing of the Corporate Politburo. Welcome to the United Soviet Corporate Republic; In God We Trust and All Others Pay Cash.
Dennis Miller (back when he was funny) once opined that “the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats are owned by a slightly less scary group of special interests.” Ralph Nader (for all his flaws) ran on virtually the same idea in 2000.
Democrats then and now keep telling me we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in if they were in charge. They wouldn’t be as destructive to the environment or the as enabling to the deficit. They wouldn’t have marched to war on phony intelligence or abandoned the poor in New Orleans. They wouldn’t have done any number of the litany of Republican crimes and misdemeanors… but they’re awfully short on a list what they would do. All I can discern from them is the message that they’re not as hideously awful as the Republicans.
That may be true, which is why, given the choice between Democrat or Republican, I’ll pick the Democrat every time. But then I recall the words of another comedian, Sam Kinison, whose response to the fact that our only two sexual choices are to “love women or suck a dick” responded, “Thanks God! Thanks for the big menu down here!”
Big menu, indeed. Who do I vote for that promises full and equal treatment of all citizens under the law regardless of sexual orientation? Who do I vote for that promises to end the big money dominance in American politics? Who do I vote for that promises to end the illegal occupation of Iraq? Who do I vote for that promises to support not “free trade”, but “fair trade” to give the American worker a fair chance to complete globally? Who do I vote for that promises to radically restructure drug policy to end the prohibition policies that lead to so much violence and despair and the world’s largest prison population?
My father once told me the following joke, which to me illustrates the political “choice” I have in the coming elections:
Three missionaries are traversing the deepest darkest jungles in South America when they are captured by a violent tribe of cannibalistic aborigines. The tribe takes the three men, bound hand and foot, to the tribal shaman.
The shaman, surrounded by the tribe, faces the three missionaries. Turning to the first missionary, he proclaims: “You have trespassed upon our sacred lands. Our gods declare that you may choose your punishment of death… or cowabunga!”*
The tribe quiets their drums and listens intently. The first missionary says, “I don’t know what this cowabunga is you speak of, but I certainly know what death is! Whatever it is, it can’t be as bad as death. I choose cowabunga!”
The tribe hoots and hollers and bangs their drums and jumps for joy. “Cowabunga it is!” exclaims the shaman. The tribe then takes the man to a clearing, strips him naked, lays him face-down, spread-eagle, with hands and feet tied to stakes in the ground. Then the tribe proceeds to beat, kick, and rape the helpless missionary, ignoring his cries, until the shaman gives a signal to cease. The tribe unties him and places the poor missionary aside, his body a bloody, bruised, defiled mess, just barely breathing and clinging to life.
The shaman turns to the second missionary. “You have trespassed upon our sacred lands. Our gods declare that you may choose your punishment of death… or cowabunga!”
The second missionary looks back at the first one, lying in the dust, a beaten, hollow, pathetic shell. “Well, that cowabunga looks mighty awful,” the second missionary explains, “but at least he’s alive. I can’t recover from death, but in time, I could heal and recover from a savage beating. I choose cowabunga.”
The tribe shrieks with delight as they replay the actions they perpetrated upon the first missionary. They beat him and kick him and rape him until the shaman gives the signal, then leave him in the dust too, barely breathing and clinging to life.
The shaman turns to the third missionary. “You have trespassed upon our sacred lands. Our gods declare that you may choose your punishment of death… or cowabunga!”
The third missionary stoically puffs out his chest. “I am a child of The Lord, and I know there is an afterlife and a heaven awaiting me. I will not submit to the degradation of savages. I choose death!”
The tribe reacts with even more fervor than before as the shaman extends his arms skyward and shouts, “SO BE IT! DEATH BY COWABUNGA!!!”
* Don’t as me why the aboriginal tribal cannibal shaman speaks perfect English. He probably picked it up at Yale when he joined Skull & Bones.
So call me am extreme radical if you must for the silly thought that maybe someone should be courting my vote. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Barry Goldwater (and you know I’m pissed when I’m quoting Republicans!)