Thursday, May 19, 2005

When Is Nuclear Ever An Option?

I was out in the back yard today, and I am happy to report that there is no mushroom cloud over the Capital. Apparently, reason has thus far prevailed, and we still have a Constitution. It is pretty safe to say that we're okay until tomorrow, I'm pretty sure all of our elected officials are off duty, and being wined and dined by the special interest group with the most money.

So, safe for the moment, in the comfort of my office chair, I can still speak my mind about the appalling things that are happening just across town. Basically, it's a power grab. The Republicans have us against the ropes, and the only thing between the Democrats and total defeat is the filibuster. If the analogy is boxing, the change in rules would amount to allowing the guy still standing to continue to kick the guy on the floor until he's unconscious. I hate boxing. Let me give you a different sports analogy. If you're in a soccer match (football in most of the civilized world), and there were 50 members on your team, and you were playing against an opposition of 55 members, the off-sides rule would become really important. If you eliminated the off-sides rule, and the offense could have as many players in the box as they wanted, the team defending the goal would lose, and lose badly.

What is at stake here, and I should totally feel more passionate about defending it, is the system of checks and balances in our government. I feel sort lukewarm about the whole argument because I still think that Americans should get to know in an intimate way, just what they voted for last November. Here's what they bought. On the up-side, there's no gay marriage. Never will be. On the down side, you can't sue large corporations for damages. You can't declare bankruptcy if you fall on hard times and unemployment. Your SUV will cost you more to drive, and it's not ever going to get cheaper. Oh yeah, if you're really poor, and not insured, you're on your own. Oh and your teenage daughter. If she gets pregnant because we're preaching abstinence while we're marketing sexy products to make her look more attractive, she's shit out of luck, and so are you if the Republicans get to vaporize the law-making process.

Oh and for the record, can you think of any name that’s less appropriate when speaking about our government, than nuclear option? The phrase gives us a whole new insight into just what the Republicans think of our system of checks and balances. I have to pass on to you this brilliant post on tomdispatch, (tom is amazing, and a mentor of mine, even though he doesn't know who I am), because it spells out so clearly just the lengths that this Administration will go to in order to consolidate power.

Nuclear Option.

Say it softly to yourselves, and think about the imagery that goes with it. Then think about Americans using it to destroy our law-making process. Is it a phrase that should ever be used when speaking about other Americans? I think it is a phrase that should not be used at all, not against our vilest enemies, not against anyone, but most certainly not against our fellow Americans.

I'm looking out my window, looking out over the Capital, and I am assured that for now all is well. But be wary of things that happen behind closed doors, in the dark of this rainy DC night, the deals that are being made right at this very moment that will never see the light of day.

Pay attention.


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