Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thanks, Veterans

I am still recovering from surgery, and I have a term paper due in three days, but for all that, I should have made time earlier to say it:

Thank you, veterans.

Not just because of today, but for everything. Every one of you, every branch, every era, every job, every tour.

Although I admit the Coasties deserve a little extra, just because everyone usually forgets them.

So, Semper Paratus, Semper Fi, "Gig Em", or whatever call or slogan makes you proud. We're proud to know you, and our country owes you a lot.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don’t Bet Against Bush, Even Now

All right, I admit it. For the first time since his first run for office, Dubs lost to the Donks. Of course, I have been clear that this was largely due to the snubbing of Dubs by his own party. Somebody want to explain to me again, why it was so smart to reject the man who got 62 million votes plus not so very long ago? I called that move stupid just a couple days ago, but really, ‘stupid’ just doesn’t do justice to how profoundly foolhardy the GOP acted in its rejection of its core constituency. Others have pointed out just how stale the “Contract With America” got by this year. Others have warned that acting just like Democrats was a sure way to get Democrats elected. Others have observed that the issues voters cared about the most; winning in Iraq, securing our borders, cleaning the government of trash from either party – these were ignored by Republican politicos who thought they could slide by with a wink and a smile. But it needs to be said again, that it was incalculably poor strategy to turn away from Dubya. All that did was let the Donks play ‘divide and conquer’, all that did was force Republican voters to decide whether they supported their country’s President or their Congressman/Senator, all that did was confuse and anger the base, so that for the first time in memory. Republicans, especially Conservatives, simply gave up and put the electoral gun to their own head in hopes it would “send a message”. Well it did, only the message sent was to the Democrats, and that message was as white a flag as anything Paris could have issued.

So there we are. The party of William “Freezer” Jefferson and Harry “Land Deal” Reid, of Ted “Swim Team” Kennedy and Chucky “Statesman” Schumer, or Nancy “Paxil” Pelosi and Alcee “The Impeached” Hastings, is now in charge of how much you will be taxed, how (if!) we establish a self-sufficient state in Iraq, and even what the Constitution says. But even now, there is hope. Don’t forget that in 2001, the Congress was not in all that much better shape than it is now. Remember how Jim Jeffords gave the Senate to the Democrats? Remember how hard it was for Dubya to get Congress to remember its duty in the first part of 2001? Frankly, Dubya did a pretty good job during the pre-9/11 days, when the Donks played a lot of cards to sway popular sentiment their way. And he will persevere through these coming dark days, to keep his sworn duty to the nation. He’s done it before without the fair-weather support, and he will do his job to the best of his ability, which is considerable.

I heard today that John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi together announced that impeachment proceedings of President Bush are “off the table”. Think about that, and ask yourself why they would say that now. It’s because they understood what those pink-fluff poodles in the GOP who deserted Dubya forgot; Job Approval for President Bush is one thing, but the man himself remains well-respected and liked. Dubya may be down now, but he remains a winner, and only a very great fool would bet against him. Even now.

May God Rest You, Ed Bradley, and Give Your Family Solace

Ed Bradley, one of CBS’ most famous newsmen, has died at age 65 of Leukemia. I took this news without much emotion at first, because it was difficult to sort out what I felt. On the one hand, I have long regarded the figureheads at CBS, and especially at “60 Minutes”, as enemies of truth and justice, willing to give up any ideal for the chance to hurt conservatives and advance their top story, whether true or not. The problem, of course, is that this kind of thinking comes from diminishing a person to one-dimension and losing sight of them as a human being. The political fights come and go, but the people are always what matters. Sixty-five years may not seem young to many people, but it’s a tragedy for someone to be taken from full health to death so quickly. Ed deserved a chance he did not get.

Perhaps, having heard ominous news from my own doctors just last week, I am more sensitive than I used to be to dangers like cancer. I got lucky, Ed did not. Is it really that simple, that cavalier? I think not, though my own views are largely immaterial to the people who mourn the passing of their friend and family member. To Mr. Bradley’s family, his colleagues at CBS, and to his many friends, I offer my condolences, and wish you comfort and solace in this time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Election, In Brief

I was unconscious when we lost the House and – possibly – Senate, recovering from having my appendix removed after passing a kidney stone the week before. But before I went in for surgery, I had already warned why Republicans were in trouble; many weak Republicans deserted the President, preferring to believe the Democrats’ spin that they could only keep their seats by distancing themselves from Dubya. This was a stupid, stupid decision and ultimately the biggest factor in their defeat. Putting it bluntly, to win this year the GOP needed turnout at least equal to the Donks’ turnout, and it just did not happen. Why should a Republican support a guy acting like a Democrat? And there was simply no hope that anyone who preferred the Democrat would switch to the Republican because he started acting like a Democrat. In the end, acting like a Democrat only helped the Democrats, though some Democrats won by acting like Republicans.

Quitting support for the President essentially meant quitting being a Republican Congressman or Senator.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Update

Last week I passed a kidney stone.

The radiology tests now show I have appendicitus. I will be meeting with a urosurgeon to discuss my condition, which I strongly suspect means surgery this week.

The GOP better win on Tuesday - I sure don't need any more pain in that region.