Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It Was a Thumpin'

When I woke up this morning, I turned on the television, already feeling warm and fuzzy from many of the election returns the night before. I fixed my coffee while banter from CNN droned in the background. Suddenly, there seemed to be a glow of sunshine mounting in the Portland skies, skies that haven’t seen one iota of light for 8 days now—at that instant I turned to the television to see RUMSFELD RESIGNS sprawled in a lovely banner across the set! Were the heavens actually breathing a sigh of relief? I know I was. And wasn’t it merely days ago that the Prez spit that there would be categorically no changes to his cabinet? Ah, the vicissitudes of politics.

The Commander in Chief conceded this morning that, although the individual races were close (as close as they were when the Republicans declared resounding victories in 2000 and 2004?) “it was a thumpin’” at the voting boxes last night. I feel giddy knowing that the House, and probably the Senate will return to at least moderate Democratic control—which, while far from perfect, feels hopeful to me.

The results of the election indicate to me that certain Americans have finally taken notice of the unprecedented “untruths” and scandals that have dogged this administration. Even the most stubborn conservative cannot deny the continual exposure of
neo-con double-speak (we never used the phrase “stay the course!”). How much hypocrisy does it take before humans search their souls and examine what it is they believe in? Does it matter who someone loves, or how he/she express his/her sexuality as long as it is contained between two consenting adults? Does it ring profoundly false when so-called ministers of the Bible, ministers who have a direct line to the President and actively lobby against gay rights initiatives and drug intake, are revealed to use drugs and engage in gay affairs? Or when politicians from one party are again and again revealed to be engaged in sordid activities that are precisely counter to the politics and ethics they espouse? Sadly, the folly of dictating some sort of singular “morality” that delineates a narrow definition of acceptable expressions of love and sexuality, was not reflected in the initiatives of states who passed bans on not only same-sex marriage, but also same-sex domestic unions (allowing certain rights to domestic partners). How unfortunate that a perpetuation of rigid, trespassing dictatorial ethics remains active in certain parts of this country!

Doesn't the Republican party call itself the party of individual freedom and individual responsibility? I see that my definition of "individual" must be incorrect, that individual apparently means, "a person whose conduct we must rubber stamp."

My biggest pet-peeve initiative that thankfully did NOT pass: Letters home to parents of teens seeking an abortion. What an abominable infringement on individual rights. In a perfect world all parents are loving, supportive, and forgiving, and pregnant teens can turn to their family in a time of crisis to find a cocoon of understanding and assistance. That world simply is not an accurate depiction of how many families, including my own, work. Do we really trust all parents to be so kind and fair-minded that a letter home will create a warm and loving bond in which a teenager is encouraged to decide for herself to make a decision that is right for her? Are you kidding me—in my household a letter like that would have created havoc, incurred a scene of extraordinary drama (and worse from my father), and been entirely devastating to me. And I knew of many real-life pregnancy dramas that suggest a letter home to the folks is often not a good idea. And since when should health-care professionals become arbiters of some sort of state-dictated moral compunction anyway?

So, let’s see what is to come. Rummy is out. Katherine Harris (the madwoman from the hanging chad debacle in Florida) is big-time out. Nancy Pelosi is in, and while the sunshine only lasted for a brief period of time this morning (it’s hailing as I speak), there was a definitive glimmer of light when we needed it most


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