If you’re like me, you have a hard time ingesting current news, especially on the political front. The polarization of America is, front and center, the most perplexing aspect of current political discourse. Take for instance this fixation on defeating Obama, making him a “one term President” as Mitch McConnell promised early in his administration, during a time of economic crisis when millions of people were losing their homes, their jobs, and their way of life, and Congress should have been working WITH the President, not against him.
This recent book by one of my favorite news commentators is subtitled The Unmooring of American Military Power. With the title and subtitle, you can get a good idea of what the thesis of the book is. Think of the Constitution as the dock, with the US Ship of State tied up securely to it. The lines tying the ship to the dock are the laws of the United States, the executive, legislative and judicial branches that create, administer and enforce those laws, and the people that work in those branches of government. Now, consider that two, sometimes all three, branches, or lines, have become frayed and worn, even purposely cut, to the point that they stretch and occasionally snap, leaving the ship to drift away from the dock, completely unmoored to land, subject to the vagaries of currents. And we have forgotten why we tied the ship to the dock in the first place.
Check out the website.
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy, or when his previous employer received huge no-bid contracts.
<rant> We all know that Religion and Hypocrisy go hand in hand. Religion has no choice. It is impossible to be religious and consistent at the same time, because any religious claim is usually self-contradictory, requiring a pull in two directions. Against abortion? Sure, every life is sacred (except those on death row, service men fighting in war, innocent civilians in Iran and Afghanistan, etc. etc. etc.). Voila’! Instant Hypocrisy.
As we get closer to November 4th, there is speculation in the press that we may become subject to an October Surprise. Not by John McCain, mind you, but from someone only slightly more sinister. Osama bin Laden. The prevailing theory is that Mr. bin Laden would like to keep his hands in American politics, by making some kind of nuisance of himself prior to the election. He did this in 2004, by releasing a somewhat threatening tape to the press just before the election, which many observers at the time felt contributed to John Kerry’s defeat by George “Mission Accomplished” Bush. The margin of victory was so slim for Bush, that it’s not unlikely this was true. The somewhat natural inclination of the voting public seems to be that in times of military threat, they vote Republican, on the theory that the Republicans are militaristic war mongers and more likely to protect us, while Democrats or insipid, spineless milquetoasts who run from their own shadows. At least, that’s the caricature that makes the rounds as political wisdom.
There was a story on the local news the other day about a car show dedicated to Jeeps. We get them (car shows) locally every so often, but the hook to this story was that one of the Jeeps would not be on display. Apparently, it was the pride and joy of one of our servicemen presently doing time in Iraq, and the pictures indicated that it was in good shape, albeit a bit dirty. His family characterized his relationship to the Jeep as “#1”, ahead of even his family. I’m sure that wasn’t true, just mere hyperbole for the story, but it appears it was also part of the setup for the sales pitch. The family had decided that as a surprise for their military man, they would have a compete makeover of the Jeep accomplished: new upholstery, new dash, supercharged accouterments and accessories, etc, all to the tune of about $25,000. And they were asking for donations from people who were attending the Jeep show at the local fairgrounds to help cover the cost to do so. The unstated, underlying theme of the fundraiser was clearly “Support The Troops”.