Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Opportunity Knocks

Back in March, I wrote a post about Ronnie Earle. I like Earle. Not much has changed there. Things today are different though, and it's an important difference.

In March, back when I put up the "Don't Delay, Indict Tom" banner on the top corner of my site, I thought I was mad as hell. Sometimes emotions are sneaky. We get so caught up in them we can't actually analyze them. My six month retrospective tells me I wasn't so much angry as brimming with frustrated disillusionment.

Folks on the right look at the overall change in America as a straightening of far left tendencies. I never saw it that way. All my life I have voted my conscience. I vote 60- 70% Democratic, but that's not a formula, it just my view of who, in any given race, can do the job. If you vote only along party lines, you're letting somebody else, and their agenda, do your thinking for you.

I happen to feel that it makes sense to be financially conservative. I dislike feeling dependent on anybody. I don't run my personal life that way; I damn sure don't want to run my country that way. Socially, I'm liberal. I accept that abler bodies and minds have a responsibility to those less fortunate. I think everybody had to try; everyone must do their best.

As a Christian, I believe that stepping into the breach and lifting is required. God doesn't ask us to drive Humvees and have the best toys, he simply wants us to see each life as valuable, even if the owner of that life acts like it isn't . Ultimately, I believe that accepting the value of each life allows us to decline the temptation of division; we can choose not to structure our society as an obstacle course, creating losers in order to make winners. Brains and abilities are already disparate. We don't need to build more division; the challenge before us is to figure out how to excel using ALL the brains and abilities, whatever their levels.

Hence the reason for the frustration. Everywhere I looked, I saw things I disagreed with. We spent a hell of a lot of money. If I ran my checkbook that way, I'd be living under an overpass. Stories kept changing. If I pulled that crap with my Mother, I'd still be eating Ivory Soap. Principles lost their transcendence. During the Clinton presidency, the lie about the sex became a metaphor for the reason the presidency must end. Clinton, to many, was an unprincipled man. Five years into this presidency, where are the principles behind this war, with its constantly changing premise? Where are the principles behind the Abu Gharib torture, when rank and file are left to hang and their superiors don't have their backs, are not demanding to be accountable for their people? Where are the principles behind the Patriot Act? Cutting the civil liberties of the taxpayer will not trap the terrorists -- only building a communicative network with other countries will do that. Sure it's easier to control the citizenry, but that doesn't make it right.

Which leads me back to Earle. Ronnie Earle is a principled man. He happens to not like people breaking the law because they've got power. Things will be said about Earle. Most will not be true. He's not partisan, (his indictment ratio of 13 Democrats to 3 Republicans supports that) but he sure as hell hates power hungry politicos who abuse the law for personal gain. He's a good guy. Lately, we seem to have a dearth of those.

People who roared about Clinton should be fervently supporting Earle. He's got the high ground here. In fact, folks in the middle and Republicans who no longer recognize this spendthrift party of cronyism as their own should back Ronnie Earle. Drawing the line in the sands of reason is the first step to regaining a healthier American political system and a recognizable Republican Party.

I miss those guys. I wish them Godspeed.


At September 28, 2005 6:19 PM, Blogger Tracey said...

Great post, Jet.

I was reading the letters to the editor in my new copy of Newsweek today, when I had to shut the magazine in disgust. There was one letter blaming people for their poverty (because they dared to have children out of wedlock), and another letter stating that in fifty years Bush will be seen as the most baselessly denigrated president of our time.

I get so tired of crap like that. It's so good to hear about people like Earle. I just hope that he can withstand the ensuing swiftboating. I heard that Fox has started it already. "This is a partisan attack on DeLay"

Ugh...I think I'll go be sad now. :(

At September 28, 2005 6:36 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Thanks, Tracey.

There is a growing number of Republicans who are looking at their party and wondering what happened. I hope they see this as an opportunity to right some wrongs.

"The times, they are a-changin'."

At September 28, 2005 11:09 PM, Blogger Tom Harper said...

Yup, the Swiftboating of Ronnie Earle -- count on it. But I don't think it'll work this time. At some point the public is gonna have to stop being like Charlie Brown and run for the football every time Lucy holds it out. Someday (hopefully now) there'll be enough thinking Americans who will stop and say "oh no you don't. I'm not falling for that again."

At September 29, 2005 6:53 AM, Blogger frstlymil said...

Great post, yet again. And I remember your post from March that touched on what is at the front of the news today. The fact that they are lamely trying to present this as a partisan attack is beyond impotent. I am hopeful that this is only one in a series of indictments that domino throughout the corruption of this administration.

At September 29, 2005 11:01 AM, Blogger 1138 said...

What happened is that it has become evidence that they never believed their own BS.
Marketting can persuade folks to buy a product but if it makes your teeth green instead of white, eventually you have to admit you've been conned.

At September 30, 2005 9:51 AM, Blogger Jill said...

When I lived in Austin years ago Earle was a state rep. He is also a bulldog on issues. I say "sic 'em Ronnie"

At October 01, 2005 5:20 PM, Blogger Brad said...

Really, how many people can this administration "swift-boat" before it bounces back on them? It didn't work particularly well with Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, it blew up on them with Cindy Sheehan, and I can't see it working with Ronnie Earle. Would they also try to swift-boat everyone on the jury?

Great post, Jet.

At October 01, 2005 8:29 PM, Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Good post Jet!

Though the post overall was about morality, making the right choice and about Ronnie Earle, the thing that jumped out at me was your comment about party-line voting. Here's why.

Simply put, I believe that if Americans (both blue and red) would spend as much energy looking at their candidates as they do fighting rhetoric with rhetoric, we would have a decent government that actually serves us rather than its own agenda. If we spent as much time investigating the voting record and morals of our candidates, the scum like Bush and DeLay would never even come anywhere near the ballot. And yet, we continue to argue and bicker and let the politicians lead us on like little sheep. My response can only be to ask my fellow Americans, "What the hell are you doing with this precious gift from previous generations?"

Have we grown so complacent, so ignorant and so unable to read reality that we are stranded in a wasteland of perpetual extremism? Or, as I like to hop, are we merely taking a break because we haven't realized the good years under Clinton haven't ended yet? Whatever the case, America needs to wake up and start paying attention. Just ask survivors of the Nazi or Soviet revolutions what the signs to look for are and they will tell you that modern America is ripe for an ideological revolution in politics. Read me carefully here: WE CAN'T AFFORD THAT!

At October 02, 2005 2:00 PM, Blogger windspike said...

If the wheels of justice turn a bit more swiftly, perhaps we will have one of history's most fantastic perp walks! Scooter - Rove - DeLay and any number of the W, Rove and Co. house of card chronies walking in front of the cameras in cuffs.

Justice shall be metted out! Should it escalate to the SCOTUS Let's hope the new Cheif Justice acts in accordance with the law instead of favoring the folks that put him there.

At October 02, 2005 10:40 PM, Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

Nice post Jet, but I don't have faith the the lock-step, koolaid-drinking neo-con lackeys are ready to admit anything...yet. It takes integrity and humbleness to admit you've been bamboozled. It takes a measure of maturity to say you backed the wrong horse. Removing your support from an individual does not mean that all your political or social principals are wrong, only that you've chosen the wrong people to represent those ideals.

For the record, I don't really agree with many of the republican ideals any more than I do the democrats dysfunctional responses, there is some good to be found in the cores of both.
It's just that all the fruit surrounding that core has gone rotten.

Good for Earle for doing the right thing in the face of adversity. We should all hope to be that brave when our time comes.


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