Friday, June 17, 2005

the grunt

long time, no post. well, at least not here.

spent a chunk of time this evening reading Promises Betrayed, a book by NYT op ed columnist bob herbert. i'm devouring it, but having much the same problem as when i read nickle and dimed a few years ago: yes, it's important to document awful things and unfair policies that are escaping the attention of the mass public. but tell me what the hell to do about it. page after page, anecdote after anecdote, data and statistics and.... a profound feeling of helplessness. a deep wonder if any social action will ever be enough.

we had a primary in the state earlier this week. virginia allows you to vote in either the dem or repub primary without affiliating with either party. i actually voted on a repub ticket, mainly to block the more egregious candidates from reaching the ballot this fall. in our local race for state delegate, a 83-yr-old who has served in government for 54 years and is chair of the finance committee, and a moderate, was up against a 27-yr-old rightwinger who does not live in our district and is currently facing election fraud charges. the moderate won 55%-45%.... but if not for the city itself, the rightwinger would have won. (and the people who voted for him are my library patrons.) the rightwinger attempted to turn the primary into a contest of 'i hate gays more than you' and extreme prolife positions. the incumbent pretty much stuck to having experience and, say, being legally in the clear. (i did have an exchange of letters with his campaign when it looked like he was venturing into the rightwinger's game.)

so please... let's ask, why do the supporters of "the culture of life" care so little about the life of culture that they're seeking to end all public support of CPB/PBS/NPR. why don't we ask them to clarify why an embryo or a adult human vegetable is worth more than an iraqi civilian, or a member of our own military underclass. let's ask why the party of less government cares who you sleep with and what's in your uterus. let's ask why we can afford tax breaks on stock dividends but not tax expenditures on infrastructure, job training, extended welfare, etc. let's ask what the hell is in the heads of the narrow majority of people in this country who doesn't see these issues and don't see that they've been voting against themselves economically and socially.

then let's ask the democrats when they'll get someone who can actually win an election.

(this is why i should not post on politics at 2 am)


jd said...

Ahhh, such are the joys of VA politics these days. One of my coworkers used to live in NoVA and is appalled at the extreme right wing politics that are happening in VA of late. He's glad he's no longer paying a penny to that state after all the 'government in your bedrooom' legislation that has been passed recently.

I hate to say it, but the Dems need to fight fire with fire. They need to hire their own language consultants to get the message framed in such a way that the sheeple will understand and rally behind it. The far right have become experts at corralling the sheeple and tricking them into voting against themselves. It's time to turn that around.

dewey eyed said...

hmm. thinking of language consultants, i'm also reading don't think of an elephant!: know your values and frame the debate by george lakoff.

and my patrons wonder why i haven't bothered to read the davinci code....