by Bob Higgins, Staff Writer
My parents and grandparents were all Democrats; most of the time. In spite of that fact they had their reactionary moments, my grandmother, for instance, never forgave Roosevelt for sending Dad off to "fight a foreign war" and Dad himself, voted for Reagan for which I will never forgive him.
As a seven year old second grader at Ruskin school in Dayton I wore an "I like Ike" button (given to me by my Grandmother) to school. I had no idea who "Ike" was or why I liked him but wearing the button pleased Grandma and kept the cookies flowing so I wore the button. This, I believe, is how lobbyists and other political whores are born.
I wish I still had that button; it’s probably worth a case of good rum on eBay. That was my last flirtation with Republicanism and I hope that I may be forgiven for it. I still bear the shame of that scarlet "R."
In general, I don’t like Republicans, their politics, their world view, the way they support capital at the expense of labor. I don’t like their policies whether economic, domestic or foreign, their hypocritical embracing of "family values," their careful coddling of "Christian" extremists and the upper tiers of our society to whom they lend their allegiance, none of it.
In my life I have seen 36 years of Republican presidencies and 28 years and 1 month of Democratic leadership. I vastly prefer the latter. I hope for more of it.
The battle over the "stimulus bill" and the oft expressed desire of our new president and many on the left of the aisle to be non, or bi, or post-partisan is something that I find disturbing, worse, I find it somewhat cowardly.
Tens, hundreds of thousands of people worked and fought, spoke and scraped up funds for Democratic victory through all the horrible years of the Bush debacle and they deserve Democratic leadership.
They did not sign on to hear "if you give us a few more tuna sandwiches for the poor we’ll give you more tax deductions for the wealthy and federal subsidies for foie gras and second homes."
I understand, as well as anyone can who is out of the loop, living, as I do, in a flyover state, the ugly machinations of American politics and the unfortunate need for occasional "compromise" with interests that are antithetical to one’s personal principals, but, there are times when lines must be drawn, make that etched, in the sand and not crossed.
This is such a time.
There can be no reasonable compromise with a party that has frequently embraced those who have loudly and consistently declared war on government and there can be no expectation that such a party can reasonably be expected to have any ability to govern.
The proof has been, as they say, in the pudding and this particular pudding is the vast, overwhelming, sticky morass of capitalist dreck in which we now find ourselves almost hopelessly mired.
The last eight years of Republican foreign policy was a disaster, by most accounts the worst foreign policy nightmare in our history. They went on to achieve the same caliber of results domestically with stagnant or retrograding wages and skyrocketing fuel and food prices and a financial industry that bore more resemblance to an off track betting parlor than something the sane would invest their savings in.
They managed to shred the Constitution and Bill of Rights in an attempt to send American Democracy back to the "Gilded Age," wreck our economy and along the way, created a climate of fear in which the only winners were the chosen, the "A list" of politically connected war profiteers.
They were repudiated by a sizable majority of the American people in the recent election and now want, and expect to share power, to dictate the terms, to define the solution to extract us from the swamp they led us into. This is where I really need a laugh track.
So, fellow Dems, let’s quit pandering to those whose political philosophy is a proven threat to our country, our way of life and our rights and freedoms; as Jim Hightower says, "Ain’t nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos."
Lifelong liberal of the Tom Paine wing. Marine Vietnam Veteran. He has worked as a photographer, cab driver, bartender, carpenter and cabinetmaker. "I’ve seen it all. I’m getting old. Somebody get me a glass of water". His web site is called WorldWide Sawdust at http://worldwide-sawdust.com/