November 01, 2005
Center Lane Closed Ahead
(From the October 26, 2005 Pulse)
So I was driving to pick up the boy recently (this is being published on his first birthday – happy birthday, Trey!), and I decided to tune the car radio to 1310 AM (where it had never ventured, to be sure) to see what the fuss was all about. I had no idea what the show was called, but the female host and male caller were engaged in a rather lowbrow exchange. A reporter had asked President Bush a question about the number of trained Iraqi battalions, and the radio personalities were finding major fault with his answer. For the record, so had I, but not for the same reasons. The President obviously did not answer the question that was asked. These two, though, just confused the matter to the point of foolishness. They didn’t seem to be able to compare apples to apples and thus shot their own argument in the foot. I saw no reason to continue listening to it, nor to tune into this particular hour again. (I later learned via a published schedule that the host was Randi Rhodes. She not only was terribly obnoxious; she has the audacity to have a sound-alike name to the late genius behind “Blizzard of Ozz.”)
Next up: conservatives who are angry over the Harriet Miers nomination. Make no mistake, the bottom line is that I agree with them – this is not a good pick. However, that is where the similarity of our positions ends. While it’s true that we do not need ostensibly underqualified cronies on the Supreme Court, it’s my position that we do not need social conservatives who will try to steer the country rightward on the bench either. In Washington, some conservative voices (notably William Kristol’s) have made the “underqualified” argument well. Many other self-styled conservatives, though, are shrilly lamenting the fact that this nominee is not a cultural reactionary. What does this accomplish? Nothing but the dilution of their “activist” or “legislating-from-the-bench” argument: the truth is being shown that they don’t want an even-handed interpreter. They want an activist, too – one that supports their agendas.
Speaking of judges: Roy Moore is running for Governor of our dear “Sweet Home” Southern neighbor. A man described as his protégé, former spokesman Tom Parker, is running as a Republican for Moore’s old seat (Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court). Now, that’s all good an’ everything, but…well, no, it isn’t. Tom Parker is apparently very friendly with neo-Confederate types who make statements such as “those who honor the civil rights movement are aiding and abetting the ultimate goal of the ONE WORLD ORDER — to BROWN AmeriKa and annihilate Anglo-Celtic-European culture!’” and call the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marchers “trash.” Moore would have a hard time distancing himself from his former legal adviser (not that he would try), so Alabama voters would do well to give both candidates the snub. (Quotes source: Southern Poverty Law Center.)
The trouble with the Right isn’t all to the south, though. Just up I-65 in Indiana, legislation was introduced (then hastily withdrawn) that would prohibit doctors from assisting with pregnancies that are created via any means other than sexual intercourse, unless the pregnancy will be carried by a woman who is married to a man. Go back and read my rather poorly-constructed sentence again, if you need to, to grasp that. That’s right: pregnancies involving (but not limited to) in vitro fertilizations, surrogates, or embryo transplants, by single moms, gay couples, or straight unmarried couples – all illegal. The bill’s sponsor, Indianapolis Senator Patricia Miller, later said that she “underestimated” public reaction to it.
Finally, back to the Left: I was copied on an e-mail recently in which the author stated, quite simply, his belief that voting Republican should be considered a criminal act. Yeah, this is precisely the way to advance your opposing viewpoint, brother. It was considered criminal to vote for anyone but Saddam Hussein in Iraq’s presidential elections for years, too. So, around 99 percent voted for Saddam, and the other one percent were never heard from again. Oh, and you might as well lock me up now, because even though it could be said that I typically don’t, I’m planning on voting for a Republican (Bob Corker for U.S. Senate) in November of next year.
We have crowded out sane discourse with our rants and diatribes. We can’t even hear each other. Ironically, the extremes in our current political climate are separated by a relatively small gap, if one adopts a global and historical viewpoint. We no doubt have more items in common than things on which we differ. With this in mind, it’s especially troubling to ponder the effect of allowing blowhards and extremists to command the airwaves, pages, and halls of government. That effect, in short, is voter apathy. Let’s remove the labels and stop the screaming. That means you, Randi Rhodes; and it means you, Tom Parker and friends. If we must have bifurcation, let’s keep it rational.
Pulsations | By joe lance | 11:06 AM