Ramblings From the Ragged Crumbling Edge Of The Reality-Based Community

Thursday, May 04, 2006

How Not To Win New Voters 

…my firstborn will be eligible to vote when the 2008 election cycle rolls around and, given her general passion for and awareness of current events, there’s a strong likelihood that she will take part in the voting process. This is only just one little tiny bit of bad news for Hillary Clinton, should she end up in the race for the presidency, but it could be the tip of an iceberg. Now, there isn’t any problem with any position that Senator Clinton has taken on the day’s issues, nor is this about any vote she has cast. Nope; this is all about Bill

My eldest’s reaction last night to the news that Bill Clinton had convinced the major soft-drink distributors to pull the pop machines from our nation’s school possessed a degree of heat and energy that only those who were involved in above-ground nuclear weapons tests or have been the parents of teenage girls have ever fully experienced. Were it in her power, my daughter would personally repeal the 22nd Amendment in order to get the Big Dog back into the White House so he could again be impeached, this time over the the high crime of treating teenagers like…well, teenagers. Her ire, as best as I could decipher, was split somewhat equally between the actual loss of sugary soft drinks and the dictatorial hyprocracy of adults (judging from the stern declaration that caffeine would be banned from adult consumption the moment she was in charge). Projection can be a powerful force with this age group and foregiveness is not one of it’s more notable traits. Hillary might not want to place too much hope in young first-time voters if she decides to take a fling at nation-wide office in ’08; they may be fit and trim, but they’re also still probably going to be a bit pissed off…

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Face Of Our Iraqi Mess 

...there are probably a whole basket full of reasons that Americans have become disenchanted with Gee Dub's Grand Iraqi Nation-Building Adventure. The fact that we were generally lied to by the Gee Dub, "Big Dick" Cheney, Condi Rice, Don Rumsfeld, and a host of others about the once primary reason for invasion - Weapons of Mass Destruction that would fall into the hands of swarthy Middle Eastern men anxious to create mushroom clouds out of 'smoking guns' over major American cities - plays a major role in our increasing disenchantment, as does the mere fact of this, the third anniversary of Gee Dub's "Mission Accomplished" speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the face of the growing number of American troops who have uselessly been maimed and died to roadside bombs. The clear lack of any sort of plan to actually pacify Iraq after we invaded it has contributed, and all those sweetheart no-bid contracts that have produced little on the ground but have enriched important Republican supporters have played their own role in the shift of public opinion. But there is another factor that contributes to our increasing distaste for the mess that George W. Bush and his handlers got us into, and that is the faces of those who are being asked to step into this mess and try to pull Gee Dub's bacon out of the fire. Janet Grass is one of those faces...

...while perfectly healthy young neo-con twerps sit swaddled in their safe little cocoons typing angrily away about the nobility of Gee Dub's Grand Adventure and their hatred of all the rest of us who at one point or another decided that this whole Iraq thing was a stupid idea, a 52-year-old grandmother who - in her day job as a special education teacher has done more for this country than any of those sorry little neo-con scumbags can hope to achieve in the entire rest of their lives (but no need to hold your breath, because that's not on their agenda anyway) - is going to go off to Iraq for up to 18 months. It's the cheap useless talk of the safe-at-home, personally demilitarized pro-war cowards to say that she or any Guard or Reserve member should have been able to expect that something like this could happen someday. The simple fact is that this misbegotten little nation-building experiment that the PNAC crowd has been nurturing for the last decade has been dipping so deeply into the basic fabric of our lives that people can't help but start asking "ok, then, so just what the hell is this all about?" A nation that has to snatch grandma out of her life to answer our nation's military needs is is deep trouble, especially when we are at the same time wrestling with the understanding that a lack of troops at the git-go led us to the mess that we have now. It is stories like this one that should make people realize that we have nothing to fear from the bile and hatred being spewed by those last dead-ender neo-con Iraqi war lovers. They've done nothing to support their cause beyond their cheap talk, while grandmothers like Janet Grass have actually gone out and will continue to go out for God know's how long to actually lay it on the line in an effort to try to fix this mess that we're in...

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