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November 03, 2005

Wind at Our Back

For the last four years it’s felt like there was a ferocious wind in the collective face of us, the people in this nation who identify as very blue – the progressive Democratic base.  It seemed as if the forces of anti-democracy were in the ascendency.  And our Democratic leaders were still walking around in their individual little circles, seemingly unable to come together and provide an alternative to the forces in array against us.

There were moments when the wind was stalled and we were able to be quiet and thoughtful for a moment.  Sometimes we could see the chance of a better collective self and a more courageous and caring and thoughtful nation.  I remember the months right after 9/11 when it felt like there was such raw humanness, such connection with each as a people and with other peoples around the world.  Everybody slowed down and  there was such hope that a terrible tragedy like that might wake people up and bring the country together.  More hope when later Colleen Rowley spoke up about the poor communications and procedures in the FBI and her attempts to warn the country of what she surmised had occurred. 

A bit of unity during the war in Afghanistan and the initial recovery of the people of that country.  Yes, we seem to be doing something useful here and it’s not too bloody for us.  Then there was unity of a sort on the eve of the war with Iraq when people took to the streets in solidarity against it. 

Still we went to war with Iraq - such idiocy.  And again as the war dragged on and then when the photos of the prisoner abuse at  Abu Graibe came out. 

Yet the press and the national conversation still didn’t tip over into sustained truth-telling.

I look at this last week and feel a wind at our back for a change.  We are at another moment when truth is being revealed and this time, it looks like it will continue.  There’s been a breeze at our back for awhile, hard to tell really when it started.  Bush’s poll numbers going down.  More people noticing that something really was not working in this government.  And those pictures and stories of Iraq, there are not nearly as many as there used to be; people don’t like them, but the pictures, the stories snuck in, a minute here, a minute there.  This war is terrible.  And why are we there again?  And what does it mean for how we interact with the rest of the world and for our future economic well-being?   Then came the pictures of the effects of hurricane Katrina and stark, visual images of the faces of human beings whom we rarely spend time with but people whose raw humanness was in our living rooms.  Next we start to hear stories of corruption on a scale we can’t begin to remember, and the indictment against Tom Delay and the separate indictment of Scooter Libby. 

And it may not stop there.  For the first time we see the Bush Administration’s inability to move forward without pitching and swaying.   

Aw, the wind is at our back feels good; we should have a few moments to notice how much nicer it is to have the media doing their jobs to unearth truths, connecting the dots of corruption and hypocrisy and have the Democratic leadership pulling off wins on the Republicans.   That’s nice.  It would be nicer still if we had more of a common vision, us and the Republicans, but that doesn’t seem very possible right now.  So we will try to communicate our vision better so that some of those folks who don’t pay as much attention as we do, will see what we have become, and will help us swing around this ship of state to a more tenable position.         

With the wind at our back comes hope.  Can we manage to bring enough Americans along to take back Congress in 2006 or at least slow them way down in 2006 and get Congress back by 2008.  Can we use these new tools in the world to speed up the process?   Can we sustain a time of truth-telling?

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 3, 2005 at 09:47 AM in Miscellany | Permalink

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