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December 24, 2006

The Republicans Under Pressure

I used to have a writing teacher who said over and over, "Put your characters under pressure and see what they're made of."  Very smart man, that fiction writing teacher, (Leonard Bishop of the Bay Area and then later Kansas).  So much of what he taught about writing was equally true of life.  Like, "Every scene should both be interesting in itself and should further the overall story."  See what I mean?

I was thinking of that pressure thing today as I realized how nakedly self-centered and just plain mean-spirited the Republicans seem to be.  I think that sums up what the voters saw and didn't like.   So I'm musing about what happened that made the voters see more clearly what these Republicans are really like. 

Then I got it.

We happened.  That's what happened.  It's the very people Time Magazine just honored - specifically the folks testing out this new technology to see how we can use it to take our country back. 

We've been watching them and reporting on their doings over the last couple of years.  In the process we've been putting these guys, and they are mostly guys, under a tremendous amount of pressure.  They have not had their doings scrutinized in a long time.  They've gotten lazy, all those corrupt Republican Congresscritters, lazy enough to take vacations paid for by Abramoff to play golf at St. Andrews gold course in Scotland, lazy enough to put their wives and children on the public payroll, lazy enough to funnel huge amounts of dollars to their campaign contributors, lazy enough to ignore a semi-open gay Representative when complaints are coming in regularly about his uncouth behavior.    

(The only ones who didn't get lazy were folks like the Bushes, who've been hiding their illicit activities for generations, good times and bad.  They aren't going to get caught selling armaments to the Germans in the run up to World War II or participating in the unconstitutional Iran-Contra affair or conduct a little insider trading while being the front for a company run with Middle Eastern money.  Let alone the smaller things like getting a DUI or skipping out on Texas Air National Guard service.  They may destroy the entire Middle East, ruin our ability to lead in the world for decades and decimate our treasury but they know how to cover up anything related to how they earn their money and how they play their shell games.)

So, outside of the inherited aristocracy, the Republicans just weren't ready for us. 

This is a small part of what we did:

  • We supported Joe Wilson in his mission to get people to see the damage done to this country by the Administration's illegal attempts to discredit Wilson and his wife. 
  • We publicized the Jack Abramoff scandal far and wide and uncovered Congressman after staffer after consultant with ties to Abramoff and stories about the greedy, illegal actions they took.  We revealed the impact of what they did on the women now in prostitution in the North Mariana Islands and their total disrespect for their Indian Tribal clients.   
  • We replayed Stephen Colbert's incredibly bold "comedy" performance at the National Correspondents' Association Dinner.
  • We made Ned Lamont a viable candidate against Joe Lieberman and show the country that we can raise money and influence elections.
  • We taped George Allen being his racist self and then got that tape out there.
  • We caught Conrad Burns sleeping during a hearing and then later talking patronizingly about his little Guatemalan house painter. 

I'm sure we only uncover a fifth of the illegal, greedy, mean-spirited things they are doing but, nevertheless, what we are able to reveal and draw attention to is making a big difference.  The spotlight has not been kind to the Republicans.  They have been siphoning off the nation's treasury while pointing over there - "See, we're under great danger from those liberals and their gay marriage and abortion and immigration, and . . . all those other nasty liberal things," or "Catch those terrorists before they get over to our part of the world!" or "We're going to bring democracy to the Middle East".  And, we've pulled that curtain back on at least some portion of what they are doing.  It's not pretty. 

So, as I watch Virgil Goode, Republican Congressman from Virginia, whine about our new Congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison, planning to take the oath of office on the Koran or warn about the coming influx of immigrant Muslims, I say "Let the American people see how mean-spirited and small some of these folks are".   Same with the Republican Congresswoman from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who talked about welcoming the assassination of Fidel Castro.   And with the Bush Administration's attempt to portray James Webb as an angry, ungrateful troublemaker. 

The pressure of the information revealed by the new media will be their undoing because it allows us to see who they are - and increasingly, it looks like they are characters out of a lousy book.   

Posted by Lynn Allen on December 24, 2006 at 11:00 AM in National and International Politics, Strategery | Permalink


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