Monday, May 14, 2007

Freedom At What Price?

I am still such a credulous smuck. I still hope people do the right thing because it is the right thing instead of the politic or power move. Mostly, I am wrong. But I still hope every now and then.

A couple weeks ago I was listening to an NPR political analyst attack Barack Obama for his stance on the funding of the Iraq war. He voted against going to war, which I admire tremendously. He stood up and let his vote be counted. I, a citizen, albeit voting, in Texas, despaired of writing my opposition to the invasion to anyone. I did nothing. I still think any letters I could have written, would have fallen on deaf ground at the time. But he voted. Up front and personal. He voted against it.

And now, the Congress has asked for a timeline to withdraw. And Bush, of course, has vetoed. And Obama said he believes it is time to compromise with the president because "I do not want to play chicken over the bodies of American soldiers."

The political analyst sneered. What's the matter with him? He's in a strong position. He should take on the administration. He's offering to negotiate before we've even reached the line. He is taking a position of weakness when he is still supposed to be fighting for The Team.

I don't know much about Obama, don't know if I would vote for him, but this touched me. When more Democrats than Republicans were voted into office in November, the Democrats seem to think the voting public wants the same old ball game only with them in the ascendency instead of the Republicans. I rather doubt that. I think we are tired of the football game of Red vs. Blue and would like to get back to a time when it is less acrimonious and the two parties have to work together and compromise and actually get some things done. I was pleased the Democrats had such a slim majority for this very reason.

I recently listened to another analyst who said if the war ended tomorrow, and all the money from that could be plowed into the economy, Congress has porkbellied so egregiously it would not make one whit of difference in the national debt or what we are doing. Discouraging. And then I listened to a man opining that 85% of the French voted because who they chose would really make a difference on how their country was run. In our country, eight US senators who had received massive campaign contributions from drug companies managed to block a vote allowing citizens to get cheaper meds from across the borders. The will of the people is not listened to in Washington unless we get really exercised. What talks is money from the lobbyists. I live in a free country. But it does not feel so free today.


Matt G said...

I heard that essay. Daniel Schorr is an arrogant, name-dropping, self-important, utterly biased ass.

I have no problem with a person, or a reporter, and especially not a collumnist, criticizing the administration. But the man is so predictable in his assessments, they are not credible. There is no analysis going on when Daniel Schorr speaks-- it is as bad or worse a knee-jerk response as if you were to inquire of Rush Limbaugh what he thought of the most recent actions of Hillary Clinton.

Far better that NPR has employed Ted Koppel in the same position, now. I believe that he may have the ability to consider a topic with some objectivity.

Matt G said...

Oh, and I wouldn't be too jealous of the French method of dealing with elections. They have trouble, it seems, dealing well with the results. We had potentially a much bigger problem with the 2000 S. Florida voting "crisis." But we dealt with it, and the system worked.

We didn't riot because we weren't happy.

night lightning woman said...

I hear Daniel Schorr on occasion, and I agree I am VERY pleased Ted Koppel has moved over. This was an interview with someone else I'm pretty sure. Schorr's voice is so distinctive. Don't know what essay you mean, but what I heard had nothing to do with criticizing the administration and everything to do with the strategy of politics, apparently regardless(irregardless?) of the effect on the people. We do not riot, true. This is a good thing. Fewer and fewer of us are voting. This is a bad thing.

Matt G said...

"...what I heard had nothing to do with criticizing the administration and everything to do with the strategy of politics, apparently regardless(irregardless?) of the effect on the people."

Nice try. I know damned well you know that's not a word.