Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank you to the handful; shame on the rest

Thank you to the THREE brave Republican senators who crossed the GOP partisan line and voted for our stimulus. Arlen Specter. Olympia Snowe. Susan Collins. Thank you for putting our national interests ahead of partisan politics.

I recently saw an op-ed by Specter in the Washington Post:

I am supporting the economic stimulus package for one simple reason: The country cannot afford not to take action.

The unemployment figures announced Friday, the latest earnings reports and the continuing crisis in banking make it clear that failure to act will leave the United States facing a far deeper crisis in three or six months. By then the cost of action will be much greater -- or it may be too late.

This reason makes sense. This reason is rational, and shows that Senator Specter recognizes the gravity of our national situation and cares about our collective survival.

So what is wrong with the rest of his party? Even my own Senator Lugar voted lockstep with his GOP peers, casting his vote against our bill.

The banks have their money (and are already back, asking for more.) But this bill was for the people; for all of us who were crushed when the greedy bankers and speculators ran amok under Bush and the GOP gilded age.

Yes, this mess was created by eight years of greedy excess, with no oversight and plenty of winks and nods from the GOP. I'm sure the seeds began long before W was elected. But removing all federal oversight turned a smoldering fire into a raging inferno. The fire has now spread across both oceans and has threatened the global economy.

Heckuva job, guys.

And so now we all turn to the government for help, as the only entity powerful enough to right our national ship. As Lincoln wisely noted: "If all men were just there would be some, although not as much need for government."

And all men are not just. Not even close. It only takes one Madoff - plundering without any apparent government oversight - to bring down benevolent giants.

That even Indiana's Senator Lugar couldn't bring himself to vote nonpartisan... this is a great disappointment. For me, this pretty well signals the final inglorious swan-dive of the GOP.

Due to GOP screaming, this bill is now laced with tax cuts that siphon money away from the programs we really need.

Tax cuts have never worked for anyone but the very rich - which is why the GOP supports them (when voting, they cater to their real base.) Now there is less stimulus money available for rebuilding our roads, dams, bridges and levees; improving our lagging educational system, our health care system (health care costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy in this nation,) and creating an alternative energy grid.

All of these desperately-needed projects create new jobs. They also will address our crumbling national infrastructure, which just wasn't a priority for the GOP. Apparently the wealthy never drive over out-dated bridges or live below aging damns.

Or reside below Gulf Coast levees.

But because they have a lot of money, they adore tax cuts. This is only logical. The more money you have, the higher your taxes. A tax relief check for most of us would barely pay off a credit card. This is supposed to stimulate our economy? No -- only satisfy the wealthy who fill the GOP political coffers.

Think about it. What is the point of a tax cut if you've lost your job due to a factory closing? How will a tax cut help you if you've already lost your home?

The GOP is dead. The die is cast.

Our entire state turned blue because people here are desperate for change, yet our remaining republican representatives still won't represent us. They stubbornly play political games while people here suffer and grow angrier by the day. I expect they will be out the door in the next election. We watch the president -- because we can see he is aware of our pain, listening and trying to help us -- we set our jaws, and we vow to do whatever we can do to make this work.

We will do it from the ground up; with federal assistance and a will to survive. And we will proceed without the GOP. They have rendered themselves obsolete as a force in American government, and the politics they hold more dear than anything else, including the best interests of our nation.

Rather than owning up to the failures of the last eight years - which they could at any point have addressed, to head this off - they stubbornly refuse to work with the Democratic majority that we elected (the majority of voters) and the ACTION that is being taken to address our national crisis.

By voting against our stimulus bill, they voted against the American people... hoping and betting that the economy won't turn around before the 2010 election; rearranging the political deck chairs as our nation sinks.

It appears they finally ripped off that American flag they've been hiding behind.

But thank you to the three senate republicans who stepped forward. History will remember you kindly. And we all owe you a debt of gratitude... and maybe even a thankful phone call.

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