Wednesday, February 13, 2008
In the middle of this gloomy, stormy, seemingly endless winter, it's pleasant to contemplate summer--perhaps with some new equipment for the outdoor grille.
Fritz and I both woke up around 3:30 last night for no apparent reason. The cat was nowhere around and it was dead silent outside. We were supposed to be at the height of a new snowstorm but there was no wind and no sound of the sleet that had been promised.
We curled back up together but after half an hour neither of us had drifted back off. Fritz suggested putting our lights on and reading. He’s nearing the end of a book I gave him on the history of the Erie Canal system (we’d taken a boat tour of the Buffalo end of the canal two summers ago); I’m getting into the latest Armistead Maupin tale of the city, “Michael Tolliver Lives.”
Maupin’s said the new book isn’t a sequel, but it deals with many of the same characters, visited again twenty years on in their lives after the events of he last of the original set of Tales of the City novels. But if it’s not a sequel I can’t imagine what you’d call it; two pages in it was as if there’d been no break in the series at all.
I finally got up and looked out and saw that at least six new inches of snow had fallen and very soon after that frozen rain began clicking on the window panes, adding a glaze of ice to end yet another big storm. Heavy cold rain is now turning everything into piles of cement-heavy slush.
In the wake of yet another set of primary victories by John McCain, this lightly edited Arianna Huffington piece seems to me to be of special interest:
End of a Romance: Why the Media and Independent Voters Need to Break Up with John McCain
Posted February 11, 2008 | 03:52 PM (EST)
I hate to be the one to break up a love affair, especially with Valentine's Day just around the corner, but I can no longer stand idly by and watch the media and independent voters continue to throw themselves at the feet of John McCain.
The John McCain they fell in love with in 2000 -- the straight-shooting, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may maverick - is no more. He's been replaced by a born-again Bushite willing to say or do anything to win the affection of his newfound object of desire, the radical right.
And we've got the money shot of his betrayal on tape: McCain singing the praises of Karl Rove, calling him "one of the smartest political minds in America," and saying, "I'd be glad to get his advice."
So, please, stop pretending that McCain is still the dashing rebel that made knees buckle back in the day -- and stop referring to him, as the New York Times did this weekend, as "moderate" and a "centrist."
What is it going to take for you guys to face reality? McCain verbally stroking Rove should be the equivalent of that great scene at the end of The Godfather where Diane Keaton's Kay watches in horror as Al Pacino transforms, in the kiss of a ring, from her loving husband Michael into the next Don Corleone. This ain't the same man you married.
I know it's hard. I myself was deeply enamored of the old McCain. In 2000, I invited him to give the keynote address at the Shadow Convention I'd helped organize. He spoke with passion about the need to clean up the "iron triangle of lobbyists, big money, and legislation."
And now he'd be "glad to get" advice from one of the preeminent architects of that triangle?
The old John McCain once rightly called Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and like-minded religious bigots "agents of intolerance." The new John McCain now slavishly seeks their endorsement.
The old John McCain talked about trying to do something about global warming and encourage renewable energy. The new John McCain didn't show up for a vote last week on a bill that included tax incentives for clean energy, even though he was in DC. And then his staff misled environmentalists who called to protest by telling them that he had voted for it.
The old John McCain once stood tall as a fearless leader on immigration, co-sponsoring a humane, bipartisan reform bill with Ted Kennedy. The new John McCain, when asked during a recent GOP debate whether he would support his own proposal, replied: "No, I would not." In other words, he was for his core beliefs before he was against them.
So McCain has backed an amendment that would limit the right to habeas corpus, has endorsed an Arizona constitutional amendment that would not only ban gay marriage but deny benefits to unmarried couples of any kind (lest those pesky gay people find some kind of loophole), and has discovered a newfound support for teaching "intelligent design" in schools.
The old John McCain once tried to take the mantle of true conservatism away from George W. Bush. The new John McCain is now essentially running to give America a third Bush term - and, indeed, will even out-Bush Bush when it comes to staying the disastrous course we're on in Iraq.
Right on time, the new McCain got Bush's blessing on Fox News Sunday: "I know his convictions," Bush said. "I know the principles that drive him. And no doubt in my mind he is a true conservative."
There you have it: John McCain, a Bush conservative. If you love George Bush, and all that he's brought you over the last seven years, you're gonna love John McCain.
As it turns out, the new John McCain doesn't need any advice from Karl Rove. He's already internalized the Boy Genius' lessons.
If you think the problem with the United States right now is that we haven't given Bush enough time to finish his agenda, then John McCain is your man. If not, it's time to stop running on the fumes of romantic notions past and find a good divorce lawyer (and, yes, I'm talking to you in the campaign press corps and to you independents and to you moderates and to you anti-war McCain voters in Florida).
The Thousand Year War Express is careening along the road to the White House, and the new John McCain is gunning the engine. And he has to be stopped.
There used to be an old saying that you should always have clean underwear on in case there's an accident and you require being rushed to the hospital. Although I myself am a confirmed naked sleeper, some variation on the old saying might apply to wearing pajamas to bed.
btw, thank u for stopping by my blog :)
I read the same Arianna piece yesterday also. I remember going to the National POW Museum years ago (in s. Georgia of all places... apparently there was a huge Civil War POW camp there) and thinking "Wow, John McCain really is a great man (even if a Republican)." She is right though, he has sold his soul so many times he no longer has any idea what the difference is between standing up on the job and falling down. He is a perfect example of how power corrupts.
I also loved Michael Tolliver Lives. I found myself subconsciously slowing down my reading speed as I got nearer the end to try to make it last longer.