Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Aloe to My Sunburn or, the Tissue to My Gnat

I really have to remember to just stick with reading the Huffington Post rather than other online news agencies. (Never will I give up my newspaper, though! Unless Fox News goes to print and buys out the local publication.)

While I know the likelihood of secession is in the negative percentile, the fact that our governor stood up in front of a group of already disgruntled people and said it is what sets me off and embarrasses me. This is how the Dixie Chicks felt when they stood on a London stage and Natalie Maines made her now-infamous comment about Bush. (Hell, I felt the same damned way.)

I reached for my mouse and clicked on the Favorites tab after my last post. I almost went to MSN, but decided to seek refuge at Huffington Post, instead. And at the top of the page, I found my balm. Lincoln Mitchell, Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics, Columbia University, put forth the soothing common sense and rationale absent elsewhere.

To quote:
Why then are Republicans willing to talk about revolution, secession and other ideas that would destabilize our country and our democracy. One hopes that most of this can be simply chalked up to a party that is weak, defeated, directionless and out of ideas, but it may not be that simple. Perhaps the demonstrators and, more significantly their leaders, feel that for some existential, and undoubtedly irrational, reason the Obama presidency is a profound threat to their worldview, values and vision of the US. If that is the case we can only hope that these people remain on the margins. This is likely to occur as Obama's worldview, values and vision not only reflect those of a huge plurality of Americans, but will likely to continue to become more, not less, accepted over time.

Undoubtedly, many will argue that the words of Governor Perry should not be taken seriously because they were said in the excitement of a rally and were certainly meant to be hyperbolic. This is not convincing because public officials understand that words and statements matter. That is why elected officials are constantly making speeches, talking to reporters and sending out emails.

Governor Perry threat was in many ways the political equivalent of a child's threat to take his marbles and go home if he does not win a dispute. While it is easy and comforting to think that Perry cannot take his marbles and go home because he has already lost his, the failure of any GOP leaders to criticize his statement or remind Perry and his party that we are one union and a governor should not allude to secession lightly suggests that the problem is worse than that and may not be going away anytime soon.

Ah, the vision of ranting, foot-stomping children is more reassuring than visions of gun-toting right-wingers any day.

All right, I'm going to go work in my garden. I've been rather verbose today on the blog. Time to relax!

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