Through a Hole in the Air

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The recent blowout election that gave us
President Barack Obama resulted in a flood of emotion that engulfed both
parties. The one thing they had in common was that neither party could believe
it. Political comedian Mort Sahl once said, "Liberals feel unworthy of their
possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen." If we
have learned nothing else about Republicans, it's that, with few exceptions,
they are vindictive, immoral, blood-thirsty, and just plain power-mad.
Republicans are so much better at destroying things than Democrats are. They say
and do whatever it takes to win. And if that doesn't work -- they seize it

So we were braced for another disappointment -- not because we
didn't share Obama's vision of change and his hope for a better life for all
Americans, but because voting machines were frantically flip-flopping votes from
Obama to John McCain, minority voters were purged, telephones jangling with
robocalls smeared Obama as an alien terrorist -- and John King over at CNN kept
ramming solid red "magic" maps in our faces as proof that McCain could not

So, what happened?

We woke up. After snoozing through
massive homicide, refusing to confront genocide, ignoring fratracide and the
hopelessness that has driven an alarming number of our military to commit
suicide...we woke up. We stood united against a national addiction to chaos,
bloodshed and corruption. We voted for a leader who promised to break that
addiction, and to heal this nation in the name of the people. By election night,
we were giddy with relief. We clambered aboard that ship of state and rode the
wave of long-lost hope -- free at last. Obama's win ripped a hole in the
political air, and millions of us stood weeping as the blissful sound of Democracy wafted through every nook and cranny to swirl around
this magnificent moment in our history.

But that was election night.
Republicans, terrified of change, were in shock -- in total disarray. But the
next morning, they were out in force -- maggots streaming from rotten turds
whose blossoms had been stomped on. The Heritage Foundation warned against the
danger of the Left's "radical agenda" of health care, education and energy.
House majority leader John Boehner was either drunk or stupidly arrogant, or
both, when he maintained that Obama may have won, but his "far-left agenda" was
out of step with the majority of Americans. Boehner did concede, however, that
House Republicans might work with Obama "when it is in the best interest of our
nation," and only when it promoted "superior Republican

Boehner's predecessor, Dick Armey, was quick to point
out that Obama didn't win -- Republicans lost. And they lost because they were
just too damned compassionate. Armey is chairman of FreedomWorks,
which advocates scrapping the Federal Income Tax, kicking older folks out of
Social Security to keep from overburdening the young, and of course
freedom -- such as that of network carriers to manage and control
Internet content. According to Armey, Republicans have simply forgotten their

Richard Haass, Council on Foreign Relations president,
hissed, "The one thing I'm sure of is, events will test him. ...There will be
coups. ...There will be genocide. ... There will be terrorism." Gee, Bush hasn't
completed his sprint to the finish line yet, and those like Haass are already
waxing nostalgic for the Bush Doctrine.

Georgia Congressman Paul Broun
called Obama a "Marxist" who was determined to set up a jack-booted Gestapo
civilian security force to use against citizens -- an ominious tactic taken
right out of Hitler's playbook. In the ensuing flap, Broun refused to apologize,
or to acknowledge that the "civilian national security force" proposed by Obama
is, in reality, a two-year-old pilot program -- The
Civilian Response Corps of the United States of America
trained and equipped
to "deploy rapidly to countries in crisis or emerging from conflict, in order to
provide reconstruction and stabilization assistance." The State Department has
already deployed members to Sudan, Chad, Haiti, Lebanon, Kosovo, Iraq and

Intolerance, hate -- racism -- runs deep within the heart of
this country. It's easy not to be racist, to support civil rights, equality --
but when confronted by a change so abrupt, so momentous as the election of an
African-American president, many white Americans have problems calming their
inner beast. William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the
Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, said when
discussing the hundreds of threats against Obama since Nov. 4, that the
election of a black president is "the most profound change in the field of race
this country has experienced since the Civil War. Racism is like cancer," Ferris
said, "It's never totally wiped out, it's in remission."

Perhaps, except for those like the feral, all-knowing, all-caring, all-sensing,
all-feeling, all-concerned -- pretty much all-everything -- "Maha Rushie"
Limbaugh, who has been in shrieking racist meltdown since the day Obama
announced his candidacy. Referring to Barack Hussein Obama early and
often, Limbaugh stoked racist fear by warning millions of Dittodeadheads they
were being taken over by a "half-minority." In April 2007, he aired an insulting
Paul Shanklin parody, "Barack The Magic Negro," and went from that to trying to whip
up murderous riots at the Democratic National Convention.

Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their gang of slimy supremacist clones
inflame the fires of fear and hate on a daily -- hourly -- basis. They know
exactly what they're doing. "The economic mess Bush has gotten us into is all
Obama's fault! The Obama recession is in full swing! We will soon be in the
throes of an Obama depression! Obama's going to raise our taxes! Obama's coming
after our 401k retirement checks! Millions more will lose their jobs! Quick --
burn a cross -- hang a noose in your tree before it's too late!"

Michael Savage warns that Blacks don't want just a foot in the door; they are
poised to take over the entire nation. On his Nov. 18 broadcast, Savage said, "I
am telling you that there's gonna be a wholesale firing of competent white men
in the United States government up and down the line, in police departments, in
fire departments. Everywhere in America, you're going to see an exchange that
you've never seen in history..."

If that's not enough to send us
screaming into the night, our knees hitting our chins, Lisa Miller, former
front-page religious writer for the Wall Street Journal, now
Newsweek's Society/Religion editor, asks, in a shameful, code-word-laden piece -- "Is Obama the
Antichrist?" Miller quotes several right-wing evangelicals, and she says
conservative Christians believe a great battle is imminent. "After years of
tribulation -- natural disasters, other cataclysms (such as the collapse of
financial markets) -- God's armies will vanquish armies led by the Antichrist
himself. He will be a sweet-talking world leader who gathers governments and
economies under his command to further his own evil agenda." Miller says, given
Obama's liberal positions on abortion and traditional marriage, it's no wonder
that "Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist
Christians." And, if we want proof -- one of the winning lottery numbers in
Obama's home state of Illinois was 666 -- which Miller says everyone
knows is the sign of the Beast, or the Antichrist.

The fascist lies and
smears of Republicans and their doppleganger radio creeps should come as no
surprise to those paying attention. However, the ripples of uneasiness and fear
surging through Democratic ranks as a result of these assaults is a bit
puzzling. Perhaps it's because after eight years of covering -- and uncovering
-- deceit, lies, and monstrous war crimes perpetrated by George Bush, they are
hesitant to trust another president regardless of his party affiliation. Or,
perhaps they're afraid to have hope because they believe George Orwell's flat,
no-wiggle-room assertion that -- "All issues are political issues, and
politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and

Whatever the reason, each day brings a new rash of
criticism about Obama's choices for his transition team, his economic team, his
foreign policy team. His selection of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff, probable
selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, and his decision to keep
Robert Gates as Defense Secretary for at least a year resulted in cries of
betrayal throughout the left-wing blogosphere. For two Democrats to agree on any
one thing would indeed be change. Everybody has his/her own views as to who
should make up the cabinet. And, since I'm the most liberal Democrat I know, it
seems obvious that Obama should have put the environment into the hands of the
award-winning former vice president Al Gore, justice into the hands of
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, and Defense into the hands of former
Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark.

Those on the left who
complain that Obama is "loading up his administration with Clintonites" should
pause and take a deep breath. Anybody old enough to serve -- who has the
experience to serve -- would necessarily come from either the Clinton or
the Bush era. Which would you prefer? We should remember it is Obama's policies,
not theirs, that will be put into effect. Obama promised change -- to be honest
and up-front with all the people. He is keeping that promise.

Last week,
in three days Obama held three press conferences wherein he outlined policies
that reach far beyond the immediate crisis, such as his plan to boost the
economy by creating 2.5 million jobs. "We'll put people back to work rebuilding
our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our
children," he said, "and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient
cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our
dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

Millions of us who voted for Obama are weary of fighting our way through
the tangles of an Orwellian world. We yearn to live in a Wellstonian world, one where "...politics is not about
observations or predictions. Politics is what we create by what we do, what we
hope for, and what we dare to imagine."

Obama is not perfect. The
problems Bush is only too happy to dump on him are almost insurmountable and
getting worse by the day. Obama will make mistakes, but he has promised that,
with our help, the hopes of all Americans can be realized. Together -- we can change the direction of the country.

We will not jump ship. Come hate or high water -- we can do it.

Yes. We. Can.

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