Before we write anything today, we must first note with great sadness the death of Elizabeth Edwards, who just lost her battle with breast cancer. We became acquainted with this strong and intelligent woman when her husband, then a first-term Senator, became John Kerry’s Democratic running mate in the 2004 Presidential race. Elizabeth became a central figure in her husband’s campaign. We got to know the Edwards family and learned of the previous tragic death of their son when the car he was driving was blown off a North Carolina highway during a storm.
We saw more of Elizabeth in 2008 when her husband ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Presidential nomination. And then John’s ugly affair became the stuff of tabloids.
Elizabeth was clearly a powerhouse--intellectually and personally. And she was brave. She even took on Ann Coulter mano-a-mano--or is it mana-a-mana? Throughout the good times and the bad, Elizabeth managed to smile and to share her vision of loving hope. That is what we will choose to remember about her.
May she rest in peace and with honor.
The President of the United States, a man for whom I reluctantly voted, --what choice did I have?--just called me sanctimonious. Hmmm. I suppose there are worse things to be called, but there is one thing that I know. Only a few folks who are called such names turn around and vote for the name caller the next time around.
I wonder whether Obama has learned anything from this exercise. I doubt it, but cyberspace is alive with speculation, cross-talk and just plain, old-fashioned anger. Tuesday night Keith Olbermann treated us to one of his splendid rants [Here] and Rachel Maddow devoted her entire program to the tax deal that Obama has announced. [Here] She and her fine staff managed to put together a complete summary and evaluation of the tax package with guest commentary.
During her news analysis, Maddow used a quotation that has been ascribed to Ghandi: [Here]
First they ignore you
Then they laugh at you
Then they fight you
Then you win.
Maddow astutely pointed out that the President has been experiencing Ghandi’s path to victory, but in reverse. First, he won the 2008 election by a huge margin and led the Democrats to power in both the Senate and the House. Next, he had a big fight over the Health care bill. He won but the fight still rankles.
Maddow now claims that the Republican leadership is laughing at Obama. Whether or not this is true, I do not know, but McConnell and Boehner certainly look like very happy campers in the shots that I’ve seen of them. They also look exceedingly smug.
Let us hope that the Ghandian next phase, that of ignoring and shunning, does not happen. That would amount to disregarding the constitution and the principles of our democracy.
For the best short essay that I have found that summarizes an individual blogger’s disgust with the Great White House Cave-in is this essay, by Paul Rosenberg, “A president as clueless as George Bush” in Openleft.com. [Here]
What will happen next is hard to predict, but we should watch moves from the White House. Will Obama and Co. reach out and try to mend the many broken fences or will the debris be left to rot? Larry Summers is quoted by Sam Stein in Huffpost as warning that if this White House tax package is not passed by the Congress, the country would be in serious danger of suffering a “double dip” recession. [Here] (I can feel Larry's finger wagging right under my nose, can't you? Is this the best that they can drag out to convince us to get on board?)
So, dear friends, the spin, spin, spin has begun so hold your hats.
Meanwhile, this sanctimonious liberal will also hold her nose...