Prologue to Progress

This post is double-edged.  Both parts needed to be published before the vote on HCR, scheduled for later this afternoon.  Part One is a comment on the pathetic state of our national government.  Part Two is a similar condemnation of my home state of Virginia.  Yet, the big picture is for a more optimistic outlook, and the upcoming vote on health care reform will be the decisive first step.

PROLOGUE TO THE VOTE

The GOP’s last stand against decent and affordable health coverage for all Americans is this: the final vote will be taken on Sunday, March 21st.  On the Sabbath!  A travesty!  A sin that shakes the very foundation of our Christian country.  Just in case the Republicans have not yet absorbed that fact that not all Americans mark Sunday as their Sabbath, our country is also not a Christian society across the board.  Ever heard of separation of church and state, not to mention freedom of religion?  For Heavens sake —- we devout Americans accept sacrilege in our lives every single Sunday: the majority of stores are open on Sundays, certainly casinos do a brisk business on Sunday and what is a Sunday without sports events ranging from Little League games to the Superbowl?  Nevertheless, the GOP has short memories.  The Congressional vote regarding the continuation of life-sustaining procedures for Terry Schiavo was conducted on a Sunday, and it was Palm Sunday to boot.  What won’t the GOP invoke as a means to stop health care reform?

Pathetic, desperate sore losers.  The “period” to all of this nonsense is that it is not the GOP who will potentially bring down HCR: it is our very own Democrats.  The Republicans cannot be influential even in a losing battle.

On with the vote.

THE STATE OF MY STATE

These days, I am somewhat ashamed to hail from the great Commonwealth of Virginia.  Our Governor, his Attorney General and my Congressional representative are all giving me agita.

A few weeks ago, the AG Ken Cuccinelli sent a letter to all of Virginia’s state universities advising them to delete from their policies the prohibition of discriminating against sexual preference.  This was a blatant effort to exclude gay people from anti-discrimination laws.  There was an uproar on college campuses and finally, Governor McDonnell stepped in to “clarify” the situation and calm down the youngins.  He said that of course there will be no such institutional prejudice against gay people in the Commonwealth’s universities or state offices. It seems that even though only the State Assembly can enact laws affecting discriminatory practice in the public arena, our two former governors, Warner and Kaine, instituted a policy of non-discrimination for gays only hours after taking the oath of office.  Not so our current Governor, and thus, our AG took off on some policy-making of his own.

When McDonnell stepped forward and said that no one is going to discriminate against Virginians based on sexual identity, the rancor quieted down.  All well and good.  Was it McDonnell’s intention to quell any unrest, was it just a stab at shutting down our top legal eagle or was his action an honest effort to correct a policy of discrimination?

Two weeks later, Cuccinelli regaled us with the procedure for suing President Obama because his birth certificate, in Cuccinelli’s mind, is not valid.  When questioned, Cuccinelli said his verbal thesis was only hypothetical.  Quite a treatise, in length and detail, for an exercise in “just pretending”.

This Cuccinelli is very dangerous.  After the first round of flak regarding the state’s discriminatory policies, I thought that Cuccinelli was just a loose cannon, and that McDonnell’s sobering response was an attempt to rein in our loud-mouthed AG.  McDonnell won the gubernatorial race based on his “moderation”, a “reasonable” Republican who avoided the far right-wing.  Was this merely a ruse to get him into office?  In my unbelievable naiveté, I first thought that Cuccinelli and McDonnell were using a “good cop, bad cop” strategy, and that McDonnell really was a moderate Republican who now had to keep a lid on his Attorney General’s flapping mouth.

Rachel Maddow has injected grave doubt in this generous theory of mine.  She covered this dynamic duo in her commentary this week and placed the responsibility for such remarks squarely at the ultra-conservative, ideological feet of the Governor.  McDonnell might go along with the rantings of Cuccinelli, but sooner or later, Cuccinelli will take McDonnell down along with his self-righteous self.  McDonnell is in error to use Cuccinelli as his frontman for radical conservatism.  Virginia is not a red or a blue state; it is more of a purple state, and the political balance is always up for grabs.

Additionally, Cuccinelli appeared on some televised interview program on Saturday, offering his commentary on the health care bill.  Virginia and Idaho are the only states in the Union that already have laws on the books refuting HCR’s rule number one that all Americans must carry health coverage.  Typically, if these states-versus-federal-government suits wind up in state and national Supreme Courts, the federal law has precedence over the state laws.  Cuccinelli went on and on, in great detail, about how the great state of Virginia will fight tooth and nail to repeal HCR, which is supposedly unconstitutional.  He ranted about the validity of state’s rights.  Do tell: when has the concept of state’s right been invoked to GIVE people rights?  It seems to me that the concept of state’s rights has always been used to DENY rights, e.g. slavery, voting rights for Blacks, education for Blacks (first in the denial of any education at all, then in the disguise of “separate but equal”), abortion rights, gender rights such as equal pay for equal work and now in the fight for equality for gays.  This Cuccinelli is loving the spotlight and has definite plans to advance his career on a national level.  If stomping over human rights, personal freedoms and equal justice is the method needed to attain that notoriety, he is game.  Cuccinelli is an instigator of those principles that are limiting to our freedoms.  He is a toxic politician, fulfilling only his narrow interpretation of the Constitution.  Last I checked, no one made him a Supreme.

The third person who I am ashamed of is my very own Congressman, Gerry Connolly.  He comes from my county of Fairfax and served as head of the Board of Supervisors.  He has been a dedicated Democrat.  Big whoop.  This past Wednesday, Connolly was interviewed by MSNBC because he, as yet, has not decided how he will vote on HCR.  Jeezy Wheezy: what politician will not usurp and extend his fifteen minutes?  This health care bill is incomplete even for the most positive of people.  We know that.  But for a diehard Democrat not to support his President in this vote is just idiocy and grandstanding.  I might have voted for Connolly in the past, but it will be very easy for me to vote against him in November if he does not support this bill and his President.  This President, who led a huge rally in support of HCR at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA yesterday, who looked absolutely exhausted, who made this ultimate effort in Connolly’s backyard, just as he successfully did in Dennis Kucinich’s home turf, deserves the solid backing of his fellow Democrats on this bill that will decide the future efficacy of his Presidency.

And so, I am still proud to be a Virginian, albeit a little less than I was before the last election.  Not only did we get a Republican administration for the next four years, but we also got a lunatic Attorney General.  Our Governor is allowing Cuccinelli to raise the tone of the rhetoric, and only comes to the rescue when possible civil disobedience or revolt threatens.  And even our Democrats (Hello Senator Webb and Warner: where is your loyalty to, your vocal support of, your President on the topic of HCR?) such as Connolly are delaying their HCR votes to see if there is anything in it for them personally before they commit.

As we speak, a divisive, exclusionary emphasis on the lowest common denominator of freedoms are gaining favor in the great Commonwealth.  Right now, there is nothing “common” or “wealthy” about my state of Virginia.

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One Response to “Prologue to Progress”

  1. NatalieR Says:

    I have turned off my TV in one room and turned on a movie in another. Movie: “Doubt” — right down the alley of those who loath the institutional degradation and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. It could not be shown at a better time given the utter cataclysm of the endemic episodes of pedophilia leading straight back to the Vatican and (pardon my vitriol) the Nazi Pope Benedict. I digress. Corrupt does not begin to address the problems of this rancid church which has been the seat of crimes against humanity nearly since its inception.

    What I cannot do is listen to the House debate a bill which has been masticated a million times, chewed to a pulp and spit out endlessly. I simply cannot listen to the other side I now deem my enemy try to sink Obama mainly because they simply cannot tolerate a black man as president. Their racism and refusal to object to it is a mirror reflection of just who these rancid swine are.

    So these are the same god people in VA and everywhere else around the country who think the Republican party is all about god and that their god loves capitalism SO much that he is on their side. McDonnell the VA governor, and his attorney general lackey will tell you over and over again just how Christian they really are — NOT!

    I have only one word to describe my enemy: DESPICABLE!

    Just let me know when health care debate is over and I can either celebrate or take that bottle of Jim Beam which will propel me into oblivion albeit temporary so I can get through the day and I don’t even drink! Maybe I’ll just have a cookie.

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