Thursday, January 22, 2009

Democrats believe other people matter, too.

Once not long ago my Mum said to me that the difference between Republicans and Democrats was that "Democrats believe that other people matter too."
As a parent, that's one of those lessons that you hope to heaven you're getting into your kids' heads and hearts. At least, if you're one of those crazy Democrats, moderates, or Republicans with a conscience. In other words, a far cry from the norm of the last eight years.

Out with the greed and me-first-ism (and me-all-the-time-ism), and in with the community.

President Obama's speech, though a bit on the somber side, was terrific. A few points:

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals"
Echoes of Ben Franklin, who told us if we make these a choice, we deserve neither.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
Republicans have sucked since Reagan, if not earlier, and that false-deification ("St. Ronnie"? Please) should be swept out the door with the rest of the failed GOP detritus. Maybe they'll remake the party into what it once know, principled, which it was--once--many decades ago.

"What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.  The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."
Are we channeling FDR here? JFK maybe (with some LBJ for good measure)? Both. In spite of some recent "scholarly" attempts at hacking apart the legacy of the New Deal, it did achieve much more than not at a time when things were probably even worse than they are now. Kennedy reminded us that government didn't have to leave you alone, but could be made a partner in your life, providing you are willing to be an active partner.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.  We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."
Thank you for explaining--again--to the christofascist wingnutjobs that we have a Constitution that does NOT anoint them masters of the universe.

"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."
No need to comment further on that.

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