Wednesday, January 19, 2005

These are the times that try men's souls

Upon the eve of the inauguration and the night after Rice's 16-2 Foreign Relations Committee vote, I am reading Thomas Paine. I am thinking of sending the following to Feinstein as I don't think I could do a better job expressing my disgust:
I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.

There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons too who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them, they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if they succeed will be merciful. It is the madness of folly to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object is only a trick of war: The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf; and we ought to guard equally against both.
And that folks, is why I was an eighteenth-century scholar, in case you're wondering. It's easy to forget we had a revolution in this country.

Yes, I was inspired by tonight's West Wing episode, and I'm embarrassed to admit I seemingly cannot watch the show anymore without crying. Will we ever have an administration that cares about anything important again? Four years is a long time. I am so depressed tonight that, were I to see a therapist right now and tell him that my emotions were a result of a romance, I'm sure he would try to medicate me. As it is, because they are the result of a presidency, he'd probably try to convince me they were the result of a romance or a childhood trauma. I'm not sure how to survive the next four years. I've been searching my memory banks, trying to recall if I ever felt this way before--this despairing about the political situation. I do remember sinking into the slough of despond during the first Gulf War. (By the way, did anyone catch Rice's comment during her hearing: "In the Middle East, President Bush has broken with six decades of excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in hoping to purchase stability at the price of liberty." Say what?? We did "bomb them back the middle ages" not so long ago, didn't we? Did I hallucinate all of those yellow ribbons and reports about smart bombs?) In any case, yes, I was pretty depressed then. I think I may be more depressed now. I know I am more fearful of our collective future. I'm grateful for my likeminded friends here in LA and the virtual friends I've met over the last little while. Keep passing the open windows everyone.

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