Just As I Thought

Mark Sums It Up

It’s not strictly appropriate to reproduce an entire newspaper column on a blog, but this one by one of my faves, Mark Morford, is just too good and says it all in summation of this week.

Eleven New And Happy Things: Santorum dead, religious right imploding, Bush whimpering in the corner. Can we all exhale now?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, November 10, 2006

1) (Chant, in happy sing-song voice, while holding bottle of wine, Astroglide and copy of Rob Brezsny’s Pronoia): Rick Santorum is gone, Rick Santorum is gone, oh praise Jesus, Rick Santorum is gone. The third most powerful and first most reprehensible “Christian” Republican lawmaker in Congress was also arguably the most homophobic, misogynistic and small-minded of them all, especially given his sticky sheen of fundamentalist goo.

Remember Rick? He’s the one who equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. He championed intelligent design, tossed Terry Schiavo’s lifeless body like a political football, voted against Plan B and funding for contraception education and voted to ban abortions on military bases (among many, many other attacks on women’s rights), thus earning himself a whopping 0 percent rating from NARAL. He also voted to cut the NEA, increase school prayer, pursue ANWR drilling and on and on. Ricky’s voting record is the ethical equivalent of a pie full of nails left over from the “Passion of the Christ” bake sale. Women, the sexually awake and Dan Savage fans rejoice: Rick Santorum is gone. Praise Jesus and pass the wine.

2) While you’re at it, all hail the happy defeat of Dick Pombo, Christian Coalition/NRA poster boy and powerful GOP “eco-thug” from Tracy who oversaw the House Resources Committee and whose agenda on environmental and social issues reads like a rundown of the murder techniques of a serial killer. What, too extreme? Check the voting record, baby. Dick and Rick were two peas in a savage, misogynist pod. This guy made trees weep. Good riddance.

3) A loving, bittersweet farewell to Don “Black Soul” Rumsfeld, a nasty, otherworldly hunk of wartime lizard leather who should’ve been fired three years ago but whom Dubya clung to like a terrified child clings to a ragged, spit-soaked security blanket. Downside: Rumsfeld’s bizarre utterances and unmatched aura of bemused evil will be missed by comedians and caricaturists alike. Downside No. 2: Word is that Rummy’s replacement nominee, Robert “I (Heart) Iran/Contra” Gates, is even worse than Rummy — which, if true, would seem to defy the universal laws of evilness.

4) Apparently, even the reddest of lumpish red states knows a horrific, woman-hating law when it see it, and hence South Dakota’s appalling ban on all abortions, passed with vicious glee by the S.D. state legislature not long ago in hopes it would be contested all the way to the Supreme Court so as to stab at the heart of Roe vs. Wade, was beaten back like the rabid dog it was by S.D. voters who not only realized such a despicable law would violate women 10 ways from Sunday, but would cement their state’s newly minted status as the most misogynistic and backasswards in the Union — which, in this day and age, is no easy feat indeed.

5) I have a deliciously attuned friend who is convinced that Nancy Pelosi has only been playing nice by saying she has no intention of pursuing impeachment against the Worst President Ever. At the first sign of some new atrocious Bush glitch, my friend thinks, Nancy will “modify” her promise and pounce. And with a Dem-controlled House and slight edge in the Senate, a Bush impeachment just might stick. San Francisco, for one, is all for it. Has any president ever deserved impeachment more? Is it not delicious amounts of fun just relishing the possibility?

6) The federal courts — and most importantly, the Supreme Court — have narrowly averted becoming choked with hawkish, regressive, homophobic neoconservatives. Bush had six years to pack the federal judiciary with extremist right-wing judges, and he did a nauseatingly good job of it. What’s more, we’ll be suffering John Roberts and Samuel Alito for decades to come. But Bush’s extremist streak has been snapped. Supreme Court nominees from here on out will have to be moderate, if not even a bit progressive, to earn appointment. Considering what the court could’ve become had just one or two more justices died or retired in the past few years, this is glorious news indeed.

7) Praise Jesus, the Christian right’s stranglehold on culture and morality is over. As pointed out by Slate, the all-powerful evangelical church’s bizarre and insufferable run of influence has peaked, and its easy access to Washington is now falling away like Tom DeLay’s toupee during the apocalypse. And Ted Haggard, bless his little meth-happy gay soul, provided the final nail in the coffin of religious right hypocrisy at just the right moment. It’s almost as if it were … ordained.

Alas, the culture wars will certainly continue. Female nipples, swear words, sex in movies — we have not heard the last of the angry, sexless Bible-thumping set. But it does mean that official policy and American law will no longer be so shaped by deeply unhappy men who wield Bibles the way drunk hunters wield shotguns (hi, James Dobson!).

8) A grab bag of progressive goodies: First woman speaker in history. Huge surge in Democratic governors across the United States. First black gov in Massachusetts history, only the second in American history. Fewer childish “I’m the decider” blurts (hopefully). Possible major policy items long repressed by the GOP, like socialized medicine, stem cell research and real Medicare reform, are suddenly back on the table. Hell, even contemplating such possibilities is like taking a deep, fresh breath after having a smelly sock shoved in your mouth for, oh, about six years.

9) Did you hear that? That sound like a warm, rushing breeze? Why, it’s the entire civilized world heaving an enormous sigh of relief that Bush’s reign of faux-cowboy terror is over. Perhaps now the world can begin — slowly, possibly, over time — to respect us again. Perhaps now we can regain a bit of lost stature in the world, given how BushCo alienated every ally and insulted every foreign diplomat and degraded every nation via rogue kill-’em-all attitudes.

The world knows it: This has been, without doubt, one of the ugliest and most depressing half-decades in U.S. history, rife with some of the worst policy and worst warmongering and worst environmental abuses we have ever known. Hell, not three years ago, the GOP stranglehold was so strong, the fortress so impenetrable that it seemed as though their run could continue until they sucked the planet dry.

10) But here’s the good news: Almost everyone — including, in my darker periods of mourning, this very column — underestimated the GOP’s ability to scandalize, warmonger, abuse and hypocritize (hypocriticize? hypocreaze?) itself to quick and painful death. They were far better at it than anyone imagined. Apparently, poetic and karmic justice is alive and well. Isn’t that right, Mr. Haggard? Mr. Abramoff? Scooter? Mr. DeLay? Mr. Foley? Et al.?

11) But wait (your inner cynic cannot help but say), won’t the incoming army of Democrats be just like every other gaggle of politicians? That is, a bunch of duplicitous, self-serving, double-speaking shysters? How will they be any different? Won’t it soon be just business as usual?

Well, yes. Yes it will. But the good news is, there is simply no way this far less hateful, moderately progressive group could ever touch the epic, historic levels of abuse and misprision the GOP attained during the height of their neo-fascist run. Such an impossible feat would again seem to defy the laws of evilness.

Put another way, we might indeed soon be back to business as usual in D.C. But never has a return to obnoxious, contentious, healthy American politics seemed so incredibly refreshing. Praise Jesus, and pass the wine.
[©2006 SF Gate]


Browse the Archive

Browse by Category