Friday, October 13, 2006

And now for a political screed.......

In order to motivate myself to write something (since I finished my memoir collection), I wrote this Op-ed piece and sent it to the Globe. It may not get published there, but you can read it here and now....

“What Goes Around”

Judah Leblang/2006
Word count: 440

When I was 8 or 10, I remember hearing the expression, “What goes around comes around.” It took me a few years to learn what that meant, to watch folks acting out of spite or hypocrisy, and to see how slowly, eventually, that meanness seemed to roost on their own doorsteps.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been watching a textbook case of something going around, of a drama played out in Washington, DC.

Once again, the leaders of the “Grand Old Party” are demonstrating their hubris. One of their own, Mark Foley, (a semi-closeted gay man who worked to deny rights to his brethren), was caught, belatedly, sending inappropriate sexual emails to teenage pages. A multi-term congressman in a “safe” seat, he was arrogant enough to take foolish risks.

The party of “moral values” has been unmasked as the party of hypocrisy and abuse of power. Congressman Foley used his power to intimidate the young pages who had been entrusted to his care. Meanwhile, it’s become apparent that Dennis Hastert and other key Republicans were aware of Foley’s behavior, months if not years ago, and chose to keep that behavior under wraps to retain their control of Congress.

From the growing civil war in Iraq (yes, George, that’s what even your generals are calling it) to our huge federal deficit, our failed attempts at diplomacy, and our pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina and the people of New Orleans, our government has fallen short; our leadership and institutions have failed us.

In response to a stream of bad news, President Bush and Company have done their best to bring the public’s focus back to 9/11, to their claim that Dubya has kept us free from terror. Essentially, they have politicized the greatest American tragedy of recent years, using it as they couldn’t use Katrina, given their weak and shameful lack of response to that particular nightmare.

George W. Bush used his office to convince the American people that they were under threat from Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. He used that same pulpit to stir fears of gays and lesbians, picking on a historically weak group to snag votes at the polls.

Until recently, the Republican’s strategy has worked like a charm. Until this month, when the lurid details hit the fan. Now, according to the opinion polls, voters are likely to turn the US House over to the Democrats in November. God willing, they’ll win the Senate, too. Finally, it appears the arrogance, mismanagement and cover-ups of Bush, Chaney, Foley and company have hit the fan.

Even our powerful president and his advisors can’t outrun the laws of karma.


Blogger Cella said...

Sing it, Judah! I'm happy to see you blogging. A nice mix of personal ambition, touching stories, and politics. How can you go wrong with that? I look forward to reading more. Good luck and have fun with the blogosphere! --Cella, your former neighbor.

9:21 PM  
Blogger cda said...

Great points, Judah, and well said. I look forward to keeping up with what's on your mind!

10:06 PM  
Blogger David N. said...

Great comment and insight. Getting it published in the Globe would be good even if preaching to the local choir. How about some Texas, Wyoming or other red state major newspaper?

12:10 AM  

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