Monday, January 30, 2006

Richard's New Republican Connection!

With the coming of another year in the annals of the Amerikan body politic, there appeared in my mailbox a missive entitled National Republican Congressional Committee Every Member Canvass. I dutifully completed the survey, and images of the filled-in document are included in this post. You may wish to amuse yourself by perusing my responses*, but for me, it is significant that I received the survey at all. Apparently, Dennis Hastert (author of the survey's lengthy -- and nasty -- cover letter) and company don't have such a sophisticated database after all (or they want us to think they don't). I'm so relieved that my numerous letters to the editor, which, as I hope everyone knows by now, are tracked to screen for people with an opposing point of view so that they can be blocked from attending the President's public appearances, haven't made it into Hastert's database.

Taking stock of the package as a whole -- attack letter plus slanted survey -- it comes off to me as amateurish cant, replete with errors of grammar and diction. (Intentional errors? To comfort The Base?). And yet, the letter contains one statistic, one unarguable fact, that chills my heart: "233". That's the number of House seats in Republican hands, 54% of the 435 total, a much firmer majority than in the 2004 Electoral College result. True, what I am saying amounts to nothing more than an unnecessary restatement of the status quo, but the House is a proportional representation legislative body and so proportionally, "they" have got hold of 54% to our 46%. And to me, that's scary.

A very charming Republican former business associate of mine, encountering me by chance recently at the gas pump, noted that he had seen my letter to the editor on the Alito nomination, and commented that, though he believed the government should not interfere in a woman's decision to end a pregnancy, "that's not where the country's at now." Now do you see why I'm afraid?

*Double-click on the image to see it at a legible size.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Courage to Oppose... Alito

TO: Hon. Olympia Snowe, Senior Senator from Maine
Hon. Susan Collins, Junior Senator from Maine

RE: The Alito Nomination

You are presented with still another dilemma (assuming you still count yourself a moderate, and still believe in a woman's right to choose). What will you do, toe the line, or muster your courage?

In Leon Uris’ Mila 18, his novel about the Jewish inner circle in the Warsaw Ghetto, co-protagonist Paul Bronsky, after speaking out in the presence of brutal Nazi violence against a defenseless elderly colleague, finds himself paralyzed by fear. He longs for a way to preserve his erstwhile courage in a box, ready to be taken out and used, the next time the beatings begin. He ends up a collaborator.

Is that you, driven by fear into collaboration with what you oppose? If you vote for Alito, Roberts may stop him from overturning Roe v. Wade, but Roberts didn't make any promises about parental consent. You may find yourself returning home to a Maine in which teenage girls die rather than tell their parents. Is that what you want? Do you have the courage to oppose it?

Richard Wolfe
Cumberland, Maine