Last week the old lady's son and daughter moved their Alzheimer's suffering old mother into an assisted living facility. Prior to that Rita had been living in the unit diagonally adjacent the one I occupy. And I recall with particular vividness my first conversation with Rita three years ago. The Palm Springs' afternoon was bright and the temperature very pleasant. Knowing nothing about her, but interested in being as friendly as possible to as many as possible, I'd inquired of her life before moving here, to the United States. She had been born in Germany, but after the war she married an American, and emigrated to this country. It was in that in-between time, after her birth and before the fall of the Third Reich, that intrigued me. I'd never met anyone who had actually been a member of the Hitler Youth. Then, in an accent she'd never completely been able to overcome, "Of course . . . I didn't agree with everything the Nazis did."
For me, those words were a guillotine ending forever whatever kind of neighborly relationship I might have otherwise entertained. Not everything -- by definition -- means minimally some thing, implies most, and was definitely all I need to know.
Today I feel the same aggravated enmity towards all who voted for Bush in 2004 and GOP since. As if, what minute part of the lies and the deprecations and the raging bigotry offends them? That they feel I should overlook as "just a difference of opinions"?
Fifteen hundred very white and rabidly salivating, hate-engulfed Grand Rapids folks camped overnight to purchase their copy of Sarah Palin's ghost-written Going Rogue. As I loathe the term, I haven't used it in at least 20 years; "b*tch." But how else to describe a woman who tells lies; the family did have a vote concerning the vice president's office she was going to seek, then to Oprah a few days ago, there was no such family meeting. The Steve Schmidt telephone screaming was so loud that it blew her hair, except his criticism was in an email. And it just goes on and on and on . . . more easily than she does the truth. She tosses "following the Constitution" without ever having read it. While mayor of Wasilla, the podunk Alaskan berg that had earned the rather ignominious reputation as a high school drop-out factory, Palin fired the town librarian because she wouldn't kowtow to the mayor's censorship demands.
I saw the clip of Cheney, easily slumped upon a stool (no scatological reference to "stool" intended), flashing his Banker Potter grin, as the crowd erupted in cheers over the 2012 chance he'd run for the presidency. The very same Cheney who, with his five draft deferments and "other priorities at the time" tucked safely under his arm, had verbally assaulted President Obama for "dithering" over sending more young men and women into the physical and mental sausage grinder of Afghanistan. I know all I need to know about Cheney, and all I need to know about those who are even able to abide the thought of him.
Then there's South Carolina's Republican Senator Jim DeMint, and how he's literally the iconic definition of those who have but a single life objective: bring down Barack Obama, and the country, as unfortunate collateral damage, if that's what happens. I know all I need to know about DeMint, and all I need to know about those who are even able to abide the thought of such treasonous machinations.
October 21, 2009, Sue Myrick, Republican Representative from North Carolina's 9th district, John "let me see if I can hold the borrowed baby higher" Shadegg, Republican Representative from Arizona's 3rd, Paul Broun, Republican from Georgia's 10th, and Trent Franks, Republican from the Grand Canyon state's 2th district, sent a letter to the House sergeant at arms, demanding an investigation of the Council on American Islamic Relations. According to the four, the Council, tied conspiratorially with HAMAS, is secretly infiltrating the House of Representatives through staff it has strategically installed in various House member's offices, all in the Muslim Mafia's fatwa against the US.
Tea-bags. Birthers. Waterloo. Socialist. Nazi. Monkey. Liar. "Next time we'll come armed."
The morbid stain that was Wisconsin's junior Republican senator, Joseph McCarthy, and Special Counsel for the Army, Joseph N. Welch's plea to the senator -- "You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" -- just rings in my recollection, in my heart, and in my soul.
And I want to know . . . as I wondered to myself concerning Rita, if she didn't agree with everything, what possible part of Hitler could she twist as acceptable? And how . . .. how can any decent American permit him- or herself to be in the same room with a Republican? Have so many of us left in our conscience no sense of decency? Such are not Americans. Being the beneficiary of an accident of birth does not make one American. Belief in the ideals, regardless of place of birth, does. Nor are such even much human. Does not the stench of their putrefying foul hearts dissuade us from accepting them in our company? And if not, who are we? Who have we permitted ourselves to become? How low will we stoop?
-- Ed Tubbs