Actually I’m not writing about Paul Revere, I just liked the alliteration… and that sign at the Rally for Sanity that said, “Paul Revere was an anchor baby!” (Though he wasn’t, really… his mother was from an old Boston family and so he was more of a Barack Obama.)
Getting back on topic… in the massive pre-election propaganda dump I recall reading this sentence about some Tea Party dude… “He is both fiercely partisan and a staunch patriot.” And I remember thinking “Whaaa?” Because I consider staunch patriotism and fierce partisanship to be mutually exclusive qualities. It’s like saying, “He is both morbidly obese and a severe ectomorph.”
My definition of a “fierce partisan” is somebody who hates the other party more than he loves his own country. These are the people who think American politics is some kind of long-running football game, or a war between the Bloods and the Cripps, when it should really be about sanely, soberly, productively governing the greatest country on earth. And you need to get the governing right… because whenever you don’t, not only you but a billion innocent people half a world away are going to suffer for your mistakes.
Here’s my test for partisanship/patriotism: You are a law maker and you have to vote on a bill that you know is good for the country, but voting “aye” may damage your political career while the other party will get credit for the bill’s passage.
What do you do?
If you vote “nay,” you’re a partisan motivated by self-interest. If you damn the consequences and vote “aye”… you’re a true patriot.
I think ideally any government should be about 90% patriots and 10% partisans… but the distribution these days is pretty much the opposite of that. In fact I’ve been trying to think of courageous, patriotic, principled votes that anybody has taken recently on either side, putting country ahead of self-interest or hatred of the opposition, and they’re pretty difficult to come up with. I’d been xceedingly cheered and encouraged if you all could remind me of a few.
Note:… most of the recent “hard” votes for climate legislation and HCR don’t really count, since I consider fear of Nancy Pelosi to simply be self-interest wearing a different hat. (Especially when the weenies who took those “hard votes” wouldn’t even stand up to defend them later when it really mattered).
Ed Note: “his father was French…” Then wouldn’t he be Baroque Obama?