A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Delicious Thanksgiving Banter...

Between myself and Alexandra of All Things Beautiful. The mini-fracas over the accidental appearance on CNN of an X on the face of Dick Cheney, for what I understand was only a few milliseconds, gave Alexandra enough mileage for two whole long posts--dark and angry meditations on the corruption of the Mainstream Media, with appropriate comments appended by her outraged and disenfranchised readers.

Of course I had to join the fun:

Well, I guess X marks the spot where Doofus New News stands with a lot of egg on it's face. Since DNN's most durable face is that of Wolf Blitzer, all I can say is, on him it looks good.

I doubt very seriously that it was deliberate. Even if you do have a "liberal bias" [Which I certainly do, whether CNN does or not.], there is absolutely no need to do such silly things to deliberately undermine American trust in Republican Presidents, Republican Vice-Presidents, Republican legislators, and Republican Supreme Court nominees.

They have done it so well to themselves over the past few months that we Liberals can just coast for a while and start planning for the 2006 elections. And, as the Abramoff scandal starts to snowball and gather up many prominent Republican politicians, we will have even less work to do.

Haven't heard of the Abramoff scandal, you say? Well, you will. If you'd like a sneak preview from a trustworthy Conservative source, go check out Tim F. on Balloon Juice.

I must say, however, that cancellations associated with egg on the face seem to be the fashion these days. I sincerely mourn the fact that your Open Source Media logo had to suffer such indignity. It was really quite nice and it will be a shame to see it disappear.

I presume it will disappear. I hope Simon, Johnson, & Co. are not so goofy as to wear the fresh egg on their faces indefinitely as some sort of Red Badge of Courage. Or even to wear it on their Pajamas. After all, they're going to have to start selling a lot advertising soon, and that cancelled logo will not be a strong sales talking point.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, and, if you'll take some gratuitous advice, relax and enjoy the fact that not all who make turkeys of themselves will appear on your dining room table. Some will be on the web and some will be on the tube.

Alexandra is a good egg. And its been a pleasure to find her through hanging around with The Anchoress:

I am not going to rise to the occasion Jo, and take the bait, it's Thanksgiving and I would like to say: Thank you for stopping by and hope you have a nice Thanksgiving Day.

I am just busy writing a post called 'Loyalty To The Truth On Thanksgiving', so if you are free after you have had your fill of our deliciously tasty Republican meat, pop back over and join. Don't bring your carving knife from the table though, let's have a day off from bashing against each other's heads. I have a headache from doing that with others all day yesterday. LOL!

Her post did, in fact, prove to be quite interesting. It was an appreciation of the best of her blogging cohorts on the anti-progressive side of the fence. I do not mean that word "anti-progressive" perjoratively. It is becoming harder and harder to tell who is a real "conservative" and what conservatism really means. Friedrich Nietzsche speaks of the "transvaluation of all values" where everything we thought we believed in becomes it's opposite. I don't think we've quite had this yet in America, but since 9/11/01 the values of most of us have been added to, and converted into, a skillet breakfast.

When I look at bloggers like Alexandra, what I see that she has in common with those bloggers whom she lists and highly respects are a set of antipathies rather than a clear set of common premises. From a fair amount of time reading the people with whom I disagree, I'm not very sure I know, collectively, what they like, but I'm perfectly certain that I know what they dislike.

So, for once, having someone like Alexandra looking elsewhere than her adversaries and reflecting on her principles:

The loyalty and integrity we should have as bloggers is to the Truth and liberation of that Truth, and not to the Truth we assign to the political denominations we belong to. And above all to the good old fashioned family values of integrity and loyalty to that Truth which we celebrate at Thanksgiving.

I took advantage of the situation to look a little deeper into what I found in that reflection and in that mind and voice of a fellow American whom I already like, and with whom I completely disagree:

Well, Alexandra, thanks for inviting me over. Your post does not disappoint. I know some, but not all of the bloggers, and, since my blogging hiatus of four months has left my blogroll in massive disrepair, such a cogent list of the "pursuers of Truth" is very welcome.

As you probably have guessed, I like to hang out with the people who disagree with me. You get your knife sharpest on the hardest stone. And I like posts such as this best, where I get to see in a little more detail what makes them tick.

Partisanship gets everybody a little shrill and ragged, and I like to see my adversaries more relaxed and reflective because I am less interested in "winning the battle" than I am in savoring the differences. Not that I'm uninterested in winning the battle, of course, just less.

The differences are fascinating, like slowly rolling the kaleidoscope. If I were to summarize them in a non-partisan way, I would say that my adversaries, as Americans, have in the back of their mind the image of America you get from the Declaration of Independence: self-evident Truths in the absolute, Liberty in the absolute, sovereignty of the People in the absolute. All in capital letters. And all with the memory of people under the yoke of tyranny.

When I look into my own mind what I see is the Preamble to the Constitution: liberty balanced by justice, sovereignty controlled by law, and truth evaluated by skeptical reason. All of these in lower case.

And all of these summarized by the two greatest phrases of philosophical politics which have proved to be two of the greatest and most durable pieces of practical politics: Due Process of Law, Equal Protection of the Laws. And these most definitely in capital letters. All with due consideration of the history of vigilance committees, public tar-and-featherings, lynching, strikebreaking, and Jim Crow.

So I will strive to keep firmly fixed in my mind that behind all disputation in you is that fiery young redhead, scratching the parchment with his quill pen dipped in iron ink, outlining his vision of the Death of Tyranny. How could one not be generous to a vision like that?

And perhaps you can keep in mind that behind all disputation in me is that committee of grave and mature men, striving to speak for the People as a whole, trying to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, and desiring to form a more perfect union.

Is that a deal, or what?

And Alexandra is very good with the badmitton of blog commentary, as good as anyone else I know, and certainly, this time, gave me more credit than I probably deserve:

Jo, Thank you for taking the trouble to write your comment, wow some great pearls of wisdom and insights there, and yes that's a deal! I will however synchronize the genders in your redhead comment, shall I...LOL? Happy Thanksgiving!

That she pursues the Truth, with a capital t, is a tribute to the goodness of her heart.


Blogger Alexandra said...


I am truly touched, thank you.

How is it that you know me for such a short time, and yet know me so well. You have obviously taken the time and trouble to read my long posts and discovered that deep down I am an incurable romantic.

Keep on being my Jimminy Cricket in the hope that you may steer me away from my occasional 'to the right of Genghis Khan' position. LOL!

Please TracBack on this one, I'd love to have it over at ATB. Ciao for now...

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