Saturday, March 30, 2013

Is being a Republican the only qualification for public office?

On the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, the media, who once joined the Cheney-Bush drumbeat for war, decided it’s time to blame someone. “Someone” is “someone else,” not themselves. A decade later they are unanimous. The blame falls, they say, on George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld. Who’s to blame? The fiddler, the fiddle, or those who requested the tunes?

Only the intentionally self-deluded refuse to acknowledge Cheney-Bush-Rumsfeld lied about the threat Iraq posed. Most Congressmen knew they were listening to liars. The media knew it as well.  But there’s something so alluring about seeing other people’s children going off to war that neither Congress nor the media were about to allow a little deceit to get in the way of “the rockets’ red glare.” Judeo-Christian values? No.

Ten years later more than 3500 Americans have died. The financial toll is nearly a trillion dollars. The future financial and emotional costs of caring for the tens of thousands who have returned with debilitating war injuries are incalculable. So who is responsible? Those who knew Dick Cheney was a liar, or those who acquiesced in the lies?

Understanding how government is permitted to inflict this kind of damage on its own people requires the people of Wyoming to look into a mirror. Your guy Cheney did this. He lied! But Wyoming is a place “where seldom is heard a discouraging word” about those responsible, especially when they’re fellow Republicans.

Listening only to FOX News and Limbaugh, you would have known the truth. There never were any weapons of mass destruction. Cheney fibbed. Saddam Hussein had no connection to 9/11 or Al Qaeda.  Our troops weren’t welcomed as “liberators” as the vice-president predicted.

Still 70% of Wyoming voted for those who lied about going to war. Yeah…Bill Clinton lied but nobody died. Yes, Clinton lied under oath. Bush and Cheney lied despite their oath. Clinton was impeached. Bush and Cheney were reelected. If there is an “R” behind the name, little else matters to Wyoming voters.

It doesn’t end there. In 2012, 70% of Wyoming voted for Mitt Romney even though he dissed 47% of you. In the same speech, Romney admitted he actually bought a Chinese factory filled with young girls and women working for pennies, living in dormitories with bunk beds stacked three high, barbed wire and guard towers surrounding the grounds. Seventy percent of you voted for Romney knowing he personally witnessed those conditions and bought the slave-operated factory claiming guards weren’t there to keep workers in but to keep those who wanted to live like that out. 

Justice apparently matters little. The only Wyoming debate is whether those on the right are far enough to the right. In the frenzy to demonstrate who are the real Republicans, Wyoming people are willing to vote against their own self-interest with little concern about truth or social, economic or political justice.

Cindy Hill for example. With the quality of your children’s education at stake, most of you voted for someone who was simply not qualified. The legislature, 85% of which is Republican, had to go over your heads to do what’s right. That could have been avoided if lazy voters hadn’t assumed the only qualification for public office is to win the GOP primary.

Wyoming voters are readily riled by false allegations about Barack Obama’s birth certificate and religion and don’t consider what’s best for their own families. They are so fixated on opposing anything “Obamacare” that they refuse to acknowledge that healthcare reform has made life better for most American. Many of you cheered when the legislature foolishly spent millions when they could have saved millions more by providing Medicaid coverage to thousands of your uninsured neighbors. Republican party talking points proved more persuasive than any of the facts.

Don’t you have a significant interest in good government and in social, economic, and political justice. So, what’s right? Who cares just so the candidate is Republican? How is that working for you?

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