"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known."DEFECTIONS IN THE BODY POLITIC
- Charles Darnay in A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
WASHINGTON STATE (The Daily Brew) May 24, 2001 -- The essence of heroism is not bravery, nor valor; though heroic acts often require both. Nor is the essence of heroism a high moral purpose, or a purity of heart; though surely heroism cannot co-exist with an immoral purpose or an impure heart. No, heroism, true heroism, is the rarest of human endeavor, because it requires precisely what is so rare in a competitive specie. True heroism, at its essence, requires the sacrifice of one's self interest for the betterment one's fellow man. And that is why James Jeffords stands perched on the precipice of becoming a true American Hero.
If, as expected, Vermont Senator James Jeffords resigns today from the Republican Party, he will not have been the first politician to have changed political parties. He will, however, be the first to have profoundly changed the balance of power for having done so. If Jeffords moves to support Tom Daschle as the Senate Majority leader, the Democrats will gain control over the flow of legislation and nominations - Supreme Court appointments among them - to the Senate floor. Not since the Supreme Court erred, by a single vote no less, in its Bush v. Gore decision, has any one person held the power to so profoundly reshape the American political landscape. For that reason, if Senator Jeffords resigns from the Republican party, he may well have single-handedly saved the Country from the excesses of a reactionary right wing junta, ruling without the consent and against the will of the American people, and intent on plundering its middle class for the benefit of its corporate masters in the energy business. And he may well have ended his political career for having done so.
Party switchers, modern day Benedict Arnolds, run tremendous risks. It is expected that they will find themselves in a political no man's land. The die hard Republican party activists who worked the phone banks, stuffed the envelopes, and walked the precincts for Jim Jeffords will no doubt feel betrayed. Their Democratic counterparts who worked for his defeat will not be fast to accept him. Jefford's campaign contributors, big and small who funded his political career, will wonder where their money went. They reportedly have been asked that very question by White House staffers. Bush revealed his cynical view of the body politic when he
ordered his minions to appeal not to Jefford's constituents, but rather to his campaign contributors, in an effort to convince Jeffords to stay in the Republican fold.
So why would Jeffords fall on his sword? The Republican media cartel will trumpet loudly some unworthy purpose. The right wing reactionaries on the AM radio, the FOX news, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, will take note of Bush's snubbing of Jeffords at a White House ceremony. They will lie, as they have so often in the past, and attempt to turn Jefford's act of heroism into an act of pettiness. But one does not commit political suicide to avenge so trivial a slight as missing an afternoon in the Rose Garden. Particularly not with a small and vengeful man whose personal failures and insecurities cause him to lash out at his enemies. Rather, the only plausible explanation for so self-sacrificing a move is the one offered by Jeffords. That, as a moderate with a conscience, he could no longer be a part of the direction the far right is taking this once proud nation.
For that, he is a hero. And should James Jeffords run again for election to the United States Senate, the Republicans, Democrats, and Independents of Vermont should treat him as such.
© 2001 The Daily Brew
By The Diva's Consort
LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) May 24, 2001 -- In a stunning development President George W. Bush's heart and brain have switched parties. READ MONICA'S LETTER TO THE EDITOR!
In a joint statement today, the two body parts said they had chosen to switch because, "they had long been ignored in the past and in fact had not been able to contribute anything of substance to the party in the last 20 years." "This was not a decision made lightly," said the heart. "It was made with great sadness in my... self."
When asked about this defection, Trent Lott said, "Are they still around? I thought he got rid of them years ago." Bush himself said the brain often got in the way during speeches when it would interfere with his 'pronunciment' of certain words, and that since he had two hearts, the loss of one wouldn't matter. Handlers of Bush explained that the president meant that he had two kidneys, not hearts, and emphasized that this defection was nothing that a gigantic tax cut couldn't cure.
The Republican party has had a long and troubled history with hearts in general, which has, at times, turned nasty. In recent years Dick Cheney's heart has attempted to kill him several times. Ronald Reagan and his brain have not been on speaking terms for most of his life.
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