Ezra Klein says we're living through a remarkable, historic period of change. I agree.
Step back and take an accounting of these last few years: The United States of America, a land where slaves were kept 150 years ago and bathrooms were segregated as recently as 50 years ago, elected and reelected our first black president. We passed and ratified a universal health-care system. We saw the first female Speaker of the House, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, and the first openly gay member of the Senate. We stopped a Great Depression, rewrote the nation’s financial regulations, and nearly defaulted on our debt for the first time in our history. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Washington and the District of Columbia legalized gay marriage, and the president and the vice president both proclaimed their support. Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana. We killed the most dangerous terrorist in the world and managed two wars. We’ve seen inequality and debt skyrocket to some of the highest levels in American history. We passed a stimulus and
investment bill that will transform everything from medical records to education and began a drone campaign that will likely be seen as an epochal shift in the way the United States conducts war.
Americans of good faith disagree over the worth of these initiatives and the nature of these milestones. None of us know the verdict that history will render. But we can say with certainty that the pace of change has been breathlessly fast.
I found this post by billmon incredibly moving and thought-proviking. If nothing else, I appreciate someone who breaks out of the pack and doesn't follow the wave of schadenfreude many of us on the left have been riding.
In the end, though, what really makes it hard for me to dine with gusto at the schadenfreude buffet is that the grieving faces on the other side of the partisan divide aren't those people, they're my people -- the middle-class neighbors of my Southern childhood, the kids I went to school with, my redneck uncles and cousins, my own mother and father.He ends with this video tribute.
The sagging chins and pot bellies, the crew cuts and blue hair, the bad make up and worse fashion sense -- these are all as familiar to me as the lines on my own face. I know these people too intimately, their pasts are too intertwined with mine, for me to look at them and see only the despised Other, even though I have no doubt that's how many, if not most, of them would look at me.
I also know that they have been lied to, with ferocious intensity and relentless dedication, by the conservative propaganda machine and its political masters. If we must have demons to hate, better to seek them among the con artists who have turned Rwandan-style hate speech into an industry profitable enough to rival the porn business.
Senator Lindsay Grahama is ready to deal on immigration and what Bill Kristol said today is a big f*cking deal!!!
*****And finally...a day for honoring and remembering.