Friday, December 21, 2012

Its time for some profiles in courage

Yesterday Republicans in the House actually did pass a bill associated with the so-called "fiscal cliff." That bill restored all the cuts to the military that are scheduled to begin on January 1st and replaced them with cuts that would further harm the poor and middle class in this country (they left the $600 billion in domestic spending cuts already included in the sequester - on top of the $1 trillion the debt ceiling deal already cut - and added more).

Where things broke down in last night's fiasco is that Speaker Boehner couldn't get enough of them to vote for a bill that would have raised taxes on people making over $1 million.

So the message coming from the Republican Party today is that they are willing to hurt 99% of Americans - but are not willing to ask the 1% to pay any price. Think about that for a moment. This is about more than the specific policies...its about destruction.

From watching some of the coverage on TV last night as this occurred, I saw that there are actually some Republicans in the House who are disgusted with the lunatics in their Party who seem hell-bent on this kind of destruction. I'd suggest that its time for some soul-searching on their part. They need to ask whether they want to align themselves with a group of people who will go down in history as a lunatic fringe that tried to destroy the country.

If they don't want to go down with that ship, then its time for some Profiles in Courage.
Profiles in Courage is a 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United States Senators throughout the Senate's history. The book profiles senators who crossed party lines and/or defied the opinion of their constituents to do what they felt was right and suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity because of their actions.
The introduction to the book contains this quote from Edmund Burke:
He well knows what snares are spread about his path, from personal animosity...and possibly from popular delusion. But he has put hazard to his ease, his security, his interest, his power, even his...popularity...He is traduced and abused for his supposed motives. He will remember that obloquy is a necessary ingredient in the composition of all true glory: he will remember...that calumny and abuse are essential parts of triumph. He may live long, he may do much. But here is the summit. He can never exceed what he does this day. 
I don't know if there are Republicans within the ranks today with that kind of courage. But if there are - here is their summit. They don't have to agree with every Democratic position. They simply have to stand up and call out the lunacy.

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