If I am not completely dumb I am certainly slow when it comes to the obvious. Today, while trying not very successfully to build a kind of special bookcase (for my wife's new online book business, Arabella Books) I had what I guess might be called an epiphany. For the past four and a half years I have been trying to understand how Republicans could consistently vote for individuals that seem so obviously unworthy. Think Ashcroft, and now Gonzalez. But the best example is John Bolton. Bolton is known to be a bully, a liar, a spy on other members of government, a man who insists on twisting intelligence to his preconceived notions, and a sort of flunky for Cheney who, for example, flew to Europe to browbeat another official so he would not be able to send Chemical Inspectors to Iraq (and thus disrupt Bush's plans to invade). These are more than mere accusations. There is considerable evidence to back them up. And everyone is aware of this, including Republicans. Now to me it would seem perfectly clear that such a person should not be made Ambassador to the United Nations (especially as he has also publicly denigrated that institution for years). But Republicans are still going to vote for him and believe they will actually get him confirmed. How can this be?
This is what came to me today for the first time (I told you I was slow). These very characteristics: bullying, lying, spying, illegality, etc. that to me are perceived as bad things, to Republicans are considered good things. They are Republican virtues. They don't care that Bolton did something illegal to stop this man from putting in Inspectors, they think it is good that he did so.
So now I get it. The values I learned as a child and growing up in the United States: honesty, fair play, decency, compassion, charity, respect for science and logic, the golden rule, respect for others, separation of church and state, country above party, etc., if turned completely upside down, represent what the Republican party has become. This is why they can confirm the Ashcrofts, Cox's, Browns, Owens's, Clarence Thomas's, Bolton's, and other such reprehensible candidates. Because they think the values these people represent are actually good. Now I understand that for Republicans evil is good, black is white, up is down, science is bad, religion is good, mindless conformity is good, all dissent is not only bad but unpatriotic, do not question authority, and we know best what is good for you
children. Just listen to your Uncle Dick (who has been wrong about absolutely everything and laughing himself all the way to the bank along with all the other corporate crooks).
Am I happy now that I have slowly come to this rather obvious realization. No. Am I happy that I apparently can do nothing about it? No. Am I happy that no one in a position of authority is doing anything about it? No. At the moment I am just not at all happy. But, then, I don't watch TV or go to the movies. I guess that's my problem.