Jefferson Lives

From Robert Glenn Plotner:

As the country, the Constitution, the checks and balances seemed on their deathbed, a last breath away from tyranny, from the institutionalization of fear and propaganda as an accepted means of governance, our Democratic Republic exhaled what might have been its final breath and said instead, “Thomas Jefferson lives.”

The force behind the dam was too great, the yearning for accountability too acute to stem the attempts to divert us, the people, from reclaiming our American history, our American principles, and our country’s future. Those that stood waiting in the dark to poison us against each other for their gain or to steal away ballots in the night could not find their footing when the flood gates opened. Try to make up the math as they might, the waters washed away the ink of their funny numbers as much as it was freed to wash away the stain of their phony virtue.

They Republicans never got it. They saw the cracks develop in the dam, but never tried to fix it. Rather, they were undermined by the things they didn’t dare to repair for it was those very things that had brought them power to begin with. The very festering underbelly that was their undoing was also their network, their scaffold, and their enforcer of Washington control… the deception and slander and arrogance and hypocrisy, backdoor deals, midnight clauses, signing statements, cover-ups, secret meetings, earmarks, misdirection, demagoguery and deceit. Like Ted Stevens contemptuous pork, in the end, Rove’s dream of a permanent majority was a bridge to nowhere.
As their public approval recoiled from them, rather than self-examination and correction, instead they only injected more of the same into the mid-term elections… the robocalls, the push polls, the misdirection, the threats, the race baiting and homophobia, the questioning of patriotism, the mocking of dignity and decency, the machine failures and vote flips, the challenge lists, the disenfranchisement, the manufactured last minute stunts, all designed to divert and siphon and steal another election and keep rule through insularity, division, and abuse of power. They were certain it would work again as it had worked so often before. In a few races, the dance still duped the faithful. But this time, the more they parsed their slurs, the more they paraded false patriotism over simple slips, the more they aped disease as if it were a joke, the more the man in the suit was exposed for who he really was, a hypocrite and liar clinging to power through intimidation, and the public wasn’t buying the shtick anymore.

Perhaps they were finally done in by their false morality as their “Adam & Steve” bashing turned into “Adam & Steve & Tom & Ted.” Perhaps it was David Kuo’s timely revelation of false prophets in the White House. Perhaps it was George Allen stepping in the maccaca of his own past. Perhaps it was Limbaugh’s swinish sneer at Michael J. Fox and all those afflicted with a disease for which they dared hope for cure. Perhaps it was the morose contempt with which they grandstanded upon Terry Schiavo and her husband. Perhaps it was the way they coldly watched an American city drown in order to free it of its disproportionately poor and black and Democratic votes. Perhaps it was the Libby-Rove-Cheney plot to expose an American agent as a political vendetta. Perhaps it was the stubborn, inept morass of Iraq and the lies and the diversion that put us there without end and without oversight, the draining of the swamp that has been nothing but a draining of the treasury. Perhaps it was the buy-offs by Abramoff and DeLay and the oil companies and Halliburton and on and on and on…

No, it was all of that and more. It was also the heroes of the blogosphere who held patriotic vigilance in the one last and yet threatened stand of liberty, VelvetRevolution, Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and so many others. It was the volunteers, callers, and canvassers. It was those who simply got fed up with keeping quiet and made it all right for others to dissent. It was Olbermann and Democracy Now and Bill Freaking Moyers, god bless him. It was independent media and independent journalists and writers from Mark Crispin Miller to John Dean to Robert Greenwald to all those in-between who stood up and called the charlatans to account before there was any accountability to be found. It was all these things that put them on notice that their tactics were known and would be recorded and broadcast for all to see and who did just that as this election began and kept it from Machiavelli’s court. It was all of these things that sheltered liberty’s tenuous flame as the gale howled around her.

Whether or not it was founding providence that led us to this moment or whether it was the mix of fortitude and fortune revealing the vice behind the virtue, blowing off the facade like so many rotten shingles loosed in Hurricane Katrina, we have arrived at this moment with a burden. Remember how close we’ve come to losing her, America, liberty, the democratic republic. Remember the peril we’ve felt in our hearts as the Bill of Rights was redacted piece by piece as if the Executive were using a line item veto. Remember that this was just yesterday. That threat is still present and still real. And as we recover her, do not relent. To those upon whom we place our hope in the new congress, make certain that Thomas Jefferson lives.

Robert Glenn Plotner

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