I really have been thinking about our political tone. My political tone. I know I have been shrill lately. I feel a certain justification, mind you, but I have been shrill. Everytime I think of moderation, I see something like this: Rush Limbaugh attacks Michael J. Fox: "he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all." and I get a little angry. Sigh.
But as I noted, I have been reading Kuo's book. I don't read many of these. In fact, I have purporsefully avoided many. I don't want to be more angry. I don't want to be more despondent. But I decided to read this one.
Reading about his own political maturation during the Clinton administration, I have a lot of sympathy. The book reminds me of how the Lewinsky scandal effected us. I have downplayed that in my mind, because in the aftermath of torture and two failed wars, oral sex in the White House seems pretty trivial. And it did for me then too, but not quite. Reading this reminds me that I was a hesitant Gore follower in 2000. I voted Democratic, but it was tepid. I was more incensed at the post election proclamations by Pat Robertson than I was anything leading up. Oh yeah, I wasn't fond of the "Jesus is my favorite philosopher" and I was deeply skeptical of Cheney (man, I had no idea!), but I was lukewarm on Lieberman and Gore. And, to be fair, I was not terribly distraught when Bush won. I thought it was time for a change and that the narrow margin would force Bush to govern from the middle. How wrong I was.
But all of that is to say that I really understand why people voted for Bush in 2000. I too assumed he would do some positive things with faith based programs even as I questioned the constitutionality of such efforts. I didn't think they were the solution, but I ultimately assumed that some good would come out of it. Again, how wrong could I be?
I will be angry between now and the election. If the Democrats don't win a house, i will be inconsolable. I know that. I feel it in every fiber of my being that Bush needs to be checked and balanced. I know that accountability is important for our system.
But for tonight, I will try to find compassion.