The Voice of the Turtle is Heard in our Land*
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
King James Version (KJV)
10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
I know, I know that’s turtledove . . . but this works for me. Because the Turtle bellowing almost non-stop, these days, is the gentleman from Kentucky, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Never, Never Land). And, frankly, his bellowing is music to my ears because it signifies that something wonderful this way comes . . .
I’m willing to tolerate McConnell’s recent tantrums because . . . schadenfreude! Mitch has had a remarkably awful time of it for the last four or five years—watching the first black man preside in the Oval Office and proceeding to Mitch’s Personal Worst—failing to render Obama a one-term president as he had vowed. Because Mitch actually has an awful lot less clout than he thinks he does . . .
McConnell’s latest Dirge for America features Obama’s Inaugural Speech as ushering in “a New Era of Liberalism.”
What seems to completely escape McConnell is that a very large number of Americans, who went out to vote for Obama, actually feel “it’s about damn time”—Liberals who voted for the man and are praying that he will do exactly what he says he will do. (And no one would complain, Mr President, to see you steamroll right over obstructionist pols like McConnell.)
You see, Sen. McConnell, toting around a Pocket Constitution does not make one right, just like toting around a Bible does not make one Christian. Somehow the tortured reasoning of today’s conservative politicians has rendered “government” evil and anti-American—an actual threat to our rights rather than a guarantor.
These are the same folks who have made careers and substantial wealth serving in the very government they decry as “too big, too powerful, too expensive,” because their capitalist sponsors have little use for the protections and quality of life that the US government ensures, especially if it interferes with their business plan. Not to mention that they would very much like to see American taxpayers’ dollars flowing to their bottom lines rather than supporting the government, and, by virtue of that, each other.
Such people will never quote the entire Declaration of Independence because it doesn’t fit their agenda. The part that they always omit is the part bolded below:
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.
By the time those words were written, our Founders had already experimented with a weak central government, under the Articles of Confederation, and deemed that experiment a failure. So, when it came time to write the US Constitution, the Founders corrected those flaws and established a stronger central government—the one described in the Preamble to the Constitution as a government whose purpose is to achieve defense, domestic peace, the preservation of liberty and justice and the general welfare.
Sound familiar? That is the federal government that President Obama envisions for us and spoke to in his Inauguration Address. The same government that Republicans have vowed to strip of its remaining power to protect and enhance the lives of all Americans.
Republicans are fond of warning Americans that if we do not decrease our deficit we will wind up like Greece. I contend that, if we do not safeguard our federal government against the assaults of hardline conservatives, our government will wind up like the European Union—not terribly effective, especially in times of crisis.
I can understand the quandary that McConnell et al find themselves in, today. Some of these folks truly believe that they represent a majority of Americans and, perhaps, at one time they did, but that time is long past. Americans are an odd breed of Homo sapiens, we are small “c” conservative in our ideals but liberal in practice. And, unless one is motivated to explore the multi-faceted reality of that situation, one might be easily fooled.
Republicans, like McConnell should be launching a serious examination of where they’ve been and where they are headed but all recent indications are that they will not. Under the duress of a failed presidential bid and historically low approval ratings, Republicans appear to be reverting to their old playbook with a vengeance.
Just looking at Mitch McConnell’s case is pretty enlightening. Polls show him to have the lowest approval rating of all US Senators and he is facing re-election in 2014. McConnell’s reaction? He accuses that the polls are skewed and that he’s really at the top of his game. Despite the fact that a TEA Party Coalition of Republicans—his own party—has formed to unseat him and left-leaning out-of-state PACS are joining the fray.
In that atmosphere, McConnell decided that the best fund-raising pitch he could make would be a little paranoid fear-mongering among the gun-toters—firing off this egregiously dishonest email to supporters:
You and I are literally surrounded. The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment.
The gun-grabbers are in full battle mode. And they are serious. What’s at stake? There are almost too many schemes to list.
And went on to claim that universal background checks were part of a secret plot “for full-scale confiscation.”
And so, as these unrepentant dinosaurs lumber toward the tar pits, we are bound to hear “the voice of the dinosaur, in our land.” But, I for one, plan to ignore them because I long to believe that
the winter is past, the rain is over and gone
and President Obama will find a way to safeguard our land and our future from desperate, dying dinosaurs with tiny little pea-brains.