We have an announcement to make tonight, but first a few fun links:
Lysistrata in Colombia: The ladies brandish what may be the most effective weapon in the war on terror. May this inspiration soon spread to the Middle East...
Stewart Sings: C & Dubya music.
Strip Poker Super Bowl Does a Janet Jackson: SI's John Rolfe gets the sports stories that others miss.
The Flaming Assholes From Down Under: To what depths of idiocy can grief drive men? How about a vendetta against those evil stingrays—a stingray ethnic cleansing?
Daily Revolution Turns Two
I didn't want to make a big deal of this—first because, as Tony Snow would say, "it's just a number"; and second out of respect for the other anniversary that has come upon us this week. But yes, it is true, and you can check the archives to corroborate it: Daily Rev is now 2 years old. Our first formal post was September 13, 2004, although I had been blogging for well over a month before then (I deleted those earlier posts during a moment of lucidity, because they were nearly all of them the most abysmally lame drivel).
DR began as an unabashed shill for the candidacy of Mr. John Kerry. When that failed, the blog became a personal coping strategy, and a place where I scribbled notes for various book projects, all in the near-complete anonymity of a newbie amid the blogosphere.
Somehow, and through no conscious intervention of my own, the blog eventually found a voice; and people actually started to read it. This was an alarming development, since it seemed to demand a broader perspective and a more inclusive tone than DR had started with. Fortunately, the arrival of Terry McKenna amid these pages, in the spring of '05, added much-needed depth and scope to the blog. His knowledge of history, and his ability to apply its lessons to the events from the front pages of each week's news, have provided the context for our stream-of-consciousness vents on the dangers of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist politics.
Terry's GOP roots also taught me a lesson about enmity that is constantly reinforced on me. It happened again yesterday: we joked about the confusion arising from the help that America received from Syria the other day, when its military forces stopped an attempted car-bombing of the American embassy there. To paraphrase the famous Pink Floyd song, the question arose: is Syria "us" or "them"?
Those of us on the portside of the political ship might ask a similar question about the effect of division and enmity in the national discourse. Our government has missed opportunity after opportunity for growth, accord, and international progress in the past five years, mainly because of its lockstep fundamentalism, which is defined by the Us-vs.-Them system of belief. If every dialogue and every difference is to be defined in the terms of an armaggedon-style battle for civilization (the spin that Bush himself repeated on Monday evening), then we will be drawn inexorably into deeper divisions of polarization and darker regions of tyranny, both here at home and internationally.
This goes for the left, the right, and every point in between on the narrow line of discord. If Democrats wish to regain power through division and isolation, they will be going down the same road that the Bushies have taken us these past six years. Because we globally conflated Syria with "Islamo-fascism", we allowed some significant potential for growth through diplomacy in that region to slide through our fingers. The era of white hats and black, if it ever really existed, is over; deal with it. More than that: welcome it: this is the first step in the dance of truth.
So to my friends on the left, I urge you to listen to Republicans, and engage them as if they were your allies in the quest for peace and freedom. Because, for the vast majority, they are. Question them, pester them, needle them, challenge them, yes—but do not abandon or isolate them. This, in essence, is the "daily revolution" that we attempt to foster here: a turning-away, from the cult of opposition and the slavery of a narrow group affiliation. If what we write here, even with all its many flaws and errors, contributes to that revolt upon the foundation of tyranny, then its purpose will have been achieved.
Thanks as always to everyone who has visited these pages over the past two years.
Ann Richards, 1933-2006
It is rare, but not unheard of, for a politician to care, and to make a commitment to the true and original purpose of government, which is to serve and support the people of a society, a community, or a nation. Ann Richards, the great Democrat from Texas, was such a politician. She will be missed, but, we hope, never forgotten. After all, she still has plenty to teach us.