Column No. 95 By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH - February 2, 2006
As Judge Gheen pointed out in TPJ of January 22, 2006, on Jan. 20 (“Rove Lays Out Road Map for Republicans in Fall Elections,” Adam Nagourney, The New York Times, 1/21/06) “Karl Rove. . . gave nervous Republicans here a preview on Friday of the party's strategy to maintain its dominance in the fall elections, offering a searing attack on Democrats for their positions on terrorism, the administration's eavesdropping program and President Bush's effort to shape the federal judiciary. . . .In [his] speech. . . . Mr. Rove criticized Democrats for their opposition to tax cuts and for what he called "mean-spirited" attacks on Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., Mr. Bush's Supreme Court nominee. And he left little doubt that in 2006 - as in both nationwide elections since the Sept. 11 attacks - he was intent on making national security the pre-eminent issue. .... [He] criticized Democrats for what he described as their ‘cut and run’ policy on Iraq, for blocking a renewal of the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act and for challenging the legality of the administration's use of wiretaps without warrants. . . ‘The United States faces a ruthless enemy,’ Mr. Rove said, ‘and we need a commander in chief and a Congress who understand the nature of the threat and the gravity of the moment America finds itself in. President Bush and the Republican Party do. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Democrats. Let me be as clear as I can be. President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why,’ he said, referring to the wiretapping program. ‘Some important Democrats clearly disagree.’ "
And so, Uncle Karl, mixing truth and fiction as he so expertly has done over the years, has set forth the Republican agenda for the fall elections, just as he set it for the previous three national elections in which he has been directly involved (losing two in the true vote counts of course, but winning on paper where it counts for taking control of the government nevertheless). One thing you can say for modern Republicans (whether they are “liberals” [sic] or not) is that they pretty much follow the Rovian agenda. Another is that Rove, who studied at the feet of Lee “Willie Horton” Atwater, knows that whoever controls the agenda wins the election.
As long ago as 1992 in my book The New Americanism: How the Democratic Party Can Win the Presidency I have felt that this is indeed one very important political lesson that the Democrats could profitably learn from the Republicans. They have yet to do so, as Sen. Kerry so disastrously demonstrated in 2004. Feeling that my continuing to say that would continue to have as much impact (none) as doing so has had to date, I decided to consult a Higher Authority. After all, if doing so is good enough for Pat Robertson, Mayor Nagin, and George Bush (see my TPJ column “The Real Meaning of the ‘Faith-Based Presidency’, Part II”), it is good enough for me, I reasoned. (As to which “one true God” any of us is communicating with, mine, of course, is Him [or Her, as the case may be], not any of theirs.) And so I gave God a ring.
He (and there was a male voice at the other of the line when I called) was not in a particularly good mood. “What is going on down there?” I was asked. “Things are really getting out of hand. I am truly wroth. In fact, to quote myself ‘Vengeance is mine.’ In case you haven’t heard,” the voice intoned, “that is one of the most famous sayings from the Bible, you know, from Hebrews 10:30. I will repeat the quote for you, for it has such a nice ring to it: ‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.’ You have got this idiot President running around, taking my name in vain, wreaking all kinds of havoc. And the political opposition (for lack of a better term) doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to deal with him and his cronies. They better shape up soon or who knows what I will do. Actually, I do know what I will do, and I also know what they had better do. To begin with, they had better get ahold of the agenda, and they can use my name in so doing if they wish to.”
I gave this conversation and what followed in it a good deal of thought. In the balance of my column today I share with you my summary of what God told me.
Of the many dismayed observers of the havoc being wreaked by the Georgites, the highest ranked is probably God. And He/She has taken a very dim view of it. For God has taken special pride in the creation, by a remarkable group of products of one of His/Her greatest achievements, the Enlightenment, of the US Constitution. It was the Enlightenment which ensconced the kind of mental process, the Use of Reason, which God had intended to eventually be achieved by humanity. But now God is mightily displeased. For in the United States both the use of Reason, eventually produced by the intellect that God worked so mightily to provide for in His creation, and the Constitution, are under serious attack.
As we know, God does not intervene directly in human affairs, but, from time to time, rather through various personages. God is wrath about what has happened in the nation that has been governed by that brilliant product of the highest level of thinking that his highest creation has yet achieved, but is about to be deprived of it. God is wrath about the threatened abandonment of the Rule of Law, the Rule that God values so highly that it is the centerpiece of His/Her Covenant with the Israelites. And God is wrath about the current political currents in the United States which so go against the values which are at the center of His/Her thinking about humans, the first one being that God loves all of his/her children.
God is wrath that a leading political party in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of one particularly type of human based on sexuality.
God is wrath that a leading political party in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of one particularly type of human based on skin color.
God is wrath that a leading political party in the United States has put at the center of its program hatred of women of child-bearing age and hatred of all people who believe that life begins at a time other the moment of conception (a matter that God him/herself has never been clear upon).
God is wrath that the American people as a whole have let this particular political party in the United States gain such a position of dominance, with no real opposition from the other major political party, that both the Constitution and the Rule of Law are at risk.
God is wrath that the American people as a whole have let this particular political party in the United States gain such a position of dominance that policies concerning the whole matter of environmental balance, so necessary for the preservation of God's highest creation, the human species, and all of the other species as well, has been put at risk.
God is wrath that the American people as a whole have allowed such un-God-like people as those known as the "Christian Right," people who preach hate and bigotry, violence and the use of force on the people's thinking, to gain such an unprecedented position of power in the country.
God is wrath that the American people as a whole do not seem to be close to realizing the reality of the above reality.
And so, God is about to wreak vengeance upon the United States. For God feels that the only way now to wake up the people of the United States and their political representatives who should know better, before it is too late, is to visit upon this country a modern version of the Seven Plagues. And this time, no one will receive a bye. Yes, through George Bush, and his minions known as the Georgites, the following will occur, that is unless the people, and especially their political leadership who should know better, wake up in time.
The First Plague: Out-and-out fascism.
The Second Plague: The next Great Depression.
The Third Plague: At the same time, spiraling inflation.
The Fourth Plague: The continued degradation of those major urban centers which, like New Orleans before the flood, were centers of Democratic political strength, but which through lack of investment were sinking ever further in the mire.
The Fifth Plague: The occurrence of shortages of fuel and power, of ever-increasing severity, on a regular basis.
The Sixth Plague: The occurrence on a regular basis of ever-worsening environmental catastrophes such as the Great New Orleans Flood of 2005.
The Seventh Plague: If nothing is done while there is still time, and God does say that there is, the occurrence of the Second Civil War, one that will make the first one look like a school picnic (to not coin a phrase).
Now God moves in mysterious ways and thus will not reveal His/Her timetable for all of this. But God does tell us to mark His/Her word. If nothing is done soon, the Plagues will arrive. The final outcome of their occurrence, were they to occur, not even God knows.
Authors’ Note: This column is based in part on a “Short Shot” of mine that appeared on Monday, September 12, 2005 on The Moving Planet Blog (UK) http://planetmove.blogspot.com.