When school children refuse to cooperate unless everyone plays by their special and particular rules, when they kick dirt in one another's faces and scream, "I hope you die," we don't call them patriots. We call them brats.
So what are we to do with the Republican Party? Send them to the principal's office? If only. Like a friend of mine used to say, the difference between the Boy Scouts and the Military is that Boy Scouts have adult supervision. So too, the difference between school children and the U.S. Congress. You can discipline school children.
Republicans are voting 'no,' it seems, on orders from the Vicodin Viceroy, Rush Limbaugh, who has said in no uncertain terms that he wants Obama "to fail." Which means, by extension, that he wants the country to fail and presumably, the military as well.
That's a nice patriotic thought. In some circles they call that treason.
If these folks had been in office on Dec. 7, 1941, I guess they would have voted 'no' on the declaration of war, 'no' on issuing war bonds – after all, it's debt – 'no' on the allocation of critical resources first to the war effort, and second, fairly among citizens (also known as 'rationing').
"Let the free market work," they would have thundered as they poured themselves another glass of 1920 Chateau Margaux, and proposed...another Free Money Day for Billionaires at the Treasury Department, otherwise known as a tax cut for the wealthiest five percent.
Remember, these are the guys that looked the other way when the Four Stooges – Shrub, Darth, Gonzo and Rummy – and their cronies were robbing the Defense Department blind, torturing people, shredding the Constitution, leaving our national infrastructure to rot, selling our industrial base to China, despoiling our national landscape, running up the national debt to amounts for which we have to invent new numbers – and all the while holding non-stop sex-and-drug parties at the Interior Department. They probably thought it was the Federal Porn agency.
But now Republicans have aroused themselves from their collective coma to give us finger. They want to see Obama fail, and by extension, the country. And that, folks, is you and me.
That's our jobs and our medical insurance. It's our homes and our children's education. It's our dedicated soldiers thousands of miles from home, on foreign battlefields. It's levees crumbling and bridges collapsing, and a California inferno come fire season. It's cars that get five miles to the gallon and gasoline that costs $5 a gallon. That's what "I hope Obama fails" means.
When I voted on Nov. 4, 2008 I voted for America. I affirmed my belief that we still have that quintessentially American get-up-and-do-it in us that brought us together in a common effort to fight WWII. A character that, throughout our history, enabled us to ultimately overcome our worst sins and failings, rather than being overcome by them.
I'm sorry that the Republican Party doesn't want to be part of the team, that they prefer drowning on the Titanic to surviving in a lifeboat. But if that's where they want to live, well then, in the spirit of brotherly love, let's give them one-way tickets to any of the world's failed states, societies characterized by just those realities they embrace. Haiti and Liberia come to mind.
On second thought, there's some Caribbean real estate that'll be vacant soon. Think of the possibilities for a reality TV show.