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I have to wonder, reading Debra Saunders’ column in SF Chronicle. She raises some good points to which I get, but her premise paints a past 8 years I don’t remember.

In Saunders’s world, a meek, benevolent Bush was under permanent attack by the Democrats who were standing by the anti-war movement.

In my world, only 2 congressmen showed up at anti-war demonstrations – John Conyers and Sheila Jackson Lee – while all the others were paying lip service to Bush & comp or at most were grumbling about the way this war has been conducted. In my world, an arrogant Bush was calling millions of protesters worldwide “focus groups” and secret service and local police were doing their best to keep any protesters miles from Bush appearances.

So, does Saunders have a point when calling Democrats hypocrites for their outrage to dissent these days?

I used to wear DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC buttons in 2004, when I was supporting Clark.

I still want to think that Clark, who came up with this campaign theme, would have respected democracy had he been elected.

It’s something I believe in – and most activists I knew at the time used to. Most of them became Obama supporters – and I have to wonder what they believe in now a days.

Here’s a good point Saunders makes:

It’s laughable: Democrats discrediting protests because – ooooooh – they’re organized. Last year, weren’t these same folks guffawing about Jesus being a community organizer?

Indeed, organization can be grassroots – and then it can be taken over too. Let’s remember Moveon – which functioned wonderfully as a grassroots organization until certain millions in funding made it easy transformable overnight into the hooligan arm of the Obama campaign, pushing away Democrats who wanted to vote for other candidates.

Dissent can be manufactured as well – not just consent – by the media.

The same media that manufactured dissent during Clinton, was manufacturing consent during Bush and then for Obama and if you have any doubt about it just check MoDo latest self congratulatory dropping.

So, all strange perceptions aside, the point of the article is taken: some of the same people who used to say “Dissent is Patriotic” cry now high treason – and want fishy e-mails reported to a white house address.

Also, many of the people marching next to me against war are now oblivious to it .

When the purpose of the action is power rather than principle, hypocrisy will necessarily follow as power changes hands.

I could not improve on the title of this Denver Post editorial who makes a convincing case for consistency and democracy

Some of you must still believe that politicians are meant to serve rather than be worshiped. And there must be someone out there who considers partisanship a healthy, organic reflection of our differences rather than something to be surrendered in the name of so- called unity — which is, after all, untenable, subjective and utterly counterproductive.

How about those who praised dissent for the past eight years?

I am answering “yes” on all counts. I praised dissent for the past 8 years and still think it’s patriotic.

I think partisanship is a healthy reflections of our differences – or rather – it should be. What went on during the past elections convinced me that politics blur differences – and not in a good way.

But most importantly, I agree with

Some of you must still believe that politicians are meant to serve rather than be worshiped.

It seems quite basic stuff, but it needs repeating in these times. Particularly in light of such tributes as the Hollywood produced “I pledge”

in which

Anthony Kiedis (thanks to teen daughter for identifying him) kissing his biceps (which he seems to have named Barack and Obama)

and luminaries such as Demi Moore pledge – amongst other things

“I pledge to be a servant to our president…”

Nope. It is the other way around. It was Obama who pledged – twice – to be a servant of the people.

I know it wasn’t obvious with the rhetoric coming from the White House and its media for the past 9 years that this was about public service rather than being a ruler. But this is what it is. Public service. And we are the employers, not the servants.

Not Your Sweetie

May 2020