Sunday, February 12, 2006

Molly Ivins : "Mr. Gonzales, You're No Barbara Jordan"

Republicans constantly accuse Democrats of being "partisan." It is a catch-all defense (in the sense that the best defense is a good offense). They are inclined to see anything that challenges their narrow and perverted view of reality as partisan politics. Against an invasion of Iraq as a blow against global terror? Partisan politics. Disagree that Saddam was allied with al Qa'ida? Partisan politics. Against the dangerous and illegal principle of the pre-emptive first strike? Partisan politics. Support the Constitution? Partisan politics. Against illegal wiretaps? Patrisan politics. Against unregulated globalization? Partisan politics. And on, and on, and on....

When will Americans remember (not learn) that one can oppose presidential policies AND support the constitution without being "political?" Molly Ivins reminds us of one such American not too long ago who was never accused of playing "partisan politics."
It is one of the most famous sentences in American rhetoric: "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total." But what catches the eye today is the sentence that followed that famous declaration, the sentence that makes one so ashamed for Al Gonzales. Barbara Jordan's great, deep voice brought the impeachment hearings against Richard Nixon to an awed silence when she vowed, "And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."

Oh, how times have changed.

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