Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351- Celery

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Dear Mr. President,

Watching The Daily Show last night, I felt like cheering when Mike Huckabee suggested that Democrats were making health benefits for 9/11 first responders a political battle and Jon Stewart retorted "honestly, to their discredit, they haven't." Stewart goes on to compare the situation to the Democrats being handed a feast of a political win on a silver platter and refusing it in order to sit in a corner and eat celery. His entire show seemed to beg the question "hey, where's your outrage now?" of every 9/11-invoking Republican, FOX news pundit and mosque-protesting bigot. Because honoring those who died on (and continue to die from) 9/11 is about more than keeping Islamic community centers outside of a 10-block radius of ground zero. Mr. Stewart, after the rally to restore sanity, forcefully reminded Rachel Maddow that unlike pundits representing real news networks, he doesn't have any skin in the game, he doesn't play so much as shout drunkenly from the stands. I think yesterday's show demonstrated rather clearly why that isn't always true. It must be frustrating to watch a comedian out-articulate you with a message that Democrats ought to have been owning since the Republican filibuster began.

Another silver platter story arrived in the form of the Republican opposition to the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010. House Republicans voted against the bill (even some who co-sponsored it) citing fiscal concerns and bizarre fears that such legislation could increase abortions. I just want to tear my hair out at the horrifying logic being used to justify this. Where is the family-values outrage now?

(See that Cat? See the Cradle? )

I understand the desire to live in merry bipartisan bliss, especially now that every one is in the spirit of the holidays. But Jon Stewart is right. Enough celery! Democrats ought to be finding every TV camera they can and repeating some version of the same line about honoring 9/11's heroes and protecting vulnerable children from exploitation in the name of marriage. The race for 2012 starts any day now (if not yesterday) and voters across the country need to know that voting Republican is tantamount to saying it's OK to let 9/11 first responders suffer and struggle and die, that it's OK to quibble about the global gag rule while 12-year old girls are forced to marry men old enough to be their grandfathers.

Put down the celery Mr. President, it's time for a more satisfying entree.

Respectfully yours,


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