Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Frist, the Evil Filibuster Buster

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." Blaise Pascal

Our democracy's in serious trouble. Its most cherished, hard fought safeguards are about to be trampled, torn, rent, irrevocably destroyed.

Our country is literally under attack by extremists within our own Congress. They have no right, regardless of their religious beliefs-and certainly not in furtherance of them-to contort our Constitution for their own political goals. Yet they dare to stand up and try.

They have a leader. Worst of the worst. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee. Once a punch line, now a power broker with so much malicious momentum he's become an antidemocratic ballistic missile. How did that happen??

Not so very long ago, Bill Frist was just another conservative southern senator with apparently more interest in religion than legislation. A right wing religious fanatic with little of substance to offer, a rubber stamp supporter of George W. Bush's evangelical agenda.

Then, as the President's approval ratings slipped, leaving him less able to spread his ultraconservative message, Frist began to emerge as the President's human bully pulpit. And what a bully he is.

Frist was the perfect choice to move the President's calamitous agenda forward, under the radar, with a much lower profile than Vice President Cheney and other well known members of the President's Gang of Thugs. And now with the story busted wide open, and his cover blown, we see how badly we underestimated the scope of Frist's destructive reach in the all-out effort to put right-wing judges on the federal bench.

And with the future of the federal judiciary on the line, here's the really insulting part: they're using women-one of them a black woman- as pawns. Hoping women's groups and African American groups will be so blinded by feminism and racial pride they will overlook the documented inadequacies of both judges' qualifications and records. And when I read today that conservative black church and activist groups fell for it, and are supporting the nominees regardless, I wanted to cry.

We fought for freedom of religion. And from religion. We fought for racial and female equality. We fought for democracy. They're all under siege by a misguided, misanthropic, miserable excuse for an American leader. A holy roller on a mission.

Where are our heroes? Where's Senator John McCain? Where's Pennsylvania's own Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee? They're hustling now in the 11th Hour.

It may well be too little, too late. And for all his lame duck, slip-sliding popularity, you know George Bush is gearing up to declare victory.

But no matter how loud they trumpet the holy righteousness of their cause, George Bush, Bill Frist, and their allies in Congress are treading on disastrous territory, and Jesus is most definitely not coming back to save them.

I wonder if the nuclear option exists in Heaven. If they get there at all, these guys might need it.



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