The Sky is Falling

J

ust call me Chicken Little, or maybe a Little Chicken. Actually, it’s more like chicken and rice. In any event, Rachelsmommy is calling me a political extremist. Or at least I’m on the verge of becoming one. Me! Man, I have never considered myself political, let alone an extremist. When I wrote the other day about “shades of gray”, it’s precisely because I am neither black nor white. I view things in different shades in the middle. But everything I hear and read these days suggests things are becoming polarized and I don’t want to get stuck in the middle.

Okay, maybe yesterday’s post was a bit over the top. I certainly don’t want to blame Bush backers because they don’t see things as I see them. But things are happening that bother me. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector is a moderate Republican, the kind of moderate many Bush backers point to when reassuring me that the religious right will not take over their party. The pro-choice Republican said last week in reference to justice appointments by Bush:

When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely…. The president is well aware of what happened, when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster (by democrats)… And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning.”

Specter’s words sounded like those of a realist, and let me breathe a sigh of relief. Perhaps I don’t have to be so worried after all. Jerry Falwell may be on TV with Anderson Cooper or with Paula Zahn, but “nobody takes Falwell seriously anymore” (Rachelsmom) and he “isn’t the most relevant political source.” (cgran). I suppose he is simply put on the screen because he represents the religious right? That maybe the religious right is as irrelevant as he is? Well, however irrelelvant Falwell may be, the religious right is not, certainly not to Specter.

On Thursday, as outraged conservatives tried to block Specter’s rise to the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Pennsylvania senator issued a statement clarifying his remarks, saying, “I did not warn the president about anything,” and “I have never and would never apply any litmus test on the abortion issue.”

So as Specter backpedals, I see my brief mirage of optimism backpedal as well. I hate the way I feel right now. I am, by nature–I think–optimistic and non-extremist. I believe that most of you who have been reading me for the past year or so will agree, more or less. What was it about this election that affected me so negatively? I almost can’t stand myself. Aaaargh!

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