March 29, 2006
'Wrong and strong'
By Mark Sherman
I recently finished reading Election 2004: How Bush Won and What You Can Expect in the Future by Evan Thomas and the staff at Newsweek, and I remain haunted by a single sentence from the book: “Wrong and strong beats right and bright.”
“Wrong and strong” explains why Bush can’t recall or isn’t allowed to recall having made any mistakes. It explains why the old Vietnam War cronies, Rumsfeld and Cheney, are continuing to deny the Iraqi realities. It explains why we continue to hear the fear-mongering sound bites about terrorists, patriotism and Saddam. It’s why coordinated special interests are test-marketing commercials designed to stir irrational fear in the American public. It is why we all must wonder if we will see the return of orange and red alerts in time for the fall elections.
It also explains why Senator Russ Feingold finds himself virtually alone when he proposes setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or censuring the president for breaking the law, and why the Republican National Committee will run attack ads against Feingold.
Closer to home, “wrong and strong” explains why Scott Jensen would go to trial with the defense that he was just doing what Supreme Court justices did before him, why referendum initiatives to discriminate against gay people and put permanent tax cuts in the state Constitution would be such a high legislative priority, and why executive and legislative deals are made to subvert and undermine local control of public education.
I try to take some comfort in Thomas Jefferson’s counsel from 1798: “A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles.”
I think a “recovery of sight” is the only solution to the “wrong and strong” bullies that are currently defying the sacred individual sovereignty that was fundamentally expressed in our constitutions.
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