The Critical Mass

A good week for civility and treason

We wrapped up two of this country’s institutions this week, the World Series and an election. The series is the far-more American experience.

The San Francisco Giants won with great pitching, which is what always carries the event. In particular, the long-haired, dope-smoking Tim Lincecum, whose propensity for dropping the F-bomb during post-game interviews is really not that big of a deal, parents, because your kids shouldn’t be up that late, anyway. Lincecum spent his last off season getting busted for pot possession, not necessarily viewed as a character flaw for someone who works in San Francisco. In fact, it inspired a cottage industry of “Let Tim Smoke” T-shirts. When the smoke had cleared with the Giants’ four games to one series win over the Texas Rangers, Lincecum had twice beaten the Rangers’ ace, the rifle-totin’ southern man Cliff Lee. It seemed like a civil clash of cultures, and I was relieved when George W. Bush came out to throw out the first pitch before one of the games and was greeted by only scattered jeers. Despite my extraordinarily negative feelings about the last president, a baseball game isn’t the place to express it.

No, the voting booth is that place. On Tuesday, the anticipated backlash against Democrats did arrive, driven by fear and the manipulation of what political strategists call many of you behind your backs, “low-information voters.” For those of you who voted for Republicans and Tea Party-supported candidates because they told you government is too big, and the national debt must be cut, consider this: Did any of these candidates tell you what programs they would cut? I mean, besides de-funding National Public Radio?

Sanity prevailed in the rejection of unworthy candidates such as Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle and Joe Miller. But for those of you who selected the likes of Rand Paul as your new leaders, good luck with that. They won’t be embracing America as a diverse country where pot smokers and deer hunters can play baseball together in peace. They’ll insist that you must conform to their vision of America.

Late Tuesday night, John Boehner, who is expected to become the new Speaker of the House, said that he hoped Obama would “respect the will of the people.” That’s an extraordinarily dense comment from a man who did not respect the will of the people following the 2008 election. In fact, from Day One of the Obama administration, Boehner was a co-conspirator in a vast right-wing conspiracy to undermine the president. It was an effort, I don’t hesitate to say, that crossed the line into treason.