Thursday, January 27, 2005

A pause that refreshes

I just thought we might pause a moment to note that despite everything, there were a few victories and some progress last year. In a January 19 emailing, TrueMajority mentions five with which it had been involved.

- Congress eliminated funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, a next-generation nuclear weapon designed to burrow underground before detonating in order to destroy secure bunkers.

- The Shrub team was forced to deal with the disaster of Sudan, pushed first into paying attention, then to admitting what was happening in Darfur constituted genocide, and then into signing the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan bill, adding sanctions to demands that the Sudan government stop the genocide.

- Reacting to public pressure, Congress blocked Bush's Big Oil/Big Coal-loving energy bill.

- The White House could not get Congress to agree that Star Wars is "operable" in the face of repeated test failures and grassroots pressure.

- Due to widespread exposure of problems with electronic voting, eleven states, including California, plan to require voting systems that allow for recounts and issue voter-verified paper ballots. Even Ohio now says it won't buy the machines if they don't generate a paper trail.

I'm sure other organizations, based on their own work, could add other examples of legislative gains won or at least losses blocked. I'd also add the mass protest at the GOPpie convention in New York as proof that good, old-fashioned, boots-to-the-street action is, despite the claims of some who damn well should know better, neither outdated nor irrelevant.

So keep on keepin' on. Because what choice do we have?

Footnote: The counter-convention demo was loudly talked down and discouraged in some lefty circles populated by those who were totally wrapped up in electing John Kerry as the summation of all that is good in the world and timorously eager to play by the GOPpies' rules of what would "look bad." Imagine what it might have been if instead it had been talked up by those same voices.

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