Voting Elko's Values.
From the Washington Post
Strong public opposition to the Iraq war continues to hurt Republicans in many key races, but the Bush administration struck a defiant tone, signaling that the election results will not influence its strategy. Tuesday's balloting might influence Congress, Vice President Cheney said in an interview with ABC News, "but the president's made clear what his objective is. It's victory in Iraq. And it's full speed ahead on that basis. And that's exactly what we're going to do."
Cheney was responding in part to sharp criticism launched in a Vanity Fair article by two of the Iraq invasion's strongest advocates: Richard N. Perle of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee and former Pentagon official Kenneth Adelman. Perle said the administration's war policy had become dysfunctional, adding: "You have to hold the president responsible. . . . I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within his own administration, and the disloyalty."
Those are names to conjure with, and names of influence throughout the Right in general. Such disaffection is the sort of news that echos even in Elko, a place where I don't think everyone is a mindless kool-aide drinker.
Even the most conservative of conservatives in such places live of necessity in full contact with reality, and they really do live by the principles they vote by. Those principles stand them in good stead, by and large. So at some point they have to start asking themselves, why are these principles NOT working when the President applies them?
Because, well, they should have. They know damn well they should have.
If you must go to war, or go to help clean up a disaster like Katrina in a Conservative way and do the things any sensible conservative would do in terms of planning and preperation, it would have gone well. War, conflict and disaster are things that Conservatives are by nature prepared for. Conservatives have an utter distate for the untidy and the improvised, and if they go, they go prepared.
So there was every reason to expect that the Iraq war should have gone as anyone with any grasp of the realities involved - say, such as Jack Murtha - would have confidently predicted, given the resources someone like, say, General Shensiki knew would be needed.
I was opposed to the war on principle. I wasn't opposed on the basis that we could not win. The means to do so were easily available and more than adquate to the job. If it needed doing, I was quite confindent that the doing of it was a matter of routine. And it would have been, had the matter been left to the professionals. The very people that your Senator, John Ensign, would now screw over in favor of the problem children of the war, such as Haliburton.
And one could conservatively ASSUME that someone with Bush's apparent credentials, backed by the apparent confidence of his staff and their apparent grasp of the situation would do what any conservative would expect; proper planning, preparation, and execution leading into a short period of security and transfer of authority that went smoothly because it was in the hands of people who were trained and experienced in their tasks, the very best we could send.
I mean, if your conservative assessment was that it was a necessary action. Because Conservitives, being conservative, do not tend to act suddenly unless it's a real emergency, and then other conservatives know that you don't pester someone who's dealing WITH an emergency. So, if George Bush said there was an urgent need to invade Iraq, there was no good reason to doubt his word. Not for a real conservative who thought they were relying on the good judgement of another conservative with far better information.
But, well, he aint. t appears that little attention at all was paid to anything other than appearences, and even that was restricted to domestic news and tame talking heads. Nearly all of the attention of this administration from the git-go has been to bamboozle you and keep you bamboozled. And to give the devils their due, they have been pretty clever about it.
So I forgive the folks of Elko and thousands of other deeply conservative towns across the nation for being in a state of shock and denial, for they cannot imagine how anyone who lives by their own virtues could screw up so badly. It is literally inconceivable; it should be a matter of practical impossibility due to bone-deep, value driven integrity that is the soul of small-town conservatism
Well, I'm sad to say this, but folks like George Bush and a thousand others took advantage of your preconceptions of how things ought to be. They said all the right words in public, and you figured that since you have integrity, they did too.
Sorry about that. I feel your pain. You see, I grew up in an area like that, where people had to rely upon one another, expected to be able to, and could. The closet volunteer fire department was a solid 15 miles away, the closet hospital was 45 minutes on dry roads in a fast car - and they were never dry. If you heard three shots in rapid succession, you grabbed a rifle and a first aid kid and ran toward the sound, because there was a broken leg or worse.
And when you grow up in such a place, it's really crushing to find out that people from the big city don't share those essential values. Well, not the rich ones, anyhow.
Honestly. I'm not on the leftward sode of blogastan by choice, I got the political spectrum jerked out from under me by people like Perle. I'm a freakin' conservative by a freaking old fashioned standard; I believe in old fashioned things like not meddling in folks private affairs, balancing budgets, taking care of your family first and then your neighbors. Its not charity to tend your neighbor's cattle when he's too sick to do it. It's neighborly. And they would do the same, probably have, and likely will do so again. Hell, it doesn't even much matter if you like each other; what's that got to do with cows that need milking?
I still have difficulty with the idea that an agreement should need more than a handshake to seal the bargain, and I think that all business agreements should be "Full measure, pressed down and running over." That's what I learned from the folks around me as I grew up, and not just from the church-going, either.
Because of that background, lies, injustice and betrayal of trust piss me off beyond measure. I have a very sensitive ear to differences between what people say and the lack of an echo from what they actually do.
Jack Carter had the guts to go to Elko and give real answers to some real tough questions I understand you tossed his way. But then, he's the sort of conservative like to think I am; a guy who talks based on the walk, instead of a guy who talks loud enuough so you can't tell if there's any footsteps.
But Ensign's buddy and bestest friend, George Bush - he didn't have the guts to go anywhere else. He used Elko and it’s deeply Conservative citizens as a refuge filled with idiological human shields against hard questions. If he'd had any guts worth mentioning, he'd have gone straight to the biggest stage in Vegas. Ain't he supposed to be President even for the folks who DON'T care for the cut of his jib?
"All hat, no cattle." A good old fashoned Texas summation of this whole "neoconservative" movement. It's all hot air and moonshine, the lot of it, a grand scheme to take over the whole damn world by virtue of us being "the only superpower" and executing "the will of God."
Turns out that all this was founded on thought no deeper than the crick in my back yard on the East Hoquiam, which was barely deep enough to wet the back of a crawdad.
And these days, it's pretty easy to predict what happens to someone who asks a REPUBLICAN a tough question. Or indeed, just looks like they might try. Of course, since Allen has a well established record of spitting on pretty much everyone, why not the Constitution and the First Amendment? Speaking as a semi-virginian myself, I don't think of spitting tobacco juice at ladies (or anyone) to be the act of a Gentleman who belongs in the Senate.
I'd like to think that Allan is an exception - but local races prove that his sort of "gentleman" seems to infest the Republican right, and I think that is due in part because Washington has become such a cesspool that no person of real charactor even gets invited to swim on that side of the pool. It is utterly implausible to me that Allan is the best possible representative of the Old Dominion, and ceratainly John Ensign does't strike me as being authenticly representative of the solid, genuinely Conservative heart of Nevada.
tag: Elko, Nevada, Senate Elections, Jack Carter, John Ensign, Jack Carter, Courage, Convictions, Integrety, Ted Haggard, Evangelical Meltdown, Conservatism, Republican Values, Betrayal of Trust, False Prophets, George Bush