Monday, November 17, 2008

Spare Thou Those

This was in response to a book review Paul posted a link to at his place: Byzigenous Buddhapalian. Bacevitch is Andrew J Bacevitch. The Limits of Power: the End of American Exceptionalism, which was recently published and is apparently getting some attention.

Bacevitch, as quoted in the link and on Rachel Maddow's show Friday, says nothing that is inconsistent with the conventional wisdom of the History of U S Foreign Relations over the past forty years.

The more interesting question to me is why anything Bacevitch is saying should be news to anyone who claims to be informed about the subject, whether scholar, pundit, or public official. The short answer is, of course, "sin", or, as he points out more specifically: the arrogance, greed, and self-righteousness which permeates, but is not limited to, all these groups.

A friend of mine joked during the '96 elections that the trouble with Republicans was they didn't really believe sin as an experiential fact. Another very astute friend, when I asked him what he was currently reading in the Summer of '06, replied *Immoral Man and Moral Society* I take some comfort in reading the President-Elect has been influenced by his reading of Reinhold Niebuhr. None of this should be taken to claim Niebuhr as an infallible guide; to do so would be oxymoronic, intrinisically contradictory to his point. He was, for example, far too ready to belittle or ignore the U S role in the formation of the Cold War.

He does, however, keep an important insight before us, which may be especially useful as we attempt to discover thirty years of Republican sin in detail and to do what we can to make amends; it is always too late to control the outcome, but it is always time to repent and make the effort.

"Spare Thou those who confess their faults." eh?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day in Connecticut

One of the first things I did after moving last month was to go to Town Hall and register to vote in my new location. Later, I looked up the voting location on a map; it's a middle school in a part of town I ordinarily wouldn't go.

Late this morning, armed with the paper I got when I registered, I went looking and found the site with very little trouble ( passed the side street it was on, but looked and noticed the name as I passed, so I doubled back). I found a parking place close to the entrance and, though there was a steady trickle of people making their way to the entrance, there was no line outside, only a man with an Obama sign and a woman with a McCain sign standing in the proper place, quietly chatting with each other.

There wasn't a line inside either, and the registration paper saved me an extra step, as my ID (driver's license) still has my old address. One side, a paper ballot, and it was done within a minute or two.

I joined the sign carriers to chat for a few minutes, and joked about how congenial they seemed. They both said something like "Hey; we're all in this together."; it seemed courteous not to point out that was a Democratic point this year. Both were friends and veterans of many an election. I did remark that the lack of a line might be attributed to the fact that both campaigns make the same assumption about the way Connecticut's going; I don't suppose there are lines in Utah either.

In all, a low key and steady event: the way "Nutmeggers" like to think of themselves.