When I go off on my rants to overtly pious Christians and fanatical Republicans, they say, "Well, I don't condone or support the farthest extremes of my group" (they just continue to make excuses for them)
Recently my favorite antagonist here asked me if I supported the "farthest fringest of the Left" and he cited Kieth Olbermann as his target, and said, "you don't support that nutcase, do you?"
You're goddamned right I do.
This person who asked if I supported Olbermann is a guy who still thinks Bush a noble and honorable man - including his father HW Bush who recently called both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow "sick puppies". He faults HW Bush for raising taxes, but nothing more.
I make no apologies or excuses for either Rachel or Kieth, and I (having teh Google and a lot of free time on my hands) feel confident and assured that these two people stand on solid ground. Far more solid than anyone in the Bush administration or their shameless apologists, and if I did believe in "G"od, I'd not shivver or fear standing before "H"im and explaining why.
That's my opinion. And here's why I hold it.
Keith gets it - and these recent events that involve his father have had me so racked with tears as I watch them, (because they're so close to home for me) I'd let him make my end-of-life decisions if I were unable. He gets it. He has the credentials - what my father used to call the "bona fides" - to speak on these subjects.
My father was going through his steepest decline and death by alcohol poisoning at his own hand right as the Terry Schiavo saga was being played out; if you recall congressional Republican's Christmas vacation stunt to pass a law they knew had no chance of surviving judicial review.
And yet two weeks before he died I drove my dad to the polling station, knowing he was casting his vote to re-elect GWB and any other Republican on the ballot (At least at a national level).
For those of you who know me, and what my father went through in his final years, you'll understand this. I've reached a point in my life, part of which was achieved after a surreal event here on Daily Kos regarding a diary about my dad, that I'm now stalwartly convicted to my thinking and likely will not ever change without a frontal lobotomy. I can't dig it up again because it's too close to home, but it's about life and death and what role the government plays in that decision.
From assisted suicide to gay marriage to health care, the Republican party is antithetical to every talking point they claim to stand for. They say they love individual freedom and liberty, yet they threaten to pass a constituional amendment to declare they know best who a person can love.
They claim they are for states rights; yet in the Terry Schiavo case, like Bush V Gore, they used their federal authority - the one they claim should be so limited when it comes to taking care of other Americans in matters of health care or Social Security, to overrule a situation that had been adjudicated at the state level. Same goes for marijuana laws they claim they are for states rights, but every time a state passes drug laws they don't like, they threaten to use the Federal Government to set it the way they think it ought to be. (Drugs are not my thing, but I have no issue for those who indulge it, as the "legal" drug called alcohol has caused far more damage to my life than the "illegal" ones we keep trying to demonize the users for)
So when people ask me why I am a Democrat - and they say it with a tone in their voice like they really want to say "Commie Faggot Lepper Devil-worshipper", Keith Olbermann is one of the guys who gives me the strength to wash myself of their hyperbolic bullshit and - as if I had faith - allow myself to sleep peacefully at night that I've got it right on these matters. Despite being utterly excommunicated from those who I used to know as friends and family, when I sleep at night the fear of having to explain myself to some divine judge is not what troubles me.
I'm suicidal, sure - but not about my views on government and why we have one and what it's for. I'm ready to give up because so many people who insist that they love their country are so eager to splinter it as if the word "United" in the name of this country really was a superfluous rhetorical oversight.
Keith, you are an inspiration to me. You get it.
I wish you did not have to face what you are going through with your father. But since you have allowed us into your life to share these most personal of decisions, I for one am grateful to know there is at least one other person of prominence on the Left who really does get it.
Thank you, Keith. Thank you for sharing with us.
After listening to your comments these last few nights, I feel as if you are telling us about your situation so that we may see how such end of life decisions can give a family peace, even if they piss off a lot of sanctimonious and hypocritical Republicans.
Peace be on you and your family.