"Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."
That song was written before I was born but its message is still so, maybe even more so, pertinent today. Joe DiMaggio isn't around to help us escape from our collective funk, but this country could sure use leadership with the courage of its convictions.
This nation is still sitting in the shadow of its recent past of torture and extraordinary rendition. We still have a prison operating where hundreds of people that have never realized their constitutional rights to address their charges with a defense in court for almost nine years still sit in their cells.
And we have a state that has a law on the books that essentially makes it OK for police to request papers just because of the color of their skin or the accent in their diction.
With this backdrop comes the headline on the New York Times front page "Governors Voice Grave Concerns on Immigration."
BOSTON — In a private meeting with White House officials this weekend, Democratic governors voiced deep anxiety about the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona’s new immigration law, worrying that it could cost a vulnerable Democratic Party in the fall elections.
So once again for the Dems, it seems that it's coming down to ducking and running for cover. Imagine if President Johnson's hand had been staid by political calculation rather than signing the Civil Rights Act because he didn't want to lose a generation of southern states? He signed the bill because it was the right thing to do. He was a true leader on this domestic issue (not withstanding the whole issue of the Vietnam War, but that's another diary). The halls of both chambers of Congress also should be commended for its passage.
That was then.
Currently, we have a reality of a country adrift. The decision by the Obama Justice Department to sue the state of Arizona was the right thing to do - a beacon in the inky morally compromised waters of our nation's recent past of treating people without any regard to our founding father's beautiful Bill of Rights.
What we don't need at this point in the process is a bunch of lily livered politicians treating their own careers as more important than our nation's principals or than basic human decency.
I want to live in a country and be a part of a political party that I know will stand up for human rights; and against mob rule.
I will be waiting to see how the Obama Administration handles this latest round of pressure from his governors. Watching... turning my lonely eyes to someone I thought would lead our country out of depths of a lawless dark well left by the last team of despots.
We're waiting Mr. Obama. Lead your team back into the side that fights for the people and the rule of law rather than just personal political power. The history books will look kindly on you if you do. Stand your ground.