There's no high road in politics. It's winner take all. It's not little league soccer or even the Olympics where some impartial official steps up to the apparent winner and says, "Oh, I;m so sorry but it looks like you didn't play fair so...you're forfeited and the other team wins!"
It doesn't work that way.
In politics, whoever wins, wins. And whoever wins gets to make the rules. Nobody's gonna step in and say, "But wait, you lied! You cheated! That's not fair!"
Well, it's NOT fair. But these are the rules of the game and if you lose, you don't get to have say. Simple as that. Politics is a zero sum game. Complaining about how unfairly the winner played the game is useless.
For two days now I've been SEETHING (this is not an understatement) about the words and attitude of Representative Akin and the GOP. It's not that I didn;t already know that hate women. But something about this whole episode has gotten under my skin in a way that I can't articulate. I'm beyond angry. I'm seething with rage about it. And about the fact that this is what's happening OUT IN THE OPEN in the United States in 2012.
Well I'm done with it. Ladies, this is a war. Men, this is a war. Progressives, THIS IS A WAR. We will either win and survive or lose and god knows how many lives will be lost as a result.
I'm done dancing around playing nice. I'm done looking for the high road. I'm done with it. I'm done.
Here's a little story I'd like to share with you.
One night I'm in Atlantic City minding my own business. I was in my late 20's. Single. I was in town and had just gotten dropped off at my favorite hotel/casino by a friend. I didn't have my car with me. When I learned that the hotel didn't have any room in my price point available that night, I decided to walk from that hotel/casino to another. I had a black computer bag in my hand with some overnight clothes in them. This was back in 1998.And just like my night in the alley, what happens in politics is life or death. People live and people die because of who's in office. Four thousand+ dead U.S. soldiers today because of who was in office in 2001. Millions of people without health care are dead today or will be dead in the future because of who is or who will be in office. Millions of women whose lives would change instantly depending on who's in office. Millions of seniors and disabled people whose lives hang in the balance depending on who's in office. Our right to vote hangs in the balance. Our right to free speech and freedom of religion hangs in the balance. Every advancement made in in this country in the 20th century LITERALLY hangs in the balance.
On my way to the next hotel/casino, I got mugged and pulled into an alley. I think this guy thought I had a computer or something of value in the bag. Once we got in the alley, he punched me in the nose, breaking it, and tried to grab my bag. Oddly, I hadn't dropped the bag and struggled with him for it, which probably lent credence to his belief that I had something valuable in it.
Now, when he hit me, I was more in shock than anything. I'd never been hit or punched before and my thought was more along the lines of "Oh no you didn't" than anything else. He was a little guy. Shorter than my 5'9" frame and smaller too. At that time I was also very fit and very strong. I was spending 2-3 hours a day in the gym. He'd pissed me off by punching me and how my nose was bleeding!
So what did I do? I lied. I pretended to be devastated and hysterical that I was punched. I fake-mumbled some words about "why why" and "what do you want" and generally pretended to be a complete hysterical mess over the situation. He "shushed" me and wasn't reacting well to my "hysteria". I found it weird that he hadn't grabbed my bag again and tried run off, which, to me, raised the stakes. What else did he want? But I also noticed he hadn't pulled out a gun or knife. Probably a good sign. I used the fake hysteria to assess my surroundings and make some decisions. I have to admit being more angry than scared at that moment. I'm not sure why I didn't just give him the bag and send him on. But whatever, I pretended to catch my breath or examine my nose or the blood on my shirt, all while looking around to figure out how to get out of the alley in one piece. Finally, I got quiet, my "sobbing" stopped. He told me to give him my bag and my beeper (remember those?) at which point I resignedly said, "Okay, okay".
Know what happened next? I pummeled him. I unleashed on this guy like something that you would not believe. I'm not a gal who's been in fights. But I think I was angry and really indignant about the fact that I was bleeding and my nose was broken and who the fuck did this guy think he was anyway! So I took a deep breath and came out like a hurricane. I mean really, really, really hurt him bad. So bad that I actually walked (did not run) away with my bag and my stupid beeper and he didn't get up off the ground. I'm not sure how much damage I did. Maybe he just was passed out. Maybe he was dead. Maybe his neck was broken. I didn't know and I didn't care. I still don't.
I lied. I fought. I pulled that reaction from it from somewhere deep down and as a result I walked away with my life. And my bag. (hehe) I'm not a liar. I'm not an hysterical person. I'm not a violent person. I'm not a vigilante. But I learned something valuable that day. That if my back is against the wall, I'm not afraid to do whatever it takes to ensure my survival.
I've never lost a single night of sleep over that incident or what happened to that guy. It was a win or lose situation and I won.
Folks, this IS a life or death battle. Make no mistake about it. We must win and we must recognize that this IS survival.
I'm done with fainting couches. I'm done with pearl clutching. I'm done with nuanced discussion about the "rights and wrongs" of whatever political response our team might have. I'm done playing nice. I'm done coddling them and the lame assed media that coddles them. I'm done not raising holy hell. My sense of humor of this, at this point, is completely shot. I'm done whining about what's fair and what's not. I'm done.
I'm ready to fight on any turf there is. I'm ready to win.
UPDATE: A couple of folks have asked what's the plan? Good question. I have two things I'd like to do. FIRST: We must take back our state houses. Much of the crazy has actually been enacted at the state level - from voter ID to ultrasounds to immigration these bastards at the state level are killing us. AND with only a few votes to boot! I wrote a diary a week or so ago to outline a plan. I'll be posting the update this weekend. Time to attack at the state/local level as well as Federal. We can take them back in one cycle, folks. And stealthily at that. SECOND: We learn to manipulate and control the media - ALL forms of it - so we drive the conversation. I recently finished reading "Trust me I'm Lying" by Ryan Holiday. If you can pick it up, you should. Being in media, it was nothing that I'd never heard of but it was still worth the read. Bottom line, every form of media, online and off, relies on eyeballs for their money. We can manipulate that successfully. I'll diary about that separately this weekend as well.