I am still a little giddy from the results of election night last week.
I am not a Democrat nor am I a Republican. In fact I am fiercely independent which allows me to look at politicians in the raw without discrimination based on party loyalty. I vote Green when I can find a bona fide Green candidate which is not always easy.
I ask only a few things. Is the candidate for or against a clean and safe environment? Does the candidate respect the rights of non-humans citizens of the planet? Is the candidate opposed to the insanity of war?
This of course makes it difficult to vote sometimes and usually my vote goes to the candidate that has no chance of winning but I’ve never been a hold-my-nose- and-cast-my-vote for the lesser of two evils candidate.
Overall this mid-term election has been the most satisfying election in my entire life. I simply can’t remember an election in the last fifty years that has invigorated me the way this one has. And I follow and/or have participated in elections in Canada, the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and South Africa.
Last week heads began to roll in the United States Congress and some of the greatest enemies of the planet went down in a humiliating defeat. Rick Santorum, that raving born again Christian right wing nut job from Pennsylvania was tossed out of the Senate along with Jim Talent from Missouri and George Allen from Virginia. Can you spell macaca George?
But the icing on the cake, the sweetest victory of them all was the trouncing of Richard Pombo of California. For years I have dreamt of this monster being toppled and finally the dream has become reality. The chairman of the Resources Committee, the man who hated all things good for the environment, an animal hater and killer, a tree destroyer, a war monger and a dog fighter. A man who took it on himself to travel to Iceland to encourage the killing of whales, a man who wanted to fill Yellowstone with snowmobiles and sell off 15 other national parks to developers, a man who was working to dismantle the Endangered Species Act and promoting offshore oil rights and drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
Now he is going and very soon to be gone.
It takes a great deal to get me excited but I can tell you last week had me elated and overjoyed.
Just to see the smirk on George Bush’s face disappear the next morning was positively sweet. And the treats just kept on coming. Donald Rumsfield tossed out. Katherine Harris defeated and George Bush revealing in public that he did not know anything about disenfranchisment in the District of Columbia, once again demonstrating what an idiot he is.
All of this gives me hope that the assault on our civil rights may stopped. The architects of the neo-police state these nut jobs have been planning, are finally out the door.
It was so appropriate that Richard Pombo was celebrating his “victory party” at The Waterloo restaurant. This BBQ steak house in Stockton has the motto of “Meat your Waterloo” and this cattle rancher anti-wildlife pompous cowboy certainly did “Meat” his Waterloo. He almost hurled his expensive rare blood dripping steak as the results began to come in. He was not narrowly defeated – he was stomped like a cow patty under the hooves of a stampede. He even lost most of the precincts in his home county.
Around midnight he slipped unnoticed out the back of the restaurant without conceding or addressing his supporters. He retreated like the coward he is from the will of the electorate without dignity, and without the courtesy of thanking all those misguided fools who supported him .
Pombo’s defeat was engineered by the environmental movement. The saturday before the election, over 400 volunteers from the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, the Humane Society of the United States and many other groups were knocking on doors and getting the word out about just how destructive Pombo was, not just to his district in California, but to the nation and the world. Defenders spent over one million dollars and the Sierra Club spent a half a million dollars to defeat Pombo and it was the best political contribution investment either organization has ever made.
Some die-hard Pombo supporters were resentful that campaign money for Jim McNerny came from all around the nation like it was not the business of outsiders to interfere with the election of their Congressman. However, when Pombo decided to interfere with the environmental health and welfare of everyone else in the country and the world, he made it everyone else’s business.
Pombo even recruited George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Laura Bush to come to Stockton to stump for his re-election. McNerny called in President Bill Clinton. McNerny and Clinton scored big in what was up until now, one of the strongest Republican districts in the nation.
Even the few Republican victories were not so bad. I actually like Arnold Schwarzenegger and preferred him as Governor. He is certainly not one of those right wing Christian wackos who pose as a Republican. Some people dismiss Arnold as an actor but in a State that is the movie making capital of the world, this is approriate. Ronald Reagan was an actor and a former California Governor and history has demonstrated that Americans like actors. Harry Truman sold hats and George Washington sold tobacco so why is acting a less honourable profession? Arnold said he “would be back” and he’s back.
Schwarzenegger shrewdly out-greened Angelides, who had been damaged during the Democratic primary by charges of polluting during his days as a real-estate developer.
Afterall the true Republicans were Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and George Bush is an insult to the memory of both of these men. Roosevelt gave us the National Parks that George Bush is trying to take away from us and give to his corporate friends.
I would like to see Martin Sheen run for President. He would make a great President but Martin is just to damn smart for the job. He once told me that if he were to be elected, someone would probably shoot him and considering the ruthlessness of those who have been attempting to overthrow the United States government he would most like be proven correct.
Now my only concern is that the Democrats will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by nominating someone as the candidate for the Presidency who will not be able to win. They’ve struck out twice with Gore and Kerry and if they strike out a third time it will be a disaster unless the Republicans learn that they need to run moderates next time instead of the extremists that have hijacked the Grand Old Party of Lincoln.
We also must be prepared to back McNerny in four years because the Republicans have targeted him as a priority and will attempt to restore Pombo to power. Pombo must be kept on his cattle ranch version of the island of St. Helena and never allowed to vent his hatred of nature again.
I’m sure he will be indulging in his lust for dog and cock fighting and and doing the lecture circuit for corporate America to rally the forces of venegnace against the Greenies.
But we must never forget that this guy was until last week the number one most powerful enemy of the environment in the nation and we must remain vigilant to prevent him from running loose over the constitution and our wilderness ever again.
Bye bye to Pombo, the pompous profiteering politician.
Let’s hope that Jim McNerny can clean up his mess.