Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home for the Holidays

There are a few things that carry over from Christmas to Christmas in Wisconsin. One is champagne on Christmas Eve, one is the tape of Christmas songs played by classical guitar, one is the sound of my mother trying to understand her new electronic equipment. My favorite tradition is the debate about music that occurs when my sister and I open our Christmas CDs from our father.

This year's topic: Which Supertramp album is the best? In the "Breakfast in America" corner is my mother, in the "Even in the Quietest Moments" and "Crime of the Century"(which apparently should constitute one awesome double album if they'd really known what was good for them) corner is my father.

I sit in the "I can't believe my dad bought my sister two Supertramp albums for Christmas" corner.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mike Huckabee Prefers Rapists to Democrats

My grandmother left the Baptist church after she married my grandfather. I asked her once why she felt compelled to leave the faith in which she was raised, and she told me it came down to cultural shifts that left her feeling undervalued and disrespected(this from a woman whose father was so strict she had to sneak out of her house during Sunday "sitting hours" to see my grandfather play baseball). I can't imagine what her reaction would be to the current Southern Baptist Ambassador Mike Huckabee and this appalling cover-up.

I came to terms long ago with the fact that victims of sexual assault will always face undeserved skepticism and disrepect(Pennsylvania is home to some of the worst, at least lately). Reading about then-Governor Huckabee's behavior towards the victims of Wayne Dumond, and his obviously political decision to value a violent felon's words over the safety of his citizens, makes me dream of dispatching machete justice.

It's terrible that Huckabee let this man go free over the obvously anguished pleas of his victims and their loved ones. It's terrible that he did so at a time when religious zealots were slandering his then underage victim by implying her case was affected by her distant relation to Bill Clinton. It's terrible that he wrote in his own book that he felt the criminal justice system should be more compassionate and yet signed 16 death warrants during his gubernatorial tenure. It's morally reprehensible that his 2002 campaign for governor in 2002 covered up illegal dealings that resulted in the rape and murder of two women.

In a reasonable society, the documents and public statements of the victims of Dumond's crimes would be enough to disqualify Huckabee from contention for the Republican nomination. Of course we do not live in a reasonable society. Huckabee has naturally responded to questions about Dumond by accusing those raising the issue of engaging in the dreaded "partisan politics."

The "partisan slur" defense is hardly new, and it always seems to work in favor of Republicans. Decisions made while in public office are open to public scrutiny. This is why Freedom of Information and Open Records laws exist. Think back to past Presidential campaigns. Michael Dukakis and his opposition to the death penalty. Al Gore's involvement with the internet. John Kerry's "flip-flopping" votes on the Iraq War. These were all incredibly effective attacks on Democratic candidates, and NO ONE DIED as a direct result of their administrative decisions. If the United States press turns out to be too spineless to delve more deeply into this deeply misogynistic and hypocritical chapter of Huckabee's political career, I'm officially changing my party affiliation to Anarchist.

Mike Huckabee spends an absurd amount of time defining himself as the candidate of choice for conservative religious Americans. The obvious choice for voters who want to conserve the lives of their female relations is to not elect him. The choice for the rest of us is to do as my grandmother did and respect women enough to let everyone know what kind of governement executive this man really is.

(Thanks to Jezebel for the post that got me all riled up).