Thursday, May 31, 2007

George W. Bush, John C. Calhoun, Cindy Sheehan and Me














On my part, all I can bring to the table is shaky memory and lack of historical references.

But I can (sort-of) remember an item from an American history text I had in college. Of course, this text was lost to me in the process of jettisoning portions of my library every time in my life I have moved. Nevertheless I remember this passage as if I had just read it yesterday.

It was mentioned by my forgotten historian in his treatment of John C. Calhoun's stormy political career. (Calhoun was the 7th Vice President of the US.) I just looked him up in Wikipedia which describes him thusly:
Calhoun was a major inspiration to the secessionists who created the short-lived Confederate States of America. Nicknamed the "cast-steel man" for his staunch determination to defend the causes in which he believed, Calhoun pushed the theory of nullification, a states' rights theory under which states could declare null and void any federal law they deemed to be unconstitutional. He was an outspoken proponent of the institution of slavery, which he defended as a "positive good" rather than as a necessary evil. His rhetorical defense of slavery was partially responsible for escalating Southern threats of secession in the face of mounting abolitionist sentiment in the South.
Calhoun expired a full decade before our American Civil War erupted.

Anyway, here is the incident which has stuck in my mind. One of Calhoun's many blood-enemies (was he an ally of Daniel Webster or was it William Lloyd Garrison?) once made a speech in which he uttered these indelible and unforgettable (for my memory anyways) words:
God damn John Calhoun.
God damn John Calhoun.
God Damn anyone who does not stay up all night damning John Calhoun.
That sums up my feeling about George Bush.

Of course, I don't want to hate George Bush. He could be a decent enough fellow living around the corner from me (but not next door). Hell, half the guys I drink with on each Wednesday night are probably closet George Bush's.

I just don't like what he has singled-handedly done to my country in terms of inflicting lasting damage to its military forces, constitutional procedures, economic wealth, and international esteem and prestige. I have detailed his offensive, incompetent and vile policies elsewhere in these pages.

And like Cindy Sheehan, who has personally given up so much, much, much more than I have to resist this War-Starter's administration, I do not hate those Americans who voted and didn't stop voting for Bush and his Weimar Republican supporters. . . . I guess I don't hate them.

I do try to reach out to a few of them every day. But I'm not getting much back in return.

I will not hate them. But I won't promise not to excoriate them every goddamned chance I get.

14 Moderated Comments:

Blogger skip sievert said...

Sheehan warned that the United States was becoming "a fascist corporate wasteland," and that onetime allies among Bush's Democratic opposition turned on her when she began trying to hold them accountable for bringing the 4-year-old war to a close.

That is accurate information except for the part about 'becoming'.

Actually a fait accompli, a long time ago.

6/01/2007 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger DB Cooper said...

Calhoun? You should know better than conjuring and summoning such ghosts, Vigilante. They named a nuclear sub after the cast steel man. What would you want them to name after Bush?

6/01/2007 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

How about a new model of an 'electric chair', it could be called a Busherater.
It would inject poison at the same time.
Maybe play a recording also of taunts to the victims.
-After it killed you, it could automatically chop you into little pieces, and put you down a garbage disposal.
Designed for ?
The American people, with a commercial endorsement by both 'party`s'.

6/01/2007 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger M.D. said...

Excellent post! I join you, heart and soul, in damning that stinking #!$%@$& bastard!

6/01/2007 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Trig said...

Busherator? What a great product. No home should be without it!

6/01/2007 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Randi Rhodes on C-Span

6/01/2007 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

You can find her about 2/3's of the way to the right, if you just slide the slider....

6/01/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Been to the old fossil's tomb a couple of times in Charleston for sightseeing. One time had a gaggle of school kids playing around and climbing over it. A bunch were African-American kids, since his life is required reading in high school history classes here in SC I can't help but wonder what the old fart would think about having the descendants of slaves playing on his resting place.

Later y'all I'm off to Disney early baby!

6/01/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Great post.

I can think of only one product fitting to be named after Bush...

The Dubya Dumper, d disposable, portable toilet.

6/02/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger E said...

That is one of the greatest quotes of all time.

6/03/2007 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Hi Vigil,

It's 02h12 here but am still up watching the Decmocratic presidential candidate hopefuls.

Amazing that most of the debate is focused a on Bush's war on Iraq - must tell you am discovering how strongly the issue seems to have divided the US (if I go by how the debate is focalized on the issue.)

Great going for the Democratic party there!

6/03/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

On what you said there, "Of course, I don't want to hate George Bush. He could be a decent enough fellow living around the corner from me (but not next door). Hell, half the guys I drink with on each Wednesday night are probably closet George Bush's.

"I just don't like what he has singled-handedly done to my country in terms of inflicting lasting damage to its military forces, constitutional procedures, economic wealth, and international esteem and prestige."

That is exactly my sentiment about Tony Blair!

6/03/2007 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

As elder statesmen, expresidents of late have lent their celebrity, network, and skills to humanitarian causes after retirement. Because of almost universal disdain, no such role for Shrub is likely.

6/08/2007 10:49:00 PM  
Anonymous mike said...

Being an atheist I have kinder gentler wishes for someone like Bush. If I were a christian I'd want him to burn in everlasting hell and suffer for all eternity. I can only wish that he dies cold, alone and in pain.

6/09/2007 07:58:00 PM  

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