Help! Lucy Must Be Stopped! It is Time for a New Game...

Paul Evans

Isn't it time we benched "Lucy" Boehner-McConnell and the team that has made crippling our government (through an unapologetic "war" on Obama's appointments, administrative policies, and legislative priorities) their legacy?

Somebody, somewhere, please get a message to the Obama Administration that it is time to stop playing a game they cannot win – a game America cannot afford.

By design or luck, the Republican Party has Barack Obama in a pickle.

Our progressive Democratic President is in a box: he has spent the past couple of weeks (and will likely this next as well) defending warrantless wiretaps, a Department of Justice initiative associated with ferreting out the leaker of code-word classified information, and a web surveillance program that might have made Orwell scared.

It is an impossible situation: President Obama risks losing more support from his party even as his actions strengthen the power of the likes of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mario Rubio, and the Tea Party (and the corporations that pay for it).

Within this environment the Republican Party can simultaneously play to the latent fears of the “black helicopter/tinfoil hat wearing crowd” – knowing all the while that they would be continuing the very same policies (or worse) if in power.

The “Beltway Logic” is clear: Democrats – especially – cannot risk looking “weak” on national defense, homeland security, or crime.

That logic tells us that Democratic leaders must appear to take all deliberate means in order to “protect” our nation against threats foreign as well as domestic. It justifies the incremental destruction of freedoms in pursuit of securing freedom.

The great fear inherent to this argument is this: when catastrophe strikes again (and it will) Obama and the Democrats in Congress must appear to have done everything possible or risk the righteous indignation of the not-so-loyal opposition.

This is a flawed strategy and a false dilemma: the not-so-loyal opposition will blame the Administration regardless of actions taken. There is no “win” in this current political environment. And for some reason, the folks advising the President have been content with the ongoing Catch 22.

Here’s the deal: I am tired of watching Lucy (in modern times a role played by our not-so-loyal opposition in Congress) pulling the football away from Charlie Brown (our President); I am quite certain that Obama is weary of the vicious cycle that has become a constant of our modern rhetorical landscape.

Where is it written that Homeland Security is best defined through police powers?

Where is it written that a President must whittle away at our freedoms in order to protect our freedoms?

And where is it written (or proven) that the not-so-loyal opposition has a better record of keeping our nation secure, our people safe, than us?

As a veteran of several wars I am done with the dance: it is ironic, it is an outrage that so many of the new crop of leaders claiming leadership within the Republican Party and/or the Tea Party claim credentials they have not earned – a mantle of “toughness” they do not deserve.

Simply put, serving in uniform isn’t for everyone – and it isn’t (and should never be) a litmus test for national level leadership. That said, it is always interesting to me that those of us that have served are less excited about a military structure that makes going to war so damn easy (at least for those that don’t go into Harm’s Way).

It is time we recalibrated.

It is time we remembered what the flag is supposed to mean – why the stars and stripes remain such a powerful symbol of our ideals.

We have accepted hollow definitions for long enough.

We have failed to challenge the terms of the debate.

And we have tolerated our participation in a game that plays to our “Worser angels,” rather than our “Better angels.”

Fear has governed our policies long enough; it is now time for us to lift up hope – not the naïve hope of a perfect world, but the open-eyed hope of an improved community.

We will never realize our promise as long as we remain content with public structures and systems that must operate in the shadows.

It is not who we are, more importantly – it is not who we seek to become.

Help send a message to our President, Congress, and the parties involved in making policy in America.

June 14, 2013 should be a Flag Day to remember: it should be a day we celebrate more than cloth snapping crisply in the breeze – but a day of remembrance of the ideals that make our flag a symbol of a nation that can still fulfill a mission.

Help us remind the President that National Defense is more than a military-industrial-complex, fancy weapons systems, and no-bid private contracts.

Help us remind the President that Homeland Security is more than electronic eavesdropping on our conversations and emails.

And help us remind the President that the best defense is an open, transparent offense…

Instead of focusing so much of our attention on tracking down the folks that seek to tear us apart, perhaps it is time to invest in efforts to bring us closer together – as a nation – as a community.

Homeland Security is strengthened when schools have lower class sizes, secure resources, and trained staff.

Homeland Security is strengthened when our air is clean, our land is safe, and our waterways are healthy.

Homeland Security is strengthened when our workers are prepared for the modern workplace, trained in the emergent technologies of the 21st Century, and at work.

Homeland Security is strengthened when our nation is known the world over as a partner for peace, a lifter-upper, and an honest broker in the family of nations.

And Homeland Security is strengthened when our government programming can empower a “work ethic” through providing affordable health care, housing, transportation, and a fair retirement after a life of labor.

We can continue to play the game we have been losing at lately (and historically, every time we allow ourselves to play on the grounds favored by our not-so-loyal opposition) – or we can demonstrate leadership.

Isn't it time we benched "Lucy" Boehner-McConnell and the team that has made crippling our government (through an unapologetic "war" on Obama's appointments, administrative policies, and legislative priorities) their legacy?

There was a time when our flag was an undeniable symbol of progress: our enemies feared us, our friends loved us, and everyone understood that America was a promise – a promise waiting to be realized.

We knew our nation wasn't perfect, but unlike most, we were open, transparent about our challenges and committed to making our nation, states, and communities better with each successive generation.

This Flag Day help us rekindle the spirit of our America.

It starts with reshaping the dialogue; it starts with each, every one of us.

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