Saxby Chambliss Retreats To Save His Skin

Paul Evans

The political landscape in Washington DC is always a circus. And it is fun to watch the circus – at least for those paying attention. Among the most entertaining are the clowns.

This past week US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R, Georgia) was reported to be reasonably certain that a vote to raise taxes is worth the risk of alienating Grover Norquist and the reactionary wing of the Republican Party… for the good of the nation.

He is said to have informed the media (attending an event in his home-state) that he accepts his “no-taxes” pledge as neither binding, nor relevant. In a determined voice Saxby looked the camera square and explained how he was not going to allow Washington DC to determine his actions on issues related to the best interests of the country.

Chambliss insists that the timing of this reconsideration is merely coincidental – that it is not associated with his 2014 reelection campaign.

You have to hand it to Saxby. It takes guts to stand up to Grover – he is a living legend, at least in his own mind.

Watching courageous acts such as this can almost bring a person to tears.

Tears of laughter.

The political landscape in Washington DC is always a circus. And it is fun to watch the circus – at least for those paying attention. Among the most entertaining are the clowns.

As a Harry Truman-Bill Clinton Democrat I am comfortable learning, living, and working with all kinds of people. I believe that all of us, regardless of ideological or partisan perspective have something unique, something valuable to offer our country – our community.

As a mayor of a small town, I appreciate d the men and women that put the needs of their neighborhood ahead of any partisan or political gain. We never really cared about the ideology of a volunteer – only their willingness to roll up their sleeves and help get the work done. It is the only way we survive.

And as a veteran, I respect people of all perspectives: people that served and think we should fight more (or less) as well as people that did not serve that believe we should fight less. I respect people that support their values with action.

What I cannot – will not tolerate – are the Chickenhawks (ref: Cheney, Wolfowitz, Gingrich, Romney… and Chambliss).

There is a special place in purgatory for those all too willing to send others to fight their wars; a special place for those in positions of power generous with the lives of other people’s daughters and sons.

Let us recall history. Saxby Chambliss became a senator after waging the most offensive political campaign in memory.

He defeated a man (former Senator Max Cleland) who didn’t dodge service in Vietnam to play football and golf; Cleland was an artillery officer that returned home with one remaining limb. Cleland fought for his country abroad, for his fellow veterans’ at home as Carter’s Veterans’ Administrator.

In 2002, Saxby Chambliss defeated Max with a smear campaign that equated a real American hero (Cleland) with images of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. His campaign twisted a procedural vote (out of context) to justify the craven destruction of Cleland’s character.

He is adjusting his course now because he knows he must. Chambliss has already proven a willingness to do anything to win an election. So let us be clear what he is doing now and why he is doing it.

In similar fashion to how he and his peers argued against the 2009 Stimulus Package by day (while begging for increased targeted revenues by night), Chambliss is demonstrating exactly what we do not need in the US Senate.

Saxby Chambliss has never had a courageous inclination in his life. We can all rest assured that his recent not-so-silent defection from Grover’s cult has far less to do with, “the good of the nation” than his own chances at reelection.

Ironically, Chambliss serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The modern Republican Party views him as a “leader” on defense issues, and truth be told, he has done a superb job of bolstering Georgia-based defense contractors.

But with respect to Romney, defense companies are not real people.

Chambliss is a wonderful advocate for his base: the defense industry. As such, he represents the worst angels of our nature and in concrete ways – made our nation weaker on his watch.

Without concern for ethics or propriety, Saxby has fervently advocated for weapons systems we do not need, while ignoring the call for necessary equipment, tools, and training so essential for modern warfare.

The “gentleman” US Senator from Georgia remains an unapologetic supporter of the Neocon ideology. Chambliss was an ally of “W” and Cheney. Someday, he will answer history (and his Creator) for his blatant disregard for what he knew to be wrong.

Chambliss is a powerful symbol of the Bush-era. He stands for corporate welfare, global war-as-an-economic-activity, and for blaming others for the choices he made – when he knew better. For too long we have been subject to this ideology.

Bullying is not a foreign policy. Neither is it a reasonable, responsible method for doing the important work of the people. 2012 changed the world.

It was a last chance for a fading dogma.

Structural transformations in our societal beliefs, culture, and demographics will sustain a further weakening of the so-called “Reagan Coalition” as it becomes increasingly fragile and time-bound.

Democrats cannot overplay the hand, but neither can the Republican Party continue the same losing strategies – at least for long. The Fiscal Cliff will likely become our reality. It has risk, but in the end the failure to resolve this issue will weaken the chances for men like Saxby Chambliss.

Americans can be fooled but eventually we figure things out. And no amount of negative campaigning or false propaganda can hide the truth forever. $17 Trillion in debt is something that cannot be ignored – even by the Ditto-heads.

It will be interesting to watch Saxby and his peers struggle to advocate for policies they have always known to be morally bankrupt while they struggle on the margins to avoid irrelevance.

Time is not on their side, and they know it.

After decades of diminishing the industrial base of our country - in order to bolster near-term stock values - America is waking up to our altered state.

The truth reveals itself and consumes those bound up in the web of lies associated with its denial. Saxby owns considerable blame for the policies that encouraged the near-collapse of our economic systems.

His public defection demonstrates increasing weakness. And once drips of blood appear in the dark political waters, competing carnivores devour the weak.

It cannot happen to a more deserving creature.

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