Sunday, August 01, 2004

A Sense of Decency

I had the pleasure of meeting Harold Meyerson in New Hampshire in January. His love for Los Angeles and his brilliant writing - along with his good company - made me an instant fan. Here's an especially timely sample of his smarts - on the unholy 2002 attack on Max Cleland's love of country:

As far back as Vietnam and, indeed, the good old days of Joe McCarthy, Republicans have accused Democrats of insufficient love of country. But when they shattered the unity of a reeling nation in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks by manipulating the war on radical Islamic terrorism for political gain, when they used the attacks to justify a war on Iraq that had strikingly little to do with those attacks, when they said that those who opposed even their most deceptive and rash acts were unpatriotic, and most certainly when they demonized Max Cleland, they went too far. Not just morally, if I may invoke so quaint a concept. They went too far politically.
Well put. I do think, however, that we - the Democrats, if not Americans generally - carry considerable blame as well for not wising up sooner. Cleland gave 75% of his limbs to the United States, but after 9/11 we somehow bought the idea that he unpatriotically held onto his remaining 25%. Like I said at the Marriott - I'm sorry we let you down, Max Clelend. You deserved better.

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