One of Ken’s teammates reported that the Bat Bridge experience left much to be desired last night. “Only, like, five of them came out,” he complained, of the million advertised. Relieved, I came out from under the bed where I was hiding and the speculation began why that might be. They are all pregnant, someone had heard (all of them? Then who got them pregnant?). The rain over the last couple of days cuts the mosquito population, which is why they come out in the first place, said another. In any event, at dusk tonight, all eyes will be looking west of the Bat Bridge, where Austin will celebrate Independence Day with a giant fireworks display on the same lake. And, somewhere near there, Willie Nelson is having his Picnic.
Meanwhile, the right-wing nut-o-sphere has already spent much of the day calling for a renewed Independence from the Tyranny of the elected president and Congress, who dare to threaten our Freedom and Liberty, and blah de blah blah. There is no success or tragedy that the wing-nuts won’t try to use for their own nefarious purposes – from the brave, dramatic, irreversible decision of the original (real) Patriots to take the fight to King George to the continuing BP oil disaster (whatever it is, it’s not a “spill”) in the Gulf. They live to fight reality and (through Fox News and mainstream talk-radio) to construct their own in the interests of returning the justly-shamed Republican party to power by any means necessary. And, if that means trivializing the events of July 4, 1776, so be it.
“Happy Independence Day, not Dependence Day. And here's to a speedy recovery for our nation to a return to the founders' roots,” says a badly-deluded friend. This is standard right-wing hooey these days, wherein the predictable results of the routing of the Republicans in the last two election cycles combined with the reasonable actions necessary to recover from the 8-year Bush Disaster is cause for Great Alarm. Such over-the-top comments by him and more prominent loopy-right figures on the radio and elsewhere are par for the course of people couldn’t care less about solving the nation's problems and only want only to return to power to wreak more Bushian havoc. But we are used to these kind of paternalistic sops to the more stupid part of the right-wing’s base. Some poll somewhere tells them this kind of stuff works; otherwise they would never get out on such a ridiculous limb.
It has gotten so bad that these people can’t even appear in polite company. Imagine one of these clowns showing up on a TV show not on their Fox News home base. “You know,” Bozo T. Wingnut tells Chris Matthews, “Obama is a socialist who wants the economy to fail so that he can impose martial law.” You could hear the jaws of Matthews and the rest of the panel drop for miles as the sense of the legitimate meets the lunacy of the absurd. That’s why they never show up in public to debate with anyone other than washed-up whores like Bob Bechtel, Pat Caddell and Doug Shoen – Democrats In Name Only who have sold their souls to Rupert Murdoch for a little cable news face-time with putrid slime like Sean Hannity.
Only in the wet dreams of would-be, two-bit right-wing message managers is this “Dependence Day”. It is a celebration of a real Independence Day; a blow struck against real Tyranny, which resulted in the kind of real Liberty and Freedom where a black man can rise to the presidency and lead a solid Democratic majority to try to solve the nation’s problems and meet the unforseen challenges of the age. The Republicans have absented themselves from the process, which is their choice. What they don’t have the right to do is hijack our history and holidays to make cheap political points against a president who is trying in good and bipartisan faith to fix the problems mostly left behind by the worst president in our nation’s history. The Bush legacy is going to take longer to clean up than even the BP oil disaster. And that’s really saying something.