Friday May 17, 2013
GOP Descends Into Its Winter of DiscontentDr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
“Why, I in this weak piping time of peace
(CHICAGO) - A major archaeological discovery was announced in Leicester, England this week.
Experts have confirmed that skeletal remains found during the excavation of a Leicester parking lot are those of Britain’s King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings.
Richard (at right portrayed by Kevin Spacey) was killed in 1485 by Tudor enemies during the Battle of Bosworth Field.
British officials authenticated the remains through the thoroughly modern method of DNA “fingerprinting” connecting King Richard to a 21st century male descendant of Richard’s sister, Anne.
The serendipitous timing of this archeological discovery has prompted Michael Hirsh, writing in The National Journal, to engage in a nifty bit of colligation, a 17th century word rarely used today, but one most appropriate this week, since colligation refers to “”the abstract tying together of things not previously seen as connected”.
Hirsh does not refer to colligation (I take full blame), but he does embody the term when he connects what he “ranks as one of the most titillating archaeological discoveries ever”, to the current US Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on the confirmation of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.
Pointing out “that history is a fluid thing, and it’s invariably the winning side that writes it,” he continues:
The fluidity of history brings Hirsh to the current Washington stage on which Chuck Hagel does battle with his Republican inquisitors:
On one side are fierce Hagel critics such as McCain and Bill Kristol (left), Washington’s neocon-in-chief, who refuse to back down from their belief that the Iraq invasion of nearly a decade ago was just, and who continue to support the aggressive projection of U.S. military power abroad, especially in Syria.
On Thursday of this week, the scheduled Hagel confirmation vote was cancelled after the Republican committee members demanded that Committee Chairman Carl Levin delay the final confirmation vote to give them more time to “study” Hagel’s record...
Still not satisfied after their earlier committee attacks which focused almost exclusively on Israel (will you be faithful to our special relationship until death do you part?) and Iraq (Israel’s current arch enemy), the senators wanted another go at Hagel.
With their obsession with Israel and Iraq, the Republican senators gave the public a reminder of the power of the Israel Lobby in Washington. They proved to be more dedicated to the state of Israel than to the country which they are supposed to serve.
Their questions expose them.
Brandon Friedman, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, has the numbers to show the exposure. He writes in Time’s blog:
Expanding further to the Israel-focus of the hearing questions, Walter Pincus has his own question in the Washington Post:
In his Richard III piece, Michael Hirsh warns the GOP hawks that they are making a mistake by continuing to attack Hagel with their failed, flawed GOP war strategy:
The war the Republican minority on the Armed Services Committee has waged against Hagel/Obama, is one they lost when they entered the hearing room. Hirsh further warns the senators that things “are likely to get much worse for the hawks in the second Obama term”.
A growing number of critics, including former President Carter (right), say the drone program has badly undermined America’s moral position, and it supplies a dangerous precedent to other nations that are developing their own drone programs, in particular China and Russia, and could cite Washington’s policy to justify, say, political assassinations.
Henry Siegman, former AIPAC staffer, writing in the Huffington Post, displays his battle-scarred wisdom with this response to Hagel progressive critics who complained that the future defense secretary had “backed down” on his previous stands.
He did not “back down”; he played the political game and refused to take the bait his former Republican senate colleagues threw at him.
Here is Siegman’s take on how best to maneuver through the political swamp:
The Armed Services and Intelligence committees hearings will soon be over. Meanwhile the GOP’s “winter of discontent” has just begun.
Please visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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