Friday, December 18, 2009

Something's Rotten in Denmark . . .

President Obama cuts a deal behind closed doors with China, India, South Africa, and Brasil, makes a few tough-sounding statements, then admits there are no binding provisions, before hightailing it out of Copenhagen.

Sound familiar?

What's the melting of the polar ice caps, species extinction, underwater Pacific island-states, water wars, floods, violent weather, continental dust storms, and tropical populations collapsing from the blistering heat . . . in the greater scheme of things?

Whatever happened to the fierce urgency of now?

The other day, Gail Collins wrote:
I used to cover Lieberman when he was the majority leader of the State Senate in Connecticut. We got along very well, except for one interview, during which he talked about working for J.F.K., and how he kept a Mass card from Robert Kennedy’s funeral to remind him of the principles to which he had dedicated his career. Showing me the card, he remarked casually that he hadn’t looked at it for some time.

I wrote an article using the neglected Kennedy card as a metaphor for Lieberman’s fall from his old ideals into the pragmatic politics of a party leader. He was outraged and wounded, and I believe I apologized.

Taking back the apology now.

We really miss Ted Kennedy's feral voice in the Senate on behalf of healthcare for the American people. And I keep coming back to John Lewis's question whenever he was confronted with a issue of principle over politics, of justice over expediency: "What would Bobby do?"

I could tell you, but you can guess the answer.

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