Why does such gloom inhabit the land? When senators, sometimes representing just 12 percent of the population, hold the government hostage, offering no alternatives of merit but intent on casting the other side as ineffective, how can we hope to maintain our natural optimism? When our Supreme Court empowers businesses to spend without limit to buy influence in the government -- offering First Amendment rights as its preposterous rationale and thereby sacrificing the concept of one man, one vote in favor, presumably, of "what's good for General Motors is good for America" -- can we have any confidence in our government? When we launch an offensive war against an unimportant nonadversary, killing thousands of young Americans and wounding tens of thousands more -- to say nothing of causing the deaths of 100,000 innocents in a country wrongly attacked and wasting trillions of dollars in the process -- can we any longer lay claim to high moral ground? When we permit the likes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer to behave not just stupidly, but perhaps criminally, giving billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to cronies and causing, by their laziness and hubris, an Iraqi insurgency that need never have been, and then allow them to walk away from the death and mayhem they caused with their "honor" intact, can we claim to have done our best by those soldiers whose unfortunate lot it was to serve under such men? Michael McEachern Beaufort
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