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Flaming Liberals

November 8, 2007

Despite the whirlwind of FCNL’s Annual Meeting going on all around me, I’d like to take a moment to share my quite bizarre experience on the Hill last night.

My friends Hannah, Barron and I decided to skip over to the House Office building after work yesterday to attend a reception for Peace Action’s 50th Anniversary. Peace Action, formerly SANE, is the nation’s largest grassroots peace group and has campaigned for nuclear disarmament, a more peaceful economy, and the nonviolent resolution of international conflicts for more than fifty years. It’s an admirable and inspiring organization, but I’m not going to lie, Hannah and I were going for the free dinner.

In a cozy little room of the Rayburn building, we (literally) brushed shoulders with Representative Markey (MA), cheered on Representative Barbara Lee (CA), and enjoyed our jalapeño poppers. In his diatribe, Representative Conyers (MI) referred to the administration as the “imperial presidency,” while another representative declared “W is for Wrong and W is for Wacko.” [I should note that Representative Conyers was the only one of many to stick around after his own speech; everyone else just gave their spiel and bolted. This, in my opinion, speaks highly of Rep. Conyers.]

Anyways, Hannah, Barron and I had the misfortune of standing next to the only Republican in the room. We weren’t quite sure he was Republican until he started coughing loudly and complaining of allergies whenever speakers brought up impeachment (apparently some of these House Representatives really think they’re going to impeach Bush & Cheney). When Representative Conyers asked the crowd how anyone could vote against children’s health insurance (repeatedly), this old man in the corner grumbled loudly, “Do you know how many adults were going to be covered under that bill?” In response, Barron leaned over and whispered, “That’s like saying you’re not going to save a school bus from falling off a cliff, because, do you know how many adults were on that bus?”

As the night dwindled down, we decided to head out and we where navigating through the maze of halls towards the exit, when unexpectedly we passed the old Republican again. He stopped us, pointing viciously and declaring, “You should vote Republican but I know you- you flaming liberals! You just want to spend my money.”

Flaming liberal? Me? Well, that could quite possibly be true. But spending his money? I object! Right now, he’s spending 41¢ of every one of my tax dollars on a failed war in Iraq, an out of control arsenal of nuclear weapons, cluster bombs that blow up children around the world, a military that tortures, and an administration that supports the troops but leaves veterans wandering homeless and traumatized on the streets of this nation. 41¢ of every one of my tax dollars. Well, mine and yours, of course.

I could think of better things to do with those 41¢- like better public schools, health care for children, diplomacy with Iran, green initiatives, care for veterans, housing for Katrina victims, international aid, job opportunities, social security, oh I could go on and on- but then, I guess that’s what makes me a flaming liberal.

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