With every new Republican outrage the calibration on my disgust meter needs to be reset, and things that once tipped the scales now barely move the needle. Years ago we left Orwell in the dust. I now watch with increasingly numbed horror as the Administration works its way through Kafka.
We have secret prisons and hidden trials. I keep expecting Harry Reid to show up on FOX saying that the ‘Metamorphose into a Bug Act of 2007’ was as good a law as we could pass, and that without holding 102% of the Senate, the Democrats had no choice but send the President some sort of beetle transformation legislation that Bush will find pleasing to His royal eye.
Government has become like the weather. Most people feel it is too big and too distant to care about our needs or to be changed through our actions. At best it is simply something we need to plan around while trying to get things done for ourselves. “Is it governmenting outside heavily today? Then you better plan a few extra hours at the airport, and hopefully the government will let up in time for your trip.”
I remember when talking about it would irritate my friends. I would come into their homes dripping with politics and they would not want it on their carpets. They are not that way anymore. The government has been coming down so hard for so long now, that people are starting to pay attention. People are looking for a break in the weather.
Part of the mission of Democrats Work is to bring the scale down and narrow the distance between problems and answers. We literally put the tools in people’s hands to change their neighborhoods. With rakes and boots, cans and boxes, we are planting, cleaning, feeding and repairing. Hidden behind poll numbers are people. We walk up to those people and say, “Democrats are not some sort of institution out there in that unreachable realm of Washington wrestling. Democrats are you, me, and the person next door, and today our concern is with that tree right there, in that park right there, and we need a hand with this shovel.” It isn’t about budgets and votes and quotes in newspapers. It is about being the answer when someone asks, “Who is going to pick up that crumpled newspaper now that it is blowing down my street?”
So we work with a thousand small hands in a million small places, and suddenly politics is personal again.