First, we sent Americans to their deaths for your lie, Mr. Bush.Sing out, KO. Sadly, we were not proven wrong. Bush went ahead with his "surge" and Congress continued to enable his folly. So here I am in DC, running the halls of government wearing pink hats, orange jumpsuits and oversized George Bush heads.
Now we are sending them to their deaths for your ego.
If what is reported is true — if your decision is made and the "sacrifice" is ordered — take a page instead from the man at whose funeral you so eloquently spoke this morning — Gerald Ford: Put pragmatism and the healing of a nation, ahead of some kind of misguided vision.
Sacrifice, Mr. Bush?
No, sir, this is not "sacrifice." This has now become "human sacrifice."
And it must stop.
And you can stop it.
Next week, make us all look wrong.
As much as I was a C-SPAN and MSNBC junkie before I killed my television a couple years ago, and as much as I've read the news, blogs, etc, this week was still an incredibly eye-opening experience. The Anti Mister Smith vibe is probably the biggest thing for me: that distant Subway Stare we citizen activists got from our Congressional employees and the blatant contempt shown for actual constituents really exposed more than any intellectual exercise just how insulated and out of touch these people are inside the Beltway. Yet there were a number of moments where I did see some real engagement that gave me renewed hope, like talking with John Murtha, hearing a cop say they liked George Bush's prison garb, and having restaurant staff thank me for working with CodePink.
It's still frustrating, and the realization that it's going to be a longer, harder slog than I ever realized just exhausts me, but I know there's nothing else to do but keep fighting. In that vein a while back I blogged a favorite scene from my favorite movie, Casablanca:
Clearly CodePink is actively living out its destiny for good. Although I guess it's not so much a destiny as it is a choice. Each member has recognized her (ahem...and his!) responsibility as a moral agent, as well as an inherent power we all possess, then decided to act for change.
RICK: Don't you sometimes wonder if it's worth all this? I mean what you're fighting for?
LASZLO: We might as well question why we breathe. If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.
RICK: What of it? Then it'll be out of its misery.
LASZLO: You know how you sound, Monsieur Blaine? Like a man who's trying to convince himself of something he doesn't believe in his heart. Each of us has a destiny, for good or for evil.
As I've said many times before we are all complicit, to various degree, with the crimes our nation has unleashed whether we voted for Bush or not. Not everybody is going to decide to use CodePink's tactics, but everybody who thinks murdering 1,200,000 Iraqi human beings, stranding our troops in a quagmire and mortgaging our future for seven generations has an obligation to step things up.
We criticize Congress for not doing more, for not being brave, for not standing up for what's right--well, put some skin in the game beyond voting, donating to candidates, writing letters or even marching. Gene Sharp cataloged 198 methods of nonviolent action. Choose some that you haven't tried before, go beyond your comfort level and escalate your involvement in stopping the horror. Then get a friend or two to join you. Pretty soon, we've got a movement.
CodePink has been acting as my proxy for a long time. I'm extremely grateful to them for that and for allowing me to stay down here in the DC and learn from them. I cannot fully communicate with words, pictures or even video just how amazingly energetic and dedicated everybody here is. I mean, geesh: speedwalk up to the Hill in the chilly morning after some coffee, watching Democracy Now and planning out a tentative schedule; demonstrate outside the RNC; split up to attend an FCC hearing and a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing; engage several Senators in the halls of the Hart office building; get harassed by the Capitol Police; grab a quick bite in the Dirksen cafeteria; meet and greet Senators in the tunnels; visit Harry Reid's office; back to the tunnels...all on my first day. The following days were even more eventful!
I hope that conveys some sense of what CodePink has done on a daily basis here. You might see a picture or a short video clip here and there, but that's representative of mere moments in full days that are consumed with giving voice to the voiceless and trying to counter the lobbyists, consultants and self-interest that drive our government.
There are many ways to fight. When you need some inspiration, visualize Des, Ellen, Gael, Joanne, Liz, Medea, Midge and all the other women and men working so hard, then go Pink in whatever way you can.