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The Adder's Archive

September 14, 2005
Game Over · Blaming is what you do when you have to explain why you showed up late to work. It's what happens when your mother finds the broken lamp and wants to know who was playing ball in the house. You blame people for not using their turn signals properly, or for causing the toilet to back up, or for dumping you for someone else. This is not a game. It is a crime. So I do not blame. I accuse.

February 2, 2005
Zero Tolerance · It isn't that the fundamentalist right-wing rejects tolerance so much as that they simply do not believe it really exists. 'Tolerance,' as they understand the world, can only ever be a mask for evangelical zeal. So anything that promotes 'tolerance' is necessarily promoting recruitment and conversion, and therefore must be stopped.

December 1, 2004
The Fat Lady Sings · If I want to change the world I have to find a better way to deal with things as they are. And one of the things I have to accept is that preaching to the choir is not enough.

November 17, 2004
Living in Sin · It may not bother Bush voters that the president's army has killed somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 Iraqi civilians since March 2003; at least they can still feel that frisson of outrage and righteousness every time someone brings up same-sex marriage.

November 10, 2004
Black Box · There's more than one way to fix an election. The vast majority of Americans vote based on what they have seen on television - if you control what comes out of that black box, then you control the opinions they form. And that's what Rove has always relied on.

October 27, 2004
Wolves · This is how the Bush campaign seems to be working these days: take one of Bush's worst features, project it onto Kerry, and then attack him for the mistakes that Bush actually made. And they're not just restricting themselves to blaming their failures on the previous Democratic administration - they're now trying to blame them on a future Democratic administration.

October 20, 2004
October Surprise · Instead of compulsively scrutinizing the latest opinion polls as if they were tea leaves, I would suggest that the best omen we could possibly have is the rising stench of desperation exhaling from Republican operatives all over the country.

October 13, 2004
The Immoderator · I am the Plaid Adder, and I am both hosting and moderating this debate, which is of course not taking place anywhere except in my own overheated imagination. Senator Kerry, President Bush, welcome to my brain.

October 6, 2004
What Your President Needs to Know About Terrorism · For those who will have to try to solve this problem in spite of Bush, here in my own humble opinion, are the three most important things for an American president to know about terrorism.

September 15, 2004
Unexcused Absence · Between the photo-ops and the fund-raisers and the campaign appearances and the trips to the three different vacation spots, it is perhaps not surprising that so many of the moments of crisis that we've faced during Bush's presidency have occured when he was somewhere other than where you might expect a President to be.

September 8, 2004
The Politics of Whup-Ass · I suppose it says something about us that Arnold Schwarzenegger is now being talked about as a potential Presidential candidate, even though it would require a Constitutional amendment to make him eligible. Because apparently, in the Republicans' world, the only tool a strong leader should ever need is a big ol' can of whup-ass.

September 1, 2004
So We'll Go No More A Rove-ing · Karl Rove is in the process of self-destructing more spectacularly than I ever could have dreamed he would, and eventually he's going to bring his friends to rack and ruin with him.

August 25, 2004
The Old Lie · The Bush campaign knows perfectly well that if they want to beat Kerry they will have to render him as untrustworthy as their own candidate, and the only way to do that is to take his medals away from him. They can't, of course, do that by telling the truth; but if anyone on the Bush team gave a damn about the truth, we wouldn't be fighting a war in Iraq right now. And that's what this is all really about.

August 11, 2004
Panic Button · So, I don't know if you noticed, but we've gone to orange alert again. I know you know the drill; God knows we've been through it often enough before. But this one is special. Because this time, it's clear that the terror alert system is not simply a hugely embarrassing waste of time and money. This time, it's clear that the alert system is actually elevating the threat all by itself.

August 4, 2004
After the Ball (A Fairy Tale with a Happy Ending) · Red could do no wrong; he was always swaggering around the house like he owned the place and then going out all night to spend the family's money on expensive debauches with his rich friends. Any time Blue went to her stepfather for money, he would rant about entitlement and fiscal responsibility and tell her to go get a job.

June 9, 2004
Coming of Age in Reagan's America · The only thing I can think of to do this week is to offer up my own memories of Reagan and his presidency. They aren't all pleasant; but they are all real, or as real as I can make them after swimming back through twenty-four years to what seems to me now like another lifetime.

May 26, 2004
Sex and Violence · 40 people blown up at a wedding - whether deliberately or by accident - by U.S. forces does not seem to bother most of my fellow-Americans or indeed my Congressional representatives anywhere near as much as the images from Abu Ghraib do. I'm not sure exactly why that is, though of course I have a few crackpot theories. One of them is that we are simply much less tolerant of sex than we are of violence.

May 12, 2004
Accountability Lapses · If what really mattered to the people running this prison was getting information that would be of some use to their comrades in the field, wouldn't it have been more useful to update the change sheets regularly so they knew who was in what cell than it was to wire up some random prisoner's genitals and stand him on a box with a bag over his head?

May 5, 2004
The Pictures from Abu Ghraib · Last week, the Bush administration was throwing its weight around trying to censor pictures of the flag-draped coffins of American soldiers being shipped home from Iraq. This week, you would think, the Bush administration would be scrambling to splash flag-draped coffins on front pages around the world, because at least those images are marginally less disturbing than the pictures from Abu Ghraib.

April 28, 2004
The Woman Who Could Have Been Me · I'm sitting here in a clean office with working power and a relatively new computer typing in thoughts that have been shaped by a Godawful number of years of higher education, with a view of blue skies and green grass out my window. Somewhere else, at exactly this moment, a 35 year old woman who could have been me is watching American bombs shatter the city she grew up in.

April 21, 2004
Things Fall Apart · Bush cannot handle the 'pressure' of being in front of a group of people who are asking him questions. He also cannot think on his feet, and is incapable of coming up with a response to a problem that he has not had time to study 'ahead of time.' In addition, he appears to be incapable of ever admitting that he was wrong, and quite willing to leave reality, plausibility, and logic behind in order to make it look as if he was right all along.

April 14, 2004
This Is What Democracy Looks Like? · If we ever want to get ourselves out of Iraq, we are going to have to abandon some of the illusions that got us there. Above all, we must give up on the idea that we are ever going to bring democracy to Iraq.

March 31, 2004
Stop It, You're Killing Me · George W. Bush's WMD jokes are not funny. He was the one who got us into this mess in Iraq, and he's the one who should have prevented it. To have created this colossal waste of time, money, and human life, and then to stand back and go "aw, shucks, I'm such a bonehead" and expect us to forgive him for it by laughing with him is not only ludicrous but infuriating.

March 25, 2004
Anger Management · Anger is not necessarily born out of hatred, selfishness, and aggression. It is also born out of our better natures - out of love and compassion for those who are being hurt, out of despair and grief in the face of suffering that is unjust and unnecessary, or in Richard Clarke's case out of a sincere commitment to the country he believes his superiors have betrayed.

March 17, 2004
Can't Buy Me Love · Yes, the Bush administration is crooked. It's worse than crooked. It's corrupt to the core; and we have got to get that under control, because - as the news from Madrid emphasized this week - corruption is killing us.

February 25, 2004
True Confessions · So, Ralph Nader is running for president again. I know you're upset. Everyone is. So perhaps this isn't a good time to finally come clean about my dark past as a Nader voter. But I'm going to do it anyway, because a) I'm a lunatic who doesn't know what's good for me and b) it is my fond hope that by the time you all are done reading this column, you'll be less worried about Nader costing the Democrats the election.

February 18, 2004
The Pursuit of Happiness · The first lesbian couple married by the renegade mayor of San Francisco had been together for fifty-one years. That's since 1953, folks. Imagine what they've gone through to stay in love for that long. And yet somehow, according to the religious right, they don't deserve to have their relationship legally recognized, and Trista and Ryan do.

February 11, 2004
Cassandra's Curse · Cassandra was doomed to prophesy with 100% accuracy, but only bad news which nobody would believe until it came true. Those of us who were working against the war in the months before it began often felt ourselves laboring under Cassandra's curse. But now it's Bush who seems to be operating in a world of his own.

January 28, 2004
Lipstick on a Pig · I know they knew the risks when they signed up; but still, I have to pity Bush's speechwriters. Any of them who retain even the smallest vestige of what must have at some point been a love of the written word and an allegiance to the basic principles of logical argument must feel exquisite pain when they sit down at the big conference table and look wearily up at the giant, hairy, snorting pig standing on top of it.

January 21, 2004
This Is Not An Endorsement · I've been avoiding the primaries for a long time now. Partly it's because, let's face it, nobody is out there waiting with bated breath for the Plaid Adder endorsement. In fact, I imagine that if I did endorse a particular candidate, and that candidate somehow found out about it by chance, his staffers would just put up a little notice on their explaining that it wasn't his fault and they hope nobody will hold it against him.

January 14, 2004
Oversold · In a Christmas newsletter that I just could not bring myself to spam my near and dear with, I began my description of 2003 in politics with the line, "I think I will always remember 2003 as the year when the gloves came off." Well, so far, 2004 looks like it's going to be the year when the wheels come off.

January 7, 2004
All That We Can Be · We raised the structure of our democracy on the foundations of an empire; and yes, at certain times in American history, the mismatch between these two structures becomes so obvious and severe that the whole thing looks like it's about to crumble. But an empire is not all we've ever been.

December 10, 2003
A Day That Will Not Live in Infamy · December 7, 2003 will not live in infamy, but it will be remembered by the survivors of nine Afghan children, who will mark it as the anniversary when they lost their son, daughter, niece, or cousin. We, those of us who are too removed and too blinded and too scared to understand that they were members of our family too, will just lurch on to the next day, and swallow its load of death just as we have swallowed today's and yesterday's.

December 3, 2003
Safety First · The bottom line is this, folks: Bush's handlers feel that he is safer on a military base in the middle of a bloody war zone than he is walking the public streets of a free city. And this is a problem, because it suggests that free cities - and free citizens - are a serious threat to the Bush they really care about protecting.

November 26, 2003
Eight Simple Rules · I've been a lesbian for almost 15 years now, and I've had a lot of experience defending myself and what I love against the religious right. For my Thanksgiving special, I would like to give the Democratic Party and its presidential hopefuls the benefit of that experience, and offer them some advice about how to make this issue an asset instead of a liability.

November 19, 2003
The Sterile Zone · Today, Bush is in England, where according to the terms of a deal worked out after much wrangling with the British authorities, he will be enclosed in a region of space which will be uncontaminated by human life - with the exception, of course, of the members of the official British welcoming committee, and Bush's own enormous entourage.

November 12, 2003
Wrong to Life · I guess once a person is born, that person is liable to grow up to do things that might interfere with George W. Bush's plans for the world, and at that point that person can no longer be considered innocent. After all, according to the gospel of preventive war, even a babe in arms could be construed into a potential threat that requires massive military intervention.

November 5, 2003
Taking Our Country Forward · Nobody in the establishment wants to consider doing what it would take to get the people who are most endangered by that violence onto the voter rolls and into the polling booths. Because that would involve giving them some kind of stake in the outcome; and that would involve making changes to our society so that it no longer excludes, deprives, and exploits them.

October 29, 2003
The Hate Us Because of Our Freedoms · The Republican party has decided that gay marriage is going to be a major issue in the 2004 election cycle. Apparently, they feel that preventing me from ever legally solemnizing the most important relationship in my life is very important. Much more important than finding out whether or not the Bush administration lied about their reasons for going to war, or turning the economy around, or finding a solution to the current stalemate in Iraq, or making health care affordable to the increasingly huge number of Americans who are going without it.

 
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