So did you join all the hoo-hah about Obama's first 100 days? A lotta hype and an equal lotta hyper-partisanship and then on to the next insta-media topic. I guess that's still the "swine" flu. Or maybe it'll be the car industry today. Or whatever is Michele Bachmann's latest lie masquerading as comic relief.... Hoot-Smalley? Really? Stuart would be so proud.
Amid all the chaff, there's some organic gardening going on. Seeds that were planted during the Obama presidential campaign have begun sprouting all over, although we have yet to realistically judge whether we've actually got a crop worth harvesting.
We've seen on the macro national level that change can be achieved. And from state to state we've seen that as well. But there's much hoeing and weed pulling and tilling of the political landscape still to be done.
Oh, yes, some of that change is the sheer large arc that slowly swings back and forth, conservative to progressive, wet season to dry. [We could use some of that dry hereabouts!]
But more of it is change we can control ourselves.
Case in point, here in North Dakota there's a big flap about Measure 3, which citizens voted for last fall and now small cadre of Republican legislators are trying to functionally gut. Measure 3 says a citizen panel would control the funds from the tobacco settlement instead of the legislature, that funding would be spent on tobacco education and stop-smoking programs instead of diverted by a small group of politicians.
Are they tied to the tobacco lobby? Are they drunk on the power of longstanding Republican control of the State Legislature? Are they convinced they are smarter, holier, more righteous than the voters and the citizens of North Dakota?
Does it really matter?
What's increasingly clear is they do not listen to their constituency, they listen to themselves and special interests. They do not learn from history [the recent national downfall of the Republicans] because they think they are immune.
They smugly cling to the taproot of incumbency, digging deep into the soil of crony, martoony-fed smoke-filled roomies.
For that there is only one cure, and that is to either vote them personally out of office... Or to vote enough of their like-minded legislators out of office so that they are no longer in the majority.
Weeding out takes work. It's not an event, one day in a voting booth. It's a week-in, week-out chore requiring the tools of democracy: the sunshine of transparency and dedicated workers determined to bring in a good harvest.
Recently President Obama said "We are called to govern." For me, I prefer to think "We are called to garden."
This country will produce its better harvest when the weeds are hoed out, voted out. And we keep tilling the soil—week-in, week-out—through wet season or dry, ever mindful of whether the seeds we've planted are bearing good fruit.
President Obama gets stellar grades for his first 100 days. How about the rest of us?
~ Sandy Huseby, blogging as Prairie Sunshine.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette