January 11th, 2011
1. â€œDemocracy is the best revenge.â€
Benazir Bhutto on the occasion of her return to power after the tyrannical rule of General Zia in Pakistan.
2. â€œIf this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remediesâ€¦â€
Campaign slogan of Sharron Angle, U.S. Senate candidate from Nevada.
3. â€œDonâ€™t retreat, instead – reloadâ€
Sarah Palin, ObamaCare opponent and sometime governor of Alaska.
4. â€œI want Minnesotans to be armed and dangerous.â€
Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin impersonator.
Historically, the liberation of women is very recent. And women who’ve been the biggest pains in the ass have been the ones who modeled themselves on vainglorious men. Of all the manly attributes they might have taken on, they’ve chosen to ape bluster, macho posturing, intransigence and disregard for truth. They’re much like George W. Bush in this regard.
I just returned from the Clay Theater where I saw “Bhutto”, Duane Baughmann’s terrific documentary about the life and times of Benazir Bhutto.
Some people are born with a mission and guided from their heart, but the best of them select models well. Benazir’s father, Zulkifar Ali Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan’s first movement towards democracy, the Pakistani People’s Party, was fearless. (There’s a beautiful scene of him tearing up a proposal and striding out of the U.N. with his delegation in tow.) He was hanged in 1979 on murder charges invented by General Zia, who had taken control of the government two years earlier in a coup.
Benazir devoted her life to democracy in a land that did not welcome it. She gave her life for it. Probably on the orders of George W. Bush’s dog in uniform, General Pervez Musharraf. She was brave and tough — like her father.
Now think of the ringing speeches of America’s women of the right. The bravado and outright fakery of their pronouncements. Constitutional references drummed into their thick heads by their handlers at a cocktail lounge, or a shooting range, or the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car.
Nobody had to coach Benazir Bhutto. Because she wasn’t driven by a desire for fame. Or money. Or influence. And she did not advocate the shooting of her political opponents. And that’s worth thinking of these few days after the bloodbath in Tucson.