When Oklahoma Gazette readers pick up this issue, the results will all be in, and the voters who bother to vote will have spoken. My hunch is that however much the Democrats gain, the country will have taken a sharp turn toward the middle " helped along by disgusted Republicans and a jilted Christian right. The war has finally come home to roost " it can't be won and should never have been fought.
George W. Bush has been reduced to playing the role of the old man behind the curtain in "The Wizard of Oz" " frantically moving those Karl Rove levers to create the illusion of power and legitimacy: "I am the great and powerful war president who wants to win! Democrats are the cowardly lions who want us to lose! Did I say, 'Stay the course'? I mean "¦ 'Silence!' Don't bother me while I pretend to think. Or as my friend Rummy put it " back off!"
Playing the role of the little dog Toto is Mark Foley, who pulled back the curtain of choreographed righteousness as effectively as Michael Brown and Harriet Miers defined competence. It's not nice to pretend to be something that you are not, and the more denial, the more dysfunction. This is the sad, tortured truth about the family-values crowd in Washington. The more they cry, "Protect the children!" the more you need to keep an eye on the children.
How odd that Dorothy wanted to get home to (What's the Matter with) Kansas, the place where, according to Thomas Frank, neoconservatives have frightened farm families into voting against their own economic self-interest in order to save them from the nonexistent threat of gay marriage. They "talk Christ" but "walk corporate." See what I mean? The more denial, the more dysfunction.
"There's no place like home. There's no place like home." Except that when Dorothy gets home, there will be more tornadoes than ever before, at odd times of the year. More extremes of hot and cold, more droughts and floods " and the family farm will bake in a greenhouse of man-made gases.
But never fear, my dear, says Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe. Global warming is a great hoax perpetrated on us all by cowardly lions and secular scientists who have gay people in their families " unlike my family " where we are all proudly straight and deluded. Now tap your ruby slippers together three times and say it: The more denial, the more dysfunction.
Mission accomplished. Democracy as a military-colonial complex. These tax cuts are for everyone. We believe in the sanctity of white Western life forms. Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. Halliburton can get the job done. Poor people need better money-management skills, not more money.
Condoms cause sex. CEOs are worth every penny. God is pro-war. Jesus was a conservative. Americans aren't fat! Most of our soldiers were college-bound. Money trickles down. The separation of church and state is a myth. We won't spy on you without a warrant. I'll decide if you have the right to an attorney "¦
Thank God more Americans are no longer paying attention to the man behind the curtain. After choreographing a war, a relief effort in New Orleans, a shrinking deficit, a strong economy with good jobs, the love and respect of other nations, progress in the war on terror, and the restoration of "integrity" to the White House " Bush and company have succeeded in teaching one invaluable and indisputable lesson: the more denial, the more dysfunction. - Robin Meyers
Meyers is minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church of Oklahoma City and professor of rhetoric at Oklahoma City University.