Continued from the previous post because I figure y’all wouldn’t be reading a 3,000+ word post.
2005 – Hurricane Katrina, Terry Schivo
In March 2005, we all remember the Terry Schivo case where the entire country joined a pro-life debate, not about unborn fetuses, but rather about a Florida woman who had entered a vegetative state. Terry Schivo’s husband, Michael for the previous seven years had been trying to get his wife disconnected from the feeding tubes–essentially pull the plug. But, Terry’s parents filed a court injunction and the big hoopla began. From about 1998 and coming to a head in 2005, injunctions and affidavits of all kinds were filed and it boiled down essentially to parents unable to grieve.
What we had here was a simple, and yes I mean simple, case of parents unable to accept the inevitable–their daughter was dying. And by some accounts, already dead because of the lack of neurological activity. The U.S. Congress got involved and the President got involved in this whole she-bang. No serious precedent was established per se, but it was a major part of the national consciousness at the time. And going along with the apparent theme I’ve set already, this was a case of where the nation allowed their deep-seated political beliefs to bubble to the top. Not to mention, we had something that was a deeply personal and family issue displayed on the 24/7 news media cycle. Seriously, could you imagine having to grieve about your loved one in the public? And you were never previously a public figure?
Later that year, and of personal note, the Gulf Coast was battered by Hurricane Katrina. I’ve written my few blogs concerning Katrina, so I need not go into depth about it. What I will say is that yet again we saw the culture of conservatism rear its ugly head. One need not go into detail that it took five days before the federal government moved in troops to the Superdome, or the fact that it took five days until the Corps of Engineers mobilised enough to begin dropping sandbags at the various breached levee points. Or the glaring fact that our president literally did a fly-over of the damage done when the levees broke rather than land his plane at Armstrong Int’l Airport and God-forbid talk to the people. Or the fact that his mother had the unmitigated gall to surmise that the displaced residents of Louisiana who had sought refuge in Houston’s Astrodome were doing better here than they were back in New Orleans.
Perhaps because I wasn’t glued to the television for this one because I was actually apart of it, I missed just how the right responded to it, but what I do remember was that conservatives were quite mum on this issue. For them, Katrina and essentially New Orleans was something that really never happened, barely a blip on the radar screen–there once and never seen again, I guess like a flock of geese passing through the radar field. These alleged compassionate conservatives responded politically in much the way that the president responded–aloof and far away. We should have seen it coming though, if the conservative human response was to remain as separated when human calamity strikes, well, let’s just say now we can put their health-care stance in perspective.
What I do remember was a freshman Senator Obama on the coattails of Senator Hillary Clinton. Clinton was quite clear in her criticism of Bush and the federal governmental response, but Obama most certainly took much more conciliatory tone.
Just wanted to put that out that.
2006 – Coretta Scott-King passed, Wii, Pluto demoted, Saddam Hussein killed
This year, nothing ground breaking happened that affected a mass social consciousness, in my own opinion, but Coretta Scott-King’s death two years following the death of Rosa Parks, did mark the end of an era. Yes, her daughter Bernice influenced the family to hold the funeral at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (Pastor Eddie Long) and some protested because of Long and New Birth’s political stance against gay rights–something that Coretta had already spoken in favor of citing her late husband’s quote from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Then Pluto got demoted.
Then America was introduced to the Wii by the Christmas 2006 season, and we saw the grainy images of Saddam Hussein getting hung.
And the mission still wasn’t accomplished.
2007 – Nancy Pelosi first female speaker of the house, Virginia Tech, Fallwell’s Death
The joint years of 2006 and 2007, as I review, didn’t necessarily see major ground shifts so much as the progression of time. I mean this, and I don’t take this back, thankfully, we saw the death of Jerry Fallwell. I mean the irresponsible statements he made as early as the 1960′s against Martin Luther King until his recent comments alleging that America’s tolerance for homosexuality led to the September 11th attacks are simply unconscionable in the highest regard. Not to mention that we can certainly credit Fallwell and his establishment of the Moral Majority which helped deliver Ronald Reagan into office in 1980.
This was the bridge year that we saw Nancy Pelosi elected as Speaker of the House, and finally we saw the Bush Age of Conservatism being eaten away as Democrats controlled the House of Representatives, the Senate and a fair number of governorships and state congressional bodies. Well, this was in the face of a Bush approval rate tanking by the day, the country trying to figure out the mired direction of the Bush White House and how they were handling the war. Bush, thanks to Cheney shooting his hunting buddy had a severe PR image that in typical lame duck fashion, they weren’t worried about. Not to mention the Mark Foley scandal soliciting young congressional pages and the Jack Abramoff crap that had gone down by this time. And I’m sure most Democrats and self-professed liberals and progressives were smirking to themselves as Idaho Senator Larry Craig was caught tapping his foot at an airport stall.
And yet again, this nation was gripped by fear as we heard about the Virginia Tech massacre.
And the Senator with the funny name from Illinois announced his candidacy for President of the United States.
2008 – The 2008 election, Lehman brothers
By far, 2008 was dominated by the Presidential race. Nothing else happened but the presidential election.
Well, not really, Fidel Castro stepped down after 49 years of telling the United States to kiss his grits and being an operable socialist republic in the Western Hemisphere and the world was introduced to the famed Usain Bolt as he hit the international stage at the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008 and Lehman Brothers, who dealt with U.S. securities and general investment banking and global financial services, filed for bankruptcy, the country knew that we were in the thick of it.
But, yeah, it was the 2008 election cycle that was primary.
Barack Obama strategically won the caucuses, starting with Iowa on that frigid January night with Hillary Clinton in last place. Poor John Edwards thought he had a shot, but between his hair and his illegitimate child while cheating on his sick wife–well, that was about it for him. Meanwhile, John McCain had shot through the Republican field while Clinton and Obama were forced to duke it out state by state, primary by primary and caucus by caucus. The country got fully familiar with partisan media in the form of liberal media bias of MSNBC with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and the conservative rantings of Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly from FoxNews Network when the entire country’s focus between March and April were on Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ, the church of Barack Obama.
And still Obama pressed on through till June and Clinton dropped from the race on June 6th and Obama received a rockstar reception at the open air field in Denver as Republicans and conservative alike prayed for rain.
Then we metAlaska Governor Sarah “Plain and Tall” Palin.
I need to do a whole post about her, stay tuned.
Poor Republican Senator John McCain-Ariz. really had nothing but a hope and a prayer by November 2008. Palin had turned into an albatross around his neck–let me just call it how I see it. Palin may have invigorated the base, but she did a good job of alienating the middle of the country which always are the swing votes. So, Obama ended up winning with a much wider majority of the votes than what we had seen in a while.
Then 2009 happened.
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL