They Said “So?”… We Said “NO!”

Yeah, I know this story has been covered countless times on other blogs, but I’m only using it as backdrop. I promise this is a good news story and not one to necessarily piss you off; at least not like asswipe Cheney did when he was interviewed last week by Martha Raddatz of ABC News on the 5th Anniversary of the start of the Iraqi Occupation. Here’s the critical part of the interview:

RADDATZ: Let me go back to the Americans. Two-thirds of Americans say it’s not worth fighting, and they’re looking at the value gain versus the cost in American lives, certainly, and Iraqi lives.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: So?

RADDATZ: So — you don’t care what the American people think?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls. Think about what would have happened if Abraham Lincoln had paid attention to polls, if they had had polls during the Civil War. He never would have succeeded if he hadn’t had a clear objective, a vision for where he wanted to go, and he was willing to withstand the slings and arrows of the political wars in order to get there. And this President has been very courageous, very consistent, very determined to continue down the course we were on and to achieve our objective. And that’s victory in Iraq, that’s the establishment of a democracy where there’s never been a democracy, it’s the establishment of a regime that respects the rights and liberties of their people, as an ally for the United States in the war against terror, and as a positive force for change in the Middle East. That’s a huge accomplishment.

You can read the full interview here if you like…..ABC News

Now for the fun part.

It appears that Cheney’s hubris may be a Republican thing because a few days before VP Dickhead uttered his now infamous word “so?”, our Republican leaders here in the town of Lindenhurst, NY decided it would be a good idea to try and sneak a $7.5 million bond referendum to build a new firehouse. They were really sneaky about it. We only found about the referendum 21 days before the vote took place. Their response? “So?”

Our response? NO!

Click on the flier below and you will see that the town and the Lindenhurst Volunteer Fire Department tried every excuse to get us, the tax-paying residents of Lindenhurst to cave. They tried the cost angle, the safety angle, and the rigs-don’t-fit angle simply to get a bigger, newer place in which to have hang out and hold bigger parties.

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I’m not sure what the numbers are, but I can probably count on one hand the number of major fires in my town since the start of 2007. Yet, our town leaders feel there’s still a need to have four separate fire houses, each with rigs that are no more than 5 years old. For Pete’s sake, there are only 28,000 residents in the town. Do we really need a new firehouse? How about a few more ambulances?

We said, “NO!” And we said it loud and clear. On March 18, by a vote of 2,966 to 412, we shot down the referendum. And it took some guts, too, because elections and referendum votes are held in our firehouses. What’s more is that this vote was conducted with numbered paper ballots, so the possibility of fraud and reprisals is quite real.

We said “NO! And I think it’s high time this message starts filtering up through the State and Federal levels. Here we have a VP who disingenuously invokes the name of Abraham Lincoln to make his point that the Iraqi Occupation is a good thing. What he fails to mention is that Lincoln’s cabinet was considered a “Team of Rivals” (read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s great book by the same name). And unlike the current sitting (and illegitimate) President, Lincoln considered all points of view before deciding what the nation’s course of action ought to be. Unlike our decider, Lincoln didn’t start the Civil War. It was dropped on him by a Southern landowner aristocracy that saw his election as an end to the free ride that was slavery. Their cry and hue then was “States Rights” These days, what we’re hear from Cheney, Bush and many of the other rightwing blowhards from political and religious circles is “We’re right. So, shut the fuck up!”

We said NO! If we can say it and do it at the level of local government, we can do it at the higher levels, too. It may take a bit more time and effort, not to mention the huge amount of political will, but it is possible. Just ask Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) whose leading the charge for impeachment of Cheney and Bush. Unlike Nancy Pelosi, he’s right here at home taking care of the people’s business and not the Dalai Lama’s.

We said NO! And so can you. But if you find the burden too much to bear, just pour yourself and glass of Kool-Aid and …..

You know the rest.

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~ by Spartacus on March 25, 2008.

19 Responses to “They Said “So?”… We Said “NO!””

  1. the people already gave up the right to have a voice.
    foreign policy decisions are made by the executive branch now.
    it is supposed to be congress, the representatives of the people.
    until that changes we can’t expect the peoples opinion to matter

  2. The problem is that Cheney is right in what he said, but wrong in the contextualized facts. Governments must strive towards goals even when the winds of fickle public sentiment shift. Iraq just isn’t a case of the fickle shifting of public sentiment; it’s a long drawn out complaint against a poorly thought out initiative.

  3. one could argue that.
    except who made the dicision to attack iraq? the american people?
    if the people did make the decision? on what did they base that decision?
    if the government made the decision…what did they base their decision on?

    i think the people are trying to face a problem they didn’t create.
    how can one claim that the people now have some sort of control or even some knowledge of how to fix the problem if this is the case?
    if the people do have a solution, what is it?

  4. Jesse, you might want to read up on the constitutional roles of Executive and Legislative branches of the US government as they apply to foreign policy: http://fpc.state.gov/fpc/6172.htm

  5. and your point is?

  6. That foreign policy decisions have always been made by the executive branch, with Congress acting as control through legislation and funding.

    Now, if you wish to complain that Congress hasn’t exerted any control, that’d be a different story 😉

  7. my point is that the executive branch has hijacked foreign policy and
    i think congress has given up its responsibilty
    that’s why it’s being called bushs war
    wheres the declaration of war for iraq? that’s congresses job.
    the executive branch should not have the authority to make the decisions that they have. congress allowed this to happen, and therefore the people are complicit.
    it’s seemingly because they don’t want to, don’t know how, or have an alterior motive. or maybe all of the above.
    as much as government officials are to blame, the people will have to be held accountable as well.
    the people are divided and the government has too much control.
    not a good situation.

  8. Hey great blog, Spartacus! Lots of good writing.

    I only wish that the people could have the same impact on the federal government as people can have on local government, but with the bushistas in charge, it doesn’t matter what any one thinks… well except maybe that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Cheney that he doesn’t want the US to go an invace Iran and maybe the US won’t.

    But WTF is it about building a fire station for $7.5 million? I could get it built for A LOT less. You know that a lot of palm greasing is going on there. After what I’ve been reading in Newsday about all the corruption on Long Island, this story just reeks of it. And good for the fine citizens to come out and vote no. I just hope that they won’t figure out a way to punish you… they always do.

  9. I think my favorite “Pay for this you Lemmings” moment was when I lived in St. Louis.

    The Cardinals wanted a new stadium/remodeling, and it was put to a vote.

    The measure was overwhelmingly defeated, yet, somehow a Magical Loophole appeared, and the public was forced to pay anyway.

    I moved a few months later.

  10. of course, where i am coming from goes a little beyond just foreign policy.

    State of national emergency
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=State_of_national_emergency

    The Perils of Emergency Power
    http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0609c.asp

  11. Thank you for this post. I like it for two reasons.

    1). It shows how wasteful government at the local level is completely controllable by an involved population. Good Job.

    2). It represents the disconnect between our federal policy makers and us. When the vote for war in iraq came around, I wrote my congressmen, lots of people did. I got a handy-dandy form letter back, like most people. What should happen at life-changing moments like a vote for war is that the representatives should go back to their districts and hold town hall meetings, find out what their constituents think, and vote accordingly. There is no direct interplay between those supposedly representing our ideas, and us. I for one, would vote with a clear concience every time for a representative (of either party) who came and spoke to my district and listened to feedback at least a few times a year. If washington elected officials felt like their constiuents were paying attention to what they were doing, maybe they wouldn’t all vote like sheep.

    “The baa’s have it. The measure is passed.”

  12. oh govt works so well on so many levels……..

  13. Spartacus: Numbered paper ballots? That sounds wrong, for the reasons you suggest. That said, good for you and your fellow townies for fighting back and winning.

  14. Spartacus you rock on – great post on a great topic. Well maybe great is not he word, but you know what I mean.

  15. Jesse/Jonolan – keep fighting out you two. It’s proof democracy works.

    Liz – As a fellow LI resident you get the drift. Waste is rampant in these parts and you and I see it every year in our property tax bill. We spoke up in Lindy and won. But for every victory like ours there are two or three more Pamela Gluckins skimming from the till.
    fairlane – there are two new stadiums being built in NY scheduled to open next year. I believe they are being built mostly with private money but eminent domain is being exercised by the City of New York to kick out some long time, profitable, businesses near Shea Stadium/CitiField to make room for new restaurants, parking and what not. It sucks to no end, it really does.

    Cowboy – My points exactly. But I’m still changing the batteries on my smoke detectors and keeping my fire extinguishers handy now that I’ve outed myself as a vollie hater.

    DCap – After reading your brilliant post on the IRS, I’m reconsidering my position.

    gmb – I kid you not on the numbered ballots. One of my NYC firefighter neighbors bitched about it at the polling place. My feeling on the matter was if the measure had passed the town would have burned down Town Hall and the old firehouse to make it worth the expenditure.

    Thanks Fran – I’ll take great, especially since it’s coming from you. 🙂

  16. Good idea to keep the smoke detectors and other stuff ready. We had a house in RI with the volunteer fire dept on the back street. Those guys would get rowdy and loved to crank up the sirens and go screaming off into the night only to return 10 minutes later. Since a couple of them were rumored to be pyromaniacs, we always donated to their fund when they came around. But I’m sure that never happens where you live.

  17. Hello, Spartacus.
    I like it when the people take action.

  18. As someone who is fairly involved in my town’s local politics, I applaud your town for turning down the referendum. I think involvement in politics and issues at the local level is a great microcosm of what can happen at the higher levels. I think it’s one reason Obama would be a great choice for president, as he started out working locally, in neighborhoods, being a community organizer. Right now three people on our zoning board, one person on our planning board, one person on our historic preservation board, and two of our council representatives all started out as members of our neighborhood association, which only started 10 years ago. In that decade our group has fixed up the neighborhood through block grants, partnered with the county to totally revitalize the local county park, rallied together to prevent Wal*Mart from coming into our town and destroying our downtown business district, and much more. It makes you realize what a few people, working together, can accomplish. It would be great to have someone in the White House who believed that ordinary people can accomplish things and have good ideas for our country’s future.

  19. Good to see democracy in action, and victorious.

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