“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all the scintillating beauty.” – Martin Lurther King, Jr.

Some of my best friends in the world are Republicans.  I work for a few Republicans.  I married into a Republican family.  I know my fair share of Republicans.  They in turn know all too well my stance on most issues and I doubt you’d fine anyone in my circle that doesn’t know I’m a Democrat.  Political issues are usually kept at arms length in our interactions…keeping the peace.  Plus with most of them, they are as solid in their leanings as I am in mine, so it isn’t like I’m going to convert anyone.  Believe me, I’ve  tried.

I respect these people.  I don’t agree with them, but I know the foundation of their opinion on issues like health care, taxes, the military, abortion, etc…all come from an educated and thought out position based on facts.  I can only assume that these folks are the rule in the GOP, not the exception.

But man, the GOP really needs to look at their “exceptions” because those asshats really seem to be getting a lot of airtime these days.

I can see the other side’s points on the health care debate.  I might even go so far as to say I agree with one or two of them.  But every legitimate point the GOP might make is redacted when I see footage on CNN of their self-proclaimed “soldiers” using homosexual and racial epithets while spitting on members of Congress.  Throwing money in the face of man suffering from Parkinson’s.  I always knew I would have to explain bigotry and ignorance to my daughter someday, I just didn’t think I’d have audio and video aids from Capital Hill to use when describing the n-word.

When the hell did this become acceptable debate practice?  Did we learn nothing in the years since Martin Lurther King, Jr.?  Peaceful, respectful protest ring a bell?  Learned people using passionate, yet civil, debate as their sword?  More to the point, what in the world does the color of man’s skin or who he sleeps with have to do with HEALTH CARE REFORM?  What does it say about people willing to beat up on a dying man to make their point?

So I say this to all my friends and family in the GOP – you need to shut those people up – or at minimum keep them away from the recording devices.  Because far more than losing this health care vote:  you are losing credibility.  You are losing members.  You are losing your party’s integrity.  Someone in the Republican party needs to stand up and stand up today and shout from the roof tops: WE ARE NOT A PARTY OF BIGOTS!  AND IF YOU ARE ONE, WE DON’T WANT YOU!  Till then, all I can hear is static.

Maybe when you are finished with this Kill the Bill business, you should get a hoe and clear out the garden a bit.  These weeds are choking whatever life  your party has left.

Yes this country needs healthy debate – I would no sooner want to see a Democratic monopoly than a Republican one.  The foundation of America is that we come together from all walks of life.  We discuss the issues we face.  We rally in support of one side or another or another.  We vote.  And that majority speaks for all of us.  The vote doesn’t always go your way.  But in a representative democracy, this is how it works.

We can disagree, we need to disagree.  But we must do so in a fashion that doesn’t bring shame to our country, our parties, ourselves.  In a fashion we aren’t afraid to let our children see…now and decades from now.

“It demands a great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck, and an even greater miracle of perception and charity not to teach your child to hate.”                                               – James Arthur Baldwin

Amen.