Monday, December 3, 2007

What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding

To describe it as disappointing would be putting it mildly.

To say we'd been used, well, that's more like it.

I helped deliver an suggested anti-war resolution and petition to the Middletown Common Council tonight, and was shut down by the Mayor on a parliamentary procedure. He had every right, by rule of order, to suggest that my "diatribe" against the war, was not germane to the Council accepting the petition.

He did use that excuse to truncate my diatribe and that of others (though I have to say he was a bit more tolerant and polite when it came to the veterans who spoke).

But it soon became clear what the real game was. The Democrats came to the defense of we poor citizens who wanted to speak. Gerry Daley, Bob Santangelo, Tom Serra, all scolded the mayor for not allowing we citizens to speak our mind. The mayor defended himself capably and challenged the Democrats to sponsor the resolution we were suggesting. Therein, was the rub. The Dems wanted the chance to "prove" that they are anti-war, without having to muster the courage to actually buck their party leadership and sponsor an anti-war resolution. They hoped to embarrass and needle the mayor, without having to step too far out of their own comfort zone.

And those of us who spoke in favor of peace, and against war, were the vehicle for this petty parliamentary squabble.

So I issue a challenge to the Republicans. If you really want to embarrass the Dems, sponsor the resolution so the Dems will have to stand up and vote for it, or not.

And to the Dems, I challenge just one of you to sponsor the resolution that you supposedly "support."

Really, a vote either way is not going to change a thing in this perverse Bush war. But it will give us the opportunity to debate it at the city level, and I'd welcome a real give and take with war supporters, and anti-war advocates.

But the likelihood of a hero appearing on the council appears slim.

And where, oh where were the lovers of peace. Talk about not getting out of your comfort zone. About a dozen anti-war adult residents showed up (the usual suspects). Five or six of us spoke, despite the mayor's chastisement. And only one Wesleyan student attended. You students talk a good game, but let's make a list of your excuses and send them to Wesleying.

And not a single member of the press in attendance.

No comments: