– by Donald Kaul

On the fourth day after the recent election, I sought out a Liberal support group and went to my first meeting.

I sat there quietly at first but when it came time for me to speak, I stood up and said: “My name is Don and I’m a liberal.” “Hi Don,” the group replied, in unison.

I immediately felt better, knowing that there were people out there who felt my pain and, indeed, shared it.

Then I began to tell my story; the story of a boy from a working class family in Detroit who grew up to be a gun-hating, tree-hugging, Blame-America-First Liberal Wuss.

It started innocently enough, in college as so much liberalism does. It was there I discovered foreign films and began to prefer them to American movies, which lacked not only subtlety but subtitles. Soon I was going to cocktail parties and learning to drink beverages that tasted like radiator fluid, sitting on the floor and listening to Pete Seeger records.

I considered myself a recreational liberal. But before I knew it, I was into the hard stuff: progressive taxation, a living minimum wage, national health care, equal rights for women, separation of church and state and, ultimately, support of gay marriage.

I tried calling myself a progressive then, but I wasn’t fooling anyone. Everyone knew what I was: a pathetic knee-jerk liberal. I thought I could control it but, of course, I couldn’t. Eventually I was forced to become a pusher, selling liberal opinion to others in order to feed my own habit.

Then, while I was standing in line to vote for John Kerry at the last election, it happened. A supporter of George Bush just in front of me (You could tell he was a Bushie by the smirk he wore) said: “I like Mary Cheney but I wouldn’t want her to marry my daughter.” At that something within me snapped; I jumped him and began to throttle him.

By the time they pulled me off, I realized that I needed help, which is what brought me to the support meeting. When I had finished my story, the other group members rushed up to me and hugged me. One of them, a large man with a prophet’s beard, said: “You’re among friends now, boy. We’re all sinners here.”

I can’t tell you how wonderful that made me feel. And I think it’s already doing me some good.

The other day I awoke with a vague urge to go out and shoot something. Later that afternoon I found myself channel-surfing to see if a NASCAR race was being televised.

It’s changed my perception of the news too. When I found out that American troops had opened their assault on Fallujah by attacking a hospital, for example, I was overjoyed.

“What a powerful message that sends to the people of Iraq,” I said. “We’re bringing freedom to them, hospitals first. If that doesn’t win their hearts and minds, nothing will.”

Fortunately, our troops were able to overcome the resistance offered by the 12 orderlies, seven nurses and two doctors from non-accredited medical schools rather easily. Four suspected terrorists were arrested—one of whom, according to the CIA, was saving up to buy an atom bomb—and we found evidence that the roof was being used as an observation post by insurgents.

I’m sure Iraqis will see our side of it; should they not, the heck with them if they can’t take a joke. I now realize the truth of the statement first uttered by Charles Colson, Secretary of Dirty Tricks in the Nixon White House. “If you grab them by the crotch, their hearts and minds will follow,” ol’ Charlie used to say. Words to live by.

I’m telling you, I feel a lot better now. The scales have fallen from mine eyes and I have seen the glory that is Bush. Do you think he’s any relation to the Burning Bush you read about in the Bible?

–Donald Kaul recently retired as Washington columnist for the “Des Moines Register.” He has covered the foolishness in our nation’s capital for 29 years, winning a number of modestly coveted awards along the way.

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