Two items in the paper this morning have me celebrating the fact that I'm a proud liberal.
First, there's Leonard Pitt's new column (which only ran in the Winston-Salem Journal today), a concise defense against the myth that America is a conservative nation. In fact, we're merely a nation where the right wing has better marketing people. Pitt uses actual facts rather than fast-talking propagandistic talking points, so it may not convince the most hard-core Coulterites out there...but still, I like it. I'm not for one moment suggesting that the Democratic Party is right all the time, or even right more often that the Republicans (nor does Pitt) - just that the liberal/progressive worldview is more in line both with human nature and with the American spirit.
Speaking of the American spirit, there's item #2: The American bald eagle is off the endangered species list.
That's right, thanks to those wacky latte-sipping intellectuals like that tree-hugger Rachel Carson (whose 1960s book Silent Spring called attention to the effects of DDT on the food chain) the bird that's been our national symbol since before we were a nation is baaaaaaa-ack. (I'll bet VP Cheney is just itching to blow one away, too.)
I'm no fan of changing behavior via Federal regulation, and sure, the EPA protections of bald eagles and other animals have been a pain in the ass to many a property owner over the years. But there's a wide gap between rugged individualism and being a selfish prick. When the actions of the individual affect society as a whole, that's the government's cue to step in and mediate. And yes, your corporation dumping massive amounts of poison into the atmosphere DOES affect me (and my kids, and yours), and I have a small issue with that.
So here's hoping that the most environmentally unfriendly administration in recent memory doesn't use the feel-good bald eagle news to mask its swell new plan to grind up harp seals to fuel a nuclear power plant in the Everglades or something. (Or else when President Bush gets to Heaven, he's going to find a VERY pissed off Teddy Roosevelt waiting for him...and I don't think anyone wants to see that. Except maybe Maureen Dowd.)
The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.