I've been thinking about it since I wrote yesterday's blog post. People turned to me for advice on writing their senators and representatives, for looking up congressional info, and... I knew the answers. Before this, I'd never really seen my penchant for writing snarly letters to elected officials as a protest, but you know, it is. In my mind, a protest involves picket lines and chanting and possibly mild violence of the 'throw a few punches' type. But then, my dad was a member of the UAW (United Auto Workers union), so I suppose it's not shocking that image was in my mind.
Writing seemed more civilized to me, and I don't know what I thought of it as. But it's a protest as surely as waving a sign at city hall.
See, this is all Ralph Regula's fault.
He was my congressman, where I grew up. We had a great government teacher at my high school, and she and Ralph would organize government orientations, for lack of a better word. I've actually met the guy; he retired in 2009 after 18 terms in the House. While I didn't agree with everything he ever did, he was an old-school politician who actually acted like a public servant.
With all that, then, it didn't seem odd at all to me, to write a letter or call his office when there was something I was unhappy about going on in office.
Then I married the husbeast and moved to Virginia, just in time for the Ollie North vs. Chuck Robb senate race. You remember Ollie North, the "I was just following orders" dude from the Iran-Contra hearings? Him, running against Chuck Robb, who was almost a cartoon of a corrupt southern politician. I spent about a year writing nasty letters to both Robb's offices and North's campaign offices. I don't remember if I refused to vote, or if I voted and wrote in Kermit the Frog. (I do a lot of both.)
Then on to Hawaii, and again, letters fired off to relevant people. I actually got into a face-to-face confrontation with one of the congressmen while I was there. Do not rag on the enlisted military in my presence, I will chew your face off.
Well, you get the idea. Apparently I've been protesting with the pen rather than the picket sign all this time and it just never occurred to me.
So, it's time to protest some more.
The bill discussed in yesterday's post? S.1867? It passed in the senate today, a vote of 97-3. There's a petition to impeach every senator who voted in favor of it. You can sign it, here. (The internet makes all this with-a-pen protesting much easier and faster.) While I don't think they will impeach the entire senate, I DO think that thousands of signatures on that WILL get their attention. It's a small thing. It's an easy thing. If you're outraged, go sign it.
I hope the president vetoes this thing or I'm going to be writing in Kermit the Frog again next year.