They parade before us like a Papal guard, chess pieces strategically aligned to protect a wounded king.
Hidden behind a coffin wall of flag draped flesh, and staring at the gabardine coat tails of faithful party pawns, stubborn defenders, close-minded decriers and the dense decider hold loyalty as closely as Daniel Webster's devil holds a soul. Obedience is the new integrity, regenerated at the king's behest and for his pleasure. What once was action deeply rooted in principle has forsaken the root for the lure of the fruit, glistening with the promise and sweet with the nectar of an implied intimacy with power.
What brings so many who were blessed with thinking brains to be led so astray, that they sacrifice integrity for blind loyalty while others hold tightly to integrity for its own sake?
And when the riders Fleischer or McClellan or Snow are sent out from their ranks, they spout pronouncements that are nothing but empty nonsense, flak for the arrows - pointed and dull alike - that the People's first line of defense, the Press Corps, unleashes from imperfect quivers.
Now a force is assembling to say the things that not enough have said, to act on things that too many have ignored. Some say that it is too early to speak of new leadership, but the times require a loud, national dialogue. Like round-table knights, their voices rise with a long absent commitment to noble goals: Peace, Health, Security and Prosperity. I applaud them all and encourage their challenges to the failing status quo.
But for their march, our duty is required. We must hold tightly to the tail of the banner those who would be king would hoist, and guide them to raise the flag on a pyramid of progress, not on a turret of power.
If we stand rooted in our progressive principles, let our potential leaders know that we hold them on an unflinching leash, then maybe this time they will be accountable. Maybe this time, when we call them on their integrity, they will act.