Grasshopper Soup: Keep Tahoe free for all

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; The morning after the earthquake I noticed the mountains were an inch higher than they were the day before. Day after day of sharp, golden Autumn light does wonders for the eyesight. It helps us see national politics more clearly, too, fortunately from afar.

Republicans are demanding the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder for lying about, and trying to cover up, his involvement in, and knowledge of, the so-called and#8220;Fast and Furiousand#8221; operation in which American guns were sold to Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the death of a U.S. border patrol agent. Sounds bizarre, but it is believable.

I donand#8217;t hang out with drug cartels, so I donand#8217;t know what happened. The fact that the accusations are coming from Republicans is enough to make you wonder if there is anything to them at all, or if they are politically motivated.

Part of Holderand#8217;s excuse is that he must have missed the memo on Fast and Furious. Come on Eric. Missed the memo?! Even if he is innocent of a cover-up, he should be forced to resign just for not reading all the memos. Reading all the memos has always been required on my jobs. Failure to do so would have resulted in formal disciplinary action against me, and possibly cost me my job. Same goes for Holder as far as I am concerned. Being too busy, overwhelmed and behind on the job is not OK for the boss man. Attention to detail is his responsibility too, just like it is for lower level employees.

But Holder seems to think a lack of thoroughness is reasonable. We should cut him some slack. Heand#8217;s a professional with too much to do. What do you expect? That he do his job?

He still refuses to prosecute the two Black Panthers who brandished crowbars at a polling station in 2008, too. And we know he read that memo.

Maybe he thinks they didnand#8217;t mean any harm. So what if they broke the law. Give them a break. They have a right to be angry after hundreds of years of slavery and discrimination. Why shouldnand#8217;t they threaten voters after all theyand#8217;ve been through?

Maybe Eric just feels forgiving. Maybe he wants the Department of Justice to be so forgiving someday all crime will be excused. But, America was meant to be free for all, not a free-for-all. We canand#8217;t have both.

The Department of Justice is taking a harder line against medical marijuana than voter intimidation by the Panthers. I hope that doesnand#8217;t mean the DOJ has decided to enforce only the laws it agrees with politically.

And Obama is determined to implement his jobs bill even though it was rejected by Democrats and Republicans. Isnand#8217;t our democratic process good enough for Barack?

When the president doesnand#8217;t accept our system of government, we are no longer free.

If we followed Obamaand#8217;s example and decided to ignore our system of government and do whatever we want, no matter what laws Congress passed or didnand#8217;t pass, we would not be praised for having the audacity of hope. We would be tear-gassed, or worse.

Who knows, maybe Obama is thinking that if he campaigns against the American system of government heand#8217;ll have a better chance of winning re-election. Thatand#8217;s how popular America, and crony capitalism (another word for government?), is these days.

Maybe the Tea Party should be a free-for-all too, like the Occupy protests. If the Tea Party broke the law, denied people their freedom of movement and helped generate more tear gas and violence, maybe even Nancy Pelosi would support them.

When you see what a big free-for-all America is turning into, itand#8217;s enough to make you hope democracy doesnand#8217;t come to Tahoe.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.

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