United States Supreme Court: The ideal of American government succumbs after protracted gang-rape. The one-time virtue and muse of our national life was known for rising above partisanship. NEXT: SCOTUS SAYS VOTES DON'T COUNT
WASHINGTON--Democracy, an American ideal who championed causes ranging from full enfranchisement to civil rights, and was an influential presence in national political issues, died Saturday. She was 224.
Officials writing for the majority at the United States Supreme Court, where Democracy died Saturday afternoon, declined to release a rational explanation for her demise. Constitutional scholars and historians say she apparently succumbed to injuries suffered during prolonged and violent torture and gang-rape.
Democracy had undergone what these scholars describe as "willful torture, clearly intended to result in her demise." Just Friday, they had expressed hope that she would escape her captors and tormentors, the Republican Party, the Bush-Cheney campaign, and the conservative majority of the Unites States Supreme Court.
From Washington to Los Angeles, the well-liked, soft-spoken Democracy was remembered as the "ultimate expression of the people's will," who had risen above partisanship during a career in national politics dating from 1776. She was widely respected by progressive politicians for taking on thankless but important jobs, including equal rights for women and minorities; and had, until recently, enjoyed a friendly working relationship with conservatives on the other side of the aisle.
A onetime elusive, almost impossible ideal, Democracy came into her own during the second half of the Twentieth Century. In recent years, however, she was increasingly unable to fend off ceaseless efforts by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to overturn her record of inclusion and empowerment. "Republican tactics before, during and after this election already have a rank odor" said constitutional scholar Anthony Lewis. "She [Democracy] held on, though, for as long as she was able."
President Bill Clinton praised Democracy as a heroine who "worked tirelessly for the citizens of our nation," and "worked hard to make sure that the voices of the less fortunate could always be heard." Vice President and presidential candidate Al Gore recalled Democracy as "a grand pursuit, perhaps the most noble pursuit ever undertaken by humanity," in a somber statement late Saturday evening. "She wasn't one who used demagoguery or went out of her way to harm others," Gore added. "She was more interested in serving the people."
A little over a month ago, Democracy was reported missing by voters in Florida's Palm Beach County. Soon, reports began flowing in from other counties in the state, indicating that she was thought to be missing there as well. Concerned citizens from other areas of the state, indeed from all over the country, joined in a desperate search for the missing icon. Concern soon turned to dread as reports began trickling in that Democracy was being held hostage by the Republican Party, Bush-Cheney campaign, and the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court. As the reports grew more ominous, it became apparent that rape was the motive.
With ostrich-like denial, the national press refused to entertain the possibility that the venerated American muse might be in danger. Despite urgent reports and voluminous evidence, which continued to mount for several weeks, the media treated her abduction and torture with indifference and good humor. Progressive political leaders and involved citizens, including presidential candidate Gore, continued to appeal to the Fourth Estate for assistance in investigating and documenting the crime in progress, to no avail. These same political leaders and citizens petitioned the courts to intervene on Democracy's behalf, but were rebuffed.
Just this Friday, hopes were again raised when it appeared that Democracy might escape her tormentors alive. Progressives celebrated in the streets of America, honking their horns and hugging each other in unabashed joy. Their relief was short-lived, however, as word came Saturday indicating that Democracy had, indeed, died at the United States Supreme Court.
"There isn't a single time when the people called upon her that she wasn't there," said Florida Representative Lois Frankel (D), wiping away tears, "I am just so sorry that we couldn't be there to save her."
In a display of excruciatingly bad taste, powerful members of the Republican Party appeared on a series of national media programs, to celebrate Democracy's death, and to congratulate those responsible for her rape and murder. When questioned about the circumstances surrounding her death, a Bush aide in Tallahassee commented, laughing, "It's just a family affair."
Memorial services for the deceased will be held at undisclosed locations, nationwide, for the next four years.
"The shock [of Democracy's death] will linger for a while," said Rev. Cecil Murray of First AME Church. "But a great person always stands taller than her tombstone."