I'm proud to be a liberal, and I believe that our president is proud of me too, because the first thing he said in his Terri Schiavo speech was "The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak." I wrote it down right after he said it because I've always believed it. Now our president is one of the "elite!" It cheers me that the Republicans are becoming so centrist these days, and I look forward to their renewed love for our veterans.

Just recently, Arthur Finkelstein, the Republican consultant who aided the defeat of Democrats by "trying to demonize them as liberal" (The New York Times) and thereby making "liberal" a dirty word ("Hell, he's a liberal! He's to the left of Ted Kennedy!"), married his male partner of 40 years last December. He said that visitation and other rights "that are taken for granted by all married people should be available to partners." What a wonderful sign, a healing of the divisiveness that has so hardened the Grand Ole Party. We can now cross the aisles with open arms. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new Republican Party!

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