Saturday :: Aug 11, 2007

Running Out the Clock in Quiet Desperation


by paradox

Is the United States in constitutional crisis? Easily yes: the President is a multiple felon (FISA, Iraq) who commutes a felon’s sentence in his monster Vice President’s office. Politically there is a screaming crisis with possible war with Iran, the continued occupation of Iraq, the abusive neglect of Katrina, and real hatred for us as a people and country held by the rest of the world.

Furthermore, Bush is totally crippled (or should be) by a 28% approval rating having to face extremely seriously problems with negative leadership: the budget deficit is totally out of control, but Bush refuses stubbornly to reach for the most basic solutions because they highlight the total failures that created them.

If the above factors were not bad enough, there is the horrifying arrogance and obliviousness of Bush himself. Totally waste half a trillion on the debacle of Iraq, yet still stand there and threaten a veto for the piddling cost of insuring children. He has no decency or conscience, there is no remorse evident for any of the screaming failures he’s responsible for, and yet, incredibly, he struts around as if nothing went wrong at all.

It seems ridiculous to flesh out the most basic of outlines to define our current crisis, yet there are millions of citizens who would look one straight in the face and instantly proclaim there is no crisis, the flag still flies and everything basically works like it should. In one way one could hardly blame them.

The media certainly won’t proclaim the crisis exists, the Republicans act as if everything should have worked this way and the Democrats simply deny it, hoping few enough notice so they won’t have to be brave, principled and eventually fight, captured perfectly by commenter Gator90 at Glenn Greenwald’s place:

Isn't it the fact of the matter that the Democrats' strategy is to run out the clock on the Bush presidency while being just oppositional enough to keep the base sullen instead of mutinous, avoid the terrifying political risks of mounting any genuine challenge to despotic powers asserted by a despised president, hope that Bush leaves office without blowing up the world first, and hope that he is replaced by a Democrat or at least by a less despotic Republican, such that the present constitutional crisis can fade away without anyone having to do anything that might significantly upset the status quo?

Greenwald agreed with him, as do I, and anyone who really thinks they can mount a real counter to this after FISA is more than welcome to try in the comments. As members of the Democratic base, the issue thus becomes this: for duty to country and party, should one be sullen or mutinous for the next election cycle in the face of this Democratic Party behavior? Donald from Hawaii put it very well in comments at Washington Monthly:

But please temper your outrage with something positive that they can grasp as political support. As we chide them for their hesitation, we also need to re-assure otherwise-fearful Democrats that we will stand by them, and will have their backs in the inevitable constitutional confrontation with the Bush Administration.

Because that confrontation IS coming, whether they like it or not.

Donald is wrong, after MCA and FISA these Democrats are never going to confront Bush on anything substantive. Unfortunately that’s a dubious proclamation of the future, so one can always desperately cling to an absurd hope in denial that there’s still time for Democrats to get it together, but many are already giving up on that, just as I have.

Still, duty demands the beast possible behavior for country and party going forward. The Democratic Party has put its base in a horrible, horrible bind, for they can’t condone current Party behavior and yet they could never protest in ways to undermine the party and enable Republicans. It’s a nasty spot, to put it lightly, and ironically not unlike the tip-toe dance current Republican candidates have with Bush.

The powers that be looked at me as a variable in all this mess and decided I would never vote for Republicans in 2008, no matter what they did, and they were right. Heartbroken at the failure of duty and outraged at the abusive enabling to Bush, one simply hopes for the best while looking constantly at the clock, confused by conflicting forces of integrity and obligation, bewildered by an inability to fight.

paradox :: 7:06 AM :: Comments (35) :: Digg It!