Thursday :: Jan 26, 2006

Will The Democrats Choose Political Death Before GOP Dishonor?

by pessimist

It sure looks that way! I guess the Democrats in Congress would rather watch out for Number One - the meme of the nation since 1980 - than watch out for the welfare of the nation in the face of staunch Republican opposition.

Bernard Weiner has been writing a series of articles in which a fictional character of conservative politics 'advises' how to look at Bu$hco and proposes courses of actions that might be taken to save the nation from the excesses of the neoconmen. this is the latest episode in what is becoming a sad saga of the decline of a nation from democratic republicanism to corporate totalitarianism:

“Shallow Throat”: Do Dems Have a Death-Wish? [abridged]
by Bernard Weiner
January 19, 2006

Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has had numerous conversations with the Shallow Throat character. He has taught at various universities, worked as a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers.

First Published in The Crisis Papers

“Shallow Throat” joined me at a mostly-deserted park in Virginia, bursting with anger. “I can't believe your Democrat friends are blowing it once again! Do you liberals really have a death-wish?”

“Whoa there,” I said, as we walked double-time down a tree-lined path. “I presume you're talking about Alito escaping the Judiciary Committee noose in his hearing?”

“No, no, you're missing the point.”

“So what is the ‘big picture’ here? What did the Democrats ignore?”

“The reality they're missing is that Bush&Co. long ago declared war on our democratic institutions, and the liberals pretend that it never really happened.”
"Bush&Co. have set themselves up as a dictatorship, where, under an extreme interpretation of “the unitary executive” theory, the president can violate whatever laws he wishes whenever he wishes, totally negating the Legislative Branch's lawmaking and oversight powers, and the Judiciary's right to interpret what they're doing in light of the Constitution.

"Bush&Co. have been doing this in secret for years -- using the “national security” dodge when carrying out and condoning torture, domestic spying on citizens' e-mails and phone calls and so on -- and now, thanks only to some whistleblower friends of mine inside the Administration, the whole rotten, stinking pile is out in the open.

“The issue is joined, and yet the Dems simply can't face that they're going to have to really fight for freedom and power, not just mouth the words. The Alito hearings were the perfect platform to make their points openly, and they dropped the ball.

“What you and your friends are failing to grasp is that this is THE issue of our time -- the amassing of total political and military power in the hands of a few dangerous, power-crazed officials down in a fantasy bunker.
"The result of this liberal denial has led to a withering away of other countervailing powers in our society, in the Judiciary, the Press, the Legislative branch. It happened in Germany in the '30s, and it is starting to happen here.
"If we don't stop them now, we may never have another good opportunity to do so.”
“But you still haven't told me what the Dems -- who are the minority party, remember, with little or no power -- could have done in the Alito hearings other than to press the issue with the nominee,” I said.

“Think creatively!” shouted Shallow Throat. “If the Democrats truly and sincerely believe America and the Constitution are in imminent danger from this wild, power-hungry crew in the White House, they can't keep behaving in a normal manner.

"Al Gore in his great speech demonstrated that he realizes there is no ‘normal’ anymore in this desperate struggle for freedom, but, believe me, you guys have seen only the tip of the iceberg for how bad it really is.

“If Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court (joining Roberts, also a supporter of expanded ‘unitary’ executive power during ‘wartime’), the likelihood of more police-state tactics and shredding of more constitutional protections and more spying on ordinary citizens will move us further along toward an authoritarian, one-party state.

"Although the Dems' questions seemed to recognize this, their disorganized, nonchalant approach suggested that they don't really care to try to stop this movement toward an American type of fascism.”
“You, a traditional Republican conservative, think America is heading into fascism?” I asked, somewhat shocked.

“It's not just me. There are so many distressed traditional Republican conservatives out there, always opposed to Big-Brother government, who think likewise. Even Barron's, that establishment business magazine, is of a similar mind, along with lots of military and intelligence types still inside the administration, but scared to death of saying anything.”

I replied, "But what I'm interested in finding out is: Do you think it's too late, is it all a lost cause?”
“Almost, but maybe there still are ways to stop this reckless bunch of ideologues.

“Don't forget that Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald may drop a Rove-indictment bomb any day now on the White House. Bush and Cheney might be forced to testify in such a case -- or Bush might feel constrained to issue a pardon in advance of Rove going to court, which obvious cover-up ploy would add another charge to the impeachment list.

“We need men and women of courage to drive this issue into the mainstream media's front page and TV screens, day after day. If the Dems are serious about confronting Bush where he's weakest, on breaking laws with impunity, then they've got to up the ante and take some calculated risks. Doing so automatically will move the impeachment ball forward.

"Some of the moderate GOP senators are greatly concerned about the Legislative Branch being stripped of its power, throwing the checks-and-balances system totally out of whack, so they might be peeled away here. Folks like Collins and Snowe and Chafee, and maybe even Warner and McCain (who is pissed at the way Bush humiliated him on his torture amendment, saying he wouldn't necessarily honor it).”

I had to ask the next question: “Do you really believe the Democrats have enough sense, and courage, to do at least some of what you're suggesting?

“But they're slowly coming to realize that unless they do something dramatic to save the republic from the worst of Bush&Co.'s recklessness and power-amassment, their own days and their authority to get things done are numbered, and with more wars of choice in the offing.

"The Dems can see that they might never get back in power again unless Bush&Co. is brought down politically, through impeachment.

“We can't count on Bush & Cheney resigning on their own volition, on Fitzgerald doing it for them, on unsupervised voting-machine tallies (by the Republican-supporting computer-voting companies who control the counting of ballot) giving them earned victories. In short, the Dems and their moderate GOP allies are going to have to force the issue themselves.

“The Dem base -- and a lot of angry traditional Republican conservatives and military officers at the Pentagon and intelligence officers at the CIA and elsewhere -- are ready for courageous action from their elected officials.

"But those leaders have to be willing to step out, take a deep breath and make the moves that need to be made to get rid of this corrupt, incompetent, vicious, power-mad crew.

"If they don't, we're all liable to go down with them. There are no more chances. This is it.”

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