zahraa: (Default)
[personal profile] zahraa
I don't know how broadly this article has been distributed. It's a San Francisco Chronicle piece, not something from the New York Times or the Washington Post. So I'm going out on a limb and making a public post because I think everyone should see it. The article details a particular example of the type of overreaching of presidential authority carried out by Republican administrations since Nixon, sharpened under Reagan, and honed to a fine art under the present administration. It shows how this president has used a supposedly explanatory legal procedure to reinterpret the laws of Congress in his own way, as he sees fit, as he would have passed them if he could but write them himself.

Instead of upholding the Constitution of the United States of America, as is his sworn duty, this president has stomped, spit on, and shredded our governing document, and then thrown the smudged, spit-soaked pieces into a pit of fire. Thomas Jefferson must have turned over in his grave so many times that he's worn through the elbows of his jacket. His tears must have created a swamp all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. I wish that a zombie Jefferson could burst out of his grave, go running to the White House, and beat Bush and his cronies over the head with an engraved stone copy of the Bill of Rights. "Washington, Revere and I risked our lives to protect the American people from the king! How dare you install a monarchy of your own!" I imagine him stomping alternately on Bush's feet while shouting out long-held but currently-ignored principles of American government: "Separation of powers!" "Independence of the judiciary!" and of course, "Separation of church and state, you smirking, over-privileged, royalist miscreant!" The periwig powder would fly.

I'm talking to a lot of people, and I'm finding that even ordinary, politically unsavvy Americans are upset and annoyed to discover that the NSA has been poking through their old phone bills. I've been telling them that the only reason why this president has not been impeached for his blatant lies and patently illegal actions is this his party controls both houses of Congress. The only way to see him tried for his crimes and justice done, I tell them, is to vote for Democrats for Congress.

Consequently, I was entirely dismayed when I saw this other article in today's paper. "Pelosi told her party a Democrat-controlled House wouldn't impeach the president."

Well, Ms. Pelosi, why not? Just what is wrong with you and your party? Why are you so cowardly, so frightened to take a stand for truth, justice and, above all, the American way? This president, for all his faults, is no coward. He does not hesitate for a moment to pursue his avaricious goals, and push his own imperialist agenda, by any means necessary. He is unafraid to stand up for the self-interested ideology in which he believes. Democrats tread so lightly, so afraid of causing the least offense, that they are entirely ineffective. Even Howard Dean, former daring of the left wing of the Democratic Party and now party chair, is kowtowing to the religious right. This administration has not spent one moment of its entire existence worrying about offending anyone. It has alienated the entire rest of the world, with the possible exception of Tony Blair. Why are Democrats so fearful of challenging it?

Ms. Pelosi, I can only hope that your statement is merely a vacuous campaign promise designed to win the election, and that it will swiftly be ignored once you actually hold the keys to power. If voting for your party will not remove this blatantly overreaching, monarchist president from office, what hope is there for the future of freedom in the United States of America? The American experiment in rule of the people, by the people, for the people has ended, and we are once again merely serfs bowing down before a sovereign lord.

Date: 2006-05-16 01:19 pm (UTC)
auros: (Dem Donkey)
From: [personal profile] auros
Part of the problem is that even the "liberal" press has been co-opted by the GOP's spin. Even "launching investigations" is portrayed as a fringe lunatic obsession, as in this worst article ever from John Dickerson, who apparently can't tell the difference between a Congress run amok, investigating trumped-up charges and blow-jobs, and a Congressional minority that would like to investigate substantive malfeasance.

With so many voters as ill-informed as they are, it gets harder and harder to "speak truth to power". At least we've been promised oversight investigations; if those can make enough headway in '07, we might manage to impeach the bastard before '08 rolls around...

Date: 2006-05-16 01:28 pm (UTC)
auros: (Dem Donkey)
From: [personal profile] auros
Also, no offense, but I think portraying Dean, in that article, as "kowtowing to the religious right" is extremely unfair, with the possible exception of the gay marriage bit. I wish the Dems would take a less weaselly position on that particular issue.

In any case, I don't think stuff like this is kowtowing:

"I think what we have in common with the evangelical community is that we ought to have a lot fewer abortions than we do. The abortions have actually gone up in the last few years. We should have far fewer abortions ... we ought to make sure that there's not just abstinence, but family planning used to get rid of abortion, and that is something that we share. Now the difference is that we don't think making criminals out of doctors and women is a good idea."

"Even if we didn't even need evangelicals to win, we ought to be communicating to the evangelical community for two reasons. First, you shouldn't [exclude them], and [if you do], you're not going to do a good job. You shouldn't govern if you're ignoring a whole section of the population."

Undermining the GOP stranglehold on evangelical Christians makes sense, and it's certainly true that most aspects of Democratic policy fit well with the Christian ethos. If we can at least make them a little less certain that Dems are Godless Commies who are out to steal their Bibles, maybe they'll stop voting so solidly for the GOP, which many of them are already dissatisfied with for a variety of reasons. Many of them are nice people, just ill-informed about what the parties have actually been up to. I met a very nice evangelical delegate at the CA Dem Convention.

Date: 2006-05-16 05:16 pm (UTC)
auros: (Dem Donkey)
From: [personal profile] auros
Even if they'll never vote for us, because we refuse to pursue policies of actively imposing their views on everybody, it may be possible, through offering respectful dialog, to undermine, in many of them, the sense that we're actually evil -- that we want their teen daughters to have abortions, that we want to steal their bibles, etc. Make it harder for the GOP agents at the pulpit to perpetuate a picture of Democrats that is totally unhinged from reality, and it gets harder for the GOP to motivate their base to send in checks, show up at the polls, etc.

We need a fifty-state strategy -- we need Democrats to be visible in heavily Republican, red-state communities, to make it harder to demonize us.

Date: 2006-05-17 10:13 am (UTC)
auros: (Dem Donkey)
From: [personal profile] auros
I don't think it's ceding anything to say, "I don't like a lot of what's on TV." I don't! I think stuff like "The Real World" and "The Man Show" are disgusting and promote gender stereotypes that create a huge amount of unhappiness (not to mention being underlying factors in date rape). I think advertising sucks. I think that while the famous "wardrobe malfunction" was not, in itself a horrible thing, the context -- with whatsisface having made some rather crude and aggressive remarks leading up to the coup de grace -- should have immediately sparked some reaction from the left pointing out that while a nipple is not going to scar your child's mind, there still was something wrong there (sexual aggression as being something that a rich alpha male thinks he can get away with).

There're three options here: avoiding moral values discussions entirely (which the Dems did for about three decades), engaging with them in a hostile, challenging way (which is what the GOP is good at, which is why folks like you and me find them disgusting), and engaging with them in a way that says, "Yes, we're concerned about some of the same things you guys are, even if it's not always for the same reasons." I think the last option has the potential to neuter the GOP for a decade.

Dean and the other Dems haven't yet mastered the art of engaging in that fashion. Mark Warner is pretty good at it. Hillary gets written up as being able to do it (she wins counties in upstate NY, etc), though I'm not convinced she'd be seen as sincere, in actual red states.


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