Saturday, November 11, 2006

The more things change......

So, the Dems have control of both houses. Yippee, right? After watching three solid days of giddy post-election hype, it’s sadly obvious that the shell game in New Limited America continues. Election night was exciting for about three minutes, with several things quickly jumping to the forefront of my mind amidst the euphoric post-election haze that surrounded Democrats.

As a country, with this new power shift, we have been given a chance to take a breath, avert our current course straight into tyrannical police state hell, and regain the very fundamentals that used to give some legitimacy to the claim that America was indeed the greatest country in the world. In these few post-election days, it seems that the dangers lurking on our collective doorstep may have increased instead of swinging the other direction.

Let’s start at the top. What happened to the outcry concerning the piss-poor electronic voting machines and process in general? The Dems won control so that must mean everything is okay? Nothing has changed in the last 72 hours. Electronic voting is still outrageously easy to manipulate, with vote counts that cannot be authenticated. There is also the still unaddressed issue of the concerted efforts to, as the smarmy closet dweller Mehlman put it, “have poll workers on hand to challenge voter eligibility” which is nothing more than a direct attack on the citizenry of this country. None of these things have changed or come anywhere close to being adequately addressed, and yet what little outcry there was before the election is quickly fading away with this recent win. Democrats winning has NOT made everything okay. While there is a certain amount of hope resting with some seemingly more level-headed and thoughtful freshman Dems coming into Congress, the fact remains that they are freshman, which is going to make it much more difficult for them to accomplish anything of note, especially in the context of the many elephants currently crowding our political sitting room.

I’m still holding on to the vain hope that someone other than the face lifted Beelzebub that is Pelosi will be chosen as Speaker. Pelosi has no interest in correcting the many wrongs of the past six years. She and other senior Dems have little interest in getting us out of Iraq. The only thing they are seemingly concerned about is the placement of the troops, not whether they should be there in the first place fighting this nebulous “War on Terror.” When she stated on 60 minutes that impeachment was off the table, I paid it little mind, because I was still encouraged by the likes of John Conyers and his memo from last December, The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Coverups in the Iraq War. It seemed at the time that in spite of Pelosi we would see some progress on this and other important issues.

However, hope has received a couple of swift kicks to the groin during these last days. Howard Dean as a guest on The Daily Show again parroted the phrase “impeachment is off the table.” What?! And now John Conyers, joining the parrot chorus saying impeachment is off the table. Yes, you read that right, the same guy who helped put together a 350-page document laying out grounds for impeachment, a man set to become head of the Judiciary Committee, is backing away from it with the usual rhetoric about how the American people don’t need partisan divisiveness, we need unity, blah blah fucking blah. Read the document. You won't be very many pages into it before you find yourself wondering how "off the table" can possibly be uttered with a straight face by someone claiming character or integrity. Sadly for us, in a move that should deepen our national shame, the Germans are now trying to do the job we should have done some time ago. Contrasted with events of 60 years ago, the irony is truly staggering.

All of this feel good unity bullshit is what helped us into this mess in the first place. By degrees, the masses have been conditioned to see conflict as a bad thing, something to be avoided (unless, of course, said conflict involves bombing brown people) when the truth of the matter is that conflict is the only thing that will lead us out of this shameful mess. It is a shameful lack of intestinal fortitude and character on the part of senior democratic leadership. While we increasingly hear the words “Impeachment is off the table” no one takes the time to wonder, let alone ask the important and obvious question of WHY. WHY is it off the table? WHY is using an intern of legal consenting age as a humidor and generally lacking in monogamistic moral fiber an impeachable offense, but illegal secret prisons and torture, illegal wars against nations abroad in an effort to funnel the wealth of their natural resources into the pockets of a few, and waging an illegal and unconscionable war on your own citizenry are not high crimes?

The WHY of it all is very simple. Any serious investigations truly intent on cutting out this cancer will not just bring out Republican skeletons; it will bring out many Democratic ones, as well. After all, many of these Democrats blindly supported the illegal invasion of Iraq, Patriot Acts I and II, Military Commissions Act, John Warner’s Defense Authorization Act, and more, in lock step with power mad NeoCons and their continual encouragement of ill-founded nationalistic fervor. The only concern on the minds of senior members of either party is the presidential election of 2008, and how they will ascend to greater levels of power and prestige. Again, the media is there to emcee the whole production. Ooooh, we heard John McCain is going to put together a presidential exploratory committee! [insert name of random puppet “expert”] What do you think Hillary is going to do now?

The real issues are fast fading into the background. I have heard no less than five times today on different channels, from Democrat and Republican alike while talking incessantly about the 2008 elections, that a candidates success will be determined by what this war looks like in two years time. There is no mention of its end because there are no real plans for it. The shell game continues. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery.

Has anyone even heard the word “repeal” uttered? What kind of backroom deals have Pelosi and the others made? Why are we seeing another push to throw open our borders completely? Legislation that Bush’s republican controlled Congress wouldn’t even pass is at the front of the line once again, in spite of data showing that Iraq and rampant corruption are the real issues of concern to a majority of the voters. Do a bit of googling on the North American Union and the NAFTA superhighway and then tell me I’m wrong.

Congratulations, Democrats. You have been successfully distracted from the real issues in the very same way that the sheeple contingent of the religious right is continually distracted by the wholly non-issue that is gay marriage.

……..the more they stay the same.