By: Mark W Adams

Ara and I went a few rounds over this post on what to do about the war funding. The disagreement is probably more about style than substance, the politics -- the art of the possible. What do you do when you still need 16 Republican Senators and 59 GOP Congress Critters to shove legislation down George W. Bush's neck? All or nothing, or take what you can get?

Personally, I've reached my limit with the conservative Republicans whose world-view is so alien to anything rational or realistic. I reached my limit long ago.

There was a time, before the war, before they shredded the Constitution, when they merely pissed me off but I thought we could work with them. I thought we at least shared the same traditionally American values, spoke the same language, used the same definitions of common words. Back when "freedom" did not include retinal scans of our kids, "Real ID's," or walls. Walls were what other evil empires put up to keep their people enslaved to communism -- not to keep people from crossing the border to pick lettuce.

I approved of Bill Clinton's rationality -- at the time -- seeking out the center in order to build consensus and move the agenda. I admire Barack Obama's vision of a new kind of politics without the polemics. That would be nice, fantastic even. The question is can we get there by just ... doing it, declaring sanity rules henceforth; or must we eliminate the forces of unreason to ensure rationality to our posterity?

I come from, I guess, the Digby school of dealing with hypocritical culture warriors from Wingnuttystan.

No Kumbaaya, no "let bygones be bygones" and no "moving forward" until we've settled this. Zombie conservatism only looks dead. Let's make sure we drive a stake through its heart this time.
While channeling Henry Waxman's "no-prisoners" response to being called petty for doing his job -- making sure there's some accountability in our government, I became emboldened:
Republicans have accused Waxman of partisan pettiness, to which he responded that during the Clinton administration Republicans issued more than 1,000 subpoenas. "They were the ones who politicized oversight," he said in an interview. "When Clinton was president, there wasn't an accusation too small for them to rush out and hold hearings. When Bush became president, there wasn't a scandal too large for them to ignore."
Emboldened indeed -- after all, liberals like me are the real enemy. They only fight terrorism when convenient. When we end up in war without end based on the cop-out that the intelligence was wrong, but the intel chief's story differs from the party-line -- somebody's head should roll. When someone like Doug Feith says George Tenet's book is old news and expresses his "concern" that Democrats' time would be better served by doing anything else but investigate the single stupidest Anglo-American enterprise since they fought each other in the Battle of New Orleans after the war was over -- keep your eyes and ears open folks.
"It seems to me the real question is whether the Democrats politically think that raking over these questions that at this point are 5 years old, and by no means virgin territory, is the most effective political activity for them," Feith said.
That's not partisan, that's professionalism. You get to the bottom of it. You find out who's lying, who's covering up, who's too incompetent to breath and too despicable to ever hold the public's trust again.

We have a catastrophe on our hands, a vast hole sucking our treasury dry and enriching the greedy with blood-soaked no-bid contracts caused by the same people who gave us Iran/Contra, who cut their teeth forging letters to derail Ed Muskie's campaign so Nixon could have his opponent of choice, and who had such faith that Clinton was a drug-smuggling murder they went after everything from his Christmas card list and travel agents, to turning the nation's capital into a circus by impeaching a president they never had the votes to remove nor a real reason to persecute -- especially in light of the mafia-like crew they now defend.

I thought I'd reached a point where I could "get over" the stealing of an election, especially after those buildings came crashing down. I could even defend Cheney's keeping his Energy Task Force attendance list secret. But no, no longer, not for quite some time.

There is no "dealing with" these criminals after 800 signing statements scoffed at the will of the people's representatives, not after the Patriot Act, the NSA spying, the undermining of habeas corpus as a way of by-passing the "quaint" Geneva Conventions. You cannot expect rationality from people who called Congress back for an "emergency" session and flew the President and his entourage back from Crawford to "save" Terri Schiavo, when their infallible leader took three days to even acknowledge the tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean coastline and strummed a guitar while New Orleans sank.

You cannot deal in good faith with people who express confidence with Rumsfeld after Abu Ghraib, hang Medals of Freedom around the guy they scapegoated for not finding WMD's, who put John Bolton into the UN even after a Republican controlled Congress said "no way," and are still pushing missile defense as an effective means to deal with threats from abroad -- threats they drum into our collective psyche every hour that some madmen living in Himalayan caves are as dangerous as 10,000 ICBM's wielded by the former Soviets -- threats they hyped every time the polls turned south.

Do you really "negotiate" with people who still want to give Gonzales a break?

No. You eradicate them. You establish for all time that they are disgraced and prevent them from ever again gaining a position of trust or power. They are beyond dangerous and destructive and must be stopped You prosecute them, impeach them, subpoena them, investigate them, hound them out of power. You let it be known that anyone even thinking about resurrecting their amoral ideology will face a righteous wrath of a people who will not stand for their brand of fascist elitism and empire building.

1 Comment:

Ara said...

I'm with you 100%, Mark. But I want to point out that this is not a disagreement about strategy, but tactics.

Shep asked this in the comment thread at E Pluribus Unum:

who is going to hate Democrats for the authorization with deadlines? Why doesn't that "move the ball forward"?

I hate to keep dragging sports analogies into this discussion, but let's switch from football to basketball...

The Dems need to win the next game. If they can win that one, then they need to win the next one. And so forth.

In other words, it's not good enough (or realistic enough) to say "I want to win the NBA Championship." You have to play (and win) one game at a time.

Mark, you're going to hate this but I'll quote Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince (who will be guarding King James):

"You have to go up 1-0. Then you have to go up 2-0. Then you have to go up 3-0 and then you've built some momentum....and then you can't let them off the mat: you have to go 4-0."

The Democrats haven't even gotten to 1-0 yet. If anything, they are 0-1.

Final observation: there is no "trying." "Trying" just means you failed with honor.

The electorate did not give the Dems the majority for them to fail with honor.

P.S. Now it may very well be that the winning streak the Dems are REALLY trying for is the electoral kind.

2006: They're 1-0
2008: Going for 2-0

...and so forth.

It's not for me to read the minds of Rahm Emmanuel, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et. al.

(I omit John Edwards because I think he means it when he says cut off funding now.)