Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Democratic bickering

Democratic bickering reveals mistrust of voters
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Recent bickering among Democrats about Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold’s motion to censure President Bush over warrantless National Security Agency wiretaps of American citizens reminded me of one of my favorite
“Far Side” cartoons. In it, a nuclear mushroom cloud looms above a city skyline. Motorists flee, bug-eyed with terror. In the foreground, a dog widdles on a fire hydrant as a second dog barks furiously from a car
window. The caption reads something like “Suddenly, Fred spotted something that caught his attention.” Civil war looms in Iraq, where Bush memorably declared victory during his 2003 “Mission accomplished” aircraft carrier photo-op. Made wary by three years of triumphal rhetoric and bad predictions, six in 10 Americans now say invading Iraq was never worth the effort. A recent poll of U. S. soldiers in Iraq showed that 72 percent think they should be withdrawn within the year.

Bush responded with yet another speech, vowing to make Iraq “a strong democracy that will be an inspiration throughout the Middle East” and a “partner in the global war against the terrorists.”

Everybody who believes in Tinkerbell, clap your hands.

All that stuff about Saddam Hussein being involved in the 9/11 attacks? Bush insists that he was careful never to say that. He can’t imagine where you got the idea.

Besides praising its own steely resolve, the administration’s other tactic has been to initiate a propaganda campaign against neighboring Iran, a nation also uninvolved in 9/11 and several times larger than
Iraq. Playing to his own political “base,” Iran’s president appears eager to cooperate with the charade. This scenario may have been what Gen. William Odom, the former NSA director under President Ronald
Reagan, had in mind when he warned that invading Iraq could bring about “the greatest strategic disaster in U. S. history.”

Domestically, there are signs of schism among Republicans. No less infatuated a Bush cultist than Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan recently called him a “liberal” due to ruinous budget deficits. Conservative dogma, understand, can’t be wrong; it can only be betrayed.

Also rediscovering arithmetic was Bruce Bartlett, a former Reagan White House official and until last October a fellow at the Scrooge McDuck Center for Plutocratic Tax Relief, a Dallas-based GOP “think tank.” (Not
its real name. ) Bartlett, alas, did some actual thinking and wrote a book titled “Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.” (Real title.) The think tank fired him.

During a recent forum at the Cato Institute in Washington, Bartlett variously described the Bush administration as “unconscionable,” “irresponsible,” “vindictive” and “inept.” He then wrote a very odd column in The New York Times making excuses for his intellectual cowardice. See, it had been all too easy for Times columnist (and Princeton economist ) Paul Krugman—whom Bartlett once compared unfavorably to Uncle Scrooge’s irascible nephew, Donald Duck—to tell the truth about Bush’s fantastical budget numbers. As a tenured academic, Krugman had job security.

In Washington, that’s what passes for an apology. You might want to keep it in mind when evaluating the pronouncements of the resident intellectuals at the McDuck Foundation for Godly Journalism and the McDuck Institute of Strategic Studies.

Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that only 33 percent of Americans approve of Bush’s performance in office. The commonest one-word descriptions of the commander-in-chief were “incompetent,” “ idiot” and “liar.”

Amid all this bad news for Republicans, it was only natural for Democrats to begin barking furiously at one another. That’s how you know they’re Democrats. The proximate cause was Feingold’s censure resolution, a purely symbolic gesture. Many Senate Democrats seriously considered censuring Bill Clinton’s sexual antics after the GOP’s impeachment effort failed, but hesitate to chastise Bush for declaring monarchical powers in defiance of the Constitution.

Almost no Democrats agree with Bush’s brazen defiance of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires a secret court’s approval to spy on American citizens. If the law is cumbersome, amend
it. Most suspect the administration’s up to no good, a suspicion enhanced by U. S. New & World Report’s revelation that the White House also claims that the president can order secret physical searches that
the Fourth Amendment forbids. None thinks that the constitutional clause making the president “commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy” makes him a wartime dictator. Apart from savants at the McDuck School of Law, few Republicans think so, either. But few want to vote on Bush’s power grab in an election year. They resent Feingold for going off half-cocked, and they’re fearful of demagogic attacks on their patriotism. Unless FBI agents get caught searching Jennifer Aniston’s underwear drawer, they suspect that the constitutional argument’s too abstract for many voters. Sure it’s pitiful to see Democrats (and Republicans) too timid to
defend the Bill of Rights. But the Bush administration’s political fate won’t be determined by symbolic gestures.

•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient of the National Magazine Award.

Lily Tomlin said it best. "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."


Post a Comment

<< Home