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, November 15, 2006


Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006

“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles.”

—Thomas Jefferson, on the Alien & Sedition Act, June 4, 1798. Are we having fun yet? Not half as much, I suspect, as those of us alarmed by the radicalism of the Bush presidency are fixing to have watching Republicans castigate each other for last week’s stunning electoral defeat, which could signal the beginning of an altogether different era in American politics. Even so, it was hugely gratifying to see Americans rescue the nation from the extra-constitutional extremism of the Republican right. Veteran reporter Robert Parry put it succinctly at consortiumnews. com: “By a surprisingly decisive margin, American voters rejected George W. Bush’s designs for transforming the United States into a one-party government run by an all-powerful executive waging endless war abroad and throttling constitutional liberties at home. In essence, the voters asserted themselves as the final check and balance in the U. S. political system.”

For most of six years, Bush governed as if there was never going to be another election. He acted as if the whole country had turned into East Texas or Alabama. So before we get all fuzzywarm and bipartisan, let’s recall his inept and disgraceful performance during the 2006 campaign.

“The Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this,” he said. “The terrorists win and America loses.”

In essence, the president of the United States had accused his opponents of treason. Asked about it by a reporter after the traitors turned out to represent a clear majority of Americans, Bush played it off like a high school “Heather.” Just kidding ! Why, of course presumptive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are strong patriots like himself. “What’s changed today,” he said, “is the election is over and the Democrats won.”

What glassy-eyed throngs of Bush cultists who’d cheered the president’s divisive rhetoric were supposed to make of that wasn’t immediately clear. Had their champion been conning them all along ?

But the presidential deceit that cost Republicans big time was the one about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Asked during the campaign’s final week about the growing controversy over Rummy’s inept, arrogant handling of the Iraq war, Bush vowed to keep him on the job until January 2009. As any halfway competent politician ought to have anticipated, it played as a stubborn refusal even to reconsider a catastrophically failed policy.

No wonder Republicans in competitive races fled Bush like Typhoid Mary. If they wanted change in Iraq, voters had no choice but to support Democrats. Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News that the White House would proceed “full speed ahead” in Iraq regardless of who won the election. Anybody who didn’t like it, as Cheney once told Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., could go bleep themselves.

In fact, the president had not only decided to dump Rumsfeld, but had already chosen Bush family retainer Robert Gates to replace him. Confronted about it after firing Rummy the morning after the election, he off-handedly admitted it.

“The reason why,” Bush explained, “is I didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign.”

Next time, we’ll know better than to believe him. Anyway, let the recriminations begin at the top. It’s reasonable to say that Bush and Cheney’s blunders probably cost the Republicans Senate seats in Virginia, Missouri and Montana.

And speaking of little white lies, here’s talk radio propagandist Rush Limbaugh, who doubtless helped swing the Missouri contest by mocking actor Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease tremors: “I feel liberated.... I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don’t think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, ‘Well, why have you been doing it?’ Because... even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country’s than the Democrat Party does.”

Got that, dittoheads? Reckon whose water Limbaugh’s carrying today?

As close as it was, if Democrats don’t blow it, the election could signal a major political realignment. Writing in the British newspaper The Guardian, former Bill Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal argues that the 2006 election may represent the bitter end of Richard Nixon’s vaunted “Southern Strategy.”

“After the mid-term elections, the GOP has become a regional party of the South,” he wrote. “And, in the future, Republicans can only hold their base by asserting their conservatism, which alienates the rest of the country. More than ever, the Republicans are dependent upon white evangelical voters in the South and sparsely populated Rocky Mountain states. The Republican coalition, its much-touted ‘big tent,’ has nearly collapsed.” If, to repeat, the Democrats don’t blow it.


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