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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The slow awakening - "Bush-style dead-of-the-night politics" and a complicit Congress
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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The slow awakening - "Bush-style dead-of-the-night politics" and a complicit Congress

i've been very hard on my fellow progressive bloggers, particularly those at daily kos, for sticking their goddam heads in the sand and ignoring the deadly constitutional crisis that is gripping our nation... while cskendrick is not entrusted with front-page posting privileges, at least this diary is on the recommended list... it deserves posting in full...

No good person among you. No, not even one.

Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 07:18:24 AM PST

If I could stand and present my views on the politics of the past year, and where we need to be headed as we begin the 2008 election campaign in earnest, this is what I'd say:

All of you, who dare promise good leadership in the name of the American people, have failed, are failing, are on a fast track to more certain and unambiguous failure.

There is no good person among you. No, not even one.

Recently I said as much to the annoyance of the various major Democratic presidential campaigns.

I was challenged to show some interest in the policies and politics of the land.

So be it.

The 2006 election was in great measure a reaction to the outrages and failures of Bush’s presidency. Two years might not seem like much, but it should have been plenty of time to accomplish important things for the American people. It was a chance to serve the American people by solving the complex problems that had long been ignored, never mind remedied.

Democrats control the House and Senate, but they have done worse than fail to hold Bush accountable. They have done worse than halt or even slow down the onslaught of violence to the people of Iraq and the principles of America. They have enabled it, even taken proactive measures to advance the Bush agenda.

There is a price for such enabling of action against the Constitution and the People. Those who name themselves leaders of this Neville Chamberlain Congress will themselves will be held to account.

In the months since the 2006 election, I have been dismayed by the words and deeds of the new leaders in Congress:

They have sought common ground with those who compromised our principles not common cause with the Constitution and the American people.

They have not sought to uphold rule of law, but to remove entire classes of the powerful from the reach of justice for keeps.

They have not reasserted the balance of powers, but undercut at every turn those members of the Congress who retain respect for the Constitution, for human rights, and for the rights and dignity of the American people.

The new leaders have sabotaged or even abandoned the instruments of truth and justice that can, no, by the law itself must be brought to bear against a runaway presidency.

Our own leaders, elected to make a strong final lawful and effective stand against tyranny, have done what six years of Bush and a complaisant Republican Congress could not. They have reined in the Constitution of the United States of America at long last.

The American people have a simple goal: the elevation of leaders worthy of their trust, and the expeditious removal of those who are not. They apply their good will and hard effort to this effect every two years. In return, those who claim to represent the people, or the principles under which this Republic was founded, should seek practical ways to advance the public good which is threatened in so many ways at this time.

There is no downside to raising into being an America that in fact and no just in rhetoric a shining city on the hill.

I believe that when America is willing to obey her own laws, her influence is greater, the American people are safer and the world is more secure.

That wealth should not be pillaged from government of the people, to further enrich a super-wealthy few. Wealth comes from the hard work of America's workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses, all of which will suffer when an incorporation document has more value as a person than a living , breathing human being.

That government closest to the people is more responsive and accountable, which is why not only enabling but extending the unaccountability and imperious character of the current administration is unconscionable activity. For soon there will be another president, and then another, all with the same or even more powers. That the tyrants to be may wear imperial blue rather than red will not make them any less dictatorial.

That government plays an important role in helping those who can't help themselves, which is why we must do what the President, the Republican Congress and now the Democratic Congress have not – rebuild New Orleans and remind all the world that Americans take care of their own, rather than leave them to die on their own streets and make excuses for doing so. We must always remember that when people are hurting, they need a caring leadership, responsible to the needs of the people.

That impeachment and removal are not the last recourse of justice, but the first, easiest most lenient option for those who betray the trust of the American people. And when this path is not trod, other paths, far more harsh and dangerous to the common good, become matters for open contemplation.

Unfortunately our elected leadership -- Democratic and Republican alike -- have proved, and famously, how it should never have been done. Republicans and Democrats have consistently come together:

To curtail civil rights in a seemingly endless panic, increasingly fearful not of breakdowns in national security but criticism of the many breakdowns in national leadership.

To grant sweeping powers and immunities to whomsoever shall be president, now and forever more, mistaking that just because it is one's own color drapes that decorates the Oval Office does not make it any less a throne room.

To create new, heavy-handed and ineffectual national security institutions at the expense of ones that protected America effectively for sixty years.

To pass tax relief and special privileges to key donors and industries yet do nothing but enable the growth of the public debt, the outsourcing of jobs, the weakening the dollar, rises in the cost of basic goods, and the drop in the standard of living for most of the American people.

To lock in failure in public education with the No Child Left Behind Act, insisting on arbitrary standards, loss effectiveness of education, and ever-worsening options for parents.

The outcome of the elections did not change the balance of power in Washington, so much as a slight expansion in eligible membership of those who make keeping their power and privilege safe and the expense of keeping our country powerful and its principles safe.

This is unacceptable, and any candidacy that does not seek redress of these wrongs is unacceptable as well.

And while our Congress not only condones but greatly accelerates the concentration of power in the office of the Presidency, matters of great importance to the state and the commonwealth of hte people are in play, and in very detrimental fashion:

Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and the war in Iraq has become an unconscionable detriment to global security. Making further war in Iraq is gratuitous and worse, it is wrongful waste of lives and treasure. The time to move on is now.

Staying in Iraq not only makes military defeat more likely; it makes it inevitable, and likewise the expansion of Iran’s influence in the Middle East on the American dime.

The American economy rests currently on a weak dollar, weak jobs, weak credit and a weak prospect of escape from this triple threat so long as being an incorporation document is more important than being a living breathing human being.

Nor has the election of a Democratic majority made corruption at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue go away. Suddenly there is less activity on this score. Were all the corrupt public officials made to go away? Has the cleansing of the stables been achieved so quickly?

From 2003 to 2006, seven million jobs were created. During that same period of time approximately 16 million Americans reached the age of eighteen, and four million persons attained legal resident status. Seven million jobs for 20 million new job applicants is not an economic expansion; it’s an economic depression.

The dollar is now weaker than the Canadian loony for the first time in over forty years and there are record levels of public debt. No one has held the line on domestic spending. Continuing these policies will single-handedly bankrupt the country inside of twenty years.

Bush talks of funding his priorities but securing peace, helping Americans rebuild their cities, and fiscal responsibility are not among them. But neither are they priorities for Democrats, who continue to fund a pointless, endless war, blow of attention to the victims of Katrina, and horse-trade U.S soldier's' lives for earmarks.

The bottom line is a Washington mill that produces only four useful products: relief from taxes, relief from lawsuits, relief from criminal prosecution and relief from accountability. None of these products are useful to the American people, in fact just the opposite. All are in very great demand and people, meaning incorporation documents that are worth more than living breathing human beings, pay a dear premium to obtain such privileges and protect them against review, repeal or even publicity.

What can we do, if so much is arrayed against the interests of the people, those living breathing human beings who are worth more than any number of incorporation documents?

By balancing the budget through pro-jobs growth economic policies and real, not rhetorical, spending restraint, we will be better positioned to tackle the longer term fiscal challenge facing our country: honoring the Republic’s commitments to promote the general welfare through Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid-- so future generations can benefit from these vital programs. Reform? Yes. Selling out America’s working and middle class just as they enter their retirement years? Never.

Living, breathing Americans wish to end the extra-legal and illegal processes by which government insiders are able to send billions in non-competitive bid contracts to their friends, the incorporation documents.

Living, breathing Americans want to end the leaking of classified secrets that endanger American intelligence operatives and risk American soldiers’ lives.

Living, breathing Americans want to end policies that are explicitly proscribed by U.S. law and every decent notion that America was founded to secure, torture and denial of due process among them.

Nothing that Bush and now two pro-Bush Congresses have done to harm America can not be healed. Yet so long as Congress continues to grant special appropriations of any sort, particularly of operations in Iraq

So long as no full account of no-bid contracts is given

So long as Bush-style dead-of-the-night politics and pioneering new ways to suborn and corrupt democracy continue, now with the active complicity of the Democratic leadership

So long as greater energy security is ignored so dead dinosaur industries can retain tax, legal and economic privileges that living breathing Americans will never receive

So long as comprehensive immigration reform is ignored and open vigilantism is treated as mainstream politics, and the preferred course is punishment of illegals not those persons who profit from their presence

So long as affordable national healthcare is treated like leprosy, and Detroit car manufacturers are exporting jobs to Ontario in order to sell cars in Michigan, so long as US life expectancy being in the Top 50 is considered bragging rights

So long as global ecological devastation is treated as a fairytale not as CPR for our planet, our civilization and perhaps our species

So long as no progress has been made in each of these areas, Congress is complicit in causing great harm to the American people, for negligence can be just as deadly as incompetence and malicious intent.

The American people expect more of their leaders, far more than the ones who claim to be American leaders seemingly expect of themselves.

We must do more, because those who claim to be worthy of our trust are not.

Long ago, Bush said he looked forward to working with Congress on all of these difficult issues. I now know why he was so pleased; he has received every favor he ever asked for from the Democrats, who have even sent his way additional tribute.

This should have been a fruitful time for our nation. Democrats and Republicans could have come together to find ways to help make America a more secure, prosperous and hopeful society. Hope was born in many hearts last November. Many Americans, long marginalized and mocked by the Republicans from their perches, felt themselves part of their own country again. Such people will not lose their sense of empowerment lightly, or have their will disparaged or denied, not ever again. And those who seek to deny the people their will do so at their own peril.

To leaders of the 110th Congress: The American people entrusted you with public office at a momentous time for our nation. But I also offer this admonition: You have not done your best work for the people you say you love best -- living, breathing American citizens.

Let it be said in the histories of this time: That in 2006, we chose our leaders well. It is not too late to do right by those who trusted you to wield pwoer in their name.

To the aspiring candidates for the office of the President: I wish you wisdom and good fortune. But you, too, will be judged and more harshly, for the power you seek is far greater. And all of the issues are essential tests of wisdom of character. There can be no error or equivocation on first principles. None of you who waffle on Iraq, on torture, on rollback of civil rights, on review and remedy of the abominable treatment of post-Katrina New Orleans, on energy policy, on immigration reform, on healthcare, on jobs-led growth, on telecom immunity, on holding the interests of living breathing American people first are suitable for the job.

Regrettably - None of you are truly suitable as you have presented yourselves so far, and merely selecting the least bad option is no longer acceptable.

Consider this a call for change, starting with yourselves.

For as you stand for election, you will be judged. And as you stand right now, there is no good person among you. No, not even one.

But I do believe that people can change, especially when their future job prospects depend on it.

there are many things i probably would have phrased differently and points of emphasis i would have added, but, overall, it's a reasonably complete picture of what's going on...

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