Tuli Can't Stop Talking

These are just my thoughts on contemporary issues and an attempt to open up a dialogue.

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Location: New York City

A citizen who cares deeply about the United States Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Another Reality Check!

Tony over at Mtanga, via Chris Floyd, brings us back down to earth. “Back in the Day,” I was indeed a Farina fan so I understand the “Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me” feeling. And that is certainly the feeling. Chris Floyd, formerly of the Moscow Times, has it right.

Here is what he has to say:

Ordinarily, the elevation of a gaggle of corporate bagmen, spine-free time-servers and craven accomplices of tyranny and aggression to the control of Congress would not be a cause for rejoicing. With a few notable exceptions, the Democratic Party has displayed nothing but cowardice and cluelessness over the past five years, betraying the interests of the American people at every single gut-check point in the long march to the self-proclaimed "Unitary Executive" dictatorship of George W. Bush. Whenever it really counted – Supreme Court nominations, tax cuts for the rich, the class-warfare nuclear bomb of the Bankruptcy Bill, the appointment of sleazy, third-rate officials such as torture-enabler and Constitution-gutter Alberto Gonzales to high office, and of course, the eager goose-stepping into the war crime of Iraq (which was, let us remember, approved by a Democratic-controlled Senate) – the Democrats folded, would not even go down fighting.

Is there any greater example of this than the vote, just a few weeks ago, on the "Military Commissions Act," the republic-killing measure that gave the president virtually unlimited, unchecked, unappealable powers over the life and liberty of every citizen? The Democratic "leadership" – now suddenly basking in media lionization – would not even mount a filibuster to defend the Constitution (not to mention the Magna Carta). Many Democrats actually voted in favor of ending the American Republic. (Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee was one of these – and now he has reaped his reward: defeat. That's how it goes, Harold; you can make a deal with the devil, but he'll always cheat you in the end. You sold out the nation for nothing – and now Bob Corker, yet another feckless, faceless, money-grubbing tycoon will pollute the Senate chamber.) The MCA debacle was the last full measure of fear and servility from a group whose collective record is one long tissue of shame.

And yet, and yet…this is indeed a time – a brief, brief time – for celebration. For the fact remains that the Republican Congress is – as Matt Taibbi has detailed so forcefully – the worst in American history: corrupt, incompetent, dysfunctional, lazy, and ignorant almost beyond measuring. As often mentioned here, they are the very picture of the Roman Senate described by Tiberius, after they'd voted him yet another grovelling set of honors and powers: "Men fit to be slaves." The damage they have done to the nation, and the world, as the bootlicking handmaidens of George W. Bush and his militarist mafia is incalculable, and will go on producing foul repercussions for years, perhaps generations.

And so it is meet indeed that we praise the parting of these wretched fools from their dominance of the legislature. And even though Democratic control of one or both houses of Congress will certainly not usher in a new Golden Age of enlightened and noble governance, it would be churlish and wilfully perverse not to acknowledge that genuine benefits will accrue from the change. Giving subpoena power to Rep. Henry Waxman – one of the few Democrats who have served in opposition with honor, vigor and fire – is a mighty boon in itself, no matter how tepidly the Democratic leadership conducts itself in the months to come. Even though the Bush Faction has already promised a Nixon-style stonewall on every single investigation – and although Bush has already openly declared, in his "signing statements," that he doesn't feel bound to provide Congress with even routine information required by law – the probes launched by the new majority (or at least their bulldogs like Waxman) will doubtless produce many nuggets of truth from the Regime's mountainous slapheap of lies and secrecy.

And that's really all that we can expect at this point – or perhaps at any point. The Democratic leadership is a deeply embedded part of the Establishment; multimillionaires like our soon-to-be Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (who is probably richer than Bush) aren't going to seriously challenge the near-total domination of American politics and society by Big Business and wealthy elites. They may re-arrange the display a little, but they are not going to upset the golden applecart. So while we may see a slight goosing of the minimum wage, we will almost certainly not see a major rollback of the relentless rightwing assault on the rights, protections and well-being of working people and the poor. We can hope for some modifications of the bizarre and punitive prescription drug "reforms" imposed by the Bush Party; but we won't see anything resembling a national health insurance system, despite the majority of Americans in favor of one. We won't see a reinstatement of the safety net that was gutted, pre-Bush, by Democrat Bill Clinton. We won't see major reductions – or indeed, any reductions – in military spending from a party that has faithfully approved every cent of every "special spending bill" that Bush has submitted to finance his off-the-books wars. We won't see a lessening of international tensions from a crew that has spent most of the past year bashing the Bush Administration for not being bellicose enough in threatening Iran, and for not larding Israel with even more deadly weaponry to carry out its aggression in Lebanon and its increasingly frenzied decimation in Gaza. We will not see an immediate withdrawal from Iraq; at best, we will see a few tentative timetables based on unreal and unrealizable "benchmarks" produced by some grandly gassy "bipartisan agreement" based on the face-saving formulas of the "Baker Commission."

Now Mr. Floyd makes may very good points here that should not be ignored.

That said, as my two readers know, I certainly have not been a Biden fan prior to, and definetly after, his Bankruptcy Bill vote (just picking on one offender). And I have obvious differences with the latest round of Democrats for anti-choice. However, for this particular Election in 2006, I am all about the numbers folks. Because I believe the numbers have power. Now I am not so delusional as to believe that in this “Big Tent” (cat wrangling being impossible, and very humorous) we can completely turn back the tide and put us back on the road to the “Perfect Union,” ala Abe Lincoln, but in these perilous times, and they are perilous folks, any thing that will start to put the breaks on tyranny is a “good start.”

Our job is to articulate the dangers, and Anti-Americanism, inherent in the particular road to tyranny that America, in its SUV, has been tooling down.

So, go read all of Mr. Floyd’s piece and then take a trip to Orcinus and pay particular attention to what David Neiwert has to say about Tyranny and where we have been heading.

Then take heart that we may, just may, be able to reverse this horrific trend and possible destiny.

We must be vigilant. As I recently told a friend, “It makes no difference how much you resist once you are in the camp. It is too late then. It matters only how much you resist before anyone is in the camp.” I am horrified that I had to say those words to a Jewish American in 2006.

What have we, as a nation, become? It really is that “We Have Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me!”



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