Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mission Accomplished?

I wrote a post back on January 15, quoting security expert Bruce Schneier’s reactions to the NSA spy program. (Schneier is against it, on Constitutional grounds).

Now, as we all know, preznit has pretty much flat-out admitted the program is illegal. And guess what? He doesn’t care. His sycophantic butt-buddies don’t care, either. They’re willing to give up their – and our – freedoms so that preznit can continue to protect us from terrists… just like he protected us after the August 2001 PDB (“Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”), just like he protected us from Katrina.

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast excerpts an article from Editor and Publisher on new attempts to deal with this mess… by making it illegal to reveal preznit’s wrongdoing (as if the boy’s ever done right?):

The draft would add to the criminal penalties for anyone who “intentionally discloses information identifying or describing” the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program or any other eavesdropping program conducted under a 1978 surveillance law.

Jill’s comment:

So this is how Republicans, even so-called “moderates” like Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel are going to deal with George W. Bush’s crimes – not just make them legal, but make anyone who dares to question the policy a criminal.

Remember how Bush used to say “They hate our freedom”? Well, we no longer have it. The terrorists have won after all. Nineteen guys with boxcutters have succeeded in turning America into a dictatorship, unaccountable to the people, unaccountable to anyone.

Mission accomplished.

I don’t think that was Bush’s goal. I say this mostly because I don’t think Bush is capable of having goals. To me, this plot to turn the US into a Fundamentalist Redneck Fourth Reich (“FR2”) bears the unmistakable stench of those two evil pricks Cheney and Rove (assisted by the lesser pricks Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez, and prickette Rice).

Face it: Bush is incapable of independent thought. He’s shown that, any time he and his handler-weasels can’t control 100% of whatever environment preznit is in. He’s nothing more than Charlie McCarthy to Rove’s Edgar Bergen [if anybody is feeling like sending me an early Christm—err, holiday present, PhotoShop Rove and Bush’s faces onto a picture of Bergen and McCarthy…].

Laurence W. Britt has an article posted at Secular Humanism entitled “Fascism Anyone?” which has been excerpted, quoted, and otherwise used by just about every thinking person. The article compares the regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Suharto, and Pinochet and identifies 14 characteristics common to those fascist regimes. Project for the Old American Century takes it one step further , by applying the points Britt identified to preznit and his cohorts. The correlation is terrifying.

Perhaps just coincidentally, a few weeks ago, one of the major bloggers (Drum, Aravosis, Marshall, Kos, or Atrios) unearthed a proposed Constitutional amendment to repeal the 22nd Amendment , which limits any person to two terms as President (which was passed as a result of FDR being elected to a fourth term). The proposed amendment was dated February 17, 2005. The sponsor of the bill, Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer, says:

“The time has come to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, and not because of partisan politics. While I am not a supporter of the current President, I feel there are good public policy reasons for a repeal of this amendment. Under the Constitution as altered by the 22nd Amendment, this must be President George W. Bush’s last term even if the American people should want him to continue in office. This is an undemocratic result. [Emphasis added]

This proposed amendment, coupled with the GOP’s known track record of tampering with any election it can get its grubby hands on (here, here, here) would be too much of a temptation for Cheney and Rove.

Hoyer says that, under his proposal, Bush would not be eligible to run for a third term. That’s not much comfort. I can see Cheney and Rove “advising” Bush to cancel the 2008 elections – in the interests of “national security”, of course – and keeping preznit in place till the amendment passes, at which point they’re golden.

So, welcome, America, to the Fundamentalist Redneck Fourth Reich.

What does this mean for you as a citizen?

It means that we can kiss our individual freedoms goodbye:

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Religion: as long as you’re a fundamentalist Christian, you’re all set. Otherwise…
Speech: Cindy Sheehan
Press: DeWine’s bill (cited at the top of this article)
Assembly: preznit’s “free speech zones

Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
PATRIOT Act, National Security Letters, NSA, ad nauseam.

Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Gitmo, Abu Graib, “Extraordinary Rendition”, etc.

Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informedof the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Gitmo, Abu Graib, “Extraordinary Rendition”, etc.

Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Gitmo, Abu Graib, “Extraordinary Rendition”, etc.

Some other things going away:

Abortion: South Dakota has already passed a bill making virtually all abortions illegal; Mississippi and other states are considering similar laws.

Contraception: several writers have pointed out the “logic” of using the reversal of Roe v. Wade as the springboard for overturning the earlier – and much more pivotal – Griswold v. Connecticut.

Right to Vote: one of the Bubba Congresscritters has proposed “re-visiting” the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (sorry, I couldn’t find the link, but I’m pretty sure Kos, Atrios, Drum, or Marshall have it)

Is the situation hopeless, then?


We simply have to elect someone better.

This cannot be a third-party candidate; with a few exceptions, they do not have the resources to battle the current two-party structure. This means NO NADER. Nader has pissed off too many people to have even the remotest chance at winning.

We must force the Democratic Party to nominate someone who can win. This means NO HILLARY, for the same reason Nader isn’t acceptable. NO KENNEDY, NO GORE, ditto.

We must nominate and elect someone who can provide a clear, logical, and concise alternative to the Republicans. Therefore, NO KERRY.

We must elect someone who is not a “Republican-lite”… NO LIEBERMAN.

I’m not sure who this leaves. Obama? I haven’t been too impressed with his performance since he hit DC. Murtha? Too old, and probably too smart to run. Bill Clinton? Give me a break… do we want to go through that again?

All I know is we have to find somebody.

UPDATE: Fixed the broken links (I hope), and corrected an unintentional Spoonerism (as opposed to an intentional one, I suppose) with Steny Hoyer's name.

1 comment:

  1. That was surely a sweet comment you left for me at Morning Martini. You made me scruff my sneaker in the Florida sand and have a "ah shucks" moment.

    Yes, there is always black coffee available at the bar, and it's FREE!

    As for our freedoms, I have ranted for years that if the terrorist did, as bush said, hate our freedoms, they should be happy now and feel no need to attack us again.