2006 Campaign Critique (also 2008)
Tags: politics
So, I've been reading up on the Nazi and Stalinist regimes of the 1930s and '40s. I've underlined a few lines that talk about human rights in these regimes. It's very unsettling that our own "regime," the Bush Administration, links itself to Hitler and Stalin by using concentration camps where "detainees" are held without charge (or Kabuki courts; "detention facility" examples: Gitmo, the unknown prisons in Eastern Europe), torture ("Take off the gloves!" was the policy as outlined by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and the Geneva Conventions are "quaint" to them at the legal level), claiming extra-Constitutional authorities (isn't the President officially just a citizen, under the same laws as everybody else? Do I get to spy on my fellow citizens, too?), imperial dreams (the occupation of Iraq, threats to Iran and Syria), and, let's be blunt, incompetency. You probably remember the German and Soviet historical parallels; I don't even need to name them.

Let it be said that although many other developed countries have careened into some of these excesses, like France when they temporarily fought Algerian independence, or Franco's Spain, the US/USSR/Nazi parallels point not necessarily to a totalitarian impulse in the Bush Administration, but the way in which a regime that has nominal legitimacy but lacks the full support of its people grasps for power.

Let's be honest, at a political level as well as a realistic level. Cheney and Rumsfeld, along with uncurious George Bush, care only about their grip on power. The time since the shadow of real authority dissipated for this administration, with the breached levees of New Orleans, have laid this group of crotchety old men naked. The old formulas keep coming from the Architect, Karl Rove, but for the American people, they lack the immediacy they once did. 9/11 happened almost five years ago, and the Bush Administration hasn't made our country safer (and the world? fogetaboutit), yet the rhetoric of "mushroom clouds" and "aid and comfort to the enemy" (see: Cheney's "al-Qaida types" comment re: Lieberman primary) and the terror threat levels keep going up as Iraq proves itself to be a mini-Vietnam, a forgettable imperial adventure with hubris on the scale that led the Trojan War (tho' our Achilles (double-entrendre) seems to be Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's overconfidence in our war machine technology, just enough troops to lose, etc.).

I'm really sort of worried about a coup d'etat from these bastards. The terrorist threat, statistically, doesn't even compare to the kind of threat Nazi Germany presented (you're something like 1,000 times more likely to die in a car accident than by a terrorist act), and terrorism hasn't dented economic gains or the important geopolitical alliances (the UN Security Council), yet the rhetoric from the Administration and its sycophants would have us believe that voting for Ned LaMont in a Connecticut Democratic primary (the man's first name is Ned!) equals, well, here's the AP quote:
Cheney suggested Wednesday that Lamont's victory might encourage "the al-Qaida types" who want to "break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."
I really don't know what to say, other than I look forward to a de-Bushification in the Republican Party in the next ten years or so, and in the meantime, a resurgent Democratic Party, which should simply get elected by linking blowhard Republicans to Bush, whose approval ratings would drop into the 20s if the middle class gets squeezed just a little bit more. (Personal note: if I'm in need of buying prescription drugs, thank the Lord for Canadian prices).

And I really wish that that poor man's Barry Goldwater, Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, would get beat. Kyl, Arizonans should know, is one of those Bush Administration executive authority apologists. My campaign ad idea for him: his face fading to a picture of Dick Cheney, and then the Abu Ghraib picture of a man being electrocuted.

The stakes are high, but this is the reality we're describing. The question people must be asked is, "Do the Bush Administration and its Republican cronies represent the American Promise?" You see, people assume that those merely in power necessarily represent the way things ought to be. We need to be shocked out of this thinking, if our collective lack of health care and stagnant wages doesn't do it first.

"Kill the lawyers!" Shakespeare wrote, a thought often, and sadly, repeated. Well, I say sack the apologetic, weak Democratic strategists, the people that lost Bush/Gore in 2000, and have given us a string of defeats since.

It's a good time to be a radical. Your nation calls. --adam

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