Friday, July 11, 2008

Telling it like it is

Just wanted to highlight a few things in the aftermath of this week's FISA vote in the Senate, which further consolidates the dictatorial powers of the Executive Branch. If you wish to get a brief synopsis of what happened from the perspective of the peanut gallery, start here, then work your way to here (wherein you'll find a link that names names), then here to learn about how your Congresslizards profited by voting as they did on that awful FISA legislation (and of course view a classic Frank Zappa tune set to video), and on to last month's failed effort to filibuster the bill in the Senate (in which I not only name names in a positive sense, by recognizing the handful of Senators who engaged in what was a Quixotic struggle, but make the simple point that outside of those occasional isolated individuals, there is no opposition party in US government). Because I seem to need to repeat myself, I told you so.

Chris Floyd reprised something he wrote the last time that Congress did something so breathtakingly monstrous, when a solid majority of the previous session's Congresslizards voted to gut Habeas Corpus. It's worth sharing:
Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes.
I'll say this, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.”
-- Bob Dylan, “Thunder on the Mountain”

Who are these people? Who are these useless hanks of bone and fat that call themselves Senators of the United States? Let’s call them what they really are, let’s speak the truth about what they’ve done today....

Who are they? The murderers of democracy.
Sold our liberty to keep their coddled, corrupt backsides squatting in the Beltway gravy a little longer.

Who are they? The murderers of democracy.
Cowards and slaves, giving up our most ancient freedoms to a dull-eyed, dim-witted pipsqueak and his cohort of bagmen, cranks and degenerate toadies.....

Who are they? The murderers of democracy.
Traitors to the nation, filthy time-servers and bootlickers....

Who are they? The murderers of democracy.
Threw our freedom on the ground and raped it, beat it, shot it, stuck their knives into it and set it on fire.

Who are they? The murderers of democracy.
If there was an ounce of moxie left in the American system, these white-collar criminals would be in shackles right now, arrested for high treason, for collusion with a tyrant who is gutting the constitution, pushing terrorism to new heights and waging an unholy, illegal war of aggression that’s killed tens of thousands of innocent people and bled our country dry.

There is no honor in them. There is no decency, no morality, no honesty – nothing but fear, nothing but greed, nothing but base servility. Cringing, wretched little creatures, bowing to the will of a third-rate thug and his gang of moral perverts. This is their record. This is their doing. This is the shame they will have to live with. And this is the darkness, rank, fetid and smelling of blood, that now covers us all.
Arthur Silber's take is also worth sharing (as it hits on the question of why do you continue to support?):
As explained in many essays here, I emphasize that while the crudest of political calculations was involved in both instances, calculations which are almost invariably in error, it is also the case that Obama and Clinton positively believed in their votes. As is true of Democrats generally, they both support an authoritarian-corporatist state at home and aggressive interventionism abroad. It is a matter of considerable astonishment to me that, even at this late date and as even a brief survey of leading "progressive" blogs reveals, most Democratic partisans are incapable of grasping the glaringly obvious: the Democrats act as they do because they want to. If these self-blinded Democratic supporters ever wish to regain a tenuous foothold in reality, they would be well advised to up their desperate grasping at straws and face the truth. It doesn't hurt all that badly, and only for a few years.

Of course, they may have to question some of their most deeply held and comforting beliefs and give up many of their allegiances -- but then, those don't seem to be working out so well for them, do they? They certainly aren't working out at all well for those principles they claim to be so concerned about. Yes, the emphasis is decidedly on "claim."
The proverbial "next step" of getting better Democrats is one that will never be taken. What you've got is likely as good as it gets, and that really isn't saying much. For those who have been admonishing the rest of us to work within the party structure, to reform it from within, and so forth for the last couple decades, I can only ask, how well is that working for you? If you're honest with yourself, the conclusion will not be a particularly pleasant revelation. Speaking from personal experience, trust me, you'll get over it. Oh, and just to ward off any temptation to chalk all thus up to yet another PUMA (I've occasionally received that particular message), I would merely offer that in order to renounce Democratic Party unity, one needs to actually be a partisan - it's a necessary prerequisite. I haven't met that basic prerequisite for some time; it's that whole antipartisan thing that is central to my thinking and writing on this humble blog. So it goes.

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