Friday, August 8, 2008

Good luck

Glenn Greenwald sez:

Thirty-four years ago today, Richard Nixon was forced from office as a result of mounting public anger, which in turn fueled the bipartisan intent of Congress to impeach him, due to his involvement in the relatively minor Watergate crimes. Accountability of that sort for our highest political leaders is today inconceivable.

Rather than investigate and punish violations of the Constitution and other laws, our political class conceals those crimes for as long as it can, endorses them when they are disclosed, and then acts to protect the lawbreakers. Public opinion is steadfastly ignored, rendered virtually irrelevant. Congress has deliberately made itself completely impotent, while the sprawling Executive enjoys virtual omnipotence and freedom from any real accountability. Laws are written not just for, but literally by, the largest corporations and their lobbyists -- even including, as we recently witnessed, laws that have no purpose other than to immunize them from consequences when they are caught deliberately breaking our laws.

Our basic Constitutional framework is being continuously assaulted while the lawless Surveillance State expands without limits, all justified by a condition of permanent War. The list is as familiar as it is long. A massive Surveillance State that functions in the dark, with no oversight, and without the slightest concern for Constitutional limits. Torture, rendition, military commissions, Guantanamo, secret CIA black sites, the abolition of habeas corpus. Endless, unconditional funding for "the War." Rampant lawbreaking without the slightest consequences. An Executive that has shielded itself completely from any limits, investigation or oversight while seizing greater and greater power in virtually every area and spouting full-scale falsehoods about the most serious matters as a matter of course. Political leaders who have assessed that they are best served by ignoring all of this when they aren't eagerly enabling it.


Given the inevitability of Democratic control of Congress for the foreseeable future, our campaign has thus far focused, and will continue to focus, on those incumbent members of Congress who, through both their active complicity and craven capitulation, ensure that there is no real "opposition party" standing against any of these assaults. The rationale and strategy for this new campaign was set forth in detail here, and its core purpose is to change the political calculation so that there is a real price to pay for continuing to support the prevailing agenda of the rotting Beltway class. The question is not which party will control Congress. It is guaranteed that the Democrats will. The question is what they will do with that control. Accountability Now is designed, first and foremost, to change the way that control is exercised by genuinely harming the interests of those responsible for these destructive trends.

To begin this new organization, we created a Money Bomb campaign to provide the initial funding. We chose August 8 -- today -- for its symbolic value, a day that highlights, as our full-page Washington Post last month described, the accountability to which our political leaders were once subjected and can be again (August 8 also happens to be the day in 2006 when 18-year incumbent Joe Lieberman was ejected from the Democratic Party).

It could be that the system is so rotten that no reformist effort will work. I wish these folks luck with their efforts nonetheless.

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