Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lost In Shadows And Fog


With this post, I am truly going to live up to my blog name.

There are times when I genuinely do not recognize this country as the one in which I was born and raised and lived my life up to this moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Monsieurs and Mesdames, moms and dads, I have news for you: the entire future of our republic as we’ve known it hangs in the balance.

Anyone with at least one eye open and a pulse rate for the last five years should recognize the fact that we have a presidential administration in this country that is set on continually concentrating the power they have and acquiring more by the minute. All that stands in their way are momentary fits of defensive action by what passes for an opposition party and the efforts by grass roots forces of political counterattack (Update and further detail here from Peter Daou at The Huffington Post, with a nod to Atrios for the link).

And as far as trying to utterly squash dissent is concerned, why else would they try to sneak something like this into law?

As we know, our founders conceived of three branches of our government, based somewhat on the British model: the executive, legislative, and judiciary (I know this is common knowledge, but it bears repeating). The Repugs have the monopoly on the first two at this moment, and they’re trying to ensure a monopoly on the third.

You can probably guess that, at the very least, this is a post against Samuel Alito, since his confirmation would settle the third item for them. And you would be right, especially given the fact that he, of course, supports Bush’s domestic wiretapping.

(By the way, Brandoland had a great post yesterday about some bizarro question that wingnut Tom Coburn of Oklahoma asked Alito related to Roe v. Wade, I think. As I read it and continue to try to keep up with the hearings, I sometimes wonder if the Harriet Miers nomination was nothing but a feint by Dubya and Karl Rove to whip up more support for Alito and try to put the Dems in a bigger corner somehow; their methods for pandering to “the base” have a lunatic logic wholly unto itself.)

The issue isn’t whether or not Alito is a bad nominee; we already know he is. The issue is whether or not he’s the worst.

This post is also meant to question people besides Alito who support Bush's domestic wiretapping, which is astonishing to me because this is not really a matter of partisan political opinion. This is a clear cut, black-and-white case of the president breaking the law (and lying about it, what’s more – do I have to link again to the April 2004 transcript of Bush’s remarks where he said he wasn’t doing that?). Is this somehow unclear to people besides the Bushco “bitter enders” and the trolls who regularly invade bloggers and posting sites everywhere?

And by the way, speaking of the trolls, allow me to point out the fact that their job is to divert and distract and keep people from analyzing the available evidence and forming fact-based opinions, up to and including trying to squash dissent (a common technique among their “enablers”). As evidence of this, I present this excerpt from “Hannity and Colmes” regarding the West Virginia mining disaster a few days ago, courtesy of NewsHounds.

In blaming the ultra-right zealots, I don’t intend to arrogantly presume that liberals know everything. That isn’t true. It is just that I’ve found that the process of give-and-take among lefties is more in tune with the reality that we live in day to day by percentage, as opposed to the misinformation and innuendo from the trolls which have only a passing acquaintance with empirical evidence. As an example, here is a liberal commentary on the mining disaster from the blogger “Left In The West.”

Sometimes, though (regarding lefty bloggers), I admit that I go to Eschaton and feel utterly lost at times because I haven’t read the latest post from Matt Yglesias, Kevin Drum or Steve Gilliard and the accompanying 200th or so comment to what the author said, or I don’t get the inside references to Tweety (Chris Matthews), BoBo (Bob Woodward) or Timmeh/Pumpkinhead (Tim Russert), but that’s an extremely minor gripe by comparison (putting aside the fact that those individuals thoroughly deserve the ridicule they get).

With all of that said, here comes the inevitable comparison to Dubya and the amphetamine-crazed Austrian postcard painter who, in fact, wasn’t even a German citizen, right?

Not exactly.

There certainly are similarities in the methods, though. Hitler’s goal, as we know, was a German empire to rule the world based on fanatical nationalism (hence the slaughter of non-Aryans, the “master race” rhetoric, and their formidable attempt at world domination). Bushco, though, doesn’t care about any sense of nationalist identity (though the Iraq War helped consolidate a nationalist fervor all its own in their favor). The closest thing to some mass movement of a particular demographic group is the “us vs. them” rhetoric and breathtakingly ironic attitude towards their crazed evangelical sympathizers (who are hopelessly na├»ve, as far as I’m concerned, since they get continually duped and sold out by the investor class of their political party…if you don’t believe me, just find out about what’s going on with that proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, OK?).

It should be painfully obvious that all Dubya and his fellow travelers care about, now or ever, is money and the capitalist expansion and consolidation of their own wealth. And they will say and do anything – pervert any cause, defer payment on any price, neglect any burden, sacrifice anyone’s life besides their own in the most shameless manner possible – to achieve that unholy goal.

To that end, I should mention that Dubya and his family have actually done business with Der Fuehrer and his pals, so it’s possible that they picked up a few pointers on how to be movers and shakers in “the global money dance” along with the IMF, World Bank, The Carlyle Group, and Lord knows who else (partly in the name of globalization).

So this is where we are in this country right now: continually trying to make some sense of what’s going on despite the distractions (dutifully brought to us by our corporate news and entertainment media), clearing up the misunderstandings, and trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle. The shadows and fog have to date hidden the revolution that has been slowly unfolding in our corporate boardrooms, legislatures, and our courts, all to accelerate the fundamental redistribution of wealth that has been taking place in this country especially over the last 25 years or so, thus reestablishing The Gilded Age into remote posterity.

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.

Update 1/13: I've only seen two posts by the blogger Georgia10 on The Daily Kos, but they've both been amazing, including this one, which I think amplifies what I said pretty well.

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