Thursday, April 23, 2009

At the brink & over they go

When President Obama took office, I was ambivalent about what attitudes or measures he should take toward the criminals & incompetents his administration was replacing. He had his hands full, & I just wanted Bush to go away. If Americans preferred reform without retribution, that might not be a bad thing. But Cheney would not go away, & the miserable bastard kept showing up on TV, lying & trying to undermine the new president - who had the kind of broad electoral mandate Cheney & Bush never had. Cheney's statements during the Somali pirate crisis were infuriating. Despite warnings from within the party by conservatives like Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Repugs will not tone down their extremist, apocalyptic language. They turned to two professional entertainers, Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck, for leadership. (As if those jerks' followers were capable of delivering 280 electoral votes.) Torture memos were surfacing, Condi Rice was implicated. There's no way the Prez can keep the lid on the scandal now. As long as the Repugs are in complete self-destruct mode, at the edge of a precipice & shouting, "Push me," they might as well receive the shove they desire.

Americans wanted to believe that the extreme methods of interrogation not considered torture were necessary, infrequently applied, successful in extracting verifiable information, & not a daily obsession of people at the very highest levels of the Executive Branch. We're learning (as if we didn't know already) that none of these are true. Justice wants its hour. I was wrong to think a reckoning for the crimes could be avoided. Hurricane Katrina proved the indifference & incompetence of the Bush adminstration, but torture is the darkness at its heart. They would have - had they believed it necessary - waterboarded you or me.

Republicans are a minority party, & now they are a regionalist party, too. Democrats unseated a sitting president in 1992 with an unexpectedly great candidate, nearly did so again in 2004, before Hurricane Katrina, with a mediocre one, & decisively won the popular vote in 2000, all without Howard Dean's visionary & practical "50 state strategy." To win outside their remaining pockets of strength, Repugs need a lot more votes than they receive from a core of white bread homo bigots, young Earth creationists, & unreconstructed secessionists. America is becoming less bigoted & more secular, & provincial divisions are breaking down (every day we're now in direct contact online with people from all over America).

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I think there is an aspect of the Repigs (that was a typo that is going to stay :) who would like to take all of this, rehash it over and over to overshadow what the current admin is trying to do.

(I have to tell you that every time I read about this I think about the kids who went to jail for some of these crimes, for following orders from the highest places)
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