Heh – I owe you an essay, and here’s a good way to kick this baby off:
A week or so ago, a million people showed up at Boston City Hall for the fucking Patriots celebration. Imagine what a different nation we’d live in if a million people showed up on the steps of Congress…. for anything.
I share the concerns voiced about threats to civil liberties and free speech. Granted, the Patriot Act ushered in a new and dramatic era (hopefully short-lived, as most of it is sunsetted) fueled by panic and ignorance. But these assaults have been going on for ages – just look at the Controlled Substances Act and the related forfeiture of fourth amendment protections and imprisonment of the ill – yet Americans just bend over and ask for more. Where is the outrage? Where was everyone when the Patriot Act was being considered? Perhaps out dining or catching a show, just as our great president had instructed them to do in the face of the horror of 9-11 (rather than something bold and sensible like cutting back on the oil consumption that funded the attacks.)
The Bush administration is in serious trouble, and they know it. No way would they have risked putting Bush in front of Russert – perhaps one of television’s most aggressive political reporters – for an hour otherwise. They have alienated their “base,” the moderates are feeling ripped off, and the lefties would never vote for Bush anyway (no matter how many tax dollars are fed to the NEA or to old people for drugs.) I don’t throw this word around frivolously, but am now of the belief that Bush is at least guilty of negligence and at most, possibly treason.
Now that I think about it, he’s probably not smart enough to be guilty of the latter, but Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz quite certainly are.
On Meet The Press he sounded like a five year old defending his decision to steal the cookies before they had cooled sufficiently to allow for safe eating. “I was doing it for you, mommy. The cookies would have burned our nice kitchen counter,” he said… or something. He repeated terms like “danger” and “honorable discharge” and evaded the real questions. He was actually, honestly surprised when Russert asked him if it was an “elective or necessary war” – as if that was out of left field and hadn’t occurred to him or his advisors that he might be asked this. “Repeat the question,” he said. I don’t think there has been a President of more limited intellectual capability in my lifetime, probably much longer.
And the left seems poised to offer us John Kerry, whose “opposition to the war” is shallow and convenient. He voted to give the President nearly unilateral authority to launch a pre-emptive attack on a country that was no threat to us. He checked to see which way the wind was blowing, and voted accordingly.
I don’t know where I’m going with any of this… but I say, tell everyone to stand up and be counted. Make lots of noise. Call and write to members of Congress. Show up at their offices and talk to their policy people. Show up at district meetings and call them on shit. Show up for elections.
I am not as bitter as my tirades make me sound. But I find it sadly ironic that we live in a country where the individual has the most power to affect change, yet we probably take advantage of it the least.