Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Decade Late and a Nutcracking Short

It seems that, at long last, Democrats are growing spines:

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) on Wednesday delivered a fervent and stinging rebuke to former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent attack on President Obama after the failed Christmas bombing.
"I am sick and tired of the former vice president of the United States taking shots not only at this administration, for problems he was largely and personally responsible for, but by an extension at those of us who served in the military and bring that experience," Massa said on MSNBC's The Ed Show.
"This man suffers from a horrible case of political Tourette's [syndrome], and it's about time that we stand up and kick right back because I'm sick and tired of him kicking us in our shins," Massa said.

Cheney's forceful critique of Obama quickly garnered significant media attention, and several journalists accused the story's author Mike Allen of failing to fact-check Cheney's seemingly curious claims.

"We need to grow a spine and stand up and show America exactly who did what," Massa said, pointing to Cheney's role in the events leading to the Christmas day attempt and the fact that the Bush administration took several days longer than Obama to address the 2001 shoe-bomber incident.

"It was Dick Cheney personally responsible for the release of the masterminds of the Christmas airline terror plot," he said, accusing the former vice president of shifting his culpability to Democrats.

"It makes no difference what we do, this man suffers from political diarrhea of the mouth, and unless we stand up and call it as it is he's going to keep on getting away with it," Massa said.

Reasonable people gave up on the Republican Agenda producing anything even slightly resembling anything it predicted somewhere in 2004. I was certain before the election, which after the whole Texas redistricting fiasco, was clearly going to be a sham at best.

I'd come to the particularly depressing conclusion that the Republicans (The ones with access to power, at least) were, by and large, resigned to being lousy little cheating bastards because in their hearts they knew they could not win on the merits of their philosophy or on the coat-tails of a successful Presidency.

Hell, the time from 2000 to 2004 pretty much proved to anyone with a functional reading level and the ability to run a basic spreadsheet that "Conservatism" as presented to Republican voters and Republicanism as it had been performed upon us all were completely different things, not merely a difference between apples and oranges, but between Bananas and Batshit.

But until now, Democratic elective officials seemed too timid to mention the obvious out loud, and tried to treat their disloyal opposition as if they were sane, competent and honest representatives, capable of contributing a valid and honest balance to the sorts of passionate debates that should - indeed must - shape politics.

Well, I think we know how well that's worked out. And if youda ast me, I coulda tolja. Frankly, I'm moderately and pleasantly surprised that the really freakin' crazy wing of the rethuglicans have not managed to stage an outright coup. And it seems to me that it's increasingly obvious that the sort of people who would be very much in favor of crushing opposition are already well-represented within the various "public safety" organizations.

I returned to Canada just before Obama's election because I did not care to risk what I thought to be a very ugly possibility. This was my thinking in August, 2007:  Quagmire was the plan all along.

So let us look back at the net effects of this administration. The first thing it did, of course, was to squander a budget surplus and start to build the most massive debt in US history, debt that is held in part in the Middle East and in part in China, due to our massive trade imbalances. Laws were passed that gave tax breaks to large corporations moving offshore - taking HUGE tax revenues with them, while monetary and credit policies were pursued that encouraged the middle class to take on unsustainable levels of personal debt. Then, the mousetrap was sprung - completely unconscionable revisions in the Bankruptcy act.

Meanwhile, the War On Terror was declared, and many steps were taken - almost none of them having any effect on actual terrorism, save to increase the potential for it, while obvious precautions, such as securing ports, rail transport and airline baggage screening were dismissed in favor of purely cosmetic harassment that had the effect of ensuring that the American people became used to being arbitrarily questioned and inconvenienced by barely competent officials of the state, often in conspicuous violation of both the Constitution and personal dignity.

The Patriot act - along with widespread, clandestine and illegal activities, such as arbitrary arrest, suspension of habius corpus and of course the quite deliberate specter of torture as one possible fate for Administration critics became part of the national consciousness, with most of us still believing that, fearful and potentially disastrous as these policies were, the idea was to combat terrorism.

But in hindsight, it's clear that our national policies have taken what was a potential threat - one worth attention and concern, but by no means something to panic about - and turned it into a world-wide emergency situation. The only conclusion I can come to reasonably is that US policy has the direct and probably intentional effect of creating conditions where terrorism will flourish, both abroad and domestically.

How will domestic terror arise as a widespread thing? Well, the first acts will likely be "black operations." But Bush's domestic policies and what appears to be a calculated campaign of focused contempt for the sensibilities and needs of the vast majority of the citizenry can be reliably expected to result in an incident here and there, at least if the pump is primed by an example or two that is suitably publicized.

And what that permits is the imposition of martial law, the suspension of elections and the Constitution itself - "for the duration of the emergency."

It is very difficult to impose a dictatorship on a wealthy, secure nation - which is what we were when President Clinton handed off the Presidency to the Shrub. Now we are a debtor nation, both personally and nationally, with such levels of debts that many of us are effectively slaves to giant corporations that are no longer headquartered in the US, making them far less accountable to US law.

What we are seeing is the engineered collapse of the US economy - and far more critically, it's position of moral and social influence over the world's population.

But I am distinctly concerned that this agenda is one that is broadly advantageous to people of power and influence within and without the Government to a degree that it pushes politics aside. To be blunt - I think it's a pretty obvious agenda by now, that the Democrats are not idiots and that they are, in essence, furthering it by offering token and ineffective resistance.

President Obama may be able to forestall this - or he just might be better at swiping and fulfilling the Republican agenda than Clinton was. I found that, as much as I did hope and pray that Obama is as good a man as he seems, I also know what getting to where he is at this time in history implies about the substance within the seeming. So, while a change back to decent and competent government is required and I have hope that will happen... the bulk of US history and my studies of human nature suggested to me that betting my personal pink butt on that outcome would be unwise, when I had a perfectly good Canadian citizenship going to waste.

For the last year, I've been resisting the impulse to disclose how little moved I would be if the US dissolved into the spasms of civil war that some seem so determined to bring about. But aside from the naked odds against such a damn-fool enterprise, there's another dimension to the equasion y'all are forgetting. I doubt very much that the world will be willing to allow y'all to sort it out between yourselves.

However, they would be rather happy to intervene. Altruistically, of course. To minimize human suffering.

Hell, we here in Canada would be happy to secure Alaska for you. Come to think of it, we'd pretty much have to. All that coastline, all that oil, bunch of crazy people who need a federal reality-check?  Not something you leave lying around unattended. Tends to attract flies. White man's burden, y'know.

And good luck on getting it back, once the Alaskan people meet the RCMP and our Medical Services Plan.

But if you really must - well, go for it. Let the United States of America perish and be replaced by whatever smaller republics and client states may remain, with the help of entirely too willing foreign powers.

We all remember how well that whole Balkans thing worked out, don't we? We DO so hope to have an opportunity to do a better job. Practice, you know... Just a little more practice.

Pardon me, I need to go flight-prep my black helicopter.

Money quote from LGF article cited above:

If I still had any allegiance to the GOP, I’d probably be upset. But at this point, the only emotion I have left is amusement. This is where the conservative movement has been heading ever since Barack Obama was elected, and now they’re finally arriving at the black helicopter landing pad.

Quotes just don't come any more apt than this one. But a high five to the utter fucking surreality of Rachel Maddow being mentioned approvingly on Little Green Footballs. I'm sure this stuns the hell out of everyone involved.

Taken together with the John Birch Society becoming part of the "establishment" GOP - surely the End Times Must Be Upon Us.

Of course, as I always say, "Ah, but what precisely is about to End? All that God-bothering and you still seem to think it's a Bad Thing."

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