by Daniel Patrick Welch
It's time to stop beating around this Bush and start beating up on him -- but good. There is no set of humanitarian or democratic principles by which this administration would not have been removed in any sane society. The last election was questionable at best, and his reckless, dangerous and criminal actions in the ensuing years have shown the whole world he is unfit to govern. The only democratic remedy, impeachment, was set aside early and forcibly by an opposition still afraid of its own shadow. It did make some sense, early on, to argue that, since the Greasy Oil Plutocrats (GOP) controlled both houses, it was a waste of time and energy.
Cynical political calculation is the currency of a failed "democracy," and Washington is crawling with sellouts and political weathervanes. In the Sausage Factory that is the legislative process, anyone who wants to get anything done had best be ready to hold her nose and roll up her sleeves. Still, principle still counts for something. To hear either of the Mega-Parties talk, you'd think they were all about principle. Grandiose rhetoric covers the tiniest focus-grouped nuances; minor tweaks to failed policies are disguised as major ideological shifts, their proponents bravely marching, Quixote-style, into the windmill of their ever-so-slightly differing opponents.
So maybe it's time for a simple, radical proposition: Truth is True. Of course Republicans will fight impeachment like crazy--so what? Anyway, it's past time to put to rest the right-wing myth that Nixon was "hounded out of office" by the opposition. By the time Barry Goldwater met with Nixon to tell him the jig was up, he reported that the president could expect no more than ten votes in the Senate. "And," he is reported to have added, "I'm not one of them." Politicians don't always toe the party line, especially when it is one drawn in the sand by a crook.
The damage done to decades-long international agreements, to the reputation of the US, and simply the revulsion at all the atrocities commited in our name, is almost beyond calculation, and quite likely beyond repair. Cornered at every turn, the thieves and liars of this junta respond to every new self-inflicted crisis with greater abandon. There are dangerous and powerful forces trying to keep this man in power, and there is no doubt that confronting them head on will prove difficult. But there is no choice left. The iceberg whose tip is now poking its way into the eye of a weary world is gargantuan, and will not melt of its own accord. These men intended all along to shred the Geneva Convention, the US constitution and every safeguard in between. The "Iraq Prison Abuse Scandal," a misnomer if ever there was one, is not about a few hicks on a rampage. Anyone with a brain could see that immediately, and once again we were proven right. The attempt to end-run the CIA and establish a fully secret system of torture and "intelligence gathering" lays bare the core of these men's "principles:" utter contempt for democracy and due process.
It should be something of a clue to learn that the CIA was too accountable for these guys. The CIA, as we well know, is loath to bend any rules or skirt accountability in pursuit of its own shadowy goals. Doug Feith, apparently, knows better than the CIA, and he wouldn't trust them for...well, let's say for all the assassination manuals in Central America.
It has become the unspeakable, torturous mess we knew it would, and they still won't come clean. That's why they mustn't be let to leave of their own accord. Next January is far too long, too many wars, atrocities and frayed alliances too late. These guys, and yes, I mean all of them, from Dubya and Lon Chaney on down--these guys have to go now. And I don't mean back to cutting brush in Crawford. (What's the deal there, by the way? Does this guy live on a billion acres that he cuts himself, or what? Isn't he done yet?).