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3/10/02


 

THE OPPOSITION

By David Podvin

Fourteen months into the Bush junta, there are finally signs that a line of opposition is beginning to form. Unsurprisingly, the line forms from the right. The far right.

With few exceptions, Congressional Democrats remain terrified that standing up for their stated beliefs or opposing the corruption of the Bush regime would result in them being crippled by the label “partisan”.

par.ti.san: a firm adherent to a party or cause

The Democrats remain resolutely oblivious to the fact that, after eight years of highly partisan sniping at President Clinton, the Republicans began 2001 by controlling all three branches of government. The Democratic Party still prioritizes being submissive over being principled. It even prefers being prostrate to being powerful.

Meanwhile, the black helicopter wing of the GOP is nipping at Bush’s heels. While Senate Democrats have been busy obediently genuflecting as he trashes the Constitution, Bush has been challenged by the lunatic fringe of his own party. House Government Reform Chairman Danny “The Watermelon Slayer” Burton once used a high powered rifle to assassinate fresh fruit, thereby proving conclusively (to him) that President Clinton murdered Vince Foster. Unlike his tremulous Senate Democratic counterparts, Burton is demanding that Bush obey the law by turning over documents relating to the campaign against terrorism. The Democrats would also like to insist that the commander in chief obey the law, but they can’t, because Bush would get mad at them.

Racist, misogynistic homophobe Bob Barr insisted that Bush back off from his KGB-style universal wiretapping project. Barr believes that women and minorities are lesser beings, but he doesn’t think that the federal government has the right to spy on them without probable cause. Democrats would like to oppose KGB tactics, too, but they can’t. They know that Bush would accuse them of aiding and abetting terrorism. They also know that they lack the will to explain the difference between opposing Osama bin Laden and tearing up the Bill Of Rights.

Larry Klayman has publicly stated that, during the eight Clinton years, the American government was secretly being run by the “Communist Red Chinese”. He is now fighting Bush in the courts. His reactionary group, Judicial Watch, used the Freedom of Information Act to force public disclosure of Cheney Energy Task Force documents that Bush was illegally hiding. The group has also sued Bush to release all documents detailing his involvement with Enron.

Judicial Watch sued Bush for his attempt to restrict congressional investigations of the terrorist attack on September 11, and legally challenged his reinterpretation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 that unilaterally created new layers of governmental secrecy. It also sued Cheney for illegal campaign fundraising on government property, and took Poppy Bush’s Carlyle Group to court to force the release of documents regarding the firm’s involvement with the bin Laden family.

There is not a liberal version of Judicial Watch combating this dissolute administration. Liberals apparently do not care enough about the Constitution to have their own organization aggressively confronting the serial criminality of George W. Bush.

The emergence of right wingers as the most vocal critics of the Bush gang is no coincidence. The far right has many beliefs that are putrid, but it believes in its principles passionately, and is willing to aggressively defend them. This contrasts with the Democratic mainstream, which mouths beautiful platitudes for which it is unwilling to fight.

The Democratic Party now has at its disposal the weapon it needs to end Bush’s dishonorable career. With control of the Senate goes the authority to investigate and issue subpoenas. Bush is the most corrupt president since Warren G. Harding. His operating principle is that the administration exists to benefit the multinational corporations that made it possible. Everywhere congressional investigators look, they will find the turpitude which inevitably accompanies using the government to rape the taxpayer in order to lavish lucre on the many Kenneth Lays of Corporate America.

Energy Department. Defense Department. Agriculture Department. Federal Communications Commission. Environmental Protection Agency.

Take your pick. If the Democrats would just start turning over rocks, the sight of gluttonous corporate vermin scattering would be impossible for the voting public to ignore. The cumulative effect would be devastating to Bush.

It’s not going to happen. The Democrats meekly allowed John Ashcroft to become Attorney General even after it was revealed during his confirmation hearing that he is a racist, a theocrat, and a perjurer. People who lack passionate belief in principles are incapable of feeling the moral outrage that is necessary to put up a vigorous fight against a determined opponent.

Burton, Barr, Klayman, and company impeached Bill Clinton despite the fact that public opinion polls showed two thirds of the American people opposed such an outrage. These guys are so committed to their beliefs that they are actually willing to do unpopular things. It is the tragic irony of American life that the people who are ready to fight for their principles are the ones whose principles are usually so rotten that they’re not worth fighting for.

The ultra conservatives are determined combatants, kind of like creatures from the black lagoon fiercely thrashing their way out of the primordial ooze. It is a relief to know that Bush has to worry about more than just lonely Democratic stalwart Henry Waxman, who is prepared to fight for his beliefs and also happens to be a higher primate. If Burton and Barr and Klayman are willing to occasionally take on Bush, then bless their satanic little hearts. It will be good to have some warriors confronting him every once in a while, even if those warriors are strangers to good mental health.

When Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were murdered in 1968, it ripped the spine from the liberal movement. After waiting in vain for the courage to return, it is time to welcome the efforts of anyone who is willing to oppose the current destructive regime.

America’s maximum leader acts with impunity. He lies unapologetically. He prefers secrecy to democracy. He routinely breaks the law. Bush does not behave as though he just barely weaseled his way into the White House. He does not even conduct himself as though he has an overwhelming mandate. He just does whatever he wants to do.

His sovereignty is possible only because the Democrats let him get away with it. Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt and their team of poll watching wobblies are afraid to confront the grotesque malfeasance of this administration. Now, it has been publicly revealed that Bush has altered American policy to allow for a nuclear first strike against at least seven countries.

The Democrats are complicit in this nightmare. It is the insane and inevitable outcome of an ignorant, spoiled child being allowed to play with dangerous toys absent adult supervision.

The meager opposition that Bush has faced since he moved into the White House has come primarily from those who grow hair on the palms of their hands during a full moon. Burton and Barr and Klayman are bad guys. However, since the good guys don’t have the stomach for a fight, it is the right wing crazies who now stand between an unelected president and his frequently restated desire to become an unelected dictator.

More David Podvin

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