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March 26, 2007


I just think that many of us have reacted to this administration with naivete. However, my hope is that the country understands that this is a lesson about capitalism and corporations run amok. It has been going on for a long time and it lends itself to dishonesty and greed. I hope americans never forget that corporate america (otherwise known as the republican party) will use all kinds of emotional and social issues in an attempt to get people to vote "against their best interests". I also think it says something about the need for "some" socialist type regulations. Regulations may be unpopular but every civilized nation but ours accepts that corporate greed will rule with these regulations and that people in general will lie and conceal when it comes to money.

This is something we have to accept about being human. My hope and prayer is that americans really see the truth and learn the lesson for a long time to come.

I have also come to the sad conclusion (I continue to be open to new info on this) that Bush allowed 9/11 to occur. I believe his administration needed such an even to put their plan of executive privileges into play and I think there are plenty of facts that suggest that the administration was well warned and chose instead not to act to protect "the little people". Put in context with katrina, the iraq war, and many other examples, it's easy to see that this is not an out of whack theory.

We need to understand this about humanity, we need to accept this part of ourselves and make laws accordingly. That's all.


Why are we surprised?

This, in a nutshell, is what has been the failing of the Democratic Party and elected Democrats since the 2000 election fiasco. They have single-mindedly and obstinately viewed the political reality through rose-colored glasses--insisting on an ideal of honorable behavior that existed only in their imaginations. Meanwhile the Republicans have committed their crimes against the constitution and our constitutional tradition with impunity.

That's why we're all here, reading your analysis, reading Josh Marshall, and fuming at the Democrats even after we've managed to get them a slim congressional majority.

In fact, it's a miracle--and a testament to the likes of MoveOn, Howard Dean, and Democratic activists--that we've managed to achieve that slim majority.


well said.

we actually have had 32 years of evidence on how the republican right wing views government and manipulates it to their own ends:

- 1972 + nixon burgles democratic headquarters

- 1985 + reagan defies congress on military activity in central america

- 2000 + bush defies ANY commonly accepted political norm in american politics if that norm gets in his way.

in short, over a thirty year period, moving from burglary of an opponent to generalized contempt for any and all of the commonly accepted rules of american politics.

another group of zealots who treated their nation's politics this way began their ruling "run" in russian in 1917.

we had seventy years of examples of how they corrupted russian politics and society.

in almost any dimension i can think of - court trials, voting, separation of powers, mistreatment of political rivals, spying on citizens, partisan loyalty, misuse of gov't agencies, open gov't, etc. -

the republican right-wing resembles no group so much as

the communist party of the soviet union, 1917 to 1989.

you who read this may regard these statements as hyperbole.

i do not.

In some ways Patrick Fitzgerald's hypercompetence was the perfect cover for the Bush administration to carry out a lower profile purge. A cynical observer (like me) might assume that the independence Fitzgerald demonstrated was more or less dublicated across the spectrum of US attorneys.

The slow-walked NH phone jamming case, the light sentences for Abramoff and Cunningham for 'future cooperation', the drop from $120 billion to $10 billion in the tobacco lawsuit, the end of Microsoft antitrust, the professionals in civil rights getting overruled (Georgia ID, Texas redistricting) - I was aware of all of this in real time. I just never looked at it in totality and thought 'wow, that's not justice - it's an arm of politics'.

It was comforting to believe in Fitzgerald and by extension the career DoJ employees in a sea of lies and incompetence. In hindsight it was a false comfort - there are plenty of honorable men and women at DoJ (none more than Fitz and Comey) but a fish rots from the head and I've always known Alberto Gonzales was rotten. I guess even dirty f'in hippies want to believe in something and for the past few years it was Justice.

I don't get the Republican attraction to the end game of their actions which appears to lead us down the road to feudalism--land owners with their own private security forces and indigent serfs to till the land. Not much of an open market in that future.

Republicans in power today follow the precepts Never apologize. Do what it takes to never look weak. Maximize personal advantage. The end always justifies the means.

In a prisoner's dilemma scenario (cooperate and both escape, do not cooperate and no one escapes)these Republicans would instead feign cooperation and upon reaching the escape window desert the other prisoner. The Democrats are no better off for cooperating (in fact much worse off in real life), the Republicans much better off by lying to uphold a social compact they never intend to honor.

How can the Republicans ever be trusted again?

Great post and all excellent comments. The only way the republicans can be trusted again is if they have legitimate revolution from inside. They have to purge themselves of neocons, and find an identity around serving the people. They won't do this. The corporate masters have much too deep a hold on them, and any rebirth they have can be sure to be orchestrated by madison avenue types.

On the other hand, those of us who are progressively (or at least have a sense of social justice) need to keep a very close watch on our house. The corporate masters are already at work and will find weak men were they may.

I for one want to see the money taken out of our political system. When the most important factor in electoral success is fundraising, then it is money that candidates must serve. Under such conditions democracy fails. John Edward is the only guy I've heard comment the "getting the money out of the system is what must be done" I wish I were hearing it from a few congressmen.

If we don't stop this dismemberment of our unalienable rights now, this is only the beginning. Wait until people start disappearing and are sent overseas——and anyone talking about it gets arrested. These laws are on the books now. All the president has to do, to anyone including an American citizen is say s/he is an "enemy combatant."

Make no mistake; even if we impeach Bush and remove him from office, the job isn't done. The job is to get these laws off the books and demand the government stays within the limits of the Constitution. Most importantly, they must perform the function for which the government was formed BY THE PEOPLE——to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

There are a host of reasons as to why we're still at least in part in a state of denial about what has been happening to our republic. We must all bear in mind that a crucial element has been the complaisance of the mainstream media -- the fact that many leading figures (e.g. Broder) in the media are less outraged than a number of Republican stalwarts speaks volumes. The media has played a critical role in marginalizing dissent and validating abuses of power and tyrannical acts.

There is something more fundamental at work here, which goes beyond the oft-remarked upon but rarely closely examined nature of Washington as a company town. The radical right-wing today does not conveniently wear a uniform or otherwise make themselves obvious, the way Goldwater's true believers did in 1964. Instead, over the last 40 years they have systematically taken over the Republican Party, and are engaged in an effort to force the country to adopt the same orthodoxy. All of us have members of our family, college classmates, business associates, law partners and the like who are rock-ribbed Republicans. We cannot yet bring ourselves to believe that our neighbors, as misguided as they may be, are working to subvert our Constitution, our laws and our republican form of government. And there is evidence all over that not all of these Republicans are so dedicated to the "cause" -- James Comey, David Iglesias, Carol Lam, John McKay et al. were all good Republicans until they were effectively read out of the Party for putting duty to the country ahead of loyalty to the Party.

If it's hard for ordinary citizens to regard their neighbors as dangerous subversives seeking to undermine our constitutional order, think how much harder it is for Washington insiders to regard their colleagues across the aisle that way. For every James Inhofe practically foaming at the mouth there is a mealy-mouthed, seemingly reasonable Tom Davis or Frank Wolf.

We are making a grave mistake indeed if we conclude that everybody is complicit, particularly Democrats. Sure, Joe Lieberman has openly and notoriously switched sides, but even then thousands of sincere Connecticut voters simply could not bring themselves to believe that reliable Dem Joe had decided to do a Saruman. It is up to us instead to keep presenting the evidence to our elected representatives and insisting that it be acted upon, and to do our utmost to keep the mainstream media from blithely regurgitating nothing but the steady diet of radical right-wing talking points.

At the risk of being naive, this is the mother of all points. This Administration has stepped over a line we thought people wouldn't ever cross except in summer beach reading thrillers. As Josh said, "And we understand that partisanship may come into play at the margins." In fact, I think we often see "politics" as operating close to these margins. But this group, and specifically, these two men - Karl Rove and Dick Cheney - are not even slightly bound by what we thought. And Bush is essentially clueless. He's too dumb to be evil by himself.

If and when this ever subsides and we survive, there's a real call for some new checks and balances to prevent just this problem. I'm afraid that the tendrils reach into the Congress right down the center of K Street, so we have two branches to put under the microscope. And, unfortunately, the third branch, the Judiciary, is, as you point out, under a relatively strong attack.

Right now, the checks and balances are "out here."

Any thoughts about how "the Party of Lincoln" got to this point?

"I just think we all should have been on the look-out for this a lot earlier on. They abused every rule of independent prosecution with Starr to undermine one President (and to get within striking distance for the 2000 election). Why wouldn't they do the same to win the next election?"
Actually.some of us were, and said so -- with lots of evidence to back it up. And we were called "tinfoil hats" and "conspiracy theorists" -- by liberals. I used to say "this is not business as usual" -- that's changed now, but why did it take so long? I'm not sure I understand the psychology behind it, but it's got something to do with defense mechanisms, and the fact that people would rather not venture outside their comfort zone, even though the most effective thing to do is to admit you ARE outside your comfort zone and take all necessary measures. Among the most common defense mechanisms are Denial, Intellectualization. Rationalization. Repression. and even Blame the victim.

Honestly it is the same dynamic as a battered woman. Batterers don't start by introducing themselves as abusive. They start by being a "little too good to be true." They wait until they are loved and adored and then they begin violating boundaries. They wait for the emotional investment, they wait for people to stand up and defend them and then they push the line. It's hard for a woman and family in that situation to reconcile the loving behavior against the back drop of abuse. The woman just wants life to get back to normal after an episode. She has to go to work, get the kids to school, she has to go on with the business of living. Getting rid of the abuser is risky. It's a lot of work, there will have to be big changes, her finances will be affected and he will escalate and that horrible behavior will come back for sure. So she avoids.

This country has been avoiding the inevitable, hoping they won't have to go to the level that we will surely need to go to in order to be safe. If you plop a frog into the middle of hot water the frog will hop out immediately. If however, you slowly warm the pan the frog will boil to death. That is how it works with abusers.

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