Friday, November 09, 2007

I am sickened ...

... when I listen to Senate members express their disastisfaction with this administration's torture policies then turn around and vote to confirm an Attorney General who will not plainly state that waterboarding - something recognized as torture since being used by the Inquisition over 500 years ago - is torture and is illegal.

Glenn Greenwald has a post up today examining how Senate Democrats manage to speak as if they actually care that the United States has made torture part of its interrogation routine and then manage to allow it to continue.

What integrity can a man who says that Mukasey is "wrong on torture -- dead wrong" and then votes to confirm him Attorney General of the United States of America have? None, Senator Schumer. You have none, sir.

Schumer previously explained that he is voting for Mukasey because he's afraid that President Bush will use a recess appointment to pick someone worse if he doesn't. How can any democrat (please make note of the distinction between democrat and Democrat) with any sense of dignity or democracy say such a thing?

We have a lawless administration that just had the previous A.G. resign because of scandal surrounding revelations that he had used the Justice Dept. not to execute the laws of the U.S. but to advance the partisan political agenda of the White House and the Republican party. The President, with his 30% approval ratings and worst presidency in American history in tow, threatens Congress that if they don't rubber stamp his nomination for a replacement he'll appoint someone worse and that works on them? How about keeping Congress in session so that there is no opportunity for a recess appointment. Isn't torture worth it?

But the real problem is that Congress has to worry about the president picking another rotten Attorney General in the first place. In a sane world, this president would be impeached for his trangressions. Yet, Congressional Democrats act like the knights in Monty Python's The Holy Grail - "run away!"

You have not the fortitude of character necessary to defend democracy. Fine. But just be up front about it. Don't give us the song and dance about how you're troubled by this appointment (a la Arlen Specter) while in reality not being willing to do anything about it. Don't give us this nonsense about how Mukasey has made you a promise in private that he'll enforce your laws and what not ... seven years into this administration it is impossible that anyone can remain that naive.

A Congress that can not find the strength to stand up to a lawless president on the issue of torture has once again failed this nation.

It is going to take a democratic revolution to put a stop to this madness. Simply voting for Democrats is not the answer. We need some sort of reform movement that can cut across the political spectrum. We need candidates running from the bottom up in both parties with the basic goal of breaking the two-party duopoly. And that's going to require campaign finance reform and undoing the media deregulations which have led to the refeudalization of the public sphere.


Alan said...

It is sad, sad, sad.

The trouble is the vast majority of Americans don't really understand what is happening. We are horribly un-informed by our media.

I know that if I take just a week off from reading blogs, I find myself suddenly content and bliss in my ignorance of these issues as the MSM just doesn't pull back the covers on any of these stories. My anger magically dissipates.

Ironically, I do take some solace from this mass ignorance because it makes me realize that most people are not extreme partisans. For instance, most people who are Republican have never heard of the "prominent" conservative bloggers. They have no idea what these blogs are about what they are saying -- and probably would not support their views.

For instance I know many Republican or conservative leaning people at work who listen to NPR. At first I was shocked when they casually mentioned this, but then I realized that in the "real world" it is perfectly OK to be Republican and listen to NPR. Its only in the bizzaro world O'Reilly, Limbaugh and the blogoshpere where that is mutually exclusive.

Of course when I say I take some solace, I mean that from a "not all people have lost their minds perspective".

But unfortunately, their ignorance allows the people in power to get away with what they do...

I have digressed. Just wanted to let you know that I have been reading.

One more thing: I am sure you read Greenwald's post on Ron Paul and/or are familiar with Paul. As somewhat of a "libertarian-democrat" (non withstanding all the hoopla in the blogosphere last year as to whether such a thing exists), I find his campaign very interesting. Though I don't agree with everything he is running on, I do find his lack of flip-flopping-try to please the polls-avoid any real answers to questions-politics as usual refreshing.

Hume's Ghost said...

If I want to stop being angry, I have to take a break from getting news period.

Example: I was watching CBS Evening News with Couric when they covered the fake FEMA news conference. They treated it as a humorous incident. The segment had no substance. No context. Nothing. Presumably people with training in journalism work at CBS ... you'd think they might understand the implications for the freedom of the press and maybe just maybe bother informing their audience why such behavior is unacceptable and then maybe provide some background info on this administration's history of press manipulation.

I have been following Paul, and am glad he is in the debates bringing topics outside the mainstream consensus to the public but I am extremely weary of him because when it comes down to it he's a John Birch Society (gets a rating of 100% from them) conspiracist who believes in the New World Order plot to take over America. He's done interviews with conspiracists and has a significant lunatic following.

He has been on the speaking circuit of protofascists for years ... in the early 90s he was publishing a Ron Paul Survival Report letter that was intended to capitalize on the milita movement. The campaign will not release the letters, but the one copy we've seen is a racist screed written after the LA riots (the riots are what happen when "collectivist" blacks can't redistribute wealth from welfare) that a neo-nazi liked so much that he put it on his website and then Nizkor archived it.

At one point Paul had Christian Reconstructionist Gary North on his staff, and still associates with North, who is the sort that Chris Hedges had in mind when he wrote American Fascists.

In 2004 Paul attended a S.C. Patriot banquet that was thrown in his honor. If you search "Ron Paul" at Orcinus there are multiple posts about Paul and his dalliance with extremists ... the Trouble With Ron post has a picture of Paul at the banquet shaking hands with the founder of the S.C. branch of the theocratic Constitution party.

Ed Brayton has also done a couple of the posts on the subject, at first worrying that Paul is a dominionist (I don't think he is) and then after reading a post from Sandefur suspecting he's a neo-confederate, which I believe is more likely. At the very least, its fairly clear that he travels in the intellectual circle of those sorts.

Hume's Ghost said...

"For instance I know many Republican or conservative leaning people at work who listen to NPR"

Michael Medved watches CNN and thinks Fox News is garbage.

Alan said...

Now that you mention it, I recall reading about Paul and the New World Order in your very own blog.

I guess my long term memory facilites were not working too well that week (or at least the recall indexing portion) , because I totally forgot about it until reading your above comment.

I recall reading the screed on the LA riots that you linked as well. I would have to go back to see how much of that was racist and how much was just the Ayn Rand type of disdain for any group that receives government "welfare" (or both).

Lastly, with respect to my comment about taking some solace that most people don't pay too much attention: It might be good from a culture war perpsective, but after watching a "Jay Walking" segment on the Tonight Show this weekend, I take it all back. Its digusting how uninformed the average (college educated even) American is.

Hume's Ghost said...

In my opinion, the letter was racism filtered through libertarian ideology. But statements like (quoting from memory) "anyone whose been robbed by a black youth knows how fleet footed they can be" are difficult to excuse regardless. In one of the Newiert posts (RP vs NWO I think) he mentions that some of the source material for that letter was from a supremacist.

If you go to YouTube and search 'Ron Paul New world Order" a couple of videos will come up from Infowars where Alex Jones or someone asks Paul about the NWO. Paul tells the person that they'll succeed in taking over the US "unless we stop them" or something like that. Later in the clip when he's asked again about NWO he cites George H.W. Bush's new world order remark during the Gulf War as evidence of the conspiracy (which just so happens to be one of the reasons Timothy McVeigh believed that attacking the federal building was justified.)