Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Orrin Hatch: early-onset dementia or just hypocrisy?

"Washington's well-paid reputation-destroyers cannot help but attempt to attack the widely popular president of the United States at this particular time, in an election year... Welcome to Washington." - Orrin hatch

Those darn well-paid reputation destroyers. Will they stop at nothing?

No. They won't. These damn liberal truth-murderers! How dare they play politics when the American people need their governmental leaders to focus on the difficult task of running the country? Why, that's practically treason!

They'll even impeach a President who engages in hanky-panky with a woman besides his wife! Impeach him! Can you imagine? Over a harmless, run-of-the mill dalliance that never even made it to the bedroom! They must be stopped, these well-paid reputation destroyers...

No, wait. That was the Republicans. Never mind.

Monday, May 23, 2005

NUCLEAR ONANISM: Pulling Out For the Team

There's a cold, damp wind blowing through New England this evening, fellow travelers. Hard to imagine that it's really the end of May, with 45 degree temperatures and wind chills much lower. Is it cold in Washington, now that the furnace in the Senate's been turned all the way up?

The more I think of this rather inartful compromise measure on the nuclear option in the Senate the less satisfied I am. For one, it seems to do nothing whatsoever in terms of structurally protecting anybody's right to do anything.

The compromise seems to read, on first blush, that as long as the Democrats don't filibuster, unless it's REALLY IMPORTANT, the Republicans won't dismantle the Democrats' ability to filibuster unless it's REALLY IMPORTANT.


It will be as easy next year for Frist to peddle his sides' ridiculous unconstitutional-Senate-rules argument as it was yesterday. The whole sordid enterprise of stripping the last minority protections from Congress will still need only a nod, a wink, and a gavel from Good President Cheney of the Senate to obliterate the rules without the traditional requisite supermajority.

This seems to be exactly where we were before this atom bomb issue arose. A whole lot of steam, a good bit of pressure and very little light has been generated in all of this Congressional warfare and maybe a last-minute time-out is all this is. A cold shower. To dampen the blood lust.

Which is why many on both sides, but more on the Right, seem so upset. It’s nothing less than an enormous cosmic coitus interruptus for the rabid evangelicals, who were just itching like mad for that old vigorous nuke-yoo-lur ultraviolence. Can you feel the frustration, brothers and sisters? The itching, the swelling? How unhappy they are that the Senate was saved?

I like, I like!

The Troglodyte Right will most definitely be back to resume this battle again, but for now they seem to have backed off. My guess is they're feeling weak all of a sudden, underselfconfident, and wouldn’t be enraging their base by pulling out like this if they thought they could put this thing over on its own merits. So... back to their caves for now.

Hey Lefties, remember this feeling? Like you rolled back the juggernaut, this momentary feeling of strength? Like it? Want more?

I know where you can get it.

Next we begin talking about civil disobedience.

Friday, May 20, 2005

What WILL Jesus Do?

The republican psychosis terrifies me for lots of reasons. First, the fact that suddenly, apocalyptic religious zealots have seized almost spontaneous control of every branch of the United States government and the major media. This is far more dire than the ordinary direness of having the nation siphoned dry by the fortune 500, which is what I’m used to complaining about. No, this is immeasurably worse and more alarming; these people want to end the world.

Bumper stickers catch my eye now friends. One is a fairly common though particularly unctuous one, seen for many years:

“in case of rapture, this vehicle will be unmanned.”

This puts me in mind if something James Watt reportedly said once when asked how he planned to increase efforts at environmental conservation. He responded, in paraphrase, “The Rapture is coming. Why bother conserving anything?” Was Watt suggesting that conservationists are actually wicked sinners since they imply through their work that they don’t believe in the imminent end of days? Isn’t the correct way to show our obedience to God to pollute the air and water, guzzle gas, cut down forests, waste everything and anything, so as to make the end That Much Nearer? How’s that for a Secretary of the Interior?

Any sane moral grown-up would find such a man and such a plan for stewardship of the State insane and dangerous. Under Reagan, the radical Christian right made inroads and tapped into some of the power sources in politics. We remember the James Wattses of the eighties as cartoonish figures with crazy-sounding, funnny and harmless ideas pulled from the pages of Today’s Bible comics.

Today those ideas control the most powerful decision makers world. The tap root has wormed itself completely into the root system of democracy and threatens the host organism – the Country – with catastrophe.

I really think these people imagine war, particularly an End Times Nuclear War, as some kind of biblical-type pageant where the world is engulfed in gore, non-believers fry in vats of oil, and good clean white subdivided suburban well-connected Christians are rescued at the last possible moment by their fair-haired Boy Savior, who wipes away whatever fear or guilt they may have picked up somewhere and takes them away to paradise. Who in their right mind would want to prevent Armageddon, they ask. We want our Jesus NOW.

And besides, something in our leaders’ good Christian hearts wants to see that “unmanned vehicle” go careening out of control. The I-told-you-so moment, replete with a punchline, a clear victor, a lesson, a moral, a parable to be lovingly re-told… “the wicked were destroyed… the good were taken to paradise…”

When the button is pressed I’m not sure the Nuclear Option will be blowing up the Senate after all. It may be blowing up truth, or perhaps even reality.

I guess you could say I’m afraid of the Mass Suicide of our culture, the lot of us falling on the sword of today’s diseased ideology, engineered by the CEO’s of the New Industrial ChurchState.

I hope against hope that it cannot blow up hope.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

read this and weep

Nothing to add to this. Read it and comment if you like.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Is the GTL paranoid?

Like you I read this blog. Just because I write it doesn't mean I'm spared. And in my cool appraisal of my recent posts there is definitely a whiff of paranoia and fear in this supposedly "humorous" blog of mine.

And yet I'm not sure it's paranoia since the Christianists are definitely advancing and I am not a Christian.

The tipping point for me is Trent Lott's "nuclear option." Not only do I have the feeling that the New Orwellians will triumph in blowing up the Senate, but they will also be victorious at establishing the psychosemiotics, if you will, the terms of the event, and thus achieve a double win over cooler and saner (and wiser) minds. And they did it for Jesus. All of it. Selflessly. Let's not forget that. The Right has laid the gauntlet down: to oppose Bush is to oppose Faith.

Friends, my very sense of democracy has at its core an understanding of the noble tradition of the filibuster. In Congress, even with all the branches of the Federal government standing arrayed in lockstep against you and your small minority, even as they martial millions of dollars to smear you, employ every weapon in a prodigous arsenal against you, to trick the public into voting against their own rights as citizens; if you can find people with feelings so passionate about an issue that they will willingly talk until the end of time to protect and defend your shared position, and if you can line them up around the clock and spin out an eternity of speech, you can hold the floor forever and thus stop the juggernaut of government.

To me this is a very good thing.

It strikes me that, as a great factory goes, so goes our Republic: on the assembly line any worker, no matter how unimportant or unskilled, can stop the conveyor belt in an emergency. In an emergency we're all equal and anyone can pull the red handle and flat-out stop the whole operation - maybe from going down the drink. Call a halt, force a time-out, a recalibration.

In government, a minority opinion, no matter how small or isolated, must be able to throw the brakes on in this same way. It's absolutely essential. Because when the whole of us, the whole nation, goes mad together, there may be only a minority of one to stop the end of everything. I realize this may seem overwrought but it's how I feel. We must not tip into fascism, in spite of our collective pain and fear since nine-eleven. We must not shed our humanity in favor of nuclear war. Even if so many of us






Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Filibuster flip-flop for JESUS!

If you're like me your political memory extends back further than the last round of spin and yesterday's controversies; you remember the disgraceful Clinton impeachment, for example, and the trumped up "moral grounds" upon which it rested.

You may also remember how the pachyderms on high behaved before, during, and after their ascent to God-like and wrathful hegemony.

The Right has been saying for a while that the only reason they want to undo the venerable, 200-year tradition of Senate filibusters is to allow an up-or-down vote on each of the President's judicial candidates. There's no politics here, they say. They only want what's CONSTITUTIONAL...

These right wing phonies are counting on you to behave like helpless, passive, brain-injured sheep, and who knows, you may find some kinky thrill in that (particularly if there are costumes involved). But the GTL is here to remind you that you are citizens and have a responsibility to meet your civic duties.

Here's a question to frame the debates: Did the Republicans feel the same way about a candidate's "constitutional" right to an up or down vote when they were NOT in control? Or are they, like the moral relativists they so despise, flip-flopping on this issue?

Whaddaya think??

Thanks to Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for reminding us that the answer is NO. Prior to Bush the Younger and his heartless "crusade of good against evil," Republicans not only approved of blocking votes on judicial appointees, but did it themselves, far more often than the Democrats today...

SIXTY-TWO of Bill Clinton's judicial candidates NEVER EVEN MADE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE. No need for a filibuster when the death blow can be delivered in the deep dark nether regions of the Senate committee process.

I keep saying "if you're like me," so here I go again:

If you're like me you think of greedy, hypocritical, power-hungry, false "Christian" politicians as the scum of the Earth, as dangerous to liberty as a passel of al-qaeda terrorists.

Flush 'em OUT. Vote 'em DOWN.

It isn't just the filibuster, friends. Pretty soon they'll be coming for you. So keep your powder dry, alert on high, it's do-or-die.