Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eat This. Amnesia 101. Our Dumb Congress.

Laws are like sausages, they say. If you're a fan of either, you should not watch them being made. Now, I like eating sausages as much as the next greasy-blooded, corpulent American. I know how they're made and eat them anyway. I am also a fan of good and honest government, which has been talked about but never made, and I watch that process closely, despite the queasiness it brings.

The law is a sausage you eat at at gunpoint, and I want to know what's being crammed down my gullet, even if I can't stop it from happening. No one can, the theory goes, since we live in a land "of laws, not men."

But that was before. They will say, "before nine eleven," but to me the real change came while the twin towers were still standing; to me it's, "before Cheney and Bush."

We now live in the era of the presidential signing statement. Time after time, in hundreds of cases, the C-Minus Man in the offal office signs a bill into law and then attaches a letter to it saying, "Dear America, go screw yourself. I'll enact this law but I ain't following it. Good luck trying to make me."

And yet we still go on making those damn sausages.

The current Democratic-led Congress is playing out like one of those horror movies where the nubile young woman escapes the clutches of a sociopathic killer and then, instead of running like Hell for the nearest police station, she sits down ten feet from her unconscious assailant for a good cry, while not even bothering to keep her eye on the maniac to make sure he's really down for good.

Our assailant is not down for good, America.

So now we are treated to the spectacle of the Democratic Congress caving in on the only chance we as a nation were likely to get to hear who in Bush's circle devised the massive program of illegal, unconstitutional spying that the large telecommunications companies knowingly facilitated under executive-branch pressure. Given immunity from lawsuits over civil rights violations, Verizon et al will never have to divulge who came to them in the night and asked their help in gutting the constitution.

But that's not what the GTL is sad about today.

You see, the Democrats are at it again, laying down, showing their bellies, not even fighting, and it's sad to say that Obama is right in the thick of it. He'll call the legislation a compromise. Sure, there'll be no justice for the fourth amendment, he says, but the new legislation creates stricter measures on what the president can and cannot do. A little something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Forgive the vulgarity I am about to use, but there's no better language to say what's coming:

Picture the sunny summer day in the near future when Bush steps to the table in the Rose Garden to sign this shitty piece of legislation into law. Cameras will flash and the corporate media will dutifully report how the Democrats held his feet to the fire, not over the telecommunications companies' complicity in warrantless spying on Americans - that's over, that was the compromise - but for the future "protection" of our "guaranteed rights."

Bush will sign it. It tells him What He May Not Do, or more accurately, What He Must Stop Doing. He will sign it with a smile. The sausage, the gleaming, steaming, tubesteak of freedom
will emerge into the sun.

The president will sign the law, then attach the signing statement daring the country to make him follow it - which he never will, let's face it, America - then he'll grab that glistening sausage, bend us over -

and shove it right up our ass.

Keep your powder dry, America. The real changes we've been hoping for are not yet here.

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