December 19, 2003

- - While We're At It, Take Back Congress, Too! - -

In Article I of our Constitution, the legislative branch is listed as the first branch of government. That was neither accident nor chance. In a nation where the people are sovereign, their collective representation in the United States Congress is the heart and core of our system. In light of this basic truth, it pains me to see what is happening in Congress today.

Friends working on the Capitol Hill, and doing business there, have been telling me for months they have never seen it so bad. More than ever, business is being done behind closed doors, and dubious deal making -- you give me this and I'll vote for that sort of arrangements -- is going on. Members of Congress are using one legislative ploy after another to write laws for the few, at the expense of the many, and much of it has been proceeding unnoticed by anyone -- especially the press.

Thus begins a Smirking Chimp piece by John Dean of Findlaw, "The ominous omnibus appropriations bill". It is becoming crystal clear that even if Dean occupies 1600 Penn in '04, this country is f*cked if we still have this bunch of cowardly whores in the House and Senate.

Let's look at the track record: every sitting representative and senator, save Kucinich, currently running for the presidency is a hawk. At least one seems farther right than Rove. Daschle's on his knees and Pelosi (who says she's a member of the same Progressive Caucus that Kucinich is in) is in way over her head. Hillary still doesn't make left turns and supports the destruction of villages. Cons and neocons have laid railroad tracks on the House and Senate floors. Yeah, "moderates" have had a couple of victories . . . which The Cheney Gang either has circumvented or ignored. In spite of all the blustering, neither the Cheney energy papers nor a valid 9/11 report will ever see the light of day.

To top it off, several cracker senators from the souf (who are indistinguishable from Jesse Helms in every (yes, I said every) way), have decided to quit.

I've been reading a book called New World Coming: The 1920s and the Making of Modern America, by Nathan Miller (published by Scribner in September '03). The parallels are scary: Wilson's failure to overcome ultranationalism and isolationism; Harding (whom Menken called a "nitwit") and Coolidge content to let corporations run the country; and the headlong dive into the mass narcissism of the "anything goes, party-hearty, gotta have it" culture. The "roaring twenties" gave us the rise of gangsterism, a massive economic morass, and WWII.

Please remember . . . whatever The Cheney Gang does is to be expected - they are who they are. The real problem is that the Reagan legacy - "it's my microphone, I paid for it" - is championed by somewhere around 50% of U$X citizens. These are the folks to whom you say, "But Bush is LYING," and they say, "SO WHAT?".

So watcha gonna do when THEY come for you?

Be at peace.