With all the broohaha about Terry Schiavo's final days this past week, the Repugs have truly outdone themselves, and the American public may have been getting their best raw look at the Shrubbery's death march politics.
Poll after poll has discovered what should have been obvious to even the dumbest Shrub dude: the American public, by and large, does not want the government to dictate life and death decisions to them. This isn't even a states' rights position; it's personal and very, very private. Further, it has become obvious that this isn't even a moral crusade, it's a political manuver to save House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political, immoral, unethical ass and the American public knows it.
There is some hope, just a little bit, but some, that this may mark a the start of a turnaround in public awareness of the sheer oleaginous hypocrisy of the Corporate shills in Congress.
Following up on the elections in Iraq, William Blum has an interesting post on the so-called elections in Iraq recently.
... Imagine if during the Cold War, Hungary had held an "election" under Soviet occupation, in which the voters did not know the names of the candidates or what they stood for, and no candidate or party called for the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The American media would have had a field day poking fun at this farce.
Even more farcical was the presidential election in Afghanistan shortly before -- May I have the envelope, please ... The winner is Hamid Karzai, long-time resident in the United States, Washington's hand-picked, packaged, and groomed candidate, described by the Washington Post as "a known and respected figure at the State Department and National Security Council and on Capitol Hill."
Gore Vidal has some piquant words on the state of the Union in this wonderful and disturbing interview with Steve Perry:
... Well, let us say that the old American republic is well and truly dead. The institutions that we thought were eternal proved not to be. And that goes for the three departments of government, and it also goes for the Bill of Rights. So we're in uncharted territory. We're governed by public relations. Very little information gets to the people, thanks to the corruption and/or ineptitude of the media. Just look at this bankruptcy thing that went through--everybody in debt to credit cards, which is apparently 90 percent of the country, is in deep trouble. So the people are uninformed about what's being done in their name.
... If we don't have class interests officially, then therefore we have no political parties. What is the Republican Party? Well, it used to be the party of the small-town businessman, generally in the Middle West, generally sort of out of the mainstream. Very conservative. It now represents nothing but the gas and oil business. They own it. And the people who go to Congress are simply bought. They are lawyers who are paid to represent Halliburton, big oil, big banking. So the very rich corporate America has a party for itself, the Republican Party. The Democrats don't have much of anything but a kind of wistful style. They just want everyone to be happy, and politically correct at all times. Do not hurt other people's feelings. They spend so much time on political correctness that they haven't thought of what to do politically about anything. Like say "no" to these preemptive wars, which are against not only the whole world's take on war and peace, but against United States history. This is something new under the sun--that a president, just because he feels like it, can declare war on anybody. And Congress will go along with him, and the courts will support him. The founding fathers would be mortified if they saw what had happened to their handiwork, which wasn't very great to begin with but is now done for.
... Well, the Congress has ceded--which it cannot do--but it has ceded its power to declare war. That is written in the Constitution. It's the most important thing in the Constitution, ultimately. And having ceded that to the Executive Branch, he can declare war whenever he finds terrorism. Now, terrorism is a wonderful invention because it doesn't mean anything. It's an abstract noun. You can't have a war against an abstract noun; it's like having a war against dandruff. It's meaningless.
... Clinton just gave up. Also, to his credit, or rather, to explain him, the Republican Party realized that this was the most attractive politician since Franklin Roosevelt, and that he had a great, great hold over people. They also realized that if he got going, we really would have National Health--we would actually become a civilized country, which we are nowhere near. I mean, we're in the Stone Age again. He was working toward it, and they saw he had to be destroyed. Later they got a cock-sucking interlude to impeach him. If I were he, I would have called out the Army and sent Congress home.
Vidal: Yes, really. They went beyond anything in the laws of impeachment. They have to do with the exercise of your powers as president, abuses of power as president. He wasn't abusing any powers. He was caught telling a little lie about sex, which you're not supposed to ask him about anyway, and he shouldn't have answered. So they use that: oh, perjury! Oh, it's terrible, a president who lies! Oh, God--how can we live any longer in Sodom and Gomorrah? You can play on the dumb-dumbs morning, noon, and night with stuff like that.
To read more about and by Gore Vidal, one of our most important critical thinkers on the American political scene, please visit these places: http://www.pitt.edu/~kloman/vidalfintro.html , http://www.laweekly.com/ink/02/33/features-cooper.php.