Sunday, November 26, 2006

No Time For Democratic Timidity

"A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or reward that quality in its chosen leaders today".

John F. Kennedy
from the book
Profiles In Courage (1956)

"What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage"

Bert Lahr
from the movie
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Here's what I've been fearing since the election: after being out of power for twelve long, depressing years, the Democrats decide that they don't want to blow a good thing by showing - Heaven forbid, dear reader - political courage. Now that the mid-term elections of 7 November are safely a thing of the past, the Dems are staring to display weak knees by hinting that the impeachment of the most criminal president since the invention of dirt is not only not on the table, it's not even an option. Can they be serious? Have they lost their minds? Or is this simply a tactical ploy for political purposes. Time will tell. But the soon-to-be majority party had better know this: if ever there was a time for courage on the part of our elected representatives this is the time. As FDR said during his first inaugural, "The American people want action and action NOW"! We elected the Democratic party - not Republican-lite! This is not a time to be worrying about one's political future but the future of the USA. For inspiration, I highly recommend the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles In Courage, written in 1956 by one of their party's icons, John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts. Not a bad read.

Consider our good fortune as a nation: for the first two-hundred and twelve years of the American presidency - but for sheer luck (or God's grace) - every time this country faced a major calamity, we've had a man of exceptional character and insight living in the executive mansion. Think about it!

1: The Civil War: Abraham Lincoln
2: The assault on American workers by the robber barons: Theodore Roosevelt
3: World War I: Woodrow Wilson
4: The Great Depression and World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt
5: Post war re-construction of Europe: Harry S Truman
6: The Cuban Missile Crisis: John F. Kennedy (My! His name is just popping up everywhere today, isn't it?)

Well guess what? Our luck ran out on September 11, 2001. On that day, thanks to a stolen election, George W. Bush was the president of the United States; a man not elected by the people, but selected by the Supreme Court; a man who is already labeled by people a lot smarter than I (Helen Thomas, for instance) as the worst president in history; a man who has driven our once-great nation to the precipice of international shame and ruin. That the invasion of Iraq was merely a way for politically connected companies to make a literal financial killing off of this obscene war is now obvious to every thinking person. Iraq already had a viable (if somewhat tarnished) infrastructure prior to March of 2003. The Iraqi people should have been the ones put to work rebuilding their country. Instead most of the work went to American companies like Titan, Bechtel and Kellogg, Brown and Root. For more on that subject, please see Robert Greenwald's excellent new documentary, Iraq For Sale. That the people of that country lashed out in violent retribution at the plunder inflicted by the US should have come as a surprise to no one. It certainly didn't to me.

By year's end the number of American victims of Bush's war will be at or near three-thousand. These are kids who innocently joined the military to get an education or in a fit of patriotic fervor after September 11, 2001. It's a fairly safe bet that it was never their intention to get involved in an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and that was never a serious threat to American security. And while we're on the nasty subject of victims, do I even have to mention the half a million or so Iraqi men, women and little children who have died as a result of this obscenity? I didn't think so.

Historical hindsight is really a neat thing. It's almost hard to believe that, just a little over half a century ago, the late Joe McCarthy was not only taken seriously by many Americans, he was actually beloved by some! Today we look back at grainy black and white news reel footage of the Senator from Wisconsin and we cringe in disgust. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, does the First Fool have any idea how jaw-droppingly stupid he looks when, today, only three and a half years after the fact, we look at the videotapes and photos of him prancing around the deck of that aircraft carrier in that grotesque GI Joe flight suit with that disgusting smirk on his face and that ridiculous banner flying overhead?

Mission accomplished, indeed.

For the first time in over a decade, the Democrats have the power of the subpoena and, if they know what's good for them, they'd damn well better use it. Billions of dollars have been squandered and stolen in what is, without any doubt, the worst military blunder since Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union almost sixty-five years ago. Future presidents who probably haven't even been born yet will still be dealing with the damage that this dim-witted little jackass did to his country and the planet so many years before. Investigating, removing and punishing this administration for their crimes against humanity will not only be an option of the 110th Congress, it is their duty. A precedent must be established: that no leader shall, without threat of imprisonment, cynically violate the will of the framers of the Constitution and the trust of the people - That's Weeda Peeple, kiddies! This is our country! This is our Constitution! Bush and Cheney need to be held accountable for the damage they've done to it.

Eight years ago, Bill Clinton was almost forcibly removed from office for lying about having an extra-marital affair. When are we going to stand up and admit that Clinton's relatively minor transgressions are but a cup of water when compared to the Bush Mob's moral and ethical tsunami?

I left the Democratic Party seven years ago and have not once regretted it. Will this new batch of Dems only reinforce my decision to leave? Or will they finally show some guts? We cannot afford to wait until January 20, 2009 for this nightmare of an administration to end - it must be ended as soon as possible. Don't be fooled into thinking that this contemptible thug couldn't possibly do any more damage than he's already done to your country. During the next two years and two months he can and will do a lot more damage - trust me on this one, folks - he's got to be impeached. Period

The future of the republic depends entirely on the conduct of the 110th Congress in 2007 and 2008. Everything is riding on their courage and tenacity. Generations yet unborn will be affected by their actions and the outcome of those actions. While I'm optimistic, I'm only cautiously so. Pray they don't blow it again. Oh yeah, and while you're at it....

Pray for peace.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Dear Tom, A fitting follow-up of your Abraham Lincoln-Gettysburg Address article. The damage done to our Republic by the civil war has yet to heal. If we hope to continue as a nation we must repair the damage done by this obscene cabal of crooks and liars by holding public hearings of Cheney's energy task force, determine if there was a plan to invade Iraq before 9 11, whether the FAA had advance warning of the attack and were ordered to cover it up. In the last few days someone has said Iran does not have the nukes Bush says they do.In other words we need to put everything this bunch has done since Bush said I do on January 20 2001 under a microscope for the whole world to see, from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi, even Barney if it will out the truth.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Charles Moore said...

Hi Tom,
You have here another extremely fine and well written article that I have read several times and
it is with fear and trepidation that I approach this subject as I feel it is extremely complex with a lot of gray areas.

First of all I agree 100% that Bush, Cheney and the rest of their murderous cohorts must be held accountable and punished for one of the worst mistakes in our country's history and nothing would give me more pleasure than to see all of these bastards spend the rest of their lives in prison. Yet, impeachment is not a simple procedure and we have to ask if it would even succeed. We know the Republicans will fight it as much as possible and Bushes mediocre judges that he has installed would never give impeachment hearings a fair shake. Do the Democrats have the numbers and the ability to pull it off? Trying to impeach both Bush and Cheney would tangle our government up to the point where absolutely nothing else, good or bad would get accomplished until Halfwit and Co are out of office. As an example, look how bogged down government became with the Clinton inmpeachment proceedings. The majority of the American people have neither the patience nor the interest to see this thing through to it's conclusion and it would probably be nothing more than a time consuming and expensive spinning of government wheels. Bush and Cheney will delay cooperating until they have their fingernails pulled out and will scream about executive immunity until their last two years in office are over. This is a long way of saying that I do not think impeachment proceedings will really accomplish anything.

As to how the Democrats will proceed, I can not guess. They would certainly be well advised to work toward getting us out of Iraq, cutting spending, working for better health care and getting things back on track for the people of this country. Hopefully they will hold hearings about the crimes of the Bush administration, but, fool and idiot that Bush is, I think he is canny enough to already be looking for ways to protect his ass, even if it means moving to Paraguay or some other place where he is out of reach for being held accountable. He has screwed up terribly but I think he has just few enough undamaged brain cells to realize it and realizes that he is in deep shit. In many ways, he is very close to Hitler in thinking that he was creating a new order that would remain in power for the ages and now is beginning to see that the only thing his legacy will have to show is a horrible misjudgement of everything he has touched.

I think our best course is to hold hearings on all of the things that have gone wrong, recognizing that most of what they have done are criminal offenses, but hope that an international tribunal will step in and bring the bastards to justice.

It is going to be a long and thorny two years and we can only hope and pray that in some way, justice is accomplished.

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Dr. Rick Lippin said...


I admire your writings and passion.
I would not like the Dems to squander ALL of their energy on revenge. But it is clear we need to bring justice to those who committed any criminal acts.

I just watched the movie Syriana- finally. It scared the shit out of me. It did not end well.

Dr. Rick Lippin

At 2:55 PM, Anonymous Sandra Green said...

Dear Tom, As always this is a great, well thought out article. Not everyone has a third party to work for, in Texas we were told the Green party was not a legal party and I am sure not a Libertarian. So we all still have to work for a national goal in '08.

I read somewhere, one of the reasons that the GOP were so anxious to impeach Clinton, was to keep the next president from being impeached. I think Bush was groomed to be their ram to get all their wishes granted. They felt the public would be so tired of Monica and the blue dress impeachment hearings and all it hallaballo that they would not support another one for for a very long time. This seems to make sense. I want to put these guys in jail for the rest of their lives, but there are more pressing matters at hand for this congress.

The fist of which is doing a good job of managing the mess the GOP congress has created. I have thought long and hard about this for the past month. At 68 I have a long history of experience to help give me perspective to my conclusions.

We need to elect a Democratic President in 08 to set 1000's of things right that only a president can do. That election depends on majority in congress we now have doing a wonderful job of balancing their tasks, which will not be an easy thing to accomplish. Iraq and corruption being at the top of the list, with the minimum wage and health care. We can bring pressure to bear on this group as we could not the GOP for this reason.

I still believe that once they start investigating anything, all roads will lead to the White House and with enough pressure from public demand, Bush&Co will face criminal charges. Impeachment does not guarantee a criminal trial. We need some patience right now. They are not even in office yet. As with Clinton, the Senate would not have the majority to win the vote to oust the evil ones.

At 3:32 AM, Blogger sumo said...

I think more than anything the impeachment process before our troops are taken out of Iraq is more revenge on our part because of our emotions and our frustration with it all. While I agree there needs to be an accounting...there are things more pressing for our nation to deal with. The Mideast situation is far more important now than sticking something up their keisters because they really pissed 300,000,000 people off. They'll get theirs in due time...of that I am sure. And if they don't...they will have to live with the fact that "their" history isn't going down the way they wanted it to...and they'll have to be humiliated at that. Of course they would have to be normal to have emotions like that...and that is debatable. Obviously no esy solution. They knew better than to wake that sleeping dragon...but they just had to open that box...and it won't be easy to close it again.

At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles: Trying to impeach both Bush and Cheney would tangle our government up to the point where absolutely nothing else, good or bad would get accomplished until Halfwit and Co are out of office.

So what? Everything they have done has had negative impact on everybody but the super-rich.

Sumo also makes a good point in that the primary focus must be to get out of Iraq. The military-profitiers are quite happy with a quagmire and they will pay hansomly to maintain it. This is why the public (us) should demand loudly and repeatedly that we pull out of Iraq asap. It is the same as Vietnam, the only way out is when the American public is too revolted at what our nation is doing. The media is still trying to portray the violence in Iraq as between ethnic groups while ignoring the fact that our nation unleashed all of the death that is currently ocurring there. At any rate, it is rediculous for senators to say impeachment is not an option. While I agree that impeachment should not be driven by revenge, if high crimes and misdemeanors may have occured, impeachment should be a responsibility.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger sumo said...

Anon...impeachment should be a all means...and when the time is right...we shall all come out of the woodwork with unity on this thing...and it will be sweet.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

The impeachment thing will just take too much time, and we don't have it! Oh I'm not saying it shouldn't happen! I'm just saying it probably won't!

Personaly, I think a more direct approach is the answer. I'm sure somebody out there remembers how to boil tar, and feathers are NOT a scarce comodity! Of course we could just find a nice green split rail, and a few willing souls to cary Bush and Co. out of town on it! Much simpler!

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Wilma Lamb said...

Dear Stoney, I can boil water and was raised on a farm where we made soap in a huge iron kettle, surely I could heat tar for such a worthy project

At 1:24 AM, Blogger bdomenico said...

Tom, Your blog is my favorite of all. But the assumption that any of those thugs in the White House gives a fat rat's ass about any of the consequences of what they have done to this country & to the world, I think that assumption is mistaken.

They know what they've done; they have fattened their bank accounts beyond all belief. Their kids? Safe & sound. The biggest brouhaha about one of their kids is that Cheney's lesbian daughter is pregnant. Not dead in a trench in Iraq, but pregnant. BFD!

And those adorable twins? What is it, Barbs & Jenna? Well, who knows what they're up to right now? Certainly not getting their asses shot off in Iraq.

The powers that be simply do not give a shit about the rest of us; we exist only to enrich them.

BTW, I have not bought one DROP of gas from any station but CITGO since receiving your email on the subject lo these many months ago.

Thanks, Tom, for all you do. The fact is, though, that this obscene cabal of crooks & liars give not one fat damn whether or not this nation's all about them! They just care about a cushy place for their fat asses & to hell with the rest of us.

At 3:01 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hey bdomenico,
Thank you for the kind words. You're probably right about that. These people are positively sociopathic. What they have planned for after the holiday, I fear, is bringing back the draft.Fasten your seat belts....
Tom Degan


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