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Democrats’ Responsibility for Bush Radicalism

by Glenn Greenwald

It is staggering, and truly disgusting, that even in August, 2007 — almost six years removed from the 9/11 attacks and with the Bush presidency cemented as one of the weakest and most despised in American history — that George W. Bush can “demand” that the Congress jump and re-write legislation at his will, vesting in him still greater surveillance power, by warning them, based solely on his say-so, that if they fail to comply with his demands, the next Terrorist attack will be their fault. And they jump and scamper and comply (Meteor Blades has the list of the 16 Senate Democrats voting in favor; the House will soon follow).

I just finished a discussion panel with ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero which was originally planned to examine his new (superb) book about the work his organization has done for years in battling the endless expansion of executive power and presidential lawbreaking. But the only issue anyone in the room really wanted to discuss — including us — was the outrage unfolding on Capitol Hill. And the anger was almost universally directed where it belongs: on Congressional Democrats, who increasingly bear more and more responsibility for the assaults on our constitutional liberties and unparalleled abuses of government power — many (probably most) of which, it should always be emphasized, remain concealed rather than disclosed.

Examine virtually every Bush scandal and it increasingly bears the mark not merely of Democratic capitulation, but Democratic participation. In August of 2006, the Supreme Court finally asserted the first real limit on Bush’s radical executive power theories in Hamdan, only for Congress, months later, to completely eviscerate those minimal limits — and then go far beyond — by enacting the grotesque Military Commissions Act with the support of substantial numbers of Democrats. What began as a covert and illegal Bush interrogation and detention program became the officially sanctioned, bipartisan policy of the United States.

Grave dangers are posed to our basic constitutional safeguards by the replacement of Sandra Day O’Connor with Sam Alito, whose elevation to the Supreme Court Congressional Democrats chose to permit. Vast abuses and criminality in surveillance remain undisclosed, uninvestigated and unimpeded because Congressional Democrats have stood meekly by while the administration refuses to disclose what it has been doing in how it spies on us. And we remain in Iraq, in direct defiance of the will of the vast majority of the country, because the Democratic Beltway establishment lacks both the courage and the desire to compel an end to that war.

And now Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, with revealing symbolism, cancel their scheduled appearances this morning at Yearly Kos because George Bush ordered them to remain in Washington in order to re-write and expand FISA — a law which he has repeatedly refused to allow to be revised for years and which he has openly and proudly violated. Congressional Democrats know virtually nothing about how the Bush administration has been eavesdropping on our conversations because the administration refused to tell them and they passively accepted this state of affairs.

The intense rush to amend this legislation means that most of them have no idea what they are actually enacting — even less of an idea than they typically have. But what they know is that George Bush and Fox News and the Beltway establishment have told them that they would be irresponsible and weak and unserious if they failed to comply with George Bush’s instructions, and hence, they comply. In the American political landscape, there have been profound changes in public opinion since September of 2001. But in the Beltway, among our political and media establishment, virtually nothing has changed.

I don’t have time this morning to dissect the various excesses and dangers of the new FISA amendments, though Marty Lederman and Steve Benen both do a typically thorough job in that regard. Suffice to say, craven fear, as usual, is the author of this debacle.

There are many mythologies about what are the defining beliefs and motivations of bloggers and their readers and the attendees at Yearly Kos. One of the principal myths is that it is all driven by a familiar and easily defined ideological agenda and/or a partisan attachment to the Democratic Party. That is all false.

The common, defining political principle here — what resonates far more powerfully than any other idea — is a fervent and passionate belief in our country’s constitutional framework, the core liberties it secures, and the checks and balances it offers as a safeguard against tyrannical power. Those who fail to defend that framework, or worse, those who are passively or actively complicit in its further erosion, are all equally culpable. With each day that passes, the radicalism and extremism originally spawned in secret by the Bush presidency becomes less and less his fault and more and more the fault of those who — having discovered what they have been doing and having been given the power to stop it — instead acquiesce to it and, worse, enable and endorse it.

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127 Comments so far

  1. entelechy August 4th, 2007 3:17 pm

    Congressional Democrats are intimidated because they know what is coming and don’t want to join the thousands who will be arrested and sent to detention camps immediately after the next terrorist attack.

  2. KEM PATRICK August 4th, 2007 3:21 pm

    I do wonder, if many in congress know something about Bush/Cheney that frightens them so badly, that they would kiss the pair’s asses in public before protecting our Constitution.

  3. KEM PATRICK August 4th, 2007 3:31 pm

    Are there that many detention camps, enough to house 73% of the American public?

    Oh, never mind, understand they have giant furnaces also.

    If Congressman Conyers would put the HR-333 Bill up for a vote, the madness would end.

    It is Conyers who is the keystone for this mess now. [Just Conyers.] He has the power to hold the bill,___ or put it on the floor of Congress for a vote. Say that name ten times. Conyers-Conyers-Conyers-Conyers. We can say it to ourselves. It ain’t Pelosi anymore, it’s Conyers. But they are all guilty, for not forcing Conyers to act.

  4. mmeo August 4th, 2007 3:33 pm

    Whatever the speculative reasons offered for the motive of the Spineless Democrats to have participated for some seven years in the shredding of the Constitutional system under this Administration, the fact is that they have done so.

    A reasonable conclusion to draw is that the Constituional system is kaputt. Dead.

  5. mustbefree August 4th, 2007 3:37 pm

    Harry reid did a pelosi.He could have kept it off the table and did not.They all made noises and did nothing and that includes feingold.Where is byrd’s copy of the Constitution?It does not mean a thing to any of them any more.There is no courage left in these people.Tony

  6. rbrisbane_1984 August 4th, 2007 3:39 pm

    Don’t let the idiots at Democratic Underground read this article. The truth is fatal to them.

  7. COMarc August 4th, 2007 3:54 pm

    The Democrats have been fully on board with this since 2001. Check the votes. Look at the votes on the original Patriot Act. One Senator and a handful of Reps opposed. Look at all the other ‘anti-terror’ bills. They vote for the wars. They vote for the police state. They vote for the budgets that fund all of this. All of this happens with Democrat votes. Look at the votes. The Democrats have been fully on board with this from day one.

    Anyone who votes Democrat thinking they are opposing what’s happened since 2001 is a bloody idiot. STOP VOTING DEMOCRAT!

  8. octotroph August 4th, 2007 3:56 pm

    This is serious stuff, people. None of those 16 democrats deserves to be in Congress. What are they thinking? I can’t help but to think that they are scared of something ….. and it certainly isn’t their constituency. This is a sad and scary time for Americans.

    Removing these people from Congress is not enough. We need to create third party movements at the local level.

  9. entelechy August 4th, 2007 3:59 pm

    COMarc,

    If there is another terrorist attack, the elections will be postponed indefinitely.

  10. baska August 4th, 2007 4:03 pm

    RE: WE GO DOWN THIS ROAD EVERYDAY - SO ORGANIZE ALREADY…

    Another ’spineless Democrats’ editorial - that 99% of commondreams readers agree 100% with…

    Well-known theme - capitulation, public ahead of - new details, a few facts worth remembering, new burst of moral disgust, though that declines with each new revelation of increasingly predictable cowardice…

    At a certain point, I hope we can all say we spend as much time engaged in some type of activism as we spend reading and being disgusted.

    It is, of course, ‘not as easy as that’ - it is fairly easy to join an ‘affinity group’ that shares your ideas already; from within such a group, fairly easy to broaden that affinity group to include…other affinity group types, who already agree and vote as you do.

    Good, so we feel less alone, and that we’re doing something. And we are doing something - anything is better than nothing, and this can make us feel better, and that we are pushing back, and that we are not alone. And, organized into our ‘natural’ affinity groups, we can make a little difference. But…

    …the hard part is reaching into the greater electorate: the inert, discouraged people who do not belong to our affinity group; who do not necessarily think or feel like us; who do not necessarily belong to our race or class or ethnicity; who do not necessarily think about politics; for whom politics is something remote…

    But these are the people crucial to making progressives more than - in the recent words of iwarrior - a “subculture.”

    Practical suggestions?

  11. Emily Anne August 4th, 2007 4:17 pm

    We need a Third Party. Even if all it does is keep the Democrats out of the White House, it will have succeeded in getting someone’s attention. After all, things could not get any worse under a different leadership from either of the so-called major parties. People are more than discouraged, they are fed up because they do not believe they are represented by either of the parties that control the government. Until this stranglehold is broken, nothing will ever change. You see, the Democrats are too afraid to take risks, and the Republicans don’t need to take them. Clearly, unless risks are taken, we will writing similar blogs until Bush takes our computers away - and he’s working on that, trust me. Or maybe it’s time to start talking about that other possibility, the one no one, apparently out of fear, wants to mention. It worked for our forefathers.

  12. redwriteman August 4th, 2007 4:20 pm

    It is time for progressives to leave the Democrats for a new party. A party that will list as its basic tenents subserviance to the constitution and the bill of rights. We should join with the Libertarian Party to fight the onslaught of fascism. As progressives, we need to temporarily put aside our desire for social change (national health care, etc), and concentrate on saving and restoring civil liberties. Democracy itself is at stake people.

  13. redwriteman August 4th, 2007 4:24 pm

    Emily, you are correct. Thomas Jefferson has said that a country should have a revolution every generation or so to either maintain or restore freedom. Non-violence can only go so far. It worked for Ghandi against the British, but would it have worked against Hitler? Joseph McCarthy? Stalin? Our problem is that while the Corporate / Fascists are willing to use brass knuckles, we would rather win an argument. That may not be good enough for us anymore.

  14. entelechy August 4th, 2007 4:31 pm

    redwriteman,

    Libertarians favor total lessez faire capitalism, which results in exactly what Bush & Cheney are doing, turning the nation and the World over to big corporations - and you want to join them?! That’s a sell-out.

  15. Unknown-Arts.org August 4th, 2007 4:33 pm

    I am so proud to note that one of those Democrats who voted across the aisle to Unite in the cause of Fascism is Indiana Senator Evan Bayh! We Hoosiers are so proud to contribute to the demise of the United States.

    www.unknown-arts.org/politics

  16. alyosha August 4th, 2007 4:44 pm

    As a former Green I can tell you a third party alternative to the Dems is EXACTLY what the right wants. I personally witnessed Young Republicans enthusiastically encouraging people to vote Green in 2000. I’ll never forget it.

    As a Green who worked for Nader in 2000, and who saw what that brought (Bush), the sad and unalterable truth is that we live in a two party system, like it or not.

    We have to do as the far right did to the Republican party, in other words, take over the Democratic party. It won’t be fast, and it won’t be easy, but it is happening, and we need the patience and perseverance to see it through.

  17. ezeflyer August 4th, 2007 4:49 pm

    Money.

  18. Rebel Farmer August 4th, 2007 4:51 pm

    Go here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070804/ap_on_go_co/senate_rollcall_terrorism_1
    to find out how YOUR Senator voted on S. 1927. Mine got an earfull (Smith from Oregon). Because of their vote on this issue, they ain’t goin’ back to the Senate - EVER! Doesn’t matter if they are Dem or Repug. They are gone if we have an election in ‘08.

    The House is supposed to vote on this tonight. I tried to call my Rep. but their offices are closed. I did call yesterday, but I don’t know how to find out what is going on right now. Anybody got any ideas?

    DailyKos seems to be on top of this. And boy are they pissed! I’ve never heard them be so anti-Democratic party before. The Dem’s may have just cut their own throat on this one.

    P.S. News Sophisticate: Tried the link to Kucinich and impeachment artical. Doesn’t work. Weird.

  19. kathyodat August 4th, 2007 5:22 pm

    Pelosi and Reid had an even better reason to stay away from Yearly Kos, they didn’t want to face a gauntlet of criticism. Pelosi has plenty of power. She uses it where she wants to and pretends she’s helpless when she has other priorities. I got a long (5 page) letter from my Congressman Peter DeFazio explaining why it would be futile to impeach Bush/Cheney. I didn’t agree with all his arguments, but I couldn’t dispute one of them. He pointed out that the Democratic majority, of which he wasn’t a part, GAVE Bush the votes he wanted to overturn our Constitution. Makes it kind of hard to turn around and impeach him for what they authorized. This a rather different situation from the Nixon impeachment.

    Emily Anne, good for you for bringing up the dreaded “R” word. Jefferson had it right and we need it more than ever now. Unfortunately we don’t have the warm bodies.

    And I agree, the Democratic Party is rotten to the core. It has a few diehard progressives, but they exist in a state of apartheid. Between the Republicans stealing elections and the DLC controlling the campaign cash purse strings, we need to let them know we refuse to keep going down their road. So who’s willing to stand up for themselves and stop being cowards and voting for these corporate sellouts to keep betraying us?

    NewsSophisticate, do you have another link that might work? This one didn’t work for me.

  20. citizen1 August 4th, 2007 5:33 pm

    Democrats = Bush enabler.

    End of the story.

    But remember this when you vote next time.

  21. baska August 4th, 2007 6:18 pm

    RE: PROGRESSIVES ARE TAKING OVER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY? THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR EVIDENCE…

    alyosha August 4th, 2007 4:44 pm
    “We have to…take over the Democratic party…it is happening.”

    Breathless, waiting for the evidence…

  22. Unknown-Arts.org August 4th, 2007 6:24 pm

    alyosha wrote:

    “We have to do as the far right did to the Republican party, in other words, take over the Democratic party. It won’t be fast, and it won’t be easy, but it is happening, and we need the patience and perseverance to see it through.”

    Clearly. We can see the results already. I suppose the logic is that before this sea change began, we would have had a unanimous vote in the Senate? This crap of repeatedly attacking the Greens and Nader or the concept of a Third Party is ignorant in the best of times, but when we have a Democratic majority in BOTH Houses and they STILL MAGICALLY and MYSTERIOUSLY do EXACTLY as Bush asks, the joke that we need to show faith in the Democrats is over. The joke that we are destroying our only true salvation by voting Green, or Bull Moose, or Dear God Please Save Us From This Handbasket To Hell is a sick one. We voted in the Democrats and they have made it clear that they are NOT on the side of the PEOPLE, but the PEOPLE with MONEY.

    www.unknown-arts.org/politics

  23. jungleboy August 4th, 2007 6:30 pm

    Conyers? Is that like conures?
    Go Jefferson! That kind of thinking lasted 200 yrs as a working model. Now its gone. What is up with Edwards?

  24. gabi August 4th, 2007 6:35 pm

    KEM , I totally agree about congress knowing something awful about bush and cheney … I think it’s the truth about 9/11 … and a “terrorist attack” happening any time they decide they want one. bush & cheney’s threat of something happening “on their (Dems) watch if they didn’t pass this bill, is a real possibility.
    People keep forgetting that those bomber pilots were Saudi’s and that bush is in love/ bed with the Saudi’s … both father and butthead son … Remember the Carlyle Group - it’s the real deal.

    and for the Dem bashing progs … republican enablers at this site…

    I find it interesting that so many of you think you have the answer to everything … Have you actually ever marched/ worked for change or is it just your mouths that are moving?

    You are actually seen by many as divisive and more republican bent then anything really helpful.

  25. kittyladyoregon August 4th, 2007 6:46 pm

    Rebel Farmer: As a fellow Oregonian, I will be actively working to get someone else besides Smith elected to the Senate next year. I hope we are able to have elections and thaat the votes are actually counted this time.
    I truly donot understand the Dems who voted for this abomination to our Consttitution. The damn FISA law has been amended over 78 times since it was originated. It works just fine with a few tweaks from time to time. Bbush has set himself up as the dictator with Cheney pulling the strings. I hate the government in this country now.

  26. rbrisbane_1984 August 4th, 2007 6:53 pm

    alyosha spare us the DLC propaganda. And you never worked for Nader in 2000, who are you kidding? A Third Party is the ONLY solution. If the right-wing approves it, so be it. Democrats must be wiped off the electoral map if we want America back.

  27. alyosha August 4th, 2007 6:54 pm

    unknown arts wrote:

    “This crap of repeatedly attacking the Greens and Nader or the concept of a Third Party is ignorant in the best of times…”

    Oh? The Republicans LOVE the Green Party. I was a former Green and I saw it firsthand. They do all they can, including spending cash to get Greeens on the ballot. Third parties are not going to work. Piss and moan, all you want, call it crap all you want, but it’s just the flat out truth.

    baska wrote:

    “Breathless, waiting for the evidence…”

    You could turn blue waiting, I’ll admit. But I am heartened by some of what I see in Congress, Jim Webb from VA for example. There are probably others, but I’m not interested in writing a dissertation at this point.

    Recall how long it took for the far right to take over the Republican party. From Goldwater’s defeat in 1964 to President Ronnie Raygun in 1980. Do the math. I don’t think it will take so long this time around, but to expect things to turn completely around in one election is simply naive. Get some historical perspective and get ready for the long haul.

  28. asker August 4th, 2007 6:55 pm

    I sent the following to the Kusinich campaign:

    To the Kucinich Campaign

    A suggestion on strategy

    Addressing the challenges of
    -Lack of American confidence in the Executive Branch
    -Lack of ability-to-inspire of candidates
    -The wide range of issues that are not addressed by the party platforms—causing a fragmented opposition
    -dispair of always voting for the lesser of two evils
    -the stupid personality/popularity tone of the election

    WHY NOT RUN ON THE STRENGTH OF YOUR CABINET? and take the whole election out of the star personality rut– take it right out of how much money is being raised…and put the pressure on the candidates to address the issues.

    What we have at the moment, is a man (or is it two?) who listens to no one. The big issue is not who is the star, but who ADVISES him on the issues.
    Usually the cabinet is not made public until AFTER the election. To address the lone executive issue, make a point of who your advisors will be…

    What we need is to know is that the the wars, environment, health, the economy, security all of that is going to be addressed in the strongest possible way, yet what we are offered is single issue candidates, with some candidates just selling their personalities. I for one wonder what these contenders will do with the concept of the lone executive and shudder, let alone the Vice President, as the man behind the curtain…the fourth branch

    So, something like this—the people you select to advise you are better than position papers—this list is off the top of my head, just to give an idea:

    Kucinich as President
    Mike Gravel(?) as Vice President (to break ties in the Senate!) and to get corruption out of congress,
    Al Gore, or R. Kennedy Jr. Secretary of the Environment (one on policy the other on enforcement)
    Ralph Nader where he can do what he does best
    Clark as secretary of Defense
    Jimmy Carter to the UN
    Winona La Duke Bureau of Indian Affairs
    Conyers on Health

    Something like that would really ring MY chimes. I can’t vote in the primaries because I am a Green. I don’t want to vote for the lesser of two evils, nor on just one issue. Running, by means of Cabinet choice, on all the planks would leverage the Democratic Party. And if you do it, the rest of the candidates will just look dumb; they will have to name their candidates for the various posts—or face questions from the public.

  29. micki August 4th, 2007 7:02 pm

    FEAR IS A RENEWABLE RESOURCE

    bush and his boyfriends pull out the FEAR CARD and the lemmings fall into line….

    No Republicans voted against the bill.

    The following Democrats voted for it: Evan Bayh (Indiana); Tom Carper (Delaware); Bob Casey (Pennsylvania); Kent Conrad (North Dakota); Dianne Feinstein (California); Daniel Inouye (Hawai‘i); Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Nancy Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas); Claire McCaskill (Missouri); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Bill Nelson (Florida); Ben Nelson (Nebraska); Mark Pryor (Arkansas); Ken Salazar (Colorado); Jim Webb (Virginia).

    Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd and Barack Obama opposed the bill, as did 23 other Democrats and Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont.

    Joe Lieberman voted as you’d expect, with the busheviks.

  30. Gail August 4th, 2007 7:04 pm

    For the 16 Democrats who voted for this bill, George Bush chose one of Engelbert Humperdink’s greatest hits to thank you all:

    Pussy-cat…pussy-cat..I.love you……yes, I-I-I…do!

    Do you purrrrrr…..or meow?

    Oh, one other question: Will Secretary Paulson be required to absorb our debt as well as our assets or did the bankruptcy reform bill allow us to hold on to our debt after the government gets done raping us?

  31. rebl August 4th, 2007 7:32 pm

    I’m telling you, Canada’s looking better and better…

  32. madlib August 4th, 2007 7:48 pm

    I get a lot of email requests for money from the Democrats but after this vote, I am not giving any more. Clearly, they take a lot of their supporters for granted. A member of the Green Party would NEVER vote to retroactively legalize an illegal spying program. What is next? The executive branch can make the laws and the legislative branch can apply its seal of approval - a rubber stamp.

  33. Ming The Merciful August 4th, 2007 8:08 pm

    The Democratic party is truly the political equivalent of the Washington Generals.

  34. johnmoffett August 4th, 2007 8:12 pm

    We are going to have to retake the Democratic party from the DLC and the corporate-friendly candidates or we are in serious trouble.

    Dennis Kucinich and Al Gore come to mind as good candidates, but getting them into viable positions for the nomination is difficult.

    I suggest that a serious coordination effort is needed, where the various progressive web sites and liberal/democratic organizations stop writing articles, and start organizing as a cohesive unit.

    In other words, stop jawing, and start crackin!

    John Moffett
    OpEdNews.com

  35. micki August 4th, 2007 8:31 pm

    Since so many of you hold all Democrats in utter disdain, you can look forward to President Fred Thompson or President Newt Gingrich.

    Then we’ll have a Renewed Contract ON America and you can bitch and moan all over again — that is, if you still have unfettered access to the Internet.

  36. micki August 4th, 2007 8:50 pm

    Rightwingers such as Newt Gingrich, Richard Mellon Scaife, Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh, et al. have been working their magic to get Americans to hate government for years and years. “Drown it in the bath-tub!”

    They want Americans to hate government, Congress, politicians (well, of the liberal/progressive stripe) so that they tune out. They successfully transformed the word LIBERAL into an epithet.

    People keep blaming the media, the politicians, the corporations — they blame everyone but themselves. Not me! Not me! Well, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    We, the Sheeple didn’t pay enough attention when it mattered. And, frankly, we still don’t get it.

    Will the last one to leave, please turn out the lights.

  37. Daniel Smythe August 4th, 2007 8:50 pm

    What’s the difference between Republican and Democrat. The spelling!

    Folks, it’s time for a political rethink, a change of direction. Those who pull the strings have done so for too long and headed you in the wrong direction. We need to put humanity back into politics and get rid of circuses and stale bread.

    http://seeking-utopia.blogspot.com

  38. Dickinseattle August 4th, 2007 8:52 pm

    The Democrats are afraid of offending two primary entities, the Establishment “mainstream” media, and the corporate Big money. It would help if they would conduct their own polls and provide the proper context missing in the media and their funded polls. Then they would see how the public actually feels asbout the issues as they actually are and feel much less intimidated. A new Fairness Doctrine would also help greatly.

  39. rbrisbane_1984 August 4th, 2007 8:52 pm

    President Fred Thompson or President Newt Gingrich or Giuliani and President Hitlery or Obummer, what’s the difference between them?

    None. Wake up. Can’t you get through your thick skull that Dems and Repugs are two wings of the same party?

  40. rabblerowzer August 4th, 2007 9:23 pm

    The System.

    “As long as we remain shackled to a system of these two thoroughly corrupt political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, there seems little hope for national salvation.” Dave Lindorff.

    The key word here is system. We have a legalized system of bribery and self-perpetuating corruption that can’t be reformed, and can’t be beaten within the existing corrupt laws and cunningly crafted political framework. We simply can’t beat the system by operating within the system, because no matter who we vote for, corruption wins.

    While Democratic Representatives dazzle us with trivialities, Bush declares himself dictator.

    The obvious solution is a third party, but does anyone really think our system rulers will allow that to happen? They have all economic, political, police and military power, and if Iraq is any indication, they won’t hesitate to declare Martial Law and kill millions of Americans to keep their wealth and power.

    We must find some way to work outside the system, that doesn’t provoke violent retaliation.

    One way to do that is to support a candidate that the system has shunned. The system and media shun Dennis Kucinich.

    Our enemy’s, enemy could be our only hope to dismantle the system.

    We could form our own Independent party, and ask Dennis Kucinich to lead it.

    .

  41. Paul Bramscher August 4th, 2007 9:34 pm

    I’m not sure that a sizeable percentage of turncoats warrants not voting for democrats at all. Perhaps another alternative — rather than taking tens of thousands to the streets — might be to take tens of thousands to the caucuses and oust the neocons and other assorted Republicans out of the Democratic Party.

  42. WhiteRose August 4th, 2007 9:47 pm

    Under the present system of government in the United States, a Third Party is useless. The system (i.e. the Constitution) was designed to limit popular participation in government. The Two Party System is an outgrowth of that original intent of the Framers of the Constitution. Read the writings of Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. Many of the men who wrote and signed the Constitution wanted to limit political power to those who held significant property. This is the system we have today. Major corporations call the shots. If you doubt any of this read Jerry Fresia’s book “Toward an American Revolution”,

    http://www.southendpress.org/2004/items/TowardRev

    What we need actually is a new Constitution.
    A Constitution which enshrines the ideals we want to hold as a society:
    equal rights, clean environment, living beings before corporate profits,etc.

    A Constitution which facilitates the participation of the People in
    the affairs of government. To this end, disposing our current electoral system and structure of government and implement something like a parliamentary democracy would be an improvement in my opinion.

    A Constitution which takes the money out of elections.

    A Constitution which places limits on corporate power. For example, a corporation should be given the right of free speech. Corporate charters would be taken seriously and have real consequences for a corporation violating its charter.

    I could go on, but the bottom line is that the problems we face now are systemic in nature. Having Hillary Clinton rather than George Bush might look “kinder and gentler”, but nothing will really change — for example, we will still fund the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, still push through ‘free trade” agreements. Don’t forget it was the Clinton Administration which scuttled the Kyoto Protocol.

  43. whatfools August 4th, 2007 9:52 pm

    After all that has been done to destroy our country and constitution who will care if the Reichstag burns down? Bring your marshmallows on February 27th for the anniversary.

  44. calico.tiger August 4th, 2007 10:04 pm

    mastershake August 4th, 2007 2:46 pm
    Collectively, though, we tell ourselves that we control the government, and that our government represents us so we can sleep better at night. Denial and delusions at their worst.

    “ONE OF THE MOST SHATTERING BLOWS an individual can sustain is to have his sense of reality distorted or denied. A correct perception of reality is central to a person’s well-being. To mislead him or confuse his perceptions of the world around him is extremely destructive, yet this action is carried out thousands of times a day in families everywhere.

    “It has been shown by numerous researchers studying the origins of severe mental illness or psychosis that it is not simply rejection that severely harms children. It is denying and hiding rejection with double messages that has the most damaging effect. Having this sense of reality fractured by parents whose words they trust and believe literally drives children crazy. Rejection and emotional deprivation are serious enough issues in young children’s lives, but if their parents also pretend that they are not rejecting them if they tell him one thing and do another they may cause more harm than most children’s egos are capable of handling.

    “On a larger scale, our society is so permeated with these same kinds of double messages that one can predict a corresponding effect on a social level. If our sense of reality is being subtly twisted and distorted, if our perceptions are constantly being confused, then we must expect drastic consequences. Mixed messages where we are told one ‘fact’ yet see something else happening are prevalent in our society and do have a devastating effect on all of us. It is important to our emotional well being that we be aware of the contradictions that every day impinge on our sense of reality.

    -Robert Firestone and Joyce Catlett-
    The Truth, © Robert Firestone and Joyce Catlett, [year and publisher unknown]
    Posted to the Columbine Discussion Group
    by Jim Drush (former assistant to John Bradshaw), July 27, 1999

  45. calico.tiger August 4th, 2007 10:08 pm

    baska August 4th, 2007 4:03 pm
    Well-known theme - capitulation, public ahead of - new details, a few facts worth remembering, new burst of moral disgust, though that declines with each new revelation of increasingly predictable cowardice…

    “What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.

    “The crises and reforms (real reforms too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

    “To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted’.

    “Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.

    “Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing) . . . You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.”

    -A German professor describing the coming of fascism. From They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer, a stunning and chilling account of ordinary people in extraordinary times.-

    Courtesy of Sam Smith
    The Prorev

  46. calico.tiger August 4th, 2007 10:10 pm

    gabi August 4th, 2007 6:35 pm
    Remember the Carlyle Group - it’s the real deal.

    Members of the Carlyle Group sit on the board of Sprint.

    Throw away your Sprint phones.

    Better yet, throw away all your cell phones.

    Buyer Beware!

  47. calico.tiger August 4th, 2007 10:11 pm

    kittyladyoregon August 4th, 2007 6:46 pm
    I hate the government in this country now.

    You’re not alone. I don’t recognize America anymore.

  48. calico.tiger August 4th, 2007 10:14 pm

    micki August 4th, 2007 8:50 pm
    Will the last one to leave, please turn out the lights.

    I’ve been following these developments closely since the Columbine slaughter.

    I don’t know what the future holds but I do understand that our country’s leadership would not hesitate to resort to genocide against their own people.

    I’m not afraid of that. What will be, will be.

    But, I did all I could to endeavor to prevent it.

  49. Illinois Independant August 4th, 2007 10:34 pm

    I stopped trusting the Democrats when they voted to extend war funding. They have no credibility. A third party is the only way now. Perhaps a party that is created and run on a specific platform. Pro American jobs. Anti cheap labor agreements. Pro Constitution rights. Pro Universal Healthcare. Anti corporate ownership of the American dream. It needs to be done in this election cycle.

  50. JoeTWallace August 4th, 2007 10:39 pm

    alyosha:

    I, too, have been impressed by Jim Webb . . . until he caved in to the president and voted to pass these new FISA amendments.

  51. ezeflyer August 4th, 2007 11:05 pm

    asker:

    I like your strategy. Seems like something most of us could get together on.

  52. Dan8855 August 4th, 2007 11:25 pm

    IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    I’ve watched for 7 years while the fake democrats enable treason. I now understand. The fake democrats are REALLY PROTECTING AMERICA FROM TRUE MADMEN WHO THEY KNOW, MOST CERTAINLY DID 9/11. They are protecting us because they know Bush/Cheney will kill us all if they don’t get their way. There is no other explanation at this late date. THE FAKE DEMOCRATS ARE HOPING THE GENERAL POPULATION SOLVES THE PROBLEM THAT THEY, THE FAKE DEMOCRATS, LET GROW SINCE REAGAN. FASCSIM.

    MY MESSAGE TO THE FAKE DEMOCRATS: CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS AND THEN THE PEOPLE WILL APPOINT REAL DEMOCRATS WHO WILL IMPEACH ALL OF YOU FOR NOT CLEANING UP AMERICA.

    SUPREME COURT DECIDING ELECTIONS? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    9/11? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    KATRINA? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    NSA SPYING? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    CORPORATIZED MEDIA? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    MILITARY MERCENARIES? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    EVER INCREASING MILITARY BUDGETS? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    OSAMA BIN FORGOTTEN? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    OUTING CIA OPERATIVES? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    “THE CONSTITUTION IS A GODDAM’ PIECE OF PAPER”? IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

    BUSH/CHENEY ARE TERRORISTS!

    BY THE TIME SOMEONE, ANYONE, RESORTS TO TERRORISM, YOU’VE ALREADY LOST!

    PRESERVE OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES BY NOT CREATING THE CONDITIONS THAT REQUIRE THEM TO BE PLACED IN JEPOARDY THE FIRST PLACE!

    IMPEACH OR RESIGN!

  53. KEM PATRICK August 4th, 2007 11:40 pm

    I have a “humble” suggestion, that would insure a third or even a forth party, it would also bring back a Democratic form of government and insure our Constitution was both protected and upheld. A fair medical program would be enacted for every citizen and every other major problem would be addressed. That I would guarantee.

    It’s a plan, I don’t know how to have it tested or inacted, but perhaps some here have ideas, there are a lot of excellent brains in this forum. Bear with me, if you have any interest, because it is a little lengthy.

    First, we should limit ALL of our congress to a single eight year term. An election in twelve of the states every two years and fourteen states for one of the four elections periods. Each of the states congress persons and two senators would recieve the same salary, $150,000 a year and a fair housing allowance for living away from their homes for eight years. Or, better yet, a congressional housing community constructed near DC, with a monorail running to the capital. It would be much like military housing, with stores, medical facilities, recreational facilities, fire and police protection and schools.

    No other benefits.

    After serving their eight year term, they would be eligable to recieve $2,000 a month for life at age 65, if they are still alive and not at the time still in office. Their spouse would recieve $1,200 a month for life at age 65 if the elected member died.

    Each of the elected could hire two secretaries, (no relatives) and two aides. Those would be paid a fair salary by the government and a housing allowance also, if their homes are more than 60 miles from Washington DC.

    Candidates would not be allowed to spend more than a specified ammount of money on their campaign. I would suggest $50,000. No one would be permitted to advertise with radio, newspapers, magazines or run any television ads. Contributions would be limited to $50, from any family, individual, company or club.

    All congressional campaigns would be strictly grass root efforts. Newpapers, or any media would be forbidden to write endorsements for any candidate. A limited number of Letters to the editors excepted. If any air time was given by the media and or published articles concering a candidate, they would have to give equal time to all that candidates opponents. Any sponsered public debates would have to invite all candidates to the debate.

    Campaigns would be limited to a nine month time frame, beginning in March 1 of that year with the primary electons held in Sept and general election in November. Each state could have campaign laws, that do not conflict with these, which would be Federal Campaign laws.

    Lobbying would be against the law nation wide,___ forever. An ammendment to the Constitution stating so. Any Pac’s contributions would be limited to the $50.00 monetary rule.

    That is the basic plan, minor details could be hashed out and the entire package voted upon by the elected governors of the fifty states. Once this program was adopted, an ammendment to our constitution would be written to insure it w the law of the land.

    P/S Supreme court justices would be limited to a twelve year term and could not be elected to the bench until they were at least fifty five years of age. They could each have four assistants and four aids.

    This program would insure that anyone could run for office if they had recieved the required petetions to be placed on their respective state ballots. I’m done.

  54. domperro August 4th, 2007 11:50 pm

    “. . .Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. . .”

    These vampires are playing for real and with every acquiessence, they dig in a little deeper. When justice is compromised there are no more rights; there is no more security.

    Can the Declaration of Independence inspire once again? Or has the republic permanently morphed into empire, leaving its citizenry to suffocate in a culture of lies and corruption to which it has willfully submitted.

    Impeachment is the life blood of our blessed Constitution. We get the bastards, or they us.

    Don’t know when we start to reverse direction, but no viable candidate for president has yet to emerge. Has paralysis already begun to set in?

    Looking for leadership, back to lurking - Tom

  55. RobertBaldwin August 5th, 2007 12:24 am

    In the 2000 election the democrats claimed that a “vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.” We progressives capitulated, voted for a tepid candidate who WON THE ELECTION, but who refused to fight to secure his victory, and we got Bush anyway. Then they blamed the loss on Nader!!! In the 2004 election we were again told that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush. So we voted for Kerry, and as the evidence was emerging that the election was stolen in Ohio even more outrageously than it was stolen in Florida, Kerry couldn’t throw in the towel fast enough. IT WAS THE GREENS WHO FORCED THE RECOUNT IN OHIO, AND WHO PAID FOR IT. The recount was illegally conducted, the dems let it stand and we got Bush again. So in two pathetic instances a vote for democrats was really a vote for republicans. As for 2006, call it a miracle of bipartisan co-operation, call it the march of the Lieberman Pod People, or call it for what it really is: A VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS IS A VOTE FOR REPUBLICAN PARTY GOVERNANCE.

  56. ricshev August 5th, 2007 12:33 am

    To quote that great British theologian, Sting:

    There is no political solution
    To our troubled evolution.
    Have no faith in constitution.
    Need a bloody (in Brit-slang) revolution.

    We are spirits in the material world…..

    Think about it. We’re addicted to oil and the amount that still can be extracted has peaked, global warming should have been SERIOUSLY addressed twenty years ago, we all pretty much agree the political system in this country is beyond repair- and yet virtually no one is willing to change their lifestyle SIGNIFICANTLY ENOUGH to make one bit of REAL difference.

    Face it, folks. Short of divine intervention (which I actually believe is possible), we’re fucked.

  57. fatfreddyscat August 5th, 2007 12:33 am

    Kem -

    That’s just crazy!

    What are you trying to do fill our national government with politicians who are only interested in public service?

    How do we go about getting such an initiative in front of the 50 governors? Is there a process in place to facilitate such a thing? Also we need to deal with the fact that state Governors are part of the same duopoly in power at the federal level.

  58. fatfreddyscat August 5th, 2007 12:36 am

    I gotta start spell checking and proof reading my posts better, having that MySQL syntax error every time I try to edit a post is getting irritating!

  59. KEM PATRICK August 5th, 2007 12:59 am

    STATESMEN AND STATESWEMON. That is what would happen.

    Yes Fat Fredy I’m crazy,___ but I ain’t stupid and neither are you. Hey write a letter to the web-master, click on contacting us at the bottom of this screen.

  60. KEM PATRICK August 5th, 2007 1:05 am

    Fat Freddy, I don’t have a clue. Nader may know, there are lots of smart people here who may have ideas about it.

  61. Robert Settgast August 5th, 2007 1:41 am

    There are no deficiencies of candidates with comparable values as Mr Sanders. Instead there is a deficiency of astute voters with perception to prevent the deceptive and horrific policies of the Bush administration.

    If more voters selected legislators such as Mr Sanders, this destructive zealot would not be in office, and the environmental & social health of our planet would be far better.

  62. Red Harvest August 5th, 2007 2:07 am

    All the talk about a third party is foolish. Just more empty symbolism. The American political system is structured in such a way as to give the wealth class a total monopoly on power. That is why the Blue Sock Puppet and Red Sock Puppet parties cater slavishly to the corporatists every whim. Why should they not? That’s really their only constituency, after all.

    What ordinary people need to understand is that the wealthy landowners and other members of the privileged class who wrote the US Constitution never intended it to be any other way. They believed themselves to constitute the natural ruling class, and that society’s best interests would be served by constructing a political framework that effectively erected a firewall between wealth and the teeming masses. As James Madison stated during the convention debates, it was necessary “to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.”

    The dilemma they faced was obvious: The aristocrats had the money, but the commoners had the votes. So they built a political infrastructure in which it was assured that money power would always trump raw people power. An oligarchy, for all intents and purposes, masquerading as a republic.

    Of course, there is plenty of historical precedent. One doesn’t have to look any farther than the much-vaunted Roman Republic, which was certainly a major influence on the architects of our own. To quote from the Oxford Press: “Although it was thus nominally a democracy in that all laws had to be approved by an assembly of citizens, the [Roman] republic was in fact organized as an aristocracy or broad-based oligarchy, governed by a fairly small group of about fifty noble families who regularly held all the magistracies.”

    Ah, yes. Well, plus ça change, etc. What is most surprising and discouraging to me is how few people seem to notice just how thoroughly and absolutely our system is rigged in order to guarantee a pre-determined outcome. Working to elect “progressive” Democrats is a non-starter. Ditto starting a third party — that’s just one more way of playing the game according to their rules.

    Two things have to happen for America to begin the process of healing: A brand new set of rules (aka, an extensively revised and rewritten Constitution), and a new set of mainstream values. Somehow, a spirit of co-dependence and collectivism has to supplant our current mentality of every-man-for-himself, dog-eat-dog Social Darwinism. Naturally the two are connected. It is clearly in the interests of the ruling class to keep the plebians weak, divided, dispirited, and constantly at each other’s throats.

    What progressives truly need is a unified, ANC-like national organization that is first and foremost committed to (peacefully) overthrowing the current system that institutionalizes all of the most base, dishonorable and corrupt aspects of human nature and replacing it with one that’s committed to justice and equality in deed and spirit, rather than just in word.

    Truly, I am very sympathetic to all the angst and doom and gloom words so frequently being expressed here. I know some people are so terminally discouraged and cynical that they’ve become effectively immobilized. But what about everyone else? It’s been said that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. There have been people in far more desperate and dangerous circumstances, possessing much less potent and effective tools, who have done so, and done so effectively. So why not us?

    “It is your attitude, and the suspicion that you are maturing the boldest designs against him, that imposes on your enemy.” — Frederick the Great

  63. woody August 5th, 2007 2:17 am

    to alyosha, “You could turn blue waiting, I’ll admit. But I am heartened by some of what I see in Congress, Jim Webb from VA for example. There are probably others, but I’m not interested in writing a dissertation at this point.” and

    Micki, “They want Americans to hate government, Congress, politicians (well, of the liberal/progressive stripe) so that they tune out. They successfully transformed the word LIBERAL into an epithet.

    People keep blaming the media, the politicians, the corporations — they blame everyone but themselves. Not me! Not me! Well, there’s plenty of blame to go around.”

    Gabi, “and for the Dem bashing progs … republican enablers at this site…..You are actually seen by many as divisive and more republican bent then anything really helpful.”
    This is some of the most sickening, disgusting, nonsensical drivel I have ever seen in my life! Gabi, Alyosha, Micki, and the rest of the DLC attack dogs from the Demopublicans, you can’t even make sense.
    If Alyosha is really heartened by Jim Webb, who by the way, just voted for this abomination of the constitution, in case you haven’t noticed, then you are really confused my friend.
    The Greens are the only chance in this ONE PARTY SYSTEM. But these idiot Demopublicans, who I am more and more convinced are really just plants of the republicrats, will continue to blame Nader and whoever for the spinelessness of the Pelosi’s, Reid’s, and the rest of these sickening bastards.
    We are truly FUCKED!!!

  64. canuckchuck August 5th, 2007 2:22 am

    Why are Democrats acting like the Stepford Politicians?

  65. Paul from Texas August 5th, 2007 2:43 am

    “Why are Democrats acting like the Stepford Politicians?”

    Occam’s Razor says they were bribed. Bribery has been a major Rovian tactic since before Bush was even elected.

  66. Dichterfreund August 5th, 2007 2:58 am

    Begin denouncing local Repugs to Homeland Security.

    Turn the police apparatus against itself.

  67. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 3:04 am

    Alas, my fellow-Americans (and sympathetic others)…even Jim Webb??!! The noose tightens on our American Republic, previously “home of the brave.”

    Given the usual intimidating “terrist” rhetoric from reptilians like death’s-head Chertoff, Trent Lott and typical cheneybushsluts, I am absolutely confirmed in my 2006 opinion that Dem’s were “allowed” to win a slim majority, but only after they accepted fascist “New Rules”: collaboration and cowardice. Had they declined, they would be held “responsible” (??!!) for the destruction of another American city…by these chenybushslut reptilian terrorists.

    Pelosi, Reid and the rest of them have long known who/what they are dealing with. I guess they figure they will all be good little collaborators and then “later on, we can write a tell-all book — so history will understand our dilemma, and recognize our silent heroism to preserve America.”

    Problem is, there may be no “later,” not for them and not for us. Or, as bushslut said years ago: “History? Who cares, we’ll all be dead.”

    The Dem’s who just shit on the Constitution have forgotten what became of Germany after its legally-elected Senators were threatened into signing over all of THEIR powers to Hitler; the German Parliament virtually dissolved ITSELF, in deference to their almighty Fuhrer, and “in the best interests” of their constituents. Does history honor them for this? Did they truly serve the best interests of Germany and the world?

    I write to you from the safey of a mountain valley in the Pyrenees. But my adult children live in American cities and struggle each day with the horror of what is being wrought “in their name.” My friends, my children…the hour is so late.

  68. Rebel Farmer August 5th, 2007 3:08 am

    “A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship.
    The average age of the world’s greatest democratic nations has been 200 years.
    Each has been through the following sequence:
    From bondage to spiritual faith.
    From faith to great courage.
    From courage to liberty.
    From liberty to abundance.
    From abundance to complacency.
    From complacency to selfishness.
    From selfishness to apathy.
    From apathy to dependency.
    And from dependency back again into bondage.”
    ~ Lord Thomas MacCauley

  69. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 3:52 am

    Thanks Rebel Farmer…it’s even better on a second reading.

  70. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 3:56 am

    Paul from Texas:

    Bribed…or blackmailed…or under death threats (ie. anthrax letters)…or told their own cities/families/constituents will be the next 911 victims. Yes, I believe it has come to this.

  71. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 4:55 am

    The spirit of brave Senator Wellstone must weep for his country. Cheney made an example of Wellstone (along with Paul’s wife and daughter, his pilot and his staff), in the same way these neocon sluts made an example of Iraq. “Lookee here, watch what we do to anyone who stands in our way.” This is war, folks; against you the people and against we the people.

  72. Paul from Texas August 5th, 2007 6:38 am

    I suggest we rename these two appropriately: The Fascist Party and the Traitor Party.

  73. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 7:03 am

    domperro August 4th, 2007 11:50 pm
    When justice is compromised there are no more rights; there is no more security….

    From my esoteric studies, I’ve learned that in the roots of Free (speculative) Masonry was the goal to teach Virtue through a system of signs and symbols, Justice being represented by the female spirit holding a balance.

    Clearly, the masons have fallen under the weight of institutionalization; though their system, not unlike the (metaphorical) Word of God that was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles, can be taken from them and used by us to develop the mental ‘template for action’ we need to act on higher principles than our lower animal natures would otherwise allow.

    domperro August 4th, 2007 11:50 pm
    Looking for leadership….

    FOR COLUMBINE

    We are rising above
    attacking one another.
    We do not offend. We educate.
    We learn together
    and from one another.
    But, perhaps, more importantly,
    from within ourselves.
    We have reached
    our lowest point
    in Human Nature.
    Its Highest Point as well.
    Come share.
    Learn to receive.
    Everyone is good.
    Lead the way and
    I will follow.
    We all will follow.

    Tucson, Arizona
    April, 1999

  74. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 7:24 am

    ricshev August 5th, 2007 12:33 am
    we all pretty much agree the political system in this country is beyond repair- and yet virtually no one is willing to change their lifestyle SIGNIFICANTLY ENOUGH to make one bit of REAL difference.

    I’ve often thought along the same vein, i.e., the present constitutional crisis is a consequence of a long festering ‘moral’ crisis.

    If a sufficient number of individual Americans had been willing to sacrifice their short-term material comfort to preserve their own personal integrity, the integrity of our nation, i.e., Justice in balance, would have also been held in check.

    ricshev August 5th, 2007 12:33 am
    Short of divine intervention (which I actually believe is possible)….

    That would be through discovering the ‘Divine’ within ourselves:

    “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliance, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advance in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

    -General Douglas MacArthur-
    Aboard the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay
    Upon Surrender by the Japanese
    At the Close of World War II
    September 2, 1945
    Found at The Great Seal which is run by John MacArthur, who I believe is General MacArthur’s grandson.
    http://www.greatseal.com/committees/firstcomm/reverse.html
    The Motto from the first proposal for the Great Seal:
    REBELLION TO TYRANTS IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD.

  75. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 7:43 am

    fatfreddyscat August 5th, 2007 12:33 am
    What are you trying to do fill our national government with politicians who are only interested in public service? …Is there a process in place to facilitate such a thing?

    Apparently, an Article V Convention:

    http://www.foavc.org/

    However, with corruption so entrenched throughout our nation, we’re not likely to bring one about.

    We could also secede:

    se·cede –verb (used without object), -ced·ed, -ced·ing. to withdraw formally from an alliance, federation, or association, as from a political union, a religious organization, etc.

    …and hold our own Constitutional Convention, but that would lead to Revolutionary War/Civil War.

    I greatest power is in practicing the principle of ‘caveat emptor’ which was meant to balance the excesses of the market place with the sound judgment of the nation’s citizens:

    caveat emp·tor n. The axiom or principle in commerce that the buyer alone is responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying.

    …but we’ve lost our judgment and have succumbed to the pressure to conform.

    Still, if we collectively were to practice this principle, applied not only to the purchase of products, but extended to the ‘marketplace of ideas’ as well as the value we place on our labor, we could topple the fascists.

    They’re nothing without our labor and purchasing power.

  76. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 7:51 am

    Dichterfreund August 5th, 2007 2:58 am
    Begin denouncing local Repugs to Homeland Security. Turn the police apparatus against itself.

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    The issue is more serious though. If what some posters here suggest is true, i.e., that members of Congess have been blackmailed or bribed and are going along with Bush’s most recent ploy to expand FISA under the threat of an impending terrorist attack on U.S. soil, they don’t understand the mind of a Tyrant.

    Truth is that they’ll never be safe.

    canardtahiti provides one example:

    canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 3:04 am
    The Dem’s who just shit on the Constitution have forgotten what became of Germany after its legally-elected Senators were threatened into signing over all of THEIR powers to Hitler; the German Parliament virtually dissolved ITSELF, in deference to their almighty Fuhrer, and ‘in the best interests’ of their constituents. Does history honor them for this? Did they truly serve the best interests of Germany and the world?

    Perhaps we should take more seriously the rumors that Bush is driving toward establishing a North American Union which would effectively ‘dissolve’ our Constitution? All the necessary apparatus is in place, including NORTHCOM, which is unprecedented until 9/11.

  77. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 7:55 am

    Paul from Texas August 5th, 2007 6:38 am
    I suggest we rename these two appropriately: The Fascist Party and the Traitor Party.

    Bring the Two together as One = Treason.

  78. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 8:04 am

    calico.tiger:

    I did not take NAU rumors seriously until it became clear cheneybushsluts care not one whit about impending economic collapse due to devalued dollar + montrous debt. It’s as if they are doing it on purpose (ala Iraq), snickering all the way.

    911 gave them a blank check in the form of emergency funding and the raising of Federal debt-limit ceiling to astronomical proportions.

    Therefore, this idea that an Amero will suddenly replace the Dollar makes sense. Overnight, cheneybushsluts could erase US debt/deficit by executive decree…And commend themselves for leaving the rest of our planet with useless US Treasury notes and petrodollars. This sounds just like them.

  79. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 8:06 am

    domperro August 4th, 2007 11:50 pm
    Looking for leadership…

    I meant to post this rather than the poem above:

    A GATEWAY TO OURSELVES

    Join us on this journey.

    There has begun a movement among
    the good citizens of the world.

    It is a movement guided by
    the collective conscience of us all.

    We are learning how to live without labels
    and we are defining our language again.

    This is a movement
    without leaders
    being that it is led
    through participation
    and guided by
    the collective conscience
    of us all.

    April, 1999
    Columbine Discussion Group
    Hosted by Jefferson County Schools

    What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love?

    -Author Unknown-

  80. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 8:24 am

    canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 8:04 am
    …Therefore, this idea that an Amero will suddenly replace the Dollar makes sense. Overnight, cheneybushsluts could erase US debt/deficit by executive decree…And commend themselves for leaving the rest of our planet with useless US Treasury notes and petrodollars. This sounds just like them.

    And, would only serve to prove the point that sacrificing our individual integrity to retain or acquire material wealth (due to fear and/or greed, both Vices) has undermined our credibility to the extent that we are, now, on the verge of having it undermine our nation.

    Tell me moral values can’t be taught.

  81. citizen a August 5th, 2007 8:31 am

    the whole world is watching.

  82. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 8:36 am

    I would say that great-grandpa Walker and grandpa Prescott Bush and Poppy Bush Sr. evidently did a great job of teaching the current bushslut how to ignore, circumvent and neutralize a compendium of Enlightenment moral values/ethics. A family of profiteers, vultures and sociopaths, produced by a nation of masochists? It appears to be the case.

  83. Paul Bramscher August 5th, 2007 8:49 am

    Evidently pirates/raiders of yesteryear learned how to best exploit a social Stockholm Syndrome. They do this by taking over the cherished and values symbols, by exploiting a sort of mental idolotry.

    That is, people set up in their minds the way things ought to be, cherished notions, values, etc. and they express loyalty toward this abstraction notion. They retain this, even though the reality is quite far from the truth. Indeed, the reality becomes somewhat irrelevant. The military teaches total subordination to the command chain — and yet there’s a basic conflict of ethics as well. At what point should a soldier trade in one loyalty (command chain) for another (whistle-blowing)? Same applies to society at large. The command-chain loyalty is always safer, since sticking one’s neck out is a good way to lose one’s head.

  84. neoconned August 5th, 2007 8:55 am

    So when does the real fight for freedom begin folks? The other side is already fighting and we are laying down and going to work all week keeping their machines running. Do we need anymore proof this is a class war waged by the Aristocracy who have taken over control of both viable parties in a 2 party system which allows for no other competetion? Call it the Republicratic Fascist States of America or the American Aristocracy but clearly these folks are eradicating the middle class and creating a 2 tiered society of the wealthy and impoverished. I only want to know when we will begin to fight back?

  85. baska August 5th, 2007 9:25 am

    RE: MAKING THIS WEBSITE MORE THAN AN ECHO CHAMBER

    Many voices committed to third party politics - though (as I regularly note) I do think there’s a latent division re the purposes of third party politics - directly building a progressive majority, versus solidifying a strong minority that can wrest the Democrats away from the right wing DLC that dominates them. (Obviously the latter type of ‘third party-ism’ entails the possibility of voting for them.)

    Regardless of which ‘type’ of third party-ist we are, the abiding question is still what types of activism to engage in to project our ideas beyond the extreme minority represented by this thread.

    In terms of third party platforms, I do not think electoral reform should be ruled out - though, to some degree, this represents an effort to reform the system rather than a clean, principaled break with it.

    In this connection, one poster picked up a good idea recently - the ‘national referendum’ supported by many progressive writers, currently a major plank of Gravel’s platform:
    http://www.vote.org/

    Also - if readers can set aside their absolute rejection of the Nation editor’s 2004 call for an anti-Bush Democrat vote - look at vanden Heuvel’s examples: in particular, the ‘fusion’ system of New York that has helped the growth of New York’s Working Families Party:
    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0303-13.htm

  86. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 10:13 am

    canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 8:36 am
    I would say that great-grandpa Walker and grandpa Prescott Bush and Poppy Bush Sr. evidently did a great job of teaching the current bushslut how to ignore, circumvent and neutralize a compendium of Enlightenment moral values/ethics. A family of profiteers, vultures and sociopaths, produced by a nation of masochists? It appears to be the case.

    Exactly. We’ve been conditioned to believe that moral values can’t be taught through public institutions and, therefore, the practice is best left to family and churches.

    Meanwhile, we’ve bought the immoral/amoral values espoused by the capitalist/oligarchial caste hook, line, and sinker.

    “All the world’s a stage”; and, these cats have reduced political participation in America to scripted, abstract Theater.

  87. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 10:17 am

    Paul Bramscher August 5th, 2007 8:49 am
    The command-chain loyalty is always safer, since sticking one’s neck out is a good way to lose one’s head.

    Against a Tyrant, they may still lose their heads if they don’t stick their necks out.

  88. dmbelisle August 5th, 2007 10:22 am

    There are three things we need to do to fix this mess we are in. (These are in ascending order)

    Put the fairness and accuracy in reporting guidlines back in place so that we can have honest public debate and information through non-corporate independent media.

    All campaign contributions go directly to the political party, not the candidate. Limit or eliminate contributions/cash from organizations. Publicly finance most of our campaigns.

    Make the Democratic Party our own. This is the most important step toward accomplishing all of the rest. It will be easier to reinvigorate the party rather than try and start a third party that will mostly suck votes away from the Democrats and leave the 35% Republican majority intact and in charge. I also must comment that I am sick of people that say the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same party. Those people are idiots or Republican stooges. The D. Party can evolve in a way the Republican Party can never do, because the Republicans will not stop to reexamine their core value (give all money to corporations). Any revolution we seek will be undermined by eroding our commitment to our party and it’s principals. Karl Rove knows that, and so should you. Sometimes we lose elections that way. Get over it. None of what we are griping about would have occured if we had given Al Gore a more decisive victory.

  89. calico.tiger August 5th, 2007 10:23 am

    neoconned August 5th, 2007 8:55 am
    …Do we need anymore proof this is a class war waged by the Aristocracy who have taken over control of both viable parties in a 2 party system which allows for no other competetion? Call it the Republicratic Fascist States of America or the American Aristocracy but clearly these folks are eradicating the middle class and creating a 2 tiered society of the wealthy and impoverished. I only want to know when we will begin to fight back?

    If they were Aristocrats, they would have retained the principle of ‘noblesse oblige’. Even a wealthy gentleman, i.e., Aristocrat, feels an obligation to provide for those less fortunate than himself.

    No. These are Oligarchs. They have no ‘class’ in the sense we’re accustomed to hearing the word. They fit the title of ‘filthy rich’.

    We should not call them Aristocrats and we should not call them ‘elite’ but, rather, ‘elitists’.

  90. baska August 5th, 2007 11:09 am

    RE: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO REFORM YOUR PARTY?

    dmbelisle August 5th, 2007 10:22 am
    to fix this mess…[we must] Make the Democratic Party our own…It will be easier to reinvigorate the party rather than try and start a third party that will mostly suck votes away from the Democrats….None of what we are griping about would have occured if we had given Al Gore a more decisive victory.”

    Let’s ignore the dumbass provocations and unsupported arguments. Bottom line -

    1) Want disgusted and passive Democrats to vote? Want progressives who do vote to pull the lever for your candidate? Lose the DLC. Or lose.

    2) To lose the DLC you are doing…what?

  91. fedupwithpolitics August 5th, 2007 11:10 am

    A perfect example is Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She defeated Republican Mark Kennedy, but it doesn’t seem to have made any difference. Klobuchar voted in favor of funding the Iraq war, and in favor of giving Bush more spy powers. She is also against single payer health care. Her votes are consistent with those of Michelle Bachman, a right-wing Republican in the House and the laughing stock of Minnesota politics. But at least Bachman is who she is, and those who voted for her got what they expected. Progressives got hoodwinked when they voted for Klobuchar; her votes are anything but Progressive.

  92. skiphunt August 5th, 2007 12:18 pm

    Will it ever be time for violent revolution?

  93. jungleboy August 5th, 2007 12:40 pm

    SKiphunt- The time is probably too close to realize but we need more so the spread of knowledge above and beyond what is publicly available. I’m about to use freeway banners and talk to some locals I know that run a paper. It might be expensive but it cant be all that bad. Heck I might include some of your voices here. How bout a public knowledge security force called Bluewater where we all train civilians to counter the evil in the media? Or something….?

  94. jungleboy August 5th, 2007 12:41 pm

    Dang its taken..

    To summarize better, I mean a militia that uses books instead of guns to take back the gov. An army of lawyers, so to speak.

    I dunno, we need some shifting of brain cells or something. All I can really do is freeway signage by myself.

  95. baska August 5th, 2007 1:10 pm

    RE: THE JEFFERSONIAN AND HUMAN QUESTION OF REBELLION OR “VIOLENT REVOLUTION”? UNLIKELY, AND NOT VIABLE, IMO

    skiphunt August 5th, 2007 12:18 pm
    “Will it ever be time for violent revolution?”

    Progressives are angry and itching for action in a crisis situation:

    a) “Never in its history has America been confronted with an executive branch so determined to break every law designed to regulate its conduct;” (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/080307J.shtm); and

    b)a complicit Democratic-controlled congress.

    The question of rebellion - and/or “violent” revolution has certainly been raised recently:

    “Take the Revolutionary Road
    The US has been the world’s principal anti-revolutionary force for almost a century. As Thomas Jefferson would have said, it’s time to rebel,” Michael Hardt
    http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/05/2312/

    HOWEVER…quite apart from the question of my willingness to take lives or risk my or my young child’s life - questions of the utmost importance for any professed revolutionary - I DO NOT THINK THIS SOLUTION IS HISTORICALLY VIABLE/LIKELY IN THE U.S. CASE.

    As the theorist of guerilla warfare, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara wrote in Guerilla Warfare:

    “[G]uerrilla warfare is a war of the masses, a war of the people. The guerrilla band is…the fighting vanguard of the people. It draws its great force from the mass of the people themselves.”

    However, note that the ’spokesmanship’ of guerillas for the people cannot be theoretical (’we’re doing it for them, whether they know it or not’) but must be practical:

    “The guerrilla fighter needs full help from the people of the area. This is an indispensable condition.”
    http://social.chass.ncsu.edu/slatta/hi216/documents/che.htm#11

    Indispensable condition.

    The U.S. is a historically right wing country. Not only is the greater U.S. electorate not ‘there,’ but - and I am projecting beyond my lifetime, here - I cannot foresee such a sea change of greater disposition.

    No - we must be active and struggle in the ways that are ‘given to us’ in the historical situation in which we find ourselves…as frustrating and limited and compromised as that may be.

  96. speakingwheat August 5th, 2007 1:23 pm

    there is only one consideration for all of them. getting elected NEXT time and FEAR of how the right wing will characterize them. that is the definition of spineless and criminal. screw the law.
    I agree with Paul from Texas
    “I suggest we rename these two appropriately: The Fascist Party and the Traitor Party.”

    We need the Baghdad gallows to be moved to DC.

  97. skiphunt August 5th, 2007 1:39 pm

    Haven’t we run out of options? If we “work within the system, etc.” Isn’t it pretty evident the “system” is utterly rigged now? Rigged elections, a regime who rewrites law to suit whatever behavior they please, a Vice President who opperates in secret and is accountable to no one, an Attorney General who get away with pretty much anything he wants, a taitorous Democratic congress, a BushCo owned Supreme court, a media completely willing to refocus any appearance of “heat” on these guys with the latest Lohan/Spears/Richie/Hilton news or convenient disaster?

    Have you noticed that everytime is looks like ANY of these monster’s geese are cooked, there’s always some disaster that completely takes the media’s eye off them… and when the dust settles, it’s all forgotten?

    Seriously, what options do any of us really have left?

  98. baska August 5th, 2007 1:45 pm

    RE: THE 3RD PARTY QUESTION CONT.

    srelf August 5th, 2007 1:23 pm
    “Would people be willing to state ahead of the election that they intended on abstaining if another spineless Democrat is nominated? If so, the tendency to flee from independent candidates as the election day comes up might be circumvented.”

    That is the key issue for 3rd-party-ists: whether they are willing to stick with their vote unless they receive iron-clad shifts of position and commitment from a Democrat candidate.

    With a small progressive electorate, Democrats count on progressives to ‘blink;’ with a larger 3rd party electorate, imo, Democrats would ‘fold.’

    “The #@&*storm it would bring on organizers would be tremendous if the numbers became large enough to make a difference.”

    Yes, the Nader-hater Democrat position is already evidence of the abuse that such a principled position creates among Democrats - who, of course, are unwilling to hold their own right wing intransigence responsible for 3rd partyists (to say nothing of the much greater number of ‘what’s-the-dif’ stay-at-home Democrats).

    “these creative revolutionary ideas being mentioned above have to be seriously considered.”

    Yup. There’s a basic split or tension on this website - between 3rd-party-ists who believe political regeneration must grow out of a 3rd party, and those who would use their allegiance a) to articulate their position, and b) to negotiate w/Democrats.

    One group believes nothing will change Democrats; the other believes a large enough 3rd party movement will force them to change.

    Regardless - I hope both groups can work together to withdraw from this corrupted system…and, crucially, to make a greater electorate understand why. Regrettably - where the outreaching ‘why’ question is concerned, 3rd party camps will disagree.

    But at present, this is a theoretical question disputed by a tiny subculture - I don’t think either ‘3rd party’ camp is doing the outreach necessary to have an impact.

  99. baska August 5th, 2007 1:50 pm

    RE: “VIOLENT” REVOLUTION OR BUST?

    skiphunt August 5th, 2007 1:39 pm

    Skip…I think I hear you…but it is not clear you’ve worked through my response…

    See what Che Guevara wrote. Think about it.

  100. Siouxrose August 5th, 2007 1:57 pm

    Fascinating thread. Major KUDOS to CALICO.TIGER for sharing some extremely valuable insights and information, particularly with respect to the state of dissonance we find ourselves in. The reality dislocation was aptly described by the source you offered. How often do I define modern U.S. society as living in a state of virtual schizophrenia. Your source defines the whys and wherefores powerfully. I also applaud your 2nd posting which reminds me of the adage about the frog left in water that boils so slowly, it’s unable to recognize the peril it’s in. Indeed, that symbol fits U.S society today.
    ROBERT BALDWIN: I totally agree with you, and given all the data and intelligent perspectives offered in this forum, I don’t see how ROBERT SETTGAST can still argue it’s the public’s fault? I mean that’s like blaming the victim of torture who’s tied up and unable to connect with his own family members for BEING in that predicament! It’s a form of Republican “individualism” to presume that all this power is attributable to citizens when in fact as others have shared in this forum, the whole machine has become rigged. EVERY aspect of it… from the public GETTING reliable information, an extension of the intrinsic responsibility of the “4th estate” to ensure that there is an informed citizeny (this being a necessary ingredient of democracy), to the walling off (or marginalizing through media attrition) of dissent, to the threats against citizens “with us or against us,” to the democrats becoming a party of co-dependency to the vicious presidency run amok (others have linked it to an abusive family paradigm where members enable the abuser to keep on keeping on), ETC. In other words, since the mechanisms that would repair the system have been disabled, how is it then citizens’ responsibility to alter what’s going on? How many of us want Blackwater troops aiming their artillery at us? Many of us presume we can still make some form of contribution while still alive.
    Thank you to posters… this particular threat offers MUCH to consider.

  101. Earthian August 5th, 2007 2:01 pm

    Glenn Greenwald’s article has some fine aspects, namely that the corporate Democrats are complicit in supporting the Bush power grab in violation of certain aspects of the Constitution. But then, his conclusion is quite thoughtless. He ends with:

    “The common, defining political principle here — what resonates far more powerfully than any other idea — is a fervent and passionate belief in our country’s constitutional framework, the core liberties it secures, and the checks and balances it offers as a safeguard against tyrannical power. Those who fail to defend that framework, or worse, those who are passively or actively complicit in its further erosion, are all equally culpable.”

    He fails completely to distinguish which parts of the constitutional framework he so wholly reveres are worth believing in, being progressive, and which ones are worth amending, being anti-progressive.

    This kind of blanket support for a flawed and partially obsolete framework is indeed thoughtless. This comment area is not the place to make the whole argument about what parts of the framework are progressive and which parts are not, and so are worth amending, but I can at least point the way to where the arguments have been made and thoroughly so.

    The progressive parts of the nation’s second Constitution, the current one written in 1787, are many, including, of course the Bill of Rights as well as those powers of the House over the President, such as the provision that enables Congress to make the rules that govern the armed forces in Article 1 (8). The clause in Article 6 (2) that makes “treaties made” the “supreme law of the land” is also quite progressive. And there are many, many others. And there are non-progressive aspects that need to be reexamined and changed.

    The fact that the Senate’s membership is not proportional to the population of the states is wholly anti-democratic. The six-to-one ration of population (white people) at the time of its adoption in 1789 has now ballooned to 80 to 1 (California to Wyoming) such that in the Senate, if California had the same representation per-capita as Wyoming, California would have 160 senators. But California has two. (And women comprise a meager 15 percent or less: 78th among nations in this regard.) And this unrepresentative body also has great powers not given to the House: to veto House legislation; to filibuster; to approve treaties, judges and cabinet positions; and to prevent constitutional amendments or a constitutional convention.

    The presidential veto amounts to a third legislature, and therefore prevents innovation and creates gridlock or what Dan Lazare calls paralysis. The single-seat-district, most-votes-wins nature of House elections is anti-proportional, therefore anti-progressive. Of course, proportional representation was not invented until the middle part of the 19th century, so the framers cannot be blamed for what they didn’t know as mechanisms for making the legislature a mirror of the people.

    This isn’t to say the Constitution is bad, it is pointing out the inherent contradictions between the Preamble with its insistence that the government represents and serves the people. (It doesn’t say (We The States . . .)

    And the gravest, most obvious flaw in the entire document is the lack of a referendum, not only for electing our president (substituting the non-democratic Electoral College which we should abolish) but also the lack of a referendum for removing a corrupt president and/or vice-president, and for calling for and approving amendments to the Constitution itself, and for calling for a constitutional convention. The state of Montana has one of the better amending provisions in these regards, passed in 1972. It allows for 10 percent of the voters, including 10 percent in at least half the counties, to put forth an amendment or for calling a convention, and then a majority up or down vote on proposed amendments. THAT is a progressive amending process. Montana also calls for a vote for a state constitutional convention (following Jefferson’s advice) every 20 years if none has been called. THAT is also a progressive amending process. Robert Dallek proposed today in the Post such an amendment for a referendum to oust corrupt presidents and vice-presidents, so at least these kinds of standard progressive electoral ideas are gaining favor. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/03/AR2007080301952.html?hpid=opinionsbox2

    While the states have had no fewer than 233 state constitutional conventions, the nation has had zero constitutional conventions since the last one to fix the first flawed constitution in 1787. There are progressive solutions to this problem using Article V, and that is getting a convention to fix these and other problems in the framework. Fifty states have submitted 567 applications for a constitutional framework, and Congress has not acted as Article V says they “shall” once two-thirds of the states have done so. So there is a real opportunity here. There is a group working on the constitutional convention idea at www.foavc.org.

    And we shouldn’t overlook that the constitutional framework has failed to prevent a plutocratic corpocracy from seizing the framework itself, fulfilling Franklin’s prophesy that the constitution would need to be replaced when the people came to deserve “despotic government” and got, then, what they deserved. In 2007, that prophesy is obviously fulfilled. No other established democracy (or to use a Latin term, a republic) allows money to dictate electoral outcomes, which amounts, obviously, to bribes.

    These flaws add up to a system that prevents governmental policies from mirroring public opinions, a situation which is against the highest ideals Madison believed in, especially as he got older and saw the system run. The current gap between governmental policy and public opinion is a vast chasm, earning Congress an approval rating of 27 percent.

    For more on this line of argument, there are many thoughtful sources to countermand the thoughtless conclusion of this article. See: Sanford Levinson’s Our Undemocratic Constitution; Dan Lazare’s Frozen Republic; Robert Dahl’s How Democratic is the American Constitution; and Steven Hill’s 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy and his earlier book Fixing Elections. There is also much on this at www.fairvote.org. Proportional representation and referenda are key parts to the Green Party/Nader/Kucinich progressive platform. In short, revering the Constitution as a whole without a critical lens of analysis is thoughtless. We need to be thoughtful enough to decipher its progressive aspects and preserve those, and to decipher its non-democratic, non-progressive aspects and fix those. THAT is the spirit of the last constitutional convention (Madison’s notes are online and tell the whole story) and that is our task today.

    The progressive bottom line is stated in the Preamble quite well: a more perfect union has five characteristics: domestic tranquility, the general welfare, the common defense, establishment of justice, and the blessings of liberty. Or in short, Bob LaFollette’s words at the 1912 Republican Convention when he said, ” . . . the will of the people shall be the law of the land.” We have a long way to go, and as complicated and detailed as the above argument may be (and it is only the tip of the iceberg of electoral and constitutional change along progressive lines) there is simply no substitute for grokking the fullness of the history, the arguments and the options if progressives are to find a way forward to fix the nation.

  102. srelf August 5th, 2007 2:12 pm

    Hey everybody - keep in touch.

  103. canardtahiti August 5th, 2007 2:15 pm

    These cheneybushsluts have effectively painted Americans into a corner, with few real options. Even if citizens vow to avoid violence, you can be CERTAIN the fascist power structure will use agent provocateurs to provoke violence and then BLAME the non-violent opposition — because tyranny REQUIRES violent acts so as to justify a spiral of increasingly violent state repression of an entire population. (That’s what 911 and other “terrorism” is all about…by now most Americans have realized this).

    The Nazis were masters of this strategy: they instigated faux-conspiracies and violent “crimes against the state,” all the better to sweep up opposition leaders and eliminate dissent. Sound familiar? It should. Cheneybushsluts have virtually lifted their tactics from Goebbels and Adolf.

  104. ezeflyer August 5th, 2007 2:26 pm

    THE INTERNATIONAL GREENS AND COUNTRIES THAT RECOGNIZE THE THREAT TO WORLD PEACE FROM US CONSERVATIVES COULD HELP BY FUNDING THE US GREEN PARTY. MONEY TALKS. JUST ASK THE BUSHITES WHO GET THEIR BRIBES FROM MULTINATIONALS, BANKS AND FOREIGN OLIGARCHS.

  105. Robert Settgast August 5th, 2007 2:36 pm

    VALIENT LEADERSHIP,
    Our faith in Bush’s leadership and Devine guidance has been reinforced by his decisive action to protect us from such dangerous and important issues as gay marriage and flag burning. Our legislators may now dwell on these paramount issues rather waste their efforts on lessor items such as the war, homeland security, which he has so aptly demonstrated can be best pursued by his team without congressional or outside interference– and especially global warming which we now know is a conspiracy developed by the international scientific community.

    For our safety, criticism of this administration cannot be tolerated, andmerits reprimand. This is why Bush had to expose Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee Vietnam veteran, as unpatriotic-for supporting the dangerous inquiry into 9/11, as well as others who have challenged his policies

  106. GARBOTOO August 5th, 2007 3:05 pm

    FEAR IS A RENEWABLE RESOURCE…

    thank you micki…for this brilliant one liner

  107. Siouxrose August 5th, 2007 3:15 pm

    EARTHIAN: Quite the astute analysis! thank you for sharing it!

  108. catman August 5th, 2007 4:19 pm

    So, lets find a way to not participate and support each other if we really give a shit. What’s left? Voting? Please.

  109. Earthian August 5th, 2007 4:55 pm

    You are welcome Siouxrose. Glad you liked it. I’ve enjoyed and benefited from numerous comments you’ve made. Thank YOU!

  110. gabi August 5th, 2007 5:01 pm

    poor woody …. don’t have a heart attack while you are scrambling to protect nader and bash Dems. nader’s “heart” certainly didn’t suffer when he got “up close and personal” with the republican party, why should yours ?? Or do you keep forgetting that part of his history ??

  111. dmbelisle August 5th, 2007 5:19 pm

    Baska…

    You and many others are starting from the proposition that the Democratic Party has got to go. As a practial matter, that will not happen. Weakening the DLC only serves the RNC. You are telling me that doesn’t make a difference in the way this country is governed? Far from “dumbass provocations and unsupported arguments” the evidence is clear if not conclusive that third party candidates draw support away from either the RNC or the DNC (Ross Perot, Ralph Nadar) Sure I was keen to vote for Nader in 2000, but I saw the consequences of that vote and switched in the end. If you are afraid of a fully functioning fascist state in this country then keep it up.
    The Democratic Party in my district is alive and functioning. The difference is they will not give up and will seek to make the party better.

  112. baska August 5th, 2007 5:59 pm

    RE: dmbelisle: RIGHT WING, CONFUSED, OR ILLITERATE?

    dmbelisle August 5th, 2007 5:19 pm
    “You…are starting from the proposition that the Democratic Party has got to go…Weakening the DLC only serves the RNC.”

    Do you know the difference between the Democratic Party and the DLC? Or are you just acting dumb because you don’t want to admit you support the right wing of that party? Or are you confused? Or are you illiterate? Come back when you understand the post and are prepared to answer the questions. Dismissed.

  113. bbkBill August 5th, 2007 6:46 pm

    Why is every one so surprised?

    We have no political parties. We’ve never had much of them, I mean the Democrats, the Republicans. We have one party. We have the party of essentially corporate America. It has two right wings, one called Democratic, one called Republican.”—-Gore Vidal

    It will never be any different!

  114. panamahead August 5th, 2007 6:52 pm

    Democrats think its cool that Bush and Cheney don’t give a shit about the law. They want to be just like them.

  115. landmark August 5th, 2007 7:30 pm

    If you choose the lesser of two evils, you get . . .

    evil.

  116. CRIMSON GHOST August 5th, 2007 9:59 pm

    The destruction of the Democratic Party as it is currently constituted is a NECESSARY precondition for any real change in the current political order where average Americans are effectively disenfranchised in favor of the ultra rich and war mongering dual-loyalist Zionists.

  117. woody August 6th, 2007 12:01 am

    Gabi,
    I’ve got to say I have never seen anyone so proud to display their total ignorance as you demopublicans. How long have you been on the payroll of the DLC anyway?
    I know it was Nader who keeps forcing Reid, Pelosi, Landreaux,Kerry and the rest of you spineless, gutless wimps to vote for the patriot act, the invasion of Iraq, The bankruptcy law that gave the credit card industry every thing it wanted. Then there’s the Medicaid prescription law which made it law that the government couldn’t negotiate for lower drug prices. Aw you Demopublicans are true voices of the people!!!!The Rich people.
    And don’t worry about my heart sport, it only beats 50 beats per minute at rest, what’s yours asshole? Since there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between your employers at the DLC and the Republicrats, I have no problem with Nader taking money from them. But what I want to know is, why with all that’s going on in this country like Iraq, 50 million uninsured, every child abandoned, Halliburton, Bectel, and the other multinationals robbing the taxpayers blind, Veterans being abandoned by Bush and the Congress, all our civil rights being eroded more and more every day, etc. etc. and all you can talk about is Nader taking a couple grand from the republicrats?

    You guys will do anything to not take responsibility for your lack of integrity & spineless behavior.
    I guess when you’re that bankrupt morally, what else can you do?
    Get a life and a spine will ya?

  118. sjc_1 August 6th, 2007 12:21 am

    This is one of those issues that you get beat up on by straw man tactics from the right wing. If you do not vote for this, then you are soft on terrorism. If you do not vote for more and more defense spending and you are soft on defense.

    We have to stop the right wing from getting away using these tactics if we are ever to have a meaningful and logical debate on these issues. As long as those methods work, they will continue to use them, only WE can stop them. Next time someone says that so and so is soft on an issue like this, challenge them!

  119. peaceistruth August 6th, 2007 2:26 am

    Everyone should consider secession. Let us start state by state. The idea seems to be gaining in popularity in Vermont. I am more than willing and would be perfectly happy to sit down with the most demented white southern red-state bible-thumping racists to try to reach agreements on how to *peacefully* secede. Not that I like southern red-state racists(or racists from any state for that matter), I despise them, and they despise progressives like me. I see it as no different from a married couple agreeing to a divorce due to mutual hatred for one another.

    Vermont should go first, it would send shockwaves around the world. We should do all we can to find international recognition. As someone pointed out earlier, we are a right-wing country for the most part, but we(blue states) would be on par politically with Europe and Canada(when it comes to health-care and economics) if the South and Middle America weren’t always doing all they can to deny us about a century’s worth of progress. Conversely, the blue states tend to balance out the red states; they could have more wars and even be more racist and more religious without the blue states interfereing and providing a slight moderating influence, although that’s largely a thing of the past now.

    Get involved with local politics and support secession!

  120. peaceistruth August 6th, 2007 2:40 am

    Woody, bravo!

    For years I was practically tared and feathered for supporting Nader, because he “stole votes” from Democrats. Now that we see that there really is no difference between the “2″ parties, as I and true progressives have long suggested, they are not so hateful of me as before, except for those drooling DLC puppets.

    I “like” the idea of progressives reclaiming the Democratic Party, but it is just not feasible. We would have to turn it into an empty shell first, but the vile, blood-sucking corporate parasites are so entrenched in the Democratic party, they would never allow it.

    Localize politics. Strike. Barter, Support state secession, grow your own food, try becoming more communal, boycott, protest, educate. Inspire the U.S military to revolt, desert, mutiny, and disobey orders. Support the Green Party, There is light at the end of this tunnel, but we must escape the corporate machine we all live in first!

  121. KEM PATRICK August 6th, 2007 2:44 am

    Peaceistruth: Just mulling over your comments there and suddenly I recalled, secession was attempted in the U.S. once before. I do beleive it resulted on one of the bloodiest wars in history and the attempt was taken off of the table.

    There has to be a better way, like our congress doing their sworn duty,___ to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    The subject matter here concerns our Constitution and violatons of it. So to solve the problems in that regard, you propose to violate the very Constitution you wish to protect.___ Hmmmmmm?

  122. Bobbi Dykema Katsanis August 6th, 2007 11:12 am

    A little less paranoia would be helpful here, I think. The Senate knows something we don’t about Bush-Cheney mayhem? Please. And a third party, as was astutely pointed out, would be the neocons’ wet dream, divide the opposition. Bush-Cheney are definitely playing the endgame, and I think the Congress will be the LAST ones to figure that out. So why’d they vote the way they did? There are still 29% of American voters who give Bush’s policies a favorable rating. These folks write their Congresspeople, they are nothing if not vocal. Fear is a powerful motivator.

    We have to get the money out of politics, so that the people can be represented again. Under the current system, we have the Senator from Boeing, the Senator from Merck, the Senator from 3M… yeah, you know who I’m talking about. Total public financing of campaigns. Kind of like what Kem Patrick is talking about.

  123. huckleberry August 6th, 2007 12:18 pm

    There is a lot of talk among these threads about leaving america for greener pastures. Perhaps that is how we got into this mess. All the smart people with means have left. I’d like to leave too, but shouldn’t we have a little compassion for those left behind?

  124. dmbelisle August 7th, 2007 12:35 am

    Baska:

    The “DLC” in my sentence is nothing more than a bit of a typo left over from a rewrite, and for that you want to crucify and dismiss someone? I got better treatment when I was exchanging viewpoints with white supremicist.

    As far as understanding the essay, I grasped it fully. I don’t agree with all of the conclusions, hence the discussion. I’ve followed through on some of your other posts and quite frankly you seem all over the map on the issue. In some posts you seem to support a progressive take over of the Democratic Party and admit that it will take a long time. At other times your opinion appears to sway towards a third party. Care to clarify, or am I still dismissed?

  125. baska August 7th, 2007 4:40 pm

    dmbelisle August 7th, 2007 12:35 am
    “I got better treatment when I was exchanging viewpoints with white supremicist.”

    And you deserve to be treated well. So knock back some brewskies, and have a spirited but respectful “exchang[e] of viewpoints” with white supremacists over the execution style murder of Judge Lefkow’s husband and 90 year old mother in the basement of her Chicago home.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/na/chi-0503010123mar01,1,374592.story?coll=chi-news-hed

  126. electrostatic August 13th, 2007 3:26 am

    Am I alone here, or does anyone else think the CFR is a bit too powerful? (Seeing as they are the national politician/MSM lobby for the WTO and corporate fascism and count all but 3 current Presidential contenders as their own.)

  127. lawlessone August 14th, 2007 1:21 pm

    EXCERPT FROM A LETTER TO PELOSI: If the present leading Democrats cannot or will not protect the Constitution by reigning in or removing self proclaimed wannabe monarchs like Bush, Cheney and Gonzales, then I am afraid they leave us utterly no choice except to seek removal of them by first removing the present Democrat leadership and putting in someone who is willing to do what is necessary.

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