President Bush has been taking exception to our laws by using signing statements and to our Constitution by eliminating part of it. All the while, the Republican Congress has been sparing the rod and spoiling the child and letting him get away with anything.
But finally, the majority of voters have taken a stand and told them all, “Enough!”
Does this mean the Administration or its authoritarian leaders are going to listen to the voters or that voters were only concerned about one issue? Not likely.
ARE THEY REALLY LISTENING TO US?
The 2006 midterm election was an important first step in fixing all the things wrong with our broken government. However, there is a segment of the population that has other plans they want to implement and they are very goal-oriented and determined. John Dean provides the following quote from Bob Altemeyer on the right-wing authoritarian (RWA) followers that helped elect our current authoritarian social dominators (underline added for emphasis): “Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. They would march America into a dictatorship [single-party state] and probably feel that things had improved as a result. … And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.” Here is how the Washington Post described the election results, “With fewer moderates, Republicans are less likely to feel pressure to bow to the wishes of moderates”
Since the RWAs cannot let go and since their social dominator leaders still need them to support their common authoritarian agenda – a single-party state, the Administration is only pretending to respond to the election. The President has done this by finally allowing Don Rumsfeld to take another bullet for the Administration. The same tactic was used the last time the Administration was in trouble. Then they sacrificed I. Scooter Libby for the Valerie Plame leak.
As was stated in John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience, “… All of the key staff people close to Bush and Cheney have very long relationships with them. These have been mutually beneficial relationships. Stated differently, Bush and Cheney are protected by staff who will take a bullet for them. That, I believe, is precisely what Scotter Libby is doing for Dick Cheney regarding the Valerie Plame leak, and if he goes down, he knows that Cheney will take care of him …. ”
So, the President and others are blaming the loss of the election on one issue – Iraq, and are therefore providing a quick fix to satisfy our instant gratification needs. In the meantime, they are ignoring the rest of the message behind the election.
WHAT ELSE NEEDS ATTENTION?
Fixing all that is broken in our government is not just about firing Rumsfeld and pretending to ask for outside advice on the mess in Iraq.
It’s about replacing preemptive attacks on non-democratic, possibly threatening, countries with the promotion of peace between warring middle eastern factions so they can choose a future that won’t foster internal conflict and terrorism.
It’s about replacing fear mongering with sanity and the cooperation of citizens and local, state, national and international intelligence organizations to protect us from terrorism.
It’s about higher taxes for the rich, government spending beyond its means, and robbing the future of our children with paying our own way, bettering the middle class and reducing our dependency on international financing to fund our national debt.
It’s about stopping the redacting of the Constitution, i.e., eliminating habeas corpus, and modernizing our existing laws through cooperation between the Administration and Congress.
It’s about keeping prayer, and probably eventually Bible study, out of the public schools and maintaining our right to choose any religion or no religion at all and keeping religion in the appropriate religious facility.
It’s about keeping only Christian icons out of government facilities and promoting religious tolerance.
It’s about replacing efforts to ban flag burning or intervening in family life and death decisions with non-nationalistic solutions to real national problems like health care.
It’s about leaving decisions on abortion or the right to life to the rule of law – not the rule of religious beliefs.
It’s about an independent judiciary that follows the rule of law not the rule of the mob.
Its about replacing those who violate their oath of office and ignore laws passed by Congress with those who will “protect and defend” the rules laid out in or derived from our Constitution.
It’s about undoing the party-oriented structure of the House of Representatives created by Newt Gingritch and returning it to the pre-1994 seniority oriented structure.
It’s about keeping an eye on our government representatives and not letting them manipulate us with the issue of the hour.
It’s about keeping control of our nation’s future out of the hands of an authoritarian minority and reinstating bipartisan efforts to do what’s best for the whole of the country.
WHAT DO OTHERS THINK?
Some are more optimistic about this mid-term election. For example, Paul Krugman’s article in the New York Times, put it this way:
… I do hope and believe that this election marks the beginning of the end for the conservative movement that has taken over the Republican Party.
But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism [authoritarianism] — the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s.
Similarly, Jacob Weisberg’s article at Slate.com is optimistic:
Karl Rove’s dream is dying. This is happening for reasons that have nothing to do with Valerie Plame.
Rove’s dream was to reshape American politics by creating a durable Republican majority.
… In Rove’s alliance, the rich provide the cash, and religious conservatives provide the votes.
Notice that both Krugman and Weisberg reference wealth and the religious right as the key to the past successes of the Republican party.
I’m more inclined to agree with George F. Will’s article,
Subsequent elections will reveal whether this election is a harbinger of a new and chronic Republican weakness. For nearly two generations — since the Democratic Party fractured over Vietnam in 1968 and nominated George McGovern in 1972 — the Republican Party has benefitted from a presumption of superior realism regarding the essential presidential competence, national security. Time — actually, 2008 — will tell if Iraq will do the kind of lingering damage to the Republican Party that was done by the Depression, which made the party suspect for a generation regarding the conduct of domestic policy.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?