The Dogs and Cats HowlIt's raining cats and dogs this morning and all that vicious howling and scratching is the harbinger of a mood as foul as the weather. Each day there is news of another fresh insult to our country - as usual made under the disguise of making us stronger. Each day, the audacity of these assaults becomes more brazen.
For six years we've engaged in a "War on Terror" built on a foundation of quicksand. The drumbeat of division and fear-mongering has made it impossible for the country to move forward. Education, Social Security reform, workable energy policies, and a huge don't tax and spend mentality are only the tip of the globally-warmed iceberg. Meanwhile, Rome burns as George fiddles.
Until recently, his obstinance was mostly based on a fierce, unquestioning political protectorate and a tough Teflon hide. He did and said most anything he pleased because a weak-willed Congress handed his decrees to him on a platter.
Finally, the electorate awoke and spoke at the ballot box. However, George's last true believers are still fiddling with the levers of power and the new electees have only grown a cartilage backbone. It looks like an adult backbone is still a way off, retarded by a shrinking minority who are still clinging to the deck chairs and drinking Kool-Aid cocktails.
And what if the new legislators had emerged with a fully functioning backbone?
It appears as if it would've made little difference. After the election, he cried out for a new era of bipartisanship even as he poked his opponents in the eye with a stick. He made it abundantly clear that he would defy the wishes of the electorate and Congress and push ahead with his failure of a war anyway.
Stop funding? Feh, nothing but the ramblings of traitorous cowards to be ignored.
Revoke the approval of his war? Doesn't mean a thing.
Challenge his questionable legal measures? He'll simply deny he's breaking the law while assiduously playing a shell game to keep the challenges from coming to court.
The War on Terror is bad enough, but he's consolidated his dictatorial power in other troubling ways. He's damaged America's standing and credibility on the world stage. He's laid the foundations of many bad policies that will take years to unravel. He's encouraged the erosion of our economic base to create an astonishingly wide and troubling gulf between the haves and have nots. He has pushed us down the already slippery slope of becoming a country that knows how to a country that knows nothing.
Recently, he's gnawed at the legal underpinnings that might provide a brake on his voracious appetite for control. Despite his frequent criticism of judicial activists, he's called their activism and raised the stakes by firing federal prosecutors who disagree with his positions. He doesn't bother citing justifications for the removals aside from unspecified performance issues. And in one case, even freely admitted the removal was to pave the way for a political crony.
Slow Motion Coup
Far be it to suggest these actions are a slow-motion coup. It isn't fair to accuse him of a conspiracy without proof, but his actions are troubling enough to at least ask the question, "could it be one?" Once, this question would have been laughable. Today, it seems a remote, but somewhat more valid question. After all, many dictatorships started the same way - small changes, one quietly piled atop the other so as not to panic the public. One day, the public awakens to find the levers of government firmly under the dictator's control and the Stockholm Syndrome conversion of them complete.
True, it's far-fetched and probably won't happen. But, the process has gone far enough to be a concern and far enough that someday a dictator may appear and use George's actions as a template for their own slow-motion coup.
And the day that happens the dogs and cats will truly howl up a storm.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, February 25, 2007