The Nixon Process: Here We Go Again?

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by Tom White

We have apparently worked our way through the post 9/11 political honeymoon during which Bush could do no wrong. Now there are tremors along the old partisan fault lines. The Democrats are smelling blood. Any committed Demo partisan knows in his heart that Bush is an illegitimate president, put into office by a cabal of right-wing attorneys and vote-counters and shoved down our throats by a right-wing Supreme Court.

No kidding, I read that analysis of the thing somewhere just the other day. How anyone can conclude our Supreme Court is a "right" anything is beyond me. Roe V. Wade still stands, every other decision they make is another link in the statist chains that bind us; and we've still got the same justices who decided that Bush should be president. If this is right wing; I'm ready to go lefty.

Not really. I think what I really want to do is remove "right" and "left" from the political lexicon altogether. As for Bush's legitimacy; possession is nine-tenths of the law. He's drawing the pay, isn't he? But I think the big media now want one of their circuses, where they hound and hound about who knew what and when did he know it, until a crack finally appears that can be widened into a fissure big enough to drop a president through, as Nixon was dropped.

We survived Nixon's departure and we'd survive Bush's. But I question how many more times we can survive what I have come to see as the equivalent of banana republic coups. We don't have coups by one group of highly braided military against another; we have "coups" by the media, always supporting Democrats against Republicans, or "moderate" Republicans against more conservative or "constitutional" ones, to get rid of office holders they find unappealing, like Nixon, or candidates who are too "right-wing," too "extremist," like Buchanan, to be permitted to be major-party flag bearers.

Let them, they say, go to the minor parties, where they can be kept out of the real action by other means, as indeed all the minor parties have been. We are not even permitted the possibility of having a Haider or Le Pen.

But the whole hoopla about whether or not "the president knew" is as nothing to the abject failure of the whole "intelligence community" in the 9/11 matter, or to the abject failure of Congress to demand an accounting of the agencies that blew it with such virtuosity. And those bloopers are, in turn, as nothing to the abject failure of the mass of voters to demand from government that we pull our horns in internationally and starting minding our own business. The Big Media mount none of their relentless campaigns about these things. Only us net folk cackle about them in our tiny dens.

But that remark about minding our own business is ridiculous. I recognized that as I wrote it, because we (meaning "the nation") have arrived collectively at that bloated amoral condition in which we assume EVERYTHING is our business and, like some awful talk-show MC, we give out with the opinions that are supposed to fix the world. The unreality of it all swells and burgeons like methane from a marsh.

Noam Chomsky, in a piece that appeared May 18 on this site, said that as a nation we will not do the simple moral thing, the thing recommended, he said, by the gospels; we would not apply the same standard to ourselves we apply to others; we would not do to others as we would wish them to do to us. I have been assured by more than one correspondent that Chomsky is a dreadful anti-Semite and has a terrible bias in favor of Palestinians; but if you are willing to look at what he is actually saying, you have to admit he is quite reasonable, and almost his central crime is saying over and over again that we are, as the most powerful nation in the world, arrogant, bullying, and quite unwilling to consider how our own actions must seem to others.

That kind of hubris, such a prideful moral blindness, precedes failure and certain disaster. The disaster may well come to us from "outside," from others as agents, but we will have crafted it ourselves as surely as we make money from selling fancy war hardware to all comers in the great Bloody Flea Market that the whole world has become under our much-vaunted "leadership."

Tom White [send him mail] writes from Odessa, Texas.

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