In a completely
unsurprising turn of events, Democrats last Tuesday rode a wave
of populist indignation all the way to majorities in both houses
of the US Congress.
heads on TV were quick to diagnose the seed of the discontent as
lying solely in Iraq. But was that the case? Of course Americans
by and large are disgusted with Iraq, as they should be, but Iraq
is more a symptom of a destructive policy than it is the
cause of anything. (That is, unless you count it being the
direct cause of radicalizing millions in the region.)
Iraq is a single
malignancy in a body riddled with cancer. Bush's never-ending "War
on Terror" is the depleted uranium sparking the tumors.
Yes, on Election
Day Americans were demanding an end to the quagmire in Iraq,
but Americans were also repudiating everything else
about the direction that Bush and the neocons have taken us these
last few years — the domestic surveillance, the torture, the Patriot
Act, the efforts to label dissenters "unlawful combatants,"
and so on.
election results were legitimate or manufactured (and that question
will always remain as long as electronic voting machines are used),
there's only one way to interpret such a stark course correction:
a rejection of Bush's police state by someone.
If the Democrats
do anything short of repealing the Patriot Act and the Military
Commissions Act of 2006, it will be a betrayal. If they don't conduct
new investigations into 9/11 and the alleged intelligence "failures"
leading to the Iraq war, and if they don't hold the neocons accountable
for all the death and diminishment that they've caused, they will
prove, once again, how they are effectively no different
than the Republicans.
Democrats will demonstrate another completely unsurprising natural
law: that the establishment protects its own.
honoring the mandate — and it's impossible to characterize the results
any other way than as a mandate — instead of finishing the job,
of utilizing the steam that powered their rise — Nancy
Dean, and John
Conyers have instead each assured the American public, preemptively,
that impeachment of George W. Bush is off the table.
are interested in national unity, just days after declaring that
Bush the unitary decider was destroying the universe? In spite of
suggesting that the public would overwhelmingly support impeachment
proceedings? (Even mainstream Zogby polling
supports this finding.)
intolerant coffee-house liberals will prove all too willing to concede
to the never-ending "War on Terror" and its collateral
laws. They'll now characterize these laws as necessary evils, these
pillars of our police state. As long as their team holds the reins,
outraged by the 4th amendment abuses built into the Patriot
Act only if it's Bush, a cardboard cutout of a "conservative,"
whose Justice Department and FBI are abusing the law. But they're
just fine with the thought of Hillary wielding that abuse of power.
For the Democrats
to impeach Bush at this point — even though it's likely that whatever
charges that might stick to him would clearly be heaped twofold
on Cheney, thereby leapfrogging whomever the Ds choose for their
Speaker to the fore — would threaten to topple the entire statist
house of cards.
have no problem with cards.
we'll see establishment incumbent protectionism in motion:
"No, no, we won't dismantle the agency/law/policy that you,
the public, find so overwhelmingly objectionable — but we will
paint it a different color." "Sure, domestic surveillance
is bad — unless it's to root out people engaging in hate speech!"
"Sure, sure, the government scrutinizing our financial transactions
with a fine-toothed comb seems un-American, but there might
be people out there buying unregistered handguns or cheating on
their taxes!" And so on.
As the opposite
side of the same coin, Democrats are every bit as dependent on government
mythology as Republicans.
side's myth has different bogeymen and varying definitions of vice
and virtue, but debate between the two is inconsequential by design.
It is just that, debate. If a substantive issue quakes the ground
beneath their feet, both parties instead happily focus on irrelevant
wedge issues like flag burning.
is always the reality that counts, and when the establishment parties
reach compromise over anything, it invariably nurtures the
Has a single
government program or law enforcement agency ever been dismantled?
Not simply renamed, but removed from the taxpayer overhead — complete
with mass layoffs of all the former employees?
reverence to the establishment premise of 9/11, in spite of all
of its proven, glaring flaws, the Constitution-destroying Patriot
Act — nay, every government action of the last five years
— becomes vulnerable to a populist demand for repeal.
now ready to recant every civil rights–based complaint they've
launched over the last five years? Will they issue a group press
release stating that they've changed their minds? Or will they just
assure everyone that it's safe to leave the laws in place because
they can be trusted not to abuse them?
As for the
mythology, without adherence to the groupthink that a few genius
Arabs in caves, without any inside help, had the supernatural wherewithal
to circumvent the most sophisticated, layered defense system the
world has ever seen, NORAD, the Democrats likewise won't be able
to utilize the Patriot Act to root out gun-owning "domestic
In other words,
the Democrats are fully vested in the police state, too. One need
only remember Waco for an example of the damage spawned by their
style of zealotry.
We can reasonably
expect for them to be just as threatened as Republicans by anyone
questioning the legitimacy of our never-ending war. Because just
like establishment Republicans, Democrats will be perfectly fine
with using both the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act
as de-facto law enforcement measures to silence their political
By so doing,
Democrats will inevitably prove that there is no such thing
as a political revolution in the modern era, as Lawrence M. Vance
points out in his last column.
Exactly like the so-called "Republican Revolution" of
1994, this latest uprising will prove short-lived, too, little more
than a steam valve to distract the masses — a means of hijacking
outrage and diverting the destructive energy safely away from themselves
when they become inevitably implicated.
There is no
hope for political revolution by working inside the establishment,
not when the people continue to expect nothing more than a false
choice, a rigged political paradigm.
must vote third party. Not just those of us on the fringes. Everyone
who is interested in saving what honor remains of this place must
never cast another ballot for Republicans or Democrats.
But back to
the conventional perspective for a moment: if Republicans have anyone
to blame for their losses — which have been a blatant, smoldering
guarantee since they goose-stepped to the polls to cast ballots
for Bush in 2004 — it's themselves. For selling their souls
and going along with the police state, for not contesting the illegitimate
and intellectually insulting premise of never-ending war, and for
buying the BS defining "free trade" as wholesale government
manipulation of markets, these Republicans deserve whatever they
I'd like to ask those Republicans out there right now: how do you
feel about yourselves?
the "thumpin'" that was undeniably headed your way, don't
you feel in retrospect that it would've been preferable to suffer
such a demoralizing loss for at least having stood on actual conservative,
standing on principle, you engaged in leader worship. If Bush does
have principles, they aren't oriented anywhere near libertarian-conservative
planks of smaller government, free markets, autonomy for the individual,
and avoiding entangling alliances, interventionism, and empire-building
around the globe.
certainly aren't oriented around the notion of enumerated powers
and the Constitutional supremacy of the individual over the state.
How do his remaining self-described "conservative" supporters
My hope is
that any person who considers himself a conservative — as he smoothes
the bubbles from his "W: The President" bumper sticker
— is given pause by this turn of events, and that it sparks a moment
or two of reflection.
Is it worth
it to you to hang your hat on the lone peg of fighting the "War
on Terror"? Do you now still stake your reputation, your wholehearted
endorsement, on the government's fervent fear-mongering
about the immediate threat of terrorism?
do you not see any irony in that? You preach that when it comes
to economics, there is "risk in life," and further, you
view the government's word as inept or duplicitous when it comes
to any other subject. Yet you elevate the government's word
on terrorism to an unquestionable gold standard.
characteristics of modern Republicanism, that of moral ambiguity
and flexible principles, that make it seem very much like a party
not worth saving.
It's so bad,
so depraved, so fallen, that it almost takes the fun out
of me now saying to them, "I told you so. Repeatedly."
(Of course I'll continue to say it anyway.)
But now the
Democrats will accomplish what Bush, the flaming globalist, the
big-government liberal, has desired all along — but failed
to pass through the few political conservatives who obstructed in
the House: amnesty for illegal aliens, expanded and legitimized
welfare subsidies for their families, and the eventual merger of
the US with Canada and Mexico into a "North
will be first priority for the incoming Democrat congress. The only
remaining objectives of the Democrats for these next two years will
be to raise taxes and to marginalize and ignore any within their
ranks who are so crass as to demand investigations into Bush's last
five years of unconstitutional high crimes and misdemeanors.
So for you
Democrats out there, I'll say this preemptively: congratulations.
This is what opting for the "lesser of two evils" buys
you — evil. I hope you prove me wrong.
we know that won't happen, let me go ahead and relish this now,
while I have your attention: I told you so.
Trotter [send him mail]
is a technical writer in Atlanta, Georgia.