Tuesday, June 28, 2011
All politicians are not alike
I have this Facebook friend who’s an unabashed conservative. He’s nice enough, I guess, but he regularly responds to my posts by either defending Republicans or placing Democrats in the same class as the Dark Side. I even unfriended him but he asked to be friends again and I wanted to be a better man so I accepted. Now he’s back to not even considering what I post or where I’m coming from and offering nothing substantive to make me change my mind. He’s like a worm that appears in the driveway after it rains – brainless and a little icky but not a Tier One concern and a part of the web of life so I just step around him.
Worm rankles me whenever he leaves messages tying Republicans and Democrats together because I always think of two major crimes committed by George Bush and his ilk that I doubt Democrats would be able to pull off even if they had the competence and capacity: 1) stealing the 2000 presidential election, and 2) lying this country into a war that’s cost $784,951,989,565 to date and killed 1.2 million human beings.
Stealing the Election
The State of Florida purged its voter lists of over 50,000 people – mostly African-Americans – in the months leading up to the 2000 presidential election. Jeb Bush, Florida’s Republican governor and candidate George’s brother, and rabid Republican secretary of state Katherine Harris worked with a computer firm with strong Republican ties to discourage and prohibit voting by likely Al Gore supporters based on false accusations that they were felons.
Gore “lost” Florida, and thus the presidency, by 537 votes.
This is not a conspiracy theory put forth by a few aluminum hat-wearing paranoids with a grudge against fake cowboys. A reputable American investigative journalist named Greg Palast – who reports for the Guardian, the Observer and the BBC – uncovered paper trails, computer disks and other credible proof of the shenanigans that kept our 45th vice president from capturing the top job. Sadly, Palast couldn’t get American networks and news organizations to give his findings the attention they deserve.
About Iraq, Paul Krugman of the New York Times wrote in June of 2003, “It’s no answer to say that Saddam Hussein was a murderous tyrant...many of the neoconservatives who fomented this war were nonchalant, or worse, about mass murders by Central American death squads in the 1980s...The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history – worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra. Indeed, the idea that we were deceived into war makes many commentators so uncomfortable that they refuse to admit the possibility.”
I know this is old news but I just can’t let it go. It’s just so infuriating, so unfathomable and alarming and exasperating. It’s so distressing to me, so insomnia-causing, so jarring to think that there’s no one – no Fourth Estate, no supreme law enforcement entity – to protect us from madmen, from liars and evildoers and greedy, corrupt, myopic politicians who will stop at nothing, literally nothing, to achieve their selfish, twisted goals at the expense of my children and my country and my democracy.
On June 18 I wrote that I was no longer a Democrat and expressed my disgust and disdain with that party’s leadership. This is not, therefore, a partisan attack on the GOP. This is an attempt to express my still-boiling outrage at what’s happened in and to politics in the last three decades.
No, all politicians are not alike. Democrats are generally pandering, bumbling, unreliable, disappointing, capitulating enablers who don’t deserve the respect they’re still afforded in some corners. But the new era of unscrupulous Republican politicians – Boehner and Barbour and Cantor and Cheney and Dubya and DeLay and McConnell and McCain and Rove and Rumsfeld and Reagan – will say or do anything to get what they want, to capture and hang on to power, to hide the truth and fan the flames of fear and anger and ignorance.
Aided by Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart and Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch and Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and the supposedly “liberal” media who report every outlandish assertion as if it’s fact, they’ll obstruct and obfuscate and conceal and circumvent and distract and deflect and divide and forsake their oath to faithfully discharge the duties of their offices.
Democrat Bill Clinton lied to the nation about extramarital sex; no one was hurt besides his wife.
Democrat Anthony Weiner lied to the nation about icky text messages; no one was hurt besides his wife.
Republican George Bush lied about the reason for war; billions of tax dollars are gone and more than a million people are dead or wounded.
George Bush’s Republican accomplices lied about the 2000 election; possibly the worst president in the 229-year history of the United States of America was given free rein to plunder and pillage and destroy and desecrate and vex and violate.
The differences are stark, as any lumbricus terrestris can see.
This is why I lie awake at night.
Sources: Costofwar.com, The I Hate Republicans Reader (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003), The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Plume/Penguin Putnam, 2003), Answers.com.