March 13, 2007


From the AP:
Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war.

Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran.
You're joking, right?

I'll let HuffPo's Cenk Uygur respond for me:
The provision didn't say we could never attack Iran. Or that we would be taking that option off the table in negotiations. It said the president must get congressional approval. You know, like it says in the constitution.

What, that was too much for conservative Democrats? Do they really believe the president - especially this president - should have the unilateral authority to attack Iran (or any country for that matter) without getting Congressional approval? Are they nuts?

I get the "conservative" part of "conservative Democrats." Because conservatives bow down to authority without regard to reason or law. But I don't get the "Democrat" part. What part of giving President Bush complete authority to start a new, disastrous war makes you a Democrat?

Please don't waste your breath arguing that taking the provision out doesn't give him the authority, it just doesn't outright prevent it. Do you really believe that this president won't take this action as a green light to move forward? Really?
Time to admit that that "new car smell" of the Democratic-controlled Congress has faded in a major way.

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75 percent

I just can't pass this one up.

In an article yesterday touting New York Times/CBS News poll results which seem to indicate deep divisions within the GOP, this was the paragraph that caught my eye:
For all that, the poll found that Republican voters remain largely loyal to Mr. Bush and his positions on the issues. Among Republicans, 75 percent approve of his job performance, and by overwhelming numbers they approve of his handling of foreign policy, the war in Iraq and the management of the economy.

Propelled by this Republican support, the poll registered an increase in the percentage of Americans who say they approve of Mr. Bush's performance; it has increased to 34 percent now from 29 percent last month.
Good God - who are you people?

Or, perhaps phrased more accurately, are you insane? If this number is accurate, it represents something so appalling to me as to render me speechless. "75 percent approve of his job performance"?! Just using the 2004 presidential vote count as a base number, that means that at least 45 million Americans are somehow stranded in areas of total isolation, without access to newspapers or magazines, shut off from the cornucopia of cable TV, cruelly denied contact with the world wide web.

Either that, or our nation is in the throes of a genetic pandemic, where huge swatches of the population are simultaneously regressing to the fierce, closed-minded, willfully ignorant tribalism so accurately depicted in The Clan of the Cave Bear.

How else to explain what appears to be a massive denial of the all too obvious - and documented - facts about the disaster that is the Bush Administration. I won't bother to rehash the proven litany of deceit, incompetence, insidiousness, lawbreaking, duplicity, and imperialism that defines George the Younger and his Royal Court, or to detail the ways in which this President has sullied the reputation of the ol' Red White & Blue, because those of you who don't see the truth by now, sadly, never will.

Perhaps the only benefit of the Bush years is that they have brought into the open the irreconcilable ideological split that's simmered beneath the surface of America's harmonious veneer long before the recent change of millennium. And maybe, while we're analytically considering the merits of partitioning warring factions in, oh, say another country (among other, less radical plans), we should realistically revisit the initially-comical idea of dividing America into Red and Blue territories.

Let's face it - if the preponderance of evidence that exists about White House malfeasance still isn't enough to penetrate the minds of that 75 percent, then our Democratic victories last November (and even a Democratic presidency in '08) aren't really an indication of any sort of collective epiphany among the general populace. Fanaticism of that degree will simply seethe in the shadows, plotting and planning to retake control at the first opportunity, and execute the same policies which we will continue to oppose just as unshakably.

So why not admit it? Why not acknowledge once and for all that we are split down the middle as a culture, as a society? Sure, it would take a lot of geographical maneuvering at first, but in the long run that Red/Blue split makes more sense to me every day.

I no longer grasp the wisdom in expending a majority of my time and energy debating those who are instinctively opposed to demonstrable facts, or battling an ideology that will never give an inch, or trying to reason with individuals for whom "reason" is a dirty, godless, Leftist contrivance. I'd much rather spend that time and energy debating and implementing the best ways to advance a Progressive agenda within a culture of like-minded, educated, informed people.

Because I, too, will never see things the way that 75 percent do. Not. Ever.

So let them have their militarism, and torture, and reduced civil liberties, and unitary executive, and corporate cronyism, and abstinence fairy-tales, and suppression of women's rights, and legislative homophobia, and aversion to science, and spiralling deficits, and blending of church and state. Instead of merely turning those 45 million voters and their kin into a festering insurgency that will forever be waiting to pounce, let's admit our irreconcilable differences, opt for a no-fault divorce, and amicably divide the property.

"But, Bob," you cry, "that's a defeatist attitude. Our only way forward is to educate, no matter how hard the task." Well, excuse me. Maybe it's just an off day. But from where I sit, we're dealing with the ineducable, kids. I don't see any kinder way to put it. And I sincerely don't want to live any longer in a society that includes that 75 percent and their ilk, or the overall third of our population that blindly bows to the most disastrous Administration in America's history.

So the time has come, in my opinion, to give the logical alternative a whirl. Forget the mythical "strengths" of robust debate - in its current form, debate produces nothing but societal paralysis, especially since we on the Left are obviously talking to an impenetrable brick wall on the Right. Let's see whose brand of governance is proven correct when left unfettered by the political "obstructionism" of the opposing side.

I know who my money is on...

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