Friday, September 29, 2006

a public Constitutional crisis over Bush's rogue presidency

tristero (in full):
The truth is that the United States government is presently holding, torturing, and even murdering countless numbers of people who have no chance in hell of obtaining a lawyer, let alone anything resembling a trial. The government is doing this under the direct orders of George W. Bush. There is no law, no bill, and no legislature who can stop him. If Congress were to pass a law unequivocably banning torture and send it to him, he'd use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he'd yawn.

The truth is that there is a rogue presidency and there has been, since January, 2001 (earlier, if you count the stolen election). Certainly, everyone in Washington knows it, but no one dares to admit it. The bill legalizing torture merely enables Congress to pretend they still have some influence over an executive that from day one was governing, not as if they had a mandate, but as if Bush were a dictator. If, for some miracle, the bill didn't pass, every congress-critter knows Bush would keep on torturing.

Better to vote to pass and preserve the appearance of a working American government, the thinking goes. For the very thought that the US government is seriously broken - that the Executive is beyond the control of anyone and everyone in the world - is such a truly awesome and terrifying thought that it can never be publicly acknowledged. If ever it is, if the American crisis gets outed and Congress and the Supremes openly assert that the Executive has run completely amok and is beyond control, the world consequences are staggering. It is the stuff of doomsday novels.

And this brings up the dilemma of a post Nov. 7 world. Apparently, one if not both houses of Congress may be controlled by Democrats. Now what? You think Bush is gonna get impeached? Put on trial for war crimes? Forget it. You think they're gonna repeal the pro-torture law they're about to pass? You can almost certainly forget that, too. Remember: it is crucial to maintain the illusion that Congress still has some say, as it was in November of 2002 about the Bush/Iraq war.

If, for some reason, Congress does decide to move against Bush in some substantive way, there will be hell to pay. Those of us who well remember Watergate remember that while it was genuinely thrilling to have Nixon caught, disgraced, and removed, it was also a time of extreme tension. Would Nixon tough the impeachment trial out, causing the country incalculable harm? It looked for quite a long time that he would. About Bush, there is no doubt.

Since the day after the 2000 election, Bush and his goons have been playing chicken with the very structure of the United States Government, double-daring anyone to try and stop them. If Congress does try - and I'm not talking little things like wrecking Social Security, that'll happen and a dictator can afford to let things like that wait a while, I'm talking atomic bang bang and thumbscrews - he will force the private Constitutional crisis into the open. And there is no guarantee that Bush will lose.

And that is the truth. The Congress has been given an awful choice: Vote to approve torture and the suspension of habeas or show the world that yes, you really do have no genuine power to check Bush.

Of course, all of Congress should vote against the bill anyway. But they won't. And to themselves, they will justify the vote as saying they made a hard choice but made the best one they could for their country.

Me, well...I've gone on record numerous times about how much I dread radicalism and serious national crises (which are two reasons Bush scares the hell out of me). The prospect of an open Constitutional confrontation, Bush vs. the Congress plus the Supremes...Jesus Christ. Perhaps I should understand the Congress had no real choice?

Absolutely not. The time truly is long overdue where there simply is no choice but to say "enough." It should have been enough over the stolen election, or the neglect that led to 9/11, or Schiavo, or the filibuster.* But voting to permit the US government to sidestep Geneva? To suspend habeas? What the fuck is Congress thinking, for crissakes??? Has fascism moved so slowly that only a few bloggers can perceive the inevitable progression? I don't think so.

There's no question about it. Any person in Congress who votes for this - listening, Hillary? [UPDATE: Apparently, she was.] - will never get my vote again. Ever, not even for dogcatcher, let alone president. If there is going to be a public Constitutional crisis over Bush's rogue presidency - and there will be sooner or later, guaranteed - bring it on now.

6 comments:

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I told you so (pfffttt). Tristero has a pretty good brain. He understands almost two generations of dumbing down by modesty in education funding, driven by conservatives, has produced a country full of people who don't know history, what the Constitution is or why it matters. He wonders like so many of us why not a single person stands up in Congress and says, "what the fuck is this?" when one person doing this simple thing could be all it takes. But, like so many people going to the trouble to write down their thoughts, he falls short of suggesting real action. It's great that he speaks up and recognizes Bush can't and won't be stopped.

Very good. So. What now? Bring it on? Bring on what? People in the streets, in the buildings, demanding these evil men retire and making it happen, reaffirming the Constitution and installing new guardians--what the Declaration of Independence sets forth, is what it will take. He doesn't want to participate in that any more than I do. But at least I say it, and he needs to say it, too. People need to get that idea in their heads. The neocons aren't going to send out invitations, and I can't do it by myself.

lukery said...

thnx uranus.

i think tristero went pretty close to calling for a rebellion. now.

rimone said...

fuck 'tristero went pretty close'; i've been ready for almost six years.

said it before (on my site &c) and i'll say it again: we're gonna need outside help. but until the EU or whatever sees people actually out in the street indefinitely, i don't think it'll happen.

it would be nice if this could all be taken care of by Americans refusing to pay their income taxes e masse. but that was last april...too late now.

Anonymous said...

not 'e masse', i meant 'en masse' /rimone

lukery said...

"whatever sees people actually out in the street indefinitely"

november 7th it is.

rimone said...

is that /on/ election day? fuck that.