The Difference Two Years MadeThe Difference Two Years Made?
On Tuesday, when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible.
That is why things are different this year.
To begin with, the Republican majority that has run the House — and for the most part, the Senate — during President Bush’s tenure has done a terrible job on the basics. Its tax-cutting-above-all-else has wrecked the budget, hobbled the middle class and endangered the long-term economy. It has refused to face up to global warming and done pathetically little about the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Republican leaders, particularly in the House, have developed toxic symptoms of an overconfident majority that has been too long in power. They methodically shut the opposition — and even the more moderate members of their own party — out of any role in the legislative process. Their only mission seems to be self-perpetuation.
The current Republican majority managed to achieve that burned-out, brain-dead status in record time, and with a shocking disregard for the most minimal ethical standards. It was bad enough that a party that used to believe in fiscal austerity blew billions on pork-barrel projects. It is worse that many of the most expensive boondoggles were not even directed at their constituents, but at lobbyists who financed their campaigns and high-end lifestyles.
That was already the situation in 2004, and even then this page endorsed Republicans who had shown a high commitment to ethics reform and a willingness to buck their party on important issues like the environment, civil liberties and women’s rights.
For us, the breaking point came over the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the fundamental checks and balances that have safeguarded American democracy since its inception. The fact that the White House, House and Senate are all controlled by one party is not a threat to the balance of powers, as long as everyone understands the roles assigned to each by the Constitution. But over the past two years, the White House has made it clear that it claims sweeping powers that go well beyond any acceptable limits. Rather than doing their duty to curb these excesses, the Congressional Republicans have dedicated themselves to removing restraints on the president’s ability to do whatever he wants. To paraphrase Tom DeLay, the Republicans feel you don’t need to have oversight hearings if your party is in control of everything.
An administration convinced of its own perpetual rightness and a partisan Congress determined to deflect all criticism of the chief executive has been the recipe for what we live with today.
Congress, in particular the House, has failed to ask probing questions about the war in Iraq or hold the president accountable for his catastrophic bungling of the occupation. It also has allowed Mr. Bush to avoid answering any questions about whether his administration cooked the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. Then, it quietly agreed to close down the one agency that has been riding herd on crooked and inept American contractors who have botched everything from construction work to the security of weapons.
After the revelations about the abuse, torture and illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Congress shielded the Pentagon from any responsibility for the atrocities its policies allowed to happen. On the eve of the election, and without even a pretense at debate in the House, Congress granted the White House permission to hold hundreds of noncitizens in jail forever, without due process, even though many of them were clearly sent there in error.
In the Senate, the path for this bill was cleared by a handful of Republicans who used their personal prestige and reputation for moderation to paper over the fact that the bill violates the Constitution in fundamental ways. Having acquiesced in the president’s campaign to dilute their own authority, lawmakers used this bill to further Mr. Bush’s goal of stripping the powers of the only remaining independent branch, the judiciary.
This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate.
where the muthafuck were you motherfuckers?
here's what i wrote in jan 05:
* nyt headline "Election Results to Be Certified, With Little Fuss From Kerry"(and i dont want to get too conspiratorial about it - but apart from me and the nyt and brad, there are only about 10 refs to that article online)"Such a debate could prove uncomfortable for Democrats, who do not want to be viewed as sore losers. But Republicans seemed eager for it."fuck off. and every article on the (electoral) challenge that doesnt include this quote from conyers' report is kidding "In many cases, these irregularities were caused by intentional misconduct and illegal behavior, much of it involving Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio."
it was the first (?) electoral challenge in 100-something years and the fucking NYT buried the fucking story. i will never fucking forgive them (i've only quoted a smalll portion of my grief from that time) - and now they're like 'The Difference Two Years Made'
(and i will never forgive keith olbermann for going on a fucking holiday that week.)
and we have gore vidal complaining that only one paper (the boston globe) on the planet reviewed conyers' 'ohio' book on election
jeebus fucking christ. i was mad then, and i'm mad now. "The Difference Two Years Made"? fuck me.
welcome to the fucking party, nyt.
dear nyt, i will fucking fuck fuck say this: this is the most fucking fuck important mid-term fucking election eva - maybe 20% as fucking important as the fucking 2004 election. and you fucking ignored it when the soon-to-be House Judiciary leader was on the fucking record claiming that the fucking election had been fucking stolen in 2004 - and you even fucking had fucking cover from the senate (unlike in fucking 2000) - and still you fucking buried it with a fucking anodyne fucking headline "Election Results to Be Certified, With Little Fuss From Kerry"
dear nyt, here's the motherfuckity deal: i'm prepared to call a truce. i'm prepared to feign happiness that all of a sudden you believe "The Difference Two Years Made" - as long as you fucking follow through next week, and month, regardless of what happens. deal?
dear nyt, if you start telling me next week that anti-Haggard voters have come out of the woodwork in the GOP's favour, if you start telling me next week that voters are finally safe from saddam's rape-rooms. or that dead people have voted in the dominican republic and somehow That Changed Everything or some other bullshit... well let me just say that the "The Difference Two Years Made" won't carry much fucking weight.
update: Rimone would have added "'too little, too late, you dipshits.'"
(consider it done.)