Thursday, June 16, 2005

Annals of Absolute Power

Tom Delay by David Levine

Political action is different nowadays.The concentration of power enjoyed by the Republicans has shown us that there is no leeway for bipartisanship or divisiveness.

Although George Bush's presidency was literally resuscitated by patriotic bipartisanship after 9-11, his actions and those of his deputies are amazingly inflexible. After the Democrats rejected just ten of Bush's judicial nominees(which might seem fairly bipartisan), did the President adjust at all ? Did he offer even one different name ? No. Three dropped out for their own advantage, and the Dems got the same seven horrific asshats they had already rejected for their extreme opinions. The Republicans claim they want bipartisanship, but their actions show otherwise.

When several Republican senators actually did participate in a compromise, there was hell to pay on the Right. Activists from the far Right have placed "appeasers" like John McCain on their shit list. Democrats must tune out any silly talk from Republicans about bipartisanship. The extreme conservative movement is in lock step, lined up to fight a war, not to necessarily help America, but simply to win. What they say, and what they tell Democrats they should be doing, is not what the Republicans in government actually do.

This war is fought by exercising their majority power in inconceivable new ways, like Trent Lott's "nuclear option". A battle is won when Delay and his Texas underlings decide to reapportion his state again, though it was so recently done in 2000 under Texas law.The reapportionment forced through pretty much automatically gave George Bush some extra electoral votes he needed in the historically close election of 2004.

This war continues with the treatment afforded public television. Newt Gingrich tried to cut the CPB in his days of power, but failed because general bipartisanship cost him the votes he needed. Today, the House has performed these cuts, so, as the wags say, the Republicans hate Big Bird. When Ken Tomlinson talks about liberal slant on PBS, just who does he mean? There was Bill Moyers, now replaced by less liberal David Brancaccio, and that's all. It's not surprising that Ken Tomlinson wants to make a former head of the Republican National Committee the new head of the CPB.

One of the most disturbing elements of recent discourse is the mealy mouthed "dissociation " of major Democrats like Biden and Edwards from Howard Dean. The Republicans would never do this even about some one as corrupt as Delay. Yet the corporate media is happy to publish quotes from Democrats lukewarm about any remarks from Dean. On Meet the Press on Sunday one of those lop sided conservative panels spent 1/3 of their thirty minutes talking about Howard Dean !

Democrats should have learned by now how to side step such trashing of their party. They do not help their base constituency back home by assuring the loss of future elections. The Republicans have mastered the skill of setting the agenda for discourse- Dems should not willingly play into their hands.


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