Sunday, October 08, 2006

Auwe Already ~ Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Bunch

Axis of Evil: The Worried Shrimp

Dateline: October 7, 2006, leaving a month exactly until the crucial mid-term elections, and a good time to review where things stand for our friends the Republicons.

War in Iraq: the much-ballyhooed choice to remake the imbroglio that is Iraq the centerpiece in the push to re-elect Bush’s rubber-stamp Congress seems to be backfiring big time. With a Senate report concluding that Saddam Hussein’s regime had no links to terrorists pre-invasion, and a leaked National Intelligence Estimate saying that Iraq has caused more problems than it has remedied, the recent release of Bob Woodward’s book Denial sums up the Bush brigade’s mindset and tactics in one pithy word.

Draconian unwarranted legislation permitting torture and the designation of American citizens as “enemy combatants” is, in a lot of legal scholars’ opinions, unconstitutional. Let’s hope it’s soon held to be so, because it certainly signals the death of many bedrock legal principles upon which this country was founded if not. Prominent Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham & even Colin Powell added their voices to a growing chorus from within the military justice system—if it’s not broke, don’t try to "fix" it—but Bush & Cheney, fearless leaders with no experience of war themselves (unless dodging it counts), arrogantly go their own way.

Following that, just for good measure, Bush makes a big show of reasserting his novel & wholly invented “unitary executive” legal theory which he promulgates in countless “signing statements” and thereby seeks to neuter the very Congressional representatives he hopes will get re-elected. He tells them he’s going to edit Homeland Security reports if he damned well wants to, regardless of what they said in that law he just signed.

Suggested Note to Self, Bush: your contrived war & all the laws & policies you’ve invented to prop it up are highly unpopular with the electorate. You persist in a course of self-aggrandizement that comes at the expense of the very Republicans you hope will get re-elected—unless you’re thinking of abolishing Congress altogether with a coup—which wouldn’t at all surprise this Demon.

DP estimation overall of the gambit to get re-elected based on this: ballsy but not very bright.

For one, news today that the numbers American troop casualties (in terms of wounds) in Iraq go ever higher, while the Administration still refuses to admit that what we’ve fomented over there is nothing less than a civil war:

“The number of U.S troops wounded in Iraq has surged to its highest monthly level in nearly two years as American GIs fight block-by-block in Baghdad to try to check a spiral of sectarian violence that U.S. commanders warn could lead to civil war.”

Also in today’s news, a General warns that Afhgans will start supporting the Taliban if we don’t stop destroying their country & do something substantial to put them on the path to stability instead. Like Clinton said in the now-famous interview on Fox: “I've never criticized President Bush because I don't think it's useful. But what do we have? We have a government that thinks Afghanistan is only 1/7 as important as Iraq."

Ill: (real T shirt, BTW)

Meanwhile “The Dick” Cheney stumps the country, pounding the drums of fear & terror: there’s only one way to fight this war on Terra that we, by our policies, have only made worse: re-elect a do-nothing neutered Congress. (Come again?) And stay the course.

No wonder the candidates whose fates hang in the balance refuse to be photographed with him. Only the most brainwashed party faithful wingnuts are still falling for it.

“…The message is…carefully targeted. More than half of Cheney’s fundraisers in this two-year cycle have been behind closed doors. Even at a lunchtime speech to Wisconsin Republican donors that was open to reporters, gubnernatorial candidiate Rep. Mark Green did not stand on stage, ensuring no pictures of the two together on the news, and some other Republican candidates did not attend at all.

“That is okay with the White House, which at a perilous moment is counting on Cheney's under-the-radar campaign to rally the base, not the broader public. ‘The fact that he's willing to go after Democrats as harshly as the Democrats are going after the White House gets the party faithful going,’ said GOP strategist Glen Bolger.

“It happens to inflame the Democratic faithful as well, and party strategists consider him a prime target for their own pitch to voters. ‘When he threatens Democrats and calls them names, it's something that really fires up our base,’ said John Lapp, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's independent expenditure program.

“Cheney's fundraising visits often end up as fodder for opponents of those he tries to help. ‘Dick Cheney, Big Oil and Big Drug Companies Threw Curt Weldon a secret Washington thank you party,’ reads a Democratic brochure targeting the Republican Pennsylvania congressman. ‘And we got stuck with the bill.’"

So it’s all good: a dog whistle that only the most deluded wingnuts can hear. Except that it’s a campaign strategy that, like the war itself, is a very, very bad idea.

However, all this drum-banging, tub-thumping & war-mongering can’t drown out the fact that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum where the Republican Congress is concerned: sex scandals (old as time itself) sell, and like the Abramoff corruption scandal which has just claimed an aide to Karl Rove—the White House, of course, claims Abramoff’s influence there went no further—the stench permeates the Capitol, & every day, it seems, puts more Republicon seats in jeapordy.
Senator Allen, he of the preposterous “rhinestone cowboy” boot affectation, has problems extending beyond his sartorial style and evil tongue: he seems to have conveniently “forgotten” to disclose some stock options to and shady delalings to Congress. He reportedly doesn’t think a quarter of a million dollars “windfall” in stock value qualifies as “extraordinary riches”--notwithstanding that he may have peddled government influence to get it.

“For the past five years, Sen. George Allen, has failed to tell Congress about stock options he got for his work as a director of a high-tech company. The Virginia Republican also asked the Army to help another business that gave him similar options.

“In interviews, Allen and his staff sought to play down his corporate dealings, saying they were a good learning experience but did not lead to extraordinary riches -- except for a quarter-million-dollar windfall from Com-Net Ericsson stock.
"Allen's office said he sold his Xybernaut stock at a loss and has not cashed in his Commonwealth options because they cost more than the stock is now worth.

“The senator also said he saw no conflict going to work for companies shortly after assisting them as governor.”

But if mere money & technical legalities fly over some Americans’ heads, sex scandals—especially gay sex scandals with Congressional pages—rivets the public's attention. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Democrats.

The Foley scandal, as it unwinds, looks more & more like a concerted effort by Republicans to cover up for an aging homosexual pedophile going back to 2003—according to an aide to Foley, who will testify that that’s when he alerted Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office—contrary to Hastert’s protests that he knew nothing about it until just recently. But it gets worse for the ‘cons.

“There are several places where local factors could amplify the scandal's destructive power against Republican candidates. Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R), who is facing questions about his own role in responding to reports of Foley's conduct, is suddenly in a tough race against Democrat Jack Davis in an upstate New York district.

“In Pennsylvania, Republican Rep. Don Sherwood's already troubled campaign hardly needed anything that might remind voters of his admission earlier this year that he had an affair with a woman who accused him of physical abuse.

“Beyond these specific races, however, many strategists in both parties believe the scandal might echo principally as a metaphor for a GOP leadership that over the past year has drawn more attention for ethical lapses and partisan turmoil than legislative achievements.” is delighted to see Reynolds in so much trouble, as it was he who, on behalf of the Republican National Committee, loudly & baldly announced that Democrats better watch out: big, big bucks are being spent in pursuit of Rovian dumpster-diving attack politics. No court records, no ex-wives or husbands, no nasty gossip, no slimy rock will be left unmolested in the Republicon quest to keep themselves in pwer by hook or by crook.

“Tom Reynolds, a central figure in the scandal, is one of the most powerful and malicious politicians in Washington. Reynolds recently devoted nearly the entire Republican Congressional Committee budget—$50 million dollars—to nasty, personal attacks against Democratic candidates.

“But Reynolds has a problem: this week, it was revealed that he knew about Mark Foley's scandalous emails, buried them, and did nothing to intervene. Folks in his district aren't happy that he covered his own butt instead of protecting kids—and polls show that all of a sudden, his race is neck and neck.”
"In a Pivotal Year, GOP Plans to Get Personal," Washington Post, September 10, 2006
Demon Princess sez: boo-yah, dudes! Could not happen to a nicer bunch. (Where'd my little violin get off to?)

Image of Original Painting, "Binky's Bad Karma," Used with Permission.


Post a Comment

<< Home