Monday, August 13, 2007

Even Karl Rove Has Given Up On Saving Bush’s Legacy

I heard the news late last night that Karl Rove will be resigning at the end of this month, but rather than being happy about the Roving Pig’s departure, all I could think was, “how is it possible that this slimeball will walk out of the White House on his own terms rather than being led out in handcuffs?” The scum really does rise to the top.

For all of the damage that Rove has wrought on the political process, the good news is that his dirty style of politics has, in the end, hurt his team more than the others. The Republicans are left with a bad brand that no one wants to touch, they’re like Depends Undergarments, they may be useful, but you sure as hell don’t want anyone to see you with them and it’s a last resort after everything else has failed.

Although there is lingering resentment for the way this White House has corrupted Washington, our government and the political process, Rove’s departure is a reminder that the end is near. If there was anything possible left to accomplish, Rove would surely stay, but this lame duck president is bankrupt of political capital, his own Party despises him for what he’s done to their future prospects and his time left in office is dwindling. I’ve given up on the hope that he will be impeached (although not impeaching him is a huge mistake for the long term stability of our current form of government), but I’m finally able to imagine a time beyond Bush.

I’m comfortable with the legacy that will plague the Bush name in the history books and even though Karl Rove will get away with the crimes he’s perpetrated on this country, it’s comforting to know that even he has given up trying to polish the turd he once thought was his golden boy. At least there’s some political justice.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Liberals Give Democrats A Good Name

On the heels of what I wrote about earlier today, here is a perfect example of what the Democratic Party can be, with a little help from the left. Darcy Burner is running for Congress in Washington’s 8th district and she is exactly what this country needs in the fight to take our country back from the inside the beltway, establishment politicians that run it now. In her newest campaign ad she takes on the Democratically controlled Congress and their inexplicable capitulation to Bush/Cheney yet again on the FISA bill.

Clearly Darcy Burner is no tool of the Democratic Party (check out these comments by Darcy on the FISA bill) and given the chance, will fight for us, even if that means taking on her fellow Democrats. Thanks Darcy, my hopefulness about the future of this country is buoyed yet again.

Momentum Toward The Left

There are many upsides to the deterioration of the influence of the Right and the discrediting of Conservative ideology. The most immediate and obvious upside is that it appears the country isn’t going to elect a Republican President again anytime soon, but another silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over our country is that the progressive left is gaining ground and our ideas are suddenly not only taking hold in the Middle, but are infiltration the Right as well.

As I was falling asleep last night, I heard Mike Huckabee on Hardball discussing healthcare with Chris Matthews and the good Governor said something that, sliding out of the mouth of a Republican, nearly knocked me right out of bed. He said that the Republican Party must stop behaving as a “wholly owned subsidiary of big business.” I couldn’t agree more and that sentiment applies doubly to the Democratic Party.

In my view of things, right or wrong, the GOP has always served the interests of the rich and powerful, whereas the Democratic Party used to support labor, the disadvantaged and the middle and working class. That they now behave (and vote) as a “wholly owned subsidiary of big business” is, by comparison, so much more offensive.

Watching the Democrats debate the other night at the AFL-CIO forum was a breath of fresh air. First off, the crowd was raucous, even heckling when the candidates tried to answer questions not asked instead of the question posed to them. Working Americans are the backbone of this country and “politics as usual” isn’t flying with that crowd any more. We want real answers and we’re sick to death of talking points and slick answers that sound good but are never backed up with action. I think the Democratic Presidential hopefuls on that stage got a glimpse of what they’ll be facing in November of ’08.

I love to listen to Dennis Kucinich, he speaks the truth and puts forth the liberal progressive agenda in a concise and easy to grasp manner. When he addresses the healthcare crisis that is felt by each and every American, he talks about the only solution that makes sense, a not-for-profit, single-payer healthcare system, in other words, Medicare for everyone. When he talks about the war, he expresses what most Americans want, out of Iraq now. On education, it’s simple, we must provide for the education of our nations children from birth onward. The reality is, most people with children work and paying for childcare is a burden that keeps families down, doesn’t properly prepare our children for educational success and creates instability in the workplace. If the success of our economy depends on mothers and fathers going to work each and every day, it is in the best interest of the country to provide a safe, stimulating and educationally rich place for their children to be.

None of the this is rocket science and none of this is out of the mainstream, the real problem in getting these very simple things accomplished is that they run afoul of some very powerful and very well connected special interests with the deep pockets necessary to purchase insurance (in the form of politicians) that none of this ever happens.

I don’t know if Dennis Kucinich is the answer, and taking into account political realities he probably isn’t, but the fact that his very liberal ideas were met with roaring applause is encouraging. Sure, it was from a Democratic crowd, but it should serve to warn the rest of the candidates seeking to stake their claim to the middle ground that the “middle” has moved to the left. For the first time in a long time I’m encouraged. The push from the left is working and even though we’ve only moved inches and are only gaining ground we’ve already lost, it gives me hope that it’s possible. Possible to change course, possible to make a difference and possible to get a candidate that will actually understand where the country is, and more importantly, where we want to go.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who Needs Terrorists When Our Own Neglect Will Eventually Accomplish The Same Thing?

I was watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis and one of the constant messages on the crawl was, “Homeland Security doesn’t believe this is terrorist related.” The first thing that came to my mind was, so what? Isn’t the end result the same? The same number of people died, were injured, and the same damage was done to a city and its infrastructure. Who cares if it was terrorist related?

If a power surge overwhelms our electrical grid and plunges the entire country into darkness and chaos, is it any less a national tragedy if it’s due to our failure to invest in critical infrastructure than if it’s the result of a well placed Al Qaeda bomb?

If a nuclear facility, oil refinery, airline or chemical plant cuts corners on safety to save money and something goes horribly wrong, is it somehow worse if it’s “terrorist related” than if it’s caused by deregulation and capitalism run amok?

Not only is this misguided administration creating more terrorists by way of their imperial foreign policy, but they also continue to waste our tax dollars that are desperately needed here at home. We have deteriorating infrastructure that is putting us all in danger, and the threat it poses far exceeds that of a possible terrorist attack.

We have antiquated water and sewer systems. There are roads, bridges, dams and levees all across this country in need of serious attention and we have an electrical grid that needs critical updating not to mention a whole host of other problems. We ignore them at our own peril while fixing them would be good for the flailing (for most of us anyway) economy and would even grow the shrinking middle class.

What we need in this country is a massive public works program that will put Americans to work at decent jobs for family wage pay while simultaneously investing in our critical national infrastructure. This would allow us to make use of new technologies (hell, even create new and innovative industries), make better use of our natural resources and provide better security, both personal and national. Too bad we elected a guy that can’t think his way out of a wet paper bag let alone navigate the maze of problems we face as a nation. To all of the Americans that voted for this man, all I have to say is, I hope that imaginary beer with Bush was worth all the trouble we’re in now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

An Explanation

For all of you that have been wondering where I went and why I suddenly stopped blogging, I’ve finally decided to give explaining it a shot. Even though I didn’t plan it, you have to admit that my last blog post title turned out to be perfect.

I never intended to stop blogging altogether and I really didn’t think I’d be able to go very long without spouting off about one thing or another, but it turns out, even I have adapted to the Bush administration. I have not only come to accept that they will blatantly lie, thwart our constitution and exhibit generally undemocratic (not to mention sociopathic) behavior, but I expect it from them now. I don’t know where that step falls in the grieving process, but I’ve reached it nonetheless. The death of the country I thought I knew has affected me in ways I couldn’t have predicted.

My break from blogging started off innocently enough, I just wanted to take a few days to relax, read a few books and catch up on the piles of personal stuff that had accumulated on my desk. But with my kids home for the summer, family vacations, a business I’m trying to run and an exciting new project (of course involving political writing), I quickly became overwhelmed and a week turned into two, which turned into two months and the more time that passed, it became harder and harder to pick back up again. It really is as simple as that.

Although I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been keeping up on the news, but that’s no surprise. Getting a political junkie to stop talking about it is one thing, cutting off the fix is much harder to do. I don’t know if this is the beginning of me blogging every day again, but I have learned one thing during my absence. I may not need the blog to keep my sanity the way I once did, but I do feel a bit un-tethered when I’m not doing it. I suppose that was something I needed to learn.