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HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
The Electoral Remedy

What to Do with Bush and Cheney?

by DENNIS LOO

It’s been eight years – almost to the day – that Bush and Cheney lost the election but seized the White House anyway.

It’s been four years – almost to the day – that Bush and Cheney lost the election again, but took the White House anyway.

Now we are on the verge of yet another election, the third in a row dubbed by many “the most important in our lifetime.” Bush and Cheney aren’t on the ballot, but those who would carry on their policies are. And once again the Democratic Party, the loyal opposition, puts forth their alternative.

What has not been broached in this election contest? What has most conspicuously been avoided?

* * *

In spite of the multitudinous evidence of their abuse of office and their horrid crimes strewn around us like rubble from an earthquake, the Bush regime remains: rotting, festering, and infecting the people, the country, and the planet, despoiling our past, our present, and setting the precedent for a future in which any president can override the law at will.

For a White House as unpopular as this to leave office Scott free can only mean that the rest of this country’s political leadership has actively colluded with them. 

There have been literally scores of events during the last eight years that could have and should have precipitated a legitimacy crisis, beginning with the stolen election of 2000. In every instance, the Democratic Party and the mass media have refused to expose the illegitimacy of Bush and Cheney’s ascension to power and their continued rule, no matter how egregious the revelation, no matter how fundamental the trespass, no matter how widespread the people’s demand for accountability and justice.

The Democratic Party and the mass media have refused to indict, impeach, prosecute, and convict this White House. They have, instead, despicably, shielded the Bush regime from the righteous wrath of the people and diverted our attention to the "electoral remedy," a remedy that is no remedy at all for what this regime has done.

In the face of the Bush regime’s disasters and deepening depravity, our government has been increasingly vicious and ever more open in its use of force against the people. In addition, in a classic and necessary one-two punch, fraud has been used more and more to keep the public in check and politically passive.

Without force and fraud this shame could not continue.

The co-conspirators with the Bush regime are the very same individuals who have been telling us for years that we should trust them and leave things in their hands and put our faith in elections. They have told us that it is just "not worth it" or it’s just "too divisive" or "it’s off the table" or it’s "not warranted" or any number of other disingenuous and atrocious excuses to account for why they won’t impeach the criminals in the White House.

These are the same "leaders" who have continued to fund the mass murder politely referred to as the Iraq "War," the same colluders who have awarded the White House felons and the major telecom companies with immunity for their illegal spying upon all of us, the same moral cowards who legalized torture and stripped us of habeas corpus rights, the same "representatives of the people" who caved before Paulsen and Bush’s assertions that the sky was falling when it was their own "the free market can do no wrong" policies that brought this disaster on in the first place. Why even Alan Greenspan, that Fed Chairman Seer, is now being forced to acknowledge the fundamental flaw in his free-market ideology – the free market doesn’t work!

These are the same people, parties, and institutions that now tell us that the solution to this disaster that they are implicated in is to vote for one of them to "fix" all of this – McCain or Obama. We’re supposed to be overjoyed that we have the right to choose from one or the other, even though both of them have been part of the problem all these years. They could have filibustered and they didn’t. They could have stood up in the face of tyranny and demanded it end NOW. They could have said that torture’s unthinkable and it must stop NOW. But they didn’t, they haven’t and they won’t.

What does that tell us?

Without force and fraud this shame could not continue.

Whatever you do, we’ve further been told, DON’T rock the boat in this election and don’t do anything outlandish like demonstrate in the streets because that would harm Obama’s chances! He won’t listen to us then! He’ll get mad at us! The fascists in and around the GOP will also get mad at us and make things worse! It is better, we’re told by these misleaders or wavering allies, that the people participate in our rulers’ rigged game and “hope for the best” than rouse the people and mobilize the unorganized anger and frustration and give it a powerful expression in an independent people’s movement that resounds throughout every corner of the society.

It would be unseemly to step outside their rigged game, we’re told. It wouldn’t do for the American people to do anything impolite like call out lies as lies, corruption as corruption, and crimes against humanity as crimes against humanity.

If you have been wondering why others around you aren’t doing what they should, then do what must be done: if you will stand up for such outdated notions as facts, justice, truth, science, reason, equity, the rule of law, the protection of those in need against the predations of the rich and powerful, the equality of women and their right to a safe and legal abortion, the division between church and state, and the fundamental equality of all nations and peoples, then show it now. Don’t be silent any longer!

Without force and fraud this shame could not continue.

Wear an orange ribbon daily and take a public stand against torture, unjust wars and the crimes of the Bush regime and this government of colluders. Spread orange and spread the resistance. Make copies of this essay and hand it out in school, at bus stops, on the trains, in the streets, in the parks, in the workplace. Hand out orange ribbons for others to wear. Get your friends together and plan actions like holding signs that say things like: No Torture! No Wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran! Stop Thinking Like Americans and Start Thinking Like Human Beings!

Get your classmates together to demonstrate against the vultures calling themselves military recruiters. Shut them down! Get your co-workers and friends together to call for war criminal John Yoo to be fired from his UC Berkeley Law Professorship.

Rouse the people, the slumbering giant, against these infamies! Join with the World Can’t Wait in bringing into being the one thing that can really do something: an autonomous, powerful, movement of the people, beholden to no one except to the truth and to justice.

A legitimacy crisis must be brought into being. It is up to the people now to make this happen. Our leading institutions have steadfastly refused to do this.

If we fail in this task then any future president has a green light to do whatever he or she pleases. Remaining mute in the face of tyranny represents moral cowardice of the highest order. This is not something that we can leave up to others to take of. Fighting against monstrous injustices can’t be delegated to others regardless of who wins this election. We must each of us take a stand. Nothing else will avail.

Without force and fraud this shame could not continue.

Will we continue to let them?

DENNIS LOO is an associate professor of Sociology at Cal-Poly Pomona. He is the co-author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney. He can be reached at http://dennisloo.blogspot.com.