The giddiness among Democrats about their prospects for a sweep in both Houses of Representatives has reached a level of absolute euphoria. But what exactly are the voters are hoping for?
A speedy exit from Iraq?
John Walsh posted a great article on CounterPunch.org; “Election 2006: The Fix is already In“, which outlines the grim facts about “candidate selection” in the Democratic Party. The Democratic leadership has no intention of extracting us from the bloody mess in Babylon and they have methodically rooted-out the bothersome antiwar-types from their pool of potential candidates. As Walsh points out, nearly 8 out of every 10 Democrats (78%) want an immediate or partial withdrawal of troops from Iraq. That, of course, makes no difference to the DLC-powerbrokers who have thrown their bucks behind candidates who are completely divorced from the convictions of the party faithful.
As Walsh reports:
“64% of the Democratic candidates in the 45 closely contested House Congressional races OPPOSE a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Note carefully: not only do these Democratic worthies oppose the Murtha or McGovern bills for rapid withdrawal or defunding the war; they oppose as much as a timetable.The position of these Dem candidates is indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush”.
Prediction: The Democrats will never get us out of Iraq nor will they repeal the Patriot Act or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (which allows Bush to imprison American citizens without charges and torture them according to his own discretion)
The party has been co-opted by a pro-business, liberty-slashing, war-mongering clique of free traders who simply feel they can put a better face on imperial politics.
No argument there; but for anyone with a trace of a conscience, the prospect of voting for a party that may slaughter another half-million or so Iraqis presents some basic ethical problems. Is it too sanctimonious to suggest that the war in Iraq is MORALLY EVIL, and that any policy or party that supports the conflict must be flatly rejected?
Ahhh yes; time to don the body-armor and protective headgear that one needs whenever they make disparaging remarks about the Democratic Party. It’s never healthy to take aim at the emasculated phonies who run America’s “other” war party.
Regrettably, the Democratic Party is only slightly different from the GOP. That’s not pessimism; it’s realism. We need to be clear about the magnitude of the task in front of us if we expect to have any hope of restoring our personal liberties and ending the butchery in Iraq.
Despite the dramatic shift-away from the Republican Party, Bush and Co. must have something up their sleeves for the mid-terms. After all, the Eisenhower carrier group is steaming towards the Gulf for a possible confrontation with Iran; so the fur could fly at any minute.
It seems improbable that Bush would allow a takeover in the House and Senate knowing that unpleasant investigations into 9-11, war crimes, and executive abuses of power could quickly follow.
So, what’s he up to?
Who knows? But we do know that the present occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are high-stakes gamblers who are bound to roll-the-dice to keep their chestnuts out of the bonfire.
Something is bound to snap, and fairly soon, too. Bush and Cheney didn’t assemble all the levers of tyrannical rule (including the repeal of habeas corpus, due process, and the laws banning cruel and unusual punishment) just to transfer that authority to Democratic leaders in the congress. That simply won’t happen.
The Democrats are headed into the elections fairly confident that they can regain a place at the political table and have their voices heard on the conduct of the war. They have no intention of leaving Iraq. They simply want to change directions and minimize the damage to America’s long-term interests. Their strategy is probably similar to the (forthcoming) recommendations of James Baker’s “Iraq Study Group”. In fact, I’d be surprised if leaders on both sides of the aisle haven’t already collaborated on the details to make it more palatable to Bush.
But these guys are in La-la Land. The Bush team will never relinquish power nor will they accept the results of a system of balloting which they conspicuously despise. They’ve spent 6 years “transforming” the military so that it serves the exclusive interests of corporate mandarins. They have changed FEMA into a stealth-organization which defends the political status quo from potential internal security threats (including Continuity of Government COG provisions which disband the Congress) And, they have created a global torture and liquidation regime for preemptively eliminating enemies real or imagined.
Nothing in the present Bush-system is transferable. It is a “one-shot deal” tailor-made for fanatical neocons, who play for keeps.
Winner take all.
I have no idea what the Bush troupe is planning, but we’ll all have a better idea by November 7; so, buckle up!
One small footnote: Prensa Latina News Agency reports that “Luis D. Elia, Undersecretary for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry, issued a memo in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a 98,842 acre farm in Northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia”. (Oct 13)
Bush bought a 100,000 acre ranch in Paraguay!?!
Are you kidding me? Is Bush planning an early retirement with his Nazi friends south of the border?
It’s just too weird to wonder?
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org