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Political Hide-and-Seek with the Democrats

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

All these calls from Democrats in Congress for Bush administration people to resign are missing, or deliberately obfuscating, the point.

The FBI abused its power under the PATRIOT Act to obtain American citizens’ financial and other records without a court warrant, so Democrats are calling for FBI Director Robert Mueller’s resignation. The Justice Department and the White House conspire to fire and replace federal prosecutors who aren’t sufficiently aggressive about investigating and harassing Democratic officials (relying on a measure tucked into the renewal of the PATRIOT Act), so Democrats are calling for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. Seriously wounded Iraq War veterans are being treated disgracefully, if they are treated at all, and there are howls for top military and Veterans Administration officials to resign.

But the problem isn’t the officials; it’s the laws that were passed–usually with Democratic Party support.

For that matter, most of the most egregious crimes against the Constitution of this most criminal administration have relied, for their justification, on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by a Congress that included a Democratic-led Senate.

Let’s face reality here: The Democratic Party folded under pressure in 2001-2 and passed terrible and outrageous laws that everyone with a brain knew would be used and misused by the Bush/Cheney administration to usurp and aggrandize power at the expense of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, constitutional government and the future of the Republic. Now that we have seen the predictable fruits of those terrible laws, it makes no sense to simply call for the resignation of officials who have been making predictable use of them.

It’s time to repeal the damned laws.

They got rid of their version of the PATRIOT Act in Canada. It’s time to throw ours in the trash where it belongs.

The invasion of Afghanistan is over–it’s now a NATO operation at the behest of an elected government over there. It’s time to revoke the 2001 AUMF, which Bush has been claiming makes him commander in chief in an unending “war” on terror, and which he says means he doesn’t have to obey the Constitution, or laws passed by Congress.

Firing Gonzales and Mueller doesn’t accomplish anything. Whoever is named to replace them will do the same thing they did.

The only way to stop the ongoing rape of the Constitution is to change the laws that have been used as legal cover by the rapist-in-chief and his accomplices.

The only way to stop the trashing of veterans is to change the VA from an organization designed to keep ailing vets from getting assistance, and turn it into on that is designed to help vets get help. (Note: My own parents, both WWII veterans, are both ailing and in need of home care assistance. When I contacted the VA about getting them help, I learned that because they are not suffering from war-related ailments, they are so far down the priority list that they have absolutely no hope of getting any kind of help from the VA. This after serving three years each defending the country!)

It’s also time for Democrats to stop pretending that they can set any kind of progressive agenda in Washington this year and next. They have already demonstrated that they cannot stop the war in Iraq (or even prevent a new illegal war against Iran), they cannot pass the least little bit of progressive legislation and they cannot halt this administration’s crimes through passing new laws. Any law they pass that has any real impact will be either vetoed by the president with no hope of an override, or, more likely, will be simply nullified by an unconstitutional “signing statement” by the president.

There is no alternative to impeachment, and Congress should begin the process immediately and stop screwing around with pointless rants about resignations.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

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