Feb 1, 2006
When Gore Vidal endorsed last night's demonstrations against Bush’s ridiculous I-am-the-state theatrical stunt, he added the pithy comment: "Go back to Crawford. . . . We’ll help raise the money for a library, and you’ll never even ever have to read a book."
As always, Vidal has perfectly framed the argument for resistance to this anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-thought, anti-agenda. And while the networks and pundits and media shills gawk and preen and profit off the spectacle of this horrific failure, this loser in the most profound sense of the term, this puppet plutocrat who brings nothing to the table except for his legendary ability to drink everyone under it -- an as-yet-unindicted war criminal with more blood on his hands than the tyrants from whom he liberates the world in the name of (and at the direction of) his Lord and Savior -- we must make our own noise, in the name of the unnumbered and unidentified dead whose corpses pave the way to Heaven for Bush and his psychopathic band of theocrats.
For as hard as it is to say, Bush is beside the point. As powerful as he is despised, he still has an awesome power to destroy and an unquenched thirst for dominion. But while Bush may be a laughable idiot, his rise to Inherent Authority could not happen without the complicity of what Irish revolutionaries of yore referred to as "traitors and slaves." Every War Party needs fellow travelers, and Bush and his coterie have plenty. Just yesterday, the Democratic "leadership" in Congress surpassed even itself in capitulation, a talent at which it has excelled for some time.
If you wasted the time to watch the circus (I only did because I love you, Dear Readers), then you are obviously part of the problem: no one should dignify this fraud of a president by validating the notion that he has something to say. The world has long since stopped listening, and only the sycophant US press gave The Leader of the Free World the stage-crafted, self-serving free advertising to which the far right feels entitled from the "liberal press." Bush entered this farcical pageant at the lowest point of any postwar president since Nixon, and is fast catching up to the crook.
Brave souls were treated to the usual lies, exaggerations, distortions and demagoguery, as ol' Ronnie would say. But a few brazen nuggets stand out: it was refreshing, in a perverse sort of way, to hear the biggest recipient of political oil money on the face of the earth rail against special interests. We're addicted to oil! Says the oil monger. We must guard against the tendency to centralize power in Washington, says the Unitary Executive. We need to seek bipartisan solutions. Says the man behind the curtain of the most ruthless rubber-stamp Congress in memory, which shuts out the opposition in closed conferences at which major revisions to legislation are decided. When he started in on affordable health care, I had to leave the room to throw up; there is a limit to the pain I can take even for the sake of a column. Thankfully, I was in the bathroom when The Man Who Makes Us Safer introduced Justice Alito, the living, breathing symbol of the end of constitutional government in the US.
It’s nice to see that he's still reaching out to black folks, I guess; maybe a sign that he's in as much trouble as we think he is, seeing that 100 percent of African-Americans in a recent Zogby poll (I’m not kidding) are unconvinced. But seriously, folks, we are in deep shit. The fact that this charade could take place at all without a self-respecting opposition walking out on a puppet who arrogates to himself the "inherent authority" to piss on them is yet another sign that the Reichstag fire has come and gone.
Democrats are too complicit, too timid, too stuck in a past in which one wing of their own party was among the greatest terrorist organizations in human history. The War Party has mastered the Election: Mark Crispin Miller argues that tampering and memory card chicanery engineered a switch of 8 million votes in 2004. Too bought-and-sold to save even themselves, it would be a true miracle if the carcass of the party could convince Americans that it can save the country and swing control of the legislative branch in November.
But George Orwell may have been right: If there is hope, it lies in the proles. Of course, by his own prose, it proved a misplaced hope, but let's stick with the slogan.
The highlight of my evening was not typing this as I listened to the Joker-in-Chief spin a new web of lies. Prior to the speech, we interrupted our little gathering to stand outside in the frigid New England air and "drown out the noise," as the organizers suggested. Holding signs reading "Impeach Bush," "Drown out the Lies," and peace, our hapless little band garnered more attention than we have ever felt for another cause or candidate. Is it too late? Or is there an undercurrent sweeping the country, sick of being told how to be American by the pimps and whores whose assets are safely stowed in the Cayman Islands or in a secret Swiss account, or in the greedy, bloody hands of some transnational oil borg. Screw you. We are citizens of the world, and the world is fed up.
© 2006 Daniel Patrick Welch
Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School.