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Why it matters


By Barbara Gordon - Posted on 28 June 2007

So, I was discussing Cheney today. You know, the one who's trying to claim he's part of the legislative branch of the government so he won't have to comply with an order to turn over documents.

Well, I was discussing this matter with a fellow Republican who said, "Honestly, I just don't care. It's not a big deal."

Well, how can you not care? This is a big deal. Our VP is trying - yet again - to enshroud himself in secrecy. To avoid accountabililty. Why? And the White House so far has backed him up on this. Why?

Look at another recent story. We've got an American citizen working for the FBI, mistaken for a terrorist, then thrown in prison without any of his rights, no access to legal counsel, incarcerated for 90 days.

This is the recurring theme of this era in our history. The rights of the common man are being slowly abridged, while the privileges of those in authority are being extended to a degree not previously seen. 

How can you not care? This is the very heart and soul of our nation we're talking about. Do we or do we not respect our constitutional rights? accountability of government?

The problem with the GOP candidates, for me, is that they all seem to agree with the administration that anything is justified when security is at stake. But what good is security if we lose who we are as a people? If the GOPs aren't willing to change direction, I'm voting for someone who will.

In 2000, I was confronted with a horrible choice for president: George W. Bush or Al Gore. Frankly, I detested them both but in the end I voted for Gore. I would never define myself as a liberal or a conservative, since those terms are rather meaningless, and I have almost never found anyone that neatly fit into those categories. I view the current administration as something way beyond partisan politics and political parties; it is an administration that is probably worse than the James Buchanan administration, which served to pave the way for the Confederate secession and the Civil War.  

Among the candidates running in either party for the 2008 election, I currently prefer Obama. By no means does that signify that I agree with him on everything. What I do like about him is the fact that he has a good analytical mind and takes ideas seriously (at least as far as I can tell), which is considerably different than our current president (who demonstrates a disdain for ideas). The question for me is: which candidate has those and some additional qualifications, and can function outside the control of his or her party’s army of consultants and policy advisors. The other question is: are we the people capable of electing someone who could meet those criteria, or will we once again allow ourselves to be manipulated by a dysfunctional media and morally corrupt methods of campaigning?

Hi, Otis!

Good thoughts. We don't agree with Obama on everything either. But at least we know what he stands for. And, as you pointed out, he can analyze and articulate ideas.

Your questions are significant. If Obama were to win the nom, how would the party change him for the general election? This of course is a valid question with any candidate. And your second question is a huge concern: how are we really choosing our president? With every cycle I'm increasingly concerned that the races are either coming down to who has the most money or who looks best on camera.

The current box of Fox-Republican officials and politicians (the President even used Fox's tag line to describe Libby's sentence as "Fair and Balanced" and has a Fox broadcaster Snow as his spokesperson) gall me for being hypocrites and, worst of all, do-nothing incompetents. Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzales, Condi and co have sucked the majority of the party down the toilet with them.

Story after story of their lawbreaking, partisan, hacky incompetence keeps hitting America. And yet there they are. I can't believe we continue to let these guys clutch their stolen get out of jail free card for their obviously felonious wiretapping, torture, leaking of a CIA agent etc.

And worst of all they toss science down the tube in the process if they decide that something like global warming is "liberal" or stem cell research on tiny embryos will offend a religious right wing. It galls me even more that Rove runs around the White House trashing the same religious right wing as "nuts." Rove clearly is placing partisanship above the interests of the nation in holding up stem cell research for a group he secretly calls "nuts." And this "pro-life" Administration so focused on protecting embryos before they are "killed" by being unceremoniously tossed in the trash by fertility clinics, as hundreds of them are every day, is pro-death penalty and is happy to place our soldiers into harms way without a solid plan to win the war.

The most recent one who came out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/11/washington/11surgeon.html

<In his testimony, Dr. Carmona said that at first he was so politically naïve that he had little idea how inappropriate the administration’s actions were. He eventually consulted six previous surgeons general, Republican and Democratic, and all agreed, he said, that he faced more political interference than they had.

 

On issue after issue, Dr. Carmona said, the administration made decisions about important public health issues based solely on political considerations, not scientific ones.

 

“I was told to stay away from those because we’ve already decided which way we want to go,” Dr. Carmona said.

 

He described attending a meeting of top officials in which the subject of global warming was discussed. The officials concluded that global warming was a liberal cause and dismissed it, he said.>

 


http://select.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/opinion/15dowd.html?hp

<But there is one thing made in China we could use: mea culpas of high officials.

Zheng Xiaoyu, a top regulator who helped create China’s Food and Drug Administration, accepted $850,000 in bribes from drug companies and became enmeshed in the mistakes that flooded the market with dangerous drugs. Before he was executed Tuesday, he wrote a short confession titled “How I Look on My Mistakes.”

“Thinking back on what has happened these years, I start to see the problems clearly,” he wrote in prison. “Why are the friends who gave me money all the bosses of pharmaceutical companies? Obviously because I was in charge of drug administration.

“I am confessing here that I loosened self-discipline, ignored the bottom line,” he said, adding that he had to confess his mistakes “as an act of saving my soul.”

We would skip the execution — although perhaps there should be ranch arrest for W., and Cheney could do community service passing out condoms at Gay Pride festivals.

But it is time for the lethally inept duo running the country to do some painstaking self-examination and confession. Just as the Communist Party helped the late Mr. Zheng compose his thoughts, I volunteer to ghost-write our leaders’ self-scrutiny:

“How I Look on My Mistakes,” by George W. Bush

The people trusted me with an important position. I didn’t live up to expectations. I let Dick supersize the executive branch and cast Democrats as whiners and traitors. Why did I not suspect that Dick might be power-hungry when he appointed himself vice president? Why did I let him take over my presidency and fill it up with warmongers? I was so afraid to be called a wimp, as my father once was, I allowed Dick and Rummy to turn me into a wimp. I should never have allowed Dick to conspire with energy lobbyists and steer contracts to Halliburton. A tip-off should have been when Dick kept giving himself all the same powers that I had. Or when he outed that pretty lady spy.

If only I had kept my promise to go after the thugs who attacked us on 9/11, because now I’ve made Osama and Al Qaeda stronger. I know my false claim about Al Qaeda’s ties with Iraq led to Iraq’s being tied down by Al Qaeda. I see now that my bungled war on terror has created more terror, empowered Iran and made America less secure. Oh, yeah, and I’m sorry I broke the military.> <snip>

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