A FORTNIGHT TO REMEMBER
Two weeks remain until Election Day. And, as reported by A.P., the White House doesn't plan to accede to lawmakers' requests to alter US strategy in Iraq. Apparently, the current plan of sending American soldiers daily into the meat-grinder known as Every Square Foot Of Iraq Not Called The Green Zone is a-ok for the Administration. Dead soldiers (aka, Ready-Made Martyrs), utter chaos, a constant flow of projects for contractors, whether rebuilding, destroying, feeding, clothing, or housing. Perhaps it's all going as planned.
You'll recall Bush's sneering statement, in the wake of the November 2 Debacle of two years ago, that the American people gave him a mandate:
I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style. When you win, there is . . . a feeling that the people have spoken and embraced your point of view. And that's what I intend to tell Congress, that I made it clear what I intend to do as the president; now let's work.
Well, unless that mandate called for a quagmire in Iraq, an incompetent response to a national disaster, wiretapping of citizens, the potential suspension of the writ of habeus corpus in the absence of insurrection or invasion, a constant and nearly humorous flow of lies and dissembling, not to mention an economic "recovery" propped up on debt and monetary feeding of equity and housing markets, then I'm gonna declare his performance for what it is:
A Complete Fucking Failure. And since nearly all Republicans and many Democrats on Capitol Hill were complicit in this failure, we need to hold them to standards representing the American Way: if you fail, you get fired. If you succeed, you get promoted. That's market capitalism, as I understand it. Merit, results, accountability. The consumer doesn't like your product? Well let me introduce you to business failure. Your boss doesn't like your work-product? Have you met the unemployment line? The shareholders don't like your annual earnings? Here's your golden parachute, watch out for the tree tops on your way down.
That's what the mainstream leadership has been peddling for a decade or two now. And it's not necessarily a bad thing. But we need to apply the same standard to the leadership. For six years the Administration and its allies in Congress have promised a simple plan: low taxes to promote the economy, and security for Americans.
Income taxes have remained low, but spending and monetary policy have been profligate, liberal, loose, irresponsible, pick your adjective. And while no domestic attacks have gone down on American soil (at least not since the first one, which occurred on this Adminstration's watch), Afghanistan is as anarchic and dangerous as it was on September 10, 2001, and nearly 3,000 Americans have died in Iraq, under the direction of the Commander-in-Chief. And Iraq is no more secure than it was the day Bush took office. 3,000 lives, uncountable billions, and Iraq's more dangerous, more ungovernable than it was six years ago.
And, to keep this in context of the midterm elections, Congress gave Bush the pre-signed check to prosecute these wars. The Constitution makes clear that the Legislature, not the Executive, declares war. Capitol Hill passed the buck. The Constitution makes clear that Congress, not the Executive, controls the purse strings, which obviously includes financing war and all defense-related spending, including military and quasi-military projects. Congress also renewed the Patriot Act, rubber-stamped all of Bush's appointments including Rice, Bolten, Alito and Roberts, and has remained in a collective state of silence as the Executive branch aggrandized power through a series of ever-bolder executive decrees, signing statements, and unilateral orders in the guise of Commander-in-Chief during wartime.
Enough is enough. The Constitution -- the overarching law of the land that's been trod upon, ignored, and defaced so dramatically the last 5 years it's a wonder it's still intact -- mandates the election of representatives every two years. Every single representative. And, since we amended it in 1913, it also sets up the election of about 1/3 of the Senate every two years. If the American people do the right thing and hold their leaders accountable for the results of the past few years, the balance of power on Capitol Hill will change. And if these new leaders respect and obey the Constitutional system, and take advantage of its perks, then at very least the bastard that sits in the White House will be crippled, as a politician and as a leader, for the remaining 2 years of his reign.
And if the American people don't do so, then we're obviously too far gone for it to matter anyway.