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Friday, February 24

it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Get on over to Democratic Underground and read It's Munich in America by David Michael Green. (Also available at Common Dreams and Information Clearinghouse)

And after you walk through it with Professor Green, come back here and help me think about when we weren't struggling to seize democracy from the hands of our government? The Japanese in internment camps--FDR how could you?--McCarthyism, domestic spying by the CIA and the FBI, Vietnam, Watergate, Nixon, Reagan, impeachment in the face of two elections where Clinton didn't do anything that rises to the level of illegal wiretaps, and now 9/11, which no one could foresee, Katrina that no one could foresee, Iraq where we were supposed to be greeted like the Americans liberating Paris, and as Senator Lindsey Graham said today, "the tone-deaf" presidency.

I agree with the Professor that things are at a new low with little relief in sight. No, Toto, we don't have the Warren Court anymore. Women are going to lose civil rights like sand through our fingers. With so much sand in our eyes, so many distractions, we won't even understand how it got that way. It gets more Orwellian everyday and I too have a difficult time remembering when we weren't at war with Eastasia.

It is tempting to romanticize the "good ol' days" and normally I wouldn't trade living in modern times. But I miss the optimism of Clinton, Johnson, and Kennedy. But we seem to be reliving the horror of Johnson's foreign policy under people who thought that Johnson and Nixon didn't try hard enough in Vietnam.

Today, President Bush did it again. He said something that was more absurd than the absurd statements he made yesterday. "People don't need to worry about security" after he has spent the last election scaring the hell out of us. But notice when commentators linked terror alerts with drops in Bush's popularity in his first term, those terror alerts have stopped. We don't need to be scared anymore: he got his second term. The one his father couldn't win.

And speaking of Freud, Bush said today that if we would just listen, we would see that the decisions made by "my government" are good decisions.

I thought that the government was us. The whole "my government" is grounded in a European view of government, close to the divine right of kings to govern, but more modernly rooted in the prime minister view of government. Woodrow Wilson thought that the presidency should be like the British model--a legislative body that rubber stamps the prime ministers desires into law. Bush and the unitary approach to government is just that. He can interpret law, make law, break law and it means that if the president does it, it isn't illegal.

Richard Nixon is George W. Bush's dark father.

If it is Mr. Bush's Republic, get a good look at him and what he has done. The port deal can be opposed because of the UAE's ties to terrorism and the Bush family ties to UAE. Mr. Bush is shocked, shocked that Americans don't want Arabs running their ports while they didn't mind the British running our ports. Well, that is true. We haven't been subjected to British terrorism in over 200 years. The British recognize Israel and the equality of women. The UAE does not.

But some perspective, please. We are not being arrested for what we write. We can protest the Bush government. We will find ourselves wiretapped without warrants.

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