Saturday, March 24, 2007

Would that it were so...

I'm quoting the incomparable driftglass in his entirety because I'm afraid that, if I only excerpt and link, what I link to might go away (like Billmon's Whiskey Bar) and his delightful prose will be lost to me forever. So here it is: The Demolished Man by driftglass:

(Apologies to Alfred Bester)
"You say you want a revolution.
Well, you know…
We all want to change the world." -- John Lennon

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” -- Isaac Asimov

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” -- Samuel Johnson.

“The Future Perfect Tense is the last refuge of the incompetent scoundrel.” – driftglass
More and more the degenerates who currently run this country are hanging on the future like a drunk hangs on a parking meter. Playing out the final innings of their long and blood-dimmed game of Kick the Accountability Can down the road 30-50 years and then asserting that History will prove them to have been right.

Ah the Future Perfect tense; that patron saint of bad ideologies. With it, exoneration – like the cavalry in every B-Western – is always just over the horizon, riding hell for leather towards the final reel.

And if you strain your ears enough you can juuuust make out its sweet, redemptive bugle sounding the charge.

But in this case, Dubya’s Vindicating Future apparently had to slingshot around a Type B star at the heart of the Clusterfuck Nebula to get up to speed, but a fatal navigational error whipped it around so hard that its now traveling at Relativistic speeds.

And – what with Heisenburg Compensaters still years away from commercial production – the Vindicating Future is beginning to get bitchslapped around by Einstein, Dirac and Hawkings.

Vindication is getting shorter, and massier. The amount of energy necessary to propel it into the Here and Now is approaching infinity (which is why we need all of those oil reserves that all those undeserving ay-rabs now sit on.) The flow of time within the Vindication Bubble is falling out of synch with rest of us here in Newtonville (a great place to raise up your kids) and whole crops of humans will be born, grow old and die before Dubya can land it, hop off, and save Edith Keeler from the Dirty Hippies.

Or something.

Like the Arrow of Zeno’s Paradox, it never quite gets here.

Like “Tomorrow”, it’s always a day – or friedman -- away.

But since the degenerates have kicked the door open on taking Enron-style, Mark-to-Marketing to Exciting New Teleological Levels, why should they be the only ones having fun speculating about what generations unborn will be talking about as they gavotte about Dubya Square at the intersection of Cheney Way and Bremer Boulevard in downtown Baghdad.

I think what they might say is that like, say, the 1860s, the 1930s, the 1960s, the America of the early 21st was a nation in full-tilt revolution. But like the crushing of Nixon’s squalid little putch, this revolution was not primarily marked by hundreds of thousands on the Washington Mall (although they were there) or tens of thousands in soldier’s graves (we pray) so much as it was measured by how successfully the forces of genuine, traditional American Democracy rose up and revivified moribund institutions to cope with an enemy with our own perimeter.

Like an anaconda swallowing a goat, our revolution will be remembered by how we consumed and, finally, excreted the mortal threat from the Right, because the Enemy Within does not seize control of teevee stations by force or pour armor into the streets.

Instead they move briskly in the shadows, always, always moving to roll power ever upwards into the fewest possible hands. Always moving relentlessly to create greater zones of opacity around the Imperial Few. Feverishly exploiting every opportunity to weaken democratic institutions. Proudly ripping out the wiring of checks and balances and accountability and carrying it aloft -- along with their contempt for the law, for justice and for civil liberties -- like a trophy.

Democracy requires light and fresh air, but the machinery of democracy also requires zones of concealment. There are numerous, legitimate areas where public disclosure of, for example, military secrets or covert methods and sources would cause massive damage to the nation.

We allow for privileged communications for those matters, as well as for interactions between attorneys and clients, journalists and sources.

At each step along the way into the abyss we are solemnly told that our very lives depend on handing more and more unchecked power over to the Party of Small Gummit.

At each step along the road to Hell we are told that is terribly dangerous – even treasonous – to demand accountability from the Leaders of the Party of Personal Responsibility.

And then along came the Patriot Act to massively expand what can be done in the dark.

But as night falls we notice in that all those swords the smirking fascists are wielding are all pointed inward. Pointed at us. Because the Modern Conservative is a creature most at home in a murky, twilight despotism. A beast which thrives best in hate and shadow. They are democracy’s retrovirus, and it is exactly these indispensable nodes of secrecy that Conservatives have worked tirelessly to invade, infect and pervert.

The quick litmus test for telling friend from foe -- for whiffing out the spoor of the Enemy -- is His ceaseless, escalating demands for ever more secrecy. Ever less accountability. You will know Him by the blinds he sets, by the way He tirelessly pits the landscape of democracy with new sunless, extra-Constitutional grottos where His eggs can be laid and kindred can breed and prosper.

You will know Him because you have been warned about his coming since childhood.

You know Him by his stink, because every characteristic our Founders warned us to guard against as the harbinger of tyranny is now clear and present all around us: Not tastefully rouged and swaddled away like genital warts on Lady Liberty’s bikini area, but on proud, raging display as GOP foundational values.

You will know Him because each time he erects a new baffle to screen His crimes, He tells us that the lives of our children are in danger if we don’t let him steal a little more of our freedom.

You will know Him because each and every time anyone dares to execrcise the single most fundamental right of every citizen in a democracy -- calling some facet of His swaggering, brownshirt imbecility into question -- we hear magpie shrieks of “Traitor” from his squirmy minions.

And now that is ending, and the revolution is at hand.

Not tomorrow. Not someday. Today. Right here.

And it starts so humbly.

With an election and a trial.

Imagine that?

Somewhere, Frank Capra must be laughing his ass off. 50 years from now the histories will say that the beginning of the end of America’s latest fling with fascism began with those most cornball, Rockwellian of democratic traditions: an election and a trial.

The indictment and trial of Scooter Libby showed how the First Amendment had been invaded and ransacked by its enemies.

First, just by how the trial was effectively embargoed and dismissed by the MSM, we could all see just how deeply unAmerican wingnut propagandists like Fox News had been allowed to get. We could all see clearly exactly how the MSM has destroyed “journalism” as a Fourth Estate and made “journalism” into a safe-house for Fifth Columnists.

Second, we could seen how the White House traded access for favorable treatment, (and along a parallel track, made a science of slapping a Press Badge on any Gannon with a keyboard and an ass for rent,) and created an entire myrmidon army of liars and leakees who could be relied on to catapult the propaganda. How they were able to shop their lies around through formerly reputable media outlets, and then turn right around and cite their own leaked stories as evidence of the credibility of their positions.

And then, in the most perverse turn of all, try to bury their lies and crimes behind the protections of the First Amendment. A maneuver that shall ever more be known as The Judith Goat.

The election – which took place, oh, about five minutes ago – has already yielded results.

Like the shameful Walter Reed scandal, it seems no matter where inside Dear Leader’s cavernous Imperial Honeypot the Congress now throws a light they find rot and mold and rats and Republican cronies -- grown fat and slow on no-bid contracts and six years of GOP Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell "Congressional oversight" -- scuttling through the filth they have created. Scampering over the misery of soldiers and citizens and into deeper corners.

The GOP’s double-secret Imperial Edict that let the Dear Leader wiretap Americans without a warrant? We were told, “Trust us. We would never abuse our new, secret, unchecked powers.”

We were told, “We need this secret unchecked power to keep you safe.”

We were told, “Any investigation of our use of our secret unchecked power will put lives at risk!”

And what did we find?

That this White House had abused its secret unchecked power hundreds -- Perhaps thousands? Perhaps hundreds of thousands? Who knows?-- of times.

Of course they did. Lying is what liars do.

In the dark of night, the GOP slipped in a special provision to allow the President to secretly sack US Attorneys General and appoint new ones with no Congressional oversight. But that was OK, because Abu Gonzales swore – passionately and under oath -- that:
“… I feel a special obligation, maybe an additional burden coming from the White House to reassure the career people at the department, and to reassure the American people that that I'm not going to politicize the Department of Justice.”
And
“…
Senator, what you're asking the counsel to do is to interject himself and direct the Department of Justice, who is supposed to be free of any kind of political influence in reaching a legal interpretation of the law passed by Congress.”
And
“I would never, ever make a change in a United States attorney position for political reasons, or if it would in any way jeopardize an ongoing serious investigation."
And yet that is exactly what this White House did – premeditatedly and with malice – because lying is what liars do.

And when the people have finally had enough and, through their votes, voices and elected representatives, demand answers, this President -- the man whose first oath is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution – tells the people to just fuck right off.

50 years from now, once the millstone of history has ground out all memory of Anna Nicole Smith and Wild Hogs, 2007 will be remembered as the year the gloves came quietly off.

The year the Congress finally began to methodically deprive the malevolent cult that runs the GOP of safe places to hide their treachery, and secure high ground from which to shriek their lies.

The year when the collapse of the Bush Presidency hit its critical mass and became irreversible. When the final late-winter figleafs dried up and blew away forcing the cowardly GOP Base into the light.

Forcing them to confess to the world that the reason they love their Party, the Leader, their Fox and their Rush beyond all reason is simply that they despise our democratic ideals, our Constitution and our magnificent dream of the tolerant and magnanimous nation we may someday grow into.

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