Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Monday, April 11, 2005

THE THERMONUCLEAR OPTION: The Republicans in the U.S. Senate, driven largely by the Presidential ambitions of Bill Frist (who figures this would lock up theocratic support for him), are contemplating trashing traditional rules there so that they can end filibusters. Their goal is to guarantee that a simple majority could approve all of Bush's judicial appointees, no matter how incompetent or reactionary. This is such a huge seismological change that it has been called the "nuclear option". It would totally destroy the mutual respect -- or at least courtesy -- under which the Senate has operated for two centuries. It is well named, since the "collateral damage" will devastate the government, and people depending on it, especially the poor and ill, but big corporations as well, in many unforeseen ways. The Bu'ushists don't care about tomorrow, as long as they can get their way today.

Distracted by the brouhaha over this vicious increase in polarization in Washington, few have noticed the groundwork laid for a possibly even greater revolution in New York. Democrats have long mocked the far-right calls to get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US. It should be taken very seriously. The Republican Party in Texas has actually voted in favor of this. Along with his rule-or-ruin corrosiveness, Bush has slipped this other Lone Star attitude over the unsuspecting nation. He has refused to take part in international agreements such as the global warming treaty and the International Criminal Court. (It wouldn't be "prudent" for these folk to allow Americans to be tried abroad for war crimes.) He has now appointed as Ambassador to the United Nations a man who has openly denounced the organization as a meaningless and useless nullity. Why?

As the media zeroed in on his ethics violations, Tom Delay roused the rabble to distraction (and incidentally, blithely trashed the Constitutional separation of powers) by jumping into a tragic family feud over a pathetic vegetative patient in Florida. As polls show Rove's scheme for letting Wall Street gobble up Social Security funds failing to catch fire, and the country convinced it is headed in the wrong direction, what could Karl possibly have devised to take the public mind off of his own boss's problems?

Here's a frightening scenario, taken from the rhetoric of Frist's followers accusing the Democrats of threatening to "shut the Senate down" if the filibusters are ended. What if Ambassador Bolton sits there at the Security Council and uses the U.S. veto on absolutely everything that comes up, even routine and ordinary matters? What if this man who claims they are ineffective proves it, by keeping them from doing anything at all? Won't this fan the flames of taxpayer revolt at home to oppose spending any money at all on the UN, and finally just to quit the organization? But, you say, they will be unable to act only because the US is blocking them. Do you think that simple truth will make it though the media spin machine? Those trying to point that out will be denounced as un-American and sympathetic to terrorists, suspiciously "international" in their thinking, and willing to surrender our sovereignty to dangerous appeasers like the French.

Let's call this one the "thermonuclear option". It's the weapon intended to finally end all institutional international cooperation, replacing it with ad hoc coalitions of obedient followers in the U.S. wake as it imposes its will on the rest of the planet. They are applying a fundamentalist and Talibanesque spin on the old motto of Boadicea, "the truth against the world". Bush and his fanatical followers believe they hear the voice of God, telling them to prepare the way for the Rapture by remaking not just the Middle East, but the whole framework of law and diplomacy between countries. The demons that will be unleased by this, armed with H-bombs and biological weapons, will make Hitler and Stalin look like playground bullies. It won't matter to George and his handlers; they know they're all going to depart for heaven and leave us here in the mess they've made. Bolton is just one more symptom of what happens when you let a kid who pulled wings off insects for fun grow up and get control of a very large match box.


  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger Deb said…

    Great article, StoutDem

    To those of you who aren't taking this seriously...please wake up. I mean that nicely but firmly. America needs you to speak out against the radical neoconservatives. Wake up and speak.


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