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Fear, Congress, and Denial

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"" we're actually strengthening al-Qaeda's hand with these attacks. We're making it more difficult to meet the challenge of terrorism by creating more terrorists. I mean, what is this about? We're increasingly dysfunctional as a nation because of our unwillingness to challenge the military-industrial complex, which Dwight Eisenhower warned about generations ago. And so, we really have to look at America's role in the world." 

Kucinich talked about the American economy being based on guns, with the political system so dysfunctional, even at edge of a fiscal "cliff," that it couldn't relate the war budget to deficits or the national debt.  He observed that instead of addressing problems of a soft economy, continuing unemployment, growing wealth disparity, the only thing the Congress has accomplished recently is to extend the government's power to spy on its citizens. 

He blamed this on "a breakdown in trust," without really explaining what that means -- or how it's different from the Palmer raids of the 1920s or the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.  He expressed apparent bewilderment that the government organized systematic, national spying on the Occupy Wall Street movement: 


"What is this? What's going on in our country, where we don't have oversight of the activities of the government when it comes to domestic spying? And what are we doing in America, where the privacy concerns of Americans are swept aside?" 

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He didn't stop to examine the oddity of calling for oversight of domestic spying.  And the Democracy NOW!  hosts didn't ask him why there should be any domestic spying, why warrantless surveillance was even constitutional, or why so much public discourse treats the Presidency more like a monarchy, approaching the president on bended knee asking for favors that were once clearly rights embedded in the constitution. 

At one point Kucinich touched on what seems to dominate the current American mind-set: that in post-9/11 America, we are mired in fear.  But he didn't pause to wonder why that fear is so intense that almost no one admits it, never mind talks about it.  Instead he talked about the effects of fear: 

""   the government apparatus being able to look in massive databases and extract information to try to profile people who might be considered threats to the prevailing--to the status quo. But we also are looking at drones, which are increasingly miniaturized, that will give the governments, at every level, more of an ability to look into people's private conduct. This is a nightmare." 

Kucinich, as one of the best, most honest Democrats of the past two decades, continued to talk rationally about going in the right direction, making the right choices, building bi-partisan bridges, building a culture of peace, and a variety of other decent responses to the nightmare -- except waking up.   

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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