By Dave Lindorff
Democrats in Congress, still in full cowering mode, are about to hand the most unpopular president in the history of polling even more power to spy, unchecked, on Americans, despite clear evidence that the president has abused that power for the last six years, and despite his refusal to even answer questions about what those abuses have been to date.
It is hard to believe that this is the party that told voters only last fall that they should vote in Democrats so that the president would finally be held to account for his ongoing destruction of constitutional government.
If it weren't for the fact that the Democratic Party leadership has been a bunch of spineless twits and strategic dimwits for decades now, one would have to suspect that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were Republican "Manchurian Candidates." gradually embedded into the Democratic Party's leadership in order to destroy it from within, or that, perhaps, the two had been caught by Bush's spy network in compromising situations that have made it possible to blackmail them into doing the same thing. Certainly the work they have done over the course of their either months in control of the Congress look like for all the world like the work of sabateurs.
It's a bit like my earlier observation that no real Manchurian Candidate could have done more damage to the United States than Bush and Cheney have managed to do in their six and a half years in office.
Which raises the bizarre thought that maybe all four of these people are actually treacherous spies working in collusion on an evil plan of national destruction--perhaps as a top-secret Al Qaeda cell?
Sadly, I suspect that the real situation is much more prosaic: Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid appear to simply be small-minded politicians with no real principles and no regard for their oaths of office or for the Constitution that is supposed to be their "bible," while Bush seems to be a dimwit with an inflated view of his importance and Cheney is simply a power-mad criminal of limited intellect but with limitless ruthlessness.
Given this sad reality, the only hope, it seems to me, for this tottering republic, is for the public to reject both parties in the coming election. One thing has been clear of late, and that is that the right, the left and the middle--speaking here of the American people, not the political class--have a great deal in common with regard to their common desire for a nation at peace, for a government that responds to their needs, not the needs of corporations and the super rich, and for leaders who listen to them, not to those with fat wallets.
As long as we remain shackled to a system of these two thoroughly corrupt political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, there seems little hope for national salvation.
DAVE LINDORFF is an investigative journalist and columnist based in Philadelphia. His most recent book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net (please have patience-the site is currently having problems and may have been the victim of a political attack.)