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What Should Be Happening Now: The Opening Statement

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Bard Schmookler     Permalink
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The great disappointment of this moment is that George W. Bush is still able to dominate the politics --the agenda, the discussion, the chosen course-- of the United States.  It is that the Democrats who constitute the majority in Congress have been unable to wrest such power from this president.  This despite the fact that the president is deeply unpopular in the country, despite the fact that he has accumulated a disgraceful record of crimes and lies, despite the fact that the primary venture of his presidency --his war of choice in Iraq-- has proved to be a huge disaster for this country.

Admittedly, the majorities in Congress are fragile, and confer limited power to the Democrats.  It is not necessarily reasonable, therefore, to assume that the Democrats would have been able to dictate policy regarding the war in Iraq.  Nor is it necessarily reasonable to assume that the Democrats would have been able successfully to impeach this lawless president and vice-president.  The facts of power might well prevent the Democrats from "winning" their battle with the regime in such ways.

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It <em>IS</em> reasonable, however, to expect the Democrats to be able to employ their present platform --in combination with the overwhelming evidencee regarding the truth about this regime-- to accomplish something else.  Namely, it is reasonable to expect the Democrats to successfully dramatize, at every turn and continually, the disgraceful --the criminal, the dishonest, the incompetent-- nature of this Bushite regime to the American public.

This would be no small thing.   Indeed, that is the way to accomplish something that is key to the challenge of this moment in American history.

Properly done, such a thorough discrediting would strip away from this presidency all the moral authority, all the respect, all the deference, that Americans customarily extend to that office.

And if those aspects of the aura of the presidency were thoroughly stripped away, the president's power would be greatly diminished.  The power of the office has a legal aspect, but without its moral aspect the president's ability to dominate the political arena --an ability that now, disgracefully, continues-- would be removed.

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This is the way to weaken the president.  And thus this entirely feasible stripping from the president that authority he so little deserves would also make other things feasible.

It might then become feasible for Congress to take control of the war in Iraq.

It might even then become feasible for Congress to successfully impeach this disgraceful --and by then deservedly disgraced-- president.

For every inch gained in the process of discrediting this regime will move all the other components of the American body politic --the people, the press, the Republican enablers in Congress-- and these shifts would change the power equation away from the Bushite presidency.

But even if those developments --on Iraq, or on impeachment-- did not come to pass, the thorough discrediting of this disgraceful presidency would be no small thing.  It would, indeed, accomplish that most important thing for our time:  the repudiation by the American body politic of the Bushite fascism, and the defense and protection of America's constitutional democracy.

In their battle with the Bushite regime, therefore, the key to the Democrats' fulfilling their responsibility to America lies in completely discrediting this presidency in the eyes of the American people, so that the American people fully repudiate not only the Bushite leadership of this country but also everything this regime has represented.

Such a victory over the Bushites is entirely feasible.  It does not require any legal powers the Democrats do not possess.  It merely requires the resolute will to confront the regime, and the strategic understanding of how to conduct that confrontation to expose the dark truths about the regime:  that it continually lies and breaks the law and incompetently makes a mess of things;  that it is a regime that is antagonistic to the fundamental values of this nation.

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And this confrontation and exposure are what should be happening now.

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<em>This is an essay, but it is also just the opening part of an essay.  But instead of adding on to the end, I will be developing it --in subsequent installments-- by fleshing out this framework from within.  So the unfolding of this line of thinking will be a new approach to the genre of publishing-in-installments.  You'll see what I mean as the subsequent increments get written and added and posted.</em>

 

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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