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Nancy & Harry: Comedic Duo Bring Down the House (and Senate)

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Vice President Cheney says he doesn’t have to obey the law relating to national security records held in the executive office because as vice president, he’s not part of the executive branch.

Chency is reported to be actively lobbying the president to pardon a convict, L. “Scooter” Libby, his former right-hand-man, his “Cheney’s Cheney,” whom everyone knows took the fall and lied to a federal prosecutor in order to protect his boss. That is, the vice president is seeking a pardon for a man who, if he got tired of sitting in jail, could send him to jail.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the nation’s top law enforcement official, has lied repeatedly to Congress.

President Bush has openly and audaciously on over 1200 occasions refused to enact all or parts of hundreds of laws passed by the Congress of the United States, claiming for himself a non-existent “unitary executive authority” that purportedly makes him an extraconstitutional tyrant whose office comprises all executive, legislative and judicial power in the government, thus rendering Congress and the Judiciary merely vestigial bodies much like the tiny hip and bones buried deep inside the body of a whale.

Bush continues to expand a war in Iraq, adding tens of thousands of overstretched and exhausted troops and producing hundreds of new dead American bodies despite a clear call in last November’s election for an end to a conflict that has now lasted longer than World War II. He also continues to claim that the war is legal despite overwhelming evidence that both he and the vice president lied brazenly and repeatedly about the reasons for it..

The president continues to insist that Americans and captives in various American wars can be held in violation of International Law and the Constitution, with no trial, no habeas corpus rights, no right to a lawyer, and no protection from torture.

The president refuses to talk about or explain the details of an extra-judicial spying program against Americans that he authorized, even after it had been declared a serious felony and violation of the First and Fourth Amendments. It is a program that was so offensive that even his one-time attorney general, John Ashcroft, a man who saw nothing wrong with organizing 20 million Americans to spy on the rest of us, to refuse to sign on, and indeed to threaten to resign.

And the president, in myriad ways, continues to obstruct global and domestic efforts to begin to seriously address the mounting disaster of global heating—a crisis that threatens the survival not just of the nation, but of the human race.

In the face of all these crimes and abuses of power, what have the Democrats done?

The easiest way to show the Democratic response to all this criminality is to leave what we writers call a double-space break:

That’s it.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

When Democrats won the 2006 off-year election, and when they assumed control of the 110th Congress, there was big talk about pressing ahead with investigations of administration wrongdoing and bungling, and of pushing forward a progressive Democratic agenda. There was talk of investigating the president’s assault on civil liberties, of ending the Iraq War, of dealing with a national health care crisis that now leaves 45 million Americans with no insurance and no access to decent medical care, of funding a gutted educational system, of passing legislation to begin cutting back on America’s prodigious and unconscionable production of global warming gasses, and of fixing an electoral system that is a national embarrassment and an invitation to theft and manipulation.

And what have they actually done? Unfortunately, the answer here is not “nothing,” which might have been better.

No. Instead, they funded the Iraq war for months to come, in full with no strings attached, and passed a minimum wage hike that is so minimal most workers won’t even know it happened, because their own states already have higher pay mandates.

Little wonder that support for Democrats in Congress has cratered, plunging from a euphoric 65 percent right after the last election to 23 percent today.

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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