A Prince, whose character is ... marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.
Declaration of Independence
A perfect storm occurs when several weather conditions for example, a low pressure area, a cold front, a diversion of the jet stream -- each significant by itself, converge and combine at a particular time and place, with catastrophic results.
Analogously, a perfect political storm may now be gathering over the Bush Administration, with each element intensifying the effects of the others. Heretofore, the Bush regime has been able to handle one element or two at a time, put the emergency behind them, and then move on. Similarly, the problems facing the Busheviks today might be dealt with successfully if they were to appear in sequence. Unfortunately for Bush and the Republicans, they are arriving all at once, and this time they may well be overwhelmed and, come November, overthrown.
The Opposition is being heard. This has been an extraordinary month for speaking truth to power. On April 6, Harry Taylor, an ordinary North Carolina citizen, told George Bush directly that he had never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency. Then, three weeks later, comedian Steven Colbert skewered Bush and the White House press corps, as he stood just a few feet away from the President. And just last week, CIA veteran Ray McGovern called Donald Rumsfeld a liar to his face, whereupon Rumsfeld replied with yet another demonstrable lie. And throughout the month, eight retired generals openly criticized Rumsfelds (and by implication Bushs) conduct of the Iraq war.
Which leads to our next point:
The mainstream Media is losing its grip on public opinion. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, 70% of the American public was led to believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attacks, and 76% believed that he was an ally of al Qaeda. We now know that both of these allegations were false. These falsehoods could only have been conveyed to the public through the mainstream media. In February, 2002, Colin Powell presented alleged proof to the UN Security Council that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and was involved with al Qaeda. The American corporate media was unanimous in its praise of that speech, and in its pronouncement that Powell had made his case. Subsequent events have proven that speech to have been a pack of lies, for which Powell has apologized.
In addition, today Bushs approval rating is in the low thirties, and that of the Congress down to 22%. A majority of Americans disapprove of the Iraq war and believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction. These indicators of public opinion have been arrived at despite, rather than because of, the mainstream media.
As significant as the false reporting has been the non-reporting. The Downing Street Memos, the top-secret notes from British cabinet meetings which exposed the treachery of Bushs decision to go to war with Iraq, were essentially absent from the mainstream news. Old news, said the Washington Post. Steven Colberts performance at the White House Correspondents dinner was initially deemed unworthy of mention by the New York Times, and only a passing comment by the Washington Post. And to this day, there is virtually a complete ban on even mentioning the question of fraud in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections. Even so, these issues and more have been kept alive by the independent progressive internet.
Clearly, the mainstream media has lost much of its credibility with the public. It no longer leads public opinion. So the question arises: will it now follow public opinion and respond to the publics increasing demand to be told the truth?
The Law is at last catching up with the White House and the GOP. Karl Rove, Bushs evil political genius, appears to be on the brink of indictment, and there may be still more in the Bush Administration to be caught in Patrick Fitzgeralds legal net. The convictions of Randy Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff are probably just the opening act to what The Progress Report describes as the most extensive corruption scandal in a century. At least a half dozen GOP Congressman are believed to be involved.
But far worse than all this perjury, obstruction of justice, bribery and corruption is the claim of Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, et al, to be above the law and the Constitution. The rights of the accused to confront their accuser, to a speedy trial by jury, to habeas corpus (specification of charges), to advice of counsel all these rights specified in the Bill of Rights have been casually set aside. The Geneva Conventions: treaties with the force of federal law? Inoperative. The Fourth Amendment guarantee of the citizens right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Overruled.
The President, along with every federal officer and every member of Congress, all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet a majority of those members of Congress, including virtually all Republicans, in violation of that oath, choose instead to support and defend a President whose willful and flagrant violation of the Constitution is open and beyond dispute a President who places himself above the law, despite the Constitutional requirement that he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. (Article 2, Section 3).
Is there no limit to the capacity of these Republican politicians to violate their oaths of office as they meekly submit to an outlaw regime? Or is there, eventually, a breaking point?
The Consequences of Bushenomics are being felt in the American households. The GOP raid on the US Treasury, the reverse Robin-Hoodism (taking from the poor and middle class and giving to the rich), the outsourcing of jobs, all this, the American public has endured in passive silence. But for how long? Now, with gasoline above $3 a gallon and the ripple effect of that increase on other consumer prices, the public is finally waking up. Most Americans have been ruthlessly swindled by this Administration and Congress. To date, few Americans have much appreciation of the extent of this swindle. But now the effects are closing in, and the price of gas at the pump is merely a harbinger of worse to come. Add to this the publics loss of confidence in and approval of the Bush Administration and the Congress. It is a volatile combination.