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Fast Times at the Capitol Complex

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Message Missy Beattie
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Karl Rove is George Bush's gray matter. His second job, and the one he performs with great gusto, is scavenger of embarrassing information on members of Congress. Rove must thrill to the use of even a hint of innuendo when someone takes the slightest baby-step from the line drawn to separate blind loyalty to the administration and dissent from its position.

It's the Senate's responsibility to provide a check on executive power gone amok. Certainly, Bush is like a teenager let loose on Daytona Beach for Spring Break you know, trying to get away with anything and everything while out from under the scrutiny of parents and the constraint of a curfew. He's ignoring laws and threatening our liberties like there'll never be punishment to pay spying, lying, equivocating, withholding information, stomping his foot and saying, "I'm expected to do this." But the Senate is complicit in George Bush's fast times at the Capitol Complex. They're the chaperones we trusted to rein in the problem behavior the adults who know they have a monumental responsibility to people back home as well as the invaded community to patch minor problems and prevent major damage.

The mainstream media also should provide checks and balances. They have in the past. Now, they perpetuate Bush-push when they fail to report the crimes of this administration. Refusing to ask the tough questions, they name their shows "The Situation Room" or "Hardball" but the "situations" they report and the "balls" they toss seldom investigate the eroding of our liberties and the manufactured evidence for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. When the president says he's listening to conversations to keep us safe, the media should confront the federal government about the number of failures the 9/11 Commission issued. I give the mainstream-media, celebrity anchors a solid F for their negligence in reporting the civil war in Iraq and inadequate coverage of the dead and wounded. When George Bush says one of his goals is to rid the world of tyrants, someone with a powerful voice should suggest he start by stepping down and taking his entire administration with him. I guess these television "stars" are afraid they'll be demoted to small stations in Podunk, USA.

Meanwhile, Karl reaches into his power-tool belt for his Palm Pilot, and cell phone to swift-boat those who are supposed to ask the relevant questions or represent us with his "if you don't do this, I'll do that" or "if you do such and such, I'll expose your wife, your children, your grandmother or your great aunt who everyone thinks is a spinster instead of a lesbian." This has to account for the weak behavior of the Senate Democrats and why those of us who opposed the confirmation of Samuel Alito were receiving e-mail after e-mail, instructing us to make calls to block this nomination which will move us to a past of problems for women, the further marginalizing of the poor, and a future which will ensure a unitary presidency. It explains why Bush almost always gets his way. It must be the reason George W. dismisses any challenges on issues of epic consequences continued linking of Iraq to 9/11, intelligence collapses leading to that date, Katrina, spying without warrants, disregard for environmental certainties, education, healthcare, the deficit, and the war, the war, the war the endless war in which our soldiers are overstretched, expendable, and forgotten if and when they make it home.

So, the Senate Democrats have a problem. By ignoring the demands of their constituents, they'll risk being challenged by the Cindy Sheehans of the world people whose experiences and principles lead them to acts of immeasurable courage and to positions they never imagined they'd seek. And these incumbents will lose, banished to jobs where there is less power and less public attention. But if they heed the call of their consciences and the people they represent, the next voice they'll hear is that of Karl who is quivering with excitement as he threatens to expose secrets.

For me, the Dems' dilemma is a big no-brainer and to each I would say:

Tell Karl Rove your aunt is a proud lesbian and you're happy to have her in your family to show your children and grandchildren that she's no different from any other beloved relative. Tell him the skeletons in your closets are small compared to the treachery of his boss. Shout it into the phone 'til it reverberates. Scream it loudly so that it pierces his eardrum. The George W. Bush agenda for the world is much more frightening than anything Karl can do to you.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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