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New Scandal, New Opportunities: A Possible Strategic Opening for the Democrats

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Andrew Schmookler
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Regular readers will know that I believe that, in recent years, we have been ruled here in America by arrogant, lying thugs, and that I believe that there is no more pressing business for us Americans than to wrest from these gangsters their power and to repudiate and discredit those dark forces in the American system that have coalesced to create this evil regime. At the same time, readers will also recall that I have been recommending a very cautious approach for the Democrats in Congress regarding how they go about attacking the Bushites, suggesting for example that marching straight for impeachment would be dangerous and likely counter-productive. For this counsel of caution and patience, I've been harshly attack by readers on some anti-Bush websites as if I were somehow "soft" on the Bushites, as if I did not recognize how awful these evil rulers are. It seems that some people cannot understand how someone could recognize the evils they recognize, could be as furious as they are at the depredations of these thugs, and NOT be in favor of an all-out and immediate frontal assault on the Bushite bunker. But the Allied defeat of Hitler did not begin with a march into Berlin. Getting to the stronghold of Nazi power required (speaking now only of the American and British forces, and leaving out the Soviets) first a campaign in North Africa, and then an invasion into the soft underbelly of Europe at Sicily and Italy, and then an invasion of the beaches of Normandy and a steady march eastward toward Berlin. My differences with my critics, though some of them will evidently never get this, are about strategy and not about goals. "They have violated the Constitution and deserve to be impeached" is entirely true, but that truth does not by itself imply what is the best strategy. "The bolder the better" is more often a policy for disaster than for victory, and my priority is not for bold gestures but for victory, for vanquishing this Bushite power as thoroughly as possible. For that reason, I've got my eye out for strategic openings through which the Democrats can begin to unravel the power of these Bushites. A good opening is one that will help move the media and thereby the American public into greater ripeness for recognizing the central truth of our times: that this is a criminal regime animated by evil forces. The media and the public are, after the regime, the problem. If the American public really saw the truth that is right in front of their eyes, and responded to that truth appropriately, there would be no problem: we could march straight into Berlin. (Many people in our movement are claiming, nowadays, that the majority of the American public favor impeachment, but I believe that is wishful thinking in the form of misreading the poll results: if I am not mistaken, what people were asking was along the lines of "If the president were found to have lied to get Congress and the American people to support his invasion of Iraq, do you think that impeachment should be considered?" That's TWO STEPS AWAY from an an endorsement of impeachment: it has an "if" and it concludes with a "consideration." If the American people were really ripe --if the attitudes of our movement typified those of the American people-- we'd see huge demonstrations all over the country, which of course we do not.) And of course the dormancy of the American public is at least in large measure the responsibility of our irresponsible corporate media, who have been content during these recent years to ignore and even cover up one of the most startling and dramatic news stories in the history of the United States: the systematic assault on our constitutional democracy by the very officials whose oath of office is supposed to make them its greatest defenders. But we have to fight our battle taking into account the America we have, to paraphrase our recent and unlamentedly departed Secretary of Defense, not the American we'd like to have. One of the impediments to the effective exposure of the Bushite evils --or at least so I believe-- is that to the media and the public a lot of the Bushite crimes and lies are "old news." It's already been hashed out, people will likely say, about the warrantless wire-tapping and the "extraordinary rendition" and the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. So hearings that delve into these matters, though quite possibly still desirable, will be vulnerable to effective counter-attack by propagandists who will say: "The Democrats are simply going back over old ground to score points for partisan purposes, focusing on the past at the neglect of taking care of the present needs of Americans." Bushite misdeeds THAT ARE NEWLY DISCOVERED, therefore, might be useful starting points for introducing Americans to the larger picture of the regime's evils. That was the thought behind my piece, posted a couple of weeks ago, on the news of the Bushites possibly having violated American law and treaty obligations in the development of weapons of bio-terror. (See "Might This Be a Way Into Investigating Bushite Lawlessness? A Newly Disclosed Violation," at www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=398) Now there is perhaps a still better new development-- better in terms of how average Americans are likely to respond to the news. While the development of American weapons (even of a forbidden kind) might well be regarded by most Americans as protecting them from threats, the Bushite conduct in this new possible scandal seems more likely to be experienced by Americans as itself constituting a threat. This new scandal concerns G.W. Bush's recent assertion --in one of his infamous, indefensible "signing statements"-- of the right to open the mail of Americans without any judge granting a warrant authorizing him to do so. Here's a portion of a news story, sent to me this morning by a reader, Kathleen Greenwell:
W Pushes Envelope on US Spying By James Gordon Meek The New York Daily News Thursday 04 January 2007 New postal law lets Bush peek through your mail. Washington - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned. The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions. That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise. "Despite the President's statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people's mail without a warrant," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill. Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.
Maybe this should be the subject of immediate hearings. And once the door is open into the vast room of Bushite lawlessness, even the "old news" will fit into what many Americans would be experiencing as a new picture.
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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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