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Dystopian and Dysfunctional, Senate "Expresses the Sense" that Critical Thought Must Be Censured

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While Republicans can openly and with applause deny soldiers equal rest at home for equal days in hell, the Democrats, gutless and apprehensive, are once again lulled into interpreting “supporting the troops” means suppressing dissent and kowtowing to Bush’s brood of enablers. 


Bush sycophant, Senator John Cornyn of Texas, through his absurd Senate Amendment 2934, took out his zealous militarism and ire on Moveon.org for the group’s questioning of the neutrality of General Petraeus’ report last week on Iraq through a newspaper ad.

The amendment states “To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.” It passed by a vote of 72 to 25, with 22 Democrats joining bloodstained hands in this shameful exercise that makes a mockery of democracy.

The same Senate that can't assemble enough compassion to restore Habeas Corpus, or provide weary troops with enough rest and time to spend with their families, implausibly found the time to condemn and deride a popular anti-war message that a clear 72-percent of Americans now find agreeable.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd voted against this revile bill, yet Joe Biden and Barack Obama abstained from voting. Further, not one Republican broke ranks or voted against Cornyn’s jingoistic rant, while the Democrats fractured and scattered to three different corners.

What the Senate did today, in a sickening, sad salvo, was abandon all philosophies of independent thought and ridiculed any encroachment of skepticism. Foolishly, and quite transparently, the Senate vainly attempted to hide that General Petraeus’ report was little more than a political stunt by the White House. Petraeus’ day on Capitol Hill was also an inane exploit to whip up, yet again, false patriotism for a failed and now perfectly hideous war of agressision and occupation of a foreign land.

Senate Amendment 2934 is analogous to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which aimed to smother disapproval of John Adam’s Quasi-War with France. Cornyn’s act of blind loyalty is far more seditious than any newspaper ad that brings into question an unconvincing and dubious speech by a military general turn partisan hack for a flailing Bush administration.

Visions of Ray Bradbury’s character Guy Montag, the anti-intellectual fireman, who is the central protagonist in Bradbury’s enduring book Fahrenheit 451, should instantly comes to the reader’s mind. As should Faber, Fahrenheit 451’s ex-English professor who knows the wrong in his world but is too fearful to act. Montag, through chance fate with a little girl, begins to understand that mindlessness and totalitarian governments are the true shackles of ignorant oppression, not books, contemplation or vagaries about human life.

Unfortunately, Montag’s courage to finally speak the truth is a lesson Democrats can’t seem to grasp. In the meantime, Cornyn’s uncritical loyalty demonstrates his authoritarianism is uncompromising and bitterly immovable to the end.

Perhaps the suggestive narrative Bradbury finally hints at, that Montag’s world suffers a total collapse and must be rebuilt from scratch, is a direction America must move in before we all awaken to the detrimental elements of elective tyranny that disgracefully shrouds all of us now.

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Frank J. Ranelli is an independent scholar, skeptic and critic, author and essayist. His erudite and iconoclastic style of provocative writing has been extensively published in a variety of news outlets and across (more...)
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