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Paging Oliver Cromwell

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The American political culture is not only naive but is toothless. I am not talking about how many people such-and-such coalition can get in the streets because of this latest maneuver of Bush's. I am talking about how absolutely determined the two parties are to keep the ball in their court and to let someone else make the rules.

This should be an issue of Congress vs. the Presidency and there is every basis for constructing the conflict of powers in that way. Instead, Bushie makes it Dem vs. Repugs. There is no third party here. Bush wants to control the direction and substance of the politics. Remember Oliver Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution where it was Parliament vs. the King? What happened? The king lost his head and Parliament became historically the most powerful political institution in Great Britain. Bush will make the Presidency the monarchy if he is not overturned by Congress. This is not fascism, or Nazism, it is simply redefining the separation of powers and we already know the theory of the Unitary Executive will codify his powers and the powers of the office for the future.

The street is not the locus of this battle, it is the Congress. if you take the battle into the streets, you lose the key element of who controls the power to wage war- Congress or the President. Give Bush credit, he has a business background and knows one dog must die so that others may thrive. He could be overestimating his own ability to do so, but he is ready to take it to the edge and then some. We have already seen how the Dems backed down in 2000 when Gore gaveled the Black Caucus challenge of the Florida count. Remember the difference when the Repugs took Clinton to the wall for Monica? Who's playing hardball? And who's playing T-ball?

This is politics. Now, if people would align with Heather (R., NM) and get her working with Pete (R,NM) and Jeff (D,NM)and Tom (D,NM) then NM could be in the middle of it. Crazy? Of course it is in ordinary times. But these are historic times and to the victor goes the spoils. But, all the professional armchair revs would just as soon dismiss her role, and theirs, in this drama then consolidate the strength of the opposition. When we come to a crucible, too many would rather engage in symbolism and sophistry, then analyze the forces at work and demand real change. This is not about Iraq, this is about determining the future of the US. This is a Royal Rumble.

As political activists, we should spend less time in the streets right now and more time consolidating opposition and building a political alliance that can match Bush's. This is not street theatre, this is a political power struggle. Blink and the issue is decided for you. Demonstrate leadership, and suddenly you are somebody who is making an impact and not just rooting from the bleachers. This is a legal and Constitutional crisis that must be fought first and foremost in that arena. Through the courts and in the COngress will be the appropriate arenas for action. That doesn't mean back off. That means move forward with audacity. Tourjour l'audace!
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Martin Zehr is an American political writer in the San Francisco area. He spent 8 years working as a volunteer water planner for the Middle Rio Grande region. His article on the Kirkuk Referendum has been printed by the Kurdish Regional Government, Another article was reprinted in its entirety by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) He is a Contributing Writer to Kurdish Aspect more...)

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