Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 19, 2005

"The Real Fight"

The Nelson Report is a Washington D.C. political insider brief written by Chris Nelson. Yesterdays brief includes a strong essay copied on the blogs of Steve Clemons and Laura Rozen.

It is frightening and deserves a serious bar discussion:

    BOLTON BATTLE...the real fight

    If the fight over John Bolton's UN nomination were just about John Bolton, he'd be history already. But this isn't about Bolton, it's about the exercise of power. Same thing with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

    If this was even 5 years ago, hed be toast.

    We are at the point now where the Republican Leadership refuses to allow the possibility of a loss on anything, regardless of the merits. This renders "debate" meaningless, since nothing said actually matters, so truth is irrelevant.

    "Science" depends on faith; everything is a test of power. Oppose something the President wants, and you aren't just wrong, you are betraying the Party. The underlying message is that you are also offending a very particular definition of God.

    The sad, sorry Bolton/DeLay spectacles are about total war, the kill-the-prisoners exercise of power that national US politics has become since the 2000 election. If it were merely about power, it wouldn't be so terrifying. Washington is used to that. . .it's what we exist for. But the fear, the self-loathing, the pathetic, cowardly, sniveling, excuse-making drivel from such "leaders" as Lugar, Hagel, Chafee, the entire House Republican Leadership under DeLay. . .and the ever-so-very carefully expressed angst of the Democrats. . .is about something far more dangerous to the Republic than mere political power.

    What we are seeing is a fight for the political soul of the nation. We've had these before, in the existential sense. . .in my political lifetime, the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the women’s rights versus, to a certain extent, the right to life movement. But this time it's totally and completely a fight about God. . .specifically, whether God is going to rule in the United States.

    The Constitution says that would be illegal, and any serious expert can tell you that not only were the Founders liberal in their interpretation of the Deity, but they intentionally enshrined a purely secular civic government, including the courts. They didn't think that Jesus had an official plan for us, much less did they think that politicians who defined their duties in secular terms were defying the word of God.

    Tom Delay manifestly believes this, and it sounds like any number of Senate Republicans either agree, or lack the imagination or moral courage to disagree. . .why else would some endorse threats against Republican-appointed judges who dare to interpret the law in secular terms? This is what the Bolton fight is really about: you can't dump him, because that lets the Democrats win on both the facts and principle. . .fatal notions to a desire to pack the courts with religious and secular policy extremists.

    Why else would there be the constant drumbeat of attacks on the "liberal media", except to undermine public trust in the Constitutionally provided mediator between the politicians and the people?

    The Founders knew how to protect what they intended; this crowd has figured out how to undermine the very rule of law in the United States. Listen to what DeLay is arguing...that his excesses have nothing to do with his "persecution", interesting choice of word, by the Democrats and their "liberal press allies". If a majority of Congressional Republicans don't, in their hearts, see the hypocrisy of all this, the Republic is doomed.

    The real story behind Bolton and DeLay is obvious, to anyone not already seduced by the dark side.

    Connect the dots. There's still time.

Posted by b on April 19, 2005 at 9:30 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I'd like to see certain groups relabeled.

If the 'liberal media' (certainly an oxymoron) is to be an acceptable description then the 'radical Republicans' should be similarly branded.

I'm sick of buzzwords. George Bush I made 'liberal' a dirty word. I can still hear him saying it, over and over again. We are, if we are not alert, going to be governed by faith--which means that the truth is what they say it is.

Karl Kraus was right. The republic's death begins when its language is diverted, or perverted, from its true meaning.

Posted by: hopping madbunny | Apr 19 2005 10:28 utc | 1

I feel like a rant again. The broken record-type of rant.

I don't think there's still time, no. I don't think the US is on the verge of falling into the abyss and there's still time...

No, I think it's already plummeting and it's not going to stop plummeting, because that's the will of its people.

It's Germany before the Eastern Front, before Stalingrad.

So let's stop pretending we can still "save" this benighted land and instead get ready for the Crash.

The Defeat, Humbling and Crash of the United States will be the Verdun of the early part of this new century.

As WWI broke the backs of the proud British and French Empires, the current crisis will break the back of the United States.

Once I would have thought utterly preposterous that Ukaine be no longer part of, forget the USSR, just Russia. Today, I'm willing to believe that, in 10 years, the US may break apart. Or not. But it's no longer off the table.

I don't have Jerome's, Billmon's, etc. economic knowledge and obvious talent at predictivity. However I know when shit is coming.

Posted by: | Apr 19 2005 11:34 utc | 2

The above post by me. Sorry.

Posted by: Lupin | Apr 19 2005 11:34 utc | 3

Lupin, I know how you feel. I've been sensing little droplets of brown-stuff landing on me from the office ceiling fan....

(It seems my only communicative ability is snark.)

Posted by: Vicki | Apr 19 2005 12:02 utc | 4

That's what happens when you hang a Tom De Lay-SKS on your ceiling. My I suggest a Limbaugh-3000 instead? It really blows. Or try the Frist-CKL - it comes equiped with its own kittens.

Posted by: Lupin | Apr 19 2005 12:17 utc | 5

But Lupin, due to the looming fiscal crises, I must opt for a lesser quality fan. I only installed it so I would actually know when the shit was hitting. It's often hard to read the signals, otherwise.

Posted by: Vicki | Apr 19 2005 12:36 utc | 6

the Republic is doomed.

He buried the lead.

Posted by: Billmon | Apr 19 2005 12:44 utc | 7

Billmon, if you're interested in updating this post for publishing in my e-letter, please e-mail me.

thanks,
Greg

Posted by: Greg Grillot | Apr 19 2005 13:06 utc | 8

regarding bolton himself i can just say that it has been known for a long, long time that he is an extremist and probably crazy, so his being where he is has probably far deeper roots than just the current regime. he should probably have been ejected from govt employ 30 years ago if the people in power over there had some semblance of sanity.

the troubles of the US are indeed big judging by the debased characters who have managed to become/define the mainstream political discourse over there and what they are doing with the power they have acquired in the process.

the bad thing is that these characters are demolishing the US everyone used to like and also often joke about. the good thing is that their radical modus operandi bears in itself the seed of their destruction, in the same way that the nazis probably stumbled more than anything over the revulsion their actions caused in everybody else.

i read somewhere else the opinion that the minutemen now patrolling the mexico border may be the first stumbling step towards a revolution against a political class who manages to do neglect exactly every duty they have under standing laws and do exactly nothing right or in the interest of the vast majority of americans. if this opinion reflects what a significant part of americans think independent from their partisan and reliigous affiliation, i can only hope they take action and cut away the rot soon. as a foreigner the easy way to go would be to just hope the americans kill each other off and give the rest of us some peace. it is a valid position but it is also cheap and too simple for my taste because most of us judge the US by their foreign 'policy' but rarely by the internal bungling of their political and moneyed class. lets look a bit at that a bit.

i like the minutemen because they are like the tip of an iceberg. i also like the minutemen because they are a good starting point for my tuesday rant.

the minutemen have been denigrated as 'right extremists', 'militants', 'vigilantes' ... but if we take a look at their motivations there is far more to them than, say, the "pro-lifers" who poison the athmosphere around abortion clinics.

so, if i was an american i'd see some very, very dangerous developments in my society.

first of all there is the issue of illegal immigration (i will not go into the causes of immigration here). according to US law as I understand it the govt has the duty to protect its borders. the US govt is not doing that. their border patrols are reportedly understaffed and subsequent regimes in washington couldnt care less since the illegals are cheap labor wanted in by some industries with strong a lobby.

second, american business and industry - and their bakshish-irrigated politicos - are in a relentless drive to reduce costs, crowd out labor, marginalize even the possibility of any political discourse opposing their get-rich-quick MO, ultimately exporting workplaces and thus marginalizing americans even more AND at the same time replacing americans who are somewhat more protected by law with illegals who will neither ask for labor protection nor attempt to organize politically (for now at least).

third, there is the issue of education. i've recently read that in california the dropout rate in public schools is between 40% and 60% depending on the district. i think we have a lower dropout rate at uni here in austria, just to compare. according to what i read, again, perhaps THE factor causing dropout is the crowding of the school system with children of illegals. IMO whatever the reasons are for the dropout rate, 40% to 60% dropout is plain horror, probably aggravated by a society which lacks structures and jobs to integrate these people - hence increasing criminality of all kind.

fifth and speaking of criminality, incarceration rate. according to what is reported the US has the single highest incarceration rate in the world and probably in history. the sheer amount of people either in jail or under supervision of the american jail system is rotting away at the cohesion society in that it creates a whole new and disenfranchised underclass comprised by those who have been processed thru this system and their families. even worse than the numbers is that the carcelary system of the US is increasingly for profit and "crimes" are invented in order to generate revenue. the idea of incarceration for profit and making a gain off of the misery of the weak and the 'other' is more associated with the nazi KZ system and the chinese labor and reeducation gulag in the public mind here in the 'west', so i think that this single issue should push the US from its pedestal of righteous exceptionalism in everybodies minds.

sixth, destruction of nature. what am i supposed to say except to express my shock and awe at the brutal ignorance and irresponsibility of the american political classes ?

seventh, foreign policy. this is the aspect of american politics most apparent to us outside the US and least apparent to americans. americans know little to nothing about the world outside the US and about the actions of their govt and consequences of these actions. the foreign 'policy' of the american govt is IMO against the interests of a great majority of americans. it can be neatly summarized as gunboat diplomacy and thuggery of the worst kind. i have always wondered why american "embassies" everywhere are not surrounded by 10m high walls and a sanitary cordon of at least 500m. to return to the subject of the thread, of course deranged fucks more deserving of a straight jacket than a say in political matters like john bolton have a place in such a system.

eigth, economy. rants about the economy, economic policy, monetary policy, distribution of income, taxes ... are customarily either doctrinarily capitalistic or left to "extremist fundamentalists and deranged misfits and malcontents". WTF ? eventually somebody will notice that the failure of individuals to make do in an economic system where they are not supposed to succeed no matter how hard they try is not the failure of the individuals but of the system and those who keep it in place.

ninth, depolitization and demobilization of the masses. following the McCarthy witchhunts there was a something like a renaissance in the american political opinion between the late 1950s and the late 1970s. this was seen as a grave danger by the moneyed establishment and reversed and rolled back by use of anything-goes thuggery comparable in scale to the stalinist soviet union yet far more subtle in their use of propaganda and desinformation against their inner enemy, the people of the US. the net result is that there are no organized leftist political organizations or parties of any value in the US, everything is penetrated by the political police (FBI ...), unions are mafia redux, the 'left' is portrayed in the MSM as the democrats, anybody outside the rep/dem farce is criminalized or ruined or labeled a terrorist, media and culture are functional to the desires of the elite and all public communication is dumbed down or 'processed', political opinion mildly dissenting from the 'mainstream' can only be expressed in the context of church or religious movements. more radical dissenters like the minutemen who brought me here are denigrated, penetrated and eventually criminalized lest they become a dangerous example.

i could go on but i think i've painted a fairly representative picture of how i understand the american political landscape and what awaits any american interested in participating in the political process of their own country/community (as a foreigner i may be wrong so corrections are welcome).

so what ARE the possibilities of expressing their political will for americans who dissent from the antisocial rightist capitalist religious and imperialist ways of their political establishment ? this is something which every american should consider themselves, but i still like what the minutemen are doing so i'll stay a bit longer with them.

i see what these people are doing neither 'leftist' no 'rightist' but action based in deep concern of dangerous developments and the inaction of the authorities, who should do something. illegal immigration, the subversion of the capability to stop it and the tolerance of their presence in the US and their use of american infrastructure by US authorities in the scale seen in the US is the expression of the political will of the moneyed minority. the minutemen are expression of the political will of middle- to lower class americans probably after all other avenues, like resolutions, council debates, attempts at talking to senators and govt functionaries have not yielded results.

the minutemen have shown up lots of ugly and embarassing facts about illegals, like the support of them by the mexican army, the protection of drug runners by US military, ... and they have the potential to further embarass the 'elite' and thwart their will. but that is not the only thing i see in them: they are a role model for a wide range of issues in american politics. they are a peaceful way out of the impasse caused by disfunctional political institutions.

their example/solution is as simple as it is effective: wherever the govt renegues of their function, replicate that function outside the scope of 'official' govt institutions and thus beyond the direct control of the corrupt polical castes. the model of action of the minutemen effectively puts the officialty before the choices of either using violence to suppress them or to "do their job in order to keep their job". and there are many areas where the model could be used, among others, to push bolton and his ilk out. but that is more difficult than merely stemming the flow of illegals.

as usual, disclaimers re my bad engrish and my shortsightedness apply.

Posted by: name | Apr 19 2005 14:21 utc | 9

The Speaker of the House, and the Hon. Mr. Perley Beecroft, Vice-President of the United States and Presiding officer of the Senate, have the power to declare that quorums were present. (If a lot of members chose to dally in the district jail, enjoying themselves, instead of attending Congress, whose fault was that
- Sinclair Lewis.

Posted by: citizen k | Apr 19 2005 14:23 utc | 10

Off Topic:
RE Fuel Shortage
---
Congressman Bartlett Discusses Peak Oil and the Challenge it Poses to U.S. Economic and National Security in Special Order Addresses to Congress.

April 19 Special Order
Watch it LIVE on C-SPAN, estimated start time of @9:00 pm EDT http://www.c-span.org/watch/


Also see:
http://www.energybulletin.net/5437.html

http://www.bartlett.house.gov/EnvironmentalProject.asp

Posted by: SarahLee | Apr 19 2005 14:24 utc | 11

George W Bush and Karl Rove both know in their hearts and mind that the minute that the media and the public perceive that their Administration has suffered a defeat, their house of cards collapses. So, they pull no punches. John Bolton will be confirm as UN Ambassador.

This Administration is a serial iceberg hitter. They sail majestically on as the lower decks flood and the hoi polloi scream unheard below.

Posted by: Jim S | Apr 19 2005 15:29 utc | 12

Serial Iceberg Hitter.

Now, I like that!

Posted by: Groucho | Apr 19 2005 15:34 utc | 13

@ name: Thanks for your post.

"as a foreigner the easy way to go would be to just hope the americans kill each other off and give the rest of us some peace."

Sad, but I understand.

Posted by: beq | Apr 19 2005 15:43 utc | 14

The Founders knew how to protect what they intended

and what we are seeing today is a continuation of that in most regards, w/ a general tweaking that transitioned the interests of the gentry from real properties (land) to financial properties/vehicles.

the real fight has nothing to do w/ partisan lines


Posted by: b real | Apr 19 2005 15:46 utc | 15

Democracy Now did exc. program on it today w/both Clemons & John Nicols on together. Transcript not up yet, so I won't link. Nicols wrote a book about Fla. 2000 so he recounts the details of Bolton's lead role in shutting down the vote in key precincts -eg, Miami-Dade, etc. You listen to/read enough instances of Bolton's modus operandi & you realize this guy is a fascist. He's The Perfect Choice to send to the UN if your objective is to unite the entire world against the xUS, to destroy the UN...or "reform it" as the operative phrase would have it...He's sort of Dick Cheney Unchained...the stuff of Hollywood horror flicks...oh to be a scriptwriter...He'll do the UN what Ratzo - or is it Rat-Zinger - will do to Catholic Church - send everyone scurrying elsewhere..

When you stop by Democracy Now later, be sure to check out remarks (by Clemons??) on Chinese demonstrations. Key point: xUS gave China all of our R&D & manufacturing & is now afraid of China -w/good reason. Now that Japan has more significant economic relationship w/China than w/xUS, they're afraid that Japan will fall under China's power - which they will. So, xUS pressed Jap. to publicly state what all - but we the people - knew to be the case: in military conflict over Taiwan bet. China-xUS, Jap. will side w/xUS. This pushed China over the edge....Lucky Japan being caught bet. China & xUS...Kinda like England caught bet. Europe & xUS, except...

Posted by: jj | Apr 19 2005 18:33 utc | 16

Connect the dots. There's still time.

(last sentence of B’s post)

There is always still time. Great changes can be implemented in the landscape discussed, theoretically at least. On the ground...I doubt it (in the line of the post by Lupin at 7.34.) Contrary to Lupin, though, I don’t think the US will break up. It is already close to a third world country (in comparison with what one imagines a western ‘developed’ country to be), there are no absolutes there, the comparison is off the cuff in the imagination. Many are making it, if rather arrogantly and stupidly. A meme.

The US core took over Afgh. and Iraq. Those places are falling apart but have not imploded, and will not in the next few years. That comparison implies that the US public, US citizens, are just as powerless as a poor Afgh. small business men, in the drugs or vegetable trade, and unschooled women in both countries; that those people don’t have the arms, base, organisation, political power, determined plan, required to throw out the occupier.

The trick is that in US citizens don’t think they are occupied, they claim they are occupying others. (And are either for or against that horrifying, expensive scenario.) They have values, SUVS and TVS (pardon the stereotype, I know, I know....), or values and plain hope, or circumscribed desperation, perhaps at least a life for the poor and immigrants - what more could one wish for?

In many ways, Iraqis are at an advantage. Those who aren’t shills know who and where the enemy is. In the US, the enemy is still conceptualised as one faction, one party, one class (maybe..), X or Y politician, within a working democratic schema. Combined with the specter of the outside enemy (Muslims, terrorists, etc.), and media control, people are locked in.

The Iraqis know that ‘shock and awe’ bombed their infrastructure deliberately to bits (water, schools, hospitals ..); they know rebuilding was a farce, corrupt.

They know the elections were a sham, and that they had no opportunity to ‘vote’ for what they wanted or believed in. (Ask women’s groups.)

In the US, no one dares say that the destruction of the WTC was 'shock and awe' and that the election(s) were, are, a sham.

The Iraqis are not prisoners of a fake frame - although at first many were - they would be liberated, Saddam would be gone, etc. They fell for it in some measure. No more.

Posted by: Blackie | Apr 19 2005 18:38 utc | 17

Think of this.

About 6 - 8,000 or more US soldiers (the definition is difficult - green carders, orphans, died after being wounded, even if a month or two after evac to Germany, odd accidents, suicides, various personnel with unclear briefs, etc. ) have died in the Iraq war. Not sure - must be around there. Bit lower perhaps. Even far lower. I don’t know.

Those numbers are not tallied. Not made public, not speculated about.

It would not be too difficult to list them as individuals in a factual, open way. A sober website to honor the dead. Nothing more. Not objectionable. A tribute.

Cheap - people would donate, college students could man the computers, A kitty of 20 000 dollars would be ample.

It would have impact. Over time.

Nevertheless, it would be a deeply subversive act. It would cut to the heart of US Gvmt. record keeping, costs, propaganda, etc. if only implicitly.

So no one will do it. Too dangerous. Too uncertain outcome. And yet, it is a small thing.

Posted by: Blackie | Apr 19 2005 18:40 utc | 18

@Blackie - I would like to do it, unfortunatly, there is no data.

Posted by: b | Apr 19 2005 18:54 utc | 19

Data can be collected, found, hunted up, brought to light. If it can't - if that is no longer possible .. if even people who don’t believe Fox news can’t - in the global village, the information age - collect that data, but must be dependent on the gangsters who are in charge, there is no hope at all.

Not saying it would be easy.

Just in principle, it could be done.

If not, then not.

Posted by: Blackie | Apr 19 2005 19:19 utc | 20

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