January 24, 2009
This is another brilliant piece of writing by Bill Marvel, about whom I have enlightened my readers in an earlier post. This column appeared in the January 19th edition of the Conway Daily Sun, and it is nothing short of brilliant. Enjoy!
by William Marvel
Conway Daily Sun
Monday, January 19th, 2009
Tomorrow ends one of the gloomiest epochs in American history. The most cynical, selfish, and shortsighted presidential administration in 220 years will conclude just as it began, with most of the country’s population opposed to its occupation of the White House. Now others must begin the enormous task of reparing the pervasive damage George W. Bush has done to our environment, our economy, our international prestige, our future, and our national spirit.
Our deliverance does not come without further volleys of Republican hypocrisy. Republicans who lambasted Al Gore for his legal challenge to the close results of the Florida election now put their last hope in a legal challenge to the close results of the Minnesota election, straining to at least delay any increase in the Senate’s democratic majority. Republicans who declared Bush’s one-percent margin a “mandate” in 2004 now belittle Barack Obama’s 53-to-47 percent victory as “not that significant” – studiously forgetting that Abraham Lincoln’s resounding 1864 triumph barely gleaned 55 percent of the popular vote, and that Andrew Jackson’s legendary landslide of 1828 only reached 56 percent.
Although he shows little regard for history, and even less knowledge of it, Bush appears belatedly concerned about his historical image. To resuscitate his miserable environmental record, for instance, he lately transformed many leagues of the Pacific Ocean into national monuments – but only because the energy tycoons of his coterie have no practical means of exploiting the resources there. Meanwhile, he spent his final days in office auctioning off mining and drilling concessions in some of our more precious domestic preserves, sacrificing historical and natural treasures for the sake of a few more months of fossil-fuel pollution.
In order to prevent embarassing revelations about the president or his associates, the Bush administration routinely disregarded the Presidential Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, or any other law that might provide incriminating documents. E-mails conveniently disappeared, in flagrant violation of federal statute, and in many instances their deletion represents the destruction of criminal evidence.
This unlawful secrecy ensnared even the pension records of the last surviving veteran of the Civil War. Half a century after his death the Department of Veterans Affairs should release his records, but that requires a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act. I filed such a request two years ago – but, six years into the Bush presidency, I was informed that there was a six-year backlog of such requests. The old veteran’s pension file probably doesn’t hold very dangerous insights into the workings of the Bush-Cheney cabal, but letting more innocent FOIA requests accumulate by the thousands effectively buries the really damaging information.
Democrats, to their eternal discredit, assidiously avoided every opportunity to prosecute a president who smirked his way through innumerable offenses far more serious than hiding an extramarital affair. Were every American truly equal under the law, Bush should have been impeached two years ago for violating federal statutes against domestic wiretapping and torture. Bush and Cheney might even have been handed over to the Hague for war crimes.
Instead, hand-wringing Democrats cringe at the thought of “putting our country through such an ordeal,” just as they did in 1974. That didn’t stop ruthless Republicans from frivolously impeaching a Democrat, and the Democrats’ perenial cowardice about impeachment only allows those Republicans to resume the attack with all the self-righteousness of the unindicted. They are doing just that, too, by ballyhooing the investigation of one dubious Democratic governor to make the public forget Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Scooter Libby, Ted Stevens, all the pardoned Reagan-era criminals whom Bush re-appointed, and countless other Republican scoundrels.
Bush ultimately betrayed almost everyone. His rapacious economic and foreign policies horrified even the traditional conservatives of the Republican party, including his own father. Under the dishonest guise of compassionate conservatism, his cronies cultivated the worst elements of the Republican base. Bush leaped blindly into the abyss of neoconservatism. He enthusiastically embraced the apocalyptic world view of his fellow biblical literalists, whose primitive lunacy and enforced ignorance mirrors that of their fundamentalist Muslim counterparts.
Through their failure to control the renegades who hijacked the party, and their willingness to accept reckless leadership in return for electoral victory, Republican leaders forfeited any further claim on the loyalty of the American public. Their party now represents almost no one but corporate hyenas, chauvinistic imperialists, and religious fanatics. Those deplorable constituencies are all personified by that swaggering monument to unearned who starts back to Texas tomorrow afternoon.
William Marvel lives in South Conway.
November 6, 2008
Well, it looks like we managed to pull off the unthinkable. I wasn’t sure the good ol’ U. S. of A. could do it, but we actually elected a black president. Imagine that.
And I’m happy to say that I got off my NOTA horse long enough to cast my vote for the guy. Because, when I stepped into that booth, what I realized is how much I didn’t want McCain/Palin to win the damned thing.
I even got choked up during his acceptance speech Tuesday night.
I know, I know, I sound like I’m going soft here – I’m not, really. But something about the historical magnitude of this week’s election is really hitting me hard – not quite what I expected from myself. During Obama’s acceptance speech, I really felt myself being inspired and proud to be a citizen of this country, in a very profound way – not in a flag-waving tailgate-party sort of way, but in a deeper sense of connection to an ideal, to a promise of things being better.
I thought McCain’s concession speech was very gracious, even in the face of his supporters booing rather loudly when McCain stated that Obama would, indeed, be our next president and that we should all support him. It was a glimpse of the old McCain, the moderate and distinguished gentlemen that many more of us may have voted for if he hadn’t tried to appeal to the worst imbeciles of the Repug base by choosing the hick Barbie doll demagogue as his running mate.
I fear for Obama, though. Even here in the back-woods blue state of Maine, we’re already seeing racist reactions to his election. Kids like these are probably just repeating what their more insidiously racist parents are saying, and I think the school is right to step in – but I fear that 1st Amendment battles will start springing up everywhere. “Is it not someone’s right to express their racism in a vocal way?” etc. etc. I think we’re going to have to get used to this type of hair-splitting.
But, for now, I have to admit that I am looking forward with eagerness (and a healthy bit of usual skepticism – hey, I wouldn’t be me without it!) to an Obama presidency.
November 2, 2008
Here’s what I heard spoken today between a 14 year old girl and an adult at a public library this morning:
Girl: I’ll be glad when Election Day is over, but I’m really scared.
Girl: I’m really scared about Obama getting elected.
Adult: What’s so scary about that?
Girl: Well, because if he gets to be president, he’ll suspend the Constitution.
I swear on my life I am not making this up.
I had to try so desperately to keep from not only opening my mouth and causing a scene in a public place, but from actually striking this girl in the face.
Of course, I can’t believe that she actually came to this absurd conclusion on her own. She’s obviously just repeating what her parents’ have been saying. But what is crazy is to think that someone actually came UP with this shit. My feelings about Obama aside – how do these bomb-shelter-in-my-backyard wackos actually dream this shit up? Have they lapsed in the war on drugs, partaken of said chemicals, and dreamed of a dystopia where a Democratic president is somehow endowed with a power to do something as Earth-shattering as suspend the fucking Constitution? Obviously these talk-radio junkies didn’t do their homework before they started spreading this kind of bullshit around. Do you have any idea what would actually take to suspend the Constitution? Not only would you have to have all branches of government involved, but there would have to be a mandate sent all the way down and enforced through local law enforcement. These conservative wackos are just grasping at straws because their old fuddy duddy and his Barbie doll running mate are lagging behind in polls and they’ll spread any lies they can just to smear the black guy. (Oh, and I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t give 2 shits about the aunt’s immigration status.)
There’s definitely something in the water at this girl’s house. I just hope the aquifer ain’t too deep.
October 14, 2008
So great that I had to share. Check out this video, faithful readers!
The Onion rules!
October 4, 2008
I think it’s official, folks – none of the bastards are getting my vote this fall.
I can’t believe that these fuckers who are supposed to be REPRESENTING us – the 75% of us who categorically rejected this bailout in polls – actually pushed this bailout bill through in record time. My blood pressure has been sky-high all day long. It’s clear to me now that it doesn’t or won’t matter a damn WHO is elected – because, no matter who it is – Democrap or Repug – they will do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, whatever the mighty dollar and the lobby of this interest or that instructs them to do – and all of it will be over the backs of us poor working class stiffs. No matter who is president, there will be bullshit wars, bullshit deficits, bullshit shortages in money for things that matter the most – healthcare, education, etc. etc. Obama is a good talker, but that’s ALL he is. He would’ve gotten my vote if I’d decided that the whole “democratic” system was even worthy of my participation. But I can’t vote for anyone who, for example, urged support of this 700 billion dollar fleecing of Main St., and who also categorically opposes things like gay marriage. I would expect as much from a neo-con like McCain, but Obama? What is it about blacks and gays? Why can’t they commiserate and share in each others’ struggles? Does he really believe that marriage is for people with different private parts, or is he just saying that because many people think that, too, and he’s just looking for votes? Either way, it’s despicable, and he doesn’t deserve my vote. Whatever. I’m done. I’ve had it. Actually, I probably WILL show up to vote – but it will be to check off the empty boxes and write NONE OF THE ABOVE in huge block letters (as big as the little golf pencil will allow, anyway).
I apologize that this is not the most coherent of my posts – but I had to get this out of me in one fell swoop with no editing, or I wasn’t going to get it out at all. I want to hear from others out there who are as fed up as me. I think WE are the ones who will make a difference – not these assholes who are begging for our precious votes.