Wednesday, July 11, 2007

these are the republicans

I was struck how, just reading one day in the Washington Post, I could quickly find so many reasons that we should never give the Republican Party a vote ever again.

Today's tour of stupidity and dishonesty starts in Iraq. Republican members of Congress are pushing the de facto Bush Administration to do something, something, about Iraq. Is the is act of sober, patriotic legislators trying to make sure that our actions in Iraq are in the best interests of the United States? No. This is a panicked reaction to put distance between themselves and a President who is now less popular than Barry Bonds in the Hank Aaron house. This is a simple case of "every man (and woman) for himself." Remember the rubberstamp support the Republicans (and alas, many Democrats) gave the Bush neocon Conquest of the Middle East agenda back in 2002-2003. And they would STILL be supporting if if the Iraq adventure were going well.

Oh, and remember how back in 2003 the Republicans were telling us this war would pay for itself? Sorry, that too was a lie. The Congressional Research Service now has estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us $12 billion a MONTH, and is expected to top one TRILLION dollars. Even in Washington, a trillion is a big number. What a waste. All for a misbegotten adventure that, I'm sorry to say Mr. De Facto President, will NOT look any better in September when General Petraeus issues his report on the wonderful surge.

But no, this Administration's misadventures, supported by the Republican Congress, doesn't end in Iraq. The former Surgeon General for Bush from 2002 to 2006, Richard Carmona, has just "accused the Bush administration of muzzling him on sensitive public health issues, becoming the most prominent voice among several current and former federal science officials who have complained of political interference."

Too bad Carmona didn't come out with this earlier. Read Chris Mooney's book, "The Republican War on Science," to get more details. This isn't just the Bush Administration ignoring, obfuscating, and deceiving about science - it is a well-established Republican pattern ranging from tobacco to missile defense to climate change.

So, leaving the mess in foreign relations and science, we turn to domestic politics. We have seen before clear evidence that Attorney General and chief torture advocate Alberto Gonzales has lied about the Great US Attorney Massacre. Now we see that he has lied about something else, specifically his knowledge of FBI mistakes or abuses about intelligence-gathering tools, also known as spying on Americans in America. This just further underscores the Republicans' willingness to shred our Constitutional rights, allegedly to protect us from grossly exaggerated terrorist threats.

And speaking of shredding the Constitution, a former Bush aide Sara Taylor, asked to testify before Congress about the Great US Attorney Massacre, will talk but per White House instructions, not about "White House consideration, deliberations, or communications, whether internal or external, relating to the possible dismissal or appointment of United States Attorneys, including consideration of possible responses to congressional and media inquiries." The Bush-Cheney penchant for secrecy is unparalleled in American history; they make the Nixon Administration look like the very paragon of open government. No, the Executive Branch, nor whatever branch Cheney believes he is a part of, is not above the law and specifically is not above answering questions from Congress. But the Republicans, who funny enough seemed to believe differently when they were in control of Congress and Clinton was in the White House, seem ready to create a monarchy for the United States.

Oh, as for Senator Vitter's confession to using an escort service - I won't blame that on being a Republican, that's an issue between him and his wife. And the voters of Louisiana.

These are the Republicans of 2007. Don't expect them to be meaningfully different in 2008.

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