Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reality Check: The Democrats are the Real Problem

[Thanks to Thespian Lipstick Lesbian for this link] by Mike Whitney / July 23rd, 2008 Obama’s candidacy is over; kaput. He’s already stated that he has no intention of stopping the war, so he has disqualified himself. That’s his prerogative; no one put a gun to his head. His op-ed in Monday’s New York Times just removes any lingering doubt about the matter. What Obama proposes is moving the central theater of operation from Iraq to Afghanistan. Big deal. Why is it more acceptable to kill a man who is fighting for his country in Afghanistan than in Iraq? It’s not; which is why Obama must be defeated and the equivocating Democratic Party must be jettisoned altogether. The Democrats are a party of blood just like the Republicans, they’re just more discreet about it. That’s why people who are serious about ending the war have to support candidates outside the two-party charade. The Democrat/Republican duopoly will not deliver the goods; it’s as simple as that. The point is to stop the killing, not to provide blind support for smooth-talking politicos who try to mask their real intentions. Obama made his choice, now he can suffer the consequences. Nancy Pelosi is a perfect example of what the Democrats are all about. Just look at the way she brushed aside the people who got her elected. They mean nothing to her. In a matter of months, the “San Francisco liberal” has achieved what former-Speaker of the House Hastert could only dream of; she’s driven the Congress’ public approval ratings into single digits for the first time in history making her the worst speaker of all time. She rubber-stamped the FISA bill, concealed what she knew about the CIA’s global torture programs, and vowed to stop any public effort to hold the administration accountable for its war crimes. (No impeachment) She has betrayed her most ardent supporters and single-handedly transformed an already-emasculated congress into a purely ceremonial body incapable of doing the people’s work. At least Bush never betrayed any of his supporters. Never. Pelosi is worse than Bush, much worse. And yet, liberals still insist that we should vote the Democratic ticket. In your dreams! What leftist or progressive is not totally fed-up with the Democrats cagey “bait-and-switch” hypocrisy? Voting the Democratic ticket is not a sign of “hope”, it’s a sign of being a schmuck. The Democrats have done nothing to stop the war and will do nothing to stop the war. The Obama candidacy is merely a way to replace one group of genocidal maniacs with another. Who needs a charismatic, flannel-mouth glamour boy to lead us into battle when a senile fogy with “anger management” issues will do just fine. Voters of conscience should reject that choice altogether. Just as they should reject the “lesser of two evils” theory which does not apply when ordinance is being dumped daily on innocent civilians. It has to stop. Obama is not an antiwar candidate that is merely a fiction maintained by his public relations team. In fact, he wants to beef up the military with 65,000 additional ground forces and 27,000 more marines. He’s also stated that he will add “two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan” and encourage NATO to make “greater contributions — with fewer restrictions.” In his op-ed he boasted, “As president, I will make the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win.” He also added this ominous warning: “The greatest threat to that security lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where terrorists train and insurgents strike into Afghanistan. We cannot tolerate a terrorist sanctuary, and as president, I won’t. We need a stronger and sustained partnership between Afghanistan, Pakistan and NATO to secure the border, to take out terrorist camps and to crack down on cross-border insurgents. We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region. And we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights.” Obama supporters should take their candidate at his word. What he is proposing is a dramatic escalation and expansion of the war into another sovereign country. How is this consistent with the demands of his base or the millions of Americans who believe that Obama represents real change. It’s time for a reality check; the Democrats are the real problem not the Republicans. If the path to peace requires crushing the Democratic Party and its blood-thirsty candidates; so be it. The main thing is to stop the killing. If Obama won’t do it; we’ll find someone who will.

Doesn't John Conyers Care About What He's Doing to His Legacy?

Shutting Out Ralph Nader


Those relatively few and routinely ignored 'progressive Democrats' who robotically urge that the donkey be rallied 'round in times of balloting ('We're changing the party from the inside,' they perenially insist -- a job that somehow never generates issue) are pointing to the soon-to-be-chaired hearings on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's presidential impeachment call as exemplary of the decency inclination amongst their corporatized fellows.

An email recently sent out by online activism coordinator The Pen hailed the upcoming proceedings. "But will they be real hearings..," it asked, "or just a fly by with action on impeachment itself still expressly off the table?"

Actually, those hearings will prove instead that venerable, powerful liberals in the Democrat-led Congress are as unconcerned about political justice as is any neo-con in Rupert Murdoch's Rolodex.

The most damning bit at hand is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's notorious declaration that "impeachment is off the table." There can be no reasonable hope of conviction when the High Judge so pre-emptively rules.

Given that decree, it can reasonably be predicted that despite any fiery rhetoric, condemnatory assertions or camera-friendly cavortings the impeachment hearings will likely produce, absolutely nothing substantive will come from them.

Comes now the sad tale of Congressman John Conyers.

In a July 23 letter to Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader noted that while several witnesses were set to appear during the hearings -- including former congressman, now-Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr -- Nader himself was not on the list.

Nader reminded Conyers that they had had "several conversations and two meetings" focusing on impeachment. And that he had previously drafted a letter to the Chairman laying out options available to him.

"This is not the first time that I have been excluded from testifying on subjects both of us have been concerned about and have discussed," Nader wrote Conyers in the most recent letter. "Remember your invitation to testify at your unofficial public hearing right after the 2004 elections regarding 'irregularities' in Ohio? Within two days, your chief of staff, Perry Applebaum, persuaded you to disinvite me.

"Applebaum has been a problem with my appearing before a Committee Chairman whom I have known, admired and worked with for nearly forty years. He has performed his exclusionary behavior on other occasions..."

The phenomenon of Nader's being shut out of hearings to which his knowledge and decades of experience might well contribute consequentially, perceived not illogically as Democrat "payback" for daring to exercise his constitutional right to seek elective office, is not a new one.

A 6/25/08 Washington Post article ("Miles to go") noted that, "Since 2000, Nader has been shut out of places that used to welcome him. Once a familiar figure on the Hill, he is shunned by Democrats when he offers to testify at congressional hearings, even on matters such as auto safety."

Nader himself observed to the Post that Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and Judiciary Committee member, had once said of him, "[Nader] better not come up to Capitol Hill."

Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers has over decades of senate service earned a reputation as a champion of the public interest. When pressed by independent progressives, Democrats frequently cite him as 'one of the best.'

But in 2008 and with elections looming, all that deserved renown seems to mean little to Conyers, himself. His presumably willful participation in this uber partisan stuntery -- at the expense of the public interest and with high crimes unpunished being the likely result -- illustrates to what depths even 'venerable, powerful' liberals will dive when the donkey demands.
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