Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, May 18, 2007

Banish the "Mayberry Machiavellis"

To all of you reasonable, decent, law-abiding, Constitution-adhering Republicans out there: have you had enough yet?

This can't be pleasant for you. Its horrifying for all of us, but I can only imagine how difficult this must be for those of you who actually voted for it.

You were deceived.

This 'compassionate conservative' lied to you. It happens.

Those of us who voted for Clinton also discovered a few dirty little secrets after he left office - Monica was the least of it. Clinton was simply a lot more clever at hiding issues that wouldn't be particularly popular with the masses - like selling out our media to monopolization by corporate overlords. Wonder why you always have to turn to cable TV to find anything authentic: ie, not white-washed, sanitized and 'dumbed down'? Thank Clinton.

This is much worse of course, because these Bushies don't make even a pretense of abiding by the rule of law. Its 'partisan-way or the highway' if you want to work in the Bushland: and they don't even bother to find qualified stooges for some of the most critical departments in our nation's government (*cough* FEMA.)

If you're a loyal Bushie, you too can be Ambassador to the UN! You too can be head of the FDA! Want your mining company to expand at an unprecedented rate and have rights to drill literally anywhere in the country, including National Parks and public lands from sea to shining sea? If you are a loyal Bushie - you too can be head of the EPA or Fish and Wildlife, or Forest Service, or Department of the Interior! Hate wolves? If you are a loyal Bushie, you can wipe them off the face of the planet! Want your business to make triple its previous annual earnings in a few months? If you are a loyal Bushie, you too can be an Iraq contractor! Are you totally unqualified to run a rural McDonalds, but you've always wanted a hot-shot position high up in the Federal government? No problem! If... you are a loyal Bushie.

But what if - heaven forbid - you are a Republican with a conscience?

After listening to former deputy attorney general, James Comey's testimony yesterday via YouTube, it occurred to me how absolutely horrific this must be for those within the administration that actually have souls, ethical centers and who believe in the rule of law. Comey is a real patriot: he was prepared to tender his resignation rather than allow illegal warrantless wiretapping to take place without the authority of the Department of Justice. From the sound of it, the entire department, as well as the head of the FBI -- all were willing to give up their jobs, because they believed in something greater than themselves. They believed in America. They believed in law and the Constitution.

Our government is going to hell in a handbag under the Bush Administration and its racketeers. Frank Rich, of the New York Times, summed it up pretty well, when he wrote:

By my rough, conservative calculation — feel free to add — there have been corruption, incompetence, and contracting or cronyism scandals in these cabinet departments: Defense, Education, Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development. I am not counting State, whose deputy secretary, a champion of abstinence-based international AIDS funding, resigned last month in a prostitution scandal, or the General Services Administration, now being investigated for possibly steering federal favors to Republican Congressional candidates in 2006. Or the Office of Management and Budget, whose chief procurement officer was sentenced to prison in the Abramoff fallout. I will, however, toss in a figure that reveals the sheer depth of the overall malfeasance: no fewer than four inspectors general, the official watchdogs charged with investigating improprieties in each department, are themselves under investigation simultaneously — an all-time record.

Wrongdoing of this magnitude does not happen by accident, but it is not necessarily instigated by a Watergate-style criminal conspiracy. When corruption is this pervasive, it can also be a byproduct of a governing philosophy. That’s the case here. That Bush-Rove style of governance, the common denominator of all the administration scandals, is the Frankenstein creature that stalks the G.O.P. as it faces 2008. It has become the Republican brand and will remain so, even after this president goes, until courageous Republicans disown it and eradicate it.

Until courageous Republicans disown and eradicate it. Bingo.

My own Senator, Richard Lugar, is probably the best representative I've ever had in my life - hands down. No matter what the subject, concern or issue - every time I write to his office, I receive a personal response. Recently I wrote to him and begged him to do something about the pet food disaster (the tainted food ingredients imported from China.) I happened to mention that I was a Celiac and that its hard enough to find food that I myself can eat, let along trying to keep my pets from dying of ingredients I can't even verify. I received - as always - a response from his office, on his letterhead. It was an absolutely amazing letter, in that he responded to every bit of my content - right down to expressing his regret that I suffered from Celiac, and that he was working to get better labeling for food additives! Talk about representation... the man actually reads his letters. He also cares.

I don't agree with many of his votes, but I realize that in this now partisan time, his choices are limited. He can vote with his party, now ruled by these 'Mayberry Machiavellis;' or he can vote against his conservative values and with the Democrats - something that will be loudly attacked and trumpeted through the press as a betrayal to his party.

After a lifetime serving as a Republican Senator in a predominantly Republican state, I can see why he isn't willing to line up against his party. But I keep waiting for him to speak out against the unconscionable behavior of his associates.

Lugar is a good man. What is a good man doing in the middle of this new 'sewer' politics?

I am watching him closely, occasionally begging him to line up with Hagel or at least consider speaking out, where he can. Lugar has a soul, a conscience. Lugar is one of the chief reasons I can't throw the conservative baby out with the dirty, stinking neocon bathwater. And there are many other Lugars out there; the term 'conflicted' probably doesn't even come close to describing their current predicament.

Gentlemen and ladies: save your party. You don't have to put up with this... criminal behavior. Seriously, you don't. None of us should be tolerating this blatant abuse of power.

As an independent, its easy for me to rail against it, because I don't 'own it.' But I also believe that because you were so gravely deceived by these people who now run roughshod over our government - you don't have to own it either. You can, in the words of Nancy Reagan, 'just say no.'

Say no to the corruption. Say no to corporate pandering, lies, illegal behavior, torture, bigotry and just bad governance. Say no to partisanship and choose instead to be 'American' rather than just 'Republican.' Defend your Constitution against those within your party who blatantly attack and undercut it, and through these attacks - our democracy.

It is time to defend America here at home. This is stuff you can sink your teeth into... real patriotism, not just empty words.

Let's get it done. The only way we're going to clean up this stinking mess that sociopathic neocons have made out of our once working Federal government, is to pull together as a nation of citizens... and just say no.

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