I sit here solemn but resolved, a mere three months after the most serious blow struck to democracy and freedom since the McCarthy hearings, and yes, perhaps even since the South seceded back in 1861. In essence, America died a little bit on December 12, 2000, a date which will live in infamy in the eyes of many. By that I mean the coronation and installation of our new boy-King George the Second by the Supreme Court, forever with this black mark and stain, like Plessy v. Ferguson or Dred Scott. A Supreme Court majority so deeply ashamed of itself at heart that it decreed that Bush v. Gore shall never be used as a legal precedent in any future case. Credit them at least with having a sense of shame and trying, however feebly, to ensure that this usurpation of one of the core principles of democracy, one man one vote, never happens again.
But will it ever happen again? Will this unprecedented shenanigans by Republicans in Florida that were allowed to go on, and passed like quiet whispers through the gale of the vote count and trials. Little facts like in 1996, there were 380,000 absentee ballots cast, but in the disputed 2000 election, more than 720,000 were mailed in. Thats almost double, an 89% increase and a very interesting statistical spike, if you ask me. Were sympathetic county officials skewing the absentee ballot application process in favor of Republicans (particularly when you notice how bad Bush whomped Gore in most of those counts)? In one county alone, sympathetic officials allowed two Republican operatives, one still unidentified (and probably now will be, forever) to enter a public building with a laptop computer to correct absentee ballot applications for Republican forms only. They were also alone for two weeks with their laptop and the computers that hooked that country into the Floridas voter registration system. Now everybody knows the Bush Family's very public ties to the CIA, so its not a huge stretch of the imagination at all (unless guy #2 had been publicly outed and identified, which by coincidence, he wasnt) to think that there might have been a govt. issue Password Decryption program on that little laptop by a man who went strangely unidentified or called to the stand right in the middle of the largest legal fact-finding maelstrom in recent memory!
Dubya was and is a truly mediocre individual in possession of the seat of leadership of the free world by virtue of only his name and Karl Rove, a propagandist and political slander artist. It was he and his minions who proudly boasted on all networks of their ethically challenged deeds as the absentee ballot strategy. Ballot stuffing strategy is more like it...and how bitterly successful it was.
Dubya's own public life is a joke, business failure after business failure, arrests and DUIs, alcoholism, and that's just what he'll admit to. There also a damned good chance, given his Clintonesque evasions, that he was a cokehead, too. Oh, and lets not forget that he also went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard for a whole year. As a former Air Force officer, I find it repugnant that such a man should be called Commander-in-Chief by the soldiers of the Armed Forces.
Poor Al Gore, all he did was go to Vietnam willingly, write a book or two, help craft numerous treaties and pieces of legislation, and serve the public all his life. How it was that enough people were gullible enough to be convinced that he was a congenital liar is beyond me. But they did, the election was close enough to steal and stolen is was, to the shame and embarrassment of the nation.
Conservatives, with their shrill, unified support (applause every ten seconds, please -Rs) of the Resident, and incessant, unending Clinton investigations boondoggle betray themselves in their overboard enthusiasm of being self-conscious due to how they fraudulently recaptured the helm of the nation, by whatever slim margin and for however short a time. Moderates are repelled at how quickly the Bush camp discarded the mask of moderation he so glibly and falsely donned during the campaign, so hopefully the absentee ballot strategy wont become a hallmark Republican democracy subversion strategy in the future. We will all be in big trouble then, Fellow Americans, and I pray that it wont be that way. But, like all of you, I watched them shout down opposition, bully and intimidate their way into ultimate power and I am dreadfully afraid for the Working Classes of this country.
With the shifting of tax burden on to the lower middle class and the poor, and the end of the estate tax, if Cheney can force it through Congress, it will mean an even greater increase in the gap between haves and have-nots, and another step closer to undoing the progressive work of presidents named Roosevelt (Take that National Forests and Social Security!). Let alone the things that hes already done which even, in my opinion, call into question whether or not he has basic decency and humanity (I'm afraid the answer seems to be no). Things like being against medical privacy and a Patients Bill of Rights (don't forget its one of the things he lied about in the debate when he said he signed it but really vetoed it more than once), coal miners with blacklung, third world women having access to contraception, and basically everyone who isnt white, wealthy and consuming more than fifty times the amount of resources they need to live decently.
In the end what irks me most is simple. Dubya is the layabout eldest son of the boss who fraudulently wormed his way in. Hes the lazy guy in the back of the office who skips out early Friday to go golfing while the people earning the money are there closing the deals. Hes the rich, pampered college chum who never had any regard for other people's property or welfare (and, though he was drowning in money, never paid his debts). Now we let this guy steal the keys to the nation and I'm afraid he's gonna get drunk and coked up, then show up in four years with a wobbly, dented wreck with that same apologetic smirk:
"I'll pay you for the repairs next month, when my Dad sends me more money."
Additional absurdities straight from His Majesty's Royal T-ball Field can also be found at the official website of The Ribald Reign of King George the Second.
Absurd times call for Absurd poetry. Check out Bush Haiku.
These aren't just absurd times, they're irregular times.