Today’s opining on the public discourse.
In Memorium 4,083 United States soldiers and 312 Coalition soldiers killed for a lie.
How did it come to this? How the fuck did America end up with a rabid bunch of insane power-mongers at the helm, perfectly willing to steer our nation straight into disaster for their own enrichment and aggrandizement? When did vicious lies become the order of the day? How did we end up with an executive branch that will say anything, do anything, to further their own ends, and use, abuse, then discard the people they hoodwinked into their madness?
So glad you asked. HBO aired a movie called Recount last night that exposes just that issue:
I don’t know about you but last night after watching Recount, I had nightmares. Nightmares of screaming at the television for 30 days at the shameful spin of the Bush people. Nightmares of watching a purely political power game lay bare the rickety foundations of our democracy. Nightmares of Tim Russert and that stupid goddamned tote board of his.
It certainly brought back all the memories. As I’m sure is true with most of you who watched it in real time, it was obvious to me from the moment Gore retracted his concession that the Republican establishment and the Bush Florida machine had more levers of power to work with in a battle like this. But it wasn’t obvious to me that they would use it so blatantly, with the media egging them on with endless hand wringing about the “uncertainly” weakening the fabric of the country. Like all the Democrats in the movie, I completely dismissed the idea that the US Supreme Court, when put to the test, would end up as the final enforcer for the Republican Party.
That’s how we came to this. Bush & Co. lied, cheated and stole their way into power, and they’ve lied, cheated and stolen to stay there since. And don’t forget the fear-mongering.
Have we learned a lesson? Digby doesn’t think so.
And here we are, six years later, actually debating whether the Bush White House has been manipulating the electoral system. For god’s sake — of course they have been. This administration was installed through crude manipulation of the rigged levers of power in the Bush family’s political machine and they see such outrageous conduct as perfectly legitimate.
This movie could not have come at a better time. We have to remember what these fuckers are willing to do in order to retain power. Don’t think they’re going to go down without as much lying, cheating and stealing – and let’s not forget fear-mongering – as they can muster.
They lie. It’s what they do.
The Republicon politicians lie. Their supporters lie. And their press lies. Here’s what John Harris, editor-in-chief of the Politico, told Glenn Greenwald last year when Greenwald accused him of blowing up political gossip into major stories just to get attention:
One point you made that resonated with me as a journalistic matter is the danger that reporters might orient their thinking around chasing the needle, and measure their success by web traffic and links. Conscientious reporters and editors should resist this, and I believe we do. This is reflected in the range of serious reporting we do about Congress, the 2008 presidential election, and lobbying and fund-raising. Although we are a new publication, Politico has several reporters and editors who have been in this profession for two decades or more. They know that what counts is reputation over the long haul, not any individual story or any uproar du jour on the blogs.
And here’s what he said in a column yesterday:
Trivial stories — the kind that are tailor-made for forwarding to your brother-in-law or college roommate with a wisecracking note at the top — can dominate the campaign narrative for days. . . .
As leaders of a new publication, Politico’s senior editors and I are relentlessly focused on audience traffic. The way to build traffic on the Web is to get links from other websites. The way to get links is to be first with news — sometimes big news, sometimes small — that drives that day’s conversation.
Harris detailed numerous examples where he and other journalists blew up unimportant items into huge stories that dominated the news narrative because they thought that doing so would attract attention for themselves.
In other words: John Harris lied.
They will continue to lie. They’ll spew all the venom they can muster, and they’ll even joke about assassination:
For those who can’t watch clips online, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta was talking about Clinton’s Kennedy comment and said, “And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, uh Obama. Well, both, if we could.”
In other words, Trotta first mixes up Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama, and then casually suggests both should be killed. She, of course, found her own quip hilarious.
In what twisted political world is this considered acceptable?
In this one, Carpetbagger. In the one the Republicons created, and we allowed.
Get the word out. NO MORE. It’s time to fight. Sign petitions. Send letters to your representatives. Donate money. Let the media know you won’t tolerate any more bullshit. Talk to as many people as you can, as loudly as you can. Democracy is a voice: start shouting. Scream, if you have to.
When November comes, vote. If it’s Obama and you loved Hillary, get the fuck over it. Vote for Obama. If it’s Hillary and you loved Obama, get the fuck over it. Vote for Hillary – she may be a Republicon wanna-be now, but by gods, she’s still a Democrat and she’s still better than McLame. Get the fuck over it and pull the fucking lever for the one party that’s got at least some chance of salvaging s
omething from the debris Bush leaves behind.
As for you conservatives who aren’t batshit insane, but absolutely can’t bring yourself to vote Democrat, I have a viable alternative for you: Bob Barr just won the Libertarian Party’s nomination.
It took a while — six rounds of balloting — but eventually yesterday, Barr won out.
Ironically, Barr became more principled and serious after serving in Congress. After departing Capitol Hill, Barr became disillusioned with what had become of his Republican Party. He was nearly apoplectic about Bush’s conduct in the NSA warrantless search scandal, suggesting the president “deliberately order[ed] that federal law be violated,” and “ignored” the Constitution. Shortly thereafter, Barr agreed to introduce Al Gore at an event in which Gore blasted the president’s “excessive power grabs.” He was also highly critical of the Bush administration in the prosecutor purge scandal.
About a year ago, Barr left the GOP altogether and began talking to the Libertarian Party, calling for a “multidecade effort” to build a movement to make the party nationally competitive. He added that many “real conservatives” have become disheartened with Republicans. “They are eager for a philosophical home,” Barr said. “There are enough of them out there that a significant number can be weaned away” from the GOP.
Let your conservative friends who are disillusioned with McCain and the Republicons know that they have a choice. Stump for Barr. Bleed Republicon support away. Leave all of the crazy fuckwits to tear each other apart over the carcass of the grand old party. Start something new.
We owe it to our country. We owe it to those dead soldiers and those dead and dying Iraqis. We owe it to our dead and dying Constitution to stand up and say, No More.
No more lying us into wars. No more stealing elections. No more cheating. No more propaganda. No more fear-mongering. No more power grabs. No more destroying this democracy.