Friday, December 28, 2007

The Impeachment Fable

BLOGdoc 9 Two Fables: The Farmer and the Skunk, The Maniac and the Ax
Understanding the House Judicial Committee and Impeachment

Entertain the following very short fable. The farmer’s wife, “Honey, there is something wrong.” The farmer, “Its the stink, honey. That’s what is wrong.” She replies, “Well, do something about it.” He replies, putting on his blindfold, “Its probably coming from a skunk, but I won’t have time to go run it out of here. I am too busy opening the doors and windows. I won’t have time to run it off after that, either, because I will be gathering wildflowers, blindfolded, so their scent will freshen the house.”

“Maybe if you took off the blindfold you could go faster, you know, maybe you would have more time. Then you would have time to run off the skunk.”

The farmer answers, “If I didn’t know better, dear, I might think that you considered me less than enthusiastic or efficient. You know how I value being expeditious and traditional. I simply won’t have time to think about doing it any other way.”

The House, and especially, the House Judicial Committee insists on “leaving impeachment off the table.” The explanation given to us, an electorate without the sophistication to understand the complexity of representative democracy, is that there are simply too many Very Important Tasks to waste time on impeachment hearings.

Wait right there! The Very Important Tasks such as hearings on the wiretaps, Halliburton (and probably Blackwater, too), Scooter and Valerie, the smoking gun/mushroom cloud, that is, the atomic weapons scam for Iraq without atomic weapons and the atomic weapons scam for Iran with atomic weapons (maybe?), the secret energy conference when oil was $19 a barrel and the economic calamity after six years of billion dollar oil company profits delivering oil at $100 a barrel and other exquisite, faith based “Dark Side” accomplishments represent, of course, an analogy to the “stink” in the fable.

To win the prize (a fictitious prize, of course) you must now try to guess an analogy to the “skunk” in the fable. The central point is that the “stink” is coming from the “skunk.” The House Judicial Committee is apparently concentrating on the “stink.” Impeachment is an act which would concentrate on the “skunk.”

Get it?

Please excuse me for a moment. Someone is at the door. Oh, never mind. Its Homeland Security, but they are not after me. They wanted to ask about the neighbors.

Now, to the second fable, one even shorter than the first fable. There is no insistence here that fables about the Judicial Committee as entertainment, no matter how cynical, dull quickly into tedium. However, there is a more riveting aspect which must involve us as voters and citizens.

Excuse me. Homeland Security is at the door again with more questions about the neighbors. This time they have parked the Acme Bakery and Patriot Act van in my driveway.

Back to riveting. Our noble War Dogs have managed to use the most powerful and expensive army in the world to lose a war against a trailer park east of Cairo. But wait! These War Dogs are all Draft Dodgers! At first they surrounded themselves with incompetents so they would look good, but that plan, as we say, “turned south on them.” Now, there were some competent accidents slipped into the circus such as General Powell, but they were gently weeded out of the flock leaving, as they say, “an exquisitely strange and mysteriously complicated residue.”

A glimpse of the world is all that is needed to see the work of this “residue.” At this point, the Presidential Daddy stepped in to recover the shambles of his twice named legacy. His idea was to inject a group of rehabilitated Iran Contra Death Squad boys who, although they still had a sort of unholy scent, would be able to reinvigorate the high speed train wreck which was the Presidential Son. Absolutely no one could think these snakes weren’t competent!

We are getting closer and closer to the second fable.

After all, even with their well publicized antisocial failings of the past, the bright faces of the Iran Contra Death Squad boys (Gates, Negroponte and the rest) fit right in with “Mr. Dark Side.” In fact, they profoundly encouraged him. All of his modest past efforts to appear psychologically balanced quickly faded in this heady mix of new cronies, all fit and ready for blood, fun and mischief.

“Why hold back any longer? My looters are running the House and the Senate. I have packed the court (small pay for the 2000 election served up), and there is a stoop servant in the White House to sign everything Rove tells him to sign. How could this possibly get any better?” thought “Mr. Dark Side.”

As far as “Mr. Dark Side” went, THIS was “impeachment off the table.” Carl Rove even agreed. What had always previously been a suspicious and troubling effort to appear balanced now could be set aside. No more effort would be needed to sustain that false image of moral health. It was maniac time!

“Mr. Dark Side” could finally quit playing “Mr. Nice Guy.”

Finally, we arrive at the second fable (about impeachment, remember?).

A maniac is raging house to house in the neighborhood. He is chopping up your neighbors one after another, and he is headed for your house. You call the sheriff who arrives very quickly in his police car.

“Sheriff! You must arrest that maniac!” you call out.

“Well, if I were to do that, our community crime statistics would go up. I plan to use our wonderfully low crime statistics to get reelected. Anyway, we all know that low crime rates are the foundation for prosperity and satisfying suburban life. I suppose you know that Mr. Maniac contributed to my campaign for sheriff.”

“In fact, its rather un-American to purposely want higher crime rates, don’t you think? Just exactly what’s you’re problem anyway? Calling me all the way out here...” the sheriff rambled.

The punch line is for those who are convinced that we are too busy for impeachment. For those who assume it would fail anyway. For those who think it would be meaningless, without purpose or benefit.

“I need to leave now and get busy for the community. I am going to write littering tickets to all your neighbors. They can’t leave blood and corpses all over their front lawns like that!” the sheriff mumbled negatively as he got back in his car.

As he is pulling away, you plead one last time. “Please sheriff! If you won’t arrest him, perhaps you might at least dull that ax.”

Impeach now. If it loses, make a list of all those in Congress who wouldn’t help. Start a class action law suit against them with all Americans as plaintiffs. Sue for the damages and fraud he commits between here and January of 2009.

Fables or no fables, it is better than nothing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Quit Complaining about Politics and Be Happy

BLOGdoc 8 Disgusted with Politics

Any discussion of historical forms of societal leadership can either be short and sweet or some kind of endless Western Civ. nightmare, that is, the kind of Western Civ. that seems to go on for nineteen semesters. Around the time we were first establishing this country there was a very intellectual class, some espoused extremely innovative plans, some focused on subtle but enlightened variations of systems already in place. We should assume that some were only in it for the girls and the glory, the lectures and the luncheons. Some thought that continually war was humanity’s highest calling.

If we were completely objective in our analysis of the successes and failures that litter history, we might conclude a alarmingly well distributed list of origins of culture originating from each of the above.

We, notwithstanding all the fine essays contemporary with the start of our Democratic Republic, pretty much drifted into a corner. In order to satisfy everyone in that now famous corner, we married politics. Politics would become the “energy source,” “think tank,” “primary roadblock” and “sacred symbol,” whatever that means, for the fledgling country.

Once having established the Democratic Republic guided by the vagaries of the political selection of leaders, each with his own unique ideas about what was desirable, detestable, un-American or bad for business, we found ourselves, finally, prepared to criticize the process, past governments, present governments and a dozen elusive forms of essence definitions of exactly what our future dreams should be according either to the shaky record of the rules of the founding fathers or unavoidable changes in the same which have become cruelly necessary.

You know. Changes necessary for our survival, honor or prosperity which visit us thanks to unfair foreign mechanizations or other general uncertainties in the world around us. All but the most extreme domestic schemes were awkwardly protected under our policy of freedom. Of the remainder, the few which are prosecuted fell under our policy of treason.

The founders did not select oligarchy, theocracy, monarchy or mob rule. At least they did not agree to an overwhelming system comprised of a homogenous construction of any of these. They hammered out a new system which, they hoped, would incorporate just the right bit of each flavor. It was their hope that all the citizens would be equally disheartened and optimistically satisfied. In the sense of history, that would mean that all the rifles stayed in the closets.

So, here we stand, complaining about both the process and results of politics. Complaining continuously. We are always shocked by how low the tactics have become, how dishonorable and corrupt all the choices are.
We bemoan the fact that the voting population seems to repay campaigns that spend the most to woo them, never mind the message. After all, the stakes have grown higher every year we prosper more than the last year.

Amid the criticism we fall upon specific peccadilloes served up to us as scandals, overlooking others not selected for our scrutiny. We are uniformly horrified at the cost of campaigns, but we are still flattered when we remember how these people must value our vote. We tax all of their campaign creativity until they are left with little else to say other than “911,” “new direction” or, simply, “change.”

It rebounds a little when they finally start attacking each other. The more like a desperate football game it becomes, the more we like it. Or, hate it. Or both.

The founding fathers said very little about the nature of the process they selected for us beyond “be honest or don’t get caught.” It is an ignoble, dastardly pragmatic business. We all pretend that we know the right way to do it. The modernity of politics might surprise the founding fathers and some of those in that old intellectual class, but all of them would accept it as being the very thing they had in mind.

They would accept it as a Dionysian festival where all the accelerator pedals are welded to the floorboards. Probably the only way to disappoint all these dead dreamers would be to stop complaining.

Happy Viewing On the Alphabet Networks

BLOGdoc 7 Keeping Up with Nuckulyar Football

On Sunday, November 4, I was curious about how things were going in Pakistan. You know, that middle eastern country with 20 H-Bombs, a military dictator and street riots which are either comprised entirely of innocent citizens, started by the Taliban or organized by Al Quaeda. I turned on the six o’clock news. There was a football game on ABC, CBS and NBC.

I checked back at seven. They were interviewing retired coaches from somewhere else.

That means there is no need to worry. Right?