Friday, January 07, 2005

Tempests in congressional teapots and other zero-sum games 

The US Congress is corrupt, dysfunctional and ultimately useless. Yesterday’s events simply provided more awful proof.

It could have been any other day in Washington. Rabid and venal Republican ideologues engaged in willful collusion and laughably bellicose slander, while Democrats squeezed out miserably weak “bark without bite” noises to distract their constituents, while not addressing (much less actually pursuing) real problems.

Bush’s second (and even more egregious) election theft was overwhelmingly certified. Not a single Democrat, including those who joined in the pitifully limited Ohio protest, dared to “question, challenge or ‘even hope to’ overturn” the results of the 2004 election---thereby guaranteeing the irrelevance of the proceeding.

The Democrats repeated the two biggest falsehoods: that electronic vote results are in any way reliable or legitimate, and that Bush actually won in November. Neither is the case.

In this exercise in self-destruction and futility, no states besides Ohio bothered to protest, despite nationwide evidence of fraud. Electronic voting, itself the ultimate crime, was not properly addressed. The words “Diebold” and “Walden O’Dell” will not be
found in transcripts of the day’s events. The disenfranchisement of African-American voters, which is merely one small symptom of a far greater systemic crime (that the complicit Congress will, of course, continue to ignore), was made the central focus of the protest.

Alberto Gonzales, lifelong Bush crime henchman and torture czar, lied, evaded, and tap-danced his way through a typical confirmation “hearing”, in which he was alternately wink-winked and buddy-buddied by malignant Republican cohorts (Hatch, Sessions, et al), or tossed softballs by the weak-kneed Democrats inclined to confirm anyway. The arrogant Gonzales, whose own career has earned him maximum-security prison time (perhaps surrounded by “quaint and antiquated” concertina wire), is about to become America’s “highest law enforcement official”.

Rest assured that a police state under the vicious Gonzales will make Ashcroft seem pleasant (or to again use Gonzales’ word, “quaint”) by comparison. Also rest assured that other incoming Bush cabinet nominees will be more dangerous than the monsters they are replacing.

Rest assured, nothing good will come of this Congress.

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