News & Politics

Bush's Sick Vision of 'Democracy'

The president believes our government should work like this: president breaks law, court says president broke law, Congress vows to pass law to make president's actions legal, president attaches signing statement indicating he will not follow law.
Perhaps the nation would be better served if all members of government simply played ring around the rosey or a good hearty game of tag, because this pantomime of a fully functioning system of checks and balances is an insult to those of us who actually believe in democracy.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Constitution has more authority than the urinary expletive, err ... Unitary Executive doctrine of the Bush administration. In other words, the Bush fatwa against democracy is again depantsed and shown for the horror that it is.

The court ruled that the secret tribunals set up by the administration's power grab -- so that they can indefinitely hold without trial anyone they wish at a prison camp in Communist Cuba -- was in fact not legal, violating federal and international law.

Yet anyone reading the reports of this decision would think that the Supreme Court had simply bitch-slapped George across his twitching face and back into some limitations on his imagined power. While that is true to some extent, the real questions around this ruling, however, are once again shuffled to the sidelines of the byte-sized news cycle. And once again the castrated Congress is busy faxing and emailing all sorts of statements of support for the decision or outrage over the decision, falling exactly along political lines.

The obvious and serious issues around this ruling, and really around every action undertaken by this administration, are not addressed, nor will they be as long as there is no functioning Congress and a ratings-obsessed and obedient media.

What is the obvious set of issues here? The game goes something like this:

The president breaks a law. A court rules that the president broke the law. Our Congress then responds swiftly by vowing to introduce a bill that would make the president's actions retroactively legal, thereby showing that his astute reading of the Constitution was simply ahead of its time. Then the president signs the bill into law, which he has the option to disregard according to his own signing edict -- which he has already done at least 750 times.

The game is a sick puppet show of how our tax dollars are used to hire a theater troupe to play government and prop up simulacra of democracy, simulating essentially a "map" of a country that no longer exists and has not existed for some time now. Yet the show and dog chasing its tail must and do go on.

In a functioning government of a democratic society, the presidential "if the president does it, it's not illegal" delusion of grandeur would be promptly checked by Congress through the process of impeachment or at least a formal rebuke in the form of censure.

According to the "Project for a New American Century" vision, the façade of government is necessary and the mere appearance of government is all that matters to those acting the part and those watching the theatrics. On one side of the illusory political aisle stand those who will not act on their Congressional oversight obligations because if they disobey their leader, the brain stem known as Rove will smite them down.

Those on the other side of the mythical political divide will not act on their Congressional obligations because they fear that their opponents will call them names. It must be said, though, that while most of the playground bully tactics are indeed merely name-calling, there are at times sticks and stones delivered with the aid of the same obliging media to help pummel into submission those that disagree with Bush doctrine. Case in point is the Swift-boating lie-a-thon that was purchased by the Bush-Cheney campaign of 2004 -- while publicly denouncing it, imagine that -- and perpetuated by a media, which is either lazy, bought off, or simply afraid of the same sociopath with sticky fingers on all of that classified information.

One day, someone will have to explain how a dirty trickster of the Segretti crew, who managed to make a name for himself by teaching others how to dance on the boundaries of the law, was given top security clearances and was allowed to run an election from the most powerful perch in history.

But back to the present and what will continue on as our future, the questions about the dog chasing its tail and the lack of interest in this most basic necessity of a healthy and functioning democracy. Where is the oversight and accountability?

How many laws have to be broken before the president, the vice president, and the "we were just following orders" crowd are held accountable? What kinds of laws have to be broken before anyone in this administration has to answer to the American people, and in this case, to the international community?

The bar for high crimes has been set so high now that for a sitting president to be impeached, he would be have to actually commit an act of murder personally, live and in color, while simultaneously burning the flag, pissing on a soldier's uniform, and singing the national anthem in Persian.

That is, unless the president is a Democrat; then all he needs to do is receive fellatio in the oval office from a buxom young intern. A Republican president and his administration, however, can basically dismantle the government in a Fujimori-style coup, and their followers -- again, helped along by state-run propaganda -- will simply applaud from under their beds, ever-hiding from the big Osama threat.

So now that the Supreme Court has decided on the obvious, while apparently surprising the sovereign, what again does Congress intend on doing? Chasing the tail while perpetuating the tale; playing the game, and acting out the charade of oversight by passing a law that will make the crime committed no longer a crime.

The president will then sign the law into existence and after, when no one is looking, he will scribble in his disagreement with the law he just signed and declare it nonapplicable to him or his administration. Then at some point down the line a case will appear before a U.S. court that will strike down his actions as unconstitutional.

Round and round we go, while they continue with the show up on Capital Hill, and we continue to pay our taxes so that the dream of a country no longer in existence can still be had, even if for a fee.
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