Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Relative Quietude
I've been having trouble motivating myself to post all that much lately. The reason why isn't that I've not been paying attention to things, or that I don't think anything important is going on... but rather a sense, always there but stronger at some times than others, that things have quietly gone so far out of control that as a society, and as a nation, we're left only to see how long we can continue to coast on past accomplishments. I got myself terribly depressed this past Friday after reading about the Bush administration's unfathomable argument that whenever it claimed "executive privilege," it essentially could end any investigation, any oversight, any check on the powers the president and his Loyal Bushies have so egregiously misused by ordering the Justice Department not to pursue contempt charges from Congress.

The outrage over this absurdity has been pretty much nonexistant, at least beyond the circles where people are paid to be outraged by what the Other Party is up to. Maybe it will ramp up somewhat, after the farcically inept and dishonest Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez issued another series of unambiguous "fuck you" answers to Congress yesterday and the House Judiciary Committee approved contempt citations for two of the Most Loyal Bushies, Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers, on a party-line vote today. Maybe not. I'd guess not. But the mere fact that this was a party-line vote--that not one Republican put the prerogatives of their institution, and the Constitution, ahead of their party and their widely despised Leader--is much more depressing still.

I hate the idea of reflexive partisanship. Everything I read into American history, as well as my own life experience, pushes me to reject the notion that one side ever has all the answers. But at this point I struggle to see even the least bit of good in the modern Republican Party. What do these people care about? It comes out today that not only Bush, but his enablers in Congress, are now prepared to reject the idea of expanding the State Child Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), which helps provide health coverage for low-income children. Why? Because it "goes against their philosophy," which I guess is "free-market fundamentalism, except when we have a donor constituency to protect."

I suspect the reason for this is nothing more and nothing less than not wanting to give the Democrats a political success. And to me, this is a perfect issue for the Democrats, with a far greater command on the public's attention now that they have congressional majorities and high-profile presidential candidates, to demagogue. But this is not something they've been particularly good at.

How can we solve any of the great problems of this time when we can't even agree that the health of kids is more important than little political pissing contests? Or that preserving and defending the Constitution is a nobler cause than Party Uber Alles?

Now I've gone and upset myself again. So you see why I'm having trouble writing about these things.

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