Discussions that, quite frankly, we should never be having, let alone be excusing. Discussions that are being held on the floor of Congress, on television, and all over America which are an absolute disgrace and embarrassment to this nation. For example, United States Senators calling a prospective Attorney General “wrong on torture”, yet still voting to confirm him.
You know, things like that...
And I was thinking yesterday about this when I realized that there is a whole slew of words/phrases and related items that have become discussed way more than they should, and have even become accepted. Things like the Intelligence Identities Protection Act which came to light when some very patriotic high level members of the Bush administration decided to blow the cover of Valerie Plame – but of course didn’t “technically” violate the IIPA. And while we are on Plame, nobody should know that Brewster Jennings isn’t a real company, or that yellowcake is anything other than a vanilla flavored spongy type of dessert.
Caging is another word that entered my vocabulary – and not in a way that refers to birds or wild animals. For someone (Tim Griffin) to engage in this – nay, spearhead something like this in order to disenfranchise voters is bad enough. For him to do it as part of the RNC and then get promoted to US Attorney is mind boggling. And of course, Diebold, ESS, and the fat that voting machines were so easily hackable with no paper trail are some things that sadly are part of our election process – or at least for the past few cycles.
FISA, warrantless wiretapping and a debate over how much of our fourth amendment rights can be stripped have made it all the way to Congress, where inexplicably, this was deemed to be pretty much ok to do. Cutesy acronyms and bold names for programs that do exactly the opposite of what they are called have become the norm, not the exception. Help America Vote Act, Clear Skies Initiative, No Child Left Behind, the USA PATRIOT Act and “faith based initiatives” are just a few of the Orwellian names given to some of the most destructive programs to our election process, environment, educational system, Bill of Rights and separation of church and state.
I never would have thought that political expediency or back room deals would be done by the Democratic Party leadership that would put (and keep) a man like Hans von Spakovsky on the Federal Elections Commission – a man whose entire career was spent disenfranchising large swaths of voters. And a discussion of “new terms and things in Congress” wouldn’t be complete without talking about the nuclear option, “upperdown vote” or the ridiculous notion that 60 votes is needed in the Senate to do anything (except when republicans had less than 60 votes last year).
Other things (outside of “WarOnTerror™”) that have creeped into the general discussion include waterboarding, stress positions, extraordinary rendition, alternative interrogation tactics and of course torture. There is white phosphorus, IEDs, WMDs and RPGs and the hollowest of hollow phrases, Support the Troops. We can’t forget anthrax (and the supposed “antidote” Cipro, which Rumsfeld has an ownership stake in), ricin, “dirty bombs” which were held in “stockpiles”, of course.
This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface, but I am about to board a plane and my battery is running out. Come to think of it, how can I forget the Department of Homeland Security as I had to empty all of my contents of everything and pull my shoes apart at the seams when going through the airport earlier today....
But when I (or you) stop and think for a moment just how many real fucked up things have happened over the past few years, and how it has permeated every level of society and impacted so many Americans, it almost defies comprehension. Maybe enough people will remember these terms and what they represent when it comes to supporting candidates in the primary, or the general election.
There is so much at stake – not that we all didn’t know that already. But as time goes by, a number of things tend to slip from memory, and we can not afford to let that happen. Thanks much, Mister Bush, Mister Cheney and the rest of the thugs/criminals who brought us this ass backwards world and disaster of a reputation this country now has. Not only do I now know a lot more than a few years ago, but I am much wiser as well.
My only hope is that you all get exactly what you deserve from your actions.