We have been through a horrible dream in the last eight years. We have seen the White House co-opted by a radical right wing group who eviscerated the constitution, passed laws that built the foundation for a modern police state, and instituted policies that denied everything that this country had been founded on.
I have been thinking that much of that was behind us, that we could begin the healing of so much that went wrong, especially with resounding victories in both the House and Senate and the election of a true man of the people to lead us out of the wilderness we were lost in.
The problem is, however, that they are back.
The roots of the evil, and I will call it no other, that lay at the foundation of the Bush Administration started with a group of right wing zealots who personally avoided going to war like the plague, but were more than willing to send others to war. It is a group that holds a world view so exceedingly xenophobic and paranoid that their members published a military guidance plan that called for an 'American Peace', with America supplanting the failed states of Nazi Germany or the USSR with their own views of world domination.
These people called themselves 'The Project For A New American Century', and it seems that they have returned. The web site was dead for a couple of years during the time that the Bush support numbers were tanking, dropping faster than a dead bat and smelling twice as bad. But, they have suddenly returned with the same rationale, the same position papers and the same letters. This can bode no good.
In the past several months, we have seen a number of Republicans make remarks that have called into question the value of the Republican platform under George W. Bush, called for the Republican party to move more towards the center, where the votes are, or disparaged a major conservative icon, Rush Limbaugh, only to have them recant their views a few days later. The only person immune to this effect to this date has been General Colin Powell, but that should surprise no one, as the General is a man of honor and principle, regardless his party.
Many in the Republican party see the damage that was done by the Bush Administration and want to make moves to correct it, but they have been hauled back to the far right wing fold by the overly vociferous 12% rabble that comprises the audiences of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. I don't believe this is accidental.
The talk radio circuit forms a bulwark of radical right wing noise that serves as a wall to keep their members in order, herded there by the millions of e-mails and telephone calls that their listeners can produce in short order when whipped up by their puppetmasters, ably abetted by the likes of Fox News.
The purpose behind this, I believe, is to keep the Republican party in line while it chips away at the current Democratic majority and the Democratic President until they have an opportunity to take the stage again and complete, or further, their goals that they started with the Bush Administration. To this end, we have Dick Cheney on the prowl with his shotgun blasts about how torture is the only way to keep the country safe.
And what are their goals? I don't believe that they want to overthrow the government, but they do want to twist it just a little. I believe that they are looking to enlarge the power of the executive in order to insulate their decision make capability while shaping current laws to allow for extended police powers to quash dissention. It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but if you look at the Patriot Act, the illegal wire tapping and the past efforts to enlarge the Executive branch over the Legislative and Judiciary, it begins to look possible.
Bear in mind that these are the people who used the excuse of Saddam's non-existent gas missiles to further their goals, while publishing in their own blueprint for American military power, Rebuilding Americas Defenses, such recommendations as "It (sic) addition, there may be a need to develop a new family of nuclear weapons designed to address new sets of military requirements" and, most ominously, "advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool".
I don't know if this is the case or not, whether this is a pause in a relatively large scheme to remake the government into something that is more profitable and friendly to a powerful few, or if it is just Republican recalcitrance due to the past few years of deafeat, but the re-appearance of the PNAC web site is unsettling, to say the least.
I believe that, even more than in the past eight years, now is the time for vigilance in our approach, and a redoubling of efforts to encourage some type of bi-partisan working environment. Isolation of the Republican party will only exacerbate their latent xenophobia, while efforts to bring those to a working relationship that we can may help to buffer the radical noise machine that has been remarkably successful at keeping the opposition in solidarity with a single voice.
It's perfectly okay for the Republicans to speak with a single voice, but it should be a voice of bipartisan cooperation and debate to aid the government in overcoming the present obstacles, not a divisive 'my way or the highway' gunslinging winner take all view.
If the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, we'd better get our radar in working order.