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My oldest son, a bright guy, lives in Spain and most of the time looks on in somewhat mock horror at the foolishness that goes on here and expresses doubt when I say things like, 'The media is cowed and complicit' or the latest, 'they're setting up a tiered net system designed to further eliminate NGO's, silence opposition, etc'

For those of you who know me, you know I believe in organizing locally. I author the semi-successful series Nuts and Bolts and I'm very practical. What does it take to elect Good Dems and go out there and Do It. Lately, I've been having 'severe qualms' about just how bad it is getting in DC and what is happening to the country and even What If the Dems win? What next? I'm not one who thinks the Dems are complicit (ok, a few are), I think most of our elected Dems are pretty stand up reps. I do think the country is a one party state and we're in tough times indeed....more below the fold

What has been happening lately is Really draconian versions of bills pass in the House and 'less bad' bills pass in the Senate. Then they go to a 'conference committee' where the Rethugs run everything and (under the rules) do not have to abide either vote and more often than not, not even a compromise emerges but often real crap, dangerous crap. i heard an interview with one of the people representing an affiliation of NGO's etc who has been monitoring/lobbying this 'net neutrality' issue in Congress and he said, altho prospects are dim in the Senate, the only chance is to defeat it and he didn't see that unless Senators were flooded in protest. This has been the pattern. unless there is some huge outcry, they barrel on. Chances of Americans 'getting this' are dim because they don't hear about it. And those of us who do, whose inboxes get 10-20 petitions and are urged to call Congress are becoming numbed as well.

At the same time, there's been a concerted effort to marginalize, discredit, and tar the opposition with the same criticism of Repubs...convince people all politicians are the same, they're all crooks, a pox on both their houses, etc. And it's working. The most extreme measures are passed or the Administration ignores the laws they choose to and there is little outcry from the American Idol public itself. Meanwhile, many elected Democrats are trying to do what they can...many, but not all, I agree. They've taken to blogging themselves, they're attending the first convention of bloggers, they're on Air America, they're trying. It's enormously frustrating to them as they freely admit that when they have the rare opportunity to get MSM coverage and say 'The emperor has no clothes, he's ignoring the laws of the land, they get ostracized by that media. These  are dangerous times, scary times and I'm not sure what the solution is.

What if the Dems take the House and start to investiagate this house of cards? There's still a lot of vested power in the defense industry, the elite rich who have gotten even richer under bush and buy politicians like candy canes and Cheney is still in power. I guarantee the media will tell us how out of control and irresponsible the Dems are, tearing the fabric of the country, exposing us to terrorists, and on and on. It will take sworn testimony of those in this Administration who have a shred of integrity left. it will take some elected Republicans to testify what they have been threatened with if they oppose the Admin. And here's the problem...This has already happened! Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson, Paul O'Neill, Scot Ritter (the weapons inspector) Hans Blix, Rand Beers, (the daily NSA coordinator) Ray McGovern, (CIA analyst who used to brief Presidents), General Shinseki, (sp) senior aides to Colin Powell, Christie Todd Whitman (headed EPA) and more. What happened to them? They got an initial burst of media and then the media described them as fringe, or untrustworthy, or 'left wing' or any number of adjectives to marginalize them. Their personal lives were dissected and any faults aired while ignoring the charges they were articulating.

The depth of brainwashing here is hard to describe. it's pervasive, constant, and organized. Reporters are edited, editors pressured to the point that that so-called bastion of 'liberal' press, the NY Times sat on the domestic spying story for 18 months after senior WH aides met with them. Now that it's out they are fashioning legislation to retroactively make law what they are doing  (domestic spying on all of us). When the republican chair of the committee protested and started to call them on it, Cheney called members of the committee directly, went around the chair, and probalbly promised them projects for their states, etc. This is the common practice. it's pervasive, continuous, and has eroded the democracy to the point where i fear for the survival of the Constitution itself.

I wish I could say with confidence that we need just to elect Democrats, the media will start reporting Facts, prosecutors will take these crooks to court, a breath of freedom will pass over the country and we will turn back from the one party system we are under now. I do think it's past time for more leading Dems to call the situation what it is: a one party state where any opposition is slimed, that MSM media is complicit, that the country has been sold down the river by this Administration and ask the country to become involved and resist. But I'm not confident at all. I fear it's very late and just as we have ignored the consequence of environmental impacts, become slaves to consumerism and ignored spiritual life, we have ignored the clear signs of totalitarism until it has actually happened. With a muzzled media this government has run rough shod over the laws designed to protect us, plundered the treasury, written it all into law, manipulated elections, and discredited the opposition. Sound like a democracy or USSR? Don't we sit around, look at Russia, or China and call them names and wonder how the people put up with it? Isn;t the same thing happening here?

The common perception is Democrats are pretty much like Republicans, have no spine, don't speak out, don't tell the truth either, are on the take and so forth. Most Democrats are doing their damndest to make a difference and are not on the take. My concern is they have been so marginalized in the public's mind that even IF they take back Congress, it may not be enough. After all, this Justice Dept. is not credible and it will take the public's continued involvement to get things moving in the right direction. Can it happen? Yes it can but the situation is dire and we, the people, need a transfusion. Electing Democrats are the last chance we have. Electing lots of them, getting clear majorities and empowering them to take action and be more than opposition to this Administration. My hope is that IF we take back a house of Congress, that a significant number of Republicans will start to tell the truth of the concerted pressure they have been under, the threats against themselves and their families, the truth about the almost unbelievable stuff that has been going on.

Bless you if you've read this entire rant. I decided to turn it into a diary a third of the way thru so just kept ranting. Lots of love, Dad

Originally posted to philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:20 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (174+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alumbrados, paradox, Kagro X, jmart, Alfred E Newman, vicki, RF, Night Owl, Upper West, Inky, ferg, Hornito, Pen, Dem 724, Gooserock, vancookie, Alexander, Sprinkles, RNinNC, haglera, Lipstick Liberal, cotterperson, bellatrys, rhubarb, John Campanelli, eeff, TampaProgressive, musicsleuth, bostonjay, sardonyx, kissfan, bronte17, afox, rktect, SecondComing, OCD, grassroot, Xapulin, high5, ovals49, slatsg, fumie, dmsilev, Alna Dem, deminmarineland, MamasGun, averybird, emmasnacker, Dallasdoc, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, johnfire, Nancy in LA, MTgirl, gmb, TXsharon, grayslady, GN1927, bleargh, hoof32, snakelass, Illegitimi non carborundum, FLDemJax, lcrp, alizard, barbwires, One bite at a time, bwintx, peterj911, ybruti, mungley, Dr Seuss, bronxdem, Grahamdubya, eve, Krum, greeseyparrot, Jersey Joe, rapala, BadgerGirl, kingubu, bellevie, MizMik, Halcyon, irate, Alien Abductee, JohnB47, Luetta, panicbean, crimsonscare, ChemBob, juliesie, trinityfly, michaelmas, kldave, majcmb1, hws, Overseas, annefrank, blue jersey mom, wgard, Tunk, JenThinks, mikolo, mph2005, wiscmass, FindingMyVoice, sodalis, LithiumCola, KatsMeow, JanL, jeffinalabama, viscerality, ThatBritGuy, jay23, Hazardman, berko, taracar, makeitstop, biomis, redstar, keefer55, trashablanca, nyarlahotep, snazzzybird, tommymet, PatsBard, ama, FishGuyDave, Easterling, Kimball Cross, rl en france, kestrel9000, blues lover, bluebrain, mango, Wary, Albatross, greenearth, Mother Brain, goodasgold, wild hair, StrayCat, Miss Otis, FireCrow, happy camper, FakeNews, armadillo, vincula, snafubar, ilyana, Jiminy Cricket, va dare, righteousbabe, fiddlingnero, means are the ends, goinsouth, kurt, Democritus, Tek Jansen, Hovercraft Full of Eels, pkbarbiedoll, lorenzodow, tiltedclock, BentLiberal, DBunn, Trixter, carolinacal, BeninSC, dotsright, BCon, Cat Whisperer, Muttly Crew, howardx

    I put tons o work and don;t want to rely on the rescue team. If this is a worthy read, hit the recommend button please.

    "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

    by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:10:57 AM PDT

    •  No need to ask, (17+ / 0-)

      you get a reccomend. What we have here is a failure to communicate with the people watching American idol and the game on Faux.

      We have to bring the troops home without having the Civil War in Iraq turn into partition and creating a new alliance between Russia, China and Iran.

      That will require us to Impeach Bush and Cheney and put a lot of Dirty Republicans away.

      After the last Republican is hung we will inherit all the problems only to discover all the money to fix them has been squandered on crooked cronies and corruption. We will need to use the Patriot Act to go after the crooks and get the money back.

      In case anybody is still watching what Bush Co. is up to, they know they are in the midst of a hostile takeover and are busy dispensing poison pills and boobytraps into every nook and crany they can find.

      First thing out of the box we need to have the FCC take away the communications licenses from all the people who use those resources to lie to and spy on the people.

      All the phone companies, cable comp[anies, satelite networks, advertisers, radio, newspapers, and magazines in America need new management.

      Then we have to defuse the nuclear proliferation Bush Co. has created and hopefully keep our troops out of Mexico and Canada. Though I still think we were right to turn down Stevens bridge to nowhere, it is always better to build bridges than walls.

      Then comes the worldwide economic collapse they have been building toward, plus the rising gas prices, neglect of alternative fuels and global warming.

      Meanwhile our cities are going to be sinking beneath the waves and storms will be busy kicking the rubble around.

      Just surviving let alone fixing things is going to be really really hard.

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:36:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if us democrats is so great (0+ / 0-)

      how come a Democratic Senator sponsored a bill making environmentalism a thought crime, a Democratic legislature passed it, and a Democratic governor signed it just in time to run off to the state convention and crow about the Bushites destroying civil liberties?  Is this the kind of thing we can expect from a Democratic Congress?  Me-too fascism?  Let's talk about LD 1789.

  •  An oldie but goodie... (27+ / 0-)

    I grew up hearing the expression, 'kick ass and take names.' Apparently I was just holding that attitude in abeyance until now - I will vote for the first Dem who promises to ride into DC, kick ass and take names to list on the indictments.

    Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one. - A.J. Liebling

    by va dare on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:17:11 AM PDT

  •  If we manage to take the country back . . . (57+ / 0-)

    it will be amazing to read the books that come out, about what really happened during the last 6-or-so years.

    You mentioned that some Republicans with an ounce of integrity left will feel embolded to tell their stories if we take a House back.  I think that is undoubtedly true.

    And it will be fascinating to read about.

    But what is truely sickening is that there are no journalists doing that already.  Asking questions.  Doing the work that journalists are paid to do.

    You reply: Seymour Hearsh.  Yes, Seymour Hearsh.

    And there are others.  So maybe the problem is not "journalists".

    But something is different.

    When Woodward and Bernstien wrote about Nixon . . . it had an effect.  It scared the White House.  People cared.  It led to resignation.

    I don't see anything like that happening now.  No matter how good the journalism is.

    Any country that could look at the pictures from Abu Gharaib, see the stories about the NSA, Guantanamo and Haditha, and leave a President in office.  I don't know.

    Something strange happened.

    There's something happening here.

    What it is ain't exactly clear.

    There's a man with a gun over there.

    Telling me I got to beware.

    Stop!  Children!  What's that sound?

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:30:35 AM PDT

    •  OK, I wanted to hit the recommend (9+ / 0-)

      on this comment but it doesn't show..anyway, good job, right song, and I'm holding my breath that we will break the nelson hold but the country seems sleeepppyyyyyyy.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:34:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Happens to me too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Logged in, some recs show, others do not, and normally on aging diaries, no new ones...

          Thought maybe I was to contrarian in the MoveOn PBS/NPR diary of a day or so ago,  but obviously we have a renegade worm in the tequila...

          ...we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings- John F. Kennedy

          by RF on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:21:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A Practical Guide for Shrill and Uppity Democrats (8+ / 0-)

        This diary from yesterday provides an excellent analysis of the techniques the Republicans use to marginalize the Democrats, and how to start parrying back, in order to call them out on what they do, and get OUR message heard. This diary should be on the rec list so that we can all learn the techniques and discuss countering strategies. The diary is based on the work of Norwegian sociologist Berit Ås.

        I really think we need to teach our politicians how to fight back. The GOP has been using psy-ops techniques, teaching their empty suits how to use them against us, for thirty years. We HAVE to learn how to speak back to them in a way that creates the impression that they are bullies and WE are the voice of reason. We also need to learn how to imbue our phrasing with enough constructive emotion that people feel that we can offer them protection from the bogeyman. And we need to show them who the real begeyman is (the GOP).

      •  So tired and afraid of looking weak (0+ / 0-)

        Somehow millions of people who are harmed by the Republicans and fascists have been convinced that they are stoics, and will look weak if they complain about their lot in life.  weird.

        If an undocumented immigrant dies in our military, fighting our wars, may we sing the National anthem in another language at his or her funeral?

        by mungley on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:06:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the books will be written anyway (14+ / 0-)

      the only question is whether they'll be written mainly in the USA. . . or in foriegn countries by expat Americans because it won't be safe for anyone to write them in the USA.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:53:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  W & B... (10+ / 0-)

      ...had absolutely no effect on Nixon at first.  They went after the WP, threw up the stone wall, and expected to ride it out.  It was very, very frustrating to work for McGovern from June through November and see almost no coverage of the break-in and the first phases of the investigation.

      The Nixonites would have gotten away with it except for Sirica, Dem majorities in the House and Senate that were willing, finally, to investigate, and a few Republicans like Richardson, Baker and Goldwater who cared more about the Constitution than power.

      There are several of those elements missing this time around.

      I'm with Greenwald on what the effect of a Dem majority would be.  I take Pelosi at her word.  Nothing will happen.

      Moreover, a Dem victory is very, very unlikely.

      If I were philinmaine, I'd be checking with my son to see if I could reserve a spare bedroom.

      •  He's offered but (10+ / 0-)

        I live in Maine and love it. I have always held that leaving doesn't work. At best it encourages the spread of the empire (sounds like Dune or stars Wars eh?) I choose to stay and fight. I disagree a Dem victory in Congress is highly unlikely. I do worry that won;t be enough in and of itself.

        "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

        by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:05:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm afraid I also share your fears (16+ / 0-)

          When people talk about "taking congress back" there is often a simplistic notion behind it that assumes that all will come right with the "other" party back in control.  I don't think so.

          The root problem which has allowed the avalanche of nightmarish legislation to overtake our democracy is not the evil of a particular party, or even government in general, it is the thourough ignorence and complacency of the populace.  We've become too damn comfortable, and forgotten that constant vigilance is required in order to protect the freedoms we say are so important.

          It is unlikely that we, the people, will collectively understand what is at stake and what we have already lost until we feel it in our daily lives, constantly.  Of course, by then it is too late for prevention.

          I'm afraid, but also completely convinced, that things will have to get much, much worse before we, the people, will be motivated enough to make the effort that will be necessary to attempt to reclaim our democracy.

        •  And we'd tie Phil up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coral, Dvalkure

          to keep him here in Maine. :-)
          If those of us who are paying attention and trying to make a difference all became expats, there'd be no hope.

          This is certainly a rant for a rainy morning, Phil. Let's hope the sun comes out soon- maybe by our Maine primary day this Tuesday? ;-)

          •  Seriously, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you do not want to see me get going on the primary here. Best chances for Senate are elsewhere than our fair state. Go Tester, go Webb, go fighting Dems...Maine? We got Caspar and a ghost :) On the r side, I don't care Baldacci can beat any of em, I just like the name Woodcock to run against

            "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

            by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:32:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Chose to stay and fight -- Bravo! n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

          by coral on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:09:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (14+ / 0-)

        I was born in 1971, so all I know about Nixon is what I read.  It's good to be reminded that Nixon didn't exactly fall on his face immediately.

        But . . . things are getting pretty bad.  I'm thinking of something Spalding Grey said in "Swimming to Cambodia":

        2 million people fell into nothingness.  It was as though a dark cloud fell upon Cambodia.  As it does, sometimes, in China, in Germany, in many countries.  In America.

        (that was a paraphrase from memory.)

        I am very, very slow and reluctant to say "evil".  I'm not a tinfoil-hat person, and I don't believe in God.  But just to repeat: something strange is happening.

        "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

        by LithiumCola on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:13:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ironically, Woodward and Bernstein started it (6+ / 0-)

      The Watergate expose sparked a change in press/subject dynamics that has evolved (devolved) ever since. Watergate demonstrated the immense potential power of the press and media's heretofore lapdog persona evolved into a highly confrontational one (everyone wanted to break the next big story). Now they consider themselves king-makers/breakers, and in many cases that's true. (And we've got ourselves a bunch of windbag pundits, cause they really believe they're rock stars.)

      And we can't forget the media owners whose first commitment is not to questioning leadership, furthering the First Amendment or providing a public forum. No patriotism there. They are beholden to their advertisers and stockholders. Full stop.

      •  If we courted big dem donors... (0+ / 0-)

        into the mass media business the way the Repugs court priveledged rentiers into judgeships, we might have an environment for serious change.

        I'd like to put forth that '06 and '08 are the last stops before absolute necessity of Progressive-owned MASS market media.

        If we win, we must use that power to create heavy investment in Dem infrastructure, most importantly in the manufacturing of consent.

        If we lose, the manipulation of opinion is complete and all available funds must go to rallying the populace...

        P.S. If you don't like the idea of playing the reactionary game of taking over the media machine and using it for our own purposes, then tear it down. As long as the mechanism of mass dissemination exists, we will have to vye for control of it. Fight for decentralization, use civil disobedience to shut down cable news. Do it every day for a year. Try not to get jailed or killed. Good Luck-

    •  Backlash insurance (12+ / 0-)

      In their book, Markos and Jerome talk about Backlash Insurance as being the conservative justices that have been appointed to the bench during this administration, but I think that is at most a secondary element of it. More important, it seems to me, is how they have linked their entire, well-articulated political philosophy to conservative Christian "faith" issues. The problem with THAT is that such a high percentage of Christians turn their brains off when faith plays a role. One of the last things Christians will allow themselves to do is to allow their faith to be called into question, because faith for so many of them means accepting certain things without question. So if the think tank architects can link issues with faith, however tangentially, THAT provides the Backlash insurance they seek so desperately.

      Of course, their campaign is more insidious still, with their intimidation of the media, with their propagandizing about the "liberal media," with their OWNERSHIP of media, in many cases. They dominate opinion radio. They can get their "message" out faster and more coherently no matter what issue crops up.

      I have been reading about Katherine DeBrecht, who is local to me, I am sorry to say. Their message is being disseminated on EVERY level of society, and even children are priority one targets. The attack on public education is only one element of THAT campaign. Vigilance and activism are required of us in everything we do, in every conversation we have. (I mention DeBrecht because she beat us to the punch when it comes to Stop! Children! What's that sound?)

      You can see the penetration of their message everywhere. Look at the Dixie Chicks! Bush's approval ratings show clearly that the country basically agrees with them, and yet the vilification heaped on them has damaged them rather severely. The country AGREES with them, and yet still buys into the conservative propaganda! Mr. 29% and they still freak whenever any "personality" criticizes him! Amazing!

      Something is different, alright.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

      by BeninSC on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:49:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If We DON'T Manage to Take the Country Back, (16+ / 0-)

      then the books praising King George will be written by indentured novelists in third world countries. They will be printed on paper made from the last of the old growth trees in Africa, and printed in China by children working 16 hour days, 7 days a week. They will be published and sold by the company which arises from the joining of Barnes and Noble and Borders, America's one and only company for All Things "Book". And they will be bought by the millions of people who greet their co-workers streaming in the doors of Wal-Mart, all of them still making $5.15/hr.

      BREAKING! Zarqawi is still dead again!!

      by RNinNC on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:51:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats why this shit will end (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:54:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          EVERYTHING has to end at "sometime" - here's hoping I get to see the end of all of this shit before my 5 year old neice has to start seeing it for herself. For me, 90% of my worries lie on her and her little brother fates. Of course, their dad is a freakin' Repub.


          BREAKING! Zarqawi is still dead again!!

          by RNinNC on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:18:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  'Freedom is on the march' (4+ / 0-)

            I agree with the President on that one.  But the way I see it it is because the world is turning blue.  Communism was everywhere, Aristocracies were everywhere.  In the last 100 years there was great progress and in this next 100 years there will be great progress again.  Man and his culture is evolving, it has never stopped.  We are too connected to go back to the dark ages and each year more and more people become reasonable around the world.  I believe that George Bush and every fool that follows him is just the last throws of an idealism whose extinction time has come.  Yes, this death thrall is causing alot of damage around them, but that is what happens when you kill a big monster.  It's only a matter of time.

            If our kids have any of the struggle left to do they will be able to value the freedom they have in a deeper meaning.  But I don't think their struggle it will be anything like the American Revolution, the Invasion of Normandy, the civil rights protests.  

            I mean, it's early in the morning.  Not to minimize you concern in the slightest, because you're talking about the real world, but you're probably 'struggling' to type your comment in your underwear, or over coffee and a bagel at least.

            Things are not getting worse, they're getting better.  Thats part of what it means to be a progressive.

            Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

            by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:42:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps, and I Hope You're Right (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              d3n4l1, StrayCat, means are the ends

              Actually, I'm in my work clothes (scrubs) and I don't get to go home for another 1.5 hours - it's the end of another 12 hour night shift for me!

              BREAKING! Zarqawi is still dead again!!

              by RNinNC on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:47:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I feel the tide is beginning to turn (8+ / 0-)

              After Alito I was crushed, I wanted to leave the country.

              After I got over that (still not completely over it, democratic senators who voted yes on cloture, we remember your names) there was some event, which I can't remember right now, maybe it was 30% approval ratings, but I felt that maybe the evil tide was begining to roll back from the hell fires from whence it came.

              Too soon to tell, sometimes I feel optimistic, other times I feel like moving to Europe, but in the end I'll probably never leave, if the jackboot revolution comes, I'll be in the internment camps with the rest of you kossacks :)

              •  I ain't going (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                berko, lost my password

                down that easy.

                Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

                by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:08:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You can never leave 'America'. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                d3n4l1, SecondComing, snakelass, StrayCat

                That's what the whole business of that term 'homeland' is. You can leave the 'homeland', sure. But you can never leave 'America'. As Reagan appropriated South-America as your backyard GWBush has now appropriated the rest of the world as his playground.

                Restore Democracy! Denounce the GOP (Georgie's Orwellian Party)!

                by high5 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:26:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly! (5+ / 0-)

                  I moved to Canada with my Canadian spouse in late 2002 for personal reasons, although even then I wore a button we made that said "Refugee from the Republic of Bush".  If I made it today, "Republic" would be replaced by "Empire".

                  While I find myself at times optimistic, I fear for not only my country of birth, but for the world.  Living in Toronto makes live participation in politics difficult,  but I try to do what I can by internet.  I sometimes wonder how long I'll be able to do that, if net neutrality fails and/or something else leads to censorship of the internet.

                  It is impossible to reason someone out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place. - Jonathan Swift

                  by snakelass on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:51:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that is the biggest reason I have for staying (5+ / 0-)

                    I am by nature someone who cant just keep his mouth shut and go along to get along, and when you move to a foriegn country you are a guest, it is hard to complain about things.

                    In a foriegn land you really cant rock the boat and mess with their government, its kind of like being impolite. Folks who have emigrated, am I wrong here?

                    So that is the biggest reason I have for staying, I want to fix things in this world, and the best place to do that is right here in the USA

                    •  Politics of both countries (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I was referring to US politics.  Until I am a Canadian citizen I won't be able to vote, of course, but I plan to work for a local city council candidate this year, and of course discuss issues with my wife, who is able to vote.

                      It is impossible to reason someone out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place. - Jonathan Swift

                      by snakelass on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:23:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  No, RNinNC, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            EVERYTHING has to end at "sometime" - here's hoping I get to see the end of all of this shit...

            It doesn't necessarily end. If there are no indictments, no prosecutions, these viral bacteria will come back in a decade and reinfect our democracy again. Just as the 8 years has been far worse than their malignant efforts in the 80's, they will be only more virulant in the future.

            •  Don't Forget (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              them MUSHROOM CLOUDS! Now THAT'D put an end to all this libruhl hogwash once 'n fer'all!

              COMIN' TA GETYA!!!

              (PS: you're right, W makes Reagan look like a real President)

              BREAKING! Zarqawi is still dead again!!

              by RNinNC on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:51:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  All good points, but (8+ / 0-)

      I'm choosing to take the longer and more (cautiously) optimistic view that, as history shows, all such radical, tyrannical, ahistorical movements eventually peter out, self-destruct or are brought down. E.g. the Reign of Terror, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union.

      Yes, I know, some of these lasted decades and led to immense death and destruction, which is of course of little comfort. But I don't think that that will happen here. Our system, however weak it's been of late, is still too strong for them to truly destroy it--we have deep, deep reserves, as this site and others demonstrate, and are not really comparable to these regimes, which relied upon a sick society to thrive.

      So my gut feeling it that they will ultimately self-destruct and wither away, and then we'll be able to get back to the 21st century and the task of undoing their damage and moving the country forward again. No, I don't advocate passively standing aside and waiting for this to happen. We need to help accelerate this process by resisting any way we can--and some of us clearly are, passionately. But their real enemy is themselves, and their sheer ineptness, ideological bankruptcy and inability to know where to draw the line.

      I'm advocating patience, persistence and faith for everyone on our side. The tide will turn--and we will help turn it--but it won't happen overnight or easily. We should not expect quick and easy wins, because that's just not how this works. It's a matter of having faith and continuing to fight on.

      We will win. I truly believe that. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen. Our country is a lot stronger than many give it credit for--or else it wouldn't have lasted this long or survived far worse threats to it--and these assholes have not finally figured out some secret formula for gaming it permanently.

      Just be patient, and have faith. We're going to beat them yet, and then some.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by kovie on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:01:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also Think of Our Own History (8+ / 0-)

        Others have said this before, but I think there have been darker times in this country than now -- the Civil War, the Red Scare and Palmer Raids, the Depression (fascism was everywhere then), McCarthyism, Jim Crow, virtually the entirety of labor history until WWII, etc.  During all those eras, various aspects of repression are far stronger than they were: newspaper censorship, lynching (and not just of African Americans, but labor activists, Wobblies, socialists etc.), mass arrests and so on.  Nevertheless, we somehow pulled ourselves back from the brink, rejected totalitarianism.  I'm just not sure that we're past those earlier "brinks" now.  We're headed that way, but not there yet.  So I think we'll be able to pull it out again, but only if we keep fighting.  

        •  I like and share your optimism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Libertine 777

          And find it to be entirely reality-based, not pie in the sky. As I've said here previously and you nicely reiterated, we've gone through far worse times in the past.

          Try telling a southern black person over the age of 60 that today's America is a scarier and more repressive place than it was in the 40's and 50's. And they had it comparatively well, compared to their parents and grandparents.

          Or perhaps someone who was an artist, writer or intellectual back then, who dared question the right-wing orthodoxy and actually tried to exercise the freedom that the right hypocritically celebrated. We live in comparatively far freer times today.

          I don't mean to make light of what's going on today, or its potential for turning into something far, far worse, that could someday rival if not exceed these past repressive eras. But as of now, I just don't see it, and still see hope and light at the end of this tunnel.

          Plus, why bother resisting if you've already given up? If you're going to resist, at least have the courage (and good sense) to believe that there's still hope. (I don't mean you, of course.) Have we become so weak and feckless that incompetent and bumbling retro-fascists like these can destroy our faith in the system so easily? Not me, or you, and hopefully not most of us.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by kovie on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 02:50:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  there were competing systems and powers then (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Libertine 777

          not anymore.  

          For the first time in the planet's history there is complete global domination technologically, militarily, economically, and culturally by a single nation.  

          And within that nation one party, and one branch of goverment do exactly as they please.

          There's no precedent for this.  Not saying it's hopeless, but that solutions need to evolve to fit the new landscape.  (I do think that this site is part of that evolution)

          •  and some people can't even spell 'government'... (0+ / 0-)
          •  I think you're overestimating our dominance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Internally, if the Republicans could do exactly as they please, they'd be shutting down the internet (oops, bad example), arresting everyone at YearlyKos, shutting down the Nation and American Prospect, spying on us without a warrant (oops again).  O.K., I'm not denying that they're doing a LOT of what they want.  But the fact that they haven't yet done a lot of things that a total government like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union would do means that there's some counteraction going on, some institutional resistance.  Dominance is not complete.  Likewise, externally, there are other centers of power, some not yet mature but will be, that will prove our serious rivals -- Europe, China, South Asia.  Plus, I think that Republican incompetence in Iraq, and Republican lack of commitment in Afghanistan, has revealed to most of the world that we are something of a paper tiger (with nukes).  So, back to my original thesis -- there's still cracks in the pavement.

            As for solutions, I agree, this site and others like it, MoveOn, DFA, etc. are part of it -- distributed, grassroots, yet collective action.

            •  good points (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jimbob Kinnikin

              but sometimes I wonder if the fact that they haven't (yet) shut down the media/internet means that the dominance is even more robust than, say, the North Korean style.  I think it was Chomsky who used to say that here, instead of censorship, we have a system where the more "informed" you are, the more propagandized you are.  That was before blogs of course - but blogs also have the effect of providing so many layers of argument that they also provide a sort of inoculation against public opinion.

              My point was really that: part of the reason we originally got a mixed economy (New Deal, etc) was because the elite was afraid that the population might turn to socialism if they weren't given more of a welfare state. There's not really any (well-sponsored) competing idealogy at this point.  And incompetence aside, there does seem to be a sort of run-away effect in terms of military and technoligical dominance that reduces the elites' physical fear of opposition.

              But yes there are self-conflicts as well that could make the US lose dominance even without outside help.  Perhaps China will be next up.

              •  Scary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Now there's a thought.  They don't use the tools of the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany because they don't need to.  They have what they want -- uncontested access to power, influence and cash -- and they haven't had to shut down a single newspaper to get it.  And they think they can handle any real opposition by hacking the vote, or simply labeling them as outsiders and employing the awesome power of the corporate media to do so, killing the opposition before its really born.  O.K., enough of that.  It's back to my sunny optimism!

                On the competing ideology side, I've often thought that what progressives need is an explicit, well-articulated an ideology, distinct from capitalist, socialist or fascist, as those ideologies.  Not just to compete with Republican or capitalist ideology, but to give better shape and guidance to what we believe and the choices we make.  I've always been partial to radical democracy as one. Now that would scare the bastards.

      •  Look around you (10+ / 0-)

        we have deep, deep reserves, as this site and others demonstrate, and are not really comparable to these regimes, which relied upon a sick society to thrive.

        40 million plus without healthcare, prisons fill to capacity as soon as they are built, corporatism writing the laws of the land, a one party media system, consumerism gone beserk to the nth degree, kicked out of the human rights commision. I could add another 1000 examples here.I'd say our society is sick as hell.

        Our country is a lot stronger than many give it credit for--or else it wouldn't have lasted this long or survived far worse threats to it

        This country is brand spanking new compared to the rest of the countries in the world. What other threats? Bottom line is that the USA has been hijacked by corporations to further their aims and bolster the bottom line. Everything else is irrelevant to them.
        They exist with the singular purpose of making the pile of money they sit on larger. Until corporatism is checked and returned to a limited charter system with interest in the common good, I am afraid not much will change. Our current govt. is a reflection of those aims.

        Impeach and Imprison! -6.63/-6.10

        by FireCrow on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:05:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  corporatism? (7+ / 0-)

          why are you so scared to call it what it is, capitalism? It's time to not be scared.

          What we need is a healthy mixed economy, what we need is democratic socialism. Europe shows us that it provides a better quality of life for its people.

          •  Yes in Europe (4+ / 0-)

            not going to happen here under the current set of laws and mindset. Call it what you want, capitalism, corporatism, fascism, whatever, it's a failed experiment.

            Impeach and Imprison! -6.63/-6.10

            by FireCrow on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:12:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Libertine 777

            And by framing things this way we go a long way towards actually making this happen and defeating these creeps.

            I don't know if I'd use the word "socialism" here quite yet. It still has some very negative connotations for most Americans that the right is sure to exploit fully.

            Perhaps a euphemism not unlike the "Square Deal" of old would play better with mainstream America, which is scared of the "S" word (let alone the "C") word, and which tends to like catchy phrases that mean little but sound good.

            But something resembling modern European (or even Canadian) socialism is clearly the model for all viable societies in the future, including the US. You simply cannot have a viable society with the sort of economic inequality we have in today's US.

            We are headed for a terrible crash--that will hurt the rich as much as the rest of us--if we don't address this fairly soon. What's more, it's just the right thing to do, economic arguments notwithstanding. Enough with the social Darwinism bullshit--we are a society before we are an economy, period.

            "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

            by kovie on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:12:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The USA is actually one of the oldest countries (0+ / 0-)

          in the world in terms of a continually functioning government and political system. For example, China is one of the oldest societies and "countries" in the world, but its government is not even 60 years old. France has been around for well over 1000 years, but its government isn't even 50 years old. And modern Germany is barely 100 years old (and its government barely 50).

          Plus, our political culture is part of a tradition that in some ways goes back to the early 13th century (Magna Carta), and in some ways back to ancient Greece and Rome.

          So I'd hardly call the US a "brand spanking new" country. Politically it's not that new, and culturally it's actually pretty old.

          In any case, I regret your decision to focus on the empty rather than full half of the glass (even if the empty part is clearly more than 50% right now). It may be based on reality, but it's awfully pessimistic and hopeless, and not the makings of an effective resistance.

          If you're convinced that it's over and we've lost, at least have the honesty to say so. Otherwise, if you still believe we've got a fighting chance, why don't you focus on our remaining strengths and on developing an effective strategy for getting out country back?

          But please don't use the "but they control everything" cop-out here. It's just so lame, and not at all what this site and most of its members are about.

          Sorry to be so harsh--I'm sure that you mean well--but such thinking is extremely dangerous, and ultimately self-defeating, and I get angry every time I come across it, understandable though it may be.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by kovie on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:02:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Feingold: blank pages in the history books (8+ / 0-)

      Saw Feingold speak at the Wisconsn Democratic convention last night, and Feingold urged us to do something.  He said there would be a blank page in the history books if Congress and Americans in general did nothing about the abuses happening now.

      He said that he was not for impeachment, but that what the Bush Administration was doing right now clearly fell "within the strike zone" for what the Founding Fathers intended, in providing for impeachment.

      If that isn't a goad . . .

      •  How is Madison doing? (0+ / 0-)

        I am from Wisconsin, but haven't been through Madison in a while.  The last time I was there things looked pretty rough.  It was in 2003 or so, and the University didn't have enough money to cut the grass everywhere, and the streets were getting run down.  I was upset.  Is WI running a surplus now?  Have things turned up again?

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:06:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's much better (0+ / 0-)

          Jim Doyle deserves a lot of credit for turning the biggest per-capita deficit in a US state around.  The situation is not ideal, but he is working against a totally nutty GOP legislature.  They've booted out their moderates and are ready to ban birth control and start burning heretics at the stake, as soon as we let them.

          Madison itself continues to be a delightful city, imho.  I didn't notice it looking run down in 2003, but I'm from the country, so anything that is not a trailer looks good to me.  ;-)  Madison's people make it a vital, welcoming place, cut grass or no.

          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

            I live in a place in TX now where every yard in every direction for 10 miles is required to be perfectly manicured (that doesn't mean they are everywhere).  In some places it is very nice at first, but everything blends together and looks like everyother place.  You begin to have a very plasticy feeling about the area.  Nothing is natural or real.  
            Welcome to GOP land (Sugarland, HalliburtonLand ExxonLand, EnronLand)
            I guess that increased my shock when the grass wasn't getting cut there.  

            I have always been fiercly proud of my home state.  It's nice to be able to say I'm from PackerLand when living in a state where High School football at one time was more important than accademic performance.  I'm glad to know it's hanging in there.

            Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

            by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:09:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They're all doped up (0+ / 0-)

      on the other cola

      and other stuff.

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

      by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:10:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know what I think happened (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, StrayCat, Libertine 777

      in part was the deluge of movies over the last 10-20 years in which clandestine government activity, spin, and deception are, if not glorified, at least treated as commonplace, necessary evils, and badges of power.  I'm thinking about the Mission Impossible movies, Eraser, True Lies, even Close Encounters. Although these are movies I've watched and to varying degrees enjoyed, I think they inure the viewing public to government control, abuses of power and hanky-panky. And movies may be way to turn things around--movies like True Believer, The Big Easy, (Legally Blonde 2 for those under 16) and Syriana--the first three being about individual courage and the rule of law and the third, at least in part, about human decency.  Maybe someone should do a remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

      "The point is, every good candidate should have a positive agenda. But you also have to fight back." Al Franken, The Truth with Jokes, p. 104

      by Rona on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I mentioned Woodward & Berstein downstream... (0+ / 0-)

      The reason they suceeded is that they had a source: a Republican, who talked.

      "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

      by BentLiberal on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:23:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Barbara Boxer's YK Q&A session (17+ / 0-)

    Gave us some hints on the Democratic plan. She indicated that there are so many important areas that the country needs addressed--the war, healthcare, minimum wage, etc.--that a Democrat-controlled Senate would spend its time trying to right some of the wrongs in this country. She also said that without Dem. control in the House there could be no investigation of the current administration.

    I share your concerns, but I think the Dem. leadership does as well. The Beltway consultants may be idiots in a lot of areas but they still see the same polls that say voter approval of Congress is at about the same level as voter approval of Dick Cheney. The Dem. leadership has to realize that the only way to retake the White House in 2008 is to pass some meaningful legislation that average citizens can relate to, as well as beginning to tackle the budget deficits in order to differentiate themselves from the Reps.

    As to the issues Glenn Greenwald addresses--specifically, a need to reaffirm the checks and balances of the Constitution--I can't help but wonder if any of the Beltway Dems are secretly hoping that we succeed with a state-driven effort to call for impeachment. Frankly, it is the only way I can see for the Dems to pursue impeachment without having the action viewed as political retribution. They can fall back on the excuse that they are simply following the mandate of the states.

    I agree with you though. There are tough times ahead and we'll just have to do our best to get Progressives elected.

    •  It was an interesting exchange, wasn't it? (12+ / 0-)

      It was pretty quiet in there when she tried to put the kibosh on impeachment.

      I don't bash Democrats who do that -- at least not too hard -- because I understand what they're up against and what they're doing. But the truth is, I don't applaud, either.

      It's hard to have this exchange in "code." But I hope that she was able to take the right message away from that moment.

      •  I, too, felt the audience disappointment (6+ / 0-)

        More and more, Kagro, I think your suggested approach of going the state route to impeachment is the correct vehicle. Whether it was their intention or not, the Reps did a masterful job of making impeachment appear as the "petty vendetta" provision of the Constitution rather than the only available vehicle to check abusive use of presidential power. I personally know Reps who stongly believe that Bush should be impeached (they're very much a law-and-order crowd) so I really believe that people power has a chance here.

        •  I was proud of us. (8+ / 0-)

          I wasn't there. I was watching on TV. But I was really proud of the response -- and the fact that the question was asked, of course.

          But I was pleased to see such a critical response. Not impolite. No shouts back from the audience. But no automatic applause for a stock line.

          I wasn't too pleased with the way Boxer cut off the questioner, assuming that she had nothing more to her query than "Will you vote to impeach?" But then, questioners at these things often get nervous and tend to go on and on, repeating themselves as they scramble to remember that other point they promised themselves they'd make if they got the chance.

          So I can forgive that. And of course, I have to accept the answer. There wasn't anything else she could have said right then and there. But it would have been all too easy to just fall into applause for her answer. Especially when she went grasping for the litany of other issues we're supposed to be concentrating on instead -- usually a sure applause line anywhere else.

          We did good, I think. And I hope she got the message, rather than taking the easy route and dismissing us all as naive, one-issue zealots or something.

          •  with respect, kagrox (0+ / 0-)
            BB is on a pedestal, relative to a great number of dem reps. the "critical response" you perceived, as did i, is an entirely appropriate collective reaction to an evasive reply.

            i was appalled by her demeanor and the substance of her address over all to her national constituents.

            few among us are accustomed to questioning authority -- however that privilege and license is characterized -- from the vantage of security in one's own mind or trust in oneself, if not person. not dwell in philosophy or psychology:

            in this sense, kossaks are not unique in relation to patronage. this event will play over and over again as individual voters steel themselves for a test of their beliefs and ability to act as if in defiance of party loyalty or planning. it's a damn good thing people like you are supplying can-do tools to force electoral justice.

            Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

            by MarketTrustee on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:14:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  unacceptable - I cant believe this (9+ / 0-)

      I cant believe the democrats are screaming impeachment, look at how much support Russ got when he called for censure?

      the constitution demands impeachment!

      It is such a winning issue, there is no better way to show the politics of contrast, to show we have spine, to show we can stand up for America and remove the most unpopular president in a long long time.

      I can not understand how Bill Clinton could be impeached over infidelity, and we put the bar for impeachment higher than the heavens.

      We should in no way condone, or accept Nancy Pelosi's "the place to do this is at election time" that would be an insult to George Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton and all the other patriots of the American Revolution.

  •  sir, (17+ / 0-) have crystallised my profound disgust in a way that i not always can.  maybe when the histories are written they will be orwellian in scope, and maybe they will look back in horror of the mistakes we made.  all of us - the compliant media, the happily uninformed electorate, the principled yet fearful republicans, the principled and ineffective democrats,  the cynically selfish pirates of both parties.  all of us, of all stripes have been victims of a crime.

     a crime that spits in the very face of the spirit that made this country the greatest nation on the face of the earth in the last century.

     while this administration "starves the beast" vis a vis underfunding altruistic programs to help all people, it "feeds the beast" of militarism, cronyism and theft.

     our constitution, the greatest social contract in the history of humankind is being sold to the highest bidder.....the houses of bricks we built in the 20th century is turning rapidly into a house of straw and, although brick after brick of our security and freedom is stolen from us, we refuse to see.

     we deserve better than that.

     i hope.

    In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. -- Bertrand Russell

    by djesno on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:27:29 AM PDT

    •  Seems pretty darn eloquent to me! keep writing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I sense a diary in that comment. I'm normally an optimistic, we can do it, take the country back but I'm getting really worried about our immediate future and what happens IF the Dems take back Congress. It's going to be a hell of a battle After (not to mention the next few months) The slime and mud and wholesale lies simply aren;t being called by MSM. We must keep fighting and Hard.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:32:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why isn't that obvious? (14+ / 0-)

      We deserve better than that.

      Congress expressly writes a law that says domestic spying is a felony.  Bush breaks the law and the New York Times sits on it until after the election.

      What outcry there is is completely muted by the MSN, and the hapless Democrats cannot even vote to censure an outcome to a felony.

      Indeed, a Senator writes a law to pardon felons after the Democrats vote overwhelming to appoint head of the CIA the very bureaucrat who was in charge of the felony in the first place!!!!!!!!!.

      Many, many days I wonder if I'm just fooling myself that we have any chance.  As a people all we are asking and demanding are the most basic of human principles and rights that were established and agreed upon well over 300 years ago.  For 225 years we did our best and did pretty damn well, most of the time.

      Now we can't even tie our shoes, in a republic/democratic sense, it's as if our entire ruling mental classes became total childish idiots, brutal and horrifying in their violence, ignorance, and rank vile greed.

      After 225 years of constitutional demcoracy we did, indeed, deserve beter than that.

      •  Yesterday on NPR they interviewed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FindingMyVoice, greenearth

        Richard Vigue, the direct mailer, and he made the most interesting comment about how Bush has yet to veto any legislation, and why so many conservatives are upset that he has not stopped any of the pork barrell spending.

        Did Mee-shell mention the 750 signing statements? Of course not.

        I have noted that NPR always describes Duke Cunningham as corrupt and in jail, and Abramoff as corrupt.

      •  We did pretty well (7+ / 0-)

        Except for the African Americans we brutalized with slavery, bigotry and discrimination.

        Except for the indigenous populations we brutally murdered and displaced, even against the dictum of our Supreme Court (Jackson).

        Except for profound gender discrimination and disenfranchisement.

        Except for terrible, terrible environmental exploitation and damage, which goes on to this day.  The list goes on.

        Still, we did pretty damn well, I stand by that, we used to be an exceptional country, instead of the brutal hack hegemon we are now.

  •  Will everyone please rec this diary? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MamasGun, greenearth, pkbarbiedoll

    I've read it three times now and it's a very well-written S.O.S.

    "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

    by LithiumCola on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:28:10 AM PDT

    •  You're way too kind but thanks n/t (6+ / 0-)

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:33:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  LithiumCola (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I understand what phil is saying, but I disagree that his fear is what we all need to feel right now.  If we were about to be dropped behind Normandy Beach his kind of speech is not what I would want to be hearing.  It causes hessitation.  

      Unlike Iraq (if the truth had been known), we don't need be afraid of what happens if we do invade, we need to be afraid of what happens if we don't.  

      We must think completely through the crashing of the gate.  Not wondering whether or not we should be doing it, which is what the deep structure of what phil is saying we should do.

      We already make more sense than they do thats why we'll get elected.  That doesn't change after the election.

      The only thing to fear is fear itself

      C'mon philinmaine, buck up!!  Keep up the great work!  And don't get stage fright before your big moment!

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

      by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Philinmaine is dead on (5+ / 0-)

        He isnt scared he is being honest with himself and really looking at the facts of our situation.  Let me correct that -- he IS scared because our situation is very scary.  More importantly it is unclear how much even folks here understand our situation.  Its all well and good to say lets just be positive before our D-Day invasion, but any chance for success requires a sound assessment of the situation.  In 1940, we had a relatively free and fair media and a government of the people run by a competent President and administration.

        Now, we are not even sure completely who the "good guys" are since so many of our own have sold out at critical times enough to pass the Republican agenda.  We have a horrid Supreme Court, a military man heading up the CIA, and way too many tax cuts as well as no end in sight for an unjust and completely self destructive war -- all with the assistance of those who we are supposed to count on for opposition to this regime.

        Now, for those of you who are just not ready to say things are dire, what evidence do you have that the Democrats will behave differently even if they do take the House?  Why are they so quiet in their opposition to a President with poll ratings in the basement?  What/Who do they really fear?  Or is fear what they feel? The powder dry argument went by several capitulations ago...

        The work ahead, as Phil rightly states, is not straightforward and we are dealing with a corrupt political and governmental infrastructure.  The levers for change are at best uncertain.  I think that its very important to ackowledge that so that adequate planning and action can be taken or we will be again getting cold fish slapped in our faces.  We are in a war for our country.  It is unclear at this time the scope of it and who exactly our friends and enemies are.  We have to be careful and wise.  Denial is the emotion that we can least afford.

        ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

        by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:49:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not talking about being positive (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          on D-Day.  I think in many situations if you're not scared you're stupid.  

          I am talking about first consider your success before you consider your failure.  Or paint a background of success before you fill in any "interesting" details.  Or write a happy ending before you put in the drama and strife.  Think the success through completely and all the way through before you start to consider where it needs improvements and contingency.

          The first thing when planning anything is to define a positive outcome.  Then you need to be aware of what can be the obstacles in your way.  Not the other way around.

          I am only concerned with the level of fear expressed in the diary.  I don't necessarily disagree, as you may see in other comments here.  I think awareness of what may be ahead is critically important.  But I also think that keeping ones emotions need to be maintained effectively while maintaining ones awareness.  

          And, no we're not jumping out of airplanes.  Many of us had only just jumped out of bed.

          I really believe its key:  
          The only thing to fear is orange terror ale... er.. fear.

          Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

          by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:25:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand your concept (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            --just don't think that it completely fits our situation.

            In a decision making or planning situation where you have knowledge of and control the system that the outcome springs from, envisioning a positive outcome is of course essential.  That is not this situation.  We donot have knowledge and definitely not control of the system of our government or politics anymore.  We have to be careful, more wary.  I don't think we understand the process flow or the inputs frankly.  In a new situation plumbing a new system, you have to be wary about asserting your old frame on the new one.  The Aztecs and Incas found that out real fast when they confronted the Spaniards.  They treated them like Gods and got annihilated -- in one instrance right in front of thousands of their troops.  Why?  They thought that the Aztec and Inca reality was the same as that of the Spaniards.  Jared Diamond describes it much better but the result was clear to everyone --- the Aztecs and Incas were slaughtered when they held onto their paradigm too long.

            Similarly, can we count on the system that we knew to still be functional enough?  We have plenty of signs that things aren't following down a logical path.  A President with abysmal poll numbers still gets his entire agenda and brings along a fair number of our so called party of opposition.  None of the Democrats seem the least bit alarmed and certainly there is no trend towards emboldened opposition. Hmmmmmmm.  Our media is totally useless and in fact, facilitating ongoing selling of the regime's policies.  Laws that endanger our liberty in profound ways get passed without a whimper.  Our economy and stature in the world are sliding away without strong opposition.  Are you sure that the system is working like you think and that we can count on envisioning a positive outcome to get us to success?  When do the Democrats get to start acting like well, Democrats? Two weeks before the Nov election?

            Man, I hear your point and generally donot disagree.  I just don't think it fits our situation which is more like that of the Aztecs and Incas than just another American election within a functioning and truly representative political paradigm.  Dictatorships donot lend to predictable outcomes for the minority that opposes it.  

            ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

            by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 11:09:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Now hold on just a wee minute (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am not puttingthe Dems in the same boat with the Rethugs...that's well, repugnant. I am saying Dems don't have access to the megaphone (MSM) and we best be strategic about After we win one or both (I hope!) houses of Congress. Dems are by and large, the good guys. Caution yes, treating Dems as on the wrong side or corrupt, no.

          "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

          by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 11:22:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well that is where we differ (0+ / 0-)

            I am not ready to treat them completely as corrupt. I have a great deal of suspicion about them though, based on what I have seen -- "by their acts ye shall know them".  

            This is not something that I am happy to say.  Please please understand that.  I went grocery shopping today and as I closed the trunk of my car I saw the bumper sticker that I had afixed during the '04 campaign: "Proud to be a Democrat".  I wish that I could say that now.  

            We have so much at stake and you must admit, they have not carried the lantern forward for us -- despite some real opportunities.  My only question to you and the others is why not and why must we accept this weak performance as a group?  Go back and  read your diary.  You have doubts too and those are because they haven't lived up to your expectations either.  You have to hold that up and ask yourself why they are having such a tough time advocating for what we and presumably what they believe.  No, you don't have to answer me -- I'm a nobody -- ask yourself why you think that is and what  that means when you consider the likelihood that electing them may make no difference as you postulate -- and not just because of the media, which I acknowledge is a huge issue.

            All that I am saying is keep your eyes and ears and most importantly your mind open.  It IS heartbreaking to be asking these questions from our leaders but we have to expect to understand and not just wonder why we have the results that we have -- even today, the COPE bill passes with not an insignificant number of Democrats aboard.  Ok, ok -- even if we allow that not all are bad, why are a few so called rotten apples allowed to carry this agenda forward without confrontation or consequence from the others?  Why?

            ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

            by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:07:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The Republic was the Republic of Legend... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, MamasGun, StrayCat

    Greater than distance or time. Before a cruel and ruthless Empire supplanted it, the Old Republic was the democratic union that governed a galaxy for thousands of years. Those who lived in it knew it as the Galactic Republic, or more simply, the Republic.

    Ruling the Republic was the Galactic Senate, a governing body comprising elected or appointed representatives from across the galaxy. From within that Senate, a Supreme Chancellor was elected. Justice and peace in the Republic was protected by the Jedi Knights, a noble order of Force-sensitives.

    As the Republic grew more and more powerful, many of the bureaucrats and Senators that ran the government grew increasingly corrupt or complacent. The bureaucracy that had grown and festered over millennia choked any attempt at proactive government. Furthermore, partisan politics and personal agendas also hampered effective governing.

    Into this mire stepped the ambitious Senator Palpatine from Naboo. His homeworld was under siege by the greedy Neimoidian Trade Federation, as protest to increased tariffs and taxation to outlying trade routes. Despite the full-scale invasion of the planet, the call to react was tied up in procedure. When Queen Amidala -- the elected leader of the sovereign system of Naboo -- spoke before the Senate, calling for action, she also called for a Vote of No Confidence in the leadership of the Republic.

    The well-meaning but politically clumsy Chancellor Valorum was voted out of office. In his place, Palpatine was elected Supreme Chancellor. Despite promises of bringing order and compassion back to the Republic, the first decade of his term was blighted by great political upheaval. A separatist movement, led by the charismatic Count Dooku, began splitting the Republic, and it was all the Jedi could do to maintain order.

    This chaotic political climate precipitated the dark times that overcame the galaxy. The Republic crumbled and was rebuilt in the guise of the New Order.

    Dana Curtis Kincaid Ad Astra per Aspera!

    by angrytoyrobot on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:40:36 AM PDT

  •  nothing changes (9+ / 0-)

    The thing that pisses me off the most is how nothing seems to change.

    There are about 6 impeachable scandals, 2 stolen elections, and two failed wars floating around out there, and the media treats Bush as if he were a legitimate president, not a crook.

    Gas goes to 3.20 a gallon and I thought well at least now maybe people will consume less, ride their bike, and air pollution will decrease and this summer we can breathe easier, but nothing seems to change. SUVs zip all over and I still hear my friends say things like "I gotta  go drive to the mall to get a hat", the mall is about a 2 gallon round trip drive.

    But I do notice some changes, the attitudes have changed, I used to be considered a fringe radical back in 2002, my views are basically the same, but the country has moved more in my direction. Now I am mainstream.

    Alternative energy is popular, even if not widely in use.

    PS: Thanks for writing Nuts and Bolts, I have enjoyed these books!

    •  Heard an ad here in Maine yesterday during (5+ / 0-)

      the Sox game for a credit union (yes, hard to think that they advertise). Check out th is great idea that they have: take out a home equity loan so you can buy the SUV you've always wanted.

      Great fucking idea.

      OTOH, and I have mentioned this before, sports talk radio is awash in jokes about missing WMD's, etc. (even on FOX radio). I think a large majority of people understand that something has happened, although many do not understand exactly what, or how serious it is.

      •  is the SUV tax credit still in place? (6+ / 0-)

        About people knowing something has happened, yes I agree. They know things are bad, but they don't know just how seriously bad things are.

        Like they know Iraq is a disaster, they don't understand that no wmd meant Iraq was in compliance with UN resolutions. They don't know how this is really an ugly imperialist adventure with ill intent. A lot of people think we are trying to help Iraqis, they are just too primitive to accept our gracious help. This leads many to throw their hands up and say lets leave, which is good. I think we will end up leaving eventually, but America will leave for the wrong reasons, and people will not learn the lessons of Iraq.

        The advertisements on the radio and tv that really upset me are the ones for pesticides for lawn care. Pesticides that never break down and get into our fatty tissue and mothers breast milk are a horrible crime, and we pour them all over our lawns. The law says as long as you put a little sign up that says "pesticide application" all is OK. Air America has some pesticide ads on now, which angers me. Pesticides are made from oil, we should stop using them for lawn care immediatly (and food production eventually) to reduce demand for oil, which would lower prices.

    •  What pisses me off (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lost my password

      is how fucking stupid people are that still vote for Republicans, because thats why nothing changes.

      The only thing to do is educate.  Keep proliferating the Internet and anything else we can get our hands on with knowledge and the truth.  The truth will set us free.

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

      by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:54:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All that fear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, FireCrow

    assumes that we stop doing whatever it is we are doing that gets Democrats back in control.  It assumes that Democrats are like Republicans and will just bask in the sunlight and lobbyist money while the country continues to fall apart.  It assumes that the average person that works very hard to get the progressive news out will just pack up after the hard days work.  It assumes that we don't care.  It assumes that we won't fight still.

    You're having a fear of success?  We cannot do anything if we don't take back our House and Senate first.  So your diary isn't adding anything other than to remind us that our lives aren't over after the sun starts shining again.  The fun has just begun!

    I personally look forward to the day when we can start setting things straight again with the power of legislation.  Like the Republicans say "they elected us to do what we are doing".  

    If we get elected it is because the American people want changes because they noticed something is wrong.  Since the problems are getting thier attention they really won't turn away for a while until it gets better, and they'll see who is putting it right.  It's like the farmer returning from a trip into town after leaving his teenage boys in charge.  If something goes wrong, maybe he hears it from the neighbors, he runs home, tells the boys to find the problem and fix it, tells them what he wants set right if they can't figure it  out, still makes them fix it, and doesn't let them out of his site until things are back to normal.

    There really are many more people getting mad about how the farm has been run.  The neighbors are not giving reports of high approval of what has been happening on the farm lately.

    I do things that make people uncomfortable where I feel like I'm in a fishbowl all the time.  It blows over.  Stagefright is overrated.  It's gonna be OK.  Democrats have been in power before you know.  It was OK then too.

    You have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Get out there.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:48:21 AM PDT

    •  I like what you are saying but (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not recommending giving up or anything. Simply these are tuf times and require even more effort. maybe it's the effect of 20 days of rain in Maine and i don't want to see 40 or the effect of six years of this crap. I'm all for fighting and i trust the Dems will do it right but the odds are not hot.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:05:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In martial arts (0+ / 0-)

        you don't think of punching your opponent.

        You think of punching through your opponent.

        Follow through on your batting.  Worry about running until after you've made contact with the ball.

        Go get a damned sun lamp.  

        Do you mean turning 40?  I'm 37.. but now thats a scary one.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:10:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right, I'm not a tinfoiler (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and just saw the Dixie Chicks 'Forgive' on the TV BUT, we need a lot more people to back us After we win. i'm simply saying these are tuf and scary times. The 40 number was 40 in, it's been raining a Lot lately! :)

          "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

          by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:15:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You should not be blogging (0+ / 0-)

            You should be building an ark.  

            Being in Maine you wouldn't care less, but I put foil over my whole house.  Sometimes its hard to block out the GPS signals, but kind of fun too.

            Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

            by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:26:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How big IS a Cubit ? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Anybody know ? As long as the king's forearm.....or what ?

              Also in Maine and tired of the rain.

              'We're sick and tired of being sick and tired' ~ St.FannyLou Hamer

              by Dvalkure on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:15:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No kidding (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I'm normally a gladd half full guy but my house is wet, can't find the leak and just yesterday we were doing Cosby's ark routine...enough with the rain. i even looked at next week's forecast and I NEVER look at next week's cast and it b etter be what it says it is! Enough with the rain and the Rethugs!

                "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

                by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:26:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, I usually scorn to complain ab weather (0+ / 0-)

                  BUT - ! I think there's mold growing in my car and my dawg is always wet ! Next week should be a few days of sun and that may be a big help.

                  Good luck with the mystery leak, Phil.

                  'We're sick and tired of being sick and tired' ~ St.FannyLou Hamer

                  by Dvalkure on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:40:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Your fears are well founded ... (7+ / 0-)

    i fear for the survival of the Constitution itself

    The genius of a representative democracy is that it provides a mechanism to empower people to peacefully implement change.

    Elsewhere in the world, they call this "revolution", where demagogues employ the passion and discontent of the masses to rise up in armed insurrection.

    Here, we vote.

    But, when that mechanism breaks down, when the party in power suborns the instruments of society for personal and political gain, when the perception of the public is that they are disenfranchised, when the the elite brazenly break the law with impunity, it can have but one long term effect.

    The death of a civil society.

  •  It's going to be OK Eeyore (5+ / 0-)

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 04:53:16 AM PDT

    •  why thanks.. (3+ / 0-)

      I thought it was only my good friend Dextah who was called Eeyore but today the label fits

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:06:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there there n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:13:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't Quit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArchTeryx, Mother Brain

        When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
        When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
        When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
        And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
        When care is pressing you down a bit,
        Rest if you must, but never quit.

        Life is strange with its twists and turns
        As everyone of us sometimes learns,
        And maybe a failure would turn about,
        If we have the courage to stick it out.
        Never give up though the pace seems slow,
        You may succeed with another blow

        Success is failure turned inside out,
        The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
        And you never can tell how close you are.
        It may be near, when it seems so far.
        So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit.
        It's when things seem their worst, you must never quit.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:16:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Trust me bro (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There is so much wierd crap that happens in life, and it all seems to blow over eventually.  The only thing to really try to do is not get hung up in all the bad feelings that come along with some of it.  The correct way to swim is to get your head out of the waves once in a while and breath.  

        Successful people know that half of it is managing your state of mind.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:22:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  have a 4 from bleargh, Eeyore :-] (0+ / 0-)

        "No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior.
        All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them."
        ---Elie Wiesel<

        by bleargh on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:49:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  One Big Difference Between the Rs & Ds (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, philinmaine, averybird, StrayCat

    the Republicant Party is now contolled lock, stock and barrel by the religious freaks... aka as the Christian Wrong.

    And as anyone who has cleaned up after a house has been thoroughly trashed... you do it one piece at a time.

    The alternative to Democrats not taking back Congress is...  more of the same... which is a variation of one definition of insanity.

    And finally, although I'll believe it when I see it... I've had more than one Repbulican tell me that their party deserves to be beat so badly in the coming election that it's almost pitiful that people question that it can happen... and even they talk about the evils of gerrymandering.  We'll see come November

    •  Bye bye Democracy (5+ / 0-)

      As you state in your diary, "manipulated elections" are part and parcel of life under a Republican regime.

      Exactly.  And that's why no matter what the Dems do or say, the Repubs will continue their regime.  They will manipulate the elections, no matter that doing so makes a travesty of democracy.

      Even the establishment knows something is very wrong, viz: two lead editorials in the New York Times entitled "Block the Vote."  The editorials outlined how the Repubs are using State laws to "burden the franchise," to use the language of Constitutional lawyers.  

      If that isn't bad enough, after reading some recent case law, it looks like "burdening the franchise" is pretty much okay with the Courts.  There is lots of case law out there upholding the awful state laws.

      Bye bye Democracy.

  •  Highly recommend this diary! (5+ / 0-)

    I believe every word you write but have to say I may be a little more optimistic than you are.  I remember when my brother lived in Spain back in the 80's and he wrote me 17 page letters about propaganda that the USA put out and that he would never return to live in a country that published magazines like TIME and Newsweek.  Guess what?  He came home and lives happily in Arizona now, he is a diehard Democrat and strives daily to make a difference somewhere, anywhere.  

    My point is that there is always hope, and if we work hard enough, and Bush continues in this trainwreck of war, fear, and terror, people are going to vote all of the republicans out of office because people want to be able to at least have 'hope', it is in their basic nature.

    "If you can't stand behind our troops, then, please, feel free to stand in front of them."

    by panicbean on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:13:00 AM PDT

  •  Valid Criticism of Dems... (7+ / 0-)

    I have raised a few criticisms of the Democratic Party in the last month. I believe these criticisms to be legitimate, logical, and valid, but I am typically trolled or condemned on Daily Kos for it. Unless you limit your criticism to Joe Lieberman, you are lambasted. What is the point of giving either House of Congress to Democrats if they intend to rule as Republicans have?

    •  By no means am i saying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      singing bridge, Dvalkure

      Dems are like Rethugs. On the contrary, i'm saying there is indeed a difference. The problem may be whether they will be free to conduct investigations AND pass good legislation. Not like the Rethugs and MSM will roll over. I'm suggesting we have a hell of a way to go and cannot take anything for granted. But I am not lambasting D' hope we have

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:26:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Get ready for a no trump hand... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MamasGun, mph2005, StrayCat, tiltedclock

        Dono if you are familiar with Bridge, but I donot think that we can trust the Democrats or any of our formal power structure.  Sure, we act as though we do -- but we have to think (as you have) in the back of your mind, what if they can't or won't do it?  What is our fall back plan?

        In a no trump hand, there is no one suit that can win it for you.  You have to play your hand based entirely on your strengths across all suits or have a lot of strenth in one, using it like a club.  We are not sure at this point if the Democrats will be strong or weak.  We will play it and see but we need to have other "stoppers" if they don't function.

        It should not be about blind loyalty to a party anymore.  They have to show us by their deeds that they deserve our support. Lets say, there is at least some doubt that they have demonstrated their worthiness. We are at the last trumpet this fall. If they donot carry us forward, we must for the survival of the dream of America, look to other means and leaders.  

        ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

        by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:57:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amen. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This election-cycle is definitely the "last trumpet."

          If we don't see a principled term of loud, strategic and effective reaffirmation of our rotting institutional structures, we need to take the money away from Dems.

          We'll need to court Big Donors and grassroots alike, particularly into the media. If we don't see the rise of Progressive-owned MASS market media in the next couple of years, this country will require a revolution.

          Let it be heard, we are at the last trumpet, and if it sounds foul we'll have to start playing an entirely new type of game.

          •  You got that right (0+ / 0-)

            "If we don't see the rise of Progressive-owned MASS market media in the next couple of years, this country will require a revolution."

            The word "require" is dead on in my opinion.  Lets hope that we can stil do it if the occasion calls for it.  The speed at which we are giving away our freedoms makes me worried about how we will be able to do what is necessary if and when its time.

            ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

            by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:13:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe We're Too Big for Fascism? (9+ / 0-)

    One thing I've been thinking about this steady drift toward fascism you describe is that so far, in most cases, the trend does not seem to have percolated into the general populace as a whole (am I delusional?).  Rather, it seems mostly centered in Washington.  Speaking generally (of course), it seems that most people still feel that they live in the same democracy they were taught that they lived in.  They still feel that they have freedom of speech and religion, and, again speaking generally, in most cases they still practice it and are free to do so.  Thus if the fascism at the federal level were made explicit, for example, by banning all criticism of the government, most people would say what the hell? and rebel.  So the creep must be much more gradual, that is, the (now disproved) metaphor of the boiling frog.  But because we're so big, while the disease is slowly and stealthily leeching outwards from the center, there is enough time for the extremities to build up immunity, through the very type of efforts that you, Philinmaine have been spearheading.  I guess what I'm saying is that there are too many cracks, nooks and crannies for the weeds of democracy to grow through while the fascists are trying to turn the country into a concrete parking lot.  (Just like my persistent believe in the possibility of hope keeps breaking through my overwhelming cynicism).

    But, you say, what about the Soviet Union?  Many many fewer nooks and crannies.  No micro-democratic structures, no small-town newspapers, no internet, etc.

    •  Not too reassuring.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, MamasGun, StrayCat

      We are capable of falling slowly under neo-fascism, softer fascism, 'better' fascism, incrementally, indiscernably. No putsch necessary, just more and more American Idol(ization), every day, every year. It doesn't have to be brown shirts and boots to become fascism. Doesn't have to be perceptible. It might only take another decade or two.

      •  It's the Slowness That's Reassuring (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MamasGun, freeyourmind, StrayCat

        I agree that it's the low-profile nature of it that's so scary and insidious, but on the other hand, without the slowness, we wouldn't be having this conversation now.  The blogosphere would never have been able to grow and flourish, Howard Dean would never have been elected Chair of the DNC, various cities and towns and Democratic Town and State Committees would never have been able to vote for impeachment, Lamont would never have arisen, nor Tester, nor Busby for that matter, and so on.  I think there's enough light and air getting through to allow for the growth of an alternate narrative, despite all of the many tendencies in the opposite direction.  I'm not saying it's a given that we'll win, I'm just saying it's not too late yet.

        And that's where Philinmaine's diary comes in.  He's talking about one of the many key things that has to happen if we're going to turn the trend around, emphasizing that taking back Congress isn't nearly enough.  In fact, if our history teaches us anything, nothing ever is -- it never ends.

      •  It started in earnest in 1980 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MamasGun, StrayCat

        and the US variant of it is friendlier than its 20's and 30's predecessor, and has adapted enough to local conditions to be able to incorporate religious conservatives (something European fascists would never have done; fascism itself being "forward-thinking" if not exactly progressive).

        I think it has a far firmer footing than we would care to admit, with perhaps a good third of the country ideologically captured. It may have peaked, but it still has great power , both ideological and institutional, as evidenced by the resurgence of yellow journalism in the US, gerrymandered "democracy", reestablishment of the spoils system of government and a budding tyranny of the plurality.

        But as an ideological force, I suspect it won't get much farther, for as with all fantasist ideologies, this one too will hit head-on with reality sooner or later.

        Unfortunately, I suspect that collision will be painful for Americans, and in particular working-class Americans.

        -Freedom is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all- -9.50, -5.74

        by redstar on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 09:51:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever faults there were in the SU, and (0+ / 0-)

      you are right to point out the weaknesses in civil institutions inheritted from Tsarist Russia viz. the easy descent into nasty Stalinist dictatorship, at least at the origin, the idea was a more just, equitable, fraternal and social apparatus for all citizens, from unskilled workers to tradesmen to professionals and all points in between.

      These fascists have something altogether opposite in mind; there's nothing redeeming whatsoever in their ideology. It's a throwback to earlier times, an earlier sical organization which has had ample opportunity in the past to demonstrate the damage it can do and has made the most of those opportunities.

      -Freedom is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all- -9.50, -5.74

      by redstar on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 09:56:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        just because the stated ends were different doesn't mean the fascist/stalinist/republican corporatist means aren't the same -- they just masquerade under different ideological makeup.  Plus, don't underestimate the facially "redeeming" nature of capitalist ideology -- that each of us can shine, and win, and become rich, if we just try hard enough.  It's been the attractive underlying assumption of that ideology that's fed American exceptionalism for so many years.

        •  Oh, I think we agree 100%, and I would simply (0+ / 0-)

          point out that while socialism has engendered both progressive and free liberal democratic versions (most of the Western European continent and Scandinavia) and abominations (the USSR from Stalin forward and most of the Warsaw pact), capitalism of the sort ideologically hailed in America generally ends up in the same spot: fascism. In 20's America it was the Pinkertons and others firing on workers and on the Continent it of course took on an entirely more naked guise.

          We're not so far away from the days of the Pinkertons, I suspect; hopefully the next time 'round the New Deal won't be sheperded by another rich guy whose affinities are split between preserving the advantages of his or her class and true progress.

          -Freedom is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all- -9.50, -5.74

          by redstar on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:46:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  the role of the media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, FireCrow

    First, I agree with all comments, really terrific diary.

    Second, we really cannot overstate the role of the media in this development.  The portrayal of dissenting points of view (the Christine Todd Whitmans, the Joseph Wilsons, etc.) as extremist, wacko, liberal, etc. is made possible by the media.  Why was the Terri Schaivo case on every person's mind for a month?  because the media kept throwing it in our faces.  Why was RFK's article about Ohio voting fraud gone in a flash?  because the media ignored it.

    What can we do?  How do we affect what the media throws in peoples' faces and how they spin it?

    I don't know.  

    •  Therein lies the rub (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We work (supporting local candidates, good fight for Congress) but most of the country still asleep or thinks no diff no matter who in charge...and the media is controlled by Conrad Black, Murdoch, Jasck welches, etc...turn on the TV and there's precious little hard hitting news..Where's Helen Brown..exiled, Hersh, marginalized, Even RFK Jr gets the door. John Murtha, Swiftboated. But I hope the more optimistic voices on here are right and we will not only prevail in Novemeber but go on to be able to clean's way needed.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:39:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, How do We Fight the Media? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I agree with you and many others that one of the biggest problems we have is the capitulation of the media.  I think Firedoglake asked the question the other day -- so what do we do about it?  I never saw whatever suggestions were offered, but I'd love to see a more public discussion of that.  Is the solution a forced breakup of the five megacorps?  Does that solution have any chance in hell of approval?

        •  IMO, much of the problem is the corporate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          control of the media. The media have always had a lot of power to shape public opinion. However, today the media are controlled by a small number of industrial corporations, like GE and Disney. Newspapers are dying, and most are controlled by a small number of owners. The situations is very different from what existed in the days of Watergate. What we get from the MSM is GE's version of the news. I am not sure that taking back congress is enough, unless we can begin to frame the debate.

          •  Framing (0+ / 0-)

            So what's the frame, any ideas?  It's clear that most people don't give a moment's thought to who owns the media, so it's got to be a way to bring the idea that centralized corporate control of the media is bad into a realm where it has some meaning for people at home.  Frankly, I have no idea how this would be done.

    •  Dismantle the mega media conglomerates (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Break them into chunks and sell them off. Enforce anti-trust laws.
      That would be a good place to start.

      Impeach and Imprison! -6.63/-6.10

      by FireCrow on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:24:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is no doubt that we will take back (9+ / 0-)

    the House in November. If you analyze the Busby race in Cal-50,she lost by 4 points,however,we must remember that she lost to Cunningham in 2004 by 22 points. That is an 18 point difference which happens to be monumental. If you project this nationally,it means a pickup of at least 30 seats in the House and 5 to 7 in the Senate.

    I realize there is much pessimism and sadness on this board,but I just turned 70 and have seen alot and yes,its true,Bush is the worst,but he and his cabal have overreached and its only a matter of time until there is a big change.

    Kepp the faith,better days are coming.

    •  I tend to agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MamasGun, FindingMyVoice, Dvalkure

      and thank you, I do keep the faith but I've also seen a bit (used to work for a Gov and almost worked for Clinton) and the signs are still scary..Even if we win. We're turning the tide but without some of the key tools we have had in the past.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:43:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What would it be like (0+ / 0-)

        if it were not scary?

        The reason why I ask is because I see that there is alot of work to do, but I'm not scared.  

        Seriously, work on a different emotion, like concern, or excitement at the opportunities for change, or for finally being able to start the confrontations.  But for God's sake don't practice that scared feeling.  You'll get really good at it.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:48:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, concerned, foreshadowing, wever (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but After we win and Dems are in Congress, make no mistake, it is not even half the battle. It is a pause, a breath of hope but each of us is needed, not just now but after the win as well.

          "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

          by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:53:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Great Diary & Hope IF All Politics Is Local... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Thanks Philinmaine - You Have eloquently stated what myself & many others feel about where we are now. The signs ARE Very scary.

        We have unprecedented diasavantages (Media surrender) and unprecedented advantages - How we use these will determine whether we reverse this corporo-facist dictatorship or it prevails.

        New Advantages - Our nationwide network for Viral fundraising directly for local congressional, etc. Outspoken candidates can REMOVE the power from the Corporatist DLC/DNC slugs. Our candidates at the state/& Congressional level can prevail IF enough $$ reach them for Intelligent Media Buys, OUR Netroots tools are Only Now - just gaining Critical Mass - to help counter the Media "Noise".

        We don't always win (e.g. my battles in Colo. Mike Miles for Senate & 2 county-wide races 1 win - 2 losses - & am a statehouse district Dem party Chair)But we'll win enough for a chance at a "tipping point".We know the stakes have never been higher...

        Litvak36's response gives me hope - we have no choice anyway.

        Blind loyalty to self-defeating strategies is equally destructive as working for your enemy.

        by Hiroprotag on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:09:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well hey, to Colorado, my former home (0+ / 0-)

          where I worked on Romer's staff for a spell..Go get 'em, it's encouraging to see Dems getting on a bit of a roll there. I love rural Colorado!

          "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

          by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:18:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Phil - Much Transformation going on here in Colo. (0+ / 0-)

            Phil - E.g. - As a bunch of committed Progressives Pissed off after Nov 04 We've helped revitalize our county (jeffco)party, most of us are either running for office (like Paula Noonan - a State Senate Candidate - or helping to run or support campaigns (Like Bill Winter's) or working at the party house district/senate level.

            Personally - was Mike Miles Senate Veterans/Military affairs coordinator,& adviser & Originated & Chaired our county party grassroots post-Nov 04 election reorg/debriefing sessions - that brought new blood county-wide into the party, etc, & plans,coordinations, all ex-candidates - did their own post-election debriefing sessions too, now work much more in coordination.

            Tho - a tough battle here in the West - we're not giving Ground....

            Blind loyalty to self-defeating strategies is equally destructive as working for your enemy.

            by Hiroprotag on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:19:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hot dog..good stuff (0+ / 0-)

              that's what the Nuts N Bolts diary series is all about..wmpowering locals and building community. Jeffco was where I got my start..years ago i went to Romer's right hand person and said, 'Romer will be the next guv, what do i need to do to help' (this was week's after Lamm's last re-election) and she need mroe experience so i went out to Jeffco and organized phone banks for losing leg campaigns. To win anything in Jeffco is awesome..keep it going

              "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

              by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:55:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Even if we don't take House (0+ / 0-)

      It's important to keep our eyes on the prize and not give up hope, keep working and fighting and digging in until we DO win back the House, the Senate, the White House...

      Like a sports team...

      Once you give in to despair, you are just plain sunk.

      Look for inspiration in the stuggle for rights by African Americans beginning in slavery times...and continuing to this day. But what terrible odds were faced and overcome. Time and time again!

      Keep up the struggle.

      "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

      by coral on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 09:00:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! (6+ / 0-)

    But, I think the Dems could get more media time and are too scared to try.  The party needs to grow a pair and use 'em.  

    Unfortunately, the public won't wake up until it's too late.  That time is really not that far off in my opinion.  The ecomony will show its true ugly face soon and everyone will get hurt by it.  When we off-shored companies and manufacturing while opening the doors to cheap illegal labor, the stage was set.  When congress spent like drunken sailors, expanded government, gave huge breaks to any company around, the situation got worse.  It's the debt, the deficit and the dollar and it's a house of cards.  We rely on foreign companies to make most of our goods, foreign labor to make the stuff we make here, foreign money to prop up the government spending and debt, and foreign energy for any economy we have left.  When this administration continually shits on those foreign governments, how long do you think that will last?  Our credit limit has almost been reached and the repo man is at the door.   I'm not so sure I'd want the power if I were the Dems.  

    How bad is it?

    The personal savings has dropped to zero.  (effects of cheap foreign labor on wages, less jobs due to foreign manufacturing).

    If we wanted to pay off the current national debt, every man, woman and child would need to form over $28 K.  You got that kinda dough laying around?

    We rely on roughly $2-3 Billion a day in foreign investment to keep the lights on in the government.  (Bonddad could probably give the right number).

    Our debt is approaching 7% of the GDP, a number that other governments have defaulted on, making us a bad bet. ("I've always depended on the kindness of strangers".)

    We spend roughly 50% of the tax money on defense.  If I spent 50% of my income on security around my house, I'd take a good look at myself and wonder what the heck I was doing wrong.

    Our ecomony is going to take a bad hit, probably sooner rather than later.

  •  Subpoenas. That's what it's all about. (4+ / 0-)

    We need to stop bemoaning the sleep-walking media.  They are no more somnolent as they ever were.  Woodward and Bernstein were two guys among thousands of sedated corporate media of the times.

    Today we have Seymour Hirsch, RFK Jr, and countless bloggers.  Countless.  The public has no excuse for allowing the corruption and wholesale theft of our government.  At this point, it's the responsibility of the citizenry to elect Democrats-- the "other" party.

    When the Dems get into the House, they will have subpoena power. SUBPOENA THOSE MUTHAS.  That is how the system works.  The only way.  It worked in 1974 and it will work in 2007.

    Are you telling me that Chairmen like Conyers would not get subpoenas?  Puh-LEEEZ!  If you are,  then your cynicism is mindblowing.

    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

    by Grodge on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:50:44 AM PDT

    •  On the contrary..I have said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grodge, StrayCat

      before anyway, that Conyers as Chair will hold hearings, etc. my Concern is that the MSM which has been lame and hobbled at best will Not rise to the occaision and instead we get a morass of accusation and counter-accusation and no real media to at least help expose the rats. Hey, I'm hoping i'm wrong but won;t bet on it

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:58:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't Discount the Herd Mentality (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsCasey, StrayCat

        One thing we might have going for us is the sheep-like herd mentality of the press.  There will be some element, somewhat larger than what we have now, but not as much as we could have, that will decide that we're the new Kewl Kids, or about to be, and that they should be a little more even-handed.  On the other hand, the Clinton era . . .

      •  Didn't mean to pick on you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MamasGun, StrayCat

        I agree with everything you said, and fully appreciate your sentiment.  You said it way better than I could have.

        I think that it's time to get real.  The information is out there for anybody willing to read it.

        Wringing our hands about the two-headed monster of Repub-Dem politics in America is couterproductive.

        Laws have been broken.  The "other" party needs to be put back in power and the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

        Other than armed revolution, subpoena is the only way to do it.

        I recommend your diary

        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

        by Grodge on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:10:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The MSM is an extension of the Corporations (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Corps 'own' the MSM by virtue of the advertising dollars they spend. No media outlet will publish a story that shows their sponsor in a bad light.

        And BushCo does the bidding for the Corps. This is an administration 'of, by, and for' the corporations. Don't expect the MSM to go out of their way to expose BushCo. Corps have their influence tentacles wrapped around the throats of the editorial staffs.

        "What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?" Padme

        by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:42:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, thats it!! (0+ / 0-)

      After Democrats are back in office let the lawyers finish up all the work!

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

      by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lawyers don't issue subpoenas, legislators do... (0+ / 0-)

        or more specifically, congressional committees.

        Without a majority in either house, there are no subpoenas-- unless you count Mark McGuire's.

        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

        by Grodge on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:04:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes! ...But! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, MamasGun, Grodge, StrayCat

      Subpoenas. That's what it's all about. (1+ / 0-)

      Recommended by:
         Vigil Lante

      Subpoenas are not enough. There has to be follow-through on prosecutions.

      When the Dems get into the House, they will have subpoena power. SUBPOENA THOSE MUTHAS.  That is how the system works.  The only way.  It worked in 1974 and it will work in 2007.

      There were no prosecutions in 1993. That's why we woke up and found ourselves infested with neocons in 2001.

    •  Regarding Woodward and Berstein... (0+ / 0-)

      Woodward and Bernstein were two guys among thousands of sedated corporate media of the times.

      Woodward and Bernstein got their story because a connected, establishment, powerful Republican talked which is precisely what philinmaine has said needs to happen here.

      Without Deep Throat, aka Mark Felt, a former top FBI official, Woodward and Bernstein had no story. Zip, zero, nada, il n'y etait accune d'histoire, bebe.

      "History will judge the GOP's abdication to the NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

      by BentLiberal on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mark Felt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        was not necessarily a "Republican who talked."  As far as I know, FBI agents do not make a party preference.  Mark Felt was an "FBI insider who talked."

        Woodward and Bernstein were seen as trusted members of the media who would 1) keep Felt's identity secret in order to protect him, and 2) tell the story in a truthful way. Felt was adamant that these two criteria be met.

        Most of the press corps of that time were not necessarily seen to be trusted by such sources.  Are there media types today who are trusted in the same way?  Yes.

        Hirsch, among others have blown the lid off such huge topics as Gitmo, NSA spying, illegal renditions, false pre-war intelligence, just to name four.

        These four issues are each BIGGER than Watergate. Together they are a travesty. My point is that it is not the media that is sleepwalking, it's the American public.

        If the electorate wakes up, we will elect legislators who will SUBPOENA the proper people and INDICT the bad actors.

        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein

        by Grodge on Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 10:52:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Negativity won't help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    d3n4l1, Grodge

    Saying that we're damned if we do and damned if we don't is the worst thing to say. I agree with the entire diary, BUT what if we don't win?? What if the repugs stay in charge?
    I know it's hard, but how about a positive outlook for once? The American people are wising up. 65% disapprove of Bush. The Dems had victories in Montana last week. The Dems do well in Nov. They continue to speak the truth and maybe people listen and maybe they don't. But, eventually the truth will come out. Justice will be served.

    •  Damned if you do, Damned if you don't (0+ / 0-)

      Its called a double bind.  Causes people confusion and susceptibility to taking on the deeper meaning or idea that is slipped in between them.  If a double bind is accompanied by a good message, its good, but if by a bad message it can be crippling.

      Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

      by d3n4l1 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:58:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think we have little time's reality (0+ / 0-)

      '06 is everything. Not only do we need to win in '06 but set the agenda and serve the truth in '07 or '08 is maybe not so relelvant. As for last week. It did not equal victory in Orange Cty (close enough and yes a good omen for more competitive districts) but Montana may well have been over Morrison's Zipper. It is not too early to set the agenda for After we win.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:03:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree completely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freeyourmind, StrayCat

      Look, Bush's approval ratings are down around 30%.  The problem right now is not with the public but with the leadership of both parties.  The people want laws to be enforced.  The system is corrupt, but corrupt systems have a way of collapsing upon themselves.  Yes, a lot of people will "get away with it", but let's be honest here.  The US is not at a crisis point.  Some people need to get everything in perspective.  Life in the US is Real Easy.  There have been no invasions by foreign forces, no civil wars, and one terrorist attack in the past 60 years.  Can any other place on the Earth match that record?  OK, there's New Zealand, but most places have been going through a lot worse.  

      The Republicans literally spent decades of effort on building up their propaganda machine.  It's not going to be defeated overnight.  But it's not unbeatable.  For starters, they're being run by a bunch of idiots.  Idiots with a lot of built-in advantages, but idiots nevertheless.  

      The US of today is simply not facing the kinds of pressures that faced the nations that allowed authoritarianism/ facism to succeed.  And the population is much better educated than people generally allow for.  Just keep fighting the good fight and everything will be fine.

  •  What you can do about it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hiroprotag, corvo, Dvalkure, StrayCat

    Write your local paper if they publish lies. Go to Media Matters and look up national media that does the same and write them. Contact your House reps and Senators and demand they do their jobs in ways that benefit all of us. Go to their townhall meetings and speak your mind. If enough people do that they will respond.    

    •  Please read my diaries (0+ / 0-)

      before offering suggestions like the above. I do that and a lot more. Sorry, i find that offensive and way too glib.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:05:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's all about GREED (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, blue jersey mom

    Politicians now 'work' for corporations, not 'We' the people. Thru campaign contributions and lobbyist 'fact finding' trips to the Bahamas, they are beholding to and become covert 'employees' of the corporations. And bills they pass do one thing, advance corporate profits.

    Ok, I have to state not all politicians are dirty -- I have my favorite Dems who have real integrity. I could list a couple dozen, but that is not enough to prevent what PhilInMaine describes here.

    The Dems have to make Ethics and Lobbyist Reform the centerpiece of the fall elections. None of this will ever change until the dirty money is pushed out of Washington.    

    "What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?" Padme

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:03:51 AM PDT

  •  compare reps' votes with their corporate donors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "YeeHaw!" is not a foreign policy.

    by annefrank on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:18:32 AM PDT

  •  The Economy Has Outgrown Our System (7+ / 0-)

    entirely. More than anything else it simply doesn't need it.

    I've been commenting in line with your diary for a long time.

    Institutions of every sort from economy to culture etc. look to me to share the same interests: concentrated wealth, power and opportunity, and an uninformed, undemocratic population with very low wages and no influence over institutional power.

    The Republican party gives institutional power everything it needs.

    I can't see any major sector or industry that profits from an educated, informed population. Skilled yes but definitely not informed. Any benefit mentioned here for the people imposes obvious, direct costs on the rich or their businesses. And a little skill and innovation goes a very long way in an economy of giga corporations and information technology.

    The Democratic or any party supporting the people under our present system virtually must be aligned against much if not all of institutional America.

    Worst of all is our system's utter lack of concept of mass media, which lets them default to giga-corporate private property whose owners are Constitutionally protected against society and the people.

    Our worst problems are structural, so for my money we need not just a change of party but fundamentally new theories of government.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:33:39 AM PDT

  •  It is not enough to simply take Congress back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, StrayCat

    but it is a start.

    Thanks for the excellent diary.

    •  That's a good summary of what (0+ / 0-)

      I wrote. You should for for that outfit that does a book a page :)

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:47:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans will cheat -again (9+ / 0-)

    any Republ. within 5 points of winning this fall will get special, bonus, under the table, presto here some extra vote, treatment. All the little quirky things that happened in Ohio will happen in all the districts that might need a little help. Does anyone honestly think this Govt would permit a democrat run house or senate? They will block the polls, stuff the ballot box and dump minorities from the voting list. They got away with it in Florida and Ohio, and even after books and articles about it got national press, nothing changed. If they do it in 50 or 100 districts, who will keep track of it all and who will prosecute them and who will believe we live in a democracy?

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I think that's very hard to do in up to 80 close districts across the country..that's too much. Voter suppression, disenfranchisement, etc..that happened in Ohio and maybe they could target a state or two in a national election. But tons of districts...a bit much...Go in '06, plan for '07

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:51:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't think they've been (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MamasGun, StrayCat

        planning new ways to jigger things in the past two years, what with HAVA forcing more districts to purchase DREs and other systems that rely on central tabulators? There was a techie diary that decribed how the NSA intercepts in the 'secret rooms' can divert the signals between the precincts and tabulators, and substitute another signal. (I know, it sounds impossible, but I read it here, so who knows.)

        •  I don;t know (0+ / 0-)

          Not my area of expertise. i think there would still be a number of town or county voter registrars that would raise issues..again i think it's hard to pull off so many districts.

          "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

          by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:30:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How many districts did they jimmy last time (0+ / 0-)

            in Ohio alone? It would be a piece of cake for this crowd to twist 80 districts. No one will object after 24 hours. Most candidates hate to be seen as sore losers, the media walks away, people want to get on with it etc.... How many people think Ohio was stolen? The big Rolling Stone story happened a couple years after the event.  It gets put in the tinfoil hat folder and we move on to see what new blonde has been kidnapped.

  •  I'm not voting. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freeyourmind, StrayCat

    Because I just don't know how to answer that question.

    #4 is out because I just don't think there's anything funny about this.

    #3 is out because I don't think anyone alive today has been through a political and social climate like this before, at least not in the US.

    I'd like to choose 2, but I just don't feel that confident.

    And #1 is just too scary and defeatist for me to choose.

    Now after reading your diary I'm left wondering yet again if we haven't crossed some kind of Rubicon politically speaking (as opposed to imperially like the book). Started on some kind of free fall into a national disaster of a sort that combines economic depression and civil war, overtly corrupt politicians and domestic storm troopers, the people at war with the government. A hell that might rage decades before we can hope to actually find ourselves in a place where the average person once again understands how important it is to actually pay attention to politics and especially the politicians.

    One has to wonder if Harry Harrison of Soylent Green fame(?) didn’t tap subconsciously into a worm hole that gave him a glimpse of our future.

    That said, I believe the upcoming elections will tell. God save the democratically-structured-Republic of the USA!

    "...I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks" - George W. Bush confessing to 'High Crimes and Misdemeanors'.

    by Pescadero Bill on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:22:04 AM PDT

  •  If the Dems win... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I fear that nothing much will change, because the neophyte newcomers will just be star-struck and overwhelmed on arrival, and won't come in with the requisite rage, determination and unity to make the changes that are necessary.  There will be no agreement on what those changes, or their order of priority, should be.

    Remember "gridlock?"  That's what happens when the White House is controlled by one party, and either or both houses of Congress are controlled by the other party. Nothing happens except constant frustration. Problems are not solved because there is never enough common vision about what the problems are, let alone their solution. There is no achievable agenda because there is no governing force with a comprehensive programme, as the British would call it.

    Well, the best that will happen from Democratic victories in November will be a return to gridlock, partly because there is no common vision or leadership to outline and enforce the vision, and partly because our form of government deliberately engineers gridlock.

    What Cheney is really saying when he talks about
    restoring the power and prerogatives of the "unitary executive" is that American democracy must be made to function more like a parliamentary democracy.

    The Republicans, in effect, are quietly re-casting our government as a quasi-parliamentary government, except without some of the key checks on power that a true parliamentary system provides, like "no confidence" votes that force a government to call a new election if they can't even hold their own legislative majority on even a single vote. This is a check that keeps the government from going too far on any single issue, because they could all, theoretically, lose their seats in the ensuing election if people are pissed off enough.

    Well, on the tactical level I would say the Republicans are right.  America does need something more like a parliamentary system, where a government has the power to implement its comprehensive program, but it has to have the proper checks on its power designed into the system to address the kind of abuses BushCo has inflicted on us.

    We need a form of government that works, but that doesn't run roughshod over us until the next election.

    Unfortunately, electing Democratic majorities even to both houses of Congress next fall, will only amount to a feeble step in the right direction...

    •  This is a huh, i don;t thnk so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skennet Boch, StrayCat

      It presupposes lil greenie newbies being start struck...Not likely. They get through an election with the Rethugs they will arrive battle tested (and still pissed).

      Electing Dems to both houses means building huge pressure on Bush. Relentless both from legislative and inquiries. I'm not saying there's no hope or Dems are like Rethugs, /i'm simply saying it won't be easy, get ready for the battle After the battle

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:34:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's hope. (0+ / 0-)

        When I hear the current leadership playing down the idea of impeachment or holding people accountable, I get antsy.

        Until there is some semblance of programmatic unity among Democrats (I hate to say ideological purity, because I dislike ideologies), then I'm skeptical, though supportive...

  •  Don't give up! (9+ / 0-)

    The depth of brainwashing here is hard to describe. it's pervasive, constant, and organized.

    Last night I went out to dinner with my Republican friends.  It doesn’t happen often but every now and then we decide to get together.  For most of the evening it was pretty social and everyone was having a good time because we stayed away from politics. We spent our time with the “safe” subjects that connect us.  But as the evening drew near and we were outside the restaurant our comfort zones suddenly collapsed into the "red" zone. One drops a comment on how bad things are in our country and someone else blames it on the Democrats for being so polarizing!  Then comes the best statement, "why are the Dems always blaming it on the rich when they pay more of the taxes?"  And I lose it.  I don’t ask questions, I don’t reason with them, I don’t try and stay clam, I immediately shout, “That’s a lie!”  With no time to resolve or discuss anything rationale I go home hating myself for being reduced to a shouting idiot.  I know as hard as I try to be thoughtful, I still find myself losing it way too fast.   It is out of panic. I’m 62 and I’m scared.   I too feel it may be too late to save this country, at least in my life time.  Watching this country and our Constitution being torn apart is too much to bear and I can’t stop being angry long enough to be rationale with my Republican friends.  It’s like watching my house catch on fire and than having to discuss with the fireman the best way to put out the blames.  The alarm bells are going off and it’s time for action.  We have lived too long doing nothing and the good people who care, need to wake up!  

    Even though we rest our hopes in taking back the Congress in 2006, it won’t be enough for all the reasons this diarist wrote in his letter to his son.  Two years until 2008 will be impossible to make people believe in us based on how much polarization has gone on over the last 6 years.  And yes, you can blame a lot of it on our two party system, and the MSM for not doing their job. They have decided working for the White House is much more comfortable than working for the people and the common good.  

    Even as Al Gore's PowerPoint presentation points to the “Inconvenient Truth”  -- if we don’t stop Global Warming within 10 years, no matter what we do after, it will be too late, the MSM stays silent.  And we want this same media to wake up to what the Democrats have to say.  Good luck!

    But I’m not giving up. As long as there is breath in my body I will continue to fight like a crazy woman with her hair on fire!  As far as my Republican friends who think I’m trying to stop the status quo, I am! I have spent my last 6 years volunteering every day during the last election period and now again with the Ned Lamont campaign.  I’ll knock on the doors, I’ll hand out the fliers, I’ll make the phone calls and I’ll stuff the thousands of envelopes.   I’ll do whatever it takes even knowing that I’ll probably be long dead before this country is good again. I don’t care because I work for the future.  As my mother often reminded me of the women who worked for me, I too need to carry the torch for those behind me. But we need lots more people stepping up to the plate if you want real change to happen.  America needs you more than ever.   Don’t give up!

    "Spying on the populace is a giant step toward totalitarianism." -- Bob Herbert

    by hws on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:40:59 AM PDT

    •  Not only am i not giving up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      d3n4l1, Dvalkure

      that's a given. I have a passion for this stuff. I've been reading a number of comments and seeing some pretty good diaries (like yours). And who may well have gotten some of their attention by yelling as little. Keep on doing and we'll get somewhere.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:51:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        d3n4l1, Dvalkure

        I loved your dairy and I actually shared it with one of my Republican friends because it drove me to write what I did!  Yes, I truly believe our efforts will make a difference no matter if it seems we're constantly swimming up stream!

        "Spying on the populace is a giant step toward totalitarianism." -- Bob Herbert

        by hws on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 09:30:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can relate to your experience with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa, corvo, hws, MarketTrustee

      Republican friends.  Like you I'd lose it.  I no longer have that problem as I no longer have those "friends".  In retrospect they were stupid and boring, concerned only with their personal wealth and social standing.  The last time I "lost it" was at a private club where women were not allowed in the main dining room for lunch.  I embarrassed my Republican husband in front of his friends and he apologized for my behavior.  He became an ex-husband in short order.

      "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

      by Lying eyes on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:31:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This might be to outside the box for some but` (0+ / 0-)

    while I understand when folks "fear for the survival of the Constitution itself..." I think at some point we have to look at the fascists' undermining the constitution as an opportunity and not solely a risk.

    Simply put, the US constitution is vastly out of date, unwieldy, and easily the most retrograde of any of those of Western liberal democracies. It is time for it to go, one way or another, and put something more modern, egalitarian, fraternal and above all, more democratic in its place.

    I know this is lt strategy and not tactics, and far far out of the box, but given the Bush admin's significant undermining of it, we may want to start looking forward and not backward. And at some point, if we want to realize the desperately needed reforms most of us agree are needed, we need a 2nd Republic. The first one has been out of date for a good Century.  

    -Freedom is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all- -9.50, -5.74

    by redstar on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 09:30:06 AM PDT

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
      you confuse the US constitution with US Code(s).

      the latter is purposefully unwieldly and made ever more obscure by case law largely in order to circumvent the premises of self-determination in the many, our liberties and rights, enumerated by the constitution, for the benefit of a few. sometimes the one.

      i'd like to see an original republican manifesto that improves upon the constitution. good luck.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 02:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have dems in control in our state (0+ / 0-)

    And they are outdoing the republicans:

    1. first year governor Corzine is calling for an increase in the highly regressive sales tax (he withdrew a proposed regressive water tax due to political opposition), making cuts in education funding, and pursuing a policy of sacrificing strong environmental protection for economic development (reminescent of Christie Whitman's "Open for business" policy). Today, the NAACP accused Corzine of racial profiling of urban predominantly black school districts. NAACP is reacting to Corzine's personal appearance before the State Supreme Court to argue for a spending freeze in minority districts, a move with echoes of Southern Governor's efforts to block black educational progress. Corzine also has called for selective audits of black urban school districts, stoking the racist black mismanagement theme.
    1. Senate democrats, led by a former union member, are attacking state employees unions and seeking contract givebacks in wages, benefits, and work rules;
    1. Assembly democrats carry the oil, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries' water by attacking environmental protections for increasing gas prices, killing manufacturing jobs, and blocking expansions of pharmaceutical industry profits and expansions.
    1. band-aid "reforms", mostly press spin, masquarade as substantive policy.
    1. Corruption, pay to play, and machine politics dominate the political landscape.

    I could go on.

    •  I thought you were talking about Massachusetts! (0+ / 0-)

      As many have said before, there's an inside the beltway  in every state.  There will always be two types of people in politics -- those interested in consolidating power for themselves and their friends, and those interested in spreading it around.  No matter how conservative or progressive the party, that will remain the case.  Our job is to build the structures and make the efforts that will enable the second kind (power spreaders) to dominate or control the first, which I know is going on in New Jersey (where I grew up, yeay!).  In Massachusetts we took a big step in that direction in 1998 when we passed the Clean Elections law, only to see it overturned a few later by a State House emphatically dominated by Democrats.  Doesn't mean we're giving up though (see ).  I think we need to articulate an easy way of discerning the consolidators from the spreaders and in part that's what I think the recent grassroots/netroots efforts are all about.

  •  Fundamental Reform (0+ / 0-)

    I agree, the current politicians are not going to make the changes needed, and so far fundamental structural changes are not even part of the debate. as progressives who care about democracy we need to start advocating for the reforms that will revive our democracy.

    1. public financing of elections- we need to be the ones buying legislators.
    1. election reform- paper ballots, oversight, equal access to voting, etc.
    1. media reform- public funding of an independent media, possibly through a funded trust. And reinstate the fairness doctrine
    1. limits on corporate powerwe need to limit the role of corporations in the political process, possibly through a constitutional amendment.

    Unless we start talking about these fundamental changes, we can bet that the next generation of politicians will become just as corrupt as the last.

  •  This is an important diary because.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa, philinmaine, StrayCat

    ...the situation is every bit as dire as you describe. Lately, I feel a little crazed because I find myself whispering to people "We are in danger." I say this to Republicans and Democrats alike. I started saying this the Saturday after Katrina when I attended a dinner party with 10 democrats. They knew I had a place in New Orleans and we started talking about Katrina.

    I said "George Bush is refusing to help New Orleans because it is a progressive city that pulls Louisiana to the left, and because he wants to send the message that government won't help you -- you need to rely on churches and volunteerism".

    They couldn't believe what I was saying -- they said, not this was just neglect! I pointed out that dead bodies were STILL floating in the streets (I was not a good dinner guest that night!), and that this was not neglect, but intention. Dark, malicious intent, aided by news outlets that show the same clip over and over of black people busting into stores, for the purpose of suggesting that these people were not worth saving. We now decide whether the citizens of a given American city are worth saving, before we send aid, or massive technological assistance to suck the water out of the city and repair breaches.

    They looked at me as if I were crazy.

    People in that same group have later contacted me. They no longer think I am crazy. The circumstantial evidence of a malicious and malignant American government at war with its people is mounting, and becoming more difficult to ignore.

    The complicity of the corporate-owened media that shows us Brad, Angelina, and Lindsey to the point that even Brad & Angelina are nauaseated by the coverage is also becoming more apparent.

    Things are precisely as bad as you describe, and probably worse, because we are only able to discuss that part of the iceberg that we can see.

    It is dead ahead.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:28:41 AM PDT

    •  Not sure it's Quite as dire (0+ / 0-)

      but, as I said, Scary as Heck. I hope it motivates us to work harder and NOT throw our hands and turn away. We can win, we can do it, but it won;t be easy..but we Have to. interesting I said, lots of diaries in the comments today.

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:45:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What can history tell us? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philinmaine, StrayCat

    It is too early yet for the actions and intent of this administration to directly effect many or most people.   Average citizens will have to suffer in  great numbers before reality dawns and  the barriers to the truth the MSM has erected are broken down.  Doesn't history prove that repression has to effect the masses before the yoke is thrown?

    On a personal note:

    My extended family is relatively astute politically, but the numerous daily emails I receive are jokes, food menus, illnesses and daily minutia, and lack any concern of our country's demise.  We have an agreement that politics are not to be discussed because it may anger or offend.  Well, I've ended my compliance The situation has become too dire.

    I guess I'm not too fun anymore.  Too bad.  Neither is the news.

  •  Diebold is now IN the Gov't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    etorrey, corvo
    and so don't worry about anything other than the party or parties that represent the current corporate form of fascism keeping their power just where they like it--under their control:

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 10:55:07 AM PDT

  •  Shit Phil. (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't need this diary. I've been feeling like you describe for many days now, but I could try to comfort myself by thinking: It's me, I'm depressed, I'm paranoid. Now I read your diary- you and many others are feeling the same way. Things really are terrible. Now I feel worse.

    " Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution." Sen Rob't. Byrd 10/11/02.

    by LEP on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 11:41:48 AM PDT

    •  Great, now when my friends say Dr. Phil (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they won;t mean I'm being obnoxious but a suicide monger...greatttt. Hey, fight the matrix anyway, who knows how the movie will turn out?

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:43:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The up-side is that the USSR... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, redstar
    eventually collapsed. It's increasingly getting to look as if the United States itself is incapable of reform, as was said earlier about the Soviet Union. People talk about how we must "protect the Constitution", but the Constitution is part of the problem, by its giving rural states, with their backward populations, a disproportionately high representation in the Senate.

    The late George Kennan called countries as large as the US "monster states". They are inherently incapable of meeting the needs of their people. Things will have to get worse before they get better, and recovery will only begin when the US breaks up. Since Washington cannot be reformed, the only solution is for states with relatively rational populations to break away from the union.

    Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

    by Alexander on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 11:49:03 AM PDT

    •  As a charter member of the rural backwards (0+ / 0-)

      up your narrow mind. i know what you're saying, red states, blah blah blah and undereducated blah blah blah but horseshit is Shit. People are people and you should meet some. I'll grant you, some areas in MS are way weird but more often than not, rural folks are exceptional human beings and cannot be typecast as you say. Who voted for John Tester anyway? Roy Romer, Harry Truman, Ed Muskie, George mitchell

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:47:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All you have to do is look at an electoral map (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Across the nation, urban areas went for Kerry and rural areas went for Bush. That's a simple fact. (It's possible that Maine is an exception, but it's in New England, after all: hardly the "heartland". Following my line of thinking, New England would make a nice social-democratic country.) But it does not mean that there are not many sensible people who live out in the country.

        Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

        by Alexander on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 01:26:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent diary, by the way (0+ / 0-)
        I forgot to say that before.

        Recently, I watched the TV series 24. This past season ends with the President of the United States being arrested for treason. (Odd how I have never seen that series mentioned at dKos, given how dark its portrayal of our country's leaders is.)

        That got me to thinking: what our real administration has done is actually worse than what the administration in 24 did. For things to be set right in this country, all of the top members of the Bush administration would have to be put in prison for the rest of their lives. But I am certain that every single Democratic senator would be horrified that I even express such a thought. They would feel that such an outcome would have a profoundly demoralizing and disilussioning effect on the American people. (This idea is also recurrently expressed on 24, as a justification for cover-ups.) This same kind of thinking is what kept Gore and Kerry from fighting the theft of their respective elections.

        It is this inability of our Democratic leaders to understand the true evil of today's Republican party and of the corporate media that enables it that make me think that things are as dire as you say.

        Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

        by Alexander on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 01:53:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only thing is, (0+ / 0-)

      if states try to break away, there will be HUGE bloodshed.  Any legislature that voted for secession would be disappeared by its own National Guard within hours.

      •  Who knows what will happen (0+ / 0-)
        If the country goes the way of the Soviet Union, there will be a period of stagnation during which fewer and fewer people believe the official ideology. (In the case of the USSR, it was of course Marxism-Leninism; in the case of the US, it is market fundamentalism combined with American exceptionalism.) Eventually, the will may disappear to fight secession. But this would lie decades in the future... So, of little consolation for the thoughts on this thread.

        Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

        by Alexander on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:25:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Only if one by one (0+ / 0-)

        --besides you are getting ahead of yourself anyway.  We can't even get individuals on Kos to think that the Democratic party has a problem and secede from that, much less a whole state.  

        Baby steps first.  Lets acknowledge that such a rebellion is needed.  We aren't 1/16th of an inch there even among Democrats --- forget everyone else.  We have been placated just enough to make the imagination of that outcome unthinkable --- yet.

        ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

        by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:17:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Eternal vigilence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back in the Cave

    We've been fighting fascism in our own country for almost a century.  The  fascists have cried 'foul' and made us change the rhetoric. (and we stupidly fell for it because we equate liberalism with civility.)

    It will take a long time to get us back to where we were in 1978. (FISA year, and we still had most of the New Deal left.)

    It's like the Gore vs. Bush concept.   Gore wou;d have allowed more corpratization like Clinton did, but we'd have signed the
    kyoto protocol, and we wouldn't be in Iraq.  (We'd also have prevented 9/11/2001 IMO.)

    First we have stop hurting our fellow Americans (and our entire species), then we can start helping them.

    If an undocumented immigrant dies in our military, fighting our wars, may we sing the National anthem in another language at his or her funeral?

    by mungley on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Now We're Starting to Sound Like Them (0+ / 0-)

    when the right wing crazies tried to run Bill Clinton out of office.  And it's understandable but not productive.  What's happening in Washington DC is appalling from the perspective of a consitutional scholar but let's step back and review the situation from the perspective of the "man in the street".

    In 1992, Bill Clinton asked America " Do you feel better off now than you did 4 years ago? " and we all know the result.

    Fact:  American jobs have been downsized, real income is down, personal bankruptcies up.  If it weren't for low-cost goods from China the typical family would feel much worse off and that can't go on forever.

    Fact:  Americas mothers and Fathers and their sons and daughters are being sent overseas to fight a fruitless, yes fruitless, war of shifting objectives none of which are being met.

    Fact:  Career paths for new graduates have just about disappeared.  And a college education is becoming increasingly out of reach for middle and lower class Americans.

    Fact:  Even career military have had enough with their civilian leadership not to mention enlistees who find military service their only option.

    Were it not for the dismal performance of the party in power I would agree with the writer.  But, any group that governs as badly as this one has will surely be thrown out of office.  I would share this writers prognosis if the Bush Administration was making life better and more promising for most Americans.  But again the facts tell us that as a President 70% of Americans think George Bush is not doing a good job.  The Republican controlled congress fares the same.

    Remember the words of one of our greatest Presidents " We have nothing to fear, but fear itself ".  Those of us who would like to see America governed differently must keep these words to heart.

    •  Sometimes i wonder if people read or just read (0+ / 0-)

      what they want to read. I did not say Dems are no better than Rethugs, i'm simply saying winning the next election is not enough and the Dems will need our support even more. I fail to see how I am sounding like them or that in any way I implied the party in power was doing ok. i'm saying the 'public' sees Rethugs and Dems as both 'not so great'..Dems fair a little better and we have a heck of a job ahead of us...not that we shouldn;t Do It,,,Sorry, frustrated when someone 'disagrees' with a point i didn;t make

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 12:55:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't take this personally (0+ / 0-)

        The social/economic philosopher Karl Marx (wrongly blamed for the creation of communism)believed that the capitalist system would collapse due to its internal contradictions. It allows those with excessive wealth to obtain more wealth by buying the political power needed to enable the creation of more wealth for themselves.  Eventually, the wealthy leave so little for everyone else that they are removed from power.  In the US this is done by election, in a monarchy by revolution.

        In the 1920's and 30's when the middle and lower socioeconomic classes were at bottom.  The press represented the interests of their owners.  Except for a few "muckrackers" the intellectual classes were silent.

        I was pointing out that there is ample evidence that the Bush administration's brand of republicanism has pushed the envelope too far and will be crushed by internal contradictions that trigger an electoral wave which will wash over them and float the democrats into power.

        My reading of your piece left me with the impression that the complasence of the MSM might enable the republicans to stay in power, or, if democrats prevailed in the elections they would be forced by the MSM (or more correctly the wealthy owners who control the MSM)to morph into something like the republicans.

        My point is that the Main Stream Media are irrelevant.  The Vichy French controlled the MSM and all of the usual levers of power but they were swept away when the Allies invaded and Germany collapsed in WWII.

        I don't worry about the republicans any more.  Bush/Cheney overreached, they were incompetant and neither were wise enough to learn the many lessons that history has taught us. Whither the Greeks, the Romans, the Napoleanic Emperors, the National Socialists or the the Soviet Union?  If you don't pay attention to history you'll re-live it, said several historians much wiser than me.

        Although they may not believe in it in theory, the Bush Administration is about to be selected out by the evolutionary process.  The democratic party, while not perfect, will be selected in.  Most democrats I know read history, are smart, and care about the least among us.  Certainly not a recipe for repeating the Bush Administration's mistakes.

  •  Impeach, impeach, impeach! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wanna see the Dems grow a fucking SPINE for once and hold Bush Co responsible.  They ought to hold hearings on what evidence Bush was exactly referring to when he made WMD and Bin Laden connection claims.  It sure wasn't the same evidence I looked at.

    "Bad intelligence" my ass.

  •  i have lived overseas for most of the last (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mrcia, corvo, MarketTrustee

    5 years, since shortly after 9/11. i was in NY on that day and across the river in newark for the following few months. have returned only briefly and intermittently since then.

    looking at this from afar i have a slightly different perspective. a few comments:

    1. after 9/11 and for at least 2 years there was nothing but pro-bush propaganda on the media. this included the continuous playing of god bless america over and over at the end of newscasts, sporting events ad nauseam.
    1. major repub events resemble nothing less than soviet union, PRC or hitlerian events. this includes the giant  flags, the elevated platform for the leader, and frequent playing of "patriotic" songs.
    1. the leader's picture everywhere. i am pushing 60 and i have never in my life seen pictures of the president plastered everywhere, from airports to post offices, to schools, to billboards. it's like a banana republic.
    1. the media is terrible. when contrasted to australia and japan, neither of which is a bastion of free expression, the media does not present facts, does not focus on important stories, does no investigation and presents only the "patriotic" line as interpreted by the leader.

    i am not alone in these observations. many foreign friends say the same thing. one lady who escaped from communist hungary says it reminds her of soviet era propaganda. the us people deserve a lot of the blame for this,but even with that there has been a concerted and sophisticated campaign to manipulate us.the neo-cons learned well from their communist adversaries.

    •  Propaganda... (0+ / 0-)
      was invented in the US by Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays. PR was initially developed to counter negative attitudes of the American public towards big business, but was then employed to counter the public's reluctance to intervene in WW I.

      I don't know the history of propaganda in Russia and Germany, but there's a good chance that those countries got their techniques in this department from the Americans, and not the other way around.

      Anyway, at the end of WW II the Germans of course dismantled their propaganda apparatus, but we never dismantled ours.

      There is a fascinating book about this: PR! A Social History of Spin.

      Liberalism is the origin and center of American politics. Thus, to reject liberalism is to reject America.

      by Alexander on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 03:57:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Republicans were smart 30 years ago, they didn't spend all their money on candidates. They spent it on think tanks and the fundamentals of a hertofore unknown noise machine. Never has there been a non-state apparatus with the effective control of the VRWC.

      We need multiple progressive-owned MASS market media outfits immediately.

      These next two elections are the last trumpet.

      If we can't get independant Democrats back into power, we MUST spend our resources creating new, liberal-owned, large-market media.

      If we fail to elect revolutionary candidates over the next two years, we will need the Big Donors to step back from the electoral game and focus their wealth on building a media revolution.

    •  You forget one thing.... (0+ / 0-)

      There has been no vocal, organized and persistent voice of opposition from the other party (the Democrats).  That failure, along with the corruption of the media have what have resulted in the situation that we have.  BOTH of those were necessary.  An unfettered media would have outed the imposters and an opposition willing to go to jail or experience reprisal for the sake of our freedoms would have made this a much less smooth takeover.  A two party system requires opposition or you effectively have one party.

      ..Don't ask "where are the leaders. WE are the leaders!

      by SwimmertoFreedom06 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 06:13:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're not a one party state... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Look at the pathetic state of the Republican party in blue states like California.  The reality is we have a polarized climate with red states growing more ignorant, and blue states growing more enlightened.  The whole problem we have is our whole government system is weighted to give more power to land masses (states) over pure population.  Between gerrymandering in red states, and the whole electoral college/senate, we've given more power to the ignorant red states than they deserve.  And when you really get down to it, it's all about the executive branch.  The only reason we have lurched so far to the right is because our fucked up system meant Bush got elected in 2000 when the popular vote was clearly for Gore.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 05:12:36 PM PDT

  •  So what I want to know, PiMaine, is, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illegitimi non carborundum

    is it really OK for me to use your Nuts and Bolts" title to put on some great* material about how to work booths at events in the summer?

    Like a political candidates booth at a fair or festival?

    I don't care if you post it or I (would be happy to send to you), but it's useful stuff. Please answer.


    As far as the rest of the stuff in your diary. I think about this all the time. Too late or not? It's beyond frightening.

    I believe completely that the number one thing we all can do to prepare for:
    --an uncertain future politically, perhaps containing Soviet Union, dictatorial type repression
    --global warming
    --the next political campaign

    is to:

    Meet locally, in small groups.
    Have potlucks.
    Get to know the other progressive, Dem-type folks in your neighborhood.
    Anything you can do to build community locally.

    Thanks for reading, let me know what you think.

    Be good to each other. It matters.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 07:59:36 PM PDT

    •  Well, since I just came back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from hearing a friend speak who is the Ex. Dir of the Maine chapter of the ACLU and then to our weekly potluck, of course you can use Nuts N Bolts and please post on DKos. Perfect stuff for the summer (and thank you, very kind)

      "This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer". Will Rogers

      by philinmaine on Sat Jun 10, 2006 at 08:32:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okie dokely (0+ / 0-)

        Shall do, (eventually), and will send to you privately, so hopefully you can call attention to it.

        I'll try to "forget" some important part of it (cough), so you can re-post it with that vital information... so it'll be a part of your body of work.

        Great respect for your stuff!

        Be good to each other. It matters.

        by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 02:28:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please do post it, Allison (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We have a number of summer events coming up, and it would be helpful to see a diary on this!

      •  OK... not right this sec (0+ / 0-)

        but it is dy-no-mite, if I do say so myself.

        (Used to earn my living doing booths, it's a real motivatin' factor!)

        PS love the carborundum in your nom de keyboard.

        Be good to each other. It matters.

        by AllisonInSeattle on Sun Jun 11, 2006 at 02:29:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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