Posted by Senator in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Mar 05th 2006, 12:26 AM
I've been asked to create a (votable) thread for this.
It is my reaction to the Harper's Magazine Impeachment event from Thursday night. I found the discussion there brought a specific problem into sharp relief:
We all know what needs to happen, but we seem at a loss for "how to make in so."
The original thread is here.
From Mr. Conyers's blog:
We had a rousing and informative evening last night in New York at the impeachment forum hosted by Harpers Magazine. ...
There was a lot of discussion about how impeachment should be presented, how we develop more support -- among Members and in the Media, and most importantly, where we go from here...
I have no doubt that not only would we take back the House and the Senate, but that we would be able to hold the Bush Administration accountable for their mistatements, misteps, and yes, their lies...
I think last night was a milestone. It was so gratifying to see all of our hard work in action outside the beltway...
Since I was lucky enough to be in attendance, I want to report that the most "rousing" part of the evening -- bringing the audience to their feet -- was the introduction of Mr. Conyers himself.
And while I'll agree that the event was a milestone, I must also agree with the lukewarm reaction of the Salon reporter. Mainly because there was very little from the panel on what Mr. Conyers identifies in his entry here as most important: "where we go from here."
And this is where I must take issue and be frank; because the "where" is not in question. Mr. Conyers held the "where" in his hand; a special committee to investigate charges. It is the "how" that is in question and "develop more support" is not specific enough to be actionable. While I don't claim to have any magic bullet, I would like to suggest where the discussion was lacking on this issue because I think these failures are pervasive (on the left) and, at least to some degree, correctable.
So is most important "how do we proceed?" No, MOST important is "what do we do about it right now!" And there is a big difference between those 2 phrases.
To illustrate I'll report the fuller context of Mr. Conyers's phrase (above) - "and yes, their lies." There was a well-received question from the audience lamenting that none of the panelists used the word "lied." The point needs to be well taken that we've all been trained to speak (and therefore think) in euphemisms; particularly those who speak publicly. Screaming "imminent conflagration" will not compel a movie house crowd to move to safety.
Former Congresswoman Holtzman illustrated a different failure. She remains convinced that "more information" can solve the problem. When enough people "know," they will rise up. Like many on the left, she refuses to accept the fact that only the "reality-based community" prizes knowledge above belief. We cannot "teach" our way to impeachment.
Mr. Lapham, after reading the Conyers report, has correctly concluded intellectually that there is a "slam dunk" case and that our nation is in peril. Therefore he politely lays the burden to act on the Congress, in their collegial, non-partisan capacity as oath-takers. (Insert your own joke/expletive here.)
Mr. Rattner is pursuing and recommends a "legal" solution. While it may be helpful to have the regime "found guilty" of some crime in some court, he urged to panel to focus on the most easily provable (already proven?) impeachable offense(s). He has published a cogent, precise brief of only the clearest violations. Thereby giving them less to fight back against?!?
And of course the entire evening was peppered to some degree with our usual rationalizations for inaction: "but we'll just get Cheney" -- "we must wait 'till we take the house" -- "what about electoral backlash." Not to mention the lobby talk about futility, being doomed, and confident pronouncements of "never gonna happen."
So, how do we overcome this -- what do we do right now?
Get violent. (Come again?!?) No, not physically violent. Rather intellectually, politically, and rhetorically violent. We are dealing with fascist thugs/cowards and must deal with them and their tactics accordingly. The public and euphemedia must be slapped to attention and our "leaders" and/or the perpetrators must be forced and/or frightened into action and/or surrender.
This violence is in self-defense. These people don't listen to reason. In fact, they pride themselves on their preference for "belief." Labels like theocracy, monarchy, totalitarian, and authoritarian are irrelevant -- it's all some form of fascism; the conviction that some minority has a right to rule the majority. Whether it's based on divine right, a master race, a family dynasty, or a power theory makes absolutely no difference.
It is Anti-American. And it needs to fought, not managed.
We need to make "violent use" of whatever means we have.
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