Today I read Paul Burka’s Texas Monthly article “Without Delay” that told the tale of the rise and fall of Tom Delay, a man whose every friend, ally and associate seem to be felons. It’s all icing on a very depressing cake.
The more I read the more depressed I become about the state of politics in America. My brother and I were recently discussing the potential for Democrats to take one or both houses of Congress back this year. The polls look good. Wave after wave of scandals are breaking on a seemingly daily basis. Bush’s staff are leaving like rats fleeing a sinking ship and yet, I’m not hopeful.
People want the bastards thrown out, but I worry that they don’t want to throw out their own bastards, only the bastards in the other districts that waste government money by bringing the bacon home to other people.
We’re seeing yet another problem inherent in our two-party system. Republicans are willing to defend the very things that they would consider indefensible if they were being perpetrated by a Democrat president. I can’t imagine how anyone can honestly say that they think it’s a good thing that Bush is allowing the NSA to spy on Americans, that Bush’s aides should be allowed to out covert agents and still keep security clearance, that Americans would ever – EVER – justify the use of torture, that the government would eliminate due process protections at whim, that… well, the list is long and time is short.
The sad thing is that our representatives in congress let this happen by abdicating their constitutional responsibility to check the executive. Since the Republicans control congress they will always make excuses for all abuses. We see that Republicans clearly love their party and their power more than they love their country. It’s a sickening sight.
Now, I am not foolish enough to think that Democrats are naturally less corrupt. Power breeds corruption and the problem is that the Republicans are the party in power, and they have a dangerous lock on that power. The most dangerous aspect of it lies in the fact that any who suggest that the constitution is being gutted are labeled terrorists, traitors, dangerous. This from the party of strict constructionists. This from the party that once wanted less government and more individual freedom.
The Bush problem is one of either incompetence or crookedness, or more likely both. At this point, the only way to address this problem is accountability of the kind Americans were not wise enough to demand in 2004. That accountability can be acheived through divided government, which is why anyone who truly cares about the direction of this country, about competent leadership, and indeed the constitution itself should be supporting Democrats this fall.
It’s not about being liberal or conservative anymore, it’s about ensuring that our government doesn’t continue its ineptness or devolve into a truly autocratic regime. We’ve already seen the dangers of the former and we’re closer than we probably realize to the latter.