Saturday, January 13, 2007

In case of emergency, break glass


Living in America is a surreal nightmare. It’s the plot of a 1960s bargain bin novel written by some hack who tried to come up with a modern day version of 1984, only it’s worse than he ever imagined.

In his weekly radio address, Bush railed at the Democratic congress to either put up an alternative plan for Iraq or shut up. Is the President channeling Ronald Reagan? What about the Iraq Study Group plan? Or John Murtha’s proposals? Or probably a dozen other alternatives out there to sending in additional troops? Bush doesn’t want another plan unless it involves nuclear weapons and a fancy new uniform. Even his plan isn’t a plan. It’s a delaying tactic to try and prolong the madness just long enough to pack up and catch the first plane to Crawford in 2008.

And then there’s this. On an upcoming 60 minutes, Bush will tell correspondent Scott Pelley that he doesn’t care what the Democratic Congress tries to do; he’ll send the troops anyway. The boy has gone crazy. Either he doesn’t know this is a democracy, he doesn’t know what a democracy is, or he doesn’t give a shit. It’s probably a combination of the three.

WHY CAN'T SOMEBODY STOP HIM? George Bush is mentally impaired and he is pulling this country into the abyss with him. Is there no recourse for stopping a madman in the Oval Office? I’m not even talking about long, drawn out impeachment hearings, but an emergency button behind the Speaker of the House’s desk that says, “In case the President is insane, break glass”?

I always thought our system of checks and balances was a work of political art, a nearly flawless balancing act that would always keep everyone honest. How naïve could I be? What we know now is that it only works if everyone plays by the same rules. If the President or Congress or the judicial branch decide to ignore precedent and even the law, all bets are off. The soft underbelly of our system has been exposed and exploited.

I’m sure there were many people out there who, after the November elections, thought, “Whew. Now we have a Democratic Congress and Bush only has two years left. How much damage can he do?” Well, let me tell you, it’s more than any of us can imagine.

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