Friday, September 29, 2006

Four Reactions To Our New Overlords


I've run this cartoon before, but yesterday's repeal of the American Revolution calls for it again. The Congressional sycophancy provoked -- well, mostly apathy out there, because "it's not me they'll be using those powers against". The best, and most frightening, thing I've ever read about that inertia was Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free, about how the ordinary Germans accepted Nazi rule.

On the web, of course, we're polarized into praise for our Leader -- from the far wrong wing nuts -- and, from everyone else, anger, despair, fear, and a few glimmers of dutiful belief that it just has to get better if we keep on trying. Amygdala takes the literal Thomas Jefferson approach (unaware that Tom has already been rounded up and sent to Gitmo, secretly, of course) at Come Arrest Me:
Overthrow this government. By force.

Detain me.

All of you need to stand up and say this. Now.

Because it's going to be later, if not sooner.

I call for the overthrow of the government of the United States of America. By force.

Until this bill is overturned.

I don't want to wait until I pass a border.

I call for the overthrow now.

I resist.
Unclaimed Territory says we have done some good in opposing this at Beltway Democrats are seriously flawed, but the election is still critically important:
And I think there is one other point that needs to be recognized about yesterday's vote: In 2002, virtually all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Kerry, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham) voted for the Iraq war resolution, because they thought they had to be accommodationist in order to have a chance to win.

But this time, all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls in Congress (Biden, Clinton, Feingold, Kerry) voted against this bill, because now they know that they can't be accommodationist if they want to win the nomination. Call that the Joe Lieberman Lesson. That is genuine progress, no matter how you slice it. Is it glorious, tearing-down-the-gate-with-fists-in-the-air Immediate Revolution? No. But it's undeniable incremental progress nonetheless.
The Poor Man agrees we have to keep working to defeat Republicans at The morning after:
The bottom line is the votes weren’t there. The day was lost.

Basic mathematics explains why. Only 2-3% of the representatives of the majority party voted against it, as opposed to 75-85% of the minority. It would have been nice if, under circumstances carefully contrived by the majority party to be as politically difficult as possible, 100% of the minority went down to defeat. It would have been nice if any of the 15 trojan horse amendments introduced by the Democrats had suceeded. And a pony, if you please. But that didn’t happen, and so we have to settle for defeat, and a Democratic rate of opposition only 30 times as high as the Republican.

From our history: the Fugitive Slave Act, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the internment of Japanese-Americans. Now the McCain Torture Bill - and this, too, shall pass. Now, whether it will pass into a shameful memory, or be overshadowed by still greater outrages on every alternate September, remains to be seen. What will most determine this is what party controls the aparatus of government - the party of 97-98% authoritarianism, or the party of 15-25%. Because if the Republicans are in control in 2008, and want to further degrade the country in order to hold on to the Congress and the White House, they will be proposing something which is as unthinkable today as the normalization of Abu Ghraib was two years ago - and the same merciless math assures us that this, too, shall pass. So, if this possibility concerns you, of fucking course it matters who wins in November. Look at the numbers. It matters more than anything.
The Mahablog agrees as well, but also has advice for those who are just too fed up or fearful to try at Choices:
I see a Dem takeover of Congress this November as a stopgap measure. Even if Dems take both houses of Congress we face enormous challenges to pull the nation back from the brink and restore our pathological political culture to something approaching health. But if the Republicans keep control of both houses of Congress, the task of saving our nation may become impossible.

Time is short. We cannot afford to sit on our hands and wait for the Messiah Candidate to come and save us. We've got to work with the tools we have. Once we've pulled back from the brink of disaster we can take steps to get better tools. ...

If you still aren't persuaded then — Canada is north.
Foolishly or not, I'm very involved in helping Democratic candidates beat the Repugnants this fall (and I'm also voting for a few Libertarians in races where no Democrat challenged the Pluripotent Presidential Party). If worse does come to worst, and Jefferson's "right to alter or abolish" is all we have left, I probably won't flee (and if I did, Mexico is much closer). Texans have revolted against tyranny more than once in the past. The question is how many of the residents of the state today would still be willing rebels, or how many would rather just reach for the remote.

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