4/04/2005

DeLay watch..."Let the games begin"

From Digby's blog:
This Tom DeLay mess is really getting interesting, isn't it? While I appreciate the "don't fire 'til you see the whites of their eyes" strategy, after some thought I've decided that it's probably a good idea for the Democrats to put pressure on Delay right now. As a matter of fact, I think it will ensure that the wingnuts continue to support him and that he stays in the news and in his post well into the 2006 election cycle. Nothing will make the radicals more vociferously defend their wounded leader than a bunch of Democrats attacking him. And I think that we want the extreme rightwing to be defending Tom DeLay, especially the Randall Terrys and the James Dobsons, as often as possible. We especially want to see those guys on Fox News. A lot. And here's why. Something happened during the Schiavo circus, I think, and it was something significant. But it wasn't that the nation saw that politicians were all a bunch of craven opportunists. They already knew that. It was that the Republican professional class, the libertarians and some common sense types saw FOX News and talk radio as being full of shit for the first time. I have nothing but a handful of anecdotes to back that up, but I think Schiavo may turn out to be the first big tear in the right wing matrix. For instance, a conservative doctor of my acquaintance was stunned by the Schiavo matter. This man watches nothing but Fox news and could not believe the anti-intellectual religiosity of their coverage. This is a matter that he knows intimately and he could see clearly that the coverage wasn't "fair and balanced." Indeed, it wasn't true. It's as if a veil fell from his eyes. My conservative Rush loving neighbor was heard complaining the his hero didn't know what he was talking about on the Schiavo case. That is a first. This guy is a true believer --- who also has a very sick wife. My nurse sister-in-law (also a born again Christian and avid FOX watcher) insisted that all the news be turned off in the house because she couldn't stand the exploitation of the patient or the sideshow outside that hospice. She's very depressed about all this. See, the right isn't like us. They think that the so called liberal media is irretrievably biased but believe what they see, read and hear on their own media. We on the left, on the other hand, have no faith in any mainstream media, really, or any alternative media either for that matter. We have developed the habit of culling from various sources and analyzing the information ourselves as best we can. Even then we are very skeptical. Nothing that the media could do would particularly shock or disappoint us. No so with the other side. A fair number of them are actually hurt and bewildered by what they saw in the Schiavo matter. I suppose it's possible that this will fade and that nobody will remember the bizarre spectacle of these urbane, cosmopolitan news celebrities on television spouting lines from Elmer Gantry or Rush clumsily sputtering about the culture of life, but once people have been shocked like this they don't fully trust again. I think there may be quite a few Republicans who were surprised by the complete abdication of responsible coverage by their own trusted Wurlitzer. It's one thing to get behind jingoistic nationalism and shut your eyes and ears to anything that disturbs that vision of your government. Most wingnuts have a bizarre belief that the government must know best when it comes to national security, despite all evidence to the contrary. But, to see your trusted media blow it so hugely on a personal issue about which most of us have very definite opinions and are pretty well informed, must be quite jarring. Liberals have been hung for decades with the alleged radicalism and extremism of the new left of 35 years ago. But it's not as if we ever made Abbie Hoffman the majority leader of the House. Tom Hayden never ran for president. Today we have a corrupt GOP congressional leader who is now actively embracing a shift in the separation of powers and he's being supported by an active extremist constituency inside the Republican party. The fringe appears to be wielding a tremendous amount of power...Over at Daily Kos I read that four senators have sponsored an act that "makes it possible for the Congress to charge any judge with a crime who disagrees with the concept that all law, liberty, and government comes only from God."...The House has 18 co-sponsors for their versions of the same bill...Apparently, we are entering a new phase in the culture war that should be startling to even those who didn't see that partisan witch hunts, bogus impeachments and stolen elections indicated a certain, shall we say, imaginative interpretation of our constitution and a willingness to radically exceed any previous limits on partisan power. Now that these nutcases have political power it becomes clear that their beef with the judiciary has actually always been that it operates more or less independently of the political process and that means they cannot completely control it, which is the real problem. When you are running a strongarm operation, ("the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior") partisanship or ideology really doesn't matter anymore. It's a pure power game and it clearly applies to conservative Republicans as much as it applies to liberal Democrats...So, we are dealing with a very powerful constituency of religious nuts now doing the muscle work for a criminal political gang. And it would appear that nobody is safe, not even those who sign the blood oath to the Republican Party. The slimy criminals and the self-righteous religious zealots have formed their own power center right smack dab in the middle of the Republican Party. I say let the games begin. This has been brewing for quite some time. This undemocratic streak in the GOP waxes and wanes but it has been dramatically on the upswing for the last decade or so. But this time the radical Republicans are piping their revolution straight into homes and cars and offices all over this country and it's starting to freak out the normal people. I've been shouting myself hoarse about this for more than ten years. These self-proclaimed revolutionaries are exactly what they say they are and they do not respect the spirit of democracy, the rule of law or our constitution. That they are supported by so-called conservatives just makes the irony that much richer.

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