Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bizzaro World

Four years ago next month marks the anniversary of our descent through a rip in the space time continium into Bizzaro World. How do I know this? Because the real President of the United States gave a speech today. An inciteful, honest and incredibly necessary speech. It's a compelling and depressing laundry list of the lies and malicious fallacies which have brought us the edge.
At the urging of the Bush White House, Republican leaders in Congress have even taken the unprecedented step of routinely barring Democrats from serving on many important conference committees, and then allowing lobbyists for special interests to actually draft brand- new legislative language introduced in conference committees, language that has not been considered or voted upon in either the House or the Senate.

It has also become common for President Bush to rely on special interests for his basic information about the policies important to them. And he trusts what they tell him over any contrary view that might emerge from public debate. He has in effect outsourced the truth.

Most disturbing of all: his contempt for the rule of reason and his early successes in persuading the nation that his ideologically based views accurately describe the world have now tempted him to the hubristic an genuinely dangerous illusion that reality is itself a commodity that can be created with clever public relations and propaganda skills; and, where specific controversies are concerned, simply purchased as a turnkey operation from the industries most affected.

George Orwell said, and I quote, "The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue. And then when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right." Intellectually it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time. The only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality -- usually on a battlefield.
- - - -
A former Republican governor of Minnesota, Elmer Andersen, announced in Minneapolis that for the first time in his life he was abandoning the Republican Party in this election because Bush and Cheney, in his words, "believe their own spin. Both men spew outright untruths with evangelistic fervor," end quote. He attributed his switch to President Bush's, quote, "misguided and blatantly false misrepresentations of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The terrorist seat," he said, "was Afghanistan. Iraq had no connection to this act of terror, was not a serious threat to the United States, as this president claimed, and there was no relation, it is now obvious, to any serious weaponry." Governor Andersen was also offended, he said, by Bush's, quote, "phony posturing as cocksure leader of the free world," period, end quote.

Now, Andersen and many other Republicans are joining with Democrats and millions of independents this year in proudly supporting the Kerry-Edwards ticket. In every way, John Kerry and John Edwards represent an approach to governing that is the opposite of the Bush-Cheney approach. Where Bush remains out of touch, Kerry is a proud member of the reality-based community. Where Bush will bend to his corporate backers, Kerry stands strongly with the public interest.

My friends, there are now 15 days left before our country makes this fateful choice for us and the whole world, and it is particularly crucial for one final reason: the last feature of Bush's ideology involves ducking accountability for his mistakes. He has neutralized accountability by the Congress by intimidating the Republican leadership and transforming the Republican majority into a true rubber stamp, unlike any that has ever existed in American history. He has appointed right-wing judges who have helped to insulate him from accountability in the courts. And if he wins again, he will likely get to appoint up to four Supreme Court justices. He has ducked accountability from the press with his obsessive secrecy and refusal to conduct the public's business openly. So there is now only one center of power left in our Constitution and in our country capable of at long last holding George W. Bush accountable, and it is you, the voters. There are 15 days left. Help me and help John Kerry and John Edwards take our country back. Thank you.
I firmly believe that if Dubya is reelected this country will enter a period of upheaval. Of revolution.

Ed Koch was on The Daily Show last night. He is voting for George Bush even though he disagrees with every single one of Bush's domestic policies. His feeling is that the war on terrorism is more important than anything else. But is it really? Is it more important than our civil liberties? Is it more important than the health of our citizens? Is it more important than a strong economy? Is it more important than truth, compassion or reason? Isn't this rush to war exactly what a terrorist would want? For us to throw away all that makes this country great in order to fight an enemy we don't even bother to take the time to understand.

If George W. Bush is reelected on November 2nd, the terrorists won't be the ones destroying this country. Bush will.

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