Some time ago I decided not to write about politics anymore, because it just seemed to induce the usual responses from the contrarians among us, and indeed, a couple of my friends told me they actively disliked it when I began ranting. So I tried to remain sanguine as things became more and more outrageous, and each day I sublimated the urge to blast forth on this tiny piece of the internet I get to control.
I can’t take it anymore. I’m just too fucking angry. Please, just leave me to my vitriol if you must, run away in droves until it’s just me here, standing in a puddle hurling epithets at the weather, I won’t blame you. But I need this place to vent, even if I’m repeating the self-evident, or behaving like an utter cliché.
George W. Bush should be sitting in a prayer circle, thanking his lucky goddamn stars for the following: cable TV, cheap DVDs, video games, air conditioning, and the over-scheduled lives of most Americans. If it weren’t for these, the sentient population of the United States would have taken to the streets long ago demanding he be ridden out of town on a fucking rail.
Two things keep him in office: the creature comforts of being an American, and the amount of work hours necessary to keep those creature comforts going. Americans are simply too tired and too distracted to storm Washington, D.C., but in any other society, perhaps any other time in history, he would have suffered the same fate as Oliver Cromwell. As it is, all we can muster is historically-low approval ratings.
Even so, how do all of you deal with what this man has been doing? Giving Scooter Libby a pardon? Blocking all investigation into the Gonzales scandal? Claiming “executive privilege” whenever he damn well pleases? Continuing a pointless war where our countrymen are being slaughtered by the thousands? How do you fit that into your headspace when you hear it on the news? Am I the only one who quakes with rage?
Even his own Republican base is splitting from him, but believe me, they are no friend to any progressive American you know. They are splitting because he isn’t conservative enough – they’re mad Libby didn’t get a full pardon, and they’re furious Bush isn’t even more cruel to illegal immigrants. These are the kinds of people who stand to inherit the mantle when Bush finally begins his mandated slide into Worst Ex-President Ever, which means our battle with these assholes has only begun.
The other night, we went to a fundraising dinner for The Center for Constitutional Rights, the group of lawyers who (among many things) are representing the men held illegally, for no reason, without trial at Guantanamo. The stories of who these prisoners really are, and what the Bush Administration has done to them, read like an Orwellian nightmare. The prevailing wisdom seems to be “they’re all brown, let’s kill them all and let God sort ’em out” and, sadly, you may well think I’m kidding.
Anyway, the CCR has a motto that says “we do things before it’s safe.” They filed a motion in February 2002 on behalf of Guantanamo prisoners who were held and tortured because they were turned in by fellow townsfolk for the ransom money. The CCR was the only group that dared to do it in those dark times, showed the bravery to do what was right, what was essentially American.
As they were giving the presentation at dinner, I sat in the corner and actually started to cry a little. September 11 had fucked me up so badly; in February 2002 I was barely able to tie my own shoes. During the next attack, whenever it may be, will I be able to act differently? Will I be able to summon the bravery that had so clearly left me in the PTSD aftershocks of that horrible winter?
The Bush Administration, in its seemingly unending commitment to cruelty and knuckle-dragging, did its best to keep PTSD reverberating throughout America for five years, and for that, I will hold a lifelong hatred for those horrible men, the same way my Uncle Chuck still curls his lip, his blue eyes dilated with disgust, when he talks about Nixon and Vietnam in the late ’60s.
45% of Americans want Bush impeached. 55% of them want Cheney impeached. That’s about the only good news one can muster, but it’s fools gold – there is no way on god’s green earth the Democrats can summon the nads necessary to rid us of these criminals. It’s almost impossible to fathom: Clinton was impeached because he lied about a blow job; Bush is responsible for thousands dead and the shredding of the Constitution, and we’re stuck living with him through the Modern Dark Ages. When Lucy asks us about this time – and she will – I will have no explanation.