The gentle journey jars to halt,
The drifting dream is done;
The Deadly, that we thought were dead,
Stand waiting, every one.
(Walt Kelly, For Lewis Carroll and the Children)
The political news, to be frank, has been so unrelentingly ghastly as to render me speechless for some weeks. Instead, I've retreated happiily to spending my creative time in the 12th century with Eleanor of Aquitaine, researching, drawing and writing an eight page web comic for submission to DC's Zuda comics project. Now I emerge from my marmot hole to find Bush still posturing (if a bit stiffly), and Cheney still grabbing more and more power for the Executive, his delayed revenge for the Church committee's reining in the CIA. Al Qaeda thrives in the environment created for them by a clumsy America. Gonzales is gone, but Michael Mukasey can't quite bring himself to say that a president can't break the law. These things anger us, but we cannot claim surprise; these are all cases of a scorpion acting like a scorpion, true to its nature.
Worse than these, perhaps, is the Congress' inability to put the brakes on an monarchist president. They don't have the votes, even for something as clear cut as Bush's veto of health insurance for poor children while spending billions in Iraq. How, then, will they find enough members to understand what's at stake in Bush's suspension of habeas corpus, rendition and torture without hindrance, domestic spying without judicial oversight? This mealy-mouthed generation of Democrats cannot rebel without asking permission first, or apologizing afterwards.
"Trust me", says the scorpion when he asks the frog for a ride across the river, and then when he stings the frog, the frog is naive enough to profess surprise. Again and again, President Bush has told the Congress, "Trust me to know what I'm doing," ignored their edicts, and used "signing statements" (more than all other presidents combined) to make bold his intention to do exactly what he wanted to do in the first place. Is this not "contempt of Congress"?
Wake me when they're ready to recognize that Bush's coup has reached the level of "treason, high crimes and misdemeanor". We cannot impeach the creature for simple incompetence-- that's the American people's fault, in voting for him-- but how can it be that this popinjay has skated over the law again and again, without breaking the ice?