A Call to Action
The problem with our glorious Constitutional system of checks and balances is that when one side rigs the ENTIRE system (judges appointing Presidents, gerrymandering Congressmen needing only 40% to win a majority, Members of Congress not being allowed to read bills, debate legislation, or investigate Presidential actions, the President lying to Congress, Congress failing to obey its own rules, all three branches conducting secret proceedings, increasing one-party control of the media), there literally is no way out absent a true landslide victory for the opposition party or massive civil disobedience of the kind that happened in the 1960’s or is happening now in Ukraine. The system is broken. We are seeing the Constitution start to fail us as One-Party Rule begins to consolidate itself. And it is scary. George Orwell was right, just 20 years too soon.
The comments of a conservative contributor to this blog persuaded me that the Democrats must step up action aggressively. The blogger found it extremely difficult to believe Kerry’s concession if there was a chance Kerry could win. He suggests that “EVERY Democratic US House of Representative and Senator” would cause government gridlock if that were the case.
And his question is powerful and applies even more to Gore in 2000 than Kerry today. “If the election was unfair,” we may ask “why didn’t every Democratic House and Senate member call for gridlock?” It’s an apt question. Why not, indeed?
That was exactly my point in 2000 when I, and thousands of others who followed my lead, called for the complete filibuster of ALL Bush judges until we could have a President selected by WE THE PEOPLE rather than five lawless Supreme Court judges.
But the Democrats rejected my aggressive position and decided to accept the lawless, undemocratic Supreme Court ruling “for the good of the country.”
But see? The conservative blogger is unwittingly teaching us something here. The right-wing attacks when there is nothing there (Swift Boats) and takes stuff wildly out of proportion (“Rather-Gate”) while Democrats, working for the good of the country, swallow a lawless coup d’etat.
We can’t do this anymore. If we cave in, the right-wing and middle America will respect us LESS and destroy us MORE. They are uncompromising in victory or defeat. We must be the same.
The right-wing that controls our Government did not respect Kerry’s positive campaigning or positive convention. The right-wing does not respect Democratic attempts to bring this country together. The right-wing did not respect Gore’s (or Kerry’s) concessions even though Gore won the election and Kerry has chances to win (albeit very small). Gore and Kerry thought they were falling on their sword for their country, in the hopes that it would bring our country together. But NO right-wing Presidential candidate would have done this, not since Nixon (who would be considered uber-liberal today).
The right-wing ONLY respects us when we aggressively defend our rights and principles. They only listen in the slightest when we create gridlock, cause a media uproar, and/or take to the streets. If we try to compromise, the Republicans will not only completely ignore us and trash our principles, they will even roll over their own moderates.
They will not stop until we have a nation that transfers practically all wealth from the poor and middle class to massive corporations and require us all to live by strict fundamentalist law as defined by Jerry Falwell. Massive debt. Massive censorship. Few, if any, student loans. No more Social Security. No more separation of Church and State. No more “equal protection under the law.” Little liberty to criticize the government. Little knowledge of what happens in government at all, as the government meets in secret and the media is converted to yes-men.
I guess the goal is to make us all pledge allegiance to an unburnable flag of the United States of America, and to the un-criticizable dictatorship for which it would stand: two unequal nations under Falwell’s God, divisible into those with power and those with none, with no more liberty or justice for anyone (except those that bribe the Government).
The only way to stop the right-wing juggernaut is massive, aggressive, hard-hitting gridlock. That’s why Nancy Pelosi’s demand that Members of Congress be allowed to READ bills before voting on them and her refusal to accept a unanimous vote until the Republicans accede to her demand is so important.
We need to push Pelosi to go farther. Democrats in Congress SHOULD OBSTRUCT EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE (including a complete shut-down of the government) until the Republicans agree to end martial law and OBEY CONGRESSIONAL RULES ALLOWING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TIME TO READ AND DEBATE BILLS BEFORE VOTING ON THEM.
It’s a simple demand, it’s a basic principle, and I’m confident that the American People will rally behind it, even if it means not increasing the debt ceiling and shutting down the Government. The Democrats need to do this now. And you can encourage them to do so with your phone calls.
Gridlock is our only answer. The Republican blogger has unwittingly convinced me of this, and he should convince you of it as well. This Government does not respect compromise. It only respects power. And we must fight the power with power.