Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Old News That Still Upsets

I took my first look at the new Huffington blog this morning, and already I'm feeling that old sense of outrage that boiled up last November and has since died back (somewhat) to a bitter level of bile at the back of my throat, always there and always threatening to rise up and choke me like it did right after the election. The election. The stolen, illegitimate contest in which Preznit Shit For Brains somehow (read: by subterfuge, fraud and cheating) managed to hang on to power for another four years; four years in which he will attempt to gut every successful social program still extant, to pack the judiciary with the most extreme right-wing judges ever seen in this country, to carry on even more deadly and devastating military blunders around the globe, to further degrade the environment of this country and to create a deficit so overwhelming that our children and grandchildren will be unable to fund any sort of government programs that might actually help the average American because they will be so busy paying off our creditors in China and Japan.

Contributor Jim Lampley, the former sports broadcaster, pulls no punches in declaring the 2004 election to be fraudulent and illegitimate. He rightly calls it the "biggest story of our lives," and decries today's docile, bought-and-paid-for mainstream media for ignoring this crisis that he says is bigger than Watergate. I have to agree with him on this. When Watergate happened, we still had effective checks and balances in place to ensure that our country would survive. We still had a legitimate press corps willing to question those in power, to seek out and publish the truth, no matter where the trail might lead. These days, we are subject to blanket coverage of Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson, American Idols and runaway brides, and the media either ignore big issues or simply parrot official talking points and spin. Columnists like John Tierney in the NY Times suggest that the media stop reporting the news out of Iraq in an effort to... what? Make the insurgents stop fighting, or make the American people stop thinking about it? The country as a whole has been (and continues to be) dumbed down, and panem et circenses is the order of the day.

Here's the final paragraph from Lampley's post:

"Karl Rove isn't capable of conceiving and executing such a grandiose crime? Wake up. They did it. The silence of traditional media on this subject is enough to establish their newfound bankruptcy. The revolution will have to start here. I challenge every other thinker at the Huffington Post: is there any greater imperative than to reverse this crime and reestablish democracy in America? Why the mass silence? Let's go to work with the circumstantial evidence, begin to narrow from the outside in, and find some witnesses who will turn. That's how they cracked Watergate. This is bigger, and I never dreamed I would say that in my baby boomer lifetime."

It would appear to the casual observer that this fight may have already been lost. Mention of the 2004 election having been less than above-board usually generates hoots of derision and calls for adjustment of one's tin-foil hat. Yet the evidence is strong that we are now suffering under a second four-year term of illegitimacy, a second stolen presidency, and that there is virtually nothing we can do about it. This is what makes me worried about the future. If they can do it once, they can do it twice. If they can do it twice, why would they ever stop doing it? In a world where honesty and justice prevail, we would already have been rid of that evil clown in the White House. After the shenanigans of the past year, and the plummeting approval ratings of the current arrogant majority, we could also look forward to the Republicans losing seats in both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. But when the game is fixed, you can't count on anything.

It can happen here. It has happened here. It will continue to happen here. We are so fucked.
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