News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Impeachment sucks, but what doesn't these days?

Badlands Blue calls attention to George McGovern's call to impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The web log asks, how in the hell did Bush get re-elected in 2004? The answer is one many of us prefer not to think about. It forces one to address the many levels of betrayal committed in the downward spiral of America into a mindless and shameful Orwellian totalitarianism.

In his call for impeachment, George McGovern gives a comprehensive review of those betrayals and identifies the climate of deception, fear, and intimidation that reduced the world's greatest superpower down to the level of North Korea, Iran, and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. McGovern does not place total blame on the Republican Party, when he says, "The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians."

The Republican Party must get full credit in the election of 2004 for the Swift-boating of John Kerry, the trophy-wifing of Tom Daschle, the moral blackmailing of the people into believing that a criticism of an immoral and dishonest war was a betrayal of our troops. The Republicans used the residual guilt from our treatment of Viet Nam veterans to cow the public into thinking that a criticism of the war was an unpatriotic aspersion cast on our front-line troops. But the Democrats, except for a distinguished few, were craven in their response to this strategy to enthrall the people under a regime of fear and intimidation. Just at the time the nation needed leaders to articulate the moral outrages of the war propaganda and hate rhetoric of the Republicans, the Democrats thought a confrontation on moral grounds would be too divisive.

To many of us, it would have been better to lose the election than to sacrifice the integrity of the American democracy to a regime devoted to obtaining power through military force, spying on its own citizens, and getting implicated in war-profiteering in behalf of its corporate sponsors. The John Kerry and Tom Daschle campaigns both calculated that a majority of voters would see through the Big Brother tactics of deception, intimidation, and fear and vote against the descent into the depths of unjustified, immoral war and its hate propaganda as the basis for national and international policy.

They were wrong.

The American electorate showed that it was as vulnerable to the machinations of the fascist quest for power as the cowering characters in Orwell's novels and the supporters of the regimes in Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. As a result a great nation has lost its moral authority and is quickly being reduced to a third world plutocracy.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton for being less-than-candid about taking blow-job breaks in the Oval Office has, similarly, reduced the idea of impeachment to a petty and nasty process motivated by personal resentments rather than issues of integrity affecting the democratic premise of our nation. To impeach Bush and Cheney would appear to be on the same level as the cheap, tawdry attempt to use the process to politically assassinate Billl Clinton. As George McGovern points out, the offenses against the state of Bush and Cheney far surpass anything that cited for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. And it would do little to rescue our nation from the morass of intellectual and moral failure in which it is currently mired.

The big question is whether the American people are up to the extraction process. Or will they flop on their backs and beg Big Brother to have his way with them as long he promises them security, as happened in 2004?

The Iowa caucuses provide a small glimmer of hope. We have 10 months to decide on whether we want to lift ourselves out of the morass and who is best fit to lead us out of it. Democratic principle and integrity have triumphed in the past and the people have rallied to save the nation from those who want power over the people, not freedom for them.

But we also have a history of Viet Nam, Iraq, and the election of 2004. Great nations do fail at times.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States