The item meriting top attention: "An editorial scheduled to appear on Monday in Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times, calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld."
Do you know of anybody, anywhere, who predicted this earlier than I did?
Ah, but as Tuesday approaches, amid growing suspense, we have no idea what Rovean surprises they have in store. Oh, sure, there is the rank timing of Saddam’s trial sentence. Cute. But don’t expect it to end there. Talk up ahead of time an expectation that targeted communities of minorities will be disenfranchised because of some “regrettable error...” but never in gerrymandered districts, where it doesn’t matter. Always where it will matter most. Ditto the precincts where Diebold machines will (sure as sunrise) give “strange” but un-checkable results.
Make wagers in advance. And ask your friends... “is this the America you grew up in?”
I will repeat myself a lot, passing out ammo. (It’s up to you which bullet may prove effective.) Hence, some reminders to useful themes that will rock back some of your friends. For example, last time I said:
“...whose proteges fill this administration so perfectly that it is the statistical scandal awaiting some reporter's careful analysis. (Find one top security appointee who has not taken copious amounts of petro$ in consultancies etc.)”
But no, there is a worse scandal... (and I’ve mentioned it before)... the number of FBI agents etc who had been re assigned, before 9/11, away from duties protecting us, into tasks sifting through Executive Department filing cabinets looking for indictable offenses to charge against Clinton era officials. A search that came up with absolutely nothing, but lowered our guard at a critical time. Remember this when the subpoenas start flowing at Bush officials, and they whine about the “politics of blame and personal destruction.” We all suffered destruction, in part, because of their obsession with the “politics of blame.”
In any event, I have been begging for years for some prominent democrat to put forward the "pardon challenge." Daring Bush to publicly declare that he will issue no more pardons than his father and Clinton combined. Is that too harsh a thing to ask?
Of course he would refuse. But such a dare could be the most powerful metaphor possible, turning peoples' eyes to the inevitable and bruise his ability to issue an unlimited number of get out of jail free passes. (I'm looking ahead, something democrats really have to get back into the habit of doing.) It is not too early to raise the pardon issue! Indeed, it is the one that will keep W safe from becoming the uttermost “lame duck”. Hundreds, maybe thousands, are reliant on those pardons. They will stay loyal for that reason alone.
Along similar lines: I have long maintained that the Democrats ought to have put together a clear sales pitch, giving full credit to the masterful polemical innovation that helped Newt Gingrich defeat them in 1992 - his Contract With America.
Even if it drew a little mockery for “copy-cat” imitation... big deal! It would have still laid down a distinct and assertive agenda, setting a positive tone and creating a sense of dynamic contrast.
Out of all the suggested campaign issues you’ll find there, I think that one would have been powerful above all others. A plan to establish a new agency and office: the Inspector General of the United States... or IGUS. Independent of BOTH the executive and legislative branches, this uniformed organization could transform the Inspectors General in every US department from mere employees and servants of a cabinet secretary or appointed honcho, into fierce agents of accountability.
Perhaps inconvenient to future decent administrations (republican or democrat), but absolute hell on wheels to a gang of utter rascals.
Now a relevant story about how this administration treats the occasional IG who tries to do his job.
Tucked away in a huge military authorization bill is one of the twenty thousand hidden clauses that are used to bleed us white. In this case, one that gives Stuart Bowen his pink slip. Typical punishment for a good man doing his job.
More election-related stuff:
An interesting opinion piece commenting on the historical similarities between the legislation enabling the Nazi party's rise to dominance in German politics and the U.S. bill known as the 'Enabling Act', which would limit certain U.S. obligations to the Geneva Conventions.