At my DailyKos blog I’ve started posting segments copied from my posted article on “Suggestions to the new Congress”. Although you folks have seen it all, you are welcome to weigh in there (and possibly boost my Kos ratings). Certainly the topics merit further exposure. Right now we are discussing suggestions 1,2,3 which are about investigating corruption.
There I only hinted at what I think would be the cleverest gambit of all. To try and HEM IN President Bush's power to issue vast numbers of "get out of jail free" pardons.
There are several ways to do this without attracting automatic cancellation by the Supreme Court. Any solution must not infringe on his actual right to pardon. And yet, with sufficient cleverness, it should be possible to...
option 1- Hem him in POLITICALLY. A top Dem should issue a dare. "Will you promise not to pardon more people than the previous two presidents COMBINED?"
The idea is to put him between a rock and a hard place. If he accepts the dare (unlikely) each of his myriad corrupt cronies will worry whether their promised pardon will make it under the cutoff. They may contemplate whether to instead take the bird in front of them - if Democratic Congressional committees start offering immunity for testimony.
If (more likely) he refuses to make the promise, then a seed of wonder is planted in millions of American voters minds, about just what he may have in mind for after the 08 elections.
At minimum, it will enhance the political damage when (not if) he issues the pardon tsunami,
option 2. Hem in the DEFINITION of a"pardon". Congress may be able to get past the Supremes a definition that restricts a pardon's ability to let a bastard get off scott free. For example: "A pardon can only apply to actions that a person openly admits and avows. It must specify whatever illegal actions it is meant to cover. Furthermore, the person pardoned must testify and answer questions, in order to qualify for complete erasure of responsibility."
This would still let this monstrous cabal of thieves pardpn wretched-awful SOBs who have been ripping us off, saving them from going to prison. That can’t be helped. But it would mean that they must testify (perhaps in the original, latin meaning of the word!) They must point fingers at others. And restitution of ill-gotten gains would remain a possibility.
Above all, by drawing attention to the approaching pardon tsunami NOW, we would put it up front in the public's mind. They will start viewing items in the news in this light and perceive patterns. It is something to start pondering now.
Other matters: See http://blog.mercury-rac.com/ for an interesting review of Reinventing the Bazaar: A natural history of markets, written by John McMillin of Stanford’s School of Business. I haven’t read the book, but it sounds interesting. Can we deputize someone here to go look at it and report?.
And finally: YOUR NEXT ASSIGNMENT IN THE POLITICAL BESTIARY!
Apparently, some folks in my area are willing to start reconsidering their policy of trying to run classic Santa Monica liberals in districts that have been gerrymandered to be conservative by personality. When I wrote to our recent democratic candidate, Francine Busby: "Help recruit military veterans who can resonate with local voters and LOOK conservative... while being faithful to core liberal values..."
She responded: "If you are aware of anyone who is a good match and is interested, please let me know."
Aha. A counter-dare. Fair enough. Let's all ponder, then.
I know that by now all of you have chosen an "ostrich conservative" -- a decent person who remains obstinately delusional about the neocons -- to clamp onto like a lamprey and never let go until they open their eyes. And you are all spreading this meme, recruiting others to be ostrich-awakeners. I have faith in you all and I know you won't let us down.
Now another task: look around you for another creature in the zoo. Look for a mongoose!
A mongoose is a person who has utter toughness and willingness to face cobras, combined with big-hearted ability to stand up for the little guy. Ideal are former military men or women, who convey the surfaces of old-fashioned, patriotic and crewcut conservatism -- and certainly adhere to the best values from that side of things -- while also being open-eyed aware of what's going on around us and eager to strengthen the one institution in American life that stands of chance of saving this country -- The Democratic Party. These are the candidates we need to find for every gerrymandered GOP district. So that when folks in such inherently (by personality) conservative districts are fed-up and looking around in 2008, we won't make the insanely self-destructive mistake of forcing them to choose between Dick Cheney and Ellen Degeneris.
All of you. Find a mongoose and start twisting his or her arm to consider running for office in 2008. It is NOT TOO SOON!
Of course, given the odds, maybe you should talk to five or six of them. That's why we must start now. It's a talent search that could take some time.