Well... something must be giving at last, because I have been invited to spend 20 minutes on Air America on Friday morning -- 8am Eastern Time (rush hour) -- on a show hosted by Wes Clark Jr., son of the man John Kerry should have chosen as his running mate, back in 2004.
The chief topic will be a drum I have been beating for four years, but only recently getting any echoes... The Bush Administration's War Against Professionalism.
Remarkably, this one phrase subsumes so much that had puzzled us about the neoconservatives' disparate - but always malignant - agenda. The Republican War on Science. Their brutal repression of the brave men and women of the United States Officer Corps. Their suborning and diversion and discrediting of the intelligence and law enforcement communities. Their relentless savaging of the civil service and their studied evisceration of the Foreign Service. And so on.
How else could anyone explain the Hurricaine Katrina debacle? Or the one in Iraq. Suddenly, the right wing, which had spent decades whining that "we lost Vietnam because of meddling by clueless, draft-dodging politicians," seems unable to mouth those same words any longer.
My chief point for years has been that the democrats need this issue. They need it because:
1) It would strike middle-ground and even "decent conservative" Americans as eminently fair, provable, and profoundly apolitical -- standing completely outside of the normal (and lame) so-called "left-right axis."
2) It would offer succor and help to the Bushites' greatest victims, the professionals who have sworn to serve and protect us and to manage a complex civilization with their skill and attention to real law.
3) It would encourage those professionals to stand up to the bullies who have been appointed over them. The partisan attack dogs and brainless, dogmatic hacks who were annointed by this president to badger and berate and over-rule and divert and castrate the people who we pay to keep us a nation of laws.
And if the professionals do stand up? Then more truth will be told, more doors will open and more windows. MORE professionals will feel encouraged to blow whistles. More light will spread...
... and the demons of this long night will recede like the parasites they are...
...leaving decent citizens to get on with the Great Experiment. And Not only liberal Americans! Because (again) this is NOT about left and right, as much as Karl Rove wants it to be. Banishing these monsters won't end conservatism, but rather leave behind a conservative movement that can awaken from its madness, and return to the virtues of - say - Barry Goldwater. Decency and reciprocal respect and fair negotiation and - above all - a willingness to see other Americans as partners you can negotiate with. Not enemies to be stomped flat.
Tune in! Record it for that "ostrich" you've been working on. I don't claim to be a miracle man. But any Cassandra lives for those moments when the Trojans seem to rouse their heads and listen.