Does it even matter that the Bush Administration gets busted in its BS?

Over the past number of years the Bush Administration has been slapped silly by people who have caught them in their lies (e.g., weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, nuclear development for war in Iran, torture), fear mongering, violations of the Establishment Clause (e.g., millions in faith-based initiatives), breaking international covenants (e.g., regarding torture), suppression of dissent, favouring the super rich over everyone else while the medical system underserves those without insurance (including war veterans) and many are living below the poverty line), curtailing individual rights of citizens and foreigners (e.g., NSA wire-tapping, email surveillance, incarceration of indeterminate length without habeas corpus, secret international internment camps, violation of international laws on incarceration), administrative intransparency (or opacity), unaccountability, floundering economy, astronomical spending on war, failure to comply with the Kyoto Accord, illegally and unethically exposing the identity of a CIA agent as a punishment for her husband’s criticisms of the administration (which endangers both of their lives), vetoing stem cell research, and on and on and on…

Bush has been lambasted by major news figures such as Keith Olbermann, huge gatherings of protesters around the world, thousands upon thousands of bloggers, major newspapers, countless authors, lobby groups such as the ACLU, international agencies, international allies, the family of soldiers and 9/11 victims, military personnel of all ranks, and television figures like David Letterman, John Stewart, Bill Maher, and most notably by Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert deserves special mention as the performance he gave at the 2006 White House Correspondents Association Dinner will stand out as an icon of the Bush years. It is often said that the jester can say things to the king that others cannot get away with. How Stephen Colbert managed to pull off what he did is astonishing. Completely filleting Bush and the administration for 24 minutes with tongue-in-cheek mock praise in front of many of the administration’s members, thousands of the most powerful people in the world (e.g., members of the Supreme Court, high ranking military personnel, CIA, major media, business elite, etc.), and many many more on C-Span (and lets not even get into how many have watched on YouTube and GoogleVideo), Stephen Colbert set a new standard for relentless unforgiving subversiveness.

As the administration is exposed in front of the world time after time we cheer with invigoration as we watch the ugly truth of an ugly administration come out. But how much has any of this mattered? Countless news analysts, columnists, authors, bloggers, investigative journalists, military personnel, television personalities, lobby groups, international agencies, national governments, war protestors across the globe, television personalities, 9/11 survivors and families, military families, and a staggering majority of Americans have stood is staunch opposition for the administration for years. Yes, this has had an impact on what the administration has been able to do. But nevertheless, they have been able to do A LOT. When an administration has been exposed time and time again for lying, when they have engaged in acts that qualify as very serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, when the majority of the world stands against them, and when the majority of US citizens stand against them, and the administration is still able to keep power for its full term, is still able to enact a great many of its intended policies, and at the end of the day will walk away from the White House without being held legally responsible for their actions, something needs to change. The government has become far too detached from the governed. A government should not be able to govern dishonestly, unaccountably, untransparently, and unculpably.

A message to Constitution-upholding Americans: TAKE YOUR COUNTRY BACK.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Does it even matter that the Bush Administration gets busted in its BS?”
  1. Stoobs says:

    The only way Americans can have a say in their government at this point is if they are willing to use violence to obtain it. Since they aren’t, it’s not going to happen. Even if it did, the odds are very good that everyone involved would simply be arrested as terrorists and taken out of the country for a heaping dose of torture. You’ve lost your country, and nothing short of revolution is going to get it back.

  2. ronbrown says:

    Stoobs. I’m Canadian 🙂

    But it definitely seems to be way the way you’re describing it, as I pretty much said in my post immediately after this one (https://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/cheney-pushing-for-the-expansion-and-permanence-of-the-surveillance-law/)

  3. Randy says:

    I’m not sure about that. Many people who oppose the administration, including those on the ultra-progressive end of the spectrum and those you may think the most cynical (eg. Chomsky) frequently say that in the greater scheme of things, politicians are weaker than ever these days, and the potential for citizen involvement in politics is greater than ever. Apparently, things could be made to change fairly easily with the right organization. When you think about it, at this time and place (North America, 21st Century), dissent is probably easier, safer, and potentially more effective than at almost any other time or place. So I’m not so sure that violent revolution is necessary to change the American system – maybe just coordinated, dedicated, and focussed pressure?

  4. Stoobs says:

    ronbrown – I’m a British immigrant to Canada rather than an American myself, but the difference between Canada and the US, as far as I can tell, is that Canada is about 10 years behind the US doing the exact same thing.

    Randy – The reason that dissent is so easy and safe is precisely that the system has been set up to allow dissent while minimising its effectiveness in accomplishing anything. I’m a big Chomsky fan, but if he really thinks the right organization could change things easily, why is he not organizing it?

    The general trend seems to be towards a weakening of the power of the state, but this is primarily due to the fact that advancing technology has made the ability to perform acts of extreme violence more and more available to the average guy on the street. Right now, if you wanted, you could probably do a bit of searching on the web, head to the hardware store, and then come home and brew up a batch of plastic explosive in your living room.

    The result of this trend is that the state monopoly on violence is becoming less and less certain. Monopoly on violence is the primary root of the state’s power, (the consent of the governed gives no direct power, since consent can be withdrawn at any time – all it does is provide warm bodies to act as vectors for the application of violence.)

    There are other factors – the increasing ability of individuals to strike at the organizational capacity of large groups such as states, creating system disruptions which weaken its informational and economic grasp at little or no cost to the individual, for example. Still, ultimately, it all comes down to violence. If you’re not willing to stand up and get shot at, you’ll change nothing.

    I used to think that there was an economic route to challenging the state, through the setting up of co-operatives to compete with both state and corporate monopolies, ultimately transferring economic dominance to the working class, but further reflection has convinced me that the state would certainly intervene to block any widespread movement of that type.

    I hope I’m wrong. If I were a religious man, I’d pray I was wrong. But above all else, I very much doubt that I’m wrong.

  5. Randy says:

    Stoobs – You’ve clearly thought a lot about these issues, and you raise lots of points to think about.

    As for Chomsky, I think he is doing exactly what he thinks his role in dissent is – primarily educating people through his speeches, interviews, and books, though he is also involved in organizing in other ways – lending his name in petitions, supporting defendents in high profile human rights cases, etc. In his view, the pace of change is slow, but he is hopeful for the future, as he sees human history till now to be a general progression in the direction of freedom, and expects this will continue (with setbacks, of course).

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