June 26, 2007
"And You're Okay with This?"
By Mary Lyon
There it is. That's the question. That's THE question that MUST be asked. I'd ask it, myself, if I were still working in broadcast journalism - anytime there was access to some person of influence. Unfortunately, nobody else, anywhere, seems to be asking it. Somebody - somewhere - most preferably on the air but in prominent print would also be good, SOMEBODY, PLEASE start asking: "And you're okay with this?"
Dick Cheney singlehandedly has raped, eviscerated, and perverted the Constitution - the Founding Document of Founding Documents, the design of checks and balances and shared power and preservation of the rights of the individual for redress against wrongs and everything else.
It's the Constitution. No biggie (at least to him). It's merely those stated principles for whose sake our government has deceitfully sent some 35-hundred Americans to die in Iraq . It's just the decree which the prevailing power mindset professes to revere so acutely that it feels compelled to push that decree's assertions upon other countries by force if necessary. It's little more than a piece of paper that spells out what makes us distinct - AND admired - as a nation, a society, and a people, from all other nations across the face of the earth. That single document is so important that it figures into the very Oaths of Office to which all our national chieftains must swear before they can begin or resume their chieftain duties. Cheney's actions as chief stick-shaker, bully, Iraq War promoter, power-grabber, and secrecy snake, are the root cause of America 's recent nosedive in the eyes of the world. My mother would have said of him "he has more nerve than the guy who ate the first oyster." He lies to your face. He hides a whole lot from you - stuff you paid for (whether you wanted to or not). And he claims he's exempt from any oversight. You're not supposed to remember where his actual jurisdiction falls, anymore than you're supposed to recall that we had this kind of mess settled about 30 years ago. The escapades of Richard Nixon (another guy named Dick, ironically enough) and friends left Americans with a civics lesson for the ages - that NO ONE is above the law. Not even the president. And if the president isn't, the vice president certainly isn't, either. I don't hear a whole lot of "Amen's" from Capitol Hill at present. Are they're okay with this?
Perhaps this one overriding question can prove a key to the Democrats' present plight. Their numbers are WAY down. The honeymoon is history. They've had the leadership long enough to make a few decisive moves, and they haven't delivered. Certainly not on the war. And Heaven FORBID you bring up IMPEACHMENT as a punitive, rectifying action. Democratic presidential hopeful Christopher Dodd just told a group of constituents that there were other priorities the Dems thought were more important. They had other items on the agenda. He wouldn't touch it, thankyouverymuch. Didn't want to shake things up. Besides, Nancy Pelosi says it's still "off the table." So Dick Cheney's toxic overstepping and power-grabbing goes unchecked except for a couple of peeps out of a couple of "Heartland" Congressmen. Dennis Kucinich's HR333 calling for Dick Cheney's IMPEACHMENT inexplicably languishes on the sidelines as of this writing, with supporters still numbering in the single digits. At least Rahm Emanuel seems to be waking up. Emanuel is challenging Cheney's galling bombast that since he serves as tie-breaker in the Senate, he's exempt from executive-branch accountability because he's not part of that branch. (Um, he's not in the legislative arena either, mind you.) Emanuel says, since you're not part of that anymore, Dick, then we'll just stop funding it. Perhaps it's not entirely okay with some Dems after all. SOME. But HARDLY enough.
Cutting up one Cheney credit card won't do it, especially for a fellow as adept and long-practiced at finding other ways around something he doesn't like. By now, it's become clear to all but the most resolute denial-desperadoes that the worst evils committed by the Bush Administration trace directly back to Dick Cheney. The list includes the case for war, the rationale for torture and extraordinary rendition, the murder of habeas corpus, the illegal wiretapping of innocent Americans, the destruction of Valerie Plame's career and network of WMD trackers in a political vendetta against her whistleblower husband, the national energy policy shaped by oil titans, and more. We've felt the pain since Cheney launched the "search" for Bush's running mate that resulted in him finding himself. He thus positioned himself to start cutting the limitations on presidential power which he watched arising from Watergate as President Ford's chief-of-staff. He probably felt that he had a score to settle with the oppositional do-gooders who spoiled the power party back then. Along the way, he helped birth the Project for a New American Century whose foreign policy called for picking fights with strategic parts of the globe, pilfering the world's riches, and answering to no one. If what emits from this White House stinks like month-old ground beef rotting in the back of the fridge for several weeks, it's a safe bet Dick Cheney wiped a fingerprint on it. And the cherished secrecy he hides within is designed to keep you from finding that rotten meat until the bacteria eats straight through to the freezer. Regardless the shrinking minority of supporters polled, too much of America is still, somehow, okay with this?
The description of this latter-day Rasputin in the four-part Washington Post series - sitting there, disquietingly reptilian, unblinking, chin on folded fingers, watching the World Trade Center disappear on that gut-wrenching day with NO visible reaction - was chilling to say the least. We didn't know how chilling. It's a chill we cannot sustain, or survive.
Not okay with this?
Then go DO something about it.