Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Rekha's Liberal Circle Jerk

In today's column, Ms. Basu thinks that she's found something to help her regain her confidence in American Democracy. She's been despondent of late because of the way the will of the people has been ignored and political dissent has been crushed.

No, she hasn't gotten a job with NPR.

No, she didn't make long, sensious eye contact with Howard Dean at a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate.

No, it wasn't because of the hideous assult made on the 1st Amendment made today by the Supreme Court.

No, she go to attend the Liberal Cost-to-Cost Bash-Bush Tupperware Party.

Just when some of us were despairing that war, terrorism and politicians are cutting democracy out of core American institutions, it found a way to reinvent itself.

An independent filmmaker had made a controversial movie questioning the intelligence behind the Iraq war. He interviewed lots of credible sources, including long-time intelligence experts and former CIA officials. They didn't just poke large holes in the White House claims used to justify the war. They also offered evidence that, even while promoting the idea that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and links to Osama bin Laden, officials knew that was implausible.

Goodie, Rekha found a group of displaced Democrats, socialists, Wiccans and street performers and was able to watch a movie that was would be "banned" from TV. It was all about... wait for it... how the Bush "Junta" tricked us (us being the Congress of the United States... but they're not really a democratic institution... well they are, but they're not a Democratic institution) into the war in Iraq.

What started out with a simple premise snowballed into a giant act of grass-roots participation that proved people needn't rely on the mainstream media or the good graces of government to get answers or to have a voice. All it took was the Internet, a speaker phone and a DVD player.

Hey that sounds familiar. Kind of reminds me of what's going on all throughout the Blogosphere. Everyone can have a voice and articulate their thoughts. There's a self editing, peer accountable by immediate correction alternative to mainstream media. And excuse me, but whenever I hear the words "grass-roots participation", it makes me nervous. I keep thinking that Joan Baez is going to jump into the room and start singing "Joe Hill".

Filmmaker Robert Greenwald doesn't necessarily break new ground in "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War."

No... he just repeats the same lies, false memes and half-baked conspiracies that keep these folks stewing in their own juices.

The happening... hootenanny... love-in... whachamacallit was funded by our friends at I mean The goal is to get like-minded people together to eat generic corn chips (not purchased at Wal-Mart), watch some anti-American propaganda and not "feel all alone". "Oh God, it's just me alone in my apartment again... with my 12 cats and my old Woodstock poster. Christ, anything's better than this."

America has been a lonely place for anyone with the gall to question the war on Iraq. Critics have been called unpatriotic, ungrateful, un-American, even pro-terrorist. But their numbers have continued to grow as loved ones are killed or damaged, as the cost rises and a still undefined mission stretches endlessly.

Well... that implies that the vast majority of Americans support the war. Maybe you're on to something Rekha. I don't think it's unpatriotic or any other of the pejoratives that you mention to object to the war or any other aspect of US policy. However, I've heard precious few intelligent objections to the war from anyone on the left. Sure, I've been offered a lot of very old, discredited "world socialist utopian" wine served up in new bottles. Most of it is Idiotarian drivel.

Okay Rekha… “…killed or damaged...”? The word is wounded Rekha... wounded.

Undefined mission? Bullhockey. The mission so far has been to:

a. Show Islamo-terrorists, the states that support them and anyone else that would attack us that we mean business
b. Free the Iraqi people from 30 years of brutal dictatorship
c. Break free from the decrepit, discredited diplomatic policy of supporting status quo in the kleptocracies of the Middle East

So far, so good. The goals are to:

a. Create an environment where the Iraqis can create a liberal, constitutional republic for themselves and their heirs
b. Leave as soon as practicable -- 5 years or 40... it does not matter. We need to stay as long as it takes. Hell, we've been in Germany for almost 60 years.

Meanwhile, even as America talks of exporting democracy abroad, we've watched democracy take a beating at home.

Oh really Rekha? How? Because the policies that YOU would like to see implemented are not gaining favor? It’s funny how when liberals are not getting their way, they immediately cry foul and claim that they’re taking a beating. I’m reminded of that scene in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” where the peasant screams to King Arthur: “Now you can see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!!!”

You've got government spying on citizens under the Patriot Act.

Oh yeah Rekha. Don’t talk too loudly, there’s a bug in armoire. I think there may have even been a listening device in the spinach dip at your protest party.
You've got media being consolidated into fewer hands, narrowing the number of views aired and news sources on which to base opinions.

What you mean is that citizens now have access to media that is not completely, mind-pummelingly liberal and you and your friends don’t like it. Losing your liberal media monopoly is a bitch, ain’t it?
In Des Moines, a city council facing financial woes is trying to bypass an election to save money.


You know, if I did not know that Rekha Basu was a sophisticated, big city journalist, I’d think that sometimes she just writes the first thing that comes into her head. Hmmm, let’s see… democracy taking a beating at home… Patriot Act… check. Fox News Network… check. Des Moines at large city councilman election to replace Cownie deferred… check. Whoa… run that past me again Rekha.

More and more, we're learning democracy isn't - can't be - what they give you. It's what you take. And how you use it.

Well… we’ve come a long way from “Ask not what your country can do for you…”, haven’t we. You know Rekha, if you and friends did not expect the government to give you all kinds of stuff. If you could conceive of going out and working for what you need and want, expecting nothing from government except some infrastructure, police, national defense and to left alone… maybe you wouldn't need...

Nevermind… I’m just wasting my breath.


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