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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The tipping point of evil, part II
Posted by Jill | 11:40 AM
On May 30 I posed the question: "What will it take to arouse the ire of the American people so that they demand that Nancy Pelosi put impeachment back on the table?"

Every day, as the Bush Administration racks up more crimes against the Constitution of the United States and declares itself subject to no existing law anywhere on the face of the earth, I find myself wondering: Is there a tipping point of evil beyond which a president and his administration can find themselves completely unaccountable? Is there a point where the crimes become so heinous that the will is just not there to remove the perpetrators from office because to do so would mean to acknowledge that there are times when our system just plain doesn't work?

The laws upon which this country was founded presupposed at least a modicum of good will on the part of those who would lead it. Checks and balances were built in to prevent any one individual or any one branch of government from gaining too much power. These were designed to protect us from the kinds of despotic individuals that would set themselves up as kings or dictators.

The words "no one could have anticipated..." have become hallmarks of the Bush Administration, but in the case of the way this bunch has circumvented every attempt by the Founding Fathers to make our system immune from people like them, it's clear that the men who rebelled against a king and created a new government, like the humanists they read, believed in the inherent good will of those that would seek to lead this nation. They never banked on bandits taking over and deciding that the laws codified in the Constitution didn't apply to them.

And so we find ourselves now with an administration and a party that puts its own gain and its own power not just ahead of the good of the nation, but supplanting the good of the nation, so that this country is now nothing but a fiefdom for the corporatocracy, to be plundered by those who seek ever more power and ever more money -- even if it means taking the entire country down.

And yet, Americans are still more interested in who the next Top Chef will be, or how Paris Hilton is doing in jail, or whether Angelina is pregnant again than they are in the world in which their kids will live.

Sometimes I wonder why people with children don't seem more engaged in the process, and why they don't seem to care about the crimes that their government is committing against them and their children. Is it really just about being too busy holding two jobs and taking the kids to soccer practice or is it something more? Is it a willful ignorance because to acknowledge what's happening is to be obligated to do something about it? Isn't part of being a parent and protecting your children protecting their future from those who would destroy it in the name of self-enrichment and the amassing of power?

In other words, do George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, and especially Dick Cheney, recognize that there is a kind of criminal tipping point beyond which Americans are unable to believing their government capable? And is that why as the exact nature of this bunch becomes ever more apparent, ever more brazen, and ever more appalling, the sound you hear is only that of crickets chirping?

Last week the Vice President of the United States blatantly declared himself to be not subject to any applicable law, making the indefensible statement that "vice presidency is a unique office that is neither a part of the executive branch nor a part of the legislative branch."

When you think that the last president was impeached for what was said to be lying about sex under oath in a civil case (even though "sex" in the case was defined to be "sexual intercourse, so technically it wasn't a lie), it makes it even more appalling that in a country that fancies itself to be all about law and order, an administration that declares itself to be not subject to any laws gets a free pass.

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman goes through the motions of hearings, while the party he represents has shown itself to be lacking the courage to protect this nation from the criminals now sitting in the executive branch and their lackeys in the Senate and House. Instead, they, just like the president and his war in Iraq, choose to run out the clock rather than honor the many hundreds of thousands of soldiers who have died over the last 231 years defending this country by providing the oversight and accountability for which they were elected.

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