The Sleeping Giant Has Awakened

As I have watched the early hours of the new Obama administration taking charge of the levers of power one thing is apparent. From the massive turnout at the inauguration to the overwhelming receptions being received by his cabinet it is clear that the most damage done by the Bush administration was not to the general public, although we were damaged severely but to the apparatus of government. For eight years the Bush administration worked to try and dismantle the government from the inside.

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It has been the goal of every Republican administration since the ”œNew Deal” to try and undo its social framework and safety nets created by the Roosevelt administrations. From its over-reaching policies of Food Stamps for the poor, Social Security for the old, and that communist inspired doctrine of equal pay for equal work they have tried to sabotage them. Each and every Republican administration has had the goal to a varying degree and a platform to undermine the ”œNew Deal” which the Republicans have always viewed as unconstitutional and unnecessary. From Reagan’s ”œNew Federalism” to George W’s. attempts to privatize Social Security the pattern is clear. What most Americans don’t realize is that George W. almost succeeded in the long sought after Republican goal of dismantling the ”œNew Deal” not through legislation, but instead by bankrupting the federal government. Why else would anyone in their right mind in the middle of two wars give out tax-cuts to the wealthy if their goal was not to bankrupt the government. There was a day when the Republicans supposedly stood for fiscal conservatism, not any longer. Think about it; if you can’t shutdown a department through legislation the next best thing to do is to bankrupt the government. If there isn’t any money for those departments then they can only perform their missions on a limited basis or not at all. There would be no money for regulatory agencies, education, or for Medicaid/Medicare. Instead of using a scalpel the Bush administration was using a chainsaw to gut the federal government. He was going to starve the programs designed to help the poor and the middle-class while at the same time feeding the greed of the wealthy through deregulation.

If we look at the record it is abundantly clear what the plan was. He would provide tax-cuts for the wealthy, fight two wars, and allow the greed of Wall Street to go unchecked. All of this of course would strain the federal government to the breaking point. Because of our ”œwar posture” we couldn’t cut defense spending leaving our domestic programs as the only way to cut spending. The result is we starve these programs to death. George W. leaves behind the biggest foreign and economic fiascos in the history of this country. Do not be fooled. I originally thought it was due to sheer incompetence, but as all this plays out it is something more ominous. We have all assumed that Bush was just a likeable bumbling fool with good if not misguided intentions. I now disagree with that assessment because underneath that persona of ineptitude hid a conniving and sinister man with a definite agenda.

Not only was his goal to bankrupt the government, he also sowed the seeds of distrust and bad morale in the institutions of our government. Shortly after the Iraq War began he allowed the Defense Department in the person of Donald Rumsfeld to take over the State Department ending a long tradition of diplomacy as an even partner with defense. He politicized and morally bankrupted the Justice Department through the use of torture and domestic surveillance programs. Instead of appointing competent bureaucrats he appointed political hacks evidenced by the FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina. These are just too many coincidences. No one is this incompetent and rises to the most powerful position in the free world.

But there is a new day in America. Those of us who have been sleepwalking and living a nightmare for the last eight years have finally stopped hitting the snooze button. All over America millions are getting up and starting the task of remaking America. We are restoring more than just our physical infrastructure we are also restoring our moral infrastructure as well. And judging by the reception Secretary Clinton received upon her arrival at State it is long overdue. I would venture to guess that the reception to Secretary Holder will be just as dramatic at the Justice Department. This nation, this government with all its citizens and employees are awakening to the call for change. I don’t think we realized the strain that so many of our federal employees were toiling under with the Bush administration. I think now that the national nightmare is over there will be a litany of revelations from current and former employees of the many illegal and immoral deeds done by the Bush administration in the name of security.

The alarm has sounded. The call to action has been made. I believe that there will be an outpouring of spirit and volunteerism the likes of which this nation has never seen. I caution the Republicans still standing you do not want to be on the wrong side of this tidal wave. Once the sleeping giant awakens there is often backlash, anger, and frustration. We are heading in a new direction and foolish is the man who thinks that he can stop it or reverse it.

”œBe the change you want to see in the world.”-Gandhi

The Disputed Truth

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  • You just figured that out?

    It was obvious many years ago, the republican agenda is to put the Federal Gevernment in a parlous financal position.

    Some time about 1982.

  • sometime around “I Ronald Reagan…..”

    Seems that it’s the ‘understood’ but not necessarily explicitly documented objective of the Republican Party to so undermine confidence in the Federal government that there would be no confidence in its ability to accomplish *any* end.

    Either that, or the ‘end’ envisioned in 1981 has been corrupted into the disaster we’ve lived these past 8 years….

    “God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” — Robin Williams

  • Don’t listen to what we say – watch what we do.

    John Mitchell was Nixon’s Attorney General. And a felon. One of a continuing long line of Republican Felons, I hope.

  • I suspect they really did believe they’d be welcomed in Iraq–that oil production could be ramped up–cheap oil powers and lubricates the world economy.

    Bush had no real management experience, at least of the successful variety but was a strong believer in an ideology that failed him.

    Of course, over time, the failure became apparent but the man was so hard headed. One bad decision brought on another.

    Like borrowing a bunch of money secretly, thinking you can pay it back. Go to the gambling house and lose it you have to hide what you’ve done and borrow more.

    Staircase to hell.

    I do think at some point they saw that the whole thing was going to collapse and made the decision to raid the treasury and to torpedo the economy for the incoming administration.

    I did inhale.

  • especially as it concerns “GWOT” protocols. Most particularly, the entire question of “extraordinary renditions” is NOT to be addressed, as the policy – which gained prominence in the Clinton years – remains a bedrock of US intelligence practices. In the LAT article by Miller and Barnes is this nugget of information:

    “Secret prisons

    In a separate order, Obama instructed the CIA to close its constellation of secret prisons overseas, which had held some of the most notorious detainees in U.S. custody — including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

    The CIA prisons were set up in 2002, but were rarely used after 2006, when a ruling by the Supreme Court prompted President Bush to order 14 prisoners in agency custody to be transferred to Guantanamo. Since then, only two prisoners have been held at CIA facilities for short periods before being sent to Guantanamo.

    The order raises the question of what the CIA will do with terrorism suspects captured overseas if it does not wish to bring them to U.S. courts.

    Obama’s orders did not ban the controversial CIA practice of “extraordinary rendition,” in which prisoners are transferred by the CIA from one country to another.

    Those transfers can continue, according to the orders, as long as prisoners are not taken to other nations “to face torture” or as part of a CIA effort to circumvent international laws on detainee treatment.

    “There are some renditions that are, in fact, justifiable, defensible,” said the senior Obama administration official. “There’s not going to be rendition to any country that engages in torture.”

    “There’s not going to be rendition to any country that engages in torture.”. Yes, well, thank you very much, sir, but that also was announced Bush administration policy. So, the Obama policy difference is…? Yes? Sorry, it isn’t obvious at this juncture. Unfortunately, this looks as though it’s some PR sanitisation of the same sorry policies of third-party torture, with “American-accented Arabic-speaking interrogators” doing their usual number on “terrorist suspects”, but under a new “we REALLY don’t do torture” regime.
    Ah, well, this IS America, after all.

    “les Etats-unis, c’est le seul pays à être passé de la préhistoire à la décadence sans jamais connaitre la civilisation…”…Georges Clemenceau

  • now. Some of us have known this since the mid 70s when the right-wing Christians were just ramping up. The warning bells were sounded even then. Finally mainstream America is getting it. Everyoine who “discovers” the truth about what was being done to America by the neo-cons should be welcomed into the fold, not criticized for not fully seeing it before.

    But Americans were too comfortable. This is actually what the neo-cons were banking on; that the public is made of stupid people who can be herded around like cows. They deeply believed in pre-democracy types of governance based on classism, privilege, oligarchy and brute force. Deregulation was a cover device for them to get away, time and again with illegal things. A lawless market (eptomized in the wicked free-for-all that war-profiteering in Iraq grew into) and secret government (not even America’s energy policy could be trusted to be released to our citizens) were the instruments of choice by which they were determined, by hook or by crook, to attack everything American and destroy it, from the Constitution to Religious freedom to Civil rights and finally just human rights in general. Their plan for the purple mountains and amber waves of grain was to sell it all off and turn it into strip mines and strip malls. And all the while . Americans were supposed to just float comfortably along on their bottomless lines of credit, distracted by their entertainments and advertisements, until the rug was suddenly pulled out from under them.

    No, these were not bumbling fools, but evil men who in their hearts plotted the death and corruption of their fellow countrymen. People like Dick Cheney on purpose design plots to kill millions because that is their innermost spiritual nature – rotten to the core. Ask yourself – did Dick Cheney really gives a rat’s butt about what would happen to the Iraqis after we got the oil? If you are honest you know the answer to that question. A man like that who knows he has the power to cause a million deaths becomes drunk with his own egotistical delusions.

    What kind of man vigorously defends Pol Pot’s favorite torture technique -waterboarding? What’s American about rounding up people, with no evidence, not charged with any crime, locking them away secretly and waterboarding them? Tell me – what exactly about that is American?


    But it is an accurate indicator if what was in the hearts of the men who occupied the White House for the last eight years. I’m in no mood for apologies or forgiveness. They should be investigated and tried where evidence is found to indict them. If they have breached international law and/or committed crimes against humanity or war crimes, they need to tried in the world court, and there needs to be a reckoning, so that all the world can see what they did in secret and covered over with propaganda.

    Too many Americans were willing to let it slide until it hit them in their pocketbooks hard, until it cost them their sons and daughters in wars halfway across the world fighting for – what? They were fighting for, let’s see this week they were fighting to save the world from Saddam’s nukes. Oh, Saddam’s nukes didn’t exist? Well then, let’s see they are dying to save us from Al-Qeada. Oh wait, Al-Qaeda wasn’t Iraqi it was a Saudi thing. Well, we aren’t going to call the Saudis down on that one, so let’s see, your kids are dying for… to stabilize Iraq – that sounds pretty good (nevermind that they were fairly stable until we invaded – besides the public is supposed to have a short memory – being cows and all, right?) Well, dammit, we’re just fighting because we have to finish fighting before we can pull out.

    Anyway, our buddies were making gobs of money washing your kids clothes for $900 bucks a load while they are out getting blown up by IEDs, so when the gravy train is this good, we gotta keep it going baby!

    Oh my God, talk about a nightmare!

    Awakening? Jeez, how about simply reviving the patient for a start?

  • I think I am “allowed” that whatever one’s views on Obama:-) I already know what to watch out for – I’ve been doing that for eight years.

    Yes, I can come up with a post-election signature, just… not… yet…

  • It would be worthwhile to have matching campaign promise action charts for previous presidents for comparison. As it is these charts are context-free.

    Everybody knows campaign promises are BS. We voted fundamentally for competence: we want someone who isn’t an f-up. The jury is out about whether we got one who is on our side. The received wisdom is that he is he is a centrist. We move the center (the Overton Window) and he does our bidding. Maybe.

    “The Playboy reader invites a female acquaintance in for a quiet discussion of Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex.” – Hugh Hefner

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