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While the Iron is Hot

October 4, 2005
By Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers

The Republican Party and the Bush Administration are reeling, enmeshed in corruption and failure, and the ideology of the regressive right is in retreat. The iron is hot now is the time to strike.

Unfortunately, it appears that the congressional Democrats and the Democratic Party would prefer to throw cold water on the hot iron.

What in the name of God and the U.S. Constitution has neutered the Democrats?

Clearly, if the alleged "opposition party" won't lead, then we the people must do so. Perhaps, out of this inchoate and widespread resistance, a movement will coalesce and effective leadership will emerge. They must, if we are to rescue ourselves and our republic from this morass.

In the meantime, among the angry and disillusioned American public apparently the majority, let us note opposition to the Busheviks is diverse, aimless, uncoordinated and, worst of all, in despair.

Some simply refuse to be politically concerned, as they retreat into their private lives. "Politics? I say screw them all and leave me out of it!" Trouble is, they can't be "left out of politics" when the prevailing politics is leading to economic collapse, is depriving millions of citizens of their health, livelihoods and occasionally their lives, is eroding our civil rights and liberties, is making our country an international pariah, and is trashing the environment.

Some look to third parties and as they do so, the GOP poobahs smile as they reflect upon Ralph Nader's essential role in their 2000 presidential election "victory."

My suggestion is that we do to the Democratic Party what the radical right did to the Republicans: we take control. Join local and state Democratic committees. Put the congressional Democrats on notice that they will be opposed by progressives in the primaries. (Senators Boxer and Feingold, Congressmen Conyers and Kucinich, and the entire Congressional Black Caucus honorably excepted).

Even if the progressive candidates lose (and not all of them will lose), they will still be sending a message to the establishment: "either you shape up and represent us, or we will be back next time doing our damndest to toss you out of office."

More strikes on the hot iron

Where Bush leads, no sane person should want to follow. Virtually all economists agree, with the exception of those on the payroll of the Bush Administration, the GOP or the right-wing think tanks: the American economy is heading hell-bent toward disaster. While it simply can't go on like this, Bush is nevertheless unlikely to change course unless forced to do so.

When the economy collapses, all will sink with it. Bush supporters, right-wing pundits, media whores all those who today are propping up this criminal regime will tomorrow wish they hadn't. But then it will be too late.

More and more of the fortunate rich who are benefitting today from the Bush kleptocracy are beginning to wise-up and to smell the burning coffee. These are our unlikely allies. While unmoved by appeals to morality, justice or patriotism, they just might bend to a realization of the Bushista threat to their personal enlightened self-interest.

The Fitzgerald investigation and other gathering storms. At this time, Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is a mystery. Perhaps a dud, perhaps a thunderbolt. Best case: indictments of Rove, Libby and Fleitz with Bush and Cheney as unindicted co-conspirators.

Meanwhile, the stink of scandal grows DeLay, Frist, Abramoff, Safavian, and doubtless still more to come - all of whom have grown arrogant in their power and opulence.

In addition, billions (with a "B") are missing in Iraq, down the sinkhole of corruption, with still more to follow in the post-Katrina boondoggles. These scandals put the mainstream media in a well-deserved dilemma: (a) ignore or downplay the scandals and lose still more credibility, or (b) report the scandals fairly and accurately to the great detriment of the Bushistas and the GOP.

And speaking of the media: "who has the power?" The conventional wisdom among progressives is that the mainstream media has been effectively corralled and contained in behalf of the GOP by the corporate owners. Few are aware, however, that the media holds a huge lever over the Bush administration: the threat of honest and diligent investigative reporting, at last, on voting fraud in the last three elections.

Vote fraud is the great untold story, and as we all know the mainstream media has unanimously decided to ignore it as it must, if it is to continue to serve the ruling regime. But is it not possible that there might be a break in this solid wall of silence as one or another of the corporate media empires comes to its senses and realizes that "where Bush leads, they should not wish to follow?" Such a development would, by itself, spell the doom of the Bush regime.

Who can doubt that if Richard Nixon had media support comparable to that of Bush if Watergate had been met with total media silence that Nixon would have completed his second term. When he lost significant segments of the media, and then several key Republicans in Congress, Nixon's fate was sealed. But Nixon's crimes pale in insignificance compared to the crime of three stolen elections. This is the sword of Damocles that the mainstream media holds over the Bush regime.

However, we must not wait for the media to drop that sword. Far better to hack at the rope that holds it. The story of the stolen elections must be told relentlessly in the independent media that the progressives still have at their disposal: the Internet, Air America Radio, Free Speech TV, the independent press and book publishers, the foreign press and, of course, word of mouth. If the issue is kept alive and nurtured, it may increase from a murmur to a shout that the mainstream can no longer ignore.

Election fraud is the linchpin. If election fraud is not addressed and exposed, the Democrats' cry of "wait till next time" is so much hot air. After all, 2002 and 2004 were "next time," and while the voter "input" likely favored the Democrats, the output, via the black box manipulations of the Diebold and ES&S voting machines, compilers and secret software codes kept the Republicans in power. So they shall again in 2006 you can count on it - unless the issue of voting integrity is addressed and favorably resolved.

To those who insist that the 2002 and 2004 elections were legit, I ask again: give me the evidence. Bear in mind that "don't be paranoid!" and "get over it!" are not evidence. In fact, there is no evidence of legitimacy because the e-vote machines were designed that way no paper trail, secret software codes, and back-door access to voting tallies.

On the other hand, the evidence of fraud is overwhelming, and should be convincing to anyone who dares to examine and come to terms with that evidence. (The Crisis Papers has collected accounts of the evidence here.)

Even so, the public simply can't bring itself to acknowledge that their congressional and presidential elections are fixed, and that the regime in Washington rules without the consent of the governed which, in the past two presidential elections, was overruled through vote manipulation and fraud. The implications are just too much to bear; namely, that our democracy has been effectively overthrown and that we are now living under a one-party dictatorship, despite George Bush's easy talk about "spreading freedom and democracy."

But when the economy darkens and jobs are lost, mortgages foreclosed, businesses fail, energy costs become prohibitive, the public discovers the true meaning of "tort reform" (no access to the courts) and "credit reform" (no bankruptcy relief), that public will likely become more receptive to the idea that they have also been had at the ballot box. If and when that happens, all bets are off.

Count me among those who believe that today we have lost our democracy. That doesn't mean that we can't take it back. But time is of the essence, for the longer we wait the more difficult will be the restoration. Today, Republican-owned companies count the ballots with secret codes, most of our media is controlled by six corporate conglomerates, the PATRIOT Act is still in force, and so-called "enemy combatants" - including some American citizens - are being denied basic rights stipulated by the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Constitution. Ahead lies total media control and the police state.

But for the moment, the Busheviks, the GOP and the radical right are reeling. The iron is hot, and it is time to strike.

But as we do, we must remember that the blacksmith bends the iron with repeated blows of his hammer, then he heats the iron again. Persistence and unrelenting pressure is the key. There is still time to break and overthrow this criminal regime.

The alternative is unthinkable.

Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He publishes the website, The Online Gadfly and co-edits the progressive website, The Crisis Papers. He is at work on a book, Conscience of a Progressive, which can be seen in-progress here. Send comments to: crisispapers@hotmail.com.

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