Democratic Underground

The Crisis Papers

Bernard Weiner and Ernest Partridge are co-editors of

March 21, 2006

Anti-Semitism and the "New Jews"
Anti-Semitism on the Left is generally not spoken about, but it's real and appears to be growing. For those so inclined, it's easy to slip from denunciations' of Israeli policy - many on the Left, including yours truly, are quite vocal on occasion in opposing Israeli policies and actions - to out-and-out anti-Semitism. By Bernard Weiner

March 14, 2006

The Right and the Left, in a Nutshell
Those of us who are at middle age or beyond have lived through a revolution in political and economic theory and practice, a revolution so profound that few of us can even begin to appreciate its significance, much less its peril. By Ernest Partridge

The Middle East Muddle: Is Peace Still Possible?
If a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine can be obtained, and implemented properly with great tact and sensitivity, peace and prosperity for the Middle East may eventually be achieved. By Bernard Weiner

March 7, 2006

Conservatives are Jumping Ship: Bush is Going Down
I'm more and more convinced that it will be Republicans, many of them of the true conservative and realist kind, who effectively will do in the Bush Administration. By Bernard Weiner

An Appearance of Guilt
Perhaps this new electronic voting technology is as honest and reliable as the private election industry and the winning candidates tell us it is. However, they simply do not behave as if this were the case. By Ernest Partridge

February 21, 2006

Perception is Reality
Predictions in politics rest upon two presuppositions: (a) that present trends will continue into the future, and (b) that there will be no totally unexpected "surprises." Both assumptions are rarely true and are refuted both by common sense and by the lessons of history. By Ernest Partridge

Slicing Away Liberty: 1933 Germany, 2006 America
What happened in Germany in the 1920s and '30s can teach us much about how a nation in a few years can lose its freedom in incremental slices. By Bernard Weiner

February 14, 2006

Pushing Them Off the Precipice of Power
By their unconscionable actions and thorough-going incompetence, Bush & Co. find themselves perched ever so perilously on a political cliff; our job is to build enough united oppositional force to help them over the edge. By Bernard Weiner

February 7, 2006

The View From Abroad
Here are three impressions that are both vivid in my memory, and relevant to our current political circumstances, from my travels abroad. By Ernest Partridge

Bush Takes Heat on Oprah's Couch
If only Oprah could be as tough on George W. Bush as she was on James Frey... By Bernard Weiner

January 24, 2005

Weaving the "Why?" Strands: The Bushevik Puzzle
Let's try to puzzle out together some recent political events. The unifying thread will appear; it always does because it's always there, even if sometimes out of conscious reach. By Bernard Weiner

Evidence? We Don't Want Your Stinkin' Evidence!
Force the question of election fraud and demand an answer, and the most likely response will be a string of ad hominem insults. We've heard them, many times over. By Ernest Partridge

January 17, 2005

"Shallow Throat": Do Dems Have a Death Wish?
"Shallow Throat" joined me at a mostly-deserted park in Virginia, red-faced and shaking with anger. I didn't even have to ask a question before the rage exploded out... By Bernard Weiner

The Gulliberal Problem
We've got trouble enough from our adversaries – but God save us from our friends! By Ernest Partridge

January 10, 2005

The Erosion of Trust
We Americans have thrived in an atmosphere of mutual trust. But some of the foundation of that civic trust has been seriously eroded, and unless we repair and restore it, that trust may be lost forever. By Ernest Partridge

Congress Disbands, Cites Irrelevancy
President George W. Bush today applauded the decision by the House of Representatives and the Senate to disband. Satire by Bernard Weiner

December 20, 2005

The Would-Be Dictator
Bush violated the law by ordering the National Security Agency to engage in domestic spying. So I have a question for those who voted for him: NOW do you get it? By Bernard Weiner

As the Year Ends, Some Silver Linings
We the People of the United States, especially those of us who cherish our freedom and our political institutions, have endured a terrible year. And yet, for all this, the republic survives, albeit in critical condition. By Ernest Partridge

December 13, 2005

Those Secret Torture Prisons: A Modest Proposal
Here's a cool way to fight terrorism, express your patriotism, enjoy some aerobic fun and games, and contribute to a wonderful demonstration of how American incentives work for the good of all. By Bernard Weiner

Dear Howard Dean: Why Bother?
If nothing is done to end the privatization of our elections and to introduce reliable verification, the Republicans will "win" again in November 2006 and then in 2008. By Ernest Partridge

December 6, 2005

It's Time to Play Beat-The-Bully
We all know this from our schooldays and our workplaces: the thing about bullies, especially the really cocky ones, is that they're often very insecure. Once you organize opposition and indicate you're not afraid of them anymore, they're lost in the world of ordinary mortals. By Bernard Weiner

November 29, 2005

A Moral Philosophy For Progressives
Moral absolutism, whether religious or secular, is worse than undesirable, it is incoherent and unworkable. Here is a sketch of a progressive alternative: a relativistic ethic that affirms moral values, promotes virtue and justice, and is available to all but the most dogmatic of religions as well as to secularists. By Ernest Partridge

Santa Baby, Make These Wishes Come True
The imploding Bush Administration - beset by scandals, corruption, incompetence, arrogance, bullyboys, whistleblowers, ignorance - is doing its part to bring itself down. But the rest of us have roles to play as well. By Bernard Weiner

November 22, 2005

Extreme Bush: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
The Bush agenda is in jeopardy and the once-tight GOP organization is in tatters, with corruption and incompetence and wrongheadedness everywhere. By Bernard Weiner

Through A Glass, Darkly
The regressive right, having enlisted the support of fundamentalist religion, finds that this religious faction, hostile to science, now demands and receives unprecedented influence in public policy. By Ernest Partridge

November 15, 2005

Solving the Media Puzzle: A Day in the Life
Most of the time government scandals involve either money or sex. But the current scandals of our federal government, as evidenced by just one day's worth of news stories, are much more serious. By Bernard Weiner

November 8, 2005

The Sleeping Giant Stirs
"The Americans will always do the right thing," Winston Churchill once remarked, "after they've exhausted all the alternatives." The American public may be running out of alternatives. If so, the Bush Administration and the Republicans have reason to be very worried. By Ernest Partridge

"Shallow Throat:" Ratchet It Up, Take 'Em Down
"The wheels are coming off the bus," a giddy Shallow Throat said. "Now that the Bush Administration is imploding from within, it's time for those of us on the outside to set more political charges." By Bernard Weiner

November 1, 2005

Bird Flu is Real - And You're On Your Own
We need research and development, medications and vaccines, hospital beds and emergency equipment for pandemic victims. Bush's plan? Send in the troops! By Ernest Partridge

Inside Scooter's Diary: Come and Get Me, Coppers!
Dear Diary: Well, I'm in it now. Somehow, the way I thought it would happen went badly off-track. Satire by Bernard Weiner

October 25, 2005

Patrick Fitzgerald's "Dear Diary..."
Dear Diary: This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Of course, I'd heard about the incompetence of this White House crew - and the arrogance that made them so sloppy in covering their tracks - but despite their lies and amateurish attempts to conceal their involvement, their fingerprints are all over the place. Satire by Bernard Weiner

October 18, 2005

The Illusion of Normality
Never in the 229 years of United States history has this government "of, by and for the people" been in greater peril. By Ernest Partridge

"Good Night, and Good Luck" - Joe McCarthy Rides Again
An arrogant, bullying Administration is questioning the patriotism of any who oppose them, much as Senator Joe McCarthy did with anyone who raised questions about his methods of hunting down suspected communists. By Bernard Weiner

October 11, 2005

Before the Plamegate Deluge: Honoring Our Journalistic Heroes
I'd like today to recognize the heroes of our battle, who, ultimately, will help lead our country to a restoration of Constitutional rule and the banishment of the worst of the Bush & Co. miscreants either to political exile or, for a good many of the worst participants, to jail. By Bernard Weiner

October 4, 2005

While the Iron is Hot
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. By Ernest Partridge

September 27, 2005

"Suppose...": Arguments for an Impeachment Resolution
The Bush Administration has been caught in the spotlight for the past four-and-a-half years. Scandal after scandal, corruption after corruption, high crimes and misdemeanors - and yet, nothing happens. By Bernard Weiner

September 20, 2005

Who Lost New Orleans?
Any politician who believes that states and regions are autonomous and economically detachable and thus not the responsibility of the federal government is unqualified for national leadership. To the great misfortune of the United States, such individuals are nonetheless in political control of the federal government. By Ernest Partridge

September 13, 2005

GOP Heavies Work the "O.J. Dodge"
The following transcript of a conversation among political leaders -- one imagines the room was bugged -- was placed through our mail slot yesterday by a group calling itself the Bush-Liberation Front. We can't verify the authenticity of the organization or the document, but, in a curious sort of way, it passes the smell test. See what you think.

September 6, 2005

Randville, Rawlsburg, and New Orleans
In his second debate with Al Gore, candidate George Bush said "I think you can spend your money more wisely than the federal government can." You think? Ask the survivors of the New Orleans Super Dome and convention center. By Ernest Partridge

To Those Who Voted for Bush: Do You Get It Now?
For the past four years, progressives and moderate-conservatives have been pointing out how incompetent this administration is. Many Bush Republicans accused us of making up such accusations for purely political reasons. Now you yourself can see what we have seen: these guys are in way over their heads and haven't got a clue. By Bernard Weiner

August 30, 2005

Twenty Things We Now Know Four Years After 9/11
In a few days, it will be four years since the awful events symbolized by the date "9/11." Time for our annual list of what we've learned from that tragedy and what followed from it: twenty things we now know based mainly on documented evidence found in the Bush-friendly mainstream media. By Bernard Weiner

August 23, 2005

The Bombs in the Basement
The Bush regime has reason to be nervous. For its continuing success depends totally on the public's inattention to, apathy toward, and even ignorance of several potentially explosive issues which, if brought to light, publicized, investigated, and then criminally prosecuted, could demolish the House of Bush and the Republicans. By Ernest Partridge

August 16, 2005

A Cancerous Tumor in the Body Politic: Time for Surgery
Today there is a cancer growing in the body of the American polity. Its aggressive nature has forced its way into the social and political fabric of our lives, and is destroying both from within. The remedy of tumor removal via the surgery of impeachment could begin the process of healing. But this cancer is notoriously aggressive in maintaining itself in the face of assaults. By Bernard Weiner

August 9, 2005

Prices and Values
Why does the administration of George W. Bush, not to mention many economists and policy analysts, so eager to apply monetary prices to values? And why is cost-based analysis "incapable of making meaningful choices about things that matter to most people?" By Ernest Partridge

August 2, 2005

U.S Leaving Iraq? It's Still the Politics, Stupid
As we've learned over the past four-plus years, no matter what the spin justifications employed by Bush & Co. spokesmen - terrorism, national security, freedom on the march - it's usually the politics, stupid. By Bernard Weiner

July 26, 2005

Inside Rove's Diary: How Do I Get Out of This One?
Dear Diary: Oh shit! It's been one baaaaaaad week. By Bernard Weiner

The GOP is Certain to Win in 2006, Unless...
I have frequently been accused of being hopelessly optimistic. Perhaps so: that's what keeps me going. But now, for those who thrive on gloom and doom � it's your turn. By Ernest Partridge

July 19, 2005

Rove/Plame Scandal Leads To Greater White House Horrors?
At long last, Plamegate - the scandal surrounding the naming of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson by two "senior administration officials" - has exploded out of the D.C. beltway to become a major national news story. By Bernard Weiner

The Wayward Media
Three mini-essays tied together with a common theme: the media. By Ernest Partridge

July 12, 2005

A Powerful Man Glimpses His Demons
"We're under confidentiality here, right? You can't ever tell anyone what I say to you, doctor/patient relationship, yes?" By Bernard Weiner

July 6, 2005

Hinges of History
History teaches us that the course of human events has many surprises, born of random chance and simple luck. History's winners are those who are alert, flexible and creative in the face of these surprises. And that fact should lend comfort to embattled progressives today. By Ernest Partridge

Political Pot Pourri
Coming out of the 4th of July weekend, a half-dozen thoughts worked their way to the forefront, from Rove to impeachment to the Supreme Court. By Bernard Weiner

June 28, 2005

15 Things Learned About Bush And Co.: An Impeachment List
The American people - especially moderate Republicans, appalled at how their once-proud party has been hijacked by extremists - are waking up, shaking off their real and manufactured fear. As recent polls indicate, the American citizenry is voicing a demonstrable lack of faith in, and support for, Bush and his cronies, and their disastrous, reckless policies. By Bernard Weiner

June 21, 2005

No Time For Despair
The present political situation in the United States is not hopeless. Several recent developments suggest that our cause, far from being impossible, has in fact gained strength as opportunities now arise. By Ernest Partridge

"Shallow Throat": Wounded, Cornered Animals Are Dangerous
After Mark Felt unmasked himself as "Deep Throat," I immediately tried to contact our contemporary GOP mole, "Shallow Throat." By Bernard Weiner

June 14, 2005

The Downing Street Memos: Building a New Movement
We must radically alter the way we confront the Bush Administration. They have sown fear into the body politic, including the Left and moderate middle; they have encouraged division and factional in-fighting among progressives; they have marginalized and smeared mass-media. By Bernard Weiner

June 7, 2005

The Fall of the House of Bush
It is inevitable: sooner or later the Bush regime will fall. Perhaps next month; perhaps after the end of the Jeb Bush administration in 2016. The essential question is whether it will take down the rest of us with it. By Ernest Partridge

Karl Rove's Diary: Escaping the Lame Duck Trap
Dear Diary, things certainly aren't going the way I planned them. I thought the second term would be pretty much like the first, only more-so. By Bernard Weiner

June 1, 2005

GOP Swept from Power in 2006; Impeachment Looms
June 1, 2005 · Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2006: The Democrats didn't waste any time after their landslide victory in the November midterm election that put them in charge, with huge margins in both the House and Senate. Satire by Bernard Weiner and Ernest Partridge

May 24, 2005

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!
There is only one voice that might speak to the fundamentalists and persuade them to re-evaluate their ethical norms, their moral behavior, and their political agenda. That is the voice of Jesus of Nazareth. By Ernest Partridge

May 17, 2005

Current Events for Dummies
Politics is so confusing these days, with all sorts of charges, scandals, distortions, nominees, wars, distractions. To help you out of this muddle, lets turn to my ever-popular guide, Current Events for Dummies. By Bernard Weiner

May 10, 2005

Last Chance for Civilization
Humanity is facing a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. The final depletion of petroleum reserves is likely within this century. Without this energy source, and with no alternative sources in place, the Earth could probably not support half of the present population of six billion souls. By Ernest Partridge

May 3, 2005

To The Troops
I speak to you as someone who, like you, loves our country, and who is very worried about both your continued survival and about the effects on you from what you're being asked to do in Iraq. By Bernard Weiner

April 26, 2005

The 2006 Election is Happening Right Now
It's crunch time, folks. Karl Rove, seeing the window is not waiting for the midterm election run-up in 2006. He's going for it all now. By Bernard Weiner

What Can We the People Do About Election Fraud?
Electoral integrity is arguably the most important political issue to face the American people since the founding of our democracy, as it raises the question of whether, in fact, we still have a democracy. By Ernest Partridge

April 19, 2005

From the Sahara to Germany: What Does "Progress" Mean?
The disparity between rich and poor countries reflects a social/political phenomenon with which I've become all too familiar in my trips abroad in the past several years. Is there a way to leapfrog over the worst of industrial/technological development - the pollution, the corruption, the social cruelty - without having to repeat the mistakes and unfolding history of the developed world? By Bernard Weiner

April 12, 2005

Means, Motive, Opportunity
In the 2004 election, the Bush team and the Republican party had a treasure trove of means and opportunity dropped in their laps. Thanks to the secret codes and back-door access to the voting machines they could follow through on their motive without fear of detection. By Ernest Partridge

April 5, 2005

Why Should I Pay For Someone Else's Education?
Is it unfair to require those who have no children in the public schools to pay school taxes? The libertarian-right apparently believes that it is. By Ernest Partridge

March 29, 2005

Rumsfeld Gets Grilled at Truth & Reconciliation Hearing
Several years after the Bush Administration left office, criminal indictments were about to be unsealed. Named individuals had one chance: to appear before the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. By Bernard Weiner

March 22, 2005

For Tax Refuseniks: A Modest Proposal
Here is my proposal: make tax payment voluntary. If Grover Norquist and all other like-minded individuals find tax-paying so onerous, then they may be excused. By Ernest Partridge

Rove's Tricky Decoy Dump
Karl Rove's political team operates like this: they choose a select number of objectives they really care about, go all out for them - often in secret - and the rest of their high-profile program is little more than decoy chaff. By Bernard Weiner

March 15, 2005

Bush to U.N.: Screw You!
Since the bullyboy approach worked for them so successfully during their first term, the Bush Administration are trying again. But something is different this time; there now is an odor of reckless haste emanating from the White House. The result is that they are making mistakes, big time. By Bernard Weiner

A Master Morality
George Bush has said that he wants to run the government like a business. He has achieved his objective, for although Bush was allegedly elected as President of all the people, Bush, Inc. is in effect less a government than it is a vast holding company. By Ernest Partridge

March 8, 2005

Right vs. Left: The Elements
We are sharply divided into two hostile political factions. Let a stranger utter just a couple of sentences of political opinion, and you will know which faction he belongs to. By Ernest Partridge

Probing for Answers to What Ails Us: The Incident
The last thing I remember before The Incident was driving by a huge hayfield on a rural Georgia road. Suddenly, there were bright lights above me. Fiction by Bernard Weiner


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