I don't know about you, but this year I didn't much feel like celebrating America's independence. Seems like cooperation and collaboration might be more to the point after six go-it-alone years of George W. Bush. So no sparklers and mini-flags in the petunia pots for me this year.And we could use a little more collaboration and a little less independence among ourselves as well. Something like 65 percent of Americans don't approve of this reckless and lawless Bush regime, and yet there's not a leader out there calling us to come together, no one standing up saying, "Let's storm the Capitol on, oh, say July 14."
There are calls for impeachment, but where do we start (and end) with that? With Dick Cheney, for all the obvious reasons, but Cheney, while calling the shots, isn't the front guy on the commutation of Scooter's sentence. And this latest disregard for law and justice, while astonishing in its venality and hypocrisy, is legal. It's like hiring strippers for your frat party, or having sex with an intern: It says something about you, but it doesn't make you a criminal. (Until you lie about it, and that's another story, though sort of not.)
We already know this administration's attitude toward justice. From Gitmo to rendition to habeas corpus to illegal wiretaps, it has shown its contempt. Who'd have thought that former Attorney General John Ashcroft -- he of the drape over the bare breast of lady justice -- would look like Marshall Dillon compared to Alberto Gonzales and his political hit squad?
So while there are criminal acts aplenty to pursue impeachment of Cheney, this latest flipping off of justice by his so-called superior isn't among them.
Instead of a celebration of independence, maybe we need a celebration of unity. Maybe we need a massive weeklong Impeach Cheney and Take Back America rally in front of the White House, fueled by celebrities, and heavily promoted by the media, who owe us one big time.
Maybe we need Bono and Brad and Angelina there, to focus on the crisis in America and not the crisis in Africa, at least for a few months.
Maybe we need Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton there, to call on Scooter to do his time like a man.
Maybe we need the Dixie Chicks and White Stripes there, and George Clooney and Oprah, and any of the so-called "American Idols" and Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan there, and the younger sports stars and TV stars and rap stars and celebs I've never heard of, to put down their cell phones and Mohitos and hie their well-heeled fannies to D.C.
Maybe we need James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, to speak truth to power, and Maya Angelou to speak strength to cowardice, and for old time's sake, Pete Seeger to lead us in a chorus of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," sparklers and flags all around.
In the squares of the city -- In the shadow of the steeple Near the relief office -- I see my people And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin' If this land's still made for you and me.
Yeah, it's the "Kumbaya" approach, but in this time of bewildered despair, I'll take it over the plastic patriotism of George Bush's America.