Patriotism in the Time of Treason
As we gird ourselves for the masturbatory, chest-thumping spectacle of the nominating conventions and the election slugfest that is sure to follow, both the word and concept of patriotism will be bandied about in a most unpatriotic, not to mention nauseating, fashion. Unfathomable amounts of media real estate will be spent discussing who is wearing a flag pin, which minister said what and the first lady-ness of the candidates' wives will be analyzed based on such matters of urgent national importance as hemline and hairdo.
What will be discussed as little as possible are the issues, you know -- health care, gas prices, housing, spying on citizens, global warming and those pesky skirmishes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And WTF is up with Congress -- where are the hearings on gas prices? Why the continued rubber-stamping of Pentagon funding when pretty much everyone but our elected officials has figured out that these wars are a disaster and the level of waste and corruption is way past not okay? Long story short, what the heck is in the Koolaid that they drink in DC?
And while you were feeling stupefied by all this political bankruptcy -- anyone happen to notice that 35 Articles of Impeachment have been introduced against the President by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, apparently one of the few DC inmates who gets that flag decals are not, with apologies to John Prine, a free pass to heaven. And not a one of those Articles has a damned thing to do with sex. Space does not permit a full recitation, but here are a few of the highlights:
Article I Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq
Article II Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression
Article IX Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Article XIV Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
Article XV Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Article XVIII Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Article XXIV Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
Article XXVI Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Article XXXI Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency
Article XXXII Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Now the Democratic leadership will tell you that impeachment is a waste of time, will drive away voters and it is off the table. Sadly, they have not taken heed of former U.S. Representative Elizabeth Holtzman who has repeatedly and correctly pointed out that impeachment is a crucial tool in defending the integrity of the Constitution and that allowing a lawless President to remain in office is a deathblow to democracy.
Yes you say, but Bush and Cheney will be out of office in a few months anyhow. True, and clearly ending the reign of terror that this man has wrought at an earlier point would have been far more patriotic, but nonetheless, impeaching even at this late date would be a significant step in beginning the monumental task of healing that needs to take place in this country.
Lucinda Marshall is a feminist artist, writer and activist. She is the Founder of the Feminist Peace Network, www.feministpeacenetwork.org. Her work has been published in numerous publications in the U.S. and abroad. She also blogs at WIMN Online and writes a monthly column for the Louisville Eccentric Observer.