Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bring Bush to Justice?

Not likely; not if our Democrats have anything to say about it. With CNN and its ilk framing what counts as political discourse in the Land of the Free, justice for the Bush crime family is far from the public mind. According to our manufacturers of acquiescence, all that matters, this week, is how “presidential” Barack Obama looks as he visits the troops (as in their trope “support the troops”) and meets with imperialism’s increasingly recalcitrant servants (Hamid Karzai and Nouri al-Maliki).

But without an enraged citizenry clamoring for it, justice for Bush and Company would be bad for the regime. Such, it seems, is the Democratic view, identified and explained here, in Glenn Greenwald’s latest column on Democratic thinking reduces to this: let principle be damned and the rule of law as well! What matters more is that we (the political class) “just get along” so that the regime we administer continues unperturbed. This, I might add, is what the paymasters of both parties want; and it is their dollars that the Democrats are shamelessly chasing. Note, especially, Greenwald’s gloss on the position of New York’s “civil libertarian” Senator Charles (Schmucky Chucky) Schumer and the views of that archetypical Obamian liberal Cass Sunstein, ace legal philosopher and recent bridegroom of the (temporarily) deposed Hillary name caller and “humanitarian interventionist” Samantha Power.

In 2000, the still cowed Al Gore, aided by the hapless Warren G. Christopher, Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of State (now a senior Obama advisor), let George Bush and Dick Cheney, aided by the far more able Bush family fixer James Baker, steal the presidential election. Although the facts were on their side, the Gore campaign put up a miserable fight. In the end, though, it wasn’t just incompetence and/or timidity that permitted Bush and Cheney to take possession of the Oval Office. The Democrats caved mainly for the sake of “harmony” within the political class. This is the same reason that will permit Bush administration leaders and functionaries, the beneficiaries of the old Gore’s quest for harmony, to get away with crimes far worse than murder.

Will not future generations see Gore’s capitulation as emblematic of the Democratic political style? And will they not appeal to the disposition it illustrates to explain what is bound in time to seem almost incomprehensible: why Bush and Cheney and the criminals they let loose upon the world were never tried by competent courts and, in consequence, obliged to live out the remainder of their miserable lives in orange jumpsuits under conditions more humane (for how could it be otherwise!) than those they (illegally) imposed upon others?

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