Eric Margolis: `THROW THE RASCALS OUT
- `THROW THE RASCALS OUT'
by Eric Margolis
October 30, 2006
TOKYO US mid-term congressional elections are often humdrum
affairs that usually produce low voter turnouts. But this November
7th's vote is shaping up as the most exciting and important mid-term
election in modern American history.
The upcoming vote has generated extraordinary interest around the
globe. Polls in Asia, Europe, and Latin America show the widely-
expressed hope American voters will deliver a stinging rebuke to the
Bush Administration and end its war in Iraq.
Last week, a senior State Department official finally spoke the
truth about administration policies in Iraq, calling them `arrogant
and stupid.' He later retracted his statement, but the damage was
Illustrating this point, the increasingly out of touch Vice
President Dick Cheney just assured Americans the catastrophic war he
and the neoconservatives engineered in Iraq was going `remarkably
well.' President Bush ordered the powerless US-installed government
in Baghdad to `get tough' with powerful Shia militias.
Panicked by the looming specter of defeat in Iraq, George Bush
suddenly declared his cherished mantras - `we won't cut and run' and
`stay the course' inoperative. The new party line: `flexible
Meanwhile, John McCain, the current Republican frontrunner for the
2008 presidential election, is daftly calling for doubling of US
troops in Iraq, which would mean reinstating national conscription. .
But Bush's new motto looks more likely to be `fudge and flee' as he
scrambles for a face-saving way out of the disaster in Iraq. Things
are so bad, the Bush Administration is actually pleading with `axis
of evil' members Syria and Iran to help it out of the Iraq mess.
Yet many Republicans still keep hoping their politics of stupidity
will continue to fool American voters. Wiser Republicans are swiftly
backing away from the increasingly unpopular president.
Republicans and demagogues of the Christian far right have joined to
promote fear, religious and racial hatred, and the crassest jingoism
to America's most gullible, poorly educated, voters in the Midwest
Staggering subsidies for farmers, tax breaks for big business,
doubling military spending, and unlimited support for Israel, won
Republicans more support from key voter groups.
Today, however, Republicans have sunk to their lowest point in
memory. Only 16% of Americans approve of the job the Republican-run
Congress is doing.
The US Constitution established Congress as America's premier arm of
government. George Bush, Dick Cheney, and their neoconservative
allies used 9/11 to turn Congress into a rubber stamp like the old
Look at the embarrassing Republican leaders in Congress, the world's
greatest legislature, the heir to the great Roman Senate:
The shambling Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was a wrestling
coach. The once feared House leader, Tom Delay, was a cockroach
exterminator before going to Congress. They were barely worthy of
political office in Dogpatch, Texas, never mind Washington.
Both Republicans and Democrats are steeped in Washington's endemic
corruption and influence peddling due to the constant need to raise
campaign funds by kow-towing to special interests.
Members of both parties voted like clapping seals for the Iraq War.
But Republicans took the lead in promoting and sustaining that
totally unnecessary conflict, now estimated to likely cost upwards
of $1 trillion before it is lost.
Senior Bush administration officials responsible for the Iraq
disaster - Dick Cheney, George Tenet, Condoleeza Rice, Paul
Wolfowitz, and Colin Powell - made astounding fools of themselves
before the world by chorusing a litany of grotesque lies.
It's hard to think of another administration in modern history that
has done more grave damage to US interests and reputation abroad, or
so grievously undermined the system of Constitutional government at
home. None of America's foreign enemies have ever inflicted so much
Politicians are all too rarely punished for their egregious misdeeds
and dishonesty. But this 7 November, Americans will have a golden
opportunity to deliver judgment on the politicians and officials who
misled them and the nation.
Voters will be able to punish many of the Republicans and spineless
Democrats who voted for the illegitimate war in Iraq, and supported
President Bush's violations of the Constitution by spying on
citizens, illegal wiretapping, and overriding laws made by Congress.
All American legislators who voted this month to ignore or violate
the sacrosanct laws of the Geneva Convention and the basic right of
habeas corpus, and who disgracefully voted to legalize torture,
should be ousted.
American voters will hopefully ignore all the fear-mongering they
have been subjected to and remember the basic and most important
tenet of democratic politics: `throw the rascals out!'
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