This column by Paul Krugman (writer for the New York Times) neatly sums up where we were at the end of 2004 and how very different things look today, at the end of 2005 (with respect to the political climate).
A year ago, it was clear that before the Iraq war, the administration suppressed information suggesting that Iraq was not, in fact, trying to build nuclear weapons. Yet few people in Washington or in the news media were willing to say that the nation was deliberately misled into war until polls showed that most Americans already believed it.
While I am glad that finally many are becoming aware of what this administration is doing (and has been doing for many years), it is so important to keep on fighting against them. They will not go down easily, of this I am quite sure.
I was only dimly aware of the circumstances surrounding the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton. But it seems to me if he can get impeached for lying about a blow job, any one of the 50,000 things this administration has done to hurt this country should be grounds for it as well. What’s fair is fair. However, it appears that all bets are off if you are a Republican. This comment, from “Wild Weasel” on the Americablog story on Krugman’s column lays it out cleanly:
It’s okay to break the law if you are a Republican. Viz: (1) Lie to Congress and the American people about why America needs to invade Iraq. (2) Spy on Americans without court approval or oversight. (3) Torture people or use third-parties to torture people, and then use that flawed information for flawed policy. (4) Ignore the Constitutional guaranty of habeas corpus. Etc. etc.
Its okay to ignore the Constitution if you are a Republican. The three-legged stool, and our system of checks and balances has been replaced with a one-legged stool. Privacy is no longer guaranteed.
Its okay to dismantle democracy if you are a Republican. (1) Intimidate news journalists so they won’t ask tough questions or probe issues. (2) Keep secret what the government is doing so voters are forced to vote blindly, pick the best sound bite, or just stay home and not vote because there is insufficient information, or you just plain feel like your vote no longer counts.
It is my wish that this administration is held accountable for all it has done (or not, in the case of Hurricane Katrina) and that those who are still drinking that durn Kool Aid put down the dixie cup and catch a clue. When things are tilted this far in one direction (or the other), it hurts all of us.