Tuesday, November 15, 2005

AlterNet: It's Obstruction Time

AlterNet: It's Obstruction Time By Stephen Pizzo, News for Real. Posted November 15, 2005.

We know now that George W. Bush is not trainable. What we see is what we get -- and that's exactly what we're going to get for three more years unless we stop

I spent the long weekend thinking about damage control. No, not the countless
damage control operations underway within the Bush administration now. I was
thinking about what we, the nearly 60 percent of Americans who believe
President Bush is doing a bad job, are going to do now.

Bush has three more years at the wheel. How are we going to keep this guy
from creating any more messes we, our children, and our grandchildren will have
to clean up?

I'm serious. We need a damage control strategy, and we need one fast. I wrote
a piece many months ago entitled "Obstructionists of America, Unite!" I
suggested that sometimes obstructionism can be the passive-aggressive exercise
of true patriotism. But the idea must have been launched too soon, because the
response to that piece was underwhelming.

Not now, though. If ever there was a time to employ massive obstruction, it's
now. After all the damage the Bushites have already done, are we really going to
just let these Typhoid Marys continue infecting everything they touch,
everything Americans hold dear?

I proposed back then that House and Senate Democrats stop running from
Republican charges that they are being obstructionists, and instead turn
obstructionism into a virtue. When Republicans accuse them of obstructing
administration plans, programs or appointees, instead of launching into some
convoluted, triangulated response, just thank them for the compliment.

Then use the opportunity to ask them why, in light of the administration's
abysmal track record, they are not helping obstruct this out-of-control wrecking
operation. In case they forgot, or weren't paying attention the last five years,
hand them this list:

First-term Damage Report

  • They blew the Clinton $5.6 trillion surplus
  • Cut taxes by nearly $2 trillion benefiting mostly wealthy earners
  • Ran up national debt to
    over $8 trillion -- and growing $3.5 billion a day
  • Created record high energy prices and record high earnings for energy
  • Started a war on false pretenses
  • Global warming is on a tear (just ask the folks in Florida and Louisiana.)
  • Treats real
    the same way the Catholic Church treated Galileo.

And he's not done. We know now that George W. Bush is not trainable. What we
see is what we get -- and that's exactly what we're gonna get for three more
years unless we stop him. Under our system of government, the only legal way to
stop a sitting president is to block his every move and abscess him off from the
body politic.

We must especially stop him from creating damage that will persist long after
he's finally out of our hair. That means stopping him from stacking the Supreme
Court with right-wing Christian fundamentalists. The confirmation of Judge
Samuel Alito is certain only if Democrats allow it to come to a vote.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 -- A coalition of liberal groups is preparing a
national television advertising campaign against the Supreme Court nomination of
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. that seeks to move the debate over his selection
beyond abortion rights and focus instead on subjects like police searches and
employment discrimination, several leaders of the coalition said. (Full

If Senate Republicans try blackmailing Democrats out of filibustering Alito
by trying to change Senate rules -- the "nuclear option" -- and limiting the
filibuster, Democrats should shut the whole damn place down again, just as Harry
Reed did two weeks ago.

Then, behind closed doors, tell Republicans that if they persist with the
nuclear option, Democrats will shut the Senate down everyday from that day
forward until they relent. Nothing will get done. (Which is a win in itself,
considering most of what the administrations wants to get done shouldn't get
done anyway.)

But real obstructionism is not for sissies. Democrats are going to have to be
ready to confront the GOP counterattacks. They will accuse Democrats of
everything from hurting our troops overseas, to giving aid and comfort to
terrorists, to putting all Americans at risk, to flat out accusing them of being

To which Democrats must respond, "Bring it on." Unpatriotic you say? Well
Mr./Ms. Republican, explain this to American voters:

  • How patriotic is it for US kids to get killed to fulfill some neocon
    wet-dream of democratizing the Middle East?
  • How patriotic is it to lie to the US Congress, to the United Nations and the
    American people to justify that deadly fool's errand?
  • How patriotic is it to get over 2000 America kids killed just so we can turn
    Iraq over to a convicted embezzler, serial liar and human scum like Ahmed
  • How patriotic was it to appoint a certifiable imbecile to run America's lead
    emergency response agency?
  • How patriotic is it to turn America's once-robust middle class into a bunch
    of underpaid Wal-Mart surfs?
  • How patriotic is it to allow nearly 60 million American men, women and
    children, to face life without even the most basic health coverage?
  • How patriotic is it to saddle working families with skyrocketing energy
    prices while energy companies pocket obscenely large profits? (Might this be why
    they insist on keeping secret the Vice President's energy task force
  • How patriotic is it to toss tax cut crumbs to hardworking Americans while
    giving the already wealthy windfall tax cuts?
  • How patriotic is it to stand by while your nation runs secret dungeon-
    prisons offshore and tortures foreign prisoners in America's name?
  • How patriotic is it to let large drug companies monopolize the market on
    lifesaving drugs, and then pass a law prohibiting bankrupt Medicare from
    negotiating lower prices for such drugs?
  • How patriotic is it for top administration officials to lie to a federal

Democrats should tell GOP attackers they will be happy to explain to them why
obstructionism is patriotic, just as soon as they answer those questions. That
is, if they still need such an explanation.

Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The
Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a

him. "

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