Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Washington DC - "A hive of scum and villainy"

I know those words are how Obi Wan (Alec Guinness) described Mos Eisley in the original Star Wars movie, but I think it pertains to Washington D. C. just as much, if not more than it does to the fictitious Mos Eisley (sorry if I'm bursting the bubble of any die-hard Star Wars fans by referring to anything from the Star Wars universe as being "fictitious"). And I think the below illustrates the American frustration with the federal government:

I think a lot of the hatred of Bush is largely misplaced. I'm not saying he doesn't by and large deserve the contempt and disgust he has so diligently earned in his over six years in office. I'm just pointing out that while the power in the executive branch is much more centralized and thus it's much easier to find a scapegoat to blame all the country's troubles on one man than it is to focus that anger and discontent at its true source, the US Congress. Congress, being the body that writes laws and passes legislation is the most powerful branch of the federal government but that power is divided between 535 people (100 senators, 435 representatives). It's a bit more difficult to have 535 poster "children" for government corruption and inefficiency than it is to have 1 (in this case George W. Bush).

But even so, the Congressional disapproval is 7.5% higher than the Presidential disapproval. That is to say despite Bush being a much easier target, the American public is by and large much more fed up with Congress than they are with Bush.

Which begs the question (albeit rhetorical) "why?" And I know one doesn't generally answer rhetorical questions but this is one that the dimwits in Congress obviously need answered for them.

In 2006 the American people voted out the Republican controlled Congress. The Democrats didn't really have anything different or better to offer, that election was more of a house-cleaning of Congress than any mandate of the people. The Republicans in Congress who had taken control in 1994 with the promise to clean up the corruption and inefficiency of over 40 years of a Democratically controlled Congress had become just as corrupt as the Democrats they had been elected to replace.

The trouble is, when it comes to Congress corruption, stagnation and inefficiency know no party lines. Those who use the ass as their mascot are just as corrupt as those who have an elephant as their mascot. The American people wanted something different, better, and less corrupt in both 1994 and 2006 and the only thing that really changed in either of those elections was the mascot of the party in control.


Godwhacker said...

I was at a meeting with some GOP big-wigs this week. When asked "Why don't Republicans vote like Republicans", the biggest of the wigs said "The people don't reelect you if you don't pass out the goodies that everyone expects from Washington."

That theory is more full of holes than a declassified document. The Republicans lost because they were spending like Democrats. And the approval for the Democrats is so low, because on the worst of issues, they vote just like Republicans. Observe how they browbeat Bush over domestic surveillance, then right before they made like the Iraqi government and took a month off, they voted to give Bush all that he wanted and more.

What? Do these people think we are stupid? So long as they stay in power it appears they think we are.

The Phoenix said...

The two-party system is broke. It's pretty obvious.

Dantallion said...

I don't believe the problem has all that much to do with Republican vs. Democrat, Conservative, vs. Liberal. Your congress (and the executive branch as well) are crippled by a massively corrupted political system - the US has systematically institutionalized bribery into the democratic process. And things will not change until the power of lobbyists and special interests have been completely neutralized, and true campaign finance reform becomes reality. Only then will the government be able to get back to being "of the people, by the people, for the people". Anybody looking at the problems faced by the US right now and who still try to make the "free-speech" argument when it comes to money is probably directly or indirectly benefitting from the current system.

As for the President: real, democratic-minded leaders (the principle, not the party) have been able to navigate around the corruption somewhat and still keep the US on a straight track in the past. This president (along with his cronies) is not just a bad leader. And he is more than just inept. He's done massive damage to the reputation of the Republican Party, United States, and the West in general. He's taken unjustifiable and unforgivable actions that have resulted directly in the deaths of hundreds of thousands people, not to mention geo-political instability. He's turned being conservative into something shameful. And he's shown the world a level of hypocracy in free-democracies previously unheard of.

The hatred of this president is not misplaced at all. It is well deserved - he has earned every bit of such contempt and more, both domestically and worldwide.

I hope the GOP and the United States are able to recover quickly from the distaster that is this president's legacy.

Susan as herself said...

I pretty much agree with Dantallion, and I will also add this: I am sick and tired of arrogant leaders who think because they have money and position that they are above the law. And by leaders I mean ANYONE with a title and a semblance of influence and deceision-making power. The president, Congress, WHOMEVER. Hell, this even applies to local governments here.

There is a lot to criticize about this administration, sure, and much of it is nit-picky and one-sided. But some of it is downright terrifying, and it flummoxes my mind to think there is a small group of human beings who are so righteous and pompous as to believe that they are 100% in the right and also have the wherewithal to tell everyone else what is morally correct. Moral judgement has NO PLACE in government, and this presidency is so tied to religion that it turns my stomach. This is innappropriate at best, and scary beyond belief at worst.

I personally cannot wait for a change---ANY CHANGE---because I find it hard to believe that anything replacing this can be as horrible as this for long. And I pray that whoever steps in next in any leadership position has the heart, stomach, and integrity to turn the wheels in a different direction without fear and with the nation's and the world's best interest in mind.