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July, 2004

Immorality Plays
By Frank Scott

What could be worse than the recent orgy of worship for a dreadful, dead ex-president ? Is it the orgy of market hype for the memoirs of a dreadful, living ex-president? How about the inability of supposed political opposition to deal with the most dreadful president of all, who has transformed the executive chamber into an Office of Homeland Deceit and Stupidity?

The morbid week-long corpse watch for Reagan, his flag-draped coffin on view everywhere, contrasted with the invisibility of more than 700 Americans killed in Iraq, their coffins censored from view, lest we glimpse the reality of war. But our present court appointed ruler, who lost an election and somehow won a country, has served to make the ex-presidential actors, one professional the other amateur, seem intelligent and heroic by comparison.

During the endlessly long funereal fiasco, important matters were put into an even more limited perspective than is usually the case. But having finally planted the once historically awful, now mythologically great executive murderer, our short attention span has switched to whatever we're being told now. And it seems our treacherous and bungling regime is not only that, but in danger of legal problems as well.

It is possible that every president in history has been impeachable, if only his opposition had the guts to do the job. But none has offered the opportunity more than the current dim-bulb and his team of fanatics, criminals and incompetents. A few Democrats have come out of their groveling position before power and have begun to stand erect, and question the legality of some of the regime's policies and practices. Still, even with their new found spine, given their track record of dismal failure, it may take nothing less than a public campaign to bring about his impeachment.

The Democrats hope that increasing displeasure with the regime, combined with the hatred that was always there, may serve to bring victory to their most unattractive candidate in November. Our ritual of lesser evil political choice is more serious than usual, in that the greater evil is more blatantly so than ever before. But simply relying on negative feelings toward the Bush regime could backfire. The lack of an appealing candidate and a program substantially different from the regime's, especially regarding the savage attack on reason called a "war on terror," could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Only a ghastly group like the Democrats could bring on such a disaster. They continue to vilify Ralph Nader more than they attack the empty headed twit in the White House, whose deepest thoughts may involve locating an itch in his lower anatomy.

The opposition candidate's strategy, if it can be called that, seems to rely on saying and doing nothing different from the Republicans, but claiming to carry out the usual policies in a way to bring more respect and obedience from friends who've been lost by the arrogant unilateralism practiced by the Bush league. And given the fear and outright disgust created by the rapturous religious loonies in power, such a gutless plan might work. But don't bet on it.

The more radical opposition calls for grudging support to the Democrat, with instant action against him as soon as he's elected. But it may be difficult to get that support when it is regularly insulted and antagonized by the petty, nasty venom regularly spat at Nader and his supporters, whose votes will be needed , we are told, in order to beat Bush. It's hard to be dumber than a Democratic party campaign strategist, but the nation's hope seems to be that the incumbent regime will continue to be even dumber than that.

As bipartisan politics have increased the war budget by more than 300 billion dollars, and the presidential politics that occupy at least some of our minds are financed by sums already exceeding 300 million dollars, some ought to be asking why the hell this money is being squandered on death and stupidity. That would call for a political party representing the interests of the great majority, when all we have are the two corporate parties with one financial source.

Issues of daily survival at home, and their connection to the murderous policies in Iraq and Palestine, become more serious, dangerous, and barely acknowledged. The savage attacks on education, health care, race relations and nonprofessional workers that have been regular policy under regimes from Reagan through Clinton , have become more deadly under Bush. Freedom of speech has never been in more jeopardy, but it at least receives some concern from the upper middle class, but the horrendous treatment of Americans who can't even afford civil liberties, are hardly mentioned at all.

The economic madness that rushes to privatize our public parts in government culture, while its lust for profit rushes to publicize our private parts in market culture, is operating with more speed and less logic than ever. There has been some notice of this, but not enough to really confront the fact that a Kerry regime will not be substantially different than the Bush league in these areas. And that's assuming that it takes power and doesn't , in usual Democratic fashion, simply cringe before it.

So, the death tolls grow in Palestine and Iraq, and the distracting color coded alerts move from magenta to mauve to, perhaps, tutti-frutti, if we're threatened by gay terrorism. The problem of the rich, spoiled , extraordinary religious fanatic in the white house seems solvable only by electing a slightly less rich, spoiled, ordinary religious zealot; a born again Christian Zionist who will continue supporting anti-Semitism in USrael is to be replaced by a once born catholic Zionist, who will do the same. A sad choice, and millions of citizens can be forgiven if the immorality play of the elections assumes less importance to them than another sitcom episode on TV.


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