Monday, November 06, 2006

It matters...

In 2004, the election mattered. This time, it matters more.

President Bush has proudly defended breaking the law by conducting wiretaps without the warrants demanded by the letter and the spirit of FISA. He claims to wiretap only with probable cause... but that means he could get warrants and is refusing to do so for no good reason.

President Bush has refused to admit that he's made a complete mess of Iraq, and while he can reject the claim that 600,000 Iraqis have died by violence (close to 200,000 as a result of coalition action - and yes, my rightwing friend, some of those actions *were* self-defense), he refuses to find out what the true numbers are.

President Bush has demanded to be allowed to use torture - just, please, don't *call* it torture, but have *you* ever tried standing for 40 hours straight? He's demanded the right to pick up anyone he wants to who isn't an American citizen, and claim the right to hold them forever, without our courts being able to say "no, show some reason - just a reason, not proof - to hold them, or let them go". He's demanded the right to hold trials that can be completely one-sided, so an innocent person could well end up convicted of some of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

While he only claims the right to hold non-citizens indefinitely, he did hold a US citizen indefinitely, and only let him have any rights at all when it seemed that his detention would be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

He bungled Katrina, then threw huge gobs of money at the problem, so his friends could get contracts, and they could subcontract, and the subcontractors could subcontract, until they brought in some Mexicans at dirt cheap wages to spread tarps over the houses, but they still haven't even cleaned the place up yet.

He hasn't investigated that, he quietly did away with investigations into corruption in Iraq, and won't even hire more IRS agents, whose ability to audit more returns would increase revenue by more than their cost - i.e., hire some more auditors, to enforce the tax laws, and they'd pay for themselves, and then some. And trust me: they wouldn't pay for themselves by auditing the poor and middle-class.

He has done all of these things, and more, and the Republican Congress is willing to keep it all quiet. We'll never know how bad things are while the Republicans retain the right to block any and all investigations.

I said this to a Republican friend whom I respect: if the Democrats have the House for two years, they'll investigate. If they don't find anything, and if they don't have a powerful platform for 2008, they're gone. Bush can veto anything they do, and they won't have enough votes to override his veto.

We need the investigations. We need the truth... we need to know if our worst fears are true, and we need to know if our worst fears are completely groundless. Without investigations, we'll never know the truth, and without the truth, we'll never heal the bitter partisan rifts we're facing.

It really matters.

Go out tomorrow, and vote. There's a lot at stake.

Making Light enumerates some pretty good reasons why even a veteran ballot splitter should consider voting the straight Democratic ticket this time around.
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