Blast from the Past: "The Pirates Aboard Our Ship of State"
On Saturday, 1 October 2006, I posted a piece in several locations entitled "The Pirates Aboard Our Ship of State."
We're now into May of 2008, and things have gone steadily downhill since then.
I thought it would be worth reprinting this, as-is, without adding in any of the newest outrages, new and continuing crimes or even the latest evidence of blatant disregard for the nation, the Constitution or the world we are building for our children.
The Pirate Aboard Our Ship of State
Whether it's raping the environment or the treasury, pillaging a nation or plundering the social welfare of the poor and disenfranchised, the Republican Party of today has finally shown itself to the world as "the Party of Rape, Pillage and Torture " for the New American Century.
Protected and supported by the pundits, faux purists and hypocrites, these modern day "Republicans" have inflicted a festering wound deep in the heart and bowels of our homeland, poisoning our air and our minds with their manufactured, manicured lies.
The modern day Party of Lincoln quaintly calls itself the "Grand Old Party" while it usurps what honor may have remained in the title "Republican." It has taken control of our government and stolen our past, present and future. A party of modern-day pirates, the Republicans have pillaged our country, plundered our resources and laid waste the principles of an entire nation. Now, it's time to take names and enforce accountability for their crimes.
The list of corruption, excess, abuse and criminal behavior extends far and wide. Each word used to describe this band of cutthroats, jarring in and of itself, has several shades of meaning in which it can be applied. The Republicans of today, sadly, do a yeoman's job of meeting and exceeding each subtle difference in definition as if to demonstrate full compliance with each and every one. It is not a record a to be proud of. Indeed, it is not a record we, the people, should ever have been confronted with.
Let's take them one at a time.
"The Party of Rape"
Taking the basic definitions from Dictionary.com, we are presented with the following:
1. The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.
2. The act of seizing and carrying off by force; abduction.
3. Abusive or improper treatment; violation: a rape of justice.
We see evidence of Republican "fulfillment" in the first definition through several areas, most notably the recent torture bill which allows for the rape and sodomization of suspects are part of their interrogation. I submit, however, that as heinous as it is, this bill is not the only one with which we as a nation and our female population as a whole have been violently screwed by this rogue party.
I'll cite two more examples. (For all the ones not included, I ask readers to add them to comments with the subject of "More 'party of rape'" so that we have a more complete list for our fellow citizens. A list that these criminals cannot run away from.)
First: on the home front, think back to March of this year, when Bush nominated Andrew C. von Eschenbach as permanent commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Do you recall the controversy over the "morning after pill" that erupted? This is same situation that led to Joe "I'm really a Republican in Dem clothing" Lieberman to make his infamous "short ride" comment, but I digress. That's one.
Second: on the international scene, the ongoing controversy regarding CNMI (), an offshore sweatshop/forced abortion/ unholy mess that ties Jack Abramoff to over 65 GOP leaders, not to mention directly to the White House itself.
That's the "quick and dirty" (very dirty) short list of the physical method in which the GOP satisfies the first definition of "rape." There are two more subtle variants to go -- and, unfortunately, plenty of examples to provide.
The Bush Administration's expanded policy of abduction as part of the "Global War
Of On Terror" fits uncomfortably well into the definition of rape regarding "abduction" and carrying off by force. According to some numbers, there are 13,076 known detainees in US custody. That fits the bill for this definition rather handily, so I won't bore you with more links and references on the topic.
The third and final variant on the definition of rape pertains to abuse or improper treatment, or violation, such as a "rape of justice." This one's a biggie. We've got several areas covered here -- the Republicans have been working overtime on this one. Ranging from Constitutional abuses (signing statements, habeas corpus, fudging reports & budget numbers) to environmental (global warming, Pombo) and on to raping the military (undercutting the generals, poor planning, short-sighted equipment, inadequate supplies and armor, underfunding and cutting veteran's benefits), the Republican party has shown itself to be a truly phenomenal "can-do" force when it comes to the rape of a nation and her ideals. We mustn't forget the rampant cronyism as well.
Simply unbelievable, yet true.
And completely unacceptable.
"The Party of Pillage"
Let's return to Dictionary.Com for the definition of the next Republican descriptor: "pillage."
pillage [pil-ij] verb, -laged, -laging, noun
-verb (used with object)
1. to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
2. to take as booty.
-verb (used without object)
3. to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.
4. the act of plundering, esp. in war.
5. booty or spoil.
[Origin: 1350-1400; ME pilage (see pill3, -age), modeled on MF pillage (deriv. of piller to pillage, orig., to abuse, mistreat, tear, of uncert. orig.)]
--Synonyms 1. rob, sack, spoil, despoil, rape. 4. rapine, depredation, spoliation. 5. plunder.
Well, the essential gist of this is the act of stealing money or goods through open violence. This could be merely a coincidence, but I suspect that the preplanned invasion of Iraq and the surplus of no-bid contracts as well as the use of mercenary forces with inadequate oversight I'm adding in the ravaging of the treasury and plundering of Social Security, as well, since much of the financial voodoo that Mr. Bush and his fellow pirates have engaged in has used the GWOT as the over-arching justification. (Do you recall those "IOUs" that George kept telling us about? They're apparently the ones he's been writing, for all the money he's taken out of the Social Security fund.)
Now, where were we? Oh, yes...the final Republican descriptor - "Torture."
"The Party of Torture"
We watched in horror from whatever vantage point we had as the Republican Party staged a kabuki theater on the topic of what type of
torture "aggressive interrogation" techniques were acceptable. This went far beyond the pale. It not only broached a topic regarding something that should be completely foreign to our principles and sense of humanity in a formerly august body known as the Congress of the United States of America, it also included a scripted "revolt" to arrive at a faux compromise in order to satisfy some of the less mindful of the citizenry and save face for a few ethically challenged congresscritters. But it yielded a capacity to deny the right of habeas corpus -- something recognized as a staple tenet of civilized society for over 900 years -- to an already out-of-control Executive Branch.
There's too much currently going on and being covered in far more detail for me to do anything more than note, sadly, that this is one of the single most devastating denials of a right and freedom that has always been central to the heart and soul of what our nation stands for.
There can be no doubt at this time that the Republican Party has become the anti-American party. The Bush Administration's interpretation of the Constitution is a blot on the very fabric that makes up this nation, and a stain outlined in blood and tears that may not ever come out. George Bush once referred to the Iraq war -- his war, the Republican war -- as something that historians would regard as a "comma" in the pages of history. A comma is a blot on a page that signifies a pause or a change of context. Bush's blot on history will be far less functional.
And the Republican Party will be the stain that surrounds and defines it.
The Pirate Party.
It's time to start a new meme -- one for our generation, and that of our children.
The Republican Party has given this nation -- and, indeed, the world -- a "Raw Deal." Our nation is now at the brink of disaster on several fronts, and the Republicans are the ones driving the bus. They are the ones steering the ship of state. They are the party that betrayed a nation.
The recent ePluribus Media series on FDR drives home the importance of the "New Deal" with regard to straightening out a country gone nutsy-crazy. When FDR first presented his ideas on restoring and rebuilding the nation, the Republicans flinched, blanched, and fought against it. They railed against its implementation and over the years have steadily worked to undo it. While they were at it -- and apparently the rest of the nation was asleep at the switch -- the once-honorable party also gutted the founding principles of the nation and severely weakened the checks and balances that helped our government operate free of the tyranny that our forefathers fought to cast off.
Once again, just as in FDR's time, our nation finds itself in the slowly swirling and stagnant quagmire that Republican policies and control have inevitably delivered. We need to counter the Republican "Raw Deal" with a new "New Deal" to set the records straight, balance the books and crush the silly sycophants into the obsolescence they so richly deserve.
Take action. Focus your outrage; don't restrain it, don't fire it off wildly. Use your mind, your wits, your mouth and fingers to communicate the truth. Refute the lies. Expose the talking points for what they are.
We are in a situational crisis the likes of which our nation has never been faced with before. We must regain control of the ship, before it sails off over the edge of the flat world that these louts and brigands live in. We can still make for safe harbor, and reintroduce true leadership, security and diplomacy at home and abroad.
Oh, yeah - by the way: has anybody seen Osama...? (just wondering)