Tuesday, August 7, 2007

2006 wasn't so bad after all

Does everyone remember how back in November of 1995 and again a month later the Air smelled sweeter, the birds sang louder, and according to some reports no one was ever sad? Of course, I'm talking about that glorious governmental shutdown due to budget disputes.

Why so glorious? Well, when the government doesn't operate, it's not oppressing me. or you. or anyone. (Okay okay, so "essential services" including the military and U.S. Marshals were in full force, and conceivably they could still have rounded us up and put us in concentration camps for being Jews, or homosexuals, or intellectuals, or Libertarians, or Star Trek fans. But ours isn't a country where I think we have to worry too much about the hard "German Style" oppression. We go more for the soft "French Style" oppression--a slow but steady increase of state power.)

A government shutdown is better than a congressional recess because, I think most people don't realize that while Congress is the great enabler, it is the administrative state that does the actual thumb twisting of the citizenry. That said, I'll take a stalemate over a one-party government any day of the week and twice on Sundays! (Besides, stalemate is the first step to shutdown). We aren't there yet, but if we're lucky it wont be long:

In the current era of divided government, Bush does the signing or the rejecting, confident so far that despite his poor approval ratings he has enough Republican support to avoid a veto override.

It's far from tidy, and not likely to get any prettier in September, with the president and Congress both pointing toward a spending showdown as well as a resumption of their struggle over Iraq.

I'm just giddy over the possibility of a spending showdown. They build character.

Meanwhile, though the farm and energy bills are in dire straits, the one thing the Dems can get through is an INCREASE IN THE EXECUTIVE'S POWER TO EAVESDROP ON INTERNATIONAL PHONE CALLS WITHOUT A WARRANT? I thought you all got elected on the "Bush is delusional and the war on terror is out of control" platform. So while you are too busy squabbling about mommy issues like CO2 Emissions and farm subsidies, you just rubber stamp another increase in executive power in the name of war. Democrats, your voters would like to have a couple words with you--the second word being "you."


Pete said...

The pitfalls of a two-party system. The old Republican congress deserved a kicking, but these guys did not deserve to win IMO. They look like old fashioned nanny staters to me and that should IMHO be enough to curb some of the gay enthusiasm they seem to be getting.

I'm not saying a parliamentary system is better, but at least there is a bit more choice.

Matt said...

Hahaha. Are you for reals? You sound like you're one short step from setting up a militia on some hilltop in Tennessee. *smooch*

Tim in Italy said...

Oh, God, how I hate this! You gloat with more determination than most people pray. Why you feel so smug is beyond me. You voted for him. Twice! One would think you’d be rolled up into a ball in a monastery somewhere engaging in various exorcisms rather than gleefully pointing out the shortcomings of the opposition. But that they deserve your derision is beyond a doubt. I’d write my senator, but territorial issues abound (who is the US Senator from Italy, anyway?). I’m from California, but Ms. Feinstein is FAR too busy confirming Nazi war criminals to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. My family is in Atlanta and that is the address I now use, but they’re too busy waiting for another crack at Sherman and worshipping snakes to be of any assistance. Besides, I don’t suppose “Pink is mocking me” will carry much weight with either of them.

The problem is that the Dems are terrified. They awake in the night to nightmares of a second 9/11 occurrence and POTUS pointing a BBQ sauce dripping finger saying, “If we had had the right intelligence, this could have been avoided!” So much for the White House in ’08. Rudy gets elected and we get 8 more years of Springtime for Hitler. What the Dems never seem to understand is that the American people would much prefer they grow some balls rather than try and match Rove at his own game. They don’t have the stomach, or the intellect, dark as it may be.

At this point, I don’t care which side wins, so long as it’s someone who cares more for the people than he does for party politics. My dream ticket? Obama/Powell. Go ahead and laugh, but I think Powell is a true patriot and if you don’t think Obama is calling him regularly, you got another thing coming!

“Please, God, make Pink eat his words and have to work for a Democratic administration, because that’s all there’s going to be for the rest of his natural life. Amen”

Pete said...

Oh come on Tim, Nazi war criminals? Springtime for Hitler? You live in Italy so you must have some perspective what that stuff really means.

Pink Elephant said...

Oh Tim!

Really I am only gloating about having a divided government! We have seen that when Republicans have a virtual one party state they are no better than their opposition (and some would say worse). Too much power for any one group, no matter who the group is, leads to tyranny. I'm not excited that the Dems rolled over and played dead for Bush on the surveillance measures. Instead I wish they had stalled him like a good opposition party should have. My point was not "the Democrats are fools" or even that they are hypocritical. Just that they aren't doing their job.

Matt! Oh don't be silly, I only exaggerate for effect and humor. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an army surplus sale to get to! (j/k)

Tim in Italy said...

Yes, Pete, in all seriousness, because I do live over here, and have lived in Germany as well, I do have a perspective of what tyranny means. It occurs when the people become complacent, the infrastructure starts to rot because of a bankrupting war and the elected officials are only motivated by power. Would you like a count of the German intellectuals who laughed at the idea of Hitler in power? The slide is much easier than you think.

I'll go back even further, to ancient Rome. The people there had a choice: freedom or security. They chose security and the divine Julius was empowered to guarantee it. Watch and see which way we lean.

Tim in Italy said...

Pink, your comment to Matt... ditto.

By the way, I'd vote for you if you ran. You have a whiff of the right stuff. But one condition: you appoint me your Chief of Staff so I can knock you up side of the head if you get too full of yourself... dear God, what am I saying?

Pete said...

Tim, "Nazi war criminal" tends to refer to people like Amon Goetz and Eichmann, who are complicit in the murder of thousands or millions. I doubt that judge has done things that bad. I don't want to sound like a humourless prick but this kind of discourse makes serious politics more and more difficult.

I've lived in modern Germany as well and I'm convinced it has, like the US, the checks and balances to remain civilized and democratic under much harder circumstances than well, my own country. To get a Hitler you need a Weimar Republic, a place like modern Russia could get one.

None of the 2008 candidates look like potential Hitlers to me, but they do look more like ambitious career politicians rather than people with ideas. No shame in it, most of the western world lacks good pols.

B. Goldwater, channeled through Andronicus said...

But the meaningful question is:

"When will Pink come out of the closet.......as the Libertarian he really is?"

There is no way in hell I am going to appoint you my worthy successor until you repent your association with the GOP and register as a big L.

Icon said...

Pink, y'll c'mon up here to Pennsyltucky where we have budget deadlocks with some regularity.....just had 'nother one last month. (I was considered 'ssential so I didn't get a day off.)