Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Got Democracy?

Happy Fourth of July! Like so many holidays, the Fourth has become associated with its trappings more than its meaning. It's the holiday of barbeque and fire crackers. How black a July Fourth Eve we had yesterday when the president commuted the sentence of the one member of his administration so far convicted for the avalanche of crimes they have committed. And before the appeals process was even over. Democracy? I don't think so.

As Keith Olbermann said last night:

"It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


What a tremendous slap in the nation's face this pardon is. What timing! It's as if to say, "Enjoy your fireworks, America. Look up in the sky and say 'Ooooh!' while I go on playing king."

Do you realize that Paris Hilton served a harsher sentence for whatever it was she did (and who cares?) than Scooter Libby did for intentionally leaking the identity of a CIA agent for political purposes? Though that isn't even what he was sentenced for, right? Just for lying about it? I mean, it was a joke to begin with that he (and others) couldn't be tried for TREASON, just PERJURY -- and even that little wrist slap has now been overturned?

Olbermann points out that at the Constitutional Convention James Madison advised impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had commited crimes advised by that president. I bet Bush couldn't tell you a thing about James Madison. Maybe he knows he was the fourth president, but I bet not. Well, Madison is the man who dreamt up the three branches of government. He is the man who wrote the Bill of Rights, those first 10 amendments to the Constitution that this administration finds to be of such negligible importance (well, except for the second one, of course).

Aiii. Folks. This is not a happy Fourth of July. I plan to barbeque like everybody else, and I've got a hankering to go out and buy a wading pool because it is HOT today. And yes, we'll have sparklers and fire crackers and beer and pie. But it's bitter. This isn't the country we want it to be. It's not the country it's supposed to be.

You can watch or read Olbermann's full commentary here.


Anonymous said...

You are still very, very young. The President has reasons for doing what he did, reasons that you and I cannot possibly understand because of our limited age and life experience. You must trust and believe with every fibre of your being that the President knows what he is doing and that it is in the best interests of the country and each and every citizen. Don't lose faith, little creepy buttercup, if Bush has indeed let little Scooter fun free, it must be part of a bigger plan for peace and to halt this delicious war on terror.

jennifer said...

Great post laini!

Very well put! Yay!

When will this country be a great country again? I don't know. I hope soon.

Try to have a good 4th! stay cool and try to keep leroy calm despite the fireworks!

P.S. who wrote that comment up there? strange.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jennifer! I feel I need to "out" the anonymous commenter above to teach her a lesson. Hi, Alexandra! When I read the first line I almost deleted it, because I get so tired of that "you're too young to know" attitude (I'm 35!) and then I recognized the particular flavor of nonsense as belonging to my insane best friend. Still, my finger hovered over delete, but in the end I left it.

Alexandra: be warned. Post anonymously at your own risk!

kelly rae said...

is anonymous really alexandra being sarcastic??? let's hope.

and all i have to say is amen about this post. the whole thing has had me sick to my stomach this week.

kelly rae said...

ha!!!! i was right!! it WAs our little sneeky alexandra!

liz elayne said...

trying to stay cool up here in tacoma and waving and applauding and saying thanks for sharing your views my friend. i nod in agreement.

(as for alexandra - wow - what a turn of phrase in that comment. she had me up until the creepy buttercup part. hee, hee.)

jennifer said...

I, too thought alexandra when I read
the "creepy buttercup" part! Naughty girl.. I also am always shocked when I read someone defending Bush so I am sooooo relieved that it was Alexandra!

Sustenance Scout said...

Laini, thanks so much for this post! I've posted on your post (and borrowed your flag photo; sorry...trying to do laundry and pack for our trip home tomorrow before we head to our town's festivities tonight...crazy!) although I hadn't even planned to post today at all. This development is too important for any American to ignore. Take care! K.

Anonymous said...

I'm appalled that you would out a dearest friend like that! Thats why I, for one, am choosing to post anonymously. I applaud Alexandra's courage to defend our mighty President. Besides, something that is getting close to no coverage is that the President did not commute Scooter Libby's sentence as a favor. As it turns out, Scooter Libby has a very rare known disorder that requires him to eat thirty two Trader Joes veggie corndogs per day and American jails are not set up to accomodate such a medical need. If Piggly Wiggly's, the chain that supplies jails with their food, starts carrying the veggie corndogs, then Scooter will likely have his sentence reinstated. I hope that clears things up. And happy 4th!
Mark Wyden,
Teehee, Ohio

Amber said...

I'm so glad I came to this blog today to read.. and then I got to the comments section and got some great laughs. Even today. :-) Piggly Wiggly and veggie corn dogs...*sigh*

I'm also glad you brought up Olbermann's comment because I have been neglecting the news quite a bit lately.

The creepy little buttercup comment completely disturbed me until I found out she was kidding. For a moment I wondered how far the wool blanket had spread.

Amber said...

Oh, and there's really a place called Teehee, Ohio?


Disco Mermaids said...

As I get ready to eat some hotdogs and watch some fireworks and flag waving, it's nice to know I'm not alone today.

From one patriot to another, thanks for this breath of fresh air.

- Jay

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

"Little creepy buttercup"...that's hilarious!! Oh my god.

I loved Olberman's statement. Yeah, trust us. How many times have we heard that before Mr. big balls "anonymous" poster? Should we have trusted that Nixon knew exactly what was best for the country?

Anyhoo...Laini, I've tagged you for a fun game. Visit my blog for details.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Okay, I'm a dork. I posted before reading about it being Alexandra. Well, she nailed the smug self-righteousness of a right wing die-hard!


Amber said...

No. It is not the country it is supposed to be.
Think that is true, just makes my heart so heavy. Sometimes I wonder if we are just too BIG to manage...It is so easy for crap to happen, when the classroom is just so large and full, you know? I wonder if the founding fathers could have ever imagined we would be this big, and what they would say as to how to make it work, if it can.

But I hope it was happy anyway. Kory and I met today, fifteen years ago. THAT makes me happy. :)


Becky Levine said...

Thanks for this brave post. I was feeling just the same yesterday--we did a movie instead of fireworks. It felt like it needed to be a quiet day, not a celebratory one.

chest of drawers said...

I can honestly say I am sick of seeing Mr. Bush´ face and hearing all his lame plans and excuses...when I think of America I prefer to think of creepy buttercups and folks in Teehee Ohio.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Oh dear, well living in Morocco and traveling for my job throughout the region, I don't want to tell you what folks outside of the US think of our government. Eeek...not good.

PS Your best friend is truly wacky in the very best way...:-)

Keg said...

Its my first time visiting your blog, its a great post Lani.
You have to wonder what is going on in a country that would send Martha to prison and keep a treasoner, liar and murderer as president.