Thursday, July 5, 2007

Independence Day: What Are We Celebrating?

As I sat in my living room listening to the fireworks last night, I began to think about what we were celebrating. Since the Mets were getting shellacked in Colorado, I flipped over to the the Macy's Fireworks broadcast and enjoyed a few minutes of fireworks on TV. (My home doesn't have a western exposure so I couldn't see them from my window.)

And then it happened. The cameras were panning the crowd as God Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner blared, and the fireworks display was being crossfaded with the American flag on my screen. I literally felt my blood begin to boil as cheery, ignorantly blissful faces waved miniature flags. "Yay us! Woohoo, America is the greatest! We're #1! We're #1!"...sigh.

I completely understand getting caught up in the moment; feeling proud to be American while seeing a beautiful fireworks display and hearing our national anthems. But didn't anyone in that crowd feel a little sad? Didn't anyone feel a little ashamed of what our country has meant to the rest of the world over these last few years? Did one person think about the corrupt, crumbling Bush administration and the damage they've done, not only to our reputation, but the literal damage they've done to the citizens of this once great country?

Now I don't know if we were ever great. Revisionist history always plays a part in how you perceive your country. But perhaps our greatest moment was the day that we were celebrating in the first place. The signing of the
Declaration of Independence, our defining moment as a nation, might be the best thing we have done all these 231 years later.

The thought that a group of 56 men just like us; lawyers, farmers, merchants, professors and clergymen, got together in rebellion because "The history of the present King... is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations...". They decided, as representatives from their individual colonies, to secede from their original homeland and by definition become treasonous for want of a better way of life. They all agreed "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

They sat down and in careful fashion, listed what they believed were the illegal acts of their King, defining him as a tyrant and effectively impeaching him. But they had no governmental process for replacing him. They had to start from scratch. Yet they vowed in support of the Declaration they were about to sign to "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." They would support the Declaration of Independence or die trying.

So here we sit 231 years later. A different George is playing the role of King now. Do we list his illegal acts? Most won't touch it... but Keith Olbermann did:

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

Is he wrong on any count? Not to mention the illegal US wiretaps and ignoring the FISA court, the firings of US attorneys for political advantage, the suspension of habeas corpus for purposes of keeping detainees indefinitely and without charge, defining torture in a memorandum and failing to adhere to the Geneva Convention, leaving the Gulf Coast to rot in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina almost two years ago, and on, and on, and on.

And what do you suppose will happen, Mr. Bush, when you decide to enforce Presidential Directive 51, that you probably signed stealthily in the dead of night like so many cockroaches avoiding the light? What do you suppose will happen when you declare a "catastrophic emergency", most likely at the hands of your very administration, in an attempt to usurp the branches of government and continue your stay as leader of this country?

You were handed the 2000 election by the Supreme Court before the vote count was completed. You were handed the 2004 election by your minions after they stole it with illegal voter roll purges, rigged electronic voting machines, suppression and intimidation. And now you sign a presidential directive entrusting yourself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch, and giving yourself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”

When we celebrate Independence Day, we should spend a few moments really reflecting on what the celebration is all about. What do you suppose will happen when King George declares a catastrophic emergency?

What else can it take for the leaders in Congress to impeach? Prepare for a revolution.

UPDATE: Also read "Dead On the 4th of July" Jesse's Blog at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is a revolution is the only way these scumbags would leave office because congress is spineless.I would love to see him and cheney hung upside down like mousselini being beaton with bats like a pinata in the rose garden