Russ Feingold for President!
What connection, you may ask, is there between these two stories? That's easy, if you are me. The seemingly obvious connection is that the Aryan Brotherhood is a white supremacist organization, and Feingold's announcement was greeted with derision by Bill Frist, alleged racist from Tennessee. It's not much of a connection, and it's not what caught my ear, but it's close. What I found similar was that one of the people interviewed for the Aryan Brotherhood segment told of how the gang has degenerated into a low-grade mafia, with inmates being attacked and often killed for the flimsiest of reasons. Russ Feingold was attacked, verbally, for staging a "political stunt," a publicity gimmick, and of overreaching partisanship by Frist and others. His fellow Democrats have not exactly warmed to the idea of censure either.
So in spite of Bush's at least criminal negligence before the September 11, 2001 attacks, his lying to promote his invasion of Iraq, his lying to hide his defeat in Iraq, his incompetence in advance of and after Hurricane Katrina, his illegal spying on American citizens, his sponsorship of torture and illegal detention worldwide, his irresponsible spending and tax cuts, his theft of two presidential elections, and his treasonous role in the public revelation of the identity of a U.S. Government intelligence officer, and obstruction of the investigation of same, both the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress find holding him responsible to be outside the bounds of thinkable thought.
Sounds to me a bit like a mafia. A large group of people who enable and protect the criminal activity of a strong authoritarian leader, deriving great benefits from that enabling and protection. I know it may seem like a stretch to refer to George W. Bush as a strong leader, but it is not his personal strength that is of concern. He is a personally weak man, but his organization is strong, enough to perpetrate great crimes with impunity, and to plan for even greater perfidy. That is strength.
So the U.S. is run by a big mafia, just like Ralph Nader said. Actually, Nader didn't use the word mafia, but he might as well have. I believe the term he used was one big political party, with a "left" wing and a "right" wing. As I have said many times, I don't believe the spectrum of "left" and "right" exists, and that the metaphor is both mathematically incorrect, asymmetrical, and unreflective of real phenomena. Of course, that doesn't slow the adherents (addicts) to the metaphor one teensy-weensy little bit.
But I digress. Mafia is the more correct term because controlling political discourse, activity, law enforcement, legislation, reward, and allocation of resources is literally a matter of life and death, affecting billions of people worldwide. As Bush expands his power, the country veers in the direction of dictatorship, which is exactly the way mafias are governed. Indeed, real-life fascist Benito Mussolini said that fascism should really be called corporatism. Ultimately, because of the dependency of Congresspersons in both houses on corporate largesse for their political survival, the system is corporatist, but the monikers matter little. It is deeds that count. Very few people in the U.S. Congress care one whit about you or me, except as marks for their con game, otherwise known as "elections."
Given this predicament, the call for censure by Russ Feingold is an act of great courage, integrity, humility, and forthrightness. As the various pretendenders of the "wings" of the Republicrat Party jockey for position, pose, and "game" their "stances" on preselected political parameters, Feingold has outsmarted them all. Try as they may to maginalize the proposal, Bush deserves to be in jail, and censure is but the beginning in doing what needs to be done. The American people have had enough of Bush, and they have had enough of the rotten Congress we now have. We need problem solvers, not organized criminals. Bill Frist can squawk all he wants, but the times they are a changin'.
For the doubters, I always have to end with my reiteration that Climate Change, also known as Global Warming, is becoming increasingly serious at an increasing rate. In other words, it is accelerating. The mafia that runs this country cannot deal with it because they are a mafia, a crime syndicate. Their business and their skill is crime, not solving problems. Watch what they try to do this year as the weather goes wild. It will be a big nothing posing as a big something. Tornado season, already more serious than last year, will be followed by hurricane season, with forest and now prairie fire season intersecting both periods. Eventually, as the mafia approach sinks into utter failure and collapse, room will be made for problem solvers.
If not, we roll in our own filth, like dogs, only worse. Dogs have their own instinctive reasons for rolling in filth, and they don't do it as an alternative to ethical living. We are very near to rolling in our own filth as it is, so there's a bit of hanging in the balance going on. Ever the optimist, I think we will choose civilization. It might be this year.
Feingold for President!