This “What Is at Stake” editorial from The Nation is worth re-reading in preparation for Election Day:
November 7 has taken on the shape and feel of a fateful election. We hope the results add up to repudiation--the beginning of the end of the disastrous, corrupt reign of George W. Bush. […] If the Democrats do succeed in winning a majority in the House of Representatives and possibly even in the Senate, then the country has a chance to begin the fundamental task of restoring democracy and the constitutional order that Bush & Co. did so much to desecrate.
Democrats could revive what used to be a staple of representative democracy--accountability, the power of Congress to question the chief executive and demand answers for misdeeds and misguided policies. A tall stack of outrages, lies and potentially criminal abuses awaits examination. Manipulation of intelligence. War profiteering. Energy policies that ignore global warming and fatten oil-industry hogs. The destruction of constitutional rights. The cynical neglect of citizens injured in New Orleans and elsewhere. The looting of the Treasury by lobbyist fixers and wholesale tax giveaways. A healthcare system that serves drug manufacturers and insurance companies instead of people. The list goes on and on.
Speaking of a list, this YouTube video shows that the list of corrupt Republicans can’t even be read in a single breath. (Thanks to John at AmericaBlog for the tip.) For a more comprehensive reminder of what we can expect if the GOP continues to control Washington, check out this list I wrote back in June. Since the GOP scandals haven’t abated since then, there are a few additions:
More heinous laws like the Military Commissions Act, more Mark Foley sexual predation, more Denny Hastert cover-ups, more lies about the “stay the course” policy in Iraq, more George Allen racism, more Don Sherwood payoffs to mistresses, and more Curt Weldon nepotism.
We’re the only ones who can make the GOP corruption stop, and our only weapon is the ballot. At Progressive Daily Beacon, A. Alexander explains “Why You Must Vote: Republican Abuse of Power:”
If on the other hand you, the American voter, sense a pattern of corruption and If on the other hand you, the American voter, sense a pattern of corruption and abuse of power - vote and cast your ballot for the Democratic ticket. Remember, the only power politicians have is that given to them through the generosity of your vote. Whether or not you, the American voter, believe it - you've got all the power. On Tuesday, November 7, 2006, consider using your power to take back your country. On the other hand, if you haven't had enough Republican abuse of power...
Brent Budowsky’s “The Issue Is Corruption of Conservatism and Damage to America” advances the claim—mistaken, in my opinion—that “the Republican government in Washington bears no resemblance to the core principles of conservatism:”
In many ways Bushism and Cheneyism have violated cardinal rules of principled conservatism with great harm to the nation and, I predict, great harm to true conservatism and the Republican Party.
Bushism involves a violation of the central tenet of conservatism and has become a new form of Big Government super-statism. In many respects Bushism is more akin to French style Gaullism than American style conservatism: big government with centralized power.
It violates classic conservatism and as well as liberalism, for an all powerful executive to claim the unilateral and inherent power to violate the constitutional and to violate Federal Statute.
Some conservatives, but far too few, have protested this extreme attitude which is an American version of neo-Gaullism, and threatens time honored notions of separation of powers and the rule of law that conservatives once held dear.
Bushism involves an extreme violation of the core idea of libertarian conservatism and the core notions of the right to protection against intrusion from the centralized super-state.
Whether or not one believes the ever-more-common claim that the Bush administration’s failures represent a betrayal of conservatism, the failures nonetheless exist. Whether or not the impending GOP implosion is a failure of unworkable principles or merely Acton’s Law in action, the corruption nonetheless exists. Whether it is Bushism or conservatism that has proven unworkable in the twenty-first century and brought our nation to this condition, a need for change nonetheless exists. This must-read New York Times editorial concludes that tomorrow’s election is indeed a referendum on Bush:
This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate. [emphasis added]
To top it all off, even the latest issue of Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine is titled “GOP Must Go:”
There may be little Americans can do to atone for this presidency, which will stain our country’s reputation for a long time. But the process of recovering our good name must begin somewhere, and the logical place is in the voting booth this Nov. 7. If we are fortunate, we can produce a result that is seen—in Washington, in Peoria, and in world capitals from Prague to Kuala Lumpur—as a repudiation of George W. Bush and the war of aggression he launched against Iraq.
On Nov. 7, the world will be watching as we go to the polls, seeking to ascertain whether the American people have the wisdom to try to correct a disastrous course. Posterity will note too if their collective decision is one that captured the attention of historians—that of a people voting, again and again, to endorse a leader taking a country in a catastrophic direction. The choice is in our hands.
Conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan says this in his comment on the AmCon editorial:
Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we have to repudiate this administration's disastrous incompetence, or face even greater perils than we have been exposed to already. Tomorrow's the day. Do not be silent.
Sullivan’s column in the Sunday Times lambastes the “incompetent, reckless fanatics now in control:”
My own profound hope is for a resounding victory for the Democrats. That’s not because I agree with them on every issue. Far from it. But I can recognise incompetence, fanaticism and recklessness when I see them; and right now, all three have seized the White House and the Republican leadership. It will be good for the Republicans to lose this election. […]
Given the level of denial in the White House, this is not really an election. It’s more like an intervention. To save Republicanism from Bush, to save Bush from himself, and to save the world from impending crisis.
Protect My Vote, the American Center for Voting Rights, and the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project are useful resources against those who are attempting voter suppression and intimidation—as well as other dirty tricks— to influence tomorrow’s election.
MediaMatters lists the “Top election falsehoods, myths, and talking points.” It’s essential reading, as usual.