The Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life Rant

Last night I was up till 3:30 AM watching the coverage of the American mid-term elections and there's no way to deny the joy I felt in seeing the Democrats, for all their failings, taking back control of both the House and the Senate. And then this morning I awoke to the glorious sight of a humbled Bush giving Donald Rumsfeld, one of the most despised men on earth, the boot. Yes, undeniably good news, but, still, I couldn't help but feel a bit depressed.

No, I'm not secretly a supporter of the Republicans. And, no, I'm not quite as cynical as some who say that there's no real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, because that's simply not true. On the environment, invading other countries, and many other key issues, the Democrats are clearly the far superior choice. It is true, however, that many Southern Democrats are more reactionary on just about every issue than your average Northern Republican. It's also true that the whole political discourse of the country is quite far to the right of the rest of the Western world (with the exception of our own beloved Prime Minister Stephen Harper, of course). But, no, that's not what had me feeling down. Nor was it the incessant, almost-nauseating, near-religious devotion to "The Troops The Troops The Troops" that you're subjected to whenever watching or reading the American news. Nor was it the realization that the Democrats are not going to be able to end the war in Iraq, at least not any time soon.

No, the depression didn't really kick in last night until I saw the results of the referendums (or "ballot initiatives") that were being held around the country. There were a few good results, such as the vote in Missouri to allow stem cell research; but really this most basic form of democracy showed how truly conservative America is. There was Big Oil, after spending tens of millions of dollars, winning their battle against an environmental tax in California. There was Arizona's four anti-immigrant/anti-Mexican measures passing, such as the one making English the official state language. Meanwhile in South Dakota voters rejected the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. I mean, what the hell's with that anyway? We're talking about medicine. Medical heroin (codein, morphine, etc.) is in every hospital in the world, but medical marijuana, that's to be feared and banned? That's what those hippies used to undermine our civilization, right? So the hell with the sick, let them suffer, because they simply can't use THAT!

And then there was the raging homophobia... everywhere! State after state voted to make same-sex marriage illegal. They might as well call them "The Screw Equality For All" measures. Adding to the 20 states that have already voted in similar anti-gay bans in the past few years, seven more states (of the eight that voted) said yes to bigotry, inequality and intoleration yesterday. Only Arizona, surprisingly, voted the measure down, 51% - 49%. I guess when you're focusing all your fear and hatred on Mexicans, you can't really be expected to muster up the required venom towards gays. At least not on the same day. Maybe next time.

But the thing that really blew my celebratory mood was thinking about how Rumsfeld is simply losing his job. I mean, really, where is the justice in that? We're talking about, by all definitions of international law, a war criminal. This is one of the architects of an illegal and immoral war. An unprovoked illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of another country. I'm sorry, but desire for permanent military bases and overall control of the Middle East and its oil is NOT a legitimate justification for invading and occupying another country; not any more than the Nazi's invasion and occupation of most of Europe was justified by THEIR desire for power, resources and glory and THEIR sense of moral superiority.

Yeah, Bush, Cheney and the rest are all guilty and deserve to face some justice too, but today it was Rumsfeld who was walking away. Let's remember that we're talking about the man who said before the war: "We know they have weapons of mass destruction. We don't need any debate about it." "Oops, my bad", Don would have said... if he had had any sense of decency, but the guy's simply incapable of admitting any personal mistakes. And now tens, if not hundreds, of thousands are dead. And instead of facing justice he'll, like all the other architects of this sick adventure, slide into some cozy seven figure corporate chairmanship... while the blood continues to flow for years to come.

In his press conference this morning Bush called out the "terrorist enemy" and told them to "not be joyful. You will all be brought to justice". Which, of course, and again, brings up the obvious question: Who will bring him and his gang of war-mongers to justice? Yes, Rumsfeld, one of the most arrogant, stubborn, reviled (did I mention arrogant?) men on earth, has finally been sent packing. But where is the justice? Saddam will face justice for the hundreds of thousands of deaths he's responsible for, but Bush and Buddies will walk away unpunished and unrepentant from the corpses of the tens of thousands of dead Iraqis (and Americans) that they're ultimately responsible for. Not a cheerful, happy thought.

There has, however, most definitely been some uplifting news to celebrate: Best of all, of course, is knowing that, with the Democrats capturing both houses, Bush is no longer going to be The Decider. The Decider has lost his rubber stamp legislature. The Decider is nothing more than a lame duck now. And that can only be a good thing for America and the world. Then there's the fact that a woman is going to lead the House, as Speaker, for the first time ever. Infallible Don The Killer, as I've been talking about, is on his way out. And, most importantly, Bush will no longer be able to stack the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, with right-wing extremist judges - judges who will be around for 35 to 40 more years influencing America in all the wrong ways long after Bush, Sidekick Dick and Infallible Don The Killer are nothing but distant nightmarish memories.

Come to think of it, it's been a pretty happy couple of days, hasn't it? So, if you were feeling glum like me, cheer up! Don't let the Mass Killers For Freedom, or even the majority of homophobic bastards, get you down. As more than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament said in a joint statement earlier today "it's the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world." And, hopefully it's true that, as Borat most accurately calls it, Bush's "War Of Terror" is finally going to be reined in, at least somewhat. So I suppose it is time to celebrate. Come on everyone, things are looking up and you all know the tune: "Always look on the bright side of life..."

   Oredakedo (Mike Cowie)
   Wednesday, November 8th, 2006