February 01, 2006


A friend forwarded this email which hits the nail on it's spineless, "democratic" head:

January 31, 2006
An open letter to:
€ Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
€ Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
€ Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
€ Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
€ Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
€ Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE)
€ Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
€ Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
€ Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
€ Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
€ Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
€ Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
€ Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
€ Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
€ Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
€ Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
€ Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
€ Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV)
€ Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)

Dear Senators:

Half a lifetime ago, on my eighteenth birthday, I proudly registered to vote
as a member of the Democratic Party. Today, at 36, I am re-registering as an
independent and renouncing my affiliation as a Democrat.
And you are the reason.

I've seen many things in the past five years; things that shocked me,
horrified me, angered me, depressed me.
I saw President Bush raid the treasury and steal four hundred billion
dollars a year to hand out as tax breaks to his plutocratic supporters,
running up more debt in five years than all of his predecessors combined,
letting nothing--not terrorist attack, not two wars, not natural disaster,
nothing--interfere with his looting.
I saw Bush sit through the worst attack on the US since Pearl Harbor,
reading to children, knowing that the attack was underway but doing nothing
to respond to it.
I saw him declare that Osama bin Laden was wanted dead or alive. I saw him
state, six months later, "I don't think about him much...I truly am not that
concerned about him."

I saw Congress debating whether or not the USA PATRIOT Act should be passed,
whether it intruded too far on the civil liberties of Americans. I saw
Congress unite in almost unanimous support for it once anthrax-filled
envelopes began turning up in the offices of Democratic senators. I saw
investigative leads in the attack dry up when evidence pointed to the Army
biological weapons laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland, as the most likely
source of the anthrax.

I saw Republicans take the absolute unity the nation felt after 9/11 and
pervert it into the greatest divisiveness our country has seen since the
Civil War--turning friends, neighbors, and even family members against each
other. I saw Republicans attack Democrats as cowards, fellow travelers of
bin Laden, fifth columnists, traitors to their own country.

I saw heads of corporations enrich themselves with billions of stolen
dollars--robbing retirees of their pensions, lying to investors to pump up
stock prices, sending the electrical grid of the entire west coast into
chaos--urinating on the heads of their employees, shareholders, and ordinary
citizens like a vodka-filled ice sculpture of Michelangelo's David.
I saw the GOP blatantly violate Congressional rules, holding votes open for
hours beyond the deadline in order to strong-arm any Republicans who might
vote against the party leadership's position, shutting off microphones while
Democrats attempted to speak, and sneaking significant unapproved revisions
bills while in conference committee.

I saw the administration suppress government scientific research at odds
with their policy goals, demand rewriting of documents to undermine
scientific claims, and replacing respected scientists with industry
insiders. I saw information on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing
HIV removed from the CDC website and replaced with abstinence information. I
saw Christian conservatives oppose a vaccine that is 100% effective against
a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, because it might
undercut their pro-abstinence message. I saw the morning-after pill withheld
from over-the-counter sales through the efforts of a man with a history of
repeatedly anally raping his wife.

I saw members of the Bush administration lie and deceive Congress and the
American people into a war that was unwarranted and unwinnable. I saw them
fabricate connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda that did not
exist, and drill these fabrications relentlessly into citizens' brains until
the majority of Americans believed that Iraq was involved in 9/11. I saw
them terrifying people with the specter of nuclear mushroom clouds
annihilating American cities, generated by weapons that Saddam Hussein did
not have. I saw Colin Powell betray a lifetime of honorable service by
presenting sketches of imaginary mobile bioweapon factories to the UN
Security Council. I saw the administration and its allies in the media
attacking anyone who dared question their lies, trumping up a bogus child
molestation charge against former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and
exposing the identity of Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative and her
brassplate company as a CIA smokescreen, undermining decades of CIA
non-proliferation work and jeopardizing not only Plame's life but that of
everyone who could be connected to her. I saw senior Bush administration
officials lying to investigators about who was responsible for the Plame
leak, and Bush himself lying about the consequences that the leaker would

I saw Bush send thousands of Americans and tens, possibly hundreds of
thousands of Iraqis to gruesome deaths while spouting platitudes about
freedom, democracy, and peace. I saw him say implicitly that the only way to
honor the deaths of those thousands of Americans is to continue down a path
that will ensure the deaths of thousands more. I saw American troops cut to
pieces by improvised explosives. I saw them docked pay and forced to pay for
their own food while hospitalized from combat injuries. I saw them
scrounging through scrap heaps for pieces of metal and broken bulletproof
glass to use as improvised vehicle armor. I saw them receiving inadequate
body armor. I saw families spending thousands of dollars for the best body
armor available when the military failed to provide it. I saw the military
tell soldiers they would forfeit their death benefits if they were killed
wearing body armor that was not standard issue.

I saw administration lawyers proclaim the Geneva Conventions to be a quaint
anachronism and redefine torture to mean nothing less than suffering
"equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury,
such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death." I saw
the administration forging an alliance with Uzbekistan, whose government is
accused of boiling political prisoners alive. I saw the CIA secretly
shipping prisoners to countries that commit torture. I saw innocent
prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan, murdered by US troops, none of whom
received a prison sentence longer than three months. I saw photographs of
hooded Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib hooked up to electrodes, of naked
prisoners smeared with feces, stacked in piles, menaced by German shepards.
I saw an Army interrogator receive a reprimand for killing an Iraqi general
by smothering him in a sleeping bag while sitting on his chest. I saw the
CIA setting up secret miniature gulags in former Soviet prisons. I saw
reports of white phosphorus being used like napalm against civilians in
Fallujah, and of American troops arresting family members of suspected
insurgents and holding them hostage. I saw nothing happen to anyone in
command who was responsible for the decisions leading to these atrocities.

I saw corruption spread like a cancer through the Republican party, as Tom
DeLay, Bob Ney, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Michael Scanlon, David
Safavian, Conrad Burns, and others were implicated in the Jack Abramoff
scandal; as Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit
bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion; as DeLay was indicted for
money laundering; as Bill Frist (whose family corporation was once fined a
billion dollars in the largest case of Medicare fraud in history) was
accused of conflict of interest and violating the terms of his blind trust;
as Republican leaders were accused of allowing stock market day traders to
work out of their offices, profiting from the ultimate in insider
information. I saw Bush obstruct the Abramoff investigation by giving the
chief prosecutor a federal judgeship. I saw Republicans respond to ethics
complaints by considering John Boehner for House majority leader, a man who
had previously handed out checks from tobacco lobbyists to colleagues on the
House floor.

I saw President Bush strumming a guitar while an entire American city
drowned in the fetid, pestilential waters of Hurricane Katrina. I saw the
first major RNC policy push in the wake of Katrina--to make the elimination
of the estate tax permanent. I saw Bush say "I don't think anyone could have
anticipated the breach of the levees" when a FEMA exercise the previous year
clearly foresaw that possibility. I saw him use the post-Katrina chaos to
sneak through a Justice Department recess appointment for Alice Fisher, who
had been implicated in policy decisions leading to detainee abuses. I saw
bodies floating in the streets while FEMA head/former horse racing official
Michael Brown sent word that his dinner was not to be disturbed, fretted
about how he looked on TV, and blamed everyone but himself for the
disastrous federal response. I saw decomposing corpses rotting on rooftops
four months after government officials were told where to find them. I saw
oil companies push gas prices up to three, four, five, six dollars a gallon,
allegedly to offset increased costs due to disruptions to refineries and
pipelines--then report two consecutive quarters of unprecedented
eleven-digit profits.

I saw Bush appoint talentless cronies to positions they were utterly
unqualified for, even after Hurricane Katrina, thus virtually guaranteeing
that any major problem they were responsible for addressing would by design
turn into yet another unmitigated disaster. I saw him demand "up-or-down
votes" for all his appointees, demand that he get every appointment he
wanted, demand secrecy from Congressional inquiry so that his bad advisors
could feel free to give him all the bad advice they could.

I saw the Bush administration use every means at their disposal to acquire
and abuse new powers. I saw him declare that the President had the right to
indefinitely imprison anyone he wished, citizen or foreigner, and to deny
them access to legal representation or any contact with the outside world. I
saw him authorize no-fly lists to ban air travel by suspected terrorists,
peace activist nuns, four-year-old children, and men named David
Nelson--with no published information on how the list is determined and no
way to get off it. I saw him appoint convicted Iran-contra perjurer John
Poindexter (a man so corrupt he couldn't tell Congress the truth even with a
grant of immunity) to develop a massive database on American citizens. I saw
the military conduct surveillance of Quaker peace groups and college
anti-war groups and classify them as a "credible threat." I saw the illegal
warrantless surveillance of at least 80,000 of Americans by the NSA in a
program that predates 9/11. I saw the President sign the McCain anti-torture
bill into law with a statement that he felt free to ignore it. I saw him
suggest that his title as commander in chief of the military gives him
authority to spy on civilians; that in authorizing him to take action to
defend the country, Congress implicitly repealed any law that might stand in
his way; and that the FISA court is merely a tool for him to use, or not, at
his discretion, rather than a constraint on his authority. I saw him fight
the war against terrorists by attacking American citizens and the rights and
liberties that are our inalienable birthright.

And I saw the Democrats in Congress do nothing.

Worse, I saw you often sabotage each other. Joe Lieberman regularly scolds
other Democrats for their anti-war statements, reinforcing the Republican
talking point that Democrats are weak on national security issues an unable
to lead in a post-9/11 world. Zell Miller took his attacks on his fellow
Democrats all the way to the 2004 Republican national convention.
Presidential hopeful Joe Biden threw his support behind a bankruptcy bill
that provided minimal protection for military families, opposed a 30% usury
cap, and failed to treat medical crises differently from irresponsible
spending. Harry Reid put out a factual press release listing 33 Republicans
implicated in corruption scandals, then apologized for it a day later. You
unthinkingly repeat the lies in Republican talking points without
questioning them. You fail to support each other, you fail to respond
coherently to outrageous actions by the administration, you fail to stick to
a consistent message, you fail to protect the interests of the voters by
whose graces you serve, and you fail to stand up for your own principles.
I naively hoped that your inaction was merely a clever strategem; those
hopes were occasionally buoyed by minor victories. Perhaps you were just
biding your time, I thought...waiting for your chance, giving the
Republicans enough rope to hang themselves.

Then came the Samuel Alito nomination. You had the perfect opportunity to
begin to reverse the course of this train wreck of an administration.
Instead, you fucked yourselves and the rest of us.

You knew Alito had boasted of his membership in the Concerned Alumni of
Princeton, a racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist alumni organization, when
applying for a job in the Reagan administration. He claimed now not to know
anything about the group or to have had any involvement with them, which
offered only two possibilities, either of which was sufficient to instantly
disqualify him--that he had lied to get the job then, or that he was lying
to get the job now. You knew he had vigorously advocated a fight to reverse
Roe v. Wade in his Reagan years, that the Supreme Court had explicitly
rejected his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey where he
argued in favor of requiring spousal notification--thus, in effect, giving
men veto power over their wives' medical decisions and ownership of their
uteruses. You knew of his failures to recuse himself from cases in which he
had a financial conflict of interest. You saw his ruling allowing a
warrantless strip search of a 10-year-old girl, just the most outrageous of
many data points illustrating his contempt for individual rights. You knew
of his support for the notion of an omnipotent "unitary executive"
unconstrained by Supreme Court precedents, by the laws passed by Congress,
even by the Constitution itself (that "goddamned piece of paper" as Bush
calls it)--a grotesque concept utterly alien to American jurisprudence. You
knew that most of his most important rulings were overturned by higher
courts, that he usually dissented from the majority opinion in cases he
heard, and was often the lone dissenter, indicating that his legal views
were not mainstream and were often at odds with long-established precedents.
Christ, he wouldn't even state that it was unconstitutional for Congress to
pass a law stripping American-born children of illegal immigrants of their
citizenship because he might have to rule on it in the future, in spite of
the plain, unambiguous text of the Fourteenth Amendment.

You knew this battle was coming. You fought over the "nuclear option" a year
ago to ensure the availability of the filibuster for use against such an
extreme nominee. You had three months to get your act together, to put
together a plan of action, to build public support. But in the final
climactic moment, the vote for or against cloture, the nineteen of you
caved. You worthless, cowardly bastards, you caved. You threw away the only
vote that mattered. Good God, what the hell is wrong with you? What reason
could you possibly have had for not supporting the filibuster? You handed a
Supreme Court seat to a man with no respect for the Constitution, no respect
for individual rights--a defender of the indefensible, an enabler of
fascism, a rubber stamp for tyranny. And in so doing, you have given Bush a
blank check for any abuse of power he wishes, knowing that he's got all
three branches of government in his pocket. Furthermore you've jeopardized:
€ fifteen years of disability rights legislation
€ thirty years of abortion rights precedents
€ thirty-five years of the struggle for gay and lesbian rights
€ forty years of minority voting rights
€ half a century of black civil rights
€ seventy-five years of labor law
€ 115 years of antitrust legislation
€ 135 years of environmental protections
€ the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth,
Tenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments
€ and perhaps even the authority of the Supreme Court to constrain
unconstitutional acts by the President, dating back over two centuries to
Marbury v. Madison.

In short, you've undermined everything the Democratic party supposedly
stands for and crippled your ability to revive your moribund policy goals.
The death rattle may not come this year, or next, or five years from now,
but as long as Alito is on the Supreme Court, the bloodletting will continue
until nothing remains of the Democratic agenda. And so-called Democrats like
you are responsible. As Edmund Burke wrote, "the only thing necessary for
the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." And at the moment when
decisive action was most desperately needed, YOU. DID. NOTHING.

That's why I no longer consider myself a Democrat. You cannot be trusted not
to betray your core constituency, and I cannot in good conscience associate
with such duplicitous cowards. The Republicans may be right--maybe you are
traitors to your country; maybe you do hate what America stands for, if you
violate your oath to support and defend the Constitution, if you see the
enormity of this administration's crimes against our country, our people,
and our world, and do nothing to stop them. The GOP is far worse, of course,
but I know enough not to take my eyes off them...I expect them to stab me in
the back. I expected better from you. But no more. The Republicans' actions
in the past five years have wounded my faith in our nation's future, but you
killed it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Lady B!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Miss B,

good friend you have there... I have sent this to everyone I know and I sure hope it gets around...

11:47 AM  
Blogger Jordy said...

Blogged it. Thanks --LB!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

36? Did you invert the numbers?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Lady Bunny said...

Yes, my bad...No! I didn't write this but I wish I had. --B

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This letter forgot to mention that Hillary co-sponsored a bill against burning an American flag with a Republican Senator. Like she or naybody else should be worrying about this right now!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Screwed up thinking at its best - right here!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last comment must have been someone who is benefiting from this rape of America by the PNAC and the Republican party. I am in total agreement with the author, however, there are just not enough Americans left in this country.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Article! Thank You!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to author! I like articles like this, very interesting.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog!Nice information

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:-) ochen\' zaebatyj blog!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the great work. It very impressive. Enjoyed the visit!

6:44 PM  

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