I think it’s easy for people to grow complacent, to forget what we are fighting for, what we have invested so many hours of our lives to discussing and dissecting, and what we will be desperately hoping for on November 4th.
Sometimes, particularly when the political discourse is all about Bill Ayers, socialism, poll numbers, and abortion, I find it hard to articulate just what it is about Barack Obama that lifts me up. It’s much easier to scoff at the Rovian tactics of the McCain campaign, or to laugh at the foibles of Sarah Palin, than succintly explain what an Obama presidency will mean to me.
It’s not so much that I forget about what the past eight years have wreaked upon our country — but that the list is so long, and so horrifying, that it almost seems too awful to repeat. My fear is that as the years of Bush Administration become more and more a thing of the past, we will be willing to let our memories recede. We might remember the 43rd president for his verbal missteps, or his days spent clearing the brush down in Crawford. We will certainly remember the legacy of the war in Iraq and September 11th. But the egregious violations of our constitution and our society will be pushed to the very back of the story. Perhaps they will be too sad to remember.
And so, as we count down the days to what increasingly looks like a renewal of hope, I give you a partial list of the terrors of our age:
— The PATRIOT ACT
— Warrantless wiretapping
— Guantanamo Bay; torture
— Dick Cheney’s Supreme Court litmus test over the limits of Executive Power, and the administrations attempt to pack the Court full of those in favor of vastly expanding those limits
— FEMA’s complete and utter disdain for the human begins it is meant to aid, including their disavowal of responsibility for formaldehyde soaked trailers
— The politicization of the Department of Justice, including Monica Goodling’s screening of potential career employees with questions like “Why do you want to serve George W. Bush?”
— The US Attorney’s scandal
— No Child Left Behind
— An attempt to privatize Social Security by faking a crisis
— Cheney’s one man expansion of the role of the Vice President, which may result in his office destroying all documents pertaining to that expansion
— Karl Rove’s potential involvement in the false indictment of the former Governor of Louisiana Alabama**
— The refusal of the Bush White House to allow key staff to account for their actions in Congressional hearings in many of the above events
— Let’s not forget the beginning: Bush v. Gore
— A slash and burn political methodology which relied on dividing the electorate and governing from the extreme
— Lying to the American people and using the Fourth Estate as a propoganda tool to invade Iraq
— Alienating the international community
— Fomenting a faux conservativism in the country which led the New York Times to hire Bill Kristol as a regular columnist
Surely the list goes on. But I’m already too sick to my stomach to keep typing.