James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Poking Bush with a needle from France

"The law in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under the bridges of Paris, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

Dick Bernard, a leading member of the Minnesota peace and justice movement, sent along that quotation from Anatole France, written around 1900, give or take a few years.

It could be a comment on Bush crowd’s idiotic "ownership society" con game. Its irony is more tasty for being (undoubtedly) over the heads of the jackass in the White House and many of his most ardent supporters.

There also is a savory irony in using the sharp needles of France – novelist, essayist, critic and poet and quintessentially French, even to the degree of adopting the name – to poke the Bushies’ distorted bubbles.

Here’s another of his pithy comments, entirely straightforward, which makes me think of our continuing dilemma and the election just past:

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still foolish."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Obervations, questions and a quotation

It seems of late that the Republican Propaganda Ministry has a very efficient Office of Disinformation up and running.

What is most notable, if you think about it, is the amount of nonsense they’ve been able to place in support of the Republican Lite subverters of the Democratic Party. I’ve seen any number of columns and op-ed pieces under well-known bylines warning the Democrats against becoming "radical."

The general line is that the American public has moved to the right, and Democrats must do the same or face extinction. People who are to the right of where Barry Goldwater once stood are patted on the head and called "centrists."

Somebody tell me why anyone would think George Will is concerned about the welfare of the Democrats? And how about David Brooks, who in a Jan. 18 column expressed great fear of "Gingrich Democrats" who are taking such insanely radical stances as opposing the Bush crowd’s program to destroy Social Security.

Just in case you thought otherwise: Ladies and Gentlemen, David Brooks is NOT motivated by a desire to see the Democrats do well in future elections, nor in governing.
Apropos the above comments:

The major news agencies – the television networks, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and such – have a small army of reporters out there looking to see who among them is, like Armstrong Williams, being paid with our tax dollars to be a sneak propagandist for the Bush Administration. (Williams is the commentator who accepted $241,000 in bribes from the Bush administration to sell the administration’s foolish "No Child Left Behind" program while pretending to be an independent observer.)

Sure they do. Don’t they?

Don’t they?

Oh, they don’t?

We should call and write our local television stations and newspapers and ask why not.


Don’t you just love the Bush crowd’s slogans and program names?

They’re more creative as marketers than the brewers and even the pharmaceutical companies.
How about, "the Ownership Society?"

It’s a winner in the outer suburbs, folks.

Sounds great until you take 30 seconds to think about who owns and is going to own what.
The billionaires are going to own it all, folks, if the Bushies have their way, and you and I are going to be among the things effectively owned.

Altogether now, let’s practice: Yes sir. No sir. Yes sir. No ma’am. Yes ma’am.

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
--Hermann Goering

This one is going to get me in serious trouble with some of the peace activists, I fear, but so be it:

Democratic office holders in safe positions, or even fairly safe positions, should either start making an ear-shattering racket about what’s being done to this country by the right wingers or stand aside for someone who will. We haven’t the time to be understanding about those who have "good hearts" but sit mostly in silence.

That thought is inspired by my own Congressman, Martin Sabo, who represents the Minnesota fifith district – basically Minneapolis.

Sabo, who has held his office since 1978, is a good guy. He routinely is reelected with about 70 percent of the vote, without bothering to campaign seriously. He gets out one mailer, maybe two, and a couple of emails. His people might make one round of phone calls to known Democratic voters in the district, and he probably shows up at a few public events and waves to the crowd. That’s it.

He could get caught wading nude in a downtown Minneapolis reflecting pool and still get 60 percent of the vote. He could slug George W. Bush in the White House and get 98 percent of the vote the next time around.

In other words, Marty – as we all know him – has as safe a Congressional seat as can be found in the U. S. of A.

In recent years, the desperate years, he hasn’t done diddly with it.

Oh, Marty always – and I do mean always – votes right. He is a rock-solid liberal who also is totally honest. He used to be known for his expertise in several difficult areas of governance.

But, people, all he seems to do these days is vote right – which is futile, given the present makeup of Congress. In today’s circumstances, a member of Congress in his position should be raising hell, calling the attention of his constituents and others to the crimes and misdemeanors of the administration and the right-wing members of Congress. He should have the press calling him daily to find out what he’s angry about, or what he’s uncovered, today.

And, no, he doesn’t have to behave like a lunatic to do that. (In fact, to picture Marty being anything but ramrod straight is almost impossible.) But he has a position that can be used to identify the evils and explain them to the public. He has a manner that demands people take him seriously.

He’s not using it.

And good guy or no, anyone who doesn’t use the office these days really should go.