Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year's

Every new year comes a time for resolutions. My resolution this year is not to lose weight, go to the gym more, eat less holiday food, or score with some chicks. Some of those things will happen undoubtedly. This year I declare war. I find this necessary because apparently my nation is too chicken-shit to declare war anymore. The Founding Fathers gave this grave responsibility solely to the legislature with all its pomposity, its electoral bellicosity, and its fundamental lack of vision beyond the next fundraising cycle. They did this in their wisdom because of the victory of Hamilton's cynicism. It is not often stated that cynicism is one of the foundations of our national charter. It is true however and not emphasized enough.

Our nation was gifted at its inception with multiple men of the most profound contemplation and the most far-reaching foresight. It is through their wisdom that America has been outfitted in its character and laws with a most generous portion of majesty independent of the stature of lesser men. One man if great enough can found a nation. It takes true genius however to craft a nation so that it will preserve an essential light of greatness that can inspire people despite the follies of lesser men who follow in the footsteps of those greater than them.

One of the most deep-seated convictions of our Founders was that the responsibility for taking the nation to war to Congress. Here we need not bandy words about what constitutes war. Any extended large mobilization of soldiers that involves active combat with forces of another country is war. Certainly, war is not always a matter of choice. Every nation recognizes the right to wage defensive war in the face of militaristic provocation, threat, and invasion. Other than this however, no matter how grave the threat the Constitution firmly reserves and assigns the responsibility for deciding the initiation of hostilities to Congress and Congress alone. It does not give Congress the right to assign this responsibility to the President.

The reason why Congress has this responsibility goes back to cynicism. Lord Archon once wrote that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Because of the particular nature of war, with its perilous and necessary confusions of truth and the need to subordinate individual liberties to common effort in order to secure victory the Founders knew that executives would be particularly tempted to deal with domestic political opposition by waging wars and therefore obtaining the unique suasion available to leaders during wartime. In America we have crossed an irrevocable Rubicon and our Republic stands in grave peril because of it. It was crossed with barely a whisper in protest, and indeed only one lone voice will be remembered having been raised in staunch defense of the Constitution in the trying times to come. That lone voice was that of Robert Byrd who alone merits the honor accorded to him of being called a Senator of the Republic of the Union of the States of America.

Their reasons for cowardice and equivocation will be dissected by historians in times to come, but their reasons however convuluted or poisoned by human weakness are not the issue on this day. It is enough to know that they were too much craven to do the duty of their high offices, and to through deliberation and recorded vote bring this nation decisively to armed conflict. In ceding this power to the executive, they have empowered a monstrousity that would have been bitter unto death to swallow if it had been brought by an idealistic and inspiring popular President. Instead, we have a President who does not know how to be Presidential. He swaggers with the trappings of power, but he does not weild it with the stern strength of one whose measure has been tested. Neither does he weild it with the cautious cleverness of a man who knows that he is beyond his depth, and treads lightly lest he awaken the wrath of the forefathers resting in their tombs. No this usurper walks with the arrogance of a man whose father has given him everything because of sentimental doting in the place of the rugged harshness that might have made him into a real man. In his false confidence, in his untested depths already the nation wallows its way into dangerous shoals while more prudent men desperately try to navigate a way out of these sheer reefs that her captain with his smirk has sent all the souls of the crew perilously into mortal danger.

I despised Clinton. I despised his intrepid weakness in the face of foreign threats. I hated his blundering PC revisions of the institutions of the military. I despised his bogus market liberalism and fatally tainted trade treaties. There was no conspiracy from Whitewater to Vince Foster that I did not in my secret heart of hearts consider him guilty before even being brought to trial. However, he was a far far better President of the United States of America than George W. Bush could ever dream of being. No matter how flawed his ideas, and they were often flawed, his native intelligence prevented President Clinton from making fatal errors. When he got over his head whether from gays in the military, the misadventure in Somalia, to health care he had the instinct of self-preservation that prevented him from going too far. In addition, despite his rather flawed policies on foreign trade and fiscal policy his intelligence prevented him from creating a posture too botched. It was simply impossible for anyone who paid any attention to reality in order to go too far wrong. At the end of the day, the Presidency was greater than the man and the nation more than survived his mistakes - they prospered because of the right choices that he made.

Make no mistake, many of the flawed policies from humanitarian war to the neglect of the terrorists abroad were instituted under the Clinton Administration and much blame lies there in my eyes. It was beyond my wildest dreams however to consider that a Republican Administration could be worse. And it is far worse. This is true beyond a reasonable doubt. What we have is an Administration that lives up to the worst cariactures of those who would criticize the political right. It is beyond the imagination of even the worst cynics to conceive of a more poorly run Administration. Its follies are too much to recount in one evening's posting.

So in face of this abuse of everything that America holds sacred including justice for the mighty as well as the weak, of public policies built on the truth of universal human ideals and not wicked lies, of leadership advised by wise counsel and not the whispers of flattering cheats there is only one recourse. I declare war. I declare war on the viscious untruths and the blatant lies that have taken hold of the nation that I love most dearly. It is war and there will be no holding back. It is time that the truth was told and the polite fictions on which society builds its truces was shattered. What can one person do? We shall see. So far no one has bothered to try, so I will.

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