I cannot remain silent…but can I do anything, really?

3 Jul

“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”–Thomas Jefferson

I am outraged over Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s prison sentence. Those who are dancing with joy this morning are the same ones who howled and accused Bill Clinton of abusing his pardon power when he pardoned Mark Rich right before Clinton left office. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.  (And, for the record, I was not entirely comfortable with Clinton’s pardons, but I recognize he had that power.)

George W. Bush, as president, also has the power to commute sentences. The power is there in the Constitution. Like any power, it can be misused or abused. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that the exercise of this power will be controversial.

But what outrages me more, what makes me angriest, is the attitude of this administration and its few remaining supporters. This administration prosecuted former actor and famed pothead Tommy Chong for possessing a bong and sent him to jail. A doper spends more time in jail than someone who lies to the FBI in an effort to cover up a crime that endangered our intelligence community. Heck, even Paris Hilton spent more time in jail.

The attitude of this administration is that it is above the law. The evidence is clear and convincing–perhaps, even, beyond a reasonable doubt. Dick Cheney claims to be not part of the executive branch, but not part of the legislative branch either. He is his own, extra-constitutional branch of government. And some people are okay with this because Cheney’s “their guy.”

And it is this attitude that infuriates me because We, the People of the United States are, basically, powerless to do anything about it. Our nation has been hijacked by tyrants in the White House. Our remedies in the Constitution–impeachment–are useless because the Republicans (and some Democrats) in the Senate are too willing to support this administration because it’s “their party.” The same ones who crowed about the “rule of law” in the Clinton impeachment trial don’t feel the same way when it’s their guy who is in the White House.

So what are We, the People to do? Elections don’t seem to make a difference since so few people go to the polls (and the conservatives who are running this show always vote).  The progressive/liberal blogosphere has the same fault that any other forum does–it’s an echo chamber. We feel good when we read things we agree with. But no one is changing any minds to the extent it will make a difference.

I wonder if my law degree would be useful in Jamaica…


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