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In today's column, Bob Herbert of the Times gave an analysis of Al Gore's recent speech in New York City. Both Herbert's and Gore's analysis succeed in quantifying many of the issues that I've found most troubling about the Bush administration's misuse of the the power they control.
One particularly intriguing section was this;
At one point, he [Gore] told his audience: "In preparing this series of speeches, I have noticed a troubling pattern that characterizes the Bush-Cheney administration's approach to almost all issues. In almost every policy area, the administration's consistent goal has been to eliminate any constraints on their exercise of raw power, whether by law, regulation, alliance or treaty. And in the process, they have in each case caused America to be seen by the other nations of the world as showing disdain for the international community."
Amid cheers, he made it clear that the broad interests of the American public are consistently betrayed by the policies and practices of President Bush and his administration. "They devise their policies with as much secrecy as possible," he said, "and in close cooperation with the most powerful special interests that have a monetary stake in what happens. In each case, the public interest is not only ignored, but actively undermined. In each case, they devote considerable attention to a clever strategy of deception that appears designed to prevent the American people from discerning what it is they are actually doing.
"Indeed, they often use Orwellian language to disguise their true purposes. For example, a policy that opens national forests to destructive logging of old-growth trees is labeled Healthy Forest Initiative. A policy that vastly increases the amount of pollution that can be dumped into the air is called the Clear Skies Initiative."
If there isn't a radical change in the national attitude, and perhaps more importantly, attention span, I don't see an end to this. Frankly speaking, Dean, Kerry, Edwards and Clark all look to be unelectable. Americans have been made aware of the dangerous abuse of power taking place in the White House, have watched the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed swell to unprecedented levels, have witnessed the wholesale selling out of the environment and the constitution to corporate money sources, and shockingly the majority of them don't seem to mind. It boggles the mind.
I will once again repeat, though it's mind boggling to think I would ever say this... I almost wish Hillary would run for President this year. She may be the only electable Democrat left, with Gore being retired. And even she would be better than four more years of Bush.