Is there time (or will) to pause for a restoration!
I'm a huge fan of H. Brandt Ayers and his Anniston Star so I'm hesitant to question his position in today's Editorial that is labeled "Timeout for America". Mr. Ayers is offering that we (our military and citizenry) need "a pause to refresh body and soul" to best formulate a way "to rebuild American prestige abroad" and also "to revive morale at home". Mr. Ayers' Progressivism is apparent in referring to the frustrations of the average American with a government that simply doesn't work for their interests. His true concern for our fighting men and women provide a welcome contrast to the neo-con cheerleaders milking American patriotism. He is right to refer to the leadership that former Presidents Carter, Bush, and Clinton could provide to the next occupant of the White House in both foreign and domestic policies.
I'm however worried that the modern GOP, and perhaps some Centrist Democrats as well, aren't prepared to move from the methods and policies of the recent past. I am convinced that the modern Republican Party has pushed so far in accumulating and projecting power that they'll have a hard time leaving the Atwater and Rove style of "campaigning"under Gingrich and Armey and DeLay and Lott/Frist ... style "leadership" behind. Throw in the neo-conservatives and right wing media machine and Dobsonites and ... and we've got an even larger mess. When we consider how much influence the well-funded Corporatist "think tanks" and "policy shops" and "deep lobbying" are, along with the levels of money involved in gaining and holding office, I'm not so sure our leaders are going to be able to take a breather, much less turn a corner.
After the emergence of "unitary executive" theories and practices under Bu$hCo, will a President give up that power? Strip Search Sammy and Uncle Thomas plus perhaps others might not limit the Presidential power. Since many members of Congress often act as if they work for a President if from their own party how will they shift toward a new paradigm?
Since the Reagan Revolution, built off (or not?) Powell's Chamber of Commerce memo a decade before, we've had twenty plus years of "conservatism". The Clenis, especially after 1994's Contract on America, was often Republican Lite. Bush the Elder's more moderate Conservatism was still largely an extension of Reagan's militarism and voodoo economics. (I'm nearly certain many deals were cut in the wake of Iran -Contra!) The Reagan Republicans were largely in control of the party yet there were a few statesmen found even in tht community. Some abandoned that style when they saw what happened when paleo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan and other rebels like Ross Perot went off the reservation. ManyRepublicans loathed Clinton for much and we saw what they were willing to do to try to destroy his Presidency. The Republican Party has not built their powerful machine to garage it and perhaps lose control, especially after the Clinton terms slowed their agendas.
Now that this administration and his Rubber Stamp Congress have shifted policies to the extreme right to pacify their Christianist base while actually serving their Corporate agenda, not to mention trying to be a "War President", I'm think a pause and breather is wishful thinking.
Plus there's hope that beginning this fall the capture of either the House or Senate, ideally both, could allow Democrats to actually accomplish something. Progressives have held essentially no power in these last few years. With Democrats in control, even if mostly centrist in orientation, liberals can show the nation a new direction. Having subpoena power can prevent Republican controlled committees from stalling and burying investigations into the abuses of Bu$hCo. When the American public sees what I'll argue is the truth behind this administration's deceptions and illegal actions, we can hope the Republican Party will be discredited. As Americans, and the world to boot, continue to suffer under what the right wing has wrought, they'll possibly be receptive to Progressive ideals and ideas. While I don't think the early 1930s provides a fair comparison our nation is as close as it has been since that period. When we drop in the "global war on terror" and the challenges of globalism we are even closer to a crisis.
Recognizing what Mr. Ayers offers, and there's much to his ideas, I want action not pause. Like President Carter's "morass speech" back in the day, there's serious truth here. Still, like Carter's administration being largely just a pause after Watergate, I don't want to lose the chance to take the nation is a new direction. Given this need, dare I write "crisis", and the nature of modern politics (geared to "war rooms", talking points, and getting through the next news cycle) I'm not so keen on a breather but rather looking for vigorous and forward looking leadership. Peace ... or War!