Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Don't Stop Beating the Dead Horse

I've heard from a number of folks -- mostly off-line -- concerning my tilting at the windmill of impeachment, and the basic tenor of could be summed up as, "why bother, it will all be over soon." If I believed that the next election would end the nightmare born throughout the Bush years I'd probably agree, but the mere end of this administration will not likely constitute even a small undoing of the damage of the past six and a half years. Novelist Jane Smiley, responding to a New York Times editorial, underscores the long-term damage done:
When those in power exercise it in an unjust manner, they destroy the sense of trust that average citizens have in their own government and their own society and they open the society to the return of revenge as a sentiment and as an act. American history is replete with examples of how long it has taken and how difficult it has been for us as a nation to escape vengeance as a social mechanism–Kansas and Missouri, vigilantes and lynching, gangs and outlaws. Cheney’s specific crimes are reason enough for the New York Times to take impeachment seriously, but his larger crime against the nation has been to roll back the clock and infuse people like me, liberals like me (whom we all know are wimps, right?) with vengeful sentiments and fantasies. We have the crimes, then we have the arrogance–since the 2000 election, Cheney has been adding insult to injury, here and in Iraq. The combination is a potent one–the injuries damage our lives; the insults make us mad (both angry and crazy). The antidote is the exercise of laws, such as Kucinich’s articles of impeachment. I have news for the New York Times–if you assume that this is all going to pass away with another election season, you are dangerously wrong.

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