While the flashy 'good vs. evil' dialog absorbs our attention (and quite reasonably so), I can not help but to feel that there are more subtle things going on which are not receiving press or dialog.
We as a country (or at least me as a person) are so exhausted at the thought of freaking out yet again, or even trying to keep track of the latest indignity heaped on our plate that it is difficult to give a shit. But it is more than that. The infection that has torn into the financial system - not just rampant deregulation which is bad enough - but the will to cause such global suffering to make yourself more rich is one part aspect of it. A lesser advertised, but more dangerous part is the dark cynicism which blinds the politicians to the will and desire of the people in order to pay these same fools to fix what they already broke.
Corruption and cronyism are hardly some shiny new thing, but I wonder if this time we are standing just past the brink of fundamental social change with regard to the relationship between the government and the governed. Transcending the usual tactic of the signing statement, we have the executive branch taking the position that a bill signed into law will not be enforced because it is a constitutional infringement on his executive powers. From the New York Times:
The Bush administration has informed Congress that it is bypassing a law intended to forbid political interference with reports to lawmakers by the Department of Homeland Security.This was discussed at some length at the fine blog Cab Drollery. The title of the post is "Return of the Unitard". Who the fuck are these people? They are a Lame Duck Administration with some of the lowest polling numbers Ever Seen for a living president. You explain to me because I am out of ideas - except for the conclusion that the Democracy that we know and love is no longer a living organism.
The August 2007 law requires the agency’s chief privacy officer to report each year about Homeland Security activities that affect privacy, and requires that the reports be submitted directly to Congress “without any prior comment or amendment” by superiors at the department or the White House.
But newly disclosed documents show that the Justice Department issued a legal opinion last January questioning the basis for that restriction, and that Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, later advised Congress that the administration would not “apply this provision strictly” because it infringed on the president’s powers. [Emphasis added]