Today, on the anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation, activists are running a money bomb campaign to raise money for candidates to oust incumbents in both parties that have sold out the Constitution during the Bush era. Glenn Greenwald explains:
Thirty-four years ago today, Richard Nixon was forced from office as a result of mounting public anger, which in turn fueled the bipartisan intent of Congress to impeach him, due to his involvement in the relatively minor Watergate crimes. Accountability of that sort for our highest political leaders is today inconceivable.
Rather than investigate and punish violations of the Constitution and other laws, our political class conceals those crimes for as long as it can, endorses them when they are disclosed, and then acts to protect the lawbreakers. ... Laws are written not just for, but literally by, the largest corporations and their lobbyists -- even including, as we recently witnessed, laws that have no purpose other than to immunize them from consequences when they are caught deliberately breaking our laws. Our basic Constitutional framework is being continuously assaulted while the lawless Surveillance State expands without limits, all justified by a condition of permanent War....
Organizers are hoping Friday's money bomb will bring in $1 million to add to the approximately $350,000 the group collected to oppose the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which it used to placed ads attacking three Democrats who supported the surveillance legislation: Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader, as well as Representatives Chris Carney of Pennsylvania and John Barrow of Georgia. AccountabilityNow, which aims to play a political role from which groups like the American Civil Liberties Union are barred, plans to buy print ads with the new funds criticizing Mr. Hoyer and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami-area Republican, for co-sponsoring a measure endorsing a naval blockade of Iran, and they also plan to buy space to call for Congress to look into the F.B.I.'s handling of the anthrax investigation. By 2010, AccountabilityNow hopes to field primary candidates that support its civil libertarian, anti-war positions.
Greenwald, an attorney who started writing on an independent blog in 2005 and drew a large following by tackling civil liberties issues, is urging his readers to pony up for the effort:
If you are one of the more than 3,200 people who have already pledged to donate to the Money Bomb, today is the day to donate, here. If you haven't yet pledged, all details of the campaign are here. Regardless of whether you've previously pledged or not, you are able, and encouraged, to donate today. Chronicling the fundamental corruption and serial outrages of our political class is one step. Creating and executing strategies for battling them, altering public debates, and changing behavior is the next.
Recent fights over surveillance and the rule of law have been dispiriting, but I think these kind of non-partisan, accountability efforts are the most practical way to counter capitulation in Washington -- and tangibly increase the power of a proactive, anti-corruption, civil liberties movement.