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Jeralyn Merritt Headshot

The Villains of 2005

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As I reflect on 2005, very few heroes come to mind but I have no trouble conjuring up the villains. Skipping over the most obvious, George W. Bush and his War in Iraq, here are my top ten:

10. Tom Tancredo: The xenophobic Colorado Congressman whose hatred of undocumented residents is gaining national MSM attention. Next he'll want to deport the Statue of Liberty.

9. James Sensenbrenner: The Wisconsin menace responsible for the introduction of the five years for passing a joint and snitch or go to jail bills and the ugliest immigration bill in history.

8. The cable news networks, for force-feeding us a steady diet of missing, dead or comatose white women along with their mothers and other supporting cast members.

7. The Evangelical Right and its never-ending crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban gay marriage.

6. The sell-out by the Gang of 14 centrists and the judicial extremists we got stuck with, Priscillia Owen and Janice Rogers Brown

5. Dick Cheney, the Veep Who Would Be King and the Torturer in Chief.

4. The CIA, secret prisons, Afghan prisons, Ghost Air and extraordinary renditions. America, prison nation. Repeat after me: the U.S. does not engage in torture.

3. Guantanamo and the indefinite detention of so-called enemy combatants for four years without charges or access to counsel. Executive Tyranny and injustice run amok.

2. The Patriot Act and our spying FBI.

1. Abu Ghraib, more Torturers- in-Chief and the torturers-in-the ranks. And yes, the abuse began at Guantanamo.

Now that I've gotten the grinch out of my system, I realize there are a few who deserve praise. In Congress, Sen. Dick Durbin tops my list, with Sens. Harry Reid and Russ Feingold and Rep. John Conyers close on his heels.

One thing George Bush taught us this year as he blindly pursued his unattainable mission of bringing his view of freedom to foreign lands is that freedom at home is our's to lose. We get the Government we elect. If we start January 1, we have ten months to work at taking back Congress and casting some of the villains aside. That will be my New Year's resolution.