For eight hellish years, Bush and Cheney ruled America by fear. Images of Osama Bin Laden were drawn on us like weapons. Terror. Terrorism. Terrorists. War. Fear. Warfare. This was the Bush/Cheney mantra that kept Americans in despair.
Today, as a result of their tactics, our nation is in tatters, with wars not jobs, bombs not books, and warfare not health care. America lacks the resources to confront dangers that have nothing to do with bin Laden: hurricanes, oil spills, floods, tornadoes, unfunded education, decaying infrastructure, exorbitant health costs, corporate greed, and more. Because of partisan politics and hawks like California Congresswoman Harman, more dollars are spent on unending wars than are spent on education. Perhaps you've seen this expenditure chart based on our 2009 tax allocation:
Sad, isn't it, that over 44% of our money is spent on the military and wars. Most painful for me is our inferior education and how young people can't go to college. Again we can thank the war-supporters like Harman for getting us in this debacle.
One would have hoped Bush and Cheney's terror-filled tack would have ended with their regime - but it didn't. It continues on with Jane Harman. Witness for yourselves her fear-based ad, replete with Osama bin Laden, directed at Marcy Winograd, Harman's progressive opponent, and the voters of California's 36th Congressional District:
How could this video possibly represent Harman's district? Is bin Ladin foreclosing on homes? Is he taking the jobs? Is he firing teachers? Why is bin Ladin in this video, or Israel, or discussion of nuclear weapons?
Harman is out of touch. She's the richest woman in Congress. Every two years she re-buys her seat and indulges her personal passions: war, war technology and war intelligence. She was briefed on Bush's warrantless wiretap program and urged the New York Times not to report it. She even got herself ensnared in it, getting wiretapped by the NSA, accused of colluding with an Israeli agent. Think I'm kidding? Read here, then be sure to read the comments. They're blistering. Americans don't like Jane Harman's hubris or her shady dealings.
Back to the bin Laden Bush/Cheney/Harman tactic of fear:
Terrorism may be intrinsic to Harman's world but not so for her constituents. Jobs, health care, education, housing, the environment are some of their priorities. Harman's claim in her political ad that Winograd would "kill the defense budget, putting thousands of people out of work," is unfounded. Winograd would like to cut back a portion on defense to transition to green jobs - not to fire people, but to hire people. She has substantial support from the aerospace industry to take on that task. Here are the words of Matthew McKinnon, Legislative Director for The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers AFL-CIO (IAMAW), which has endorsed both Winograd and Harman.
Marcy Winograd has consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of the need to advocate for working families. For too long poorly-conceived trade agreements have been negotiated without consideration of the needs of the men and women who do the work here in the US and abroad. As the country we all love turns toward green energy, we have confidence Marcy Winograd will fight for American manufacturing workers to share in this critical change.
It doesn't sound to me like McKinnon believes jobs will be lost with Winograd. It sounds to me like he supports her - strongly.
But what's with Israel - the image and message in Harman's second bubble? With our nation - (that's the USA, Jane) sliding steadily into decline, why is Israel Harman's priority? She's not serving in the Knesset. She's serving in the Congress of the United States.
More specifically, how does the country of Israel relate to the 36th CD? The answer is, except for some constituents, it likely does not. But it is a huge part of who Harman is and it has defined her foreign policy. AIPAC, the Israel Lobby, influences American politics, and Harman's an AIPAC darling, as is her friend, Henry Waxman, also mentioned in her video.
Harman and Waxman need to understand that times are changing, and because of Israel's own actions and widely believed human rights abuses, Americans are learning the truth and becoming increasingly skeptical - even angry - over the hysterical Israel-bias of American legislators who've been elected to serve America. This bias hurts America, and before long, Americans will vote against those whose loyalties are called into question, as Harman's loyalties have been because of the NSA wiretap; a serious accusation. Even if there are no legal repercussions, the stigma will remain. Perhaps not in the vehemently pro-Israel population, but certainly outside it.
Today this article appeared on Politico, describing how pro-Israel groups are raising money in support of Harman - already the richest woman in Congress. Yes, special interest groups for a foreign nation are raising money for a candidate to support that foreign nation - always and under all circumstances, which is required for Congress according to Henry Waxman.
Several months back, Henry Waxman wrote a letter to Jane Harman's financial supporters, attacking Marcy Winograd for her position on Israel and her desire for equal rights in the middle east. He explained his prerequisite to hold a seat in Congress. Waxman believes "rock solid support for our only democratic ally [Israel] in the middle east" is the unconditional prerequisite for Congress.
"Rock solid support" means immutable. "Rock solid support" means devoid of criticism or disagreement. The Gaza blockade? The separation wall? The settlement expansions into the West Bank that nullify a two-state solution? "Rock solid support" means total acceptance. I ask why?? I don't fully accept all my own government's actions. Why should I fully accept the actions of another?
To me, Waxman's prerequisite of "rock solid support" is a clear and present danger. It gives me a lot to fear. As an American, I find this despicable, and I believe Harman and Waxman, and all electeds who share this view, are a potential danger to my country. I'm an American and I want America's interests served first, before those of a foreign land.
I doubt it would be acceptable to Harman and Waxman for a Lebanese American Congress member, although born in the United States, to have a first-nation bias toward Lebanon, or for a Chinese American Congress member, though born in the United States, to have a first-nation bias toward China, an Italian American member toward Italy, a Mexican American member toward Mexico, and so on. Why should it be different with Israel?
Moving on to Harman's third bubble - the "nuclear narcissism" bubble. Here's the article with Winograd's interview in which she discusses "nuclear narcissism." I ask you to read this article. I find nothing inappropriate with Winograd's interview. I understand the danger of nuclear proliferation. All that Winograd said was true. I wish all nations and law makers had Winograd's view.
In the end, what I find most striking about Harman's anti-Winograd video, is her naivete in choosing the word bubble with which to attack Marcy Winograd. Harman's been so out of touch with the world outside D.C. that she doesn't realize it's Washington insiders who live in the bubble. It's politicians like Harman and Waxman, who dwell in caverns on the Hill, that the bubble has always defined. It's laughable - truly laughable - that a longtime Washington incumbent would be so ignorant not to know that the real bubble is where she lives.
Finally, Mrs. Harman began her political ad with a video of Winograd introducing herself. I think it only fair to allow Winograd's full video to play through. It's not charged with fear like Harman's, or with devotion to a foreign land.
Winograd's video is about health care. It's not meant to instill fear. It hopes to relieve it. Fear's not a tactic for Winograd. Contrary to Harman, she's nothing like Bush and Cheney:
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