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Tom Gilroy Headshot

Nancy Pelosi, 'Decider'

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Remember how comedic the world seemed when our country was run by an unchecked, arrogant imbecile, the most loathed global figure since Hitler? In a single month before the election, habeas corpus (and therefore the Bill of Rights) was gutted, torture was deemed vital to national security, and North Korea went 'nukuler,' but our chief executive somehow found time to focus on the big issues of the day; stumping for Denny Hastert, joking with reporters about their silk suits, and announcing to the world America owns outer space. We hadn't had laughs like that since W took time out from all those 9/11 commemorations to compliment Matt Lauer's abs. What a cut-up.

But that all seems so long ago now, so last term, so last year almost, right? Time to get serious again with all the glum PC liberals. Praise be to a non-judgmental, rainbow-embracing, gay-marryin' God. The country's back to normal, all is right in the world, and we can start debating the important stuff again, like whether or not Kramer's a racist.

Think again. Just because the Democrats gained control of Congress doesn't mean America's returning to the modern era any time soon. What it means is the whole right-wing spin to keep the big money happy is going to switch to left-wing spin to keep the big money happy. And the big money still wants us in Iraq.

Sure, it also wants us without affordable health care and to keep exporting jobs to 'global enterprise zones,' where freezing slaves in overcoats work 13 hour shifts making 3-packs of jockstraps to sell at Wal-Mart for 4.99, but to the big money, Iraq is still the big cheese.

Here's what the big money wants in Iraq; control of the oil. They haven't gotten it yet, and it's been a disaster, but they're going to keep us there until they get it, either by killing anyone who gets in the way, or by diplomacy---which is what they call it when Condoleezza Rice has a photo-op in Lebanon. But any way you slice it, we're staying until the airstrips are complete and the paint is dry on the world's largest foreign embassy---103 sovereign American acres atop the second biggest oil reserve in the world.

Remember the 48 hours after the election, when the mainstream media told us over and over the whole thing was a 'referendum on our disastrous policy in Iraq?' Everywhere you looked it was 'Iraq, this,' and ' change of course, that.' The allure of 'Cowboy Diplomacy' had faded as middle America 'began to wonder' what was worth all that debt and death.

If you ventured into the outer fringes of radical liberal discourse--you know, Time, Newsweek, or The Christian Science Monitor---you may have glimpsed a few other disgruntlements, minor things like health care, wages you could actually live on, or the ethics of a presidential spiritual advisor's doing crystal meth for three years with a gay prostitute---but for the most part, mainstream media's party line on the election was 'Iraq did it.'

But here we are a little over a month later to find the war hawks seriously floating INCREASED troop levels, Bush repeating we're staying in Iraq until victory, and Nancy Pelosi claiming impeachment's not an option. Say what?

How did we get from 'Main Street Tells Washington To End The War' to 'let's send in 50,000 more troops?' Did I miss a memo? Even with incoming Armed Services chairman Karl Levin calling for a troop reductions, the radically peacenik New York Times tells us talk of withdrawal on Capital Hill is deader than Mel Gibson's career. In just five weeks, the heartland's repudiation of Bush's illegal war morphed into McCain, Gen. Abizaid and William Kristol pushing for MORE troops, Obama and Joe Biden wanting to study and talk it to death, and James Baker having a month of brunches to compose a handful of vague recommendations Bush will ignore anyway. This is revolution?

Is it just me, or does it smell a little fishy that the common denominator in all of these fresh perspectives, bi-partisan reconfiguring and consensus building boils down to, 'we're staying in Iraq?'

Remember, it's no longer radical lefty blogthink or 'ant-patriotic' to claim the Bush and Cheney lied to start the war, are pro-torture, and have bankrupted the nation; you can read it in USA Today. Jay Leno even makes jokes about it. So why are we still talking about the micro-shades of difference between rampant slaughter and civil war? Why are we debating which bloodbath is worse, the one we're in or the one we'll leave behind?

Here's why; these debates take up time, and the more time we're there, the more time the big money has to get the real job done, which is to get the oil.

So McCain sends his coded message to the big money; 'we're staying under the ruse of 'doing it right,' the way the honorable war planners told all the buffoons to do it in the first place.' And the Democrats send their coded message to the big money; 'we're staying under the ruse of stalling with studies and focus groups and trying to build consensus.'

Either way the message is clear; 'we're staying. Don't worry.' And that's what The Decider wanted all along.

We need to remember that when we talk about the current president of the United States, we are talking about not only a serial liar but a serial failure, from corporations to professional sports teams to state governments to international diplomacy to truth itself. That is what the election was about.

Bush has got to go. His own Supreme Court is practically handing us the evidence on a weekly basis, citing the unconstitutionality of his wiretapping, of his secret military tribunals, of his holding and torturing prisoners indefinitely without charge.

Whatever the straw was that broke the camel's back--Abu Ghraib, Katrina, Jack Abramoff, tax cuts for the rich--the voters sent a very clear message, and it's not up to Nancy Pelosi to decide otherwise. In a democracy, the voters are 'The Decider', not George Bush, and not Nancy Pelosi. We didn't vote out one set of lame ducks to usher in another.

No president in history has been guilty of more impeachable offences than the one Nancy Pelosi wants to let ride it out. Bush has more time left in his term than JFK had in the entirety of his presidency. Given his appalling record over the last 6 years, can you imagine the damage he can do in the time he has left?

Or are you so anxious to 'move on'--which really means go Christmas shopping and watch Grey's Anatomy--that you've deluded yourself into thinking this time he's really been humbled? That after torture, Katrina, unaccounted for billions in Iraq, illegal wiretapping, payoffs for fake news, lies about evolution, lies about WMDs, lies about lobbyists, global warming, abstinence, abortion, Rummy resigning and on and on and on, you really believe somehow, magically, against all odds and evidence to the contrary, somehow this time he's really going to change? He's going to turn and face the reality-based world and extend an olive branch?

And all the Democrats we elected, they're going to take that olive branch and stick it to big money, right? No more playing politics and spinning sound bytes and hollow promises to keep the 'common man' docile while doing the global dirty work of big money, right?

How 'bout that Kramer?