As the 2006 election draws nearer, Congress is becoming the battleground for Bush administration policies. The President’s loyalists continue to support the war drive and privatization of Social Security, but more than a few are jumping ship. The shifts within Congress, and breaks in the Republican stronghold, provide an important opening to mobilize voters, blunt the attacks, and build support for bold pro-worker legislation.
The old Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev once compared religious leaders who attacked the Soviet Union as comparable to the priests who threw holy water on the weapons of the Czar’s armies. But Pat Robertson has gone Nikita once better, advising the U.S. government on National Cable Television (actually the Family Channel, formerly the Christian Broadcasting Network) to murder Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.
In internal memos, Roberts urged President Ronald Reagan to refrain from embracing any form of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment pending in Congress; he concluded that some state initiatives to curb workplace discrimination against women relied on legal tools that were 'highly objectionable'; and he said that a controversial legal theory ...of directing employers to pay women the same as men ... was 'staggeringly pernicious' and 'anti-capitalist.'
Groups demand that the Bush administration condemn right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson's call to assassinate Hugo Chávez. States revolt agains the No Child Left Behind school privatization scheme. Students demand real financial aid. Faith communities step up their role in the peace movement.
“There have been almost daily revelations that Roberts was a charter member of the Reagan-Bush legal policy team that attempted to dismantle the civil rights remedies,” including affirmative action, previous presidents backed, said Ralph Neas, executive director of People for the American Way.
The current effort by Congress to pass a flag desecration amendment is largely attributable to the war in Iraq. Supporters hope that at least 67 Senators, the two-thirds majority needed to forward the amendment to the states for ratification, will be too fearful to vote against it and run the risk of being labeled “unpatriotic.”
Congressional Republicans are worried, and they should be. Under their leadership, say the polls, Congress' approval rating couldn't fall much lower. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are viewed more and more has having an agenda that is closer to the interests of the majority of the people. While one may poke holes is this conclusion, all the numbers point to the possibility of an electoral shift in the 2006 election.
For the length of next year, the nearly 600,000 residents of Washington, D.C., will continue to pay federal income taxes and to send their kids to die in Iraq (thus far in greater proportion than any other area of the country), but will be deprived of any representation in either house of Congress.
One lawyer is a smooth, handsome corporate attorney whose political loyalties, partisanship, and ideological moorings earned him a seat on the fast track to the top positions in corporations and now in judicial branch of the US government.
An unpopular war drags on, gas prices rise and rise, as a cloud of scandal gathers over Washington D.C. At times, it seems as though the 1970’s never ended: it’s just Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton’s Quaalude-laced, faux populist snake oil caused us to sleep through the 80’s and 90’s – and now we’re awakening, hungover, groggy, queasy, still in the midst of that ugly and odious era.