LI needs to do some advertising today – we’ve not had a lot of client activity lately. And we’ve set up a new, streamlined site for our writing service. It is at this site: RWG Communications. So if you know someone who is looking for editing, translating, or general writing help, direct them to that site. Please!

And now, for today’s bombshell. LI has made it clear in the past that we don’t approve of impeachment except in extraordinary cases. To us, impeachment shortcircuits one of the Pavlovian advantages of democracy. Voters who elect incompetent, immoral people to public office should suffer from that choice. Not because of some Calvinistic doctrine, but simply from the old chestnut that a burnt child learns not to plunge into fires, lie on hot coals, or put his face over a gas fired burner and turn the thing to on. Democracy is not only about benefiting from good choices, but suffering from bad ones. The reason that suffering is good is that it fully explores those bad choices, which usually extend beyond particular persons to whole domains of policy and character.

For this reason, we have never joined in the chorus of impeach Bush – we hope. Maybe a hasty, angry post here and there. But today’s news, if true – that Bush approved of the campaign of leaks against Wilson – is close to a limit. That limit is best expressed in censure. If the Democrats can’t get around a measure of censure for this president, they … we were going to say something like, they will never get it together. But what is the use? Slamming the crash test dummies one more time affords us no satisfaction. So we simply hope, without putting too much energy into it, that one of the crash test dummies will blink, the Hans Christian Anderson magic will cause a focusing of those painted eyes, and convey a message to the other dummies – something like, isn’t it good to be alive? If this happens, they will censure our criminal president.


Brian Miller said…
Hmmm. I'm not sure roger that the United States can afford two more years of the "lesson." New Zealand is looking better and better, frankly :( That's a pretty sad statement, too.

Interesting argument, though. Especially because it only took a couple of elections before the US started electing Republicans again.

Although, given that there is no real alternative to the Party of God (the Party of God Lite seems eager to follow the GOP down every single policy path), how exactly should the American electorate respond? Especially since we are talking about an electorate that largely thinks the earth was created 6,000 years ago and that the United States has been largely a positive force in the world over the last 20 years.
roger said…
Brian, although I like to rant about the American people as much as the next guy, I dont really believe that, en masse, there is a great group of people who actually think the world was created 6 000 years ago. In fact, people's beliefs are not sorted out according to logic -- or so I can infer from my own beliefs. I am always finding myself believing something that seems to exclude some other belief that I also have. I may be unusually illogical, but I don't think so. Given a chance, I think most people would vote as the religious folk in Dover voted -- for science, but only for science in its place.

That said, I don't think the U.S. is a particularly wicked country. There are wickeder countries, and certainly there have been wickeder super powers, but none has been as powerful -- so that, when the U.S. is "wicked", as in doing nothing to slow down the production of greenhouse gases (a good reason not to move to NZ, by the way -- I'm not sure living on an island is the safest option over the next fifty years), its wickedness is magnified by its power.

On the other hand, I could easily make up a list of good things about Uncle Sam's kingdom. For instance, I always find it funny when Europeans complain about how violent the U.S. is. Per square inch, Europe in the 20th century was perhaps the most violent place ever, in human history, and I'm including those unfortunate riots around the caves in Kenya 350,000 years ago when that humanoid mutant invented that procedure for rubbing two sticks together.

It would be one thing if Bush were to be impeached for pursuing environmental policies that are going to start killing us in ten years. Alas, the impeachment will be all about procedure and the Byzantine ins and outs of the overgrown D.C. highschool crowd. Those who say we can't afford Bush should start asking themselves why nobody else is offering real policies to address the stuff Bush omits, from the crisis in wealth inequality onward. Kerry has just published a much lauded op ed on Iraq that basically calls for Iraq producing multiple excuses for Kerry's Dems to support keeping the troops in Iraq. And that is the problem with our politics at the moment -- to much procedure, not enough existentialism.
Brian Miller said…
I was being pretty intemperate, roger. Of course, I realize that there have been far worse empires, even in recent history. Amusingly enough, said wicked empires were controleed by countries which now pride themselves on lecturing the United States on how best to behave. Or, alternately, lecturing us that we need to toughen upo more and commit more massacres (that British neocon-lovin' nut, can;t remember his name).

I guess the problem I have is that we profess ideals while acting as self-interested state actors. Which is reality-unavoidable. I just get tired of the piety, the exceptionalism, the self regard. I am an American. I love my country and have no real desire to move anywhere else. I just don't think the specifics of the American system are the only solution and that everyone has to be exactly like us (yet, I also agree with Ophelia that multiculturalism can be taken too far. Stoning a young woman to death because her brother was seen with a higher caste women from another village is sheer evil, no matter if it is the "culture" of that benighted village)

Forgive my ramblings!
Brian Miller said…
We share our opinion of the modern Democratic Party. Are we at a Whig Party in 1854 moment yet? How can a lazy, antisocial minor bureaucrat really help create that 1854 moment? I would love to see some weird combination of Green Party, mutualist/libertarian "small is beautiful/stop building military bases everywhere/stop stealing resources from the rest of the world" original constitutionist party. Impossible and confused? McCain and Colin powell and Rudy G are certainly not the answer, either.

I'm certainly not doing my share, by the way. I drive a horrbly inefficient sports car far, far too many miles per week. On the other hand, the Miller genetic line stops with me, so I'm not generating as much future carbon as some.
Paul craddick said…
Roger & Brian,

Good discussion - some thoughtful comments.

Of course, I disagree in some important particulars, but - hey.
New York Pervert said…
Brian-'Amusingly enough, said wicked empires were controleed by countries which now pride themselves on lecturing the United States on how best to behave.'

I am so relieved that somebody else can be bothered to articulate this a little more frequently--it's one of the most obvious things, and super-partisans aren't going to say anything (the avoidance of this particular truism, quite different from a 'truthiness', is an especial favourite of leftists drunk in France or Britain. Right-wing freaks start talking about 'Karl Rove wet dreams,' which is quite pu-kette).

Also, I like the inadvertent 'controleed,' and think I may wish to start using it.Slight variations of words can be a marvel of use value, such as 'piggeen.'

Roger--I am glad you will not be worrying too much. That's the whole trick--even if you're on the 'true side', you still get too identified with superego.
Vermin Direct, LLC said…
Is there a place in Brian's party for Vermin Direct, the brand managers who foolishly hitched their wagon to the Democrats back in the dotcom dotscam go-go days of the nineties? (Oh, how loathe them now, though we never bought into their "ideology" )

To tell the truth, we like King Log better than any of the options apparently on the table. With a solid royalist faction in power, one concerned with looking noble a hundred years from now, America could nap peacefully in its barcalounger, that much maligned comfy chair being the height, next to adequate indoor plumbing, of civilization.
metropolitan airhead said…
vermin--Brian's party is yet another way people can figure out how to desert the Democratic Party for just cause yet again and keep their Naderite consciences intact and the plutocrats in power(I don't know if that's the accurate term, but ah'm really inta the sound of it). Y'all just think that if DeLay can really get the hot poker up the arse and Bush might get censured (I bet he won't get anything), y'all can go right on back yondah to ya 3rd partyin'
bidness. I'd rather suck carcinogenous flatware lightly than do that.
Well said, Metropolitan! People who desert the Democrats are objectively pro-Bushist and pro-plutocrat. Their ideological "convictions" and preciously quaint "consciences" mean more to them than a chance for Real Change, authentic change, if you will. They're all Naderites, in a way, even those of them of them who don't think Nader is a desirable president or even a good candidate.
roger said…
Well, hmmm. I'm not sure what this threads about but I'll plunge in and say, King Log is awful tempting, and throwing in the barcalounger gets those Jetson vibrations going, Mr. V.D. You know how to make a sale! But LI is not all about parties, or at least political ones. It irritates me no end to read some discussion on, say, the TPM Cafe site turn into a discussion if it is good for the democrats.

This may be just a temperament issue. But I think Nader is a good example of a movement person -- a person who is excellent at what he does -- who pretty much has wrecked the Green party because he and his cohorts know nothing about electoral politics. Perhaps I underestimate my mighty interest, the thousands who will flock to the polls to vote for who I say, but somehow I doubt I will ever persuade anybody to vote for anyone. In fact, in the nineties, I was pretty much opposed to voting at all. I've changed my mind there. I'd rather hit on those things that I can see, present the strongest case I can, and let the chips (oh, such a Nixonian phrase!) fall where they may.
Brian Miller said…
Metropolitan: that is the ongoing argument by the true partisans. But, you know what: As I hear Democratic politican after Democratic politican mumbling bland, Republican lite talking points and "reaching out" to Christopaths in every real sense. You gotta say, "enough is enough." It is, or should be, another 1854. The Democratic Party is tired, man, bereft of any ideas. You won't even support your own rare politicans who do stand up, ask questions. I'm not sure a President Hillary Clinton would even differ all that much in policies-especially on the really improtant issues facing the world,as roger noted above. Besides, the real hopeless cynic in me says its already too late, that we are a wicked people that deserve to be punished, and I want the Christopathic God's Own Party to be in power when the punishment comes down.

Mr. Scrugs, since Nader, corporate-bashing aside, reads as just another conservative moralist scold. How "liberal" is Mr. Nader in any real way? There's a whiff of the "Ralph knows best, so obey" about Mr. Nader, imo.
Brian, he's not at all liberal. In fact, I suspect he'd be somewhat authoritarian if he ever managed to get elected and had enough of the House and Senate on his side to allow him to get programs enacted. In this "real world" people go on about :-) he will never be elected and if, by the strangest turn of events, he were elected he would find it impossible to govern. Like Roger in years past, I recommend not voting. I happen to despise Democrats more than Naderites, however, and will always be eager to bash back, good and hard, when the dogshit talking points and coopted, wingnut-illogical arguing style make their appearances.