JABbering Stooge

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back in the saddle again

Seeing in a Mirror Dimly: A Preview of the Fall ’05 Political Season

As summer fades into autumn, students’ minds are filled with anticipation of the coming school year. This is entirely natural, as we humans often attempt – sometimes blindly – to prognosticate on the future in the hopes of a better world. With this in mind, I would like to offer a preview of the upcoming political season here in Texas and around the country.

Our first political milestone is Labor Day weekend, which heralds the return of Congress to Capitol Hill. On the agenda are the nomination of Manchurian Candidate Judge John Roberts to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, a defense spending measure that got shoved aside before the August break so that Congress could pander to the NRA, and how best to (not) deal with rising gas prices.

While little was known initially about Judge Roberts, what has come out about him since then – in spite of considerable stonewalling by the Bush administration – is enough to give anyone who cares about a democratic society pause. Meanwhile, the same Republicans who constantly scream at Democrats about “supporting the troops” (by not exercising their First Amendment rights) have shafted the soldiers once again by ignoring their needs in order to appease a gun lobby so drunk with power, they want to deprive businesses like ConocoPhillips of their private property rights. This is also the same Congress that recently passed energy legislation that gave a huge gift to oil and gas companies that comes directly from the pockets of consumers. So no, the current government is no friend of the little guy.

September also marks the return of the Texas Legislature to yet another session of trying to fund education – something that should’ve been done by now. They had the perfect opportunity to do so two years ago, but apparently, legislating the Democrats out of Texas politics took higher priority.

Eventually, September will pass into October, where things get interesting. Iraqis theoretically will go to the polls in a bid to ratify their new constitution which, given the wording of the current draft, stands to turn Iraq into an ideological clone of Iran.

Freedom is on the march, indeed.

Additionally, the grand jury that has been empanelled to look into the Valerie Plame affair is supposed to come to an end, and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will have to make a decision at that point about what to do next. However, there are reports that the testimonies of both Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby have been inconsistent, while those of Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and NBC reporter Tim Russert are completely consistent. I suspect that we may be seeing a series of indictments come out of the special prosecutor’s office at that time, especially given Fitzgerald’s dislike of being lied to. Expect things to get rather dicey for President No Accountability at that point.

And while that political circus is going on, we head into November, at which time Texans are expected to go to the polls in droves to vote on an amendment to the Texas state constitution outlawing gay marriage. Will Texans vote to stay in the 21st century, or will Texas become the latest state to implement the “Christian” version of sharia law? Only time will tell.

After Texas decides whether or not to regress to the 13th century, there isn’t much of consequence left in the 2005 political season, other than yet another round of whining from the American Inquisition about the lack of nativity scenes on every square inch of American soil. From there, it’s off to the 2006 races.

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