Monday, November 13, 2006
American Nightmares Past and Present
On August 9, 1974, a newly sworn American President, Gerald R. Ford, told his people "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over." More than 32-years later, some 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament issued a joint declaration hailing what they viewed as “the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world.” Two very different nightmares each with Mr. Ford adding a historical footnote. In 1974, he became the first and only person to become president without being elected either president or vice president by the voters. And in 2006, just two days after Americans toppled the Republicans from power in the U.S. Congress, Ford became the oldest living President in American history, surpassing the previous record ofRonald Reagan who died at age 93 in 2004.
The "nightmare" of 1974 was a political drama culminating with the Watergate scandal that drove my friendRichard Nixon from office. The 2006 nightmare is one that the world may not have quite awakened from despite the obvious glee of those European socialists (and other people around the globe). The new electoral setback delivered to President George Bush may not short-circuit his presidency like Nixon's. That said, there is a growing number of Americans who feel he should be impeached and jailed for his conduct of the presidency and damage to the environment and diminished US prestige worldwide.
Let no one doubt the magnitude of what has happened in the US. The Democrats, demoralized by two successive (and most probably) stolen presidential elections, were not expected to do all that well as 2006 dawned. A controversial failed 2004 leftwing aspirant, Dr. Howard Dean, had assumed leadership of the party and the presumptive House Speaker, should the Democrats win, was from San Francisco, one of the most liberal and gay-friendly cities in America. That alone should have kept the Bush “Red State” majority intact. Add in the ever-compliant lapdog US Media, being spoon-fed GOP “talking points” and reporting little else (especially the rightwing cheerleading squad at Fox News) and you had a prescription for sustained Republican rule.
Unless, of course, you reckoned with the American people themselves with their historic low tolerance for lying hypocrites and that greatest-ever gift to participatory democracy, the internet. It was the universe of on-line communities, the vibrant and mostly progressive “blogosphere” that allowed widespread skepticism and doubt about the insane course of the Bush plutocracy to coalesce into effective and better funded political opposition. Thanks to them in a large part, key elements of the Great Democratic Coalition of the 20th Century effectively reunited in the 21st.
The November 7th “Blue Wave” aka the “Tsunami” swept the corrupt Republicans from power in both houses of the U.S. Congress, restored Democratic control over most of the nation’s governorships and swept Democrats back into power in numerous state legislatures and local offices across the country. And despite his post-election sacking of Donald Rumsfeld and conciliatory meetings with Democratic congressional leaders, Bush’s job approval index sank to its lowest-ever mark of 31% - five points beneath Bill Clinton’s lowest of 36% but still above Bush Sr’s 29%, Jimmy Carter’s 28% and Nixon’s pre-resignation 23%. And there are two more years left to try for the record. Americans are clearly happy with the result and nearly all the rest of the world (except perhaps some in Israel) rejoices.
Another curious footnote to the political sea-change, both the 1994 Republican sweep and 2006 reversal saw the departure of a man named Foley. Sitting Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley of Washington State was turned out by voters in ’94 while that year voting in Florida produced a young Republican congressman namedMark Foley. 12 years later, the second Foley was forced to resign over his conduct with teen-aged House pages and his party was toppled from control.
Parenthetically, on the science front, the latest genetic findings are said to show an even stronger case forNeanderthal - Homo sapiens interbreeding in pre-historic times. While Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents may choose to ignore it, there are serious academics who see no clearer proof of such miscegenation than in several knuckle-dragging specimens freshly retired from the US Congress. Not only proto-typical Neanderthals but at least one example of Homo erectus (in IM messages) was forced “out” as well.
Professor Kurt Stanislaw Jacobi, a native of Southern Wallachia, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bratislava, where he graduated magna cum ondown in 1948. During the mid-1950's, Dr. Jacobi first postulated his now famous but controversial Integrated Theory of Inversional Constructs (ITIC) that ultimately made possible the Apollo moon landings, Voyager space probe, the Camp David Peace Accords and revival of the Bulgarian nose harp as a serious concert instrument.
Copyright Prof. Kurt S. Jacobi 2006. All rights reserved.
Skanky Jane wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Professor Jacobi for this article. The very first guest contribution to be published on a Skanky blog!