US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC :
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
We Are Deeply Concerned
03 Jul 2002
For want of a subtler analogy, concern is an emotion that is usually reserved for things like going a few days without a bowel movement. It is a flaccid and puny response in the face of a Constitutional coup. It is a nauseating and indecent response to an administration hell-bent on global domination and fascist home rule.
We are Deeply Concerned

Carol Schiffler

It did not take long for the Bu$h administration to reveal itself. Of course, those of us who spent the bleak days of November, 2000 watching All- Recount- All- The- Time TV instead of making figgy pudding, were not too terribly surprised. Astute activists began muttering “Fourth Reich” and “Bu$h Nazi” long before the former governor of Texas took office.
But somehow, the folks who were closest to the Washington scene seemed to be caught off guard. Democrats, public advocacy groups, moderate Republicans, media commentators - in short, anyone who was not a part of the Bu$h Cabal - did not know quite what to make of the incoming administration, particularly when it became obvious that its actions bore no resemblance whatsoever to its campaign rhetoric.

These shockingly gullible “experts” furrowed their brows when the Bu$hies started rolling back environmental protection regulations. They wrung their hands over the Faith-based Initiative. (Wasn’t that unconstitutional or something?) They made small, startled chirping noises when Dubya tossed the Presidential papers of past, present, and future chief executives into the eternal lockbox, (which now had plenty of space due to the dwindling Social Security surplus.)

Yes, Washington insiders found these developments perplexing, and at first they were full of helpful advice for George and his newbies. “The pResident would do well to remember his fragile mandate,” editors opined. “You know, some of those appointees seem a bit extreme,” offered others. "Perhaps the pResident needs to take another look at his foreign policy,” they cautioned gently, (although not without first waxing bard-like and poetic on the breath-taking benevolence of George II.)

Frustrated progressives, emerging from the rubble of an eight-year media siege on the Clinton administration, were puzzled. After all, this was the same lynch mob who had been at the forefront of the “War on Bill,” meticulously pointing out each and every administrative shortcoming, both personal and professional, intimate and thrice removed.

“Godless heathen, Bill Clinton, tracks mud on White House carpet and LIES about it,” the pundits would shriek from their podiums.

“Creepy Veep, Al Gore, wears ugly tie to town hall meeting; scares small children and elderly women,” they frothed with murderous outrage. “Where are his scruples? Isn’t he aware that no one but an evil, tasteless oaf wears ties with squiggly doo-dads after Labor Day?”

Yet, there was the Bu$h administration, ripping through the economy like a buzz saw, pissing off our allies, wiping out decades of environmental progress, hammering away at civil rights, wallowing in an orgy of special interests and what did the public receive in the way of cutting edge political analysis? We got concern. Buckets of concern. Boatloads of concern. A veritable black hole eternity of weak, pallid, fresh- from- the- mortuary concern. And what an astoundingly impotent word that is, eh?

After Dubya’s first 100 days in office, Dick Gephardt was “concerned about the rollback of progress.” He was “concerned that pResident Bu$h has changed his tune about changing the tone.” He was “concerned about the very limited agenda” of the Bu$h administration. (You know – the one that lavishes free gifts and special offers on the wealthiest one percent, meanwhile driving the dark stake of “compassionate reform” into almost everyone else.) John McCain, who perhaps took things a bit more personally, stated that he was “deeply troubled” by the Bu$h administration’s right wing extremism. And, according to USA Today, the pResident’s penchant for treaty trampling brought “sharp rebukes from other nations.”

Concerned? Deeply troubled? Sharp rebukes? Isn’t this is a bit like attacking a rabid elephant with a rolled up newspaper? And what the hell is a “sharp rebuke?” Is that like when your mother says, “Please stop it NOW,” instead of just clearing her throat and looking really mean? Did anyone actually expect that a mere rebuke, sharp or otherwise, would stop the Bu$h juggernaut?

Now you would have thought that after September 11, when the Agenda became even more aggressive and less rational, the rhetoric would have accelerated to keep pace, becoming strident, lean and mean. You would have thought that the full frontal assault on civil liberties, the wild excess in defense spending, the passionate embrace of nukes and bioweapons, the disdain for global treaties, the wretched and obvious abuse of human rights in the name of an undeclared war, the ever-expanding list of “evil” nations, and the bottom- of- the- septic- tank economy would have caused an outright clamor for impeachment.

Think again.

September 24, 2001, John Conyers on the PATRIOT ACT: “Some have said it is unconstitutional on its face. Let me be more polite: we’re troubled, deeply troubled.”

October 3, 2001, CNN on the Bu$h administration’s anti-terrorism proposals: “Today advocacy groups, legal experts, and some members of Congress are concerned that a proposal to expand the law enforcement powers in order to ratchet up the fight on terrorism could end up treading on the rights that all Americans enjoy.”

November, 2001, The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression on the new snooping powers of law enforcement officials: “The ABFFE is deeply concerned by the potential chilling effect of court orders issued to booksellers under this new law.”

November 24, 2001: The ACLU issues a press release stating that they are “deeply disturbed” over the whole military tribunal thing. Not to be outdone, Amnesty International issues a release on the same subject stating that they are “deeply troubled.” (Does “deeply troubled” indicate a stronger position against military tribunals than “deeply disturbed,” or is it the other way around?)

May 2, 2002, Russ Feingold on the Justice Department’s refusal to reveal the status of the September 11 detainees: “I continue to be deeply troubled by the Justice Department’s refusal to provide a full accounting of everyone who has been detained and why.”

May 7, 2002, the Guardian reports that, “Many are concerned that the secrecy with which the Bu$h administration has enveloped the domestic war on terrorism is an extension of a long-held goal to reel in civil liberties.”

May 21, 2002, ACLU again: “Concerned that the Department of Justice may be failing to fully enforce civil rights laws…”

And on and on and on. The watchdogs of our democracy, both elected and self-appointed alike, express their undying disappointment with the Bu$h administration. They are saddened, concerned, troubled, dismayed, and when they are really, really agitated, they throw the word “deeply” in front of the whole mess, where it lies as weak and gelatinous as a beached squid.

One wonders what exactly it takes to keep these people up at night. Would a flaming Constitution on their doorstep do it? How about the disappearance of a spouse who had a bit too much bubbly at the office party and accidentally let it slip that Dick Cheney gave her the creeps? How about an Executive Order enacting a curfew for all Democrats and moderate Republicans? Or would the ACLU merely issue another press release saying that they found the presence of tanks in the streets deeply troubling? (“You know,” says John Q. Pundit to Mrs. Pundit, “I am concerned about yesterday’s repeal of the Constitution. And those guys goose-stepping around the Yacht Club are troubling. Not deeply troubling, but troubling nonetheless. I am just disappointed by the whole thing, you know? And I am saddened every time I have to go through a military checkpoint to get to the ATM. Mrs. Pundit? Mrs. Pundit, are you there? Sigh. I am deeply concerned that Mrs. Pundit appears to have been detained by the Neighborhood Watch Association.”)

For want of a subtler analogy, concern is an emotion that is usually reserved for things like going a few days without a bowel movement. It is a flaccid and puny response in the face of a Constitutional coup. It is a nauseating and indecent response to an administration hell-bent on global domination and fascist home rule. It is a non-reaction, promising non-action, and promising it perpetually.

If Amnesty International, Russ Feingold, John McCain, the ACLU, and yes, even the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression really want to exert meaningful influence on the Bu$h Administration, they would do well to cultivate a new vocabulary, one that embraces words like fascism, treason, impeachment, and unconstitutional, (without any warm, fuzzy qualifiers to soften the blow.) If they do not, tomorrow’s headline may read, “Washington insiders deeply troubled by pResident’s Anti-concern Act.”

After that, we will all be living in George Orwell’s worst nightmare, and all the sadness and disappointment in the world will not change a single thing.
See also:
Add a quick comment
Your name Your email


Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.