First veto, last straw, rock bottom

by Ogi Overman

If not now, when? If not this issue, which one? If no outrage over this, what will it take?

What will move you, America, to take action to remove this president from office?

The past six years have produced an ever-deepening sense of bewilderment, punctuated only by brief bursts of hope that this will be the one that finally sends the American public over the edge. But it never happens. I know better, but sometimes I feel as if I’m living in a world alone, that I am the only one who can see the naked emperor.

Yet that can’t be. The polls show the Duh’s approval ratings still hovering around 35 percent, so surely more than a few of us are paying attention. Ignoring for the moment the question of how 35 percent of America can still have a grain of faith or confidence in this guy, the larger issue is why the 65 percent of us who disapprove of his actions (or, in the case of the Israel-Lebanon war, the lack thereof) aren’t doing something other than shake our heads and wring our hands.

The revelations come with such amazing regularity that a truly vibrant and functioning democracy would have removed him from office long ago, either by election or impeachment. Yet what we have is an electorate so apathetic and zoned out that it has entered some Pink Floydian world of comfortable numbness to it all: another Bushian blunder, another constitutional right imperiled, another executive power assumed, another law blatantly broken, another treasonous ploy gone unpunished, another act passed by Congress waived by executive fiat, another claim made that flies in the face of logic and reason, another lie told that is provably false. Folks just sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop, suppressing their contempt or ignoring it in hopes that it will go away. But it – meaning him – won’t go away, not for another two and a half miserable years.

I’ve given up trying to figure it out. Either we are extremely gullible, hopelessly apathetic, or the system is corrupt beyond redemption – otherwise a person this unqualified could not be president. Either the nation is asleep at the wheel, paralyzed by fear at some threat (real or imagined), or simply doesn’t care. You tell me.

But maybe as of last week we’ve officially hit rock bottom. I know: I’ve said that before, but somehow this feels a bit different. Maybe, just maybe, this is the straw that we’ve been looking for, the one that broke America’s back.

By throwing a bone to his base and vetoing the very first bill of his reign, this person who calls himself president just robbed my wife, who suffers from chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis, of any hope of ever walking again, and you’re damn right I take it personally. And so do at least 50 million other Americans who could have found some relief from Parkinson’s, spinal chord injuries, MD, juvenile diabetes, ALS, Alzheimer’s, lupus, heart disease and dozens of other debilitating and life-threatening illnesses.

The fact that he chose this issue to override the will of the Congress and of at least 72 percent of the American people should at long last prove to the country that he has no conscience, no soul, no compassion. Only ideology, rock-solid fundamentalist ideology, ideology that values a soon-to-be-discarded embryo over a human life.

With one swift stroke of the pen, he vetoed a funding measure that could have potentially helped millions of people, using the specious and closed-minded reasoning that he said “crossed a moral boundary.” This, of course, came from the same mouth that the day before had uttered the S-word into a live mic. This paragon of virtue took what he claims to be the moral high ground that, in effect, killed any remaining hope millions of us had. If this is his version of morality, he is a bigger hypocrite than any of us imagined.

If it weren’t so tragic it would be laughable. But I’m not laughing. In fact, I’m beginning to lose hope. I keep rationalizing that there will be life after Bush, but what if the damage to the Earth, to international relations, to our position in the global community, to the economy is irreversible? Think about the billions of dollars and thousands of lives he has cost us, as well as the incalculable damage to the environment he has allowed to happen in six years. Can we wait another two and a half to begin the restoration process?

While his veto of embryonic stem cell funding is not an impeachable offense, per se, there was already overwhelming evidence against him. Time is running out for my wife, for America, for the good Earth.

Impeach him now!