I confess I was unable to watch the Senate confirmation hearings today except for a few brief and random peeks. What I did see was appalling. It was also, in its way, fascinating. It was, of course, merely a charade. Republicans stepped up to the podium to declare how absolutely wonderful Rice is, Democrats (some of them) stepped up to say how awful she was. Neither side paid any attention whatsoever to the other. Byrd gave a truly good account of why Rice should not be confirmed, followed by Hegel who, paying absolutely no attention to anything Byrd said, demanded that she be confirmed. Neither Hegel, nor any other Republican argued that what Byrd said was wrong, they just ignored him completely. Democrats did not comment directly on anything Republicans said. The whole thing was merely for show. Everyone knew what everyone else would say and they just ignored each other. One would think that for an appointment of this magnitude someone should have at least considered the arguments of the others. But they didn’t. The Republicans, as always, just followed the party line, no matter how strange or bizarre it may be. Rice will, of course, be confirmed, as all Republicans will vote for her. And there will be some Democrats, like Lieberman (a Republican in a very bad disguise), who will also vote to confirm her. Why, I cannot fathom. After listening to Byrd and Boxer I cannot imagine why anyone would vote to confirm her. They will. It’s a lost cause but at least they managed to drag some of her lies and inconsistencies out into the open (not that most Americans were watching, being too busy with reality TV and the soaps).
The Bush/Cheney Administration and their Corporate Cronies have certainly managed to take over the ball game. What a fit. The Corporations manage to get their way from the Administration by donating tons of money. In return for this the Bush/Cheney bunch stay in power by promoting anti-abortionists and homophobics. Does anyone believe that Corporate America gives a damn one way or the other about abortion, homosexuality, or faith-based initiatives? Of course not. But it helps keep those in power they want to continue in power. Do you think that Bush/Cheney and the neocons really care about abortion, homosexuality, and faith-based charity? Of course not, they could care less, witness Cheney’s support of his daughter while at the same time claiming to support Bush’s attack on homosexual marriages (the Constitutional Amendment that has now simply been abandoned as the election is over).
You have to come to realize that for many on the political scene this is all just a game. They obviously don’t really care one way or the other who wins or what happens as long as they draw their bloated salaries for promoting whoever is paying them at the moment. Witness the case of James Carville and Mary Matalan. Do you believe they can marry and be happy when they support opposing candidates? The only way they can is because they basically don’t give a damn. Politics in the United States is nothing but a huge money game and this is just as true for Democrats as it is for Republicans. If the Democratic party cannot reform itself and return to championing the little guy against the Fascist Corporate conspiracy that is slowly taking over our wonderful country it is surely time for a new and viable third party.