Imagine these series of events, not necessarily in chronological order:
The President of the United States, to great international applause, signs the Kyoto Accord, the international treaty that agrees to limit carbon emissions. India and China follow suit. Quickly, legislation is introduced and passed in Congress to increase CAFÉ standards, and hybrid cars become affordable. But a long-range electric car becomes extremely popular, as Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore drive cross country in it. The White House itself uses wind power for its energy needs.
On September 11th, 2001, there is an attempted hijacking of airliners at four airports, by Saudi born terrorists, but thanks to the diligence of FBI agents in San Diego and elsewhere, and a key piece of CIA intelligence, the attack is quickly thwarted. Quickly, the culprits behind the planning are identified: Osama Bin Laden, and key lieutenants. Bin Laden is captured six months later, in a cave on the Afghan Pakistani border, and is now held in an American prison, the same one which houses the Omar Abdel-Rahman AKA “blind Sheik”, who was behind the 1992 World Trade Center bombing. With their leadership in disarray, Al Qaeda breaks up into manageable pieces , and defused, thanks to international cooperation. Additionally, new peace treaties and polices quell mid-east tensions, especially since the requirements for fossil fuel have been reduced in most major economies. The military and economic sanctions against Iraqi dictator’s regime take greater hold, and, ultimately, a popular insurrection ends Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship there.
On the home front, the President’s proposal for sweeping tax reforms, closing loopholes for billionaires, is adopted. A feeble attempt to block it in the House by Tom DeLay doesn’t get very far. DeLay is soon censured, and indicted, on money-laundering charges, along with co-conspirators Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist.
Sweeping Democratic victories in 2002 mid-term elections solidifies congressional cooperation. Still later, immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, a huge contingent of National Guard troops landed in the area, and FEMA quickly established a “tent city” to aid persons whose homes were wrecked or were not evacuated in a joint effort of federal, state and local agencies. Thankfully, due to earlier foresight two years earlier, Army Corps of Engineers had made needed repairs of levees — and the levees held against the surging waters of Lake Ponchartrain, protecting the 9th Ward from what would have been devastating flooding.
During the Katrina disaster, Chief Justice William Rehnquist dies, and he is replaced by former Governor Mario Cuomo of New York —
Sandra Day O’Connor wakes up with a start, sweating profusely and screaming. She checks the clock on her nightstand – 3 AM, and quickly regains her presence of mind.
The former associate justice of the Supreme Court sighed with that relief one gets with the realization that a very real seeming dream was just that – a dream.
In an unprecedented move, the case of Bush v. Gore in December of 2000 was settled by a 5 – 4 vote of the U.S. Supreme Court. George W. Bush was thus, by this legal fiat, ordained 43rd President of the United States.
In a very large part, this “one time only” decision is thanks to Justice O’Connor’s “swing vote”.
Well, it was a bad dream – for her. We may have had this same “what might have been” dream – with, of course, different details; the ones cited are merely mine. But the difference is, she gets to wake up and be relieved. In our through-the-looking-glass world, sweet dreams are just that, and when we wake up, our reality is the GOP nightmare we live everyday.
And of course, Justice O’Connor subsequently added a bonus in the person of Samuel Alito (and not Mario Cuomo or some such liberal) on the SCOTUS. Despite all vague denials at his justice committee hearings, Alito, once sworn in, would not be a mere quasi-independent “swing voter”, but rather another judicial rubber stamp, dutifully joining the Scalia/Thomas/Roberts camp; and like 2/3 of that trio, young enough to do damage for many years to come.
So ones person’s reality is another fascist’s dream come true.
Trent Lott even said so: 9/11 opened the door for the right wing to fulfill their long held want list. None of it much good for “regular people”. The United States became some sort of giant, free Costco, with these guys romping down the aisles helping themselves to out-sized benefits: a pallet full of delectable tax breaks for bizzillionaires, sweet electronic domestic spying, tasty de-regs of such things as factory emissions and coal mine inspections, meddling with the FCC and PBS, and public schools, hand-outs to evangelists (remember the “faith-based initiative?”), $4.00 per gallon gas – and, in a very large crate, a most profitable endless war, with the added bonus of an ocean of oil beneath Iraqi sands.
It’s not over yet. Remember, it just takes 30 seconds to bomb Iran, and Bush 43 as of August 20, 2008, has 5 months to go. These will be five of the LONGEST months in our lives.
Thank you Sandra Day O’Connor.
But, let’s get back to Republican dreams. Their latest dream is McCain stealing the next election based on their biggest nightmare:
THE ELECTION OF OBAMA, the anti-Christ.
As Thom Hartmann has pointed out, the latest “Moses” ad (is that real or an Internet invention?) broadcast by the McCain camp is not another race-baiting ad, it is a religious-baiting ad – reiterating the terror amongst the religious faithful that it’s not that Obama is black, but that he is the anti-Christ. What else can explain his immense international popularity, his attitude of arrogance, his own words (albeit totally out of context but so?), his “cult-like” following, his middle name, his knuckle bumping — even his Muslim background (doesn’t exist but is now part of the urban legend), read pro-terrorist, anti-American and worse, anti-Israeli.
Yes, it is after eight dreamy years, and more to come, thanks to Sandra Day, the GOP’s base is being convened by the McCain folks (aided greatly by the omnipresent Karl Rove) we are on the brink of its long awaited End of Days when the anti-Christ shows up (it must be Obama; look at the crowds he drew in Europe) and Armageddon commences.
But here is the nightmare they fear they will awaken in January, 2009:
Obama taking the oath and within hours rescinding many of W’s most egregious “executive orders”. He has solar panels installed at the White House. He signs the Kyoto Accords, leading to higher emission standards, and, with new more solid Democratic majority congress, engineers higher CAFE standards. He and congress also roll back the “bush tax cuts”,. Naturally, withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq commences with speed, and the Taliban is thwarted in Afghanistan. Osma Bin-Laden and some top lieutenants are captured. War, and huge American footprint in the Middle East, is ended. And Universal heath care for all Americans in need is at long last passed.
Hope springs eternal that this will be our dream come true, our new reality. In many ways, because of O’Connor’s 2000 vote and “timely” resignation in 2006, Bush and the Republicans, drunk with power, aided by their “Pearl Harbor” moment and weak Democratic opposition, managed to overshoot their dream come true, their Costco-type engorgement blew up in their faces – - invigorating desperate American voters and ironically creating the Obama phenomenon – the very thing they now so greatly fear in irrational, bizarre ways.
Maybe in 2009, when Sandra Day O’Connor wakes up screaming in fright, to this new reality — and keep on screaming, finding no relief, no absolution. That would be apt punishment.
But all these dreams are just dreams at the moment. Never underestimate the power of the night mare weavers.
by Robert Illes
Robert Illes is an Emmy winning television writer and producer, currently developing series for Nickelodeon and TV Land. He is an LA native, and a graduate of USC, who lived in Sherman Oaks for 23 years before escaping to Santa Monica (but visits a lot). A member of Valley Democrats United, Bob is also an AirAmericaRadio freak, active in the Writers Guild mentor program, as well as the Democratic party, and is constantly Bush bashing, fighting for verifiable voting procedures, and fighting against Jerry’s Deli showing Fox News on their overhead TVs. What’s the matter with those people!?
Internet radio show “Funny is Money” starring Bob Illes is now on nightly at 7 PM Pacific time www.shokusradio.com CHECK IT OUT!
Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.
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