Breathing stopped

Hardly knew what to say this week, so I didn’t say anything. Mostly watched, slack-jawed, as the country slid further into the stench of history.

With Bush traveling the country ramping up his fearmongering rhetoric – the bad guys are coming to kill us all, unless you vote for Republicans – an enormous bucket of ice water was dumped all over our caterwauling, testosterone-pumped tomcat of a president when North Korea gleefully tested a nuclear weapon and then thumbed its nose at the world.

Large or small, successful or a dud, the nuclear test showed what a dismal, even criminal, failure this sorry excuse for a president and his policies have been.

Taken with all the other dreadful failures – the Sept. 11 attacks, which the Bush administration did nothing to prevent but have exploited ever since to keep Americans terrified and hold on to its power; Afghanistan, now increasingly back under Taliban sway; Iraq, a horror that will shame this nation until the end of history, putting it on a level with Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union; Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed the city of New Orleans and killed or left homeless thousands upon thousands of American citizens while Bush played the guitar and left hopeless morons in charge of the response; the revelation of the administration’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans; the destruction of habeas corpus and approval of torture of Americans by Americans with the hastily passed Military Commissions Act; the Jack Abramoff scandal and now, the Mark Foley scandal – it seems the sleeping giant that is the American people is finally, finally waking up.

Well, damn. It’s about time.

The wind has shifted. Americans don’t like what this president, his administration and his Republican majority, rubber-stamp Congress has done to their country. They’re starting to understand just how deeply mired in shit we really are.

The real estate bubble is slowly bursting. Foreclosures are up – and Americans no longer have even the unpleasant cushion of bankruptcy to fall back on, thanks to the Orcs. Gas prices are down, but I think most of us understand that the lower price is artificial, forced until after the election to make the Republicans look good. In the meantime, it costs more and more to put dinner on the table. There was some weak crowing a week or two ago about the stock market reaching it’s highest level in six years – but little acknowledgement that the level actually only matched, finally, what it had been in 2000, the year the Orcs stole the election. Some triumph.

As a liberal Democrat who’s been unrelentingly appalled and angry at the destruction of her country since the turn of the century, I should be laughing, dancing, popping champagne corks and indulging in all of the other general debauchery Blue America has been accused of. Latte, anyone?

But I’m not.

I’m holding my breath. Because George W. Bush and his supporters have shown us, time and time again, that they’re capable of anything. There are no morals to guide them, no compassion for the lives of others – Americans or foreign – nothing but empty rhetoric, fearmongering, and a brutal reach for more and more power.

A few weeks ago, we were all concerned about Bush pushing the nuclear button against Iran, a subject that has all but dropped from the headlines in favor of Foley and now, North Korea. But I don’t believe for a moment that Bush and his Orcs have forgotten. They’re cornered, and when an animal is cornered, it attacks.

With less than a month to go before the national elections, and with things looking very, very bad for a Republican majority in Congress, I believe they’ll do just about anything to hang on to power. Nuke Iran, killing millions and taking the risk that the entire world will turn against America?

Why not? With an American electorate too lazy to think for themselves, it might be just the thing needed to convince us to keep the status quo. Because then, we’ll be at war with the whole world, won’t we.

I hope I’m wrong. I want to be wrong. But I won’t be taking a deep breath until after the Nov. 7 elections – and maybe not even then.

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