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The Shift


(This is a highly modified version of this graphic over at 

Man, it's really starting to feel like the dead weight of the past twelve years — the era of the Republican hegemony, which grew ever-more-oppressive with time — is starting to be shifted from America's chest.  A huge tectonic plate of corruption, malfeasance, incompetence and authoritarianism orchestrated by the Republican Party and their friends in the US press has been shifted enough to allow us to breathe — and that in turn makes us more able to finish the job and banish the weight once and for all. 

The events of the past few weeks have shown that there is indeed hope for the future — and that we will very likely see great and good things happen sooner than even the most optimistic of us had dreamed possible. 

First, we had a number of revelations from concerned members of the Justice Department about how Bush's FBI abused even the huge leeway given it by the "Patriot" Act, and how Republicans like Pete Domenici worked with top Bush Junta officials — including Karl Rove — to purge a number of hardworking US attorneys and replace them with corrupt and ultra-partisan GOP zampolit.  The whistleblowers in DoJ knew that so long as Republicans controlled Congress, there was no point in complaining; the complaints would be swept under the rug and the complainers would lose their jobs or worse.  But the Republicans don't control Congress any more — so now the DoJ whistleblowers can come in from the cold, secure in the knowledge that hearings will be held (in fact, are being held) and that malefactors will be punished. 

Just today, we had a new set of revelations about BushCo malfeasance concerning the Justice Department:  Seems that last year, Bush's attorney Harriet "My Little Crony" Miers wanted to get rid of not one, two, or even a dozen, but all 93 of the US Attorneys that were serving at the time.  Kinda puts Arlen Specter's December 2005 decision to tinker with the Patriot Act to allow BushCo to appoint new US Attorneys without Senate hearings in an interesting light, doesn't it?  (Especially if one looks at the timeline for these decisions.)   And it makes one wonder about Jon Kyl (R-Wingnut) and his efforts to keep the Democrats from rolling back that decision

Then there were the Scooter Libby convictions:  They showed, in a way even the GOP/Media Complex could not deny, that not even the Bush Junta was above the law for which they have repeatedly shown such withering contempt.

And there were the things that didn't get much attention, even in the reality-based part of the blogosphere, but which were noteworthy nonetheless, such as what happens when a committed environmentalist, Jerry McNerney, occupies a Congressional seat that until two months ago was held by anti-environment wacko Richard Pombo. 

Next, we had the Democratic Congress do a flurry of body blows:  Genuine tax-reform legislation (which undoes Bush's partisan assault on Democrats, wherein he used the AMT as a weapon against them).  Working to undo Bush's hide-Poppy's-and-my-crimes CYA Act.  And last, but most certainly not least, both the House and Senate Democrats striding up to the Republicans and daring them to go on record about their stance on Bush's Iraq war.

Yeah, these last ones are not even likely to make it to Bush's desk — and if they do, he'll veto them anyway.  But the Republicans are terrified, absolutely terrified, of having to put themselves on record on Iraq.   If they vote with the Democrats for withdrawal, they tick off Karl Rove.  But if they vote against withdrawal, they tick off the folks back home — and with a large number of Republican Senators up for re-election next year, sticking by Mister Thirty Percent and his equally-unpopular war isn't exactly a prescription for continued electoral good health.

And the Democrats will keep reviving this, over and over again, as 2008 draws nearer.  And sooner or later — perhaps sooner than we realize — a non-trivial number of Republicans will say "screw it — let Karl do his worst" and vote to save themselves.

No, things didn't automatically go from bad to good when the Democrats won Congress last November.  But things are already a lot better than they were five months ago — and hold the promise of getting much better yet.

It really could be morning in America. 

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