This is an amazing entry in tonight’s Nelson Report. It’s one of the bravest essays I have read this week — and it paints both the Democrats and Republicans amorally triangulating around the White House’s winner-takes-all, win-every-battle obsession in the Tom DeLay and John Bolton fiascos.
I am off to hear Karl Rove tonight tell us about what we all ought to be thinking about. I hope he mentions Bolton.
Chris Nelson writes in the 18 April Nelson Report:
BOLTON BATTLE…the real fight
If the fight over John Bolton’s UN nomination were just about John Bolton, he’d be history already. But this isn’t about Bolton, it’s about the exercise of power. Same thing with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
If this was even 5 years ago, hed be toast.
We are at the point now where the Republican Leadership refuses to allow the possibility of a loss on anything, regardless of the merits. This renders “debate” meaningless, since nothing said actually matters, so truth is irrelevant.
“Science” depends on faith; everything is a test of power. Oppose something the President wants, and you aren’t just wrong, you are betraying the Party. The underlying message is that you are also offending a very particular definition of God.
The sad, sorry Bolton/DeLay spectacles are about total war, the kill-the-prisoners exercise of power that national US politics has become since the 2000 election. If it were merely about power, it wouldn’t be so terrifying. Washington is used to that. . .it’s what we exist for. But the fear, the self-loathing, the pathetic, cowardly, sniveling, excuse-making drivel from such “leaders” as Lugar, Hagel, Chafee, the entire House Republican Leadership under DeLay. . .and the ever-so-very carefully expressed angst of the Democrats. . .is about something far more dangerous to the Republic than mere political power.
What we are seeing is a fight for the political soul of the nation. We’ve had these before, in the existential sense. . .in my political lifetime, the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights versus, to a certain extent, the right to life movement. But this time it’s totally and completely a fight about God. . .specifically, whether God is going to rule in the United States.
The Constitution says that would be illegal, and any serious expert can tell you that not only were the Founders liberal in their interpretation of the Deity, but they intentionally enshrined a purely secular civic government, including the courts. They didn’t think that Jesus had an official plan for us, much less did they think that politicians who defined their duties in secular terms were defying the word of God.
Tom Delay manifestly believes this, and it sounds like any number of Senate Republicans either agree, or lack the imagination or moral courage to disagree. . .why else would some endorse threats against Republican-appointed judges who dare to interpret the law in secular terms? This is what the Bolton fight is really about: you can’t dump him, because that lets the Democrats win on both the facts and principle. . .fatal notions to a desire to pack the courts with religious and secular policy extremists.
Why else would there be the constant drumbeat of attacks on the “liberal media”, except to undermine public trust in the Constitutionally provided mediator between the politicians and the people?
The Founders knew how to protect what they intended; this crowd has figured out how to undermine the very rule of law in the United States. Listen to what DeLay is arguing…that his excesses have nothing to do with his “persecution”, interesting choice of word, by the Democrats and their “liberal press allies”. If a majority of Congressional Republicans don’t, in their hearts, see the hypocrisy of all this, the Republic is doomed.
The real story behind Bolton and DeLay is obvious, to anyone not already seduced by the dark side.
Connect the dots. There’s still time.
— Steve Clemons