Ratchet It Up, Take 'Em Down
By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
November 8, 2005
"The wheels are coming off the bus," a giddy Shallow Throat said. "Now
that the Bush Administration is imploding from within, it's time for those
of us on the outside to set more political charges.
"So many who have wanted to 'get' these creeps, but who have been silent
before, are leaking damaging information about them. The Establishment
conservatives -- those who were pushed out of influence and power by the
neo-cons who hijacked our party -- are getting their message out daily:
It's OK to get rid of these Bush guys because if we don't, they'll take us
all down with them -- the party, the economy, the Constitution, the
military, the veterans, whatever's left of respect for the U.S. in the
I hadn't seen Shallow Throat like this in a long, long time. The
high-ranking Bush Administration GOP mole, who previously had revealed so
much of the motivations and weaknesses from inside the White House, just
let the words come pouring out.
"In short, we're at the shores of Lake Critical Mass, my friend -- but not
quite to the Promised Land. Tell your liberal Dem colleagues to ratchet up
the pressure and join us traditional conservatives in pushing this crew
off the political cliff. If we each work our respective constituencies
with intelligence and determination, the long nightmare will soon be
"But where to push the hardest?" I asked. "Where are they weakest? We
don't want to scatter-shot our energies."
DRY-ROT CAN DO WONDERS
"Their main points of weakness? Try anywhere. Their whole foundation,
built on lies and fraud and corruption and in-your-face arrogance and
bullying, has rampant dry-rot at the core. Just hit it hard, anywhere, and
more structure will fall off, by this time almost on its own."
"Good metaphor," I said, "but give us some specific guidance here. Should
we concentrate on the Iraq war? Supreme Court nominees? Corruption?
"What I'm saying," Shallow Throat responded, "is that it's Shadow-Cabinet
time. The Dems, if they're smart, will organize their forces accordingly.
Certain Democrat Senators and Representatives should have specific
portfolios of attack. Some, those with special expertise, should
concentrate on Iraq. Some on corruption, focusing on DeLay, Frist,
Abramoff, Cheney. Some on our electoral system rife with fraud and
vote-tabulation manipulations. Some on the Constitution and abuse of
police power. Some should be shadowing Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush. Some
on the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzales torture policies. Some on following
out the Scooter Libby and Niger Yellowcake chain. Some on Alito and his
way-out-of-the-mainstream ideological jurisprudence and open conflicts of
interest. Some on foreign policy, especially how the Bush neocons are
anxious to move the U.S. to war with Syria and/or Iran.
"To change metaphors, the Bush Administration is like a Great White Shark
beached right now, mostly by its own actions. In such a position, it's
extremely vulnerable, but in order to ensure that it doesn't escape at the
next HardRight tide, you've got to tie it up tightly. You've got to
organize the various teams so that everyone knows how and where to throw
the ropes over the carcass, where the nodal points of weakness are.
"If everyone's merely running around shouting and cheering, you'll just
get your ropes all tangled up and little will be accomplished, except to
make everyone temporarily feel good. We don't want to feel good, we want
to get this batch of crooks and liars and power-hungry zealots out of the
peoples' White House. Then we can set about the long process of undoing
years of Bush&Co. damage, and start the restoration process.
GOP ELITE MAKES ITS MOVE
"That's one reason why I'm suggesting that you make as many alliances as
you can, even if some of them are only tangential, with the traditional
elements of the GOP, the Establishment conservatives, the moderate
rank-and-file, those good reasonable conservatives in the Congress worried
about their chances for re-election," said ST. "Use what they're saying
about this Bush crew -- Bill Buckley, Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell, Brent
Scowcroft, John Danforth, the leakers in the CIA, those who published the
Downing Street Memos, et al. These are not dastardly 'liberals'; these
make up the backbone of traditional center-right rule.
"Those speaking out against the Busheviks are taking giant risks right now
saying what they're saying, and they need all the support they can get.
Yes, of course, they should have revealed all this stuff years ago, but
don't waste energy denouncing them for their belated courage, the point is
that they're saying it now. Use it."
"But how," I asked, "can we ensure that the Democrats will not falter,
that they are willing to take the lead in attacking the Bush
Administration consistently and frontally on all these issues?"
"Look, Bernie," said ST, "for years, your progressive friends have been
pointing out how spineless the Democrats have been in the face of Karl
Rove's mendacious assault on them and the democratic process as a whole.
But now, sensing the weaknesses and openings in the crumbling Bush&Co.
facade, they're starting to make forays, try out some political jui-jitsu
moves, rack up a few victories. In some ways, as unbelievable as it
sounds, they are starting to make noises as if they finally understand
what the word 'opposition' means. (A few already have taken the necessary
giant step: admitting they were wrong in granting Bush authorization to
take the country to war in Iraq, because the Administration lied and
misled them as they also lied and deceived the public at large.)
"As these Democrat leaders begin to speak out -- especially Harry Reid in
the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House -- don't bad-mouth them for their
earlier timidity; praise them and encourage them for what they're doing
now. Keep your eyes on the prize: cleansing the White House of this
ruinous, reckless, incompetent crew. You can fight among yourselves
"What I don't understand," I asked, "is what do you guys, you traditional
Republicans, get out of encouraging us progressive Democrats to lead the
fight in toppling the Bushies?"
RE-OPENING THE BIG CENTER
"I thought that would be self-evident," said Shallow Throat, with a
you-really-have-to-ask? look thrown my way. "We're frozen out. The Hard
Rightists, neo-con crazies and religious zealots have a total lock on
power in the Republican Party. The only way we can ever hope for our more
realistic and moderate candidates to get back into contention is to
impeach or otherwise get rid of this destructive cabal. We'd prefer to do
it ourselves but we're too weak right now. This time out, the Dems must
take the lead in bringing them down.
"After that, the Big Center is open once again -- you guys in the
center-left, we in the center-right. In a fair fight -- which means an
honest electoral system, with hand-counted paper ballots by official poll
workers -- we think we can whip your butts, but even if your side wins, we
still have a good shot the next time. Now do you get it? It's in our
self-interest -- which just happens to be what's good for the country as a
whole -- to return the federal government to the Big Center by eliminating
those who don't give a fig for democratic institutions, except how to
manipulate and distort them in the service of a tiny sliver of the
"And you're convinced that the Bushies can be taken now, that they're that
weak?" I asked.
"For sure. But with several important caveats. They may be dumb and
incompetent, but they're not politically stupid, they're still in power,
and they have few moral qualms. They see what you and I see, that they're
in free-fall right now, and that they're no longer trusted or seen as
occupying the moral/ethical high ground; they realize that unless they
take some drastic action to stop that free-fall, they're going down --
with huge anchors tied around their necks: Iraq, Katrina, Libby, jobs,
torture, widescale corruption, the conservative Establishment revealing
even more of their mendacity and incompetence, etc.
BEWARE THE WALKING WOUNDED
"Which translates into: They will do anything, ANYTHING, to stave off
their impending loss of power. If they feel they have to totally shift the
focus, to distract the public from the Administration's self-created woes,
they will act accordingly; launch an attack on another country; look the
other way again as a large-scale terrorist attack (or public health
threat) takes place inside the United States; kick their slime-machine
into high gear against anyone who criticizes them. In short, don't take
your eyes off the Busheviks for a second; they're wounded, cornered
animals ready to do anything to strike out and escape the political noose
-- and, not incidentally, likely criminal prosecutions down the line."
"But," I asked, "if the situation inside the Administration is so scary
for those deemed 'disloyal,' why are you risking your neck to talk to me
and get the word out to your ostensible political enemies?"
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The enemy for us all right now is the
Bush bunker crew holding the reins of federal political power. We work
together now to defeat them, we fight it out later in the good,
old-fashioned, civil way we've always fought. Let the best ideas win --
not the biggest lies.
"Sure, I'm frightened of what might happen to me if I were caught talking
with you. But, as I tried to emphasize in our discussion tonight, the
objective conditions are now there for taking down this bumbling, vicious,
greedy crew. Even if my own neck is at risk, at least I'll know I'd be
helping take them down with me. Not a bad bargain."
And with that, Shallow Throat, wearing a calm, big grin, vanished into the
night. I sat there sipping my Negra Modelo, feeling uplifted, warm,
Copyright 2005, by Bernard Weiner