What strikes me about the internal communications from the Bush regime about the firings of the federal prosecutors is the complete absense of consideration of the good of the people.   The only considerations are about being in power.

Of course, there is also the underlying and unspoken problem of the investigations of some of these prosecutors into matters that would probably have gone further into not only the Republican party but the Bush administration. 

Further yet is the matter of the possibility of Bush and Gonzales themselves being subject to prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  And, not just Bush and Gonzales but Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and many others now or formerly in this administration. 

I long for the time when internal government communications were about the work of moving forward the good of the people.  I long for discourse on issues of substance.  This is worse than listening to the Nixon tapes with all the scatalogical and profane language, which was certainly shocking enough.  This is worse, this conniving and pitching and contortion of the facts from an administration that has tortured and killed in addition to bullying and extorting money, and now seeks to protect itself. 

In sharp contrast there are the words of Bill Moyers, who was a member of a previous administration that had its faults but that could never be accused of not working for the good of the American people as its members understood that good.  Moyers says:

I want to talk about what democracy bestows on us, the revolutionary idea that democracy is not just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency. “I believe in democracy because it releases the energies of every human being” – those are the words of our 28th president, Woodrow Wilson.

And further Moyers says:

In his now-forgotten political testament called The New Freedom, Wilson described his reformism in plain English no one could fail to understand: “The laws of this country do not prevent the strong from crushing the week.” He wrote: “Don’t deceive yourselves for a moment as to the power of great interests which now dominate our development… There are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States. They are going to own it if they can.” And he warned: “There is no salvation in the pitiful condescensions of industrial masters… prosperity guaranteed by trustees has no prospect of endurance.”

    Now Wilson took his stand at the center of power – the presidency itself – and from his stand came progressive income taxation, the federal estate tax, tariff reform, the challenge to great monopolies and trusts, and, most important, a resolute spirit “to deal with the new and subtle tyrannies according to their deserts.”

    How we need that spirit today! When Woodrow Wilson spoke of democracy releasing the energies of every human being, he was declaring that we cannot leave our destiny to politicians, elites, and experts; either we take democracy into our own hands, or others will take democracy from us.

    We do not have much time. Our political system is melting down, right here where you live.

Moyers goes on to talk about how the privileged in this country are often not bad people, but they are limited; they are not interested in the lives of others and not in the public good.  They live, he reminds us, in gated communities with private security, drink bottled water, send their children to private schools.  They are not interested in basic services like potable water, police, and public education. 

I need the antidote of words like Moyers’.  If you do, too, you can read this complete speech at:


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