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The Definition of Political Insanity 


The current craze over the attempts by Interpol to arrest WikiLeak culprit Julian Assange is incredible. Media organizations of all kinds of stripes devote so much space to how the Swedish police need to "interview" Mr. Assange over "sexual misconduct" of some sort (recently reduced to sex without a condom). The leaks in question associated with Mr. Assange have been determined not very significant by U.S. officials and many world leaders, who explained that often foreign officers use diplomatic cables to float notions, ideas and opinions with the purpose to fulfill an intended end. Whatever the real damage of these leaks remains to be seen as will the fate of Mr. Assange, now in the custody of British authorities.

Ironically, no such outrage occurred when Scooter Libby, former vice-president Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff, was convicted by Federal Court of intentionally leaking the name of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame in order to discredit claims by her Ambassador husband, Mr. [Joseph] Wilson, which discredited the Bush administration's claims to justify the invasion of Iraq (the enriched uranium in Niger that never was). [Plame's] outing had drastic implications for other U.S. agents and collaborators, but still, Mr. Libby was simply "pardoned" by a kind and forgiving president Bush.

Meanwhile, Washington prepares for a "change of the guard" as a result of the midterm elections. Losing Democrats race to look for jobs, and remaining Democrats scramble to find a way to remain a significant part of the new political reality. In the House, the Republicans parcel out important committee leadership positions to arch conservatives (and tea partiers) heralding a more firm stance on their understanding of "moral values": abortion rights, "constructionist" judicial appointments (read conservative voting blokes) and a free-for-all "market driven" everything. Do elections matter? You betcha!

Democrats, who, during the last election succumbed to lethargy and "lack of enthusiasm" are now outraged at President Obama's incursion into self flagellating negotiations at the hands of "just say no" Republicans. How dare he? Is that his version of Bill Clinton's move to the center after the loss of the '94 midterm election to the dreadful Newt Gingrich Republicans? My, my, we Democrats are so sensitive, reacting badly to Obama's lecturing during this week's press conference. "Why don't you do the tongue lashing to the Republicans?" say we. After all, we have supported you through your improbable and meteoric rise to the presidency.

But really, are we all nuts? With the country in ruins after the disastrous eight years of Republican rule (with Democratic connivance), what do we do? We, as a nation, vote to empower the same unimaginative, one-note band (no, no and no) back to power. Republicans and tea partiers voted for them and the opposition either did not vote or failed to convince independents (those pesky 12 percent of the electorate that currently decide our elections) that repeating the failures of the past might just create more of the same in the present.
Are we all nuts, really?

- Carlos Wysling, Bend

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