Truth and Democracy

Inviting those who live in the right-wing alternate universe to join the rest of us out here in reality.

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Location: Hackensack, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wanna be Vice President? Send resumes now.

For over two years I have been telling my friends that, if George W. Bush won re-election in 2004 (at that time), Dick Cheney would never serve out the full second term as Vice President. Why not? Because it doesn't benefit the Republicans politically and that's all that matters in this White House. Were Cheney to remain, as someone who obviously will not seek the White House himself in 2008, it would force every prospective GOP candidate to begin running for president from scratch and without a national stage.

Today we find out from the New York Times that soon to be indicted Cheney's Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, actually learned the identity of a covert CIA agent from his boss over a month before her identity ever became public. This is the proverbial "other shoe" I have been waiting to see "drop". This according to Libby's own notes, which are now in the possession of the Prosecutor. Of course, this does not amount to a crime by itself. However, it does mean two very important things. The first is that it indicates that the prosecutor probably intends to go after Libby for Perjury and possibly Obstruction. Libby testified to the prosecutor that he first learned Valerie Plame's identity from a journalist.

The second important thing this new information establishes is the level of desire on the part of this administration to attack anyone who criticized its Iraq policy. It shows that the highest level people in the White House were exploring how to discredit and possibly intimidate former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame's Husband and an Iraq War critic, even before he wrote his New York Times editorial column entitled, "What I didn't find in Africa". This White House is surpassing even the Nixon administration in terms of how it deals with political opponents.

This revelation also constitutes an opportunity for the administration. Although Cheney will most likely not be indicted in the matter, Bush did say early on that he would fire "anyone involved" in the leak case. Though he has since flip-flopped on this and changed it to "anyone convicted of a crime". Once indictments are handed down, by the end of this week, this will become the hottest political story in America. The level to which Cheney's name will now be directly involved in this scandal, on a daily basis, will be the perfect opportunity for him to step down gracefully, possibly citing his well known health problems.This would allow Bush to choose the individual he most wants to replace him in the Oval Office in January 2009. With the White House in complete turmoil and his job approval numbers plummeting, a fresh start and chance to leave his mark in the Oval Office should be very appealing to Bush.

Now we can get on with the specualation. Just who will Bush pick? Right now, if I had to guess, I would narrow it down to Virginia's George Allen or Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, both of whom appear to be running for the office already. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, also eyeing the job, has opposed the president's stubborness on Stem Cell research. This will probably kill him with the Christian fundamentalists, a necessary constituency in order to win the Republican nomination. Sen. John McCain has been critical of Bush in the past and also could never garner the religious right's support.

In the post Harriet Miers era,the Supreme Court nominee will likely withdraw herself before she ever gets to the confirmation hearings, Bush will have to be very careful on the "Crony" issue. This all but eliminates speculations about Condoleezza Rice, Bush's brother Jeb from Florida or any one of a number of surprise possibilities within the administration. Dark horses would probably be Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas or Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, both of whom would be very acceptable to the president's born again Christian base, as Miers was not. Any one of a number of Republican Governors could also qualify as a dark horse candidate as well, perhaps from a key electoral state?

No matter who ends up occupying the VP position, Mr. Cheney will not simply disappear. He will still be very active in the administration and its policy making, in an unofficial capacity though. Just remember that I said this now and remember my most likely picks. I've been saying this privately for a long time, as my friends can attest. I'm going to look like a genius!

Paul Roth, Jr.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A New Letter to the Editor

The following letter was printed today in the Record newspaper. However, it was edited. This is my unedited version:

In an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith and worship… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion… thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” Our Congressman disagrees. Well, Scott Garrett, you’re no Tom Jefferson.

Rep.Garrett claims that acceptance of the Intelligent Design theory is “growing in scientific communities and academia.” This is an outright lie. ID has gained acceptance only among the right wing religious zealots in America who cannot stand our constitutional separation of church and state. A theory must offer evidence to be considered acceptable. ID offers none. ID is a matter of faith and as Jefferson pointed out, matters of faith are best left to the individual, the family and the church, not the government. Do you want your school board making decisions affecting your child’s religious beliefs?

Due to my work last year, I had to learn a great deal more about Scott Garrett than most of his constituents know. I know him to be a right wing “Christian” who prefers moving toward Theocratic government. I strongly suggest that the 58% of my neighbors who voted for Garrett last fall do some more research on him. You’ll be shocked by what you find.