The Bipartisan Ship
Any time you hear the term bipartisan, check “your six” and check your wallet. It means the ruling class is united and on the move. Given the history of this term, I can’t imagine why it doesn’t send shudders down our collective spine. They call it bipartisanship; but it’s more like The Bipartisan Ship — the primary war vessel of the ultra-elite.
The Bipartisan Ship is why we don’t have universal health care. The Bipartisan Ship is why there is no meaningful right for workers to organize in most states. The Bipartisan Ship is why the two state-institutions that can openly engage in heterosexist discrimination are marriage and the military. The Bipartisan Ship is what gave us the “free trade” agreements that have gutted local enterprises, destroyed the trade union movement, savaged the economies of Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and reinforced overpriced war materiel contracts as a surrogate export market during an apparently permanent trade deficit. The Bipartisan Ship gave us the largest prison population on earth (raw numbers… China with 1.3 billion people has 1.5 million in lockup… we have 2.1 million locked up in a population of a mere 300 million). The Bipartisan Ship is the Death Star dressed up like the Love Boat.
In this election, the average cost of a House seat (in campaign cash) was alm ost a million dollars ($960,000 to be more exact). The average cost of a Senate seat was $7.8 million. This pretty well consoidates the loyalty of anyone wanting to serve (and that is the right word) in Congress. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money, updates the figures frequently; and what is remarkable is not which top contributors give to which party, but how many of the top contributors (representing Wall Street and Big Business) give generously to both parties. You see, they are all on the same cruise, headed for the same destination.
That destination includes perserving American supremacy in the world, which allows us to live our profligate and completely unsustanable lifestyles here long enough to get through another business and election cycle… all at the direct expense of the poorer people in the world. Yes, I know this is an unpopular thing to say; but the manner to which we have become accustomed is paid for by a steady flow of value drained from the peripheral regions and sucked into this giant, wasteful, dangerous, and dirty technomass that will one day leave our children stranded on a toxic scrap heap wondering how we let this happen.
Right now, that means the mission of The Bipartisan Ship is to ensure the continued flow of the fuel (literally) for this massive parasitism. The Bipartisan Ship is committed to maintaining control, by hook or by crook, of the region whose residents live inconveniently atop more than half the world’s easily recoverable oil, and adjacent to most of the world’s natural gas. Let’s not forget that The Bipartisn Ship was all-aboard for the Energy War. Their reluctant change of heart is nothing but a dilemma. They are caught between the Scylla of growing domestic opposition ot the war and the Charybdis of the necessity of cheap oil to maintain this profligacy a little bit longer. Apres moi, as they say, le deluge.
So they blame the Republicans, and poor delusional Donny Rumsfeld (may his name be forgotten until the first subpoena), for mismanaging the war. How do they get out of this dilemma… for just a bit longer? I’ll tell you how. They claim they are waiting for a bipartisan commission.
Commissions… the last refuge of bipartisan scoundrels.
The Baker-Hamilton Commission that Democrats are now using as cover and concealment is led by two professional commission-leaders, James Baker and Lee Hamilton, both veterans of ruling class, pasty-faced, male mandarinism — one a Republican operative and the other a Democrat… respectively.
Opportunism and an unwavering committment to American imperialism led the Democrats to jump on the war wagon. Now that the war has proven unwinnable, and support for it is disappearing like Spring snow, they find themselves stranded. They can’t oppose the war (as a party) and call for immediate, unilateral withdrawal (the only sensible, legal, and moral option), even though opposition to the war just vaulted them over the finish line in an off-year protest election. They can’t investigate the war based on its illegality (an unequivocal violation of the UN Charter), because they committed the same exact violation of international law when they eagerly supported Bill Clinton’s 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia.
Bipartisans love bombs. They love the contracts to build them. They love the macho cache of talking about them and raining them on the heads of anonymous families abroad as a display of “resolve.”
The Baker-Hamilton Commission, if you’ll pardon my language, isn’t designed to do jack shit about the war, except figure out how to dampen down our opposition to it a little bit longer, and to give the Democratic Partysome breathing space, now trapped in its victory and the twin-realities of an unwinnable war and the beginnings of a permanent decline in American imperial power. Exposing this sham is the first step in retaining the power that we-the-people exercised two days ago.
The message was not, “We love Democrats.” The message was that we want this bloody, illegal, and immoral war to end. We don’t expect opportunistic Democrats to inaugurate a love-fest with battered Republicans. We are polarized, and we expect you to act like it. We don’t expect reconciliation. We will never be reconciled to this war, and the Baker-Hamilton Commission can go straight to hell.