America, If We're Not Careful, Democracy Might Break Out:
We're not used to it; that's the problem. It's been so long since we behaved like a real, active democracy here in the United States that it's like learning to ride a bike after you've lost a leg and have a prosthetic one in its place. Sure, you know cognitively the rhythms and actions, but it's kind of alien to your newly-remade body. See, we'd become a bullshit democracy, pretending, like estranged, emotionally separated parents staying together for the kids, so the rest of the world can learn from our mighty institutions o' greatness. But the kids always know. No matter how hard you try to hide it, the kids always know.

In a real democracy, the citizens are ready to send their leaders to the slammer, whip them out of town like the angry mobs of old. To wit, when Karl Rove was heading out last night after speaking at American University in DC, he was met with pitchforks and torches, more or less. Twenty or so students threw things at him and his car, and then they laid down in front of the car until they were were moved by police (and not arrested, for, truly, who ought to be arrested in this situation?). By the way, the protest, projectiles and all, was described as "peaceful." Again, it's all a question of degrees of what's deserved. If someone shoots whipped cream at Nelson Mandela, that's a violent assault. If a crowd burns Karl Rove's car and chases him through the streets of DC until he has to cower, weeping, shitting himself, in a filthy alley with the other rats and feral beasts, well, that's barely a misdemeanor.

And then there's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the man with the most pornographic name in Congress since at least Dick Armey (although Pennsylvania robber baron and Senator Jasper T. Cockswallow - elected in 1884 - probably still takes the prize). Reid must have special pants made to accomodate his gigantic balls. Really. There's legends around Las Vegas of mob bosses, ready to have Reid whacked back in the day, who were shown pictures of his balls and, in deference to such titanic testicles, called off the hits. It's said that Reid's already had his soccer-sized nuts molded in 24-carat gold and sent to the President with a note that read, "Suck on these." Ken Mehlman, in the Oval Office at the time, passed out.

Each and every time Bush has tried to pathetically swing a right hook at his face, the Nevada Senator's bent back so that Bush hit only air. Reid's danced and then returned a left uppercut to Bush's chin. The Senate passes an Iraq funding bill with a timeline for troop withdrawal and benchmarks. Bush goes all batshit and says he'll veto it, doesn't wanna talk about, dadadadadamyfingersareinmyearsIcanthearyou. What does Reid do? Does he talk about compromise and "working with the White House"? Fuck no. He grabs his pendulous balls and says, "Eat shit and die," and then says he'll back Russ Feingold's bill that cuts off funds for the war except for a narrowly defined mission.

Reid's been to Iraq, been to Walter Reed - here's what he said about that visit: "To say, Mr. President, that I left Walter Reed depressed is an understatement. We've all heard the stories about Walter Reed...Go to Walter Reed. Listen to the parents. Listen to the people that are hurt." Reid describes how private contracting is destroying the hospital and the military, as well as how the lack of resources is affecting the patients there.

Yesterday, in his pissy little press conference, Bush tried to attack back, saying that Democrats are playing games and are delaying his funding request for the troops. Not missing a fuckin' beat, Reid slammed back, "Democrats will send President Bush a bill that gives our troops the resources they need and a strategy in Iraq worthy of their sacrifices. If the President vetoes this bill he will have delayed funding for troops and kept in place his strategy for failure."

That's how this game is played. For years, Bush has been the pampered only child, given the easy questions, the soft pitches, the free run to the endzone. He got all the presents, all the love and attention. And then, all of a sudden, like every overprotected manchild, he's gotta face the real world, and the real world doesn't give a fuck what he thinks he's entitled to. Democracy, even though it's so often a dance among well-connected rich people, is a goddamned fight to the finish. Reid and Nancy Pelosi are schooling Bush, and, indeed, the rest of America, on what it means to live in a democracy.

Said Reid, "[Bush] should become in tune with the fact that he is President of the United States, not King of the United States...He has another branch of government, namely the legislative branch of government that he has to deal with." He may as well have hitched up his Goliath-sized jock strap and said, "Welcome to 'Co-Equal,' bitch. That's what the people want."

Of course, you know, the problem is there's always a Cheney heaving through the foliage, inconspicuous, malevelolent, prepared to leap out at a moment's notice and tear us all apart.