9/24/2005

Bush's first term: Target: Congress

More on the same article -- law

Target: Congress

During the first George W. Bush Administration, Congress was for the most part neutralized. As a result, the blatant lies that led to the Iraq War, the Abu Ghraib torture policy, and the Ashcroft assault on civil liberties, went essentially unchallenged.

In the Senate, the presiding officer, Vice President Dick Cheney, has been known as "the woodshed"; members who get out of line are sent to him to be whipped.

DeLay has ruled the House of Representatives, installing his own former aide, Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as House Speaker in 1999, and making himself Majority Leader in 2002. Known as "the Hammer," DeLay's office is decorated with an Old-South-style bullwhip.

* His sponsors created slush funds for secret contributions to be given out to Republican candidates who would be under his sway, and withheld from those who crossed him.

* He took control of the Texas legislature (his candidates getting allegedly illegal corporate campaign contributions that got three DeLay aides indicted), in order to rig Texas Congressional District lines to increase his power in the House.

* The House Ethics Committee repeatedly admonished DeLay, so the Republican chairman of the committee was fired, and two other Republican committee members were kicked out, all replaced by DeLay allies; the House ethics rules were changed to protect DeLay from challenges.

* Democrats have been excluded from the conference committees which prepare the final version of Congressional bills, such as budgets, so that whatever happens in floor debate or votes, DeLay, Cheney, and their lieutenants privately decide all matters of importance.

Reed played a particularly ugly role in the emasculation of Congress. As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party in 2001-02, he personally coordinated two obscene 2002 campaigns: African-American Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a courageous critic of the regime's coup process following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was slandered as "anti-Semitic" and driven out of Congress; and Reed defeated Democratic Senator Max Cleland, who had lost an arm and both legs in Vietnam, depicting Cleland as unpatriotic and helpful to terrorism.

The Christian Coalition: The Nature of the Beast

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