Oh, Yeah. Remember This?

Kathy: "The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify about alleged politicization of the Bush Justice Department. He's supposed to show up on July 9 to answer questions about the firing of nine US Attorneys and the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman."

Rove will refuse to comply; there will be some more legal wrangling, but ultimately, this, like a whole lot of other shit that's gone down these last (almost) eight years, will just be eventually swept under the carpet and forgotten. Why? Because our Congress wants it that way. The Republicans want to forget their complicity in the administration's criminal enterprises, and the Democrats want to forget their silence.

Sure, they'll bring Gitmo detainees in and listen to their tragic tales, and they'll bang gavels and say that Rove needs to testify, and make other gestures that look like they give a fat shit about the coup by a thousand cuts committed by the Bush Gang. But the closer we get to end of the Bush administration, the more obvious it becomes that D.C. wants to forget the whole thing ever happened. Do over! Erase erase erase! Ha ha—oh that giant mess? That was just a bad dream!

Tell it to the Iraqis. Tell it to the dead in NOLA.

I loathe the concept of the clean slate that's so intrinsic to the American democracy, this notion that once every four years we can just start over. No sense of history—and you know what they say about those who cannot remember the past.

(And who the fuck wants a clean slate, anyway?)

That I so detest this idea of "starting from scratch" with a new president is why I am so averse to Obama's hope and change and transcendence rhetoric—which should not be mistaken for a commentary on him, or his competence, or his abilities, or his fitness to lead; I just don't like that particular theme, because it evokes too readily for me this idea that we can just "move on" from a bad presidency and terrible politics and damaging policies and begin anew, despite the reality that we manifestly can't. (Something I am quite certain Obama knows and doesn't intend to convey otherwise; it just plucks one of my strings.) Bush is done, but the reverberations of his disastrous leadership are not.

Maybe it's something particular to the series of presidencies I've experienced in my lifetime—I was born three months before Nixon resigned; don't remember Ford; barely remember Carter; spent my childhood scared shitless of Reagan and WWIII; put names to my feminism and progressivism during Bush the Elder; and cast my first vote for Bill Clinton at age 18; and then came Bush the Lesser—but it seems like we're just repeating the same shitastic cycle over and over. Corrupt Republican douche; self-defeating Democrat; corrupt Republican douches; self-defeating Democrat; corrupt Republican douche…

And every time a new president sweeps in, it's "Happy Days are here again!" only to be followed by SNAFU and FAIL.

Why are we so eager for the Bright New Day? Why are we so inclined to ignore the past, before it's even begun to haunt us? It's like someone who says "I'm sorry" just to get someone to stop yelling at them, rather than "I'm sorry" because they own the fuck-up and actually mean it.

America just wants the yelling to stop.

I want us to stare our fuck-ups in the face and own them. And remember them. And learn.

Reason #8,459,162 why I'll never have a job in the Beltway.

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