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A Note to Harry from “Bullwinkle”

A Note to Harry from “Bullwinkle”

By W. David Jenkins III

Bullwinkle: “Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!”
Rocky: “But that trick NEVER works!”
Bullwinkle: “This time for SURE!!”

Seriously, how many times have we heard ourselves talk like this? Think back over the last five years or so. How many times did you say to yourself or a conservative acquaintance, or see on a lefty bulletin board “This time we got the S.O.B.s!” And every single time, we were let down or betrayed by those pretending to be the leaders of the opposition. The Democrats backed down before the war and after “Mission Accomplished.” They backed down from Abu Ghraib. They backed away from the Patriot Act. And most Democrats continue to back away from the still unknown truth about 9/11 because they can’t admit to themselves that the official version is a crock. I said it years ago and I’d like to stop saying it now, but the Democrats have been easier on Bush than the Republicans. They’ve behaved like sheep in wolf’s clothing.

Then came November One. Oh my.

I would really like to think that I’ve underestimated Harry Reid all along. I’m sorry, but his conciliatory words about Justice Scalia, back when he was being considered for the position of minority leader in the Senate, had me thinking that Reid would be Daschle Lite. I figured Reid to be a perfect bend over to the Republican roll over. Just more of the same. All I can say is that after what I saw with my own eyes that Monday; Harry, you better be serious. You better have some bullets in those six-guns you’re pointing.

I’m not sure who was angrier that afternoon – Frist, because he wasn’t given the chance to stonewall the Democrats again or Reid, who was sick and tired of being lied to and cajoled into behaving like a nobody by this corrupt Republican party. Regardless, this was what I call real “reality TV.” Not to mention, what do you bet that the closed session sounded like any one of a hundred Jerry Springer shows? Oh, to be a bug on a wall!

Reid and Company had better have the stamina for this fight. They’re not going to have the cooperation of the media like Bush has had and they’re going to have to fight ten times as hard. They’ll be attacked for having a “hissy fit” or not being able to “move on” and of course, the old Republican standby, they’re being “unpatriotic” or giving “comfort to the enemy.” The thing is that in reality, it is the Republicans who are guilty of those very offenses. Remember Frist outside the chambers afterward? Now that’s what I call a hissy fit.

And would somebody please explain to me how protecting an administration that lied to the country and the rest of the world in order to wage an unnecessary and illegal war is patriotic? Or how about circling the wagons around a Vice President who wants certain exemptions when it comes to torturing prisoners – this is an American value?

Now due to the fact that it looks like some Democrats have been developing vertebrae at risk, I would like to direct their attention to a couple of “talking points” that might help Harry & Co. transform their maturation into an actual party of effective opposition. Oh, and there’s more than a few talking heads out there that might want to take notice as well.


The other night, in response to the Washington Post story on “black sites” (American operated secret prisons), White House communications director Dan Bartlett stated that “we do not believe in torture in America .” Well, Dan, that may be so but we obviously do believe in torture by Americans in other countries. After all, rendition is already yesterday’s news and we have the office of the Vice President trying to exempt the CIA from being barred in their use of torture. And here’s the real kicker:

Bush has never vetoed a bill – ever. But now we hear he will veto a $442 billion defense spending bill if it contains language which bans the use of torture of American held prisoners! Repeat after me; “We Support the Troops!”

Okay, Harry, here’s one other little tidbit that someone might want to point out. Remember back in June when Amnesty International referred to Guantánamo Bay as “the gulag of our times?” Remember how outraged Bush and his buddies were over this observation? How dare those people accuse us of operating in a Stalinesque way!

Now, does anybody else see the irony in the fact that one of those above-mentioned black sites is an old Soviet-era prison (ahem…gulag) in Eastern Europe ?

Court Nominees

Okay, Harry, I’ll make this one quick. Please keep an image of Harriet Meirs in your head during Alito’s confirmation. I know it might be painful but, the right wing is already using the old “fair up or down vote” nonsense and the GOP’s favorite that the President “has the right to nominate anyone he chooses.” We all know that after what these people did to Meirs that these talking points are completely absurd and hypocritical. Don’t let them get away with it.

Faulty Intelligence

Harry, I have four words for you and anybody else who is confronted with the lame excuse that our pre-war intelligence was faulty and I want you to memorize them and I want to hear them repeated over and over. You ready?

Office of Special Plans!

Go ahead and nail these people with this. It’s all documented — yet consistently overlooked — but it is at the heart of this excuse of faulty intelligence that Sen. Pat Roberts harped upon during his faulty “investigation” last year. Created by Rumsfeld and Douglas Feith (where is he anyway?), the OSP was to serve no other purpose except to “screen and filter” actual intelligence into something else that would back up the WHIG (White House Iraq Group) position in a concerted effort to bamboozle Congress and the American people in order to gain their support for an invasion. There it is – all nicely gift wrapped for you. Manipulating intelligence for dummies. This is why Roberts and the Republicans and definitely the White House have no desire to pursue Phase Two because OSP (with a special nod to Ahmed Chalabi) was the nerve center of the lies put forth by WHIG.

* * *

I can appreciate just how difficult it must be to wade through this Republican swamp of corruption. They’ve had complete control for barely half of a decade and have shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that not only can they not handle such control, but that they never deserved to have it in the first place. (See Campaigns 2000 and 2004)

But if the Democrats drop the ball this time then they have no one to blame but themselves when the Republicans beat the tar out of them a year from now. Bush’s numbers are at an all time low (35 percent approval) and as long as Iraq remains this grotesque gash, this wound hemorrhaging completely over anything he tries to do, then there is hope that the country and the media might rally around a strong opposition. But the opposition must be not only strong – it must be organized, consistent and above all, unified.

The crime and corruption of this Republican Party and this Republican administration has never been so obvious nor has it ever received so much media attention. But don’t think that bringing these people to justice is going to be one of those “cake walks” we’ve heard about. There are fewer things nastier than a cornered rattlesnake but that’s what the Democrats are up against. This administration has much to lose and far too many skeletons that must be kept hidden and they have a proven history of surviving political poison. However, we are beginning to signs of vulnerability.

Listen up, Harry, we are tired of getting our hopes up only to have you folks cave in. We are tired of witnessing the arrogant behavior, the hypocrisy and the heartbreaking effects of the lies coming from these self-serving abhorrents. We are tired of being your Bullwinkles vainly exclaiming “This time for sure!”

Circumstances have never been more in your favor, Harry. The platter has never been more silver. The carpet has never been more red. Neither has the blood, gushing from the White House. Never lose sight of that. For the sake of the country you claim you serve and the truth you claim we deserve, don’t screw this up.


Writer/Activist, W. David Jenkins III resides in upstate New York with his wife and two children. His article "The Death of America" was featured in the book, "The Girl with Yellow Flowers in Her Hair" by Lisa Walsh Thomas (Pitchfork Publishing ). He also contributed to the book, "Big Bush Lies" by Jerry Barrett due to be published in April 2004. Jenkins' writing is published on many political web sites and his website can be viewed here.

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