Sunday, October 07, 2007



The Basham and Cornell Radio Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern) on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at BASHAM & CORNELL RADIO

On Thursday October 11, 2007, former Nixon counsel, John Dean will make his 3rd appearance on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 8 am Pacific Time on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. And we have him for the entire hour. First time he was with us, we discussed his then new book “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush.” Second appearance - his new book was titled “Conservatives Without Conscience.”

When he makes his 3rd appearance with us, we will be discussing his latest book, “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches.”

John Dean has become one of the most trenchant and respected commentators on the current state of American politics and one of the most outspoken and perceptive critics of the administration of George W. Bush in his New York Times bestsellers Conservatives Without Conscience and Worse Than Watergate.

In his eighth book, Dean takes the broadest and deepest view yet of the dysfunctional chaos and institutional damage that the Republican Party and its core conservatives have inflicted on the federal government. He assesses the state of all three branches of government, tracing their decline through the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Unlike most political commentary, which is concerned with policy, Dean looks instead at process— making the case that the 2008 presidential race must confront these fundamental problems as well. Finally, he addresses the question that he is so often asked at his speaking engagements: What, if anything, can and should politically moderate citizens do to combat the extremism, authoritarianism, incompetence, and increasing focus on divisive wedge issues of so many of today’s conservative politicians?

With the Democrats now in control of both the House and Senate, the stakes for the 2008 presidential election have never been higher. This is a book for anyone who wants to return government to the spirit of the Constitution.

Several points I want to bring up:

1. Iraqi PM's Office finds that Blackwater Committed "Deliberate Murder" in spraying bullets at civllians and killing a mother and child, among eleven others.

2. Bruce Springsteen on 60 Minutes, said silence is unpatriotic — it is unpatriotic NOT to speak out against the Bush administration forits ruinous policies such as illegal wiretapping, torture, voter suppression, and the immoral Iraq war.

3. I believe conservatism as an ideology is over — or at least unraveling. I don't see how any true Christian can ever vote Republican again, at least in the Party’s current “neo-incarnation,” with sociopaths running the asylum.
But still, I have hope that the good conservatives will wake up. This is an article I wrote for a magazine:

Good Conservatives are Liberals at Heart

One of the definitions of ‘liberal’ in the dictionary is “not conservative”. The word liberal also has several other definitions, all including similar qualities, including “marked by generosity and open-handedness, bounteous, broad-minded, unbigoted, tolerant.” Those qualities sound like the kind of qualities most of us would like to see in our children. Now, I wonder which of these qualities Coulter objects to? Does she dislike “generosity” or open-handedness — or is it the broad-minded part that bothers her? Of is it the “tolerance” concept to which she objects?

Following the dictionary definition of liberal as “not conservative,” in other words, the opposite — then it seems a liberal is marked by generosity and a conservative is marked by stinginess. If a liberal is broad-minded, it follows that a conservative is narrow-minded. If it is liberal to be tolerant, then it must be conservative to be intolerant.
Going by the dictionary definitions of these words, I would like for my family to be known as liberals, and surely not the opposite. The dictionary definition of conservative is basically “disposed to maintaining existing views” which is why conservatives of long ago were opposed to freeing the slaves, the right of women to vote or to become lawyers and professionals — as well as the rights of Blacks to vote and the Civil Rights Act.

I’ve always been taught that Jesus was generous, tolerant and broad-minded, which fits the definition of liberal. He washed the feet of the lepers, hung out with the moral outcasts and sinners — who were so transformed by his loving acceptance, they desired to "sin no more." In summing up, based on those qualities of character, it seems to me undeniably that Jesus was a bleeding heart liberal.

My conservative friends may disagree with the label, but not the spirit. We must never allow words to get in the way of communication.

Again, I would like to believe that good conservatives are really liberals at heart. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, “Hath not a conservative eyes, hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Are they not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer that a liberal is? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not laugh? If you poison them, do they not die? If you wrong them, shall they not revenge? If we are like you and the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

We are not children of a lesser God; we are all children of the same God.


America has an embarrassing history of dropping bombs on people, but always assuming everyone knows we’re really still the good guys. This is how an abusive lover acts. We should play hard to get with Iraq. When in a love-hate relationship, it often takes leaving to really win. Unless we leave Iraq, we don’t give the Iraqis a chance to miss us, to pick up the pieces, to take responsibility, to grow up and to solve their own problems. It’s a basic spiritual law, an unflinching principle that when you let go of pushing too hard, the very thing you want comes to you. It’s arrogant to think the Iraqis don’t have their own higher power and their own ability to find their way.

This is how I used to act with an ex-boyfriend. I’d try to control him like a dictator, but secretly the guy thought I was a wacko. I only pushed him away. Trying to control people never works because it’s fear-based behavior. People are never interested when you push yourselves on them. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Staying in Iraq is causing nothing but an increase in grenades and bombs being lobbed at us. We are the problem. We are the common denominator in all this chaos. We must remove ourselves. Of course our President may have ulterior motives. He’s not telling us why we’re really there. There’s no transparency in this administration.

But I really believe in a power greater than ourselves and I know we're going to be all right. God did not give us a spirit of fear. Thank God for the Twelve Steps, where I learned to at least see my part in a conflict and to say I’m sorry. In the words of Stuart Smalley, “It's easier to wear slippers than to carpet the whole world.”

"No problem can be solved at the same level it was created on." – Albert Einstein

What I've discovered is that the solution to any material problem is never at the level of the problem. It is always above the problem or challenge. It is always by “letting go” and looking away from the problem, never by fighting it on its level. It is always a spiritual solution.

No human power can relieve alcoholism. More alcohol cannot cure it. Nor can therapy, psychoanalysis or dissecting the brain heal the "dis-ease" of alcoholism.

No military power can solve this conflict in Iraq. We can’t fight fire with fire; we need to go above the problem and approach it from a diplomatic or spiritual solution. This is what Bush doesn’t understand. Fighting ones enemies never resolves anything, as the Great Peacemaker said. More military might only escalates the conflict. All great spiritual leaders know that what Christ taught creates peace: a soft answer turns away wrath. Withdraw our energy from the situation and the situation will solve itself. We must take care of our own side of the street.

From my friend Carl's blog at

"Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things – every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor." -- Matt Santos, The West Wing