Hal (hal_obrien) wrote,
Hal
hal_obrien

2009

Naomi Wolf writes in the Guardian about the mechanics of replacing a democratic regime with an authoritarian one -- and how the Bush Administration seems to be following that playbook.

scalzi responds to the spirit of the piece (if not the specifics), by saying, basically, that it's too impractical, and besides, Bush is too unpopular (which is a subset of the first, really).

jaylake chimes in with his own response -- "(T)hese guys aren't long-term thinkers."

I wrote about this over a year ago, with the rhetorical question, "Why does Karl Rove still have a job?"

See, unlike John and Jay, I think the Bushies do think long term... Just very narrowly. When Scalzi writes, "(A)s I've noted before, the plan for the next eighteen months is a simple one: For Bush and pals to finish out their terms of office without actually admitting guilt about anything, so that when the extent of the damage is finally assessed, it'll look less attractive to punish them because they don't actually have any power any more... The goal now is simply to get out intact."

Here's the trouble with that: I don't think that's an achievable goal. I think a full round-robin of investigations and convictions of Administration officials is now inevitable once the Administration leaves. I think that will happen regardless of which party with the White House, and regardless of which candidate.

I think the Administration is, on the whole, of the same opinion.

These guys aren't acting like they're ever going to leave. They're acting with impunity, and I think that's partly because they think they're not going to be held accountable -- and there's only one way to get that done.

Now, one can say, "Even more practically than that, the military is nowhere near large enough to hold the entire of the United States..." -- as John does. But that's true now, too. One can say because the military oath is to the Constitution and not to The Man, that therefore the military will balk -- as many of Scalzi's commenters do.

But that only means one has to sell such a measure to the military as the Constitutional and legal thing to do. The path to that is fairly clear: It won't be presented as a permanent change of regime, or affairs. It will be presented as a "temporary emergency measure." And, as someone once said, nothing is as permanent as a temporary emergency measure.

If the Bushies are laying the groundwork for such a thing -- and I would argue that I, pecunium, David Neiwert, Glenn Greenwald, and others have been providing documentary evidence for that over a period of years -- then I think to refute that premise there needs to be a better response than, "La-la-la, it can't happen." You need to address specific items like the USA PATRIOT Act, and the superfluous NSA tapping, and the Executive Order of 17 July 2007, and HR 5122 (now PL 109-364), and...

...and if you say there were incremental, reasonable concerns that each of these measures addressed, and the collective picture doesn't mean much...

You've proved my point.

Insert your own Pastor Niemoller paraphrase here.
Tags: bush43, itmfa, politics, posse comitatus, reichstag smoulder
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