Pissonu Alert

Other Alerts

dhs advisory
Terror Alert Level


Variations on a Theme, I

From Paul Krugman via me:

It seems clear to me that one should regard America’s right-wing movement — which now in effect controls the administration, both houses of Congress, much of the judiciary, and a good slice of the media — as a revolutionary power in Kissinger’s sense. That is, it is a movement whose leaders do not accept the legitimacy of our current political system.

From a previous post of mine:

BushCo is not like any phenomenon the US has seen before. They do not play by the rules people are accustomed to. People still think BushCo is playing with America's traditional rulebook, and thus cannot entertain notions that once BushCo ascended to power they've switched rulebooks. The BushCo rulebook is very simple. In fact, it can be summed up in one sentence: Heads I Win -- Tails You Lose.
People need to reckon with the fact that BushCo is playing hardball for keeps because they are absolutely convinced that they deserve to be in office (especially seeing how God ordained it), and because they do not see democracy as a legitimate political construct. They will do absolutely anything they can to hold onto power. They are not going to let go.

From Seeing the Forest via Wealth Bondage:

We have to realize that we are dealing with an organized revolutionary conspiracy to seize power, enrich the few, and subject us to an ideological/theocratic/imperialist dictatorship. They often describe THEMSELVES as being modeled on the old Communist Party and their methods for infiltrating and seizing power.

"You cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate," [conservative activist David Horowitz] explains in The Art of Political War. "You can do it only by following Lenin's injunction: 'In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent's argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.'"

This is an emergency and we must recognize it as such. These people will go to all costs to succeed, including fomenting civil war.

From Mark Stoller via Seeing the Forest:

Political opposition is an important part of liberal democracy. Rhetoric is often harsh, dishonest even, but at the end of the day, for a nation to function, political attacks must not undermine the idea of opposition itself. And that's what Dick Morris is doing here. Far from kooky, Morris is a political professional, and his professed opinion is often representative of what's coming down the RNC's pike. This incredibly audacious attempt to frame the contest as Bush/Cheney versus Kerry/Osama is not just attack politics, it is toxic politics. It is meant to poison and kill not just Kerry's electoral chances, but a Kerry Presidency, should he win. If Clinton perfected the permanent campaign, Bush has perfected the permanent negative campaign. In other words, even if a Democrat wins an election, it's just a prelude till his negatives can be driven up and a political castration opportunity appears.

That this is happening without much comment reveals cracks in the foundation of the American political system. It's breaking down.

Legitimacy is the key to governance. If an authoritarian government isn't seen as legitimate, it must act incredibly harshly to sustain its rule, or it will fall. The legitimacy of a liberal democracy goes further than this; it relies on an acknowledgement that the opposition has a right to exist, and even, to oppose. When this assumption breaks down, when the loyal opposition finds itself considered treasonous, a slew of terrifying events is set in motion, and ultimately, liberal democracy fights back, or liberal democracy falls. We are in the midst of seeing this struggle play out.

Dick Morris says flat out that to elect Kerry is to elect bin Laden. I fear that Morris's tome is not just his, but is the centerpiece of the Bush reelection campaign. This political attack is not an honorable disagreement that will end after the election. This is a declaration of illegitimacy, a statement that a Kerry Presidency is unacceptable even if the American people find the alternative unpalatable. Morris is echoing sentiments - from top Republican officials like Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, and others - that there is a political war raging, and that survival for the other side is not an option. The impeachment and the toxic politics it helped foment will continue, either crushing Democrats further under a second Bush term or preventing governance through impeachment or investigation of a President Kerry.

From comments at Whiskey Bar via Wirearchy:

Being a native Latin American, I know a coup when I see one. And let me tell you, the US has been victim of a coup.

You have a dictatorship installed now, complete with its terrorist dirty war, systematic torture, and prisoners held outside the judicial system, alongside with the usual parasitic corporate and religious cronies.

The only unusual thing about this coup for me is that in the old country the military would show up at the presidential palace one day before dawn, and by breakfast time, when people would be turning on the radio and opening up their newspapers, they would learn that they had a new government.

It's quite fascinating to see how a democracy can metamorphose into a dictatorship, without any of the outward signs of a coup. Ashcroft's testimony is just the monster shedding its old dead skin. I can just see the Argentine generals musing "so, it can be done this way, too. And most people wouldn't notice...