Tuesday, July 18, 2006

(Slumbering) (National) (Politics)

It's summer. The heat is on. Everyone is slumbering around enjoying "doing nothing."

But doing nothing about what?

According to the NY Times weekend editorial "The Real Agenda":
It is only now, nearly five years after Sept. 11, that the full picture of the Bush administration’s response to the terror attacks is becoming clear. Much of it, we can see now, had far less to do with fighting Osama bin Laden than with expanding presidential power.

Over and over again, the same pattern emerges: Given a choice between following the rules or carving out some unprecedented executive power, the White House always shrugged off the legal constraints. Even when the only challenge was to get required approval from an ever-cooperative Congress, the president and his staff preferred to go it alone. While no one questions the determination of the White House to fight terrorism, the methods this administration has used to do it have been shaped by another, perverse determination: never to consult, never to ask and always to fight against any constraint on the executive branch.

One result has been a frayed democratic fabric in a country founded on a constitutional system of checks and balances. Another has been a less effective war on terror.

No shit, Sherlock.

It's been five years and only now are our supposedly "liberal" media putting it all together?

Better late than never (I guess).

But I have to wonder what's so special about those who had the vision, or maybe the better word is perspicacity, to see this all happening within a year of 9-11. I mean, it was so obvious, wasn't it?

Maybe we (present company excluded) didn't want to believe that it could happen here, during our lifetimes.

John Dean's new book "Conservative Without Conscience" (nice way of saying "being fascist") appparently has a new angle on America's current disposition toward the rest of the world. Investigating some of the discoveries made in a cluster of studies overloooked in various fields of academic research, Dean suggests that a large percentage of the US population is itself into authoritarianism. Not as masochists per se, or so I understand Dean to say, but as fellow sadists who get off on being authoritatively dicatated to. Strange fetishization? Something about that bullying style makes it all seem worth it to the rah-rah crowd. In an interview with Keith Olberman, Dean says:
There's no question that, particularly the followers, they're very aggressive in their effort to pursue and help their authority figure out or authority beliefs out. They will do what ever needs to be done in many regards. They will blindly follow. They stay loyal too long and this is the frightening part of it.
Although I have not yet had time to read the book, I have heard Dean lay out the general premise a few times, and having been surrounded by frat boys a lot in my youth, I can see where it's going.

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