Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Criminal Mind Revealed

The only thing you can say in defense of the president today is that his assault on the constitution and the rule of law was bold, audacious, and competently executed - for a change.

Imagine if Clinton had initiated spying on US citizens without a warrant, in violation of the law which created the FISA court in 1979 to handle exactly these kinds of wiretaps. He would have been impeached at gunpoint before the end of the week.

Bush, by stating that he has approved this pattern of abuse of power over thirty times in the past and will continue to do so, has struck the kind of note that will ring authentically among his paranoid supporters. Rather than hide from questions about this obvious felony he's committed numerous times, Bush acts as if this were a debatable course of action about which reasonable minds can differ. It's almost as if the cat burglar has appeared at the front door, stating, "I robbed you last year, last month... I robbed you last week three times, and the minute you turn your back, I'll rob you again... I can do this because I disagree with the law and, after 9/11, laws guarding property are, in fact, quaint and obsolete. If you have privacy, the terrorists will use it to their advantage." The success of this kind of argument depends wholely on its audacity and the appearance of absolute conviction on the part of the criminal.

We can't be swayed by Bush's haughtiness and apparent self-confidence. His assertion of this privilege must be carefully examined by cool heads on both "sides." We can't fall prey to the "Bold Leader Syndrome." History teaches us that once a nation of laws becomes a nation of boldly audacious individual leaders who place themselves above the law, we descend into nationalism, fascism, and brute force as the only law. Mussolini, Hitler, Gengis Khan perhaps, but not our leaders.

In the U.S. the power to lead is derived from the consent of the governed, not from legalistic rulings from the attorney general, or from scripture, the Living Jesus, or Dick Cheney. In America, the president is a civil servant, and we the people are his boss. It will always be this way. Bush the First knew this. Somehow he failed to teach it to his son. Oh the damage a C-Minus despot can do!

Whether or not the congress and the media will do their duty and expose this bold crime, insist on an investigation, and then pursue a legal remedy (which can only be an impeachment, if I understand the facts correctly) remains to be seen. More information is needed: did the White House in fact obtain consent from Congress and, by extention, the public, for this program? If not, what consequences will they suffer?

This is the new Republican way of doing business: do whatever the Hell you want and ignore anyone who gets in the way. "We are the true Americans, patriotic and moral enough to follow our own law, written in our heads and behind our closed doors, and the laws we swore to protect and defend don't work anymore, so we won't bother even paying them lip service... they're worse than an inconvenience, since so called 'American' civil liberties work to the advantage of terrorists even as we speak. When you're protecting absolute good from absolute evil, you can't abide by written laws."

In short, our leaders have rejected Democracy. Does anyone doubt that, if he could, President Bush would try to dissolve Congress and achieve the dictatorship he famously wished for years ago?

By now you know that, prior to Gerrymandering Texas to death, Republicans were informed by every meaningful and thoughtful bipartisan review of the plan that it was not legitimate, and was in fact in violation of the law. They chose to go forward anyway. Don't blink - it's happening again, on a far grander scale. And there's more to come.

This is the way of gangsters and fascists, people, and the fact that these frauds hide behind the tattered, blood-soaked, and discredited Stars and Stripes only insults and harms us that much more. The young Americans dying overseas to protect our rights have been used and betrayed.


Dan T said...

Great post Dave! I think your last graph is over the top, however- what do you mean by saying that the flag is "blood-soaked, tattered..."? To me, the issue is Bush's (mis)use of a symbol that still can have meaning in a positive way. I'm not heading for Canada just yet!

Anonymous said...

FYI, Clinton's approval of physical searches of American Citizens without court approval:


Jimmy carter also had executive order 12139 signed in 1979 which allowed electronic surveillance (spying) on American Citizens without a court Order.

DW said...

Clinton's supposed approval of warrantless searches could not have violated the law because the law it would have violated (FISA) had not yet been expanded to include phsycial searches.

See www.thinkprogress.org for a far better explanation of the fallacies of anonymous' line of reasoning.