Sunday, February 10, 2008

Absolute Power

One of the most notable events of the past week, though you wouldn't know it to read the corporate media, was the fiendishly well-timed admission by the Cheney administration that, well, yes we have freedom-boarded several people in our War On Some Terra. Now, we only did it to three people, and all three of them were well-known puppy-killers and child-molesters who were shot-callers for their cells, presiding over ticking-time-bomb scenarios à la 24, blah blah blah. You know the drill, so to speak.

This "news" was followed up, with a rather uncomfortable enthusiasm, of the revelation that by gum the brain-trust reserves the right to do it again. That last was probably the truest thing anyone in the administration has said in months.

The always reliable Charles Pierce gets it way right:

For the past couple of weeks, they've just gotten blatant about it. The administration of George W. Bush is bound by no law, bound by no precedent, bound not even by the forms of democratic self-government, let alone its actual substance, which is being used as a throw-rug in John Yoo's den these days. They will torture and the Congress can do nothing. Their powers to spy, to search, and to seize are unlimited and Congress is not remotely entitled to know even what those powers are. They can imprison without trial. They can force corporations -- and, indeed, individuals within the government -- to violate the law. They are not subject to treaties. They are not subject to oversight, nor even subpoenas. Read this swill from yesterday. Through his actions, and from the mouths of his minions, George Bush is now claiming fully the powers of a tyrant, by any reasonable definition of the term.

This is the only issue in the presidential campaign. It is the only truly existential threat to the country. Everything else -- health care, climate change, campaign finance, the deficit -- mean nothing if we fail on this fundamental issue.

The difference between the Democrats and the current incarnation of the Republicans seems to be this: one group has heard of The Art of War and The Prince, and expends more effort to maintain a noble, dickless veneer; the other has read and internalized both thoroughly, and understands that the lesson of each is simple -- power belongs to those who use it. It is not "earned" through a grinding process, nor "achieved" via pseudobipartisan capitulation, nor "granted" nor "given".

Power is taken, and it is used. It is so simple that even the simpletons clogging the far-right wing (as opposed to the center-right wing, which would be, you know, the Democrats) of the Corporate Party understand it, just as sure as they know that sisters are for fuckin', but first cousins are for marryin'.


Marius said...

Yet it's the issue that's not on the table in this election cycle. Is it because Hillary thinks she's next in line, and she could use her some dictatorial powers for that payback she's been contemplating for a decade now? Or because, Helsinki-syndrome ridden as most Democrats are these days, they have collectively come to think that the hard right right about "the nation being at war" and the commander in chief needing all the powers of a Hobbesian sovereign and what not?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone has figured out that the pussie in the prez espouses dim-ocracy but practices dick-tatorship. he and is ilk have diminished all that the republican party stood for... you know--- lying, cheating, stealing. Don't get me wrong the Democrats do it too, they just have a little too much respect for the office to get caught; at least while they are in office.