Monday, July 23, 2007

I am not a kook

By Libby
updated below

After no sleep and a long work day, I'm cranky and these grand pronouncements on acceptable debate are becoming tiresome. I feel like I'm channeling Nixon, with whom I coincidentially share a birthday.

It's not that I'm angry. I laughed out loud when I read this.
Update: And no, Bush won’t cancel the next round of elections to remain in power. That’s about the most ridiculous conspiracy theory I’ve seen in a long time. Some people on our side can be just as “out there” as the “black helicopter” crowd.

He paraphrased militant moderate right winger Jason Steck's scathing critique of my work perfectly. Rather ironic in that Jason accused me of daring to voice that irresponsibly wild theory in order to curry favor with Kossackians.

You have to love these young pups. They're so serious about being serious pundits. They simply cannot tolerate such uncouth narratives because they're so implausible as to be lunatic. It might ruin their creds in respectable society if they condone such talk. Besides, as Markos admits, for him it's not about ideology. It's about winning - however he defines his personal victories.

Well for me, I gave up respectability for freedom a long time ago. I don't care if I lose or am thought unserious. It's the prinicple of the thing. I do have an ideology, based on a honest concern for the common good. I have no ambitions inside the Beltway or within the punditocracy.

I'll be the the first to admit that the declaration of martial law and the suspension of elections is improbable. But that rests heavily on the assumption that you're dealing with a sane administration. It's not impossible and any dispassionate review of the available means would make it irresponsible to discount the possibility.

In fact, here's a little thought exercise for anyone who thinks it would never happen -- what if it did? What would you do if suddenly your town was invaded by tanks and armed soldiers and you were no longer free to move around at will. How would you stop it -- after it happened?

I've lived through ten presidents that I distinctly remember. Given the weighty record of unneccessary secrecy and insanely arrogant flouting of the rule of law by this administration, I don't think that's such a kooky question.

Update: Judging from the response, the reality line on this is drawn along the generation gap. Anyone who actually lived through the Nixon years and paid attention through the intervening years seem to understand exactly what I'm talking about. It's the youngsters who can't see the possibilities.

ExPat Brian weighs in with an excellent post in my defense.

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Blogger expatbrian said...

Oh, I just had to jump into this one...

11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am confused about how voicing an opinion about George W. Bush's tendency to circumnavigate the constitution would produce such a strong reaction. Having read the DKos post, as well as that of Jason Streck, I am puzzled by the vehemence of their positions.

I was born during Eisenhower's first year in office. My constant memory of things political starts at the Kennedy assassination. Even as a teenager I was quite aware of the political process....being such and of draftable age usually made anyone keenly aware of what the "leaders" were doing.

One of the weirdest events of all was the night Nixon finally found someone to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate prosecutor (Robert Bork finally did the dirty deed). Yet what I've seen the past six years or so makes that evening in 1973 seem like a little burp.

If "the constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper" is uttered by the person who swore before God that he would protect, then what limits can there be to extrapolating from that?

I believe history will show that the Bush administration believed that the executive trumped the legislative, the judicial, and the constitution itself. We have been converted to a rather large banana republic in some ways, and to say it is ridiculous to suggest that this president would cancel elections or other such unprecedented moves is myopic to say the least.

Both Lincoln and FDR violated the constitution. While their motives do not erase the fact that they did so, it WAS in an effort to save and preserve the republic. With George W. Bush it is different; his actions are to save a candidicy, and now...a "legacy."

Some have stated that Bush lacks "intellectual curiosity." That is a euphemistic way of saying that he does not contemplate consequences. Consequences are for other people.

In the context of what you wrote, I would say that anyone who does not at least consider the possibilities is a fool.

8:20:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I've been telling people to keep an eye on the Reichstag ( metaphorically speaking, of course) for years now and long before the actual mechanisms were put in place.

The only thing keeping Bush from coming out of his Commander Guy cocoon and declaring himself Protector Guy is his sense of decency and regard for the constitution.

What more can I say?

8:46:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Good post Brian.

Michael, it appears we're about the same age although my political awareness started at about six years old. My Dad was a news junkie. I used to watch Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley with him all the time.

I try to be understanding with these younger bloggers who seem to confusing hit counts with good judgement and superior analytical skills. As I recall, I was probably as insufferably certain at their age.

I call them out now because I don't think anyone can afford to be complacent and we don't have time for them to learn by experience. Bush makes Nixon look like a choir boy and could cause some really serious damage in the remaining months.

Fogg - that's the most frightening thought I've heard in a month. I've also been prediciting this long before Bush took any steps to making it a reality.

In fact, I predicted the day after he was appointed that we would end up in this mess. Not Iraq specifically , but I told people before he was done he will have made a mess of foreign policy and caused some horrible international incident with his cowboy swaggering. He far surpassed by worst expectations.

10:46:00 AM  
Blogger LeftLeaningLady said...

I don't know which is better. Feeling terrified of where our country is heading with this administration, or finding out I am not alone. When W forced the US invasion of Iraq, I felt like some way, some how, the elections would not come off as scheduled. Most people tell me I am nuts.

Frankly, I would rather all of us were nuts than right. In this instance, I really don't want to be right.

10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LLL - I'm with you on that. I only wish I was just a loony and WANT very much to be proven wrong about just about everything I've predicted in the last six years.

So far, alas, my predictions have all come true.

11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

As I commented over at ExPat's blog, impose martial law? If you had asked me if it were possible 6 1/2 years ago, I would have said never. That was before we had a president who lied to start a war.

No boundaries. That pretty much describes the Bush administration.

5:58:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's where I'm at too Kathy. I don't want to believe it's true either, but I'm unwilling to discount the possibility, given the evidence that it's becoming possible.

8:02:00 PM  

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