Monday, May 22, 2006

Why George W. Bush's regime is Anti-American

It has even been opined that Bush deliberately exploited a flaw in the U.S. Constitution, that is, it concentrates military power in the hands of the executive. But, in the longer term, the demise of the American state will be attributed to the fact that Bush is anti-American; Bush is on the wrong side of America's very founding. He's at the other end of the scale with J.S. Mill, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on the one end —Hegel, Hitler and Stalin on the other.

For Hegelians, the "state" is "God" —the opposite of the American ideal espoused best by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and James Madison in the Bill of Rights. Arguably, the American republic was but the latest development in a liberal trend that began with the English Civil War. Certainly, Oliver Cromwell dismissed Parliament in a fit of pique; certainly he arrogated unto himself the powers of an absolute dictator but stopped short of taking the title. He was, he said, a Lord Protector. Charles I was most certainly England's last absolute despot in the Hegelian sense of the word.

The U.S. Constitution is but a recent development in this liberal tradition of several hundred years. Bushism, however, flies in the face of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be secure in their homes.

America might have taken a different road. Alexander Hamilton most certainly favored a strong central government, perhaps a monarchy. But it was the liberals who carried the day —Jefferson, Madison, Mason et al! Because of them, America embraced a different rationale for governmental power. Americans will not tolerate a reversal. Current polls indicate that America will no longer tolerate George W. Bush, a man whose very personality is increasingly disliked. Our founding is at the derivation of the world "liberal" which, significantly, is demonized by the state absolutist minority that makes up Bush's dwindling base.

For State absolutists power trickles down. The individual is not free but literally licensed by the all-powerful state. Freedom in this situation is reduced to whatever the state will allow. The American tradition is quite the opposite; it is a different paradigm. In America, the people are sovereign and, just as Jefferson described so accurately, the government derives its power from the people themselves. Freedom does not trickle down. With the ratification of the Constitution, this principle ceased to be mere theory. It is, in fact, the law! With the Constitution, the “divine rights” of rulers was consigned to the dust bin of history. And so too, should Bush's state absolutism, a mere variation on the tired old theme of absolute state power.

The U.S. Constitution is, in fact, a “contract” between the state and the people. Monarchists, totalitarians, and other state absolutists will never recognize that principle. In our Democracy, the government does not merely tolerate a certain degree of individual liberty; rather, individual liberty is the only reason governments are empowered. The protection and preservation of those rights is the sole duty and responsibility of those in power. To do otherwise, amounts to a breach of contract.

That is why Bush must be impeached. He has broken the contract.
It is a tragic testament to the failure of the American educational system that Bush's choice for CIA chief has demonstrated a shocking, abysmal ignorance of the very Fourth Amendment that would restrain him at either the NSA or the CIA! With his stubborn belligerence —even when confronted with irrefutable evidence of his wrong-headedness —Hayden betrays his contempt for this liberating tide of history that is so eloquently assessed by Simon Schama:
If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!"

—Simon Schama, History of Britain

The Constitution itself explicitly establishes the sovereignty of the people. But, if that were not enough to dispel notions of a "state as absolute", a Bill of Rights was insisted upon and ratified by the people. In the 1960's Justice William O. Douglas stated that the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are absolute —beyond the power of Congress or the executive to modify or infringe in any way.

Also in the 60s, the high court expanded the protections given individuals who found themselves accused of crimes; the decisions especially affected the issue of search and seizures (Mapp v. Ohio), confessions (Miranda v. Arizona), and the right to an attorney (Gideon v. Wainwright). Later, Roe v. Wade would uphold a woman's right to privacy.

Bush by advocating doctrines associated with Nazism and Stalinism has found himself an enemy of basic individual rights, most prominently privacy and, by implication, that most basic of American rights: the right of the people to be secure in their homes and in their possessions. Bush has, therefore, found himself to be an anti-American enemy of the people, an enemy of the state.

Let's make it simple. If Bush can spy on you, in secret, without a court order, he can, likewise arrest you in secret, imprison you without charges, and, in other ways, deny you "due process of law". He could even have you executed in secret.
(1) The President is now claiming, and is aggressively exercising, the right to use any and all war powers against American citizens even within the United States, and he insists that neither Congress nor the courts can do anything to stop him or even restrict him.

—Glenn Greenwald: The NSA Fight Begins - Strategies for Moving Forward, The Huffington Post

This is simply intolerable! This scandal, if mere scandal it is, is about nothing if not about the rule of law. It's not merely about whether the President has the right to break the law; it has become about how Bush will use the power that he now claims by fait accompli; it is about whether Bush has the power to harm and even murder U.S. citizens upon his mere decree.

It's about something greater still. It is ultimately about whether or not the American system will survive George W. Bush.

A survey of some of the other blogs that have referenced, linked, or commented on this article.

Mike's Blog Round Up

The Existentialist Cowboy: If Bush can spy on you, in secret, without a court order, he can, likewise arrest you in secret, imprison you without charges, and, in other ways, deny you "due process of law". He could even have you executed in secret. Here are the Top Ten Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State.
From 4&20 blackbirds
That NSA wiretapping? Apparently they’re tracking more than just your phone records

The Bush administration has been using “state secrets privilege” to keep itself out of the courts. The administration is running amok, and here are the top ten signs of the impending police state. Heck, the administration is downright anti-American! I’m gonna say it…if you support Bush, you are not a patriot.
Also from Crooks and Liars:

Jonathan Turley on Prosecuting Journalists

Turley joined Olbermann on"Countdown" last night and was outraged that Alberto Gonzales is talking about locking up journalists. He thinks they are not just blowing smoke to scare them off and I agree.

Jonathan Turley: We now have a government that has virtually no oversight functioning against the White House. The Congress has gone into a virtual comatose state. The Fourth Estate--the journalists -- are carrying now the entirety of that check and balance. These efforts will eliminate that and it would create, in my view, a very dangerous instability at a very dangerous time, and people have got to look at this quite seriously.

So, we're left with the media to do the oversight on this administration.....(and they're being threatened with jail for doing so...)

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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9 comments:

Vigilante said...

Excellent piece.

Fuzzflash said...

Powerful image that, of the silhouetted Abu Grahib victim on Old Glory inverted.

"He's(Bush) at the other end of the scale with J.S. Mill, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on the one end —Hegel, Hitler and Stalin on the other."
To these last 3 charmers, I'd add Hobbes, after Katrina was was used as an ethnic cleanser by a detached Bush and Co. Georgie boy isn't in Adolph's or Joey's league yet regarding body count, but their m.o.'s are simililar and, hey, let's be patient here, when a python locks on, it often takes a little time for the squeezee to snuff it.

Enjoyed the journey from Magna Carta through the precious crafting of America's founding documents to the tyranny of today's "signing statements"(these bastards even spin cheap). Also liked the seamless insertion of the Glenn Greenwald and Simon Schama quotes. Simon's a guy who combines History with histrionics to make the getting of wisdom a helluva lotta fun and Glenn's blog is de rigeur for for any self respecting political junky. I get the feeling that the upcoming YearlyKos in Las Vegas is going to be some kind of Fear And Loathing in BlogStock. I wonder what their tactics will be when they find all those mini fish-eye lenses and "bugs" in the hotel rooms? Ask WWHD? What Would Hunter Do? I'll certainly be there in spirit.

len, your penultimate para and concluding 2 sentences deliver like a literary Remington at close range. However, when it comes to real executions; from the gubernatorial suite in Austin, to the White House WHIG bunker, George W. Bush invariably allows someone else to do the dirty work.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post as usual. Our nation is in the deepest trouble it has ever been. Not only are Americans suffering, the rest of the world no longer respects us.

Burnie said...

Thanks for putting words to paper in such a clear example of what, as has already been said, a very dangerous threat to America this administration is. My dismay is about the fact that those in congress and the senate remain silent in the majority. They are not stupid people and this should not be a partisan issue. My only conclusion is that they are complicit by their silence and are in fact traitors. My other thought would be that it is up to us to take our government back-they represent us, we are the leaders, they the followers of our agenda. This may seem idealistic, but it is the truth of our constitution. I will stand up as will many of you. There are so many things that can be accomplished for the common good demonized as liberal, socialistic, unamerican. Do you know what one of the fastest growing parts of our economy is: Paint it green-organic farming, wind power and other similar systems. The people in power are way behind the curve and it is up to us to make these things work. it is up to us, as it always is and We togther, can circumvent these dust filled fools

Unknown said...

To these last 3 charmers, I'd add Hobbes

Indeed, Fuzzflash, how could I have forgotten the Leviathan himself?

Simon's [Schama] a guy who combines History with histrionics to make the getting of wisdom a helluva lotta fun ....

Schama has found the secret to life: do what you love and get paid for it. His enthusiasm is the secret of his success. Have you ever seen him interviewed by Bill Moyers? Moyers, himself, is a giant of Ed Murrow proportions. Moyers, a thorough-going Texas intellectual, is an ideal team mate for Schama —a British, jewish, academic.

len, your penultimate para and concluding 2 sentences deliver like a literary Remington at close range.

I am flattered...but, being only human, I CHOOSE to believe you. : ) Besides, it's a helluva sentence in and of itself.

George W. Bush invariably allows someone else to do the dirty work.

And carry out the laundry.

Re: Fues..

I will stand up as will many of you.

At some point, it's no longer a matter of courage. As the Mel Gibson version of William Wallace said: "What will you do without freedom?"

I've had my doubts about Mel, but, recently, I've heard he's made a strong anti-Bush stand, which is to say, he stands for freedom.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. That was an excellent piece. We need to hear this again and again, particularly those of us who in high school failed to pay attention in that barely-half-a-year we spend on government.

Again, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well written but I wish I could be as optimistic. Three things:

1. Voting fraud
2. 2-1/2 more years.

3. But, above all, I am not sure I agree that the American people will not tolerate it. In the face of a monolithic dictatorship, the mythos of rugged individualism -- every man for himself -- is impotence. The American people are so brainwashed they think the French people are funny. They think it is funny that working people of all ages and jobs will bring the country to a halt when there is legislation that hurts a particular group of working people. The American working class doesn't even think of itself as a class, much less as a group to band together in action against the government when it threatens _some_ of them. No "fraternite", as it were.

The powers that be don't care what you say, what you write, or whether you march in circles for hours IN YOUR FREE TIME. Bring the country to a halt. Power understands that. That's why the mainstream media tell French jokes to keep you stupid.

So, how long until those suburban SUV driving, mortgage-paying men walk off their jobs to clog the streets around the legislatures of the nation? I figure 20-50 years if history is illustrative. As always, when misery and desparation convince them they have nothing left to lose. Perhaps that's the way it has to be. America is a child among nations. We haven't experienced a despot yet, don't really appreciate that enemies can be foreign AND domestic, and haven't a clue what to do about it.

Unknown said...

Welcome and thanks to literarytech and anonymous for excellent posts and thanks to literary for the link back to the "Cowboy".

Both posts raise great points that I hope to address, perhaps later today, when I have a bit more time.

Again...thanks and welcome.

Anonymous said...

bush is a symptom and is not the problem. money is power and power is money. what is money? do we have money? who controls our 'money'? answer these questions and you are on your way to the source of our problems. Let us be clear here. As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango. What we have is a so-called voluntary system. So a plea of ignorance is not a defense. This is the game we play now and have for a very, very long time. There was a time in this country, when people read a lot and stayed informed. but now they do not. They watch CNN to get their corporate news. They read the Houston Chronicle to get their local news. You go to the library and it is quiet except for the yo yo's mexicans playing games on the computers. No one reads anymore. Except what we see now is the american infatuation with stupid reality television shows and stupid song shows like american idol. When anyone with half a brain sees this type of activity then you know that all is about lost. No one seems to know or care that our armies are located in over 120 countries around the world. We are fighting a unconstitutional war now in Iraq and we have totally decimated the place with depleted unranium which causes sickness and desth to the indigenous population and to our own troops. we are a army of occupation fighting a war for Israel and that is all there is to it. Our government is full of dual citizenship types who do not have our best interest at heart. Until we face the real enemy we have and quit worrying about this stupid thing called politics, we shall forever be lost and this will happen soon. As we see now the plan of the one world jewish order is coming toward us now at lightning speed and if you will notice , not one damn thing is being done about it. So we can say without a shadow of a doubt that bush, the idiot that he is, and he is a complete moron, is doing exactly what he is being told. Just like his dad. Just like every president we have ever had since the days of andy jackson. So you can say well we should impeach bush, and whatever. It will not change anything. this is not a political issue. it is a racial issue. it is a cultural issue. it is a civilization issue. Until you realize that, you will be tilting at windmills. Be sure and understand this. our government is corrupt from top to bottom and is full of traitors including the president and vice president and many of the men around them. there are evil men in high places. these men will not give up what they have now without a fight and i do mean a physical fight for it. We have faced this before in the late 1770's and it was the same men then as it is now. Just fast forward 200 years. It is the same thing now. Please understand that impeachment will not solve anything at this point. the system is broken and cannot be repaired. it is time for revolution, bloody revolution and much killing must be done to finally get to those who are to blame for all of this. of course no one wants to say or believe such things but this is true. truth is truth. bloody revolution is in order now . washington the evil city must be razed and the traitors hung from the highest trees.....washington is the high place. and in the ancient days of israel, God told the people when they listened to Him to go and burn the high places. And so it is again. History repeats itself over and over. The heart of man is wicked and those with money buy those who have no money and so the saga continues. Wouldn't it be nice for once in our collective lives to do something that is right. And even though we die for doing it , wouldn't it be nice to be able to taste that thing called liberty, real liberty.......ah liberty.....liberty.......God help us in this day.....