Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Early stages of Empire: Loss of rule of law

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Empires tend to become tyrannies, with the de facto emperor ordering actions with no regard to the rule of law and no accountability. We’re getting there rather briskly.

Notice that the Obama Administration refuses to defend in court its decisions and indeed will not even properly acknowledge the actions. So much for transparency, accountability, law, and quite a few other things. A historic president indeed!

UPDATE: As I cooked lunch (a kind of swordfish stir-fry, with parsley for greens, rice for starch, and olive oil for the oil), I had an idea—a far-out speculation.

Suppose that Obama is just as dedicated to the American vision of democracy as he seemed during the campaign, and suppose also that he’s as intelligent as he obviously is. We already know that he plays a long game, with the outcome (which matches his plan) pretty far down the road. We’ve seen that before, and his achieving the presidency is an example.

Then it is quite consistent that Obama would want to bring to justice those who while in office ordered that war crimes be committed. Clearly, the GOP, which has opposed literally everything Obama has proposed, would simply not allow it.

But in a neat bit of Constitutional judo, Obama uses the excessive Executive powers claimed by George W. Bush and takes them a step further, by ordering the assassination of American citizens without due process.

The GOP, of course, adores this sort of pseudo-manly posturing—they ate up GWB in the flight-suit, for example—so they will go along. But the GOP—particularly the extremely conservative and racist wing (like that Montana Federal judge and his racist “joke”)—absolutely hate Obama. That’s perfectly evident, and the hatred is deep enough so that the GOP will oppose even its own ideas if they are embraced by Obama. That is, the GOP loves nothing so much that they will not turn on it if Obama takes it up.

And now Obama is taking up (and even extending) the cause of the Unaccountable President.

Maybe he’s setting a trap. As public opinion (as evidenced by the editorial linked above, as tardy as it is) turns against this sort of unaccountable power, the GOP may see it as an issue that they can use to destroy Obama.

But of course if they go after Obama on something like this, they can hardly ignore the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-et al. axis of war criminals in the previous administration. But, just as the GOP turns on GOP ideas (and individuals) that support Obama, perhaps they will trade off the Bush-Cheney group for a chance to get Obama. In other words, Obama might be offering himself as a sacrifice to purge the US government of the perversions of power that advanced so far under the previous administration. Maybe he’s counting on the GOP (no paragon of insight as a party) to go after him on this only to discover, too late, that they have unleashed a purging fire that will clean out quite a bit of rot, including that earlier rot.

I doubt this, but it does have a certain neatness.

Written by Leisureguy

11 March 2012 at 11:14 am

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