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Bush/Cheney in '08?

By       Message Hilton Obenzinger     Permalink
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I admit I’m paranoid.  But I get this sinking feeling that we may not see the end of the Bush/Cheney regime with the next election.  Mainly, because there won’t be another presidential election. 

Paranoid?  How’s this for a scenario: There’s a spectacular terrorist outrage in the U.S. (How about the much-anticipated “dirty bomb”?), or the long-awaited, massive attack against Iran is launched and all Hell breaks loose.  In response, Bush/Cheney declare a national emergency and “postpone” the election under powers of the commander-in-chief during a time of war.  Outraged citizens take such usurpation of power to the Supreme Court, and...well, we’ve been to the Supreme Court before, and it’s even worse now. 

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Maybe this won’t happen.  But there are other ways this particular gang will continue to impose itself beyond 2008.  They are trying to do as much as possible to entangle the U.S. in so many disasters abroad that it will be very difficult for the next administration to free itself from interlinked military adventures, particularly if they are at all beholden to similar foreign policy interests.  At home, the Katrina-ization of domestic policies will have advanced to the point that the courts, public agencies, public schools, and everything else associated with the government acting at the behest of the people will be in shambles. 

The Bush/Cheney gang is not incompetent, as so many believe.  “Brownie” did his job as expected (although the untidiness in New Orleans presented some short-term political discomfort).  Bush/Cheney have done a good job of wrecking the positive capacity of government.  They have forced the military to over-extend itself at breakneck speed, established a decades-long occupation in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, and wrecked the Department of Justice, the EPA and the FDA, not to mention the supreme vandalism: the imposition of corporate "justice" in the highest court in the land, with people of color, women and all other ordinary people targeted.  The name of the game has been “impunity”, and now the high court is available to give it a stamp of approval. All of these things will have a lasting impact, even if they don’t call off the election. 

My paranoia may, inevitably, call the 1930's to mind, but it looks like we need an anti-fascist, “anti-impunity” front that will last for decades to come.  This would be a front that embraces all politics to defend constitutional rule--good old bourgeois democracy--against the militarized corporate state.  Basic ideas need to be reasserted: government can be the instrument of the people to ensure that backward clerico-fascists don’t gut the core of America’s democratic promise.  This is a front that includes corporate executives and the homeless, all races, the religious and the secular--everyone with a heart and a mind. 

Did you ever imagine that paranoid fantasies could actually come true?

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Hilton Obenzinger is the author of "American Palestine: Melville, Twain and the Holy Land Mania" (Princeton), among many other books of criticism, poetry and fiction, and the recipient of the American Book Award. His most recent book is the (more...)
 

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