Thursday, April 06, 2006

Plus, collected thoughts from the past few days

Of course Bush approved leaks of classified info to start his dirty war. My only question is why is this just now coming out. If this was in the court papers even before the indictment came down, why is it just now Murray Waas is the new Sy Hersh, he’s more Woodward than Woodward at this point (and by that I mean the Watergate Woodward, not the Plan of Attack Woodward).

Another thing–why do stories since Libby’s indictment refer to him as “Lewis Libby” or “I. Lewis Libby” and leave out all references to “Scooter?” It seems to me that it’s a subtle ploy to confuse casual news consumers–most stories before the indictment made some mention of “Scooter Libby” and now none of them do, so casual news consumers might think that “Lewis Libby” and “Scooter Libby” are two different people. Not that it’s that big a deal, it just occurred to me...

Also, it occurred to me today that I am one of those dreaded “single-issue voters”...and my single issue is: whatever is best for the American people (as opposed to American corporations) within the confines and allowances of the Constitution.


And there’s been a lot of talk about fascism thrown around about Bush and the corporatocracy. Most discussions of whether or not the Bush administration is fascist tend to downplay the possibility, as though being fascist necessitates being totalitarian. This is obviously not necessarily the case–Bush is a fascist, at least according to Mussolini, who wrote that

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere.”

Instead of that quote, I was originally going to use this one:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power,”

but according to Wikipedia and this article, there is no written evidence that Mussolini ever said that.

But Wikipedia had another good Mussolini quote that explains why Bush and the Republicans are fascists:

"The State not only is authority which governs and molds individual wills with laws and values of spiritual life, but it is also power which makes its will prevail abroad... For the Fascist, everything is within the State and... neither individuals nor groups are outside the State... For Fascism, the State is an absolute, before which individuals or groups are only relative... Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual."

So my argument is merely that Bush and the Republican party are indeed fascists, but are not totalitarian. Yet.

Rhetoric Check

Compare the first quote below, from Mussolini, with the last two, first from Vin Weber last night on Hardball, and then from Tom DeLay, on Hardball the night before last.

"Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right', a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the 'collective' century, and therefore the century of the State."

WEBER: Because I think that the consensus in American politics since about the 1930s on was for bigger government. There was a growing minority of Americans that didn‘t buy that consensus, but they had nobody to vote for it.

And so starting in 1964, you saw the transformation of the Republican Party, first with the Barry Goldwater candidacy and then ultimately with the election of Ronald Reagan in the 1980, from kind of a moderate or if you will business party to an ideologically conservative party that offered people an alternative to the growth of the liberal welfare state and everything that went along with it.

And that‘s how the Republicans became that parity or majority status depending on how you look at things.

“We’ve spent the last 10 years turning around 40 years of the left’s dominance of Washington, D.C., and the federal government. And they knew as majority leader I was starting to lead us to do the things that conservatives have wanted to do all along. Get rid of the tax code. End abortion as we know it. Hold the judiciary accountable. Fight the war on terror...My constituents deserve better and they deserve a Republican, not a liberal Democrat representing them.”

Notice what is shared by the dictator and the two disgraced Republicans–a revulsion for “the left” or “liberals” or “liberalism.” If these guys are the poster children of the right, why in the world would any sane person reject the left?

And as I read through this post again just after uploading it, it struck me how Mussolini saw the 1800s as a period of oppressive liberalism, while Weber seems to indicate that everything was cool with him until the 1930s. And then DeLay kinda disses Reagan and Nixon in his history lesson, saying that it's only been since 1996 that the right has been trying to undo the last 40 years of "the left's dominance"--which takes us back to 1966. Let's see how "dominant" the left has been, just based on Presidential elections:

1. 1968: Nixon wins
2. 1972: Nixon wins
3. 1976: Carter wins
4. 1980: Reagan wins
5. 1984: Reagan wins
6. 1988: Bush I wins
7. 1992: Clinton wins
8. 1996: Clinton wins
9. 2000: Bush II wins
10. 2004: Bush II wins

So the left "dominated" by losing 7 out of the last 10 presidential elections? Thomas Frank really nailed that one--this is a perfect example of the right's "Plen-T-Plaint", i.e., their persecution/victim/martyr complex. Even though they've had more Presidents in the last 38 years and have had Congress for 12 of those years and one-party rule for going on 6 of those years, they still want to act like the left is "dominant" and that the media are "liberal"? And they get away with this ruse?

No comments: