I fully agree with Cenk Uygur’s post in Huffpo this morning.
You see, Dick Cheney has never believed in the American system. He believes democracies are too soft. He has lobbied for a strong executive to take nearly complete power. Some call it the "unitary executive authority." Some call it an authoritarian form of government. You say tomato, I say to-ma-to. Take your pick.
Either way, the cult of authority has never trusted the American form of government.
Judges and juries can't be trusted. We must have secret detentions and secret trials.
We can't follow rules of evidence. We must allow hearsay and evidence obtained through coercion.
American interrogation procedures don't work. We must use torture.
American Congress can't be trusted to pass wise laws. We must use signing statements to say the president is above the law.
The American justice system doesn't work. We must declare US citizens, residents and anyone else we deem necessary "enemy combatants" and take them outside of the system, so that we can detain them indefinitely without trial or evidence or justice.
Justice is too important to be left to the American justice system.
The people who believe these things - Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, David Addington, John Bolton, etc. - are profoundly un-American. I don't include George W. Bush here because he is an irrelevant member of his own administration in this regard. His mind is so pitifully under-equipped for this ideological debate that it would be unfair to charge him with having knowledge of something he can hardly comprehend.
I think it's fair to say these ideologues hate the idea of America. They are not for an open society with fair rules that trusts its citizens to be fair and to police themselves. They have never believed in the American experiment.
When I say they hate America, I don't mean that they hate the people who live here or that they lack false patriotic vigor. I am sure they would say that they love the state of Nebraska and the good people of Alaska. They salute the American flag and some of them would even do battle for this country (though almost none of them have - given plenty of opportunities).
I mean that they philosophically never bought into the concept behind the country. America isn't a bunch of rocks that happen to be on a certain longitude and latitude. America isn't a bunch of people who happen to live in certain states between 1776 and 2007. America is a noble and grand idea. And it is that idea the Dick Cheneys of the world work hard to tear down every day. It is that idea that they do not trust, do not believe in and that they commit ideological treason against.
So, it appears now that the great American system is beginning to strike back. We have arisen from our slumber and find rascals in our midst. They have awoken a sleeping giant. The giant does not move quickly and it's sometimes slow to react, but once it moves it take giant leaps for mankind.
And when we move this country back into the light, we will show again that we are not so small that we can be taken down by petty men with old, antiquated ideas. The American system will win. And we will once again become a nation of laws, and not men.
We will show the world that we are bigger and better than the small men that lead us now. Their reign is temporary. The American system is for good. This is not a country that can be taken over by the authoritarians. We will not go the way of the tin-pot dictators. We will prevail. We will drag Dick Cheney out of the shadows and bring him into the light. The idea of America is too strong to be taken down by men of little faith.
I can only hope that this is true. It does seem to me that we are finally, at long last, pulling away from that slippery slope. This country was a long way toward becoming a fascist theocratic state. Perhaps, finally, the people and the press are beginning to finally wake up and see what is being done to them. Us.
That is what has amazed me about our society over the last 6 years. Bush and his cronies spout all this nonsense about spreading democracy and how the terrorists “hated freedom”, at the same time they are trying, as hard and as fast as they can, to dismantle the very concept of freedom and democracy here at home. And most of the people were fine with that!
I just don’t understand how most of our country could have been that blind. Were we so affected by the events of that horrible day in September that we lost the ability to think rationally and to see the plain facts right there in front of our noses? I wanted to scream and throw something at the television every time I heard Bush or one of his minions talk about democracy and freedom. If you look at their actions and not their words, they apparently have absolutely no faith in democracy and are trying as hard as they can to replace it with some authoritarian form of government. I can easily envision statements that come from John Yoo or Alberto Gonzales (two of our supposed “constitutional lawyers” that advise Bush) coming from the old Soviet Union. THAT seems to be what these people want. They want absolute power and not be answerable to anyone. That’s what they want. And a lot of our country was too traumatized to even pay attention to what was going on around them.
Hopefully, that is turning around. But boy, it was, and continues to be, a very close call. As others have noted, these next two years that Bush and his crowd of cowardly thugs are still in office but now have to deal with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress are going to be very dangerous. I am sure that these people have some limits, somewhere, on the lengths they will go to control the rest of us. I just don’t know what they are, and I don’t want to find out.