Sunday, November 11, 2007

While FOX Enables and We, Congress, Blitzer, and Russert Accommodate. . .

A Far Right coup d'etat is on the way, here at home, in America. It's no longer a question. It's a fact.

Many folks have been saying so for some time. Inevitably, these are people skilled at long-range strategic thinking, committed to the Constitution, keenly interested in politics, and personally experienced to some degree with Washington's dark side. Few have been in places of high visibility until recently.

The warnings are coming faster and thicker now. Bill Moyers, former Press Secretary to President Lyndon Johnson Daniel Ellsberg, he of The Pentagon Papers, Vietnam vet, and former RAND analyst; Jim Hightower, Frank Rich, Gore Vidal, Naomi Klein.

That last one deserves urgent attention.

Other people, too, are slowly waking, each expressing rising concern as he or she sees this or that upsetting piece of the puzzle.

Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan is alarmed at US Customs' treatment of visitors and returning Americans--and this is on top of his upset over torture, the Christianists, and other constitutional affronts from Bushco. Cruise his posts over the past year for more.

A handful of lawyers has challenged the legality of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib on several issues, starting with torture and illegal detention.

Several folks, including a CIA chief who was fired for it, are upset by our country's recent embrace of torture.

There's been a flap lately about BlackwaterUSA, the powerful private army owned by a fundamentalist Rightwing Bush funder/supporter and, in turn, a recipient of much (taxpayer) funding and support by Bush.

Some folks, including former Reagan White House assistant counsel and USAF judge advocate Michael Weinstein, and the Military Religous Freedom Foundation, have noticed and vigorously oppose the militant "Christianizing" of the US armed forces and military academies. I hope someone soon notices the plague of "Christian" military high schools sprouting up, funded, no doubt, by the US Depts. of Education and Defense.

Others are alarmed at ENDGAME, Homeland Security's written-down detention/deportation plan, and at Halliburton's contract to build big detention centers on US soil, allegedly for dealing with foreign invaders, and "for other purposes" not specified. If you haven't read this document, you're in for a real treat.

Some, including even conservative Constitution scholars Bruce Fein and Norman Ornstein, oppose the rapidly expanding domestic spying apparatus and the active involvement of giant telecoms--involvement that evidently requires retroactive immunity from criminal liability. They call domestic wiretapping impeachable.

Others oppose HR 4088 the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act of 2007 (SAVE), the new bill introduced by uber-nationists Bilbrey and Shuler. Among other things, the bill would add 8,000 more privatized (read Blackwater) guards to the southern border. Some of us think this is just as handy for keeping people in as out, and for shooting the spunkiest, and is just another way to force taxpayers to fund the President's private fascist army.

Naomi Klein provided the anatomy of the coup in The Shock Doctrine, noting the longstanding ties among this set of high-level administration officials, the University of Chicago, the Pinochet coup in Chile, the occupation of Iraq, and the "management" of New Orleans. The connections are deep: economic ideology, political philosophy, the Pinochet coup in Chile that turned a 160-year-old stable democracy into a gulag and playpen for the uber-rich, and trashed its middle class. The themes of "free market," "de-regulation," justifiable lying to the public, strong-man rule, and privatization run throughout all of them. We're talking Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, Friedman, Cheney. . . .

There's also the business about the Right's ongoing effort, begun under Reagan, to concentrate media ownership into a few hands . This has caused a wrinkle here and there, along with Karl Rove's orchestration of Rightwing (ahem) "talking points" and purchasing of "news" commentary and "swiftboating" (lying about) opposition candidates.

The rampage of privatization, begun under Reagan but powerhoused by Bushco, and the tiny group of plutocrats who benefit. But see The Shock Doctrine on that. And New Orleans.

Then there's the soundtrack, the 20-year campaign of hate and demonization spewed from Rightwing firehoses like Coulter, Savage, Beck, and Limbaugh at Liberals, gays and lesbians, minorities, immigrants, and its desensitizing effects. Things that once no decent person would think are now said aloud: the new vernacular. We have permission to brutalize anybody who Bush labels a terrorist, from environmentalists and Quaker war protesters to 9-11 terrorists as long as they're not from Saudi Arabia.

Here in Phx, I hear from a pastor involved in our migrant watch that border enforcement snatched a two-year-old from its mother's arm at a Target store, deported his mom and dad, and put him in detention. Decent Americans demure. A two-year-old in detention? Hello? It's not the first time. Our pulpits are not ringing in righteous condemnation.

Pastors jailed for six months merely for attempting to deliver a letter of protest to Ft. Huachucha. Willkommen nach Amerika.

Systematized and professionalized vote tampering.

The demise of habeas corpus.

Why, even Congress itself was troubled when Mukasey opined that the president need not obey our laws. It just wasn't troubled enough to bar him from becoming the first Attorney General in our history who won't call torture "torture" and who believes the President is a Divine-Right monarch. We owe special thanks to Sens. Feinstein and Schumer, both Democrats, for caving on this one. It could have been the path to timely impeachment.

It's deductive reasoning, isn't it--I always get this mixed up--that extracts its conclusions from a set of given data?

Or you could just call it rubbing two brain cells together. How much more evidence is needed? What would a smart person do?

If my tone is sarcastic, it's because I doubt we Americans will be any different from the Germans who filed their nails for ten years as Hitler built his mighty Third Reich. It doesn't happen overnight. It does happen, though, deliberately in tiny steps easy to dismiss. It does happen. Unless we suspend our disbelieve, stop squelching our concern and outrage and fear, and defy it.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

At the very least, call your senators and representative daily and demand immediate impeachment. Remind the Republicans that not even they are safe from the reach of a violent dictator.