The blogs have been full of reports of the various anti-liberty laws that Bush signed into law this past week. I am scared, although not yet terrified.
I join my liberal brethren in being appalled at this administration’s disregard of civil liberties. But I differ from many of them in that I’m not a Bush exceptionalist. I think if Bush and his neocon cronies differ in their autocratic tendencies from the political class as a whole it is a matter of degree only, not a diametric opposition. The fact is that politicians like to control things, and when a war (or anything else) gives them an opportunity to control more things they generally seize it.
I am optimistic perhaps, but I predict with a fair amount of confidence that Bush will not, as some fear, use his powers to suspend the vote in 2008 and remain in office indefinitely.
I don’t lie awake at night fearing that sometime in the next two years Bush will use these misbegotten laws to declare martial law and start carting off dissenters to Camp Hallilburtan and/or Gitmo. Not yet, anyway. Bush is ambitious, certainly, and fuzzy on the concept of civil rights; but I just don’t see a potential Stalin or Castro or Hugo Chavez in him.
No, what scares me is the thought that 2008 will come and go, and someone else will sit in the oval office, and yet those laws won’t go away. And someday, someone will come along who is a potential Stalin, who will build upon those laws so that he can become dictator-for-life.
All with the safety and best interests of the American people in mind, of course.
It is with these musings in mind that I heartily endorse the cause of Divided We Stand, United We Fall. Gridlock in ’06! Let’s get back to the good old days of deadlocked, ineffectual government, so we can all get on with our lives.