Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Repealing Godwins Law

Sadly, the Wikipedia lists no methods for repealing... or maybe more accurately, none of the formula to be used to disprove Godwins Law. I say sadly because like the bloated traditional media that graced post one here, it's fast outliving its usefullness, gets terribly misused, and has become the purview of country club commentators still wicked impressed over replacing LOL with RDF.

I'm not attacking the basic premise that comparing whomever to Hitler isn't pretty strong evidence that you're out of real ammo in any given argument - but the whole embargo on using historical comparisons, even from the most villified and evil regimes, in discussions on current events really needs to end.

Bush is Hitler?

No, he's not.

But just like Franklin Roosevelt's plan to pack the Supreme Court was utterly defeated -- by a democratic congress that had just upped its majority, not to mention attacked by his own Vice-President, no less -- the alarming power grabs that are becoming everday exposes with this administration need to be confronted. Since the President's partisans in congress aren't especially interested in checking his abuses, and the senate recently became obligated to allow Bush's every whim free passes onto the bench (unless, of course, the radical right finds those whims more fanciful than fanatical) -- perhaps words like 'Nazi', 'fascist', and yes -- 'Hitler' might become necessary to wake you from your stupor. I mean, come on people, even would-be Supremos like Michael Luttig are aghast that the bastards keep getting away with making it up as they go along.

While my imaginary readers take the above paragraph out of context -

Let me strongly assert that I do not think Bush any more a fascist than I do FDR - the fury over the NSA bullshit isn't about undoing some terrible wrong turn into fascism, it's about screaming at the seemingly oblivious driver that the signs say "bridge out" - so hit the damn brakes, jackass!

It's irrelevant whether he's a madman hell bent on killing us both, or a frustrated driver that missed the sign -- you sure as hell don't sit quiety while you careen into the river.

The evils of any totalitarian regime are virtually never spotted, or at least - challenged, before it's too late. Moreover, sometimes even the groundwork for that evil isn't laid by the regime that ultimately brings it to life. We rely on our laws, our constitution, our balance of powers - once upon a time, even a working '4th estate' - to guard us against such rises. FDR was looking to circumvent a branch of government by cronying it up. He needed this to bypass previous losses of the NRA and the AAA to SCOTUS decisions-- the first of which included novel ideas like minimum wages and work hour limitations, the second of which isn't a whole lot different from today's farm subsidies.

His opponents hurled charges of fascim, of Roosevelt as a dictator. Even years later, it's not too hard to find credible historians, politicians, and commentators that would call Roosevelt's New Deal -- and not just the stricken bills -- remarkably similar to fascist economic systems... and guess what - there were different degrees of state economic control to both.

I feel quite secure in believing that Franklin Roosevelt was no fascist, no dictator -- but thanks to the patriots that rejected the plan, we never had to find out for sure.

That's the power of checks and balances -- that regardless of party, no branch cedes its authority no matter what the situation, and I'd think the tumult of the 1930s economic and geopolitical realities were every bit the frightening situation to those that experienced it as the GWOT is today.

Even at the time - without the hindsight of watching the results of the Nurmberg Laws, the Night of the Long Knives, the Enabling Act play out in Germany - America and its elected representatives smelled something fishy and ulitmately rejected it.

Bush isn't Hitler - but the lack of physical jackboots no more entitles him to the governing vestments of totalitarianism than even the best of intentions did FDR.

Hell, at least Roosevelt had the courtesy to work within the system to launch a grab for expanded presidential power in the form of a bill debated in congress and among the American people.

It's a relatively open-and-shut case that the NSA spying violated provisions of FISA - and I've yet to see a credible legal scholar that buys the argument that the AUMF allowed the president to flout the law. He's using it as a flimsy get out of jail free card.

What we have is clearly a grab for increased presidential powers... just like Roosevelt... and yes, just like Hitler.

That doesn't make Bush = Hitler -- but as Americans, we have the luxury of never having to take that chance with him ---- or any of his successors.


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