Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, January 19, 2009

Is IT Really Going To Leave?

For the past few years, some bloggers have talked about Bushcheney declaring martial law. Laws have been quietly changed and reworded, so that in case of a terrorist attack, natural disaster, disease outbreak — Bush can declare a State of Emergency and impose martial law. Etc.

The counter-argument is usually that America could never become a police state because there are too many millions of armed households in the country. As The Doors once sang, “they’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers.”

And the counter-counter-argument would be that Americans have become too addled and too zombified to know or care what’s happening around them. We’d all be so busy watching American Idol and Fear Factor, there could be tanks rolling down the street and we wouldn’t notice.

In any case, the paranoid arguments and counter-arguments have pretty much subsided lately. The paranoia has given way to that odd combination of euphoria, anticipation and “Are We There Yet????”

Should we be afraid?

In Romania, the Ceausescu regime was probably Europe’s most brutal post-WWII government. In 1989 Ceausescu was overthrown, executed and dragged through the streets of Bucharest. Steps 2 and 3 should’ve been switched around.

Here was one of his many dirty tricks: Some remote parts of Romania had a fake “border” out in the middle of nowhere. People trying to escape the country would sneak through the woods, cautiously creep up to the “border,” and slip past. They’d be ecstatic, euphoric, jumping for joy, dancing, hugging. Then they’d walk on, come to the real border, and get arrested and sent back to be tortured and executed.

But I digress. I don’t know what made me think of that.

Are we there yet??????

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Anonymous kate said...

the countdown is over. I know many people everywhere will be glued to their tv sets tomorrow. Since I'm not a member of either the rich or the poor, but rather the dwindling middle class, I will be at work tomorrow trying to do my part to keep this country running.

I'm not just saying this because Obama
is the president. I feel the same whenever a new president is sworn in.

However, had Ron Paul been elected, I most definitely would have taken tomorrow off to be glued to my tv set.

January 19, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

I side with the 3rd argument. that is where we are at. However as times get rough people may start becoming more aware. not everyone will be an activist mind you but it is a step in the right direction. Obama is not likely to exploit the laws Bush put into place regarding this.

On the guy from Romania, he and his wife were executed on TV if I recall. they bothe were ptetty ugly people that did way more harm than good and it caught up with them.

January 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kate: I'm glad that our country has such a smooth seamless transition from one presidency to the next. In this particular case, I've never been so glad to see the current administration make way for the next one. Not because I think Obama will be so great, but only because Bush...

Ricardo: Yes, I think their execution was televised. It was around Christmas time, if I remember right. An excellent Christmas present for one of the poorest and most repressed countries in Europe.

If martial law was declared, I think it would be a combination of the 2nd and 3rd arguments. Millions of people would have their guns drawn, and millions more would be lying on the couch watching TV (or surfing the net).

January 19, 2009 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I had some paranoia for a while about Bush and Cheney not leaving. But I feel confident now...they're too worn out to stage anything like that. The new era will begin tomorrow.

January 19, 2009 at 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

It is over. And I too held my breath for awhile, fearing that Bush would start the war with Iran and plunge us into martial law.

The truly unique feature of this country is that we have over 200 years of peaceful transitions of power. Granted, Lincoln getting elected started the civil war, but the inauguration itself went just fine, and the war started later.

I don't know that it really would be that easy to interrupt the transition. People can wake up in a hurry when the shite really hits the fan.

January 19, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Funny, now they're saying the same thing about Obama.

January 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: Yes, they probably are too worn out to invade any more countries or delete any more of the Constitution.

Bee: Yup, I think it's finally over. It would be too awkward and too suspicious to stage a fake "emergency" now. Knock wood.

Lew: Funny link. The Right is always slamming those "tinfoil hat" liberals who think Bush has ulterior motives or that 9/11 was an inside job. And yet here they are getting paranoid about Obama becoming President For Life. These are probably the same people who thought the Communists were behind every political movement during the 1960s and '70s.

January 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

For a brief period I shared Bee's concern about a war with Iran and subsequent martial-law takeover. I wouldn't be surprised to one day learn Cheney did his best to manipulate us into a war with Iran, even to the point of trying to manipulate Bush and the information and advice Bush was getting from others, only to have Bush put his foot down. Just a hunch.

If that did happen, I suspect it was because Bush came to realize the public wouldn't stand for another unnecessary Mideast war, and that he and Cheney could wind up not only impeached but in prison if they started one with Iran. I further suspect Rove might have cautioned Bush about the political consequences of another pre-emptive war.

Kate, please think very carefully about supporting anyone who's fixated on returning to the gold standard and doing away with the Federal Reserve system. Seriously.

January 19, 2009 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I'm sure Bush and Cheney considered all sorts of "October" Surprises, regardless of which month they might occur. And undoubtedly their reasons for not invading Iran (or Syria or Venezuela or Bolivia or North Korea), or any other "reason" for a "state of emergency," had nothing to do with their values or any sort of conscience. It had more to do with their calculating the chances for success, and the consequences if they failed.

In any case, Obama is officially in, as of this writing. The storm has passed.

January 20, 2009 at 10:28 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

What did Jolly Roger tell you?

Chimpy would have had to depend on an Armed Forces made up of a socioeconomic class he's persecuted mercilessly for 8 years, were he to try to impose martial law. It would have ended with Chimpy in chains, or at the end of a rope. I told you it would never happen. Just like I told you there's never be an invasion of Iran, for largely the same reasons.

Trust me next time, dammit :)

January 20, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: Whew! I didn't really think any of those extreme situations would happen, but I wasn't 100% sure.

I'm just glad he's finally out of there.

January 20, 2009 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

That Alex Jones piece is sure a piece of sensationalist trash... President for life? I don't think it will happen. Not unless that is what the people want, anyway...

I think what the rightwing screamers are afraid of is that Obama will create some kind of early 21st Century New Deal that will allow the middle class to rebuild itself, and that he might end up being popular enough that people would demand more than two terms of his service.

The theo/neo/cons want to tear him down as much as possible, make him seem weak and ineffective, like the way they love to portray Jimmy Carter. They want Obama to be nothing more than a one-term president who screwed up, and if possible, left office mired in controversy. And we thought their attacks on the Clintons were blatantly political and overreaching... I think what lies ahead from the rightwing shouters is unimaginable in regard to how vicious it will be. My hope there is that if they take that route there will be a massive backlash and that the RNC might actually tell some of them to shut up.

If Obama can have some success in his first two years and if the Dems can do well in the midterms, it will make things lots easier for Obama to get more things done. But if he succeeds at ANYTHING, it will only make the foam-at-the-mouth types all the more angry, and we know what that brings.

I admit I was one of the Tin Foil Hat People (TFHP) when it came to believing Bush would not leave office. To Dumbya's credit, he indeed left office, nicely and quietly. Looking back now, because hindsight is truly a wonderful thing, I think the chances of Bush succeeding with a fake emergency and subsequent institution of martial law dwindled after the midterm elections of 2006. It was at that point I started thinking the tide had turned and it was just a matter of time before we had the Dems in control of most things including the White House.

There have been some fun fantasies from both sides of the political spectrum the last few years, eh. It seems Obama took his oath on the Bible rather than on the expected Koran. He wore a flag pin during the ceremony. People's guns did not suddenly get confiscated. Also, Bush did not declare martial law, he left office, and thus far he hasn't bolted to Paraguay.

It's funny how we can choose what outlandish stuff to believe or not, depending on our individual politics. I suppose people need to stay on guard. "It can't happen here" may not always be true.

January 20, 2009 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: You've got the Right's fears summed up. Bush-Cheney spent the last 8 years trying to derail the safety net that goes back to the 1950s and even the '30s. They brought chickenhawk neocons and twisted religious fanatics into a more powerful position than they've ever been in.

The Far Right has done a lot of damage in these 8 years, but they didn't do anywhere near as much as they wanted to. And now they've been cut off at the knees, for awhile anyway.

And the Far Right is scared shitless that Obama will succeed, at least partially, and be popular. The Right is afraid of being relegated back to the fringes, where they had been since the 1930s. They had a foot in the door with Reagan and Bush 41, and they were in full control with Dumbya. Now it's back to the fringes for them.

January 20, 2009 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom wrote: "And the Far Right is scared shitless that Obama will succeed, at least partially, and be popular."

Certainly, Ohio's crooked Ken Blackwell is worried big time (see especially the last two paragraphs).

January 20, 2009 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Paul Malden said...

The right will be relegated to the fringes again. Unless Obama has a really bad first two years. In which case they will take back Congress in the 2010 mid-terms.

'Cause we Americans have really, really short memories.

Hey...how come "Obama" doesn't make it through the blogger comment spell check? Did Dick Cheney do that as a parting gift?

January 21, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Good old Townhall.com. That site almost rivals WorldNutDaily for being hilarious without meaning to.

Paul: I think Obama would have to really work at it to make the Right look good. No matter what kind of problems are looming (and they're Godawful), I don't think too many people still think our economic meltdown was caused by "too much government regulation," or that our government is "soft on terror" or "our society is decaying because Jesus got taken out of the schools."

Rightwing credibility has been totally ruined for the time being. I hope it's for a long long time.

January 21, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

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