Ever get the feeling a democratic presidential victory in November might not be the end of Bush and his band of ideologues? I have a hard time believing they wouldn't do anything it took to stay in power.
It seems that some on the right view our very system of government as a liberal plot that must be crushed. For example; Grover Norquist's dream of draining the tub then strangling the baby (i.e. the government) with ever more tax cuts; the Patriot Act, the de-funding of Social Security and public education, Tom Delay and Darrel Issa perverting the electoral system, the stacking of the courts with like-minded fellow travelers, the list goes on and on. The end result? A fundamental sea change is under way and the democratic institutions we all take for granted are being pulled right out from under us.
Might another major terrorist attack, or some other kind of "crisis," in the US during the period between the election and the inauguration call for extraordinary measures? Might these revolutionaries in the White House not suspend or cancel any election result not favorable to their crusade against terror?
That scenario might not be so far-fetched. Tommy Franks, commander of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said another 9/11-type disaster would probably lead to martial law and the suspension of the constitution. Already two American citizens and thousands of foreign residents who were never charged with a crime have been put behind bars without being able to see a lawyer. The first concentration camp is already up and running in Cuba. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has plans for seven more to be set up during an emergency at military bases around the United States under the code name REX-84. Set up by Oliver North during the Reagan administration, REX-84 calls for the rounding up and detention of thousands of opponents of the government. Who these new American "enemy combatants" might be is anyone's guess. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that there is an ever-growing list of names being compiled somewhere in the bowels of the pentagon, just in case?
The question is; what would be considered a major crisis? $8 million of the $87 billion Iraq emergency appropriation went to the Miami police department for combating anti-globalization protesters at the FTAA meetings last November.
The war on terror doesn't stop at our borders. Neither, apparently, does the war on our basic civil liberties.
History is full of examples of well-ordered and long existing political systems overthrown by a small group of revolutionaries with relative ease. In many cases the establishment never saw it coming. Neocon ideologues on the fringe were writing their crackpot position papers in the nineties and were largely ignored. Once in power, they turned their warped theories into reality on the ground in Iraq and around the world. The United States is now ruling 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. And diplomacy, the constitutional function of the State Department, has been circumvented by the pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld is telling other nations to jump and how high to jump. John Ashcroft, a religious fanatic, is dispensing vengeance from on high, political commissars are overseeing the running all the federal agencies, and the very backbone of our government, the civil service, is being outsourced to the highest bidding private corporation. Our fundamental way of life is under threat; declaring elections void is not such a big step when you understand what's been done right under our noses so far.
It can't happen here? It may have already happened. The corpse is just late for its own funeral.