A View From The Handbasket

Thursday, October 19, 2006
The beginning of the end of America
Posted by neros_fiddle at 7:09 PM
Though it's often tempting to claim that this country offers only a choice between the right and the center-right, there is a much deeper schism today that has very little to do with the traditional ideas of left and right and Republican and Democrat.

Instead, what we are seeing is a clash between bedrock American principles that until recently both "sides" professed to cherish and a naked appeal to fear in the pursuit of ever-greater power. Bush supporters are cheering his dismantling of due process not because it is a "conservative" idea (which it is as far away from as you can get) but because they support Bush and fear the things he tells them to fear. It is not a political stance but an emotional one. To Bush supporters, the terrorists are so scary that turning America into a police state is an acceptable price for a fleeting sense of safety.

Others try, with increasing frustration and anger that the fearful decry as "unhinged Bush-hatred," to point out that the things we are doing to "save America" are in fact destroying America's most redeeming qualities. This observation is often referred to as "hating America" or "loving terrorists."

Yesterday, the lines were drawn more clearly than ever as Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, which codified some of the administrations more extreme abuses of the justice system. Though most of the media was willing to spin this event as "the President protecting us from evildoers," some voices recognized it for what it was.

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