I have this to say in its regard: fascist totalitarianists have learned since the days of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. American neofascists practice distributed totalitarianism, since the American people have been taught to fear a dictatorial figure who heads cult of personality. Establish a dictator (at least, at this phase in the game) and you tip your hand! It's much better to have a figurehead who serves as a firewall between the people and their wrath. Like Bush. He's Alfred E. Neuman and Zaphod Beeblebrox all rolled into one. Like Neuman, he rarely appears in the real substance of the magazine he fronts. Like Beeblebrox, he's great at distracting attention away from the real power. People who equate Bush with Hitler have totally missed the boat. Bush clearly has no real capacity for leadership, at least not in the way Hitler had (before Hitler went totally sideways, at least). He's neither charismatic nor organized enough to be similar to Hitler. Watch Bush. Watch as he flounces around his photo ops and press conferences like a trained chimp. He flips the bird. He thumbs his nose. He says totally idiotic bullshit. I mean, have you listened to his malapropisms and flubbed speeches? I think this is all carefully engineered. I don't mean he deliberately flubs his speeches, but I think the people who elevated him knew exactly how he'd behave. What did anyone expect from a spoiled, self-indulgent, coke-addled fratboy? Again, he serves as a very efficient distraction from the guys who really run the show -- like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove & Ken Melman. Now those are the real Neo-fascists. Most of Bush's opponents focus on him alone and rant about his stupidity, but relatively few focus on the powers behind the throne. Again, Bush serves as the firewall. Only recently (meaning the past 2-3 years) has anyone realized just how big a threat Cheney and Rove really are and have begun to squeak up -- now, after it's already too late.
Here's the real turd in the punchbowl: I think it's likely that the leadership elements of *both* parties are in cahoots. There's too much going on between the two parties that reminds me of the politics in Dune. Baron Harkonnen's plan was to win the allegiance of the people of Arrakis by playing good-cop-bad-cop with Rabban and Feyd-Rautha. First brutalize them with Rabban, then replace the monster with Feyd-Rautha, who will be worshipped as a savior. Both will squeeze the population, but Feyd will do it in a charming, charismatic way the people will allow because after all, at least Feyd's not Rabban!
There are too many questions that have ugly potential answers, answers that hint that we are indeed in an era of "post-partisanship"-- meaning the party leaders are making back-room decisions as to who will run the country. For example: why did John Kerry concede the race for president the morning after the general election? This especially in light of the number of shenanigans perpetrated by GOP shill Ken Blackwell. Along with Diebold's clear intent to commit electronic vote fraud (i.e., the leak of an email from Diebold's CEO to Bush guaranteeing Ohio going GOP in '04) the blatant theft of the 2004 election was the biggest news story of the past decade. Why hasn't any major U.S. news media outlet covered it? Why haven't the Democrats discussed this issue at all? Ever? Why haven't they pressed and demanded answers? Why haven't they tried to implement election reforms? Why, in the face of a mountain of evidence of fraud, are electronic voting machines still being used in any state at all?
This article makes a good introduction to the 2004 election debacle. If you want to know more, read Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast.
To underscore my point, watch the following two videos of a student who was tackled, tasered and arrested after he asked John Kerry some pointed questions during a recent appearance at University of Florida. He has since been cleared of all criminal charges. After all, he committed no crime I could see.
Notice how the police arresting him *never* answer his question about why they're arresting him? They just keep telling him "stop resisting arrest".
The Democrats make a big show of opposing the Republicans but back down when it comes to any material opposition. The Democratic leadership has said "impeachment is not on the table". This can hardly be coincidence. To further underscore my point, let's take a moment to look at the current candidates for president.
Let me take a moment to point out the only two candidates on either side of the current runoffs who have any real substance have been virtually ignored by the media. These guys are solid in both their political opinions and in their dedication to upholding the constitution. These are Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. Kucinch gets kudos for fighting the media blackout on him, while I give Ron Paul credit for the guts it took to say what needed to be said: that we keep fucking ourselves on the world stage by playing politics with the Middle East, which results in "blowback".
But I digress. We're talking about the front-runners. First, the Repugnicans: every one of the leading candidates are running on the platform of "If you liked Bush, you're going to love me. I'm gonna be Bush, but more and louder!" Romney especially, but even McCain is bellicose and thundering. Giulinani even has the stones to run on the "vote for me or there'll be another 9/11" ticket, and has suggested that a vote for a Democrat makes you as bad as a terrorist.
The Democrats are just as much to blame. Take a moment to look at Hillary Clinton's stance on things. For one, she's pro-war. She has refused to answer straight when asked about her "yes" vote on the war powers / Iraq funding bill. Listen to her speeches - she sounds more like a moderate Republican candidate than an ostensibly liberal one. Second, there's the matter of her campaign funding. She's been getting a great deal of funding from GOP sources. Wait, WHAT?! There's something fishy here. Just wait, it gets better.
I've made my choice for candidate for entirely cynical and pragmatic reasons. After twelve years in the Green Party, I registered as a Democrat for the primaries so I can delude myself with the fantasy that my vote might be counted, and I want to cling to the shred of a hope of a fantasy that Barack Obama will get the nomination, even though it's a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton will be nominated - and has been since she decided to run. But don't make the mistake of thinking I hate Hillary, never minding the fact she voted for the war. See if you can follow my logic here: Hillary Clinton's name brings up an incredible amount of hatred in a major percentage of the American population (regardless of whether or not she's deserving). Even before she decided to run for president, all a right-wing radio host had to do on a slow day was say "Hillary Clinton" and their station switchboard would light up like a Christmas tree. Limbaugh dittoheads just love any opportunity they get to spew vitriol about her. She's had 16 years' worth of shit smeared on her by right-wing punditry and it's there's no way she's going to wash off in 20 months. Republicans know this, hence one of the many reasons she's getting funded by them (I'm sure there are other, shadier reasons, but that's the most obvious).
By contrast, take Barack Obama. If (by some miracle) he gets the nomination, we can hope for a Democrat in the White House. For one, he's got a clean slate. By way of example, Obama has refused to give interviews to FOX news after they cooked up a phony story about him attending a madrassah-- brilliant move, in my opinion. Now FOX news can't say shit about him and the more stuff they concoct to make him look bad, the more the FOX "anchors" come across like the GOP shills they are. Right-wing radio jocks don't have anything to say about him other than "...uh, well, he doesn't have the experience...HILLARY DOOM CLINTON EVIL CALL GIMME ATTENTION". Obama's already proven attractive to independents and cross-over voters dissatisfied with this cycle's Republican slate. When one takes all this into consideration, one could estimate around a 65-35 split in Obama's favor in November.
If Hillary Clinton gets the nomination, expect a GOP presidency again in 2008. Why? Because the election in November will be too close to call, yet again. It'll be a very close 50/50 split, which is easy to fudge with electronic vote fraud. The only way a Democratic candidate is going to take the White House in 2008 is by a landslide-- because you can only fix so many votes before suspicion is replaced by righteous anger in the minds of the voting public. A three to eight percent margin is fudgeable. There's plausible deniablity. Even the suspicious voters have a smidgen of doubt in the back of their mind saying "well, maybe it really is just a conspiracy theory because it'd be really scary if the electoral system is this FUBARed!" Right wing pundits can dismiss any complainers as "sore losers" and "conspiracy nuts". But if the election is taken with well over a 10% margin, it becomes a lot harder for GOP shills to bullshit their way through. That doesn't mean they won't try, however.
I want to see the GOP try to fudge it in their favor again, this time with even more arrogance than the last time. They think they can get away with anything-- and frankly, up to this point they have. But arogance breeds mistakes, and I want to watch while Ken Melman and Bill O'Reilly try to explain how a 15-30% margin in favor of the Democrats suddenly turned into a 2% margin for the Republicans. Because it can't be done. I want the American people disillusioned and angry enough to reject their electronic ballots and demand a better, fraud-proof election system. I want the American people angry enough to demand the criminals responsible for the past seasons of fraud be tried for treason. Maybe it's just a pipe dream, but I'm voting for Obama anyway. Besides, of the two front runners, he's the only candidate to have voted "no" on the war powers bill. If it came to a toss-up between Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul, I'd swallow my pride and vote Republican because I cannot reconcile my ethics to cast a ballot for someone who voted "yes". Since that will never happen I'll have to see who comes up for November and wait to cross that ethical bridge when I come to it.
At any rate, I plan to re-register Independent once this farce is over, since the Green Party has more or less imploded...