Saturday, June 21, 2008
Obama has issued a statement saying he supports the "compromise" FISA "reform" passed by the House, and he will "work" to remove telecom immunity from it in the Senate, a Senate that already passed the fullthroated domestic surveillance and telecom immunity FISA "reform" the House Leadership worked so hard to "compromise" on.
He's not gonna do shit.
This is what he wants. He knows he's going to ascend to the Peacock Throne, and he's getting ready. He's taking his elevation to the Purple a lot more seriously than the current occupant ever did. Which I guess is a good thing, eh?
But the point is that he is not going to defend and protect the Constitution and the rule of law as he's sworn an oath to do, any more than he chooses to, which in this case, he doesn't.
That's the attitude of a Monarch. And that's what we're going to get. The Republic, it's time to admit, is kaput, an empty husk. And Obama is going to need the powers the Congress is so eager to give the King/Emperor if he is to rule as well as reign.
Admitting as much is very difficult for Americans. Most don't really care one way or another. The Constitution lost its popular constituency long ago. But the notion that the nation is now a monarchical empire, ruled by Imperial Ukase or Rescript, sometimes masked by Congressional "law" (often after the fact), is foreign, and once was resented. But now? Not so much.
How long did it take the Romans to realize their Republic was gone? The forms and institutions endured for hundreds of years after Octavian's advent. But the Roman Republic expired, and the people, for the most part were just as happy it was so.
So it is among Americans, and so it will be if Obama proves to be what he says he's setting out to be: a benign monarch as opposed to Bush, the crazed autocrat.
Who can complain?
Certainly not the Palace Courtiers.
But the question is, what is to be done about it, if anything?
According to the Incrementalists, this reversion into monarchy/autocracy will be halted and turned around in oh, fifty-sixty years, who knows, it took decades after all for the rightists to get to the point where they are today, so it will realistically take as long or longer for so-called progressives to take the country back, but they will. One day. Eventually. Just be Patient.
Revolutionaries -- the handful of them there are -- say "Pshaw!" and demand instant overthrow by masses of People in the Streets.
Neither, in my view, is correct because they haven't clarified to themselves what's actually happened, nor what they want in its stead.
In my view, Incrementalists (Glenn Greenwald being one of the most determined and astute of them) essentially like things the way they are, and like to complain about them and argue about them all the time. But they don't want any real change, nor are they in any way prepared to take any action that might precipitate real progressive change. They want power and influence to be sure, but not to accomplish any real reform or progress, or to -- say -- revive the Republic, but only to operate within the New Empire as antagonists to the King/Emperor. They want their position to become an official position (of antagonism, to be sure) within the Palace. And then, over many years, decades, generations, centuries, their antagonism will serve to mitigate, mediate and modify the worst excesses of the System, a System they fully support. A System which is, in fact, a monarchy and empire, not a self-governing constitutional republic.
The Revolutionaries (of which there are so few, it's almost impossible to name them) simply want something else again. Amy Goodman and the crew at Democracy Now! make a good pitch for what's wrong and what ought to be, but they're not into overthrow as such. They have justified contempt for what "is" -- but even then, they don't name it much more than declaring "corporatist" -- and occasionaly "fascist" and "police state" -- wrong-doing. All of which is fine, but doesn't lead to the Something Else Again the Revolutionaries want.
And everyone's a critic, myself included.
My own perspective is that the reversion to monarchy and empire was inherent in the Constitution the Framers adopted, no matter their arguments to the contrary. "Spin" was not unknown in those days, either. The trend has been toward greater territorial expansion and greater concentration of power in the executive throughout the whole history of the country, and it has culminated, now, in what amounts to a full consolidation of power in the Presidency and its extensions. The Congress does not act to curb that power, it grants more power to the Presidency. The judiciary has taken upon itself to appoint and guide the Presidency almost as if it were in the role of Regent or Confessor, but not to curb it beyond certain modest restraints -- which are typically ignored.
These days, if we want something different than the monarchy/empire we have, we need a different framework than the Constitution; it's that simple.
Achieving that is impossible for Incrementalist. They cannot think that way. What IS requires the Constitution as is, and a Regime as is, and antagonism as is. If there is Change, it is toward solidifying and consolidating and from time to time mitigating, not toward resistance and renewal.
A Different Framework than the Constitution hasn't yet occurred to the Revolutionaries. With the collapse of or abandonment of Communism, there remains very little ideological revolutionary fervor anywhere in the world, Venezuela excepted, but the Bolivarian Revolution is barely understood -- or even noticed -- in the United States. Chavez is just perceived as some vague zambo "enemy." Exactly why isn't known. The only thing that is known is that "he's got our oil." Which means, eventually, the Empire will seize it.
I think most Americans would be comfortable with a benign monarchy, and they're getting comfortable with the notion of Obama on the Throne. Whether it will happen, I can't say, but it's looking more and more likely every day, and it's clear to me that with Obama's FISA statement of yesterday, he fully intends to operate within the current Monarchical/Imperial System without let or hindrance.
So let it be written, so let it be done.
NOTE: Contribute to the ActBlue/StrangeBedfellows anti-FISA "reform" ad campaign. It can't hurt, and who knows, it might lead to something. In these turbulent times, any action can precipitate a Butterfly Effect.