Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Fallows finds an acorn: the end of the American Republic

Posted by Charles II on June 29, 2012

James Fallows was not much help when it was happening, having been among the Gore bashers, but at least he has this right:

when you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we’d identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.

Via Scott Horton.

A coup is when one faction in a society usurps the function of one or more branches of government to seize power illegitimately. Military coups are the most common. Paraguay is in the midst of a congressional coup. I called the Starr investigation a judicial coup, and Bush v. Gore was its culmination. That coup placed the Republican Party in control of all three branches of government. We now are experiencing a second coup, this time by billionaires, who aren’t satisfied with exerting indirect control.

Fallows has found his acorn, 18 years too late.

2 Responses to “Fallows finds an acorn: the end of the American Republic”

  1. Phoenix Woman said

    Some may quibble over semantics, but yes: It was a coup.

    • Charles II said

      Yeah, I think the quibblers should look at the dictionary. Webster’s defines a coup d’etat as “a sudden, decisive exercise of force in politics.” While that more typically involves “violent overthrow or alteration of government, by a small group,” the core meaning is that application of force has overcome the ordinary working of things.

      If the Supreme Court ruled that David Koch was now king and Charles his queen, that would be an example of attempting to unlawfully force a change of government. It might be laughed away at the present, but it might not be laughed away if the country were in complete crisis, with people beginning to hunger for a strongman. The unhealthier the body politic, the less force is required.

      Hamstringing Clinton through pseudoscandals, blocking Gore from the presidency, suppression of voting, the use of the filibuster to make dysfunctional our government, and the enthronement of money in politics have fundamentally altered our form of government–all of these amount to using force to alter the form of government. Our body politic–especially the Fourth Estate–is sick, and so they have succeeded.

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