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Jay Lake
Date: 2007-07-29 17:21
Subject: [politics] Late to the party, and too far to the left, but what else is new?
Security: Public
scalzi is dismissive of the concept of a Republican coup prior to Bush leaving office.

I pretty much agree with his reasoning, though it occurs to me wonder what the strength and disposition of private military forces — e.g., Blackwater — is, especially with the regular military and the reserves so overstretched overseas. If I were writing this as a plot element, that's a direction I'd take.

Unlike (some of) the conservatives of yore, these guys aren't long-term thinkers. The history of the Iraq War makes that perfectly clear with respect to the Executive Branch, but for an example in the legislative branch see also Trent Lott's "Nuclear Option", from back in 2005 when the Senate Republicans were all set to eliminate the filibuster as a minority tactic. I don't see the Senate Republicans eschewing their filibusters now on Constitutional principles, as they bullied the then-minority Democrats into doing. And how would it sit with the GOP base today if they'd managed to strip their own power?

More to the point, imagine President Hillary Clinton with the powers of the unitary executive and the sweeping definition of executive privilege so beloved of conservatives at the moment.

There's two obvious explanations for all of this, both of which are probably somewhat correct. One, that as recently as the spring of 2006, the Republicans still believed their own Permanent Majority bathwater hook, line and sinker. (Hell, I did too, for the most part.) So actions which harmed the minority simply didn't register as an issue for them. Two, as mentioned above, the lack of long-term thinking skills.

This is a party led by an ADHD president, which has compromised pretty much every principle it ever claimed to hold in the name of one short term expediency after another. (Fiscal responsibility? No foreign adventurism? Local control? Small government? Lack of government interference in private life? Name one core conservative principle that hasn't been shat on liberally during this administration.) I don't think they're capable of planning a coup, let alone pulling one off.

What they are capable of is the highly destructive, unpatriotic and profoundly anti-American incrementalism which has been the hallmark of the Bush administration for some time now: Destroying one right or principle after another, for reasons which are boiling down to nothing more than political ass covering at this point.

Coup? No. Creeping Constitutional rot? Already well in progress. I didn't vote for Bush, ever, but as a citizen I own this mess just as much as my conservative friends who bought into this crap. Or more to the point, this mess owns me.

I feel sorry for all of us.
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User: dsgood
Date: 2007-07-30 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
1) I was certain the political pendulum would swing left in October 2004, when I read an article in the National Review which boiled down to "We've won forever!" It's like when stock market mavens explain why THIS bull market will never go down -- or this real estate boom. That's the time to get out of the market.

2) Bush and company wouldn't have gotten into power if other people had been competent enough to keep them out.
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User: groundbyground
Date: 2007-07-30 03:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Rough waters ahead. With China taking the lead in manufacturing, our nation's adoption of war being the answer to diplomacy, and our schooling system geared toward a world of production and service thirty years past, well... what can I say? The crumbling economy is only a symptom of a long running illness.
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Jeremy Tolbert
User: the_flea_king
Date: 2007-07-30 03:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
THese are the things that worry me now. Is our economy #1 at anything anymore that we actually export to other countries?
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User: db_writer
Date: 2007-07-30 05:25 (UTC)
Subject: I can't hear you, Jay...
Too many black helicopters over my house heading south... towards Portland...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-07-30 08:57 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I can't hear you, Jay...
Serious question for you, sir. Do you honestly feel this administration has upheld conservative principles?
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2007-07-30 15:38 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I can't hear you, Jay...
Running the list of things that were important to me when I considered myself a conservative, the only thing I can think of that Bush has upheld is extra funding for the military. Note that this doesn't mean "supporting the military", which he obviously hasn't, and he certainly hasn't supported veterans, it just means funneling more money in the active branches' direction.
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sheelangig: bench
User: sheelangig
Date: 2007-07-30 23:11 (UTC)
Subject: Re: I can't hear you, Jay...

Okay, I've googled around, and read a few things, and now I'd like to know; what ARE conservative principles? This is a genuine question, I presume they must exist, I just cannot extrapolate them from the behaviors I see on the news. I realize I'm biased, so somebody help me out here?

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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2007-07-30 15:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
>>If I were writing this as a plot element, that's a direction I'd take.<<

That is the direction I take in a somewhat similar situation in the book I'm writing now...

>>Unlike (some of) the conservatives of yore, these guys aren't long-term thinkers.<<

I think they are...they just think in the long term while assuming that everything will fall in according to their plan. If Seymour Hersch and various defectors from the NeoCons are to be believed, the long-term plan was Iraq, then Syria, then Iran, then maybe North Korea.

>>This is a party led by an ADHD president, which has compromised pretty much every principle it ever claimed to hold in the name of one short term expediency after another.<<

Ayup. Before 2002 I still claimed to be a conservative.
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S. Boyd Taylor
User: sboydtaylor
Date: 2007-07-30 16:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't want to believe that they would try anything, but part of me wouldn't be surprised...
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