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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-08-21 14:50
Subject: [links] Link Salad, whiter shade of pale edition
Security: Public
Tags:books, cool, culture, links, mainspring, politics, sex, weird
A reader reacts to Mainspring Powell's | Amazon ] — Apparently I am not a wordsmith.

anacrotech with a brain inside a jar!

Getting Patrick pregnant

My interview with Howard Waldrop is live at Revolution SF — I've listened to it, and was pretty darned entertained.

Digby on Bush as President-for-Life — Featuring commentary excerpted from a conservative think tank with many prominent, allegedly respectable Republicans on the board of directors. Money shot:

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.


This reads like an overwrought liberal parody of conservative thinking. Except it's not. It is conservative thinking, from GOP stalwarts. Are you proud of your Republican Party yet?
Post A Comment | 27 Comments | | Link






User: jess_ka
Date: 2007-08-21 22:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:repub11
Oi, jeez, I wish I hadn't read that last thing. Now my stomach, soul, and brain all hurt really rather a lot and I am so freaking...ugh.
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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2007-08-21 22:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, there's more there.
I'm to the point where it's just one more thing. Like the PFANAC- to sum up, "We need another Pearl Harbor to rally the country around so they'll sign on to our agenda."
- Invading Iraq
- Tax cuts for the wealthy
- Dismantling the Federal goverment as much as possible
- etc. ad naseum

If any of this sounds familiar, stop me. The PFANAC came out in '97 or '98 as I recall.
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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2007-08-21 22:21 (UTC)
Subject: by the way...
Plan For A New American Century.
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Hal
User: hal_obrien
Date: 2007-08-21 22:23 (UTC)
Subject: Caesar
If only you'd pointed to someone observing the current Republicans thinking this way.

Oh, wait. ;)

That said, I find it interesting Mr. Atkinson (quoted by Digby) doesn't seem to get that one of the aspects between a competent leader and an incompetent one is the ability to persuade the public that your point of view is correct, even when initially "unpopular."

Which is to say, even if you grant the premise that Bush is right, and 75% of the American public is wrong (along with 95% of Iraqis and almost all of our allies), then he's still a fuck-up, because he can't manage to sell his point of view.

(Speaking of yet another way Karl Rove is also an incompetent twit -- because Karl wasn't able to, either.)

Of course, the true irony here is that you'd have to not only remove term limits, but also remove elections. Because, funnily enough, there have been multiple attempts to repeal presidential term limits in the last few years.

They've been introduced by Democrats.

They've been blocked by Republicans.

Which I think says all one needs about a) How congressional Republicans really feel about Bush, and b) What they think the result of a G.W. Bush vs. W.J. Clinton election would be.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-08-21 22:46 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
b) What they think the result of a G.W. Bush vs. W.J. Clinton election would be.

Also, c) they'd prefer to cast out over two centuries of democracy rather than see H. Clinton be elected.
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Hal
User: hal_obrien
Date: 2007-08-21 23:18 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
"c) they'd prefer to cast out over two centuries of democracy rather than see H. Clinton be elected."

That sentence goes on too long. There's no need to make it conditional.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-08-21 22:51 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
there have been multiple attempts to repeal presidential term limits in the last few years.

They've been introduced by Democrats.

They've been blocked by Republicans.


Can you point to references? It's not easily googled. Also, last few years: you mean during Bush's term of office? Thanks.
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Hal
User: hal_obrien
Date: 2007-08-21 23:17 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
H.J. Res. 8, introduced by Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan 4, 2007.

H.J. Res. 24, introduced by Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Feb 17, 2005.

I mean the last few years. :)
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-08-21 23:39 (UTC)
Subject: puppets
(bemusedoutsider)

Maybe some Dems thought a third term for Bill (starting 2004 or 2008) more likely than a first term for Hillary?

Anyway, why would Cheney &c bother to do something so open? Bush Jr, like Reagan, is a disposable puppet. They'll just run another one, billing him as a 'new kind of Republican' from 'outside the Beltway' or something.

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Hal
User: hal_obrien
Date: 2007-08-21 23:26 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
H.J.RES.11, also by Mr. Serrano, introduced Jan 7, 2003.

Note that with that date, it was during the run-up to the Iraq war, and Bush was considered popular. He was also in the middle of his first term, and hadn't been re-elected. The Republicans still blocked the bill.

But I'd call 3 times in the past 4-1/2 years enough to fulfill both of my initial claims.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-08-21 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
Interesting. Thanks.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-08-22 07:41 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
These resolutions were cosponsored by Dems and Reps (including Sensenbrunner); they were not voted on but instead referred to judicial and constitutional committees. I see the 'Introduced by Democrats' (though that is not the whole story) but not the 'Blocked by Republicans' unless there's something about being referred to committees that is a Republican maneuver. Also, under at least two of these proposals, Bush would not be eligible for a third term.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-08-21 23:28 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
(bemusedoutsider)

;; Of course, the true irony here is that you'd have to not only remove term limits, but also remove elections. ;;

But that's what the piece began with, more or less! Bush is hampered by Democracy, Democracy is a bad system, because the popular thing is usually the bad thing. Etc.
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Kevin Standlee
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2007-08-22 00:51 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Caesar
With further irony, although I have no desire to see the current occupant of the White House re-elected, I also would support repealing presidential term limits. I think the current system of making the President an automatic lame duck the day after his second election is damaging to the office of President as an institution. Since the ratification of the 22nd Amendmetn, how many Presidents, of either party, are considered to have been as effective in their second term as they were in their first? (Note that I don't think "effective" means "I agree with his policies" -- it means "How well did he manage to accomplish the things he said he set out to do?")

Presidents need to be able to come back to the people for what amounts to a referendum on their last term's efforts. And while I doubt many would manage to get elected for a third term, I think they should have the opportunity to do so.

And yes, I've become opposed to all other term limits as well, for similar reasons. My views on this have changed considerably over the years.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2007-08-22 01:52 (UTC)
Subject: lame ducks
(bemusedoutsider)

Good points about lame duck second term presidents. But too many terms for a Congressman or Senator breeds corruption. How about letting a president have a third term -- but not immediately after his second. Give the White House a cleaning, let the voters watch someone else perform -- then let the them bring back the earlier pres if they like.

Not that any such constitutional amendment will ever get passed....
Clinton went out in blow-job glory, but Reagan was getting too old, and who else have the GOP had who might be popular enough for a third term? The puppetmasters do better disposing of each puppet as soon as they get him dirty.

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Jess Nevins
User: ratmmjess
Date: 2007-08-21 23:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Huh. I'm not sure this quite meets the legal definition of "treason," but it comes mighty close.
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Hal
User: hal_obrien
Date: 2007-08-21 23:36 (UTC)
Subject: Treason
"I'm not sure this quite meets the legal definition of "treason," but it comes mighty close."

Unfortunately, no.

Treason is defined directly in the Constitution in Article III, section 3 (and is the only crime defined in the document):

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

The trick with the passage Digby quotes would be, is this enough to be considered, "adhering to their Enemies?" It surely isn't "levying war."

The Founders were very wary of the term "treason," as it had been so abused by their former compatriots in Britain.
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Kevin Standlee
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2007-08-22 00:56 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Treason
The Founders were very wary of the term "treason," ...
And thank goodness for that. I've seen people tossing the term "treason" around very freely, when what they mean is "s/he loudly criticizes the current administration" or "S/he praises people who are enemies of the USA." Neither of these things is treason.

Regrettably, the US seems to go through cycles of repression during times of national stress, such as the Alien & Sedition Acts, the suspension of civil liberties during the American Civil War, the Red Scare, and the internment of Japanese during WWII. I take some hope from the fact that we've always managed to step back from the brink, but it's scary looking over that precipice.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-08-22 03:04 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Treason
I'd say the sitting President and his (former) political advisor Carl Rove are both oath-breakers and traitors, as they've placed their personal political advantage above the nation. I'm of the opinion that the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party is, demonstrably, an Enemy of the United States of America.
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Jess Nevins
User: ratmmjess
Date: 2007-08-22 02:38 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Treason
You're right, of course.

But...surely there's a word to describe advocacy to suspend the Constitution, do away with democracy, and institute a dictatorship...?
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Kevin Standlee: Pensive Kevin
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2007-08-22 02:47 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Treason
Keyword:Pensive Kevin
Possibly "sedition," but I'm not sure that advocating such acts is illegal, only attempting to carry them out.
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Jess Nevins
User: ratmmjess
Date: 2007-08-22 03:29 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Treason
No, I don't think that their actions are illegal.

However, I do think that what they are advocating...huh. I see that the Smith Act is still on the books. Be interesting to see how this would be handled in a court.
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russ: politika
User: goulo
Date: 2007-08-22 06:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:politika
I still like the absurd scenario that Bush eventually admits that he was not legally elected in 2000, thus arguing that he's still not officially served 2 terms and thus can continue serving for another term!

But more likely is the good old fashioned "We are at war, it would be dangerous to change leadership now, elections are postponed."
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russ: watchmen
User: goulo
Date: 2007-08-22 06:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:watchmen
Re: the book review. It's interesting and cool that different readers have such different assumptions about your religious views, e.g. in this case that you are like C.S. Lewis!
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Brian Dolton
User: tchernabyelo
Date: 2007-08-22 08:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Please tell me that Atkinson stuff isn't real.

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.

Please, please tell me that no matter how bizarre and strange the American right can seem to me, no-one seriously believes that, and that it's someone spoofing.
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Brian Dolton
User: tchernabyelo
Date: 2007-08-22 12:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
OK, a little research later indicates that the Philip Atkinson in question is actually a Brit, living in Australia since 1969, who runs a very, very bizarre website : http://ourcivilisation.com/

He is deeply, deeply disturbed. There's a biography on his site (which switches rapidly from third to first person) and the key element in his life is this:

"Like all children I wanted to be accepted by my peers and be part of the gang of small boys who lived in the street. They were my heroes, I hung on every word they said, and I did everything I could to win their approval. Their contemptuous treatment of me I accepted as only natural because I was the youngest and weakest. They were tough and clever while I was puny and inexperienced. But one day this all changed. To my delight, a boy who was smaller and younger than me, moved into the street, and I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I could demonstrate my superiority to the newcomer. And when the gang resolved to have a boxing competition, I felt that this was my chance. Previously I would have been omitted from such a competition as being too weak to match in a fight, but now there was a possible partner, and as the gang split up into matched pairs I was pitted against the new boy. And when it was our turn to box, I gently, but firmly, displayed my clear superiority. Alas, when the judges, the oldest boys, declared the result, it was not me, but the new boy, who was deemed the winner. I was stunned."

How exactly can you "gently but firmly" display your superiority in a boxing match?



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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2007-08-23 17:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
How exactly can you "gently but firmly" display your superiority in a boxing match?

By losing?
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