Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Spectators at the Rubicon

Chris Floyd weighs in on the decisive nature of the current crisis:
Some of us have been writing for years about Bush's piecemeal assumption of dictatorial powers. We have watched in rage and amazement as the Establishment meekly accepted Bush's repeated, brutal insults to democracy. Time and again, I've quoted the words of the Emperor Tiberius, after the lackeys of the Senate grovelled to do his bidding: "Men fit to be slaves." In one sense, then, the Rubicon was crossed long ago. Yet "we live in hope and die in despair," as my father always says. In the back of the minds of many an embittered dissident, there has been a spark of hope that somewhere down the line, one of the many, many Bush outrages would somehow take hold, gain critical mass, and force the Establishment to act, to rein in the renegade, break him, box him in if not remove him from office.

For let's be clear about this: only the Establishment -- the institutional powers-that-be -- can break an outlaw president. Millions marched in the street against Nixon and the system; whole city quadrants went up in flames in those days; but none of this was decisive in the corridors of power. (Nor to much of the American public, to be frank; after Kent State, after My Lai, after Cambodia, Nixon was still re-elected in a landslide.) It was his insult to the institutions -- the Watergate break-in of Democratic headquarters, the subsequent cover-up and subversion of the legal system, the defiance of Congress -- that led to his downfall. He pushed too far, tried to grab too much -- and the Establishment pulled him short.

And it will have to be the Establishment that breaks Bush -- or he won't be broken.
Another good piece by Floyd, well worth reading in full.

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