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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Ugly Empire

Karl Rove's preeminent desire is what he calls "The Permanent Republican Majority".  He is not ashamed of this, in fact he revels in the concept of the end of democracy. He virtually wallows in the ideals of a post republic America. An America chained to a forever war, groveling in fear of the criminal or the enemy. An America that can't say no to even the most ridiculous military appropriations. An American electorate that truly believes that they will soon be wealthy and that a progressive tax system will be unfair to them when they are rich. An America caught up in a feudalistic relationship with its corporate overlords. An America that is very much run by the faceless "security state" apareshecks of the CIA, NSA and FBI. The ancient democracy of Greece or the Republic of Rome were sorry echos of the enlightened ideals of Modern Western democracy, but the classics pointed out some of the pitfalls that can overcome our better governmental angels.

The rock stars of governmental power are the modern Praetorian Guard. The Navy Seals, The Marines, the Special Forces. Centers of power that wish to be answerable to themselves alone, and resent any meddling from mere civilian voices. Like Rome we seem to prefer the defense of the realm by hired mercenaries and shock troops, so our children can stay home and make money. This is empire on the cheap because imperial costs can be pushed out over the horizon so far as our creditors will tolerate it. 

In this age of Rove we have accepted corrupt language as normal. Peace is war.  Economics is now a Vegas crapshoot. Rape and run exploitation has had a smiley face of PR green painted over its fangs. Public servants are all now "Bureaucrats" (said with venom). 

The Old Fool McCain is an untrustworthy vessel to carry the Rovian poison to the next generation, but the reflexes of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy could well provide a third Bush term. After six months of raging hate against the Democratic Party's nominee the electorate may well be willing to vote McCain just ot get them top shut up. The ray of hope I see is that John McCain is one profoundly unlucky guy. It was his fighter/bomber that dropped the ordinance on the USS Enterprise's flight deck, causing the fire that killed over a hundred sailors. On one of his first missions over Viet Nam he was shot down and spent six years attending a torture workshop. When he came home he lived large and lost his family. As a Congressman and Senator he was the front man for the Keating Five during the S&L scandal. (That scandal would make a good blog post in itself, so watch this space) Then in 2000 the VRWC came down on him to ensure their boy George W's victory. We've had a couple of dark horse presidents in the last fifty years, and perhaps a third wouldn't be out of the question.