Democratic Underground

The Daily Whopper
The Deconstructionist Party
December 7, 2001
by Jeremiah Bourque

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While thinking up the theme of this article, it occured to me that Republicans have totally abandoned the aura of being able to manage finances. This was not always the case. Republicans long clung to the reputation of Margaret Thatcher as proof that, were the Democrats not in control of the House of Representatives, that budget deficits simply would not have happened.

Though this claim was dubious, the principle beneath it was quite simple: Democrats tax and spend. Republicans spend wisely and keep budgets under control.

Well, of course, we know that isn't true at all. What commentators have said recently is that cutting taxes is what the Republican Party is all about; indeed, it cannot really decide on anything else significant enough to hold together about.

The subtext of this is that religious conservatives want to starve the state, primarily because the state competes with religion. Driving the state out of the public square will leave room for religion to prosper. Where science and accountability reign not, faith reigns. Economic conservatives, on the other hand, of which I was once one (sort of), genuinely believe that greed is good and greed works. They believe that cutting taxes is the key to economic growth. The main problem with this is that when push comes to shove, they want to cut the taxes of those least likely to benefit, even from the point of view of the creators of the modern theory of diminishing returns.

Put another way, taxes can be too high, but they can also be too low. Obviously, vastly reducing corporate taxation and individual taxation for the wealthy is of little broad economic value. Let us not forget that cutting out estate taxes is also a key part of this agenda. The principle seems simple enough: Massage the wealthy, get contributions, get votes, and make sure one's own rich family thrives for decades to come.

It's not theoretically sound, but it sure feels good for the ones doing it.

The real problem is in the field of law. Men like Bush and Ashcroft are what are called "strict constructionists." I think I've already alluded to a Reinquist document for the Nixon administration that said that what this boils down to is being anti-criminal and anti-civil rights. What it's supposed to mean is that those who follow this philosophy try to interperet the Constitution to its elementary, core principles.

Reality is a little different: strict constructionists want to destroy everything that was implemented beyond their fundamentalist interperetation.

Lately, though, I've noticed something even more. What Ashcroft is currently doing is trying to take the Constitution back to before there was a Republic. How can you be a Republican and want something more primieval than the Republic? Well, that's a good question. However, the principle enunciated by Bush that, "The forms of liberty must not be allowed to be used by terrorists to destroy liberty itself," is a blanket repudiation of the right to due process. After all, how could anyone argue against not allowing the forms of justice to be used to combat justice itself?

The Republic does not differentiate between the two.

What Ashcroft is trying to do is to establish as a fundamental principle that a) rights do not belong to non-citizens, and b) due process is a weapon used by the guilty to victimize society. These ideas are stark repudiations of core principles of American jurisprudence, yet Ashcroft has placed his full confidence behind them. Why?

The simple answer is that a man of God does not particularly appreciate the "forms of liberty" getting in the way of punishing the guilty. This former prosecutor is not permitted to spiritually repudiate the guilty beyond a certain point, though he seems to have set aside terrorists into a different category of "evil men" against whom all is permitted, because they are evil. They are also not Christian, which can't help. He, Bush, and others in the cabinet, seem addicted to two things: religion that bars them from excessive spiritual condemnation, and temporal justice inflicted at their command.

I'm sure most of you readers have not forgotten the glee with which Bush described excecuting criminals in Texas in the first presidential debate. His religion permits him to enjoy the destruction of human beings without feeling spiritual or moral guilt for it. This is because they are bad; however, it is also because he can pray for their souls and bump responsibility for more serious moral and ethical questions to God. Thusly, he can enjoy himself in good conscience.

I imagine that the excecution of criminals, even the plans for the swift frontier justice trials and quick excecutions for criminals, makes him a genuinely happy man. I'm sure that Rumsfeld likes hearing about men shot to death and bombed to bits. Ashcroft likely enjoys having mass numbers of people in detention at his whim because they may be guilty. Rice must truly enjoy morality in action. Cheney can just count the money being earned by American corporations for the replacement of bomb stocks and aviation fuel, as well as a damned good war being supported vigorously by the American People, as they well should. Wolfowitz? Mind-blowing orgasms from watching bomb footage.

The only man I know for sure who isn't enjoying this is Colin Powell. Pentagon warrior though he was for much of his career, he was in 'Nam and knows what the real thing is like. Real warriors don't court war lightly, nor do they retain child-like enjoyment of it.

Back to the main point. These people enjoy their work. The core Cabinet does not like the rule of law shackling them from doing what they think is right for America. With this thought firmly planted in their minds, with the religious among them firmly committed to the withering away of the state (irony intended), with the economic among them confined to the wilderness but supportive of the general effort and deeply enjoying the grabbing of the important powers while the American People are still on board and minding their own business, with their allies throughout law enforcement and the judiciary (including a long list of nominees) prepared to calcify their dogma, these people are committed to nothing less than the bit by bit deconstruction of the Republic.

This is not to say that a dictatorship is favored. It is not. They haven't thought that far. Their opposition to the state is so based in self-interest, self-image, ideology, religion, and habit, that they have no idea what they're going to do when they actually succeed. They imagine that religion will prosper, the wealthy will prosper, and the country, because of those two things, will, itself, prosper greatly, and nothing will be needed to be worried about, because that's for other people to handle, like entrepreneurs. The government should simply stand aside and let the chips fall where they may.

A return to the early Republic, minus slavery, but modified to exclude from justice those who are not citizens to force immigrants to play ball, will be a return to a lost Golden Age where money was easy, resources were cheap, and the American Family was strong. God was almighty; no atheist stood any chance whatsoever of having a productive public life because of the revulsion at such people that would be caused by their prominence. Religious schools were dominant throughout the land. Men were Men, and Women were Women. All knew their place and all prospered. Government was small; except for war, relatively insignificant. Those needing charity were told to work for it or to turn themselves over to God's mercy. Souls were saved. The spiritual food of Man was plentiful and everywhere. America was Good, and Complete.

This is the vision of the Deconstructionist Party.

However, not only do they not understand the early Republic, they don't appreciate the original intent of the Constitution, either. They can't! Look at what they're doing. They see their actions as completely consistent with the vision of the Founding Fathers, a malleable Constitution to fit the needs of the day that requires strong, central leadership and long-term vision to chart the long course back to America's Golden Age, a Golden Age that not only is a fantasy in itself, but which to achieve, requires destroying the principles of the Republic itself.

These men and women are enjoying the tastes of tyranny that they are being currently exposed to. What's to say that their centralizing power won't result in it being a permanent shift, an end to the Separation of Powers doctrine? They had a taste before, under Bush Sr., but he wasn't ambitious enough to go the full distance. Jr. seems to have what it takes, so they'll ride him as far as he'll go. Then what?

Also, deconstructionism means that everything that stands now is expendable. I can't even begin to list what's up for destruction for this ideal, which I try not to call utopian out of a respect for the actual history of the word. If you want a good example of their idea of women's rights, look at the wives they keep and the cheerleaders at Texan universities. That's women's rights. Racial issues? I could sum it up under the slogan of, "We're All White Now, So What's The Problem?" International relations? Who cares what they think. We're Americans. Due process for criminals? They're CRIMINALS! Why do they need due process, anyway?

I'll stop now.

Seriously, it's way too long to list, but please, don't underestimate the breadth of what's up for grabs here. Deconstructionism is serious business, and is accepted at such a fundamental emotional level by so-called Republicans that they can't understand that this path is a one-way ticket to hell. Deconstructionism will take the Republic with it; this is so obvious that their inability to see it shows how deeply they resent the limitations that the Republic has placed upon them.

When you destroy a Republic to save it, someday you wake up and realize that there's nothing left to save, but yourself.

I am where I sit today, ideologically speaking, because I refused to be a destroyer instead of a builder. Were I a Roman, or a Byzantine, or an ancient Chinese scholar, or a 19th century Zulu tribesman, I would make the same choice. It is a choice I will never regret.

Where do you stand?

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