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Mon Apr 23, 2012, 01:00 PM

"even the lesser Caesars"

The palpable feeling in that group was not hostility to what he was saying but rather creeping ennui. This was mostly a group of older liberals who'd come through the cold war and had heard all this stuff before --- when we were under threat of a different so-called existential threat that allegedly required the nation to abandon its constitution.

The fact is that the national security state has been with us since 1945 and ever single president since then has expanded it, regardless of party or ideology. The problem then isn't the individuals who have "betrayed" us or the two-party system or the fecklessness of our leadership it's that the United States is an empire. And even the lesser Caesars see it as their duty to protect it while the greater Caesars seek to expand it. It's the nature of the beast. Liberal aspirations are a puny adversary for such power.

It's not all hypocrisy then, or rank stupidity, that makes many liberals look away from the abuses by the Obama administration. It's that they don't know how to bring down the empire without bringing down the whole damned thing. After all, most Americans like being an empire. Or think they do, anyway.


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