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RedSock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:13 PM
Original message
How Do They Get Away With It?
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 03:15 PM by RedSock
They, meaning the Bush administration. One very good reason is that the Democrats are spineless cowards. They live in constant fear of being smeared by the Republicans, but are apparently too stupid to realize is that they would get smeared even if they agreed with the Republicans.

A lot of the Democrats' act -- such as pretending to ask tough questions of Alberto Gonzalez but also saying that they'll confirm him as Attorney General no matter what -- makes me think they are simply playing their assigned role in some "good cop/bad cop" theater being foisted upon us all.

Here is another possibility. In his book "The Great Unraveling," New York Times columnist Paul Krugman mentions a book published in 1957 by "a brilliant, iconoclastic young Harvard scholar" by the name of Henry Kissinger. Based on Kissinger's doctoral dissertation, "A World Restored" focused on the reconstruction of Europe after the battle of Waterloo.

Krugman says the first three pages of Kissinger's book "sent chills down my spine, because it explains so well the otherwise baffling process by which the administration has been able to push radical policies through, with remarkably little scrutiny or effective opposition."

Kissinger writes of establishment powers reacting to revolutionary change:

"Lulled by a period of stability which had seemed permanent, they find it nearly impossible to take at face value the assertion of the revolutionary power that it means to smash the existing framework. The defenders of the status quo therefore tend to begin by treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical; as if it really accepted the existing legitimacy but overstated its case for bargaining purposes; as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions. Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered balanced and sane. ... But it is the essence of a revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion."

Krugman says Kissinger had it exactly right: "People who have been accustomed to stability can't bring themselves to believe what is happening when faced with a revolutionary power, and are therefore ineffective in opposing it."

The Republican party is playing an entirely different game -- while the Democrats abide by an outdated set of rules, driven by some sort of professional courtesy. It doesn't excuse the Democrats' utter lameness, but it does make a lot of sense.

< From my blog: / >
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:15 PM
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1. Amazing analysis. n/t
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. No mystery. They control MOST of the media and MOST voting machines.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:19 PM
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3. Yep. How many articles on Bush not being as radical as his rhetoric
and it turns out that he was every bit as radical as the nuttiest spin you could put on his positions?

These guys come right out and tell us, and nobody believes it.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you for posting this. I've been thinking along the same lines
Today I got an email update from my Representative to Congress - the only Democrat left to represent me since my state elected two Republicans to the Senate.

Not one word about the voting problems! He listed his priorities for this next Congress and wimped about how badly the White House is behaving in Iraq, but said nothing about voting irregularities.

Nothing about the fact that the Republicans are ripping environmental and food safety standards to pieces.

I sent my Rep a firm response telling him to stand up and fight. I doubt he will. What the hell is going on?
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. A few years back
I read an article that said the Bush administration was not your reagular run of the mill Republican administration, but actually a radical right wing one disguising itself as moderate. The article said that Bush actually wanted to push back all the domestic, democratic gains of the 20th cetury so that we would have a government similar to the one we had around 1900. Of course they would not be able to accomplish this in 4 or 8 years, but if they succeed in turning the country far enough to the right it may be something that we see in the coming century.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. makes me regret being a Nader traitor
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 03:46 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Randi Rhodes had it right
When she called for the Dems to not certify the electors.

If all the Dem Senators and Representatives had just said NO, it would not have changed the outcome, but that action would have resounded across the land.

And yes, it looks like there is an element of good cop, bad cop going on.

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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:18 PM
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8. Yes, when I read Krugman's book that part hit home for me too.
It seemed to explain exactly what was going on. But I have to wonder now (6 months after reading it) if there isn't an even darker explanation. I mean, surely elected Congress Dems are privy to at least as much as I know! Wouldn't they--being in daily professional contact with these idealogues--have long understood that this is what's happening?

So I don't think it's cluelessness anymore. It might still be a measure of spinelessness, in terms of holding onto their careers, and whatever personal power they have. But I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't downright collusion. In front of the curtain the Dems make a fine show of being agonized by their inability to effectively oppose this administration; behind the scenes they are sitting in a circle with the Repubs divvying up the spoils.

My darkest thoughts are that the fix has long been in. The oligarchs are united, Dem and Repub, and the rest is just theater.
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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. The question of how they can seem to know less than we do
bothers me as well - I'm trying to find the answer to that disconnect also
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s-cubed Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. If you have not yet read "Don't Think of an Elephant",
by George Lakoff, do so! It makes so many things clear about how they get away with it, and how we can do better.
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