Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » January 2006 » Incipient dictatorship?

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01/15/2006: Incipient dictatorship?

Over at The News Blog, Steve Gilliard weighs in with his reasons as to why he thinks Bush doesn't pose that threat. According to Steve, Bush isn't an incipient dictator, but rather a not-quite-competent CEO that's just about ready to get the bad news from the Board:

What is Bush?

People conflate some things into turning Bush into some kind of omnipotent ruler, when he can't even face a real crowd.

Claiming Bush stole the 2004 election makes people feel good, but the fact that Diebold was only used in few electoral districts seems to have been lost on people. To blithely say that the GOP can now fix elections forever is pure ignorance. There is no one standard voting machine in the US, no one standard set of rules. No one even bothered to do a study of voting trends in suspect districts.

A lot of people have to get out of a self-defeatist mindset, they have to stop looking for excuses to lose and walk away. Because like Enron, Bush is in serious trouble.

Bush is a CEO, the political version of Ken Lay. He is no more dictator than a CEO, but he assumes he has more power than he does.

Michael Moore sleeps soundly at night. No Hummer is outside his apartment with blacksuited goons waiting to take him to a warehouse to work him over? Cindy Sheehan isn't in exile, moving from place to place, right?

No, Bush deals with his enemies the way a company does: discredits them. They set their bloggers, their oppo, all their old tricks, stuff in lieu of a SLAPP suit. The act remains the same, they make shit up, they act like they have their shit together and people fall for it.

They treat Congress like a board of directors, nodding agreement and doing what they want.

Now, this can go on for years, but one day, the lawsuits pile up. The questions can no longer be dodged. They go too far. Maybe it's a yacht or a water company or the NSA listening to Americans phone calls. There is always the act which pisses off the shareholders, the lingering lawsuit which spills all the secrets.

Scooter Libby's lawyer Ted Wells, plans on dragging reporters in to save his client. By then, it will be far too late. That jury pool will be so inclined to jail him it wouldn't be funny.

Bush's problem is that the courts are about to be swarmed with cases, Congress is wondering if they're on the tapes Bush has, if their calls were tracked. Like a CEO with much to hide, he'll change the subject.

How many companies praise a CEO before they dump him?
The only thing that bothers me about that analogy is that a lot of dumped CEO's spend the rest of their careers laughing all the way to the bank. It's surprising how many companies will hire a CEO who proved her/his incompetence at some other company (as if somehow after s/he ran one company into the ground, s/he got it out of her/his system, and all will be better at the next company), and of those that don't find a new position as CEO, the generous severance package awarded to them means that, to steal a line from Lewis Black, nobody is going to look at them sadly and say, "Look at him. Used to be the CEO of a major American corporation, and now he's a heroin addict."

But then I realize, there's no monetary price we could pay that would be too much to get rid of the Shrubbery.

Len on 01.15.06 @ 06:24 PM CST

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