June 10, 2011
The New Principate

When I hear the despairing tone in friends’ voices — all hope lost! — I try to comfort them by pointing out that had we elected Kerry, Biden, Clinton (Hillary, in this case, but either), Gore, or Lieberman we’d be in pretty much the same boat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t prove to be of much assistance.

So it might not be helpful to point to Daniel Ellsberg’s interview on CNN’s In The Arena blog. In the interview he tells how Abraham Lincoln explained to his former law partner William Herndon his opposition to President Polk’s deliberately provoked Mexican War. Ellsberg quotes from Lincoln’s letter:

The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons: kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.

Unhappily that Constitutional frame has collapsed completely, and we’re left with an American princeps; a republic in form only, in reality a principate backed by an all-consuming war machine.

…as has been pointed out repeatedly by Glenn Greenwald, and Bruce Ackerman, David Swanson and others, no president has so blatantly violated the constitutional division of war powers as President Obama in his ongoing attack on Libya, without a nod even to the statutory War Powers Act, that post-Pentagon Papers effort by Congress to recapture something of the role assigned exclusively to it by the Constitution.

This open disregard of a ruling statute (regardless of his supposed feelings about its constitutionality, which Obama has not even bothered to express) is clearly an impeachable offense, though it will certainly not lead to impeachment — given the current complicity of the leaders of both parties — any more than President George W. Bush’s misleading Congress into his crime against the peace, aggression, in Iraq, or President Johnson’s lies to obtain the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.


Posted by Chuck Dupree at June 10, 2011 10:02 PM
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One thing is for certain. The full extent of the problem is becoming more evident each day that passes. Whether one is talking about the FBI and their methods or what the banks have been doing. If things are to continue on as they have been going, it will be because we let them. As Swiftspeech quotes "The Automatic Earth says:

Iíll never be one to call for a revolution, or to man barricades or carry banners, but still, you know, Iím thinking there's not all that much available in the range of options. Electing different politicians, whatever country you're in, makes no difference anymore, whatsoever. The financial world's grip on public coffers all over the place has reached a pretty "absolute form". Perhaps when you look at the ways in which the ECB and IMF are planning to drain and sell off Greece, you shouldn't just shudder, you should also realize that that gravy train will one day make a full stop in your country, city, community, load up all the goodies and leave with them. And why? Because you let them.

The best hope there seems to be on the horizon for many places is the very young and unemployed that have begun taking over the squares of their cities, from Spain to Greece to Yemen to Egypt et al. If these kids don't make it, if they don't persevere in those squares, their communities stand to be sucked dry of all remaining wealth by the financiers' army of politicians and police forces and what have you, which have all, oh sweet irony, been paid for with your very own tax money.

If you want to know what the state of affairs is in the world, and in your particular part of it, don't listen any longer to Bernanke, or Obama, or Merkel, Smaghi, Christine Lagarde, or Trichet. Start listening to the kids in the squares. Their version of reality has a lot more to do with yours, and certainly yours in the future, than any of the mouthpieces bought and paid for in the political slave auction we for some obscure reason still insist on calling democracy.


Posted by: Buck on June 14, 2011 6:29 PM
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