Monday, November 17, 2008

It's All a Conspiracy

I'm thinking about all the things about which I was so concerned before the election, regarding NSPD-51 and the still-current administration's erasure of democratic process and the like.

Obviously, Obama has not yet been inaugurated and the whole thing is, technically, still possible. But it seems a lot less possible than it did before the election. Mainly because it has become abundantly clear how fucking tired George Bush is of being president. He cannot wait to get out of there. It's been obvious since his congratulatory speech on the morning of November 5, and possibly, had I been paying attention, even earlier.

Yes, if you wanna get technical it's still possible that the Conspiratorial Forces That Be could assassinate *him* instead, leaving us, as I suggested before, with a military-industrial dictatorship under the auspices of Cheney and Chertoff. But I don't think that's going to happen. For one thing, Bush's assassination would not inspire serious passion or fear; for another, the outcry honestly would be too great for Cheney and Chertoff to swing it by means of anything but the greatest oppression, repression and serious violence, far beyond what I would have thought it would take even eight months ago. And for another, I just don't think they have the clout anymore.

I don't mean in any way to belittle the racist threats against Barack Obama, nor to underestimate the general schism of values still central to the United States. It is, however, clear that Naomi Wolf and many others, including myself, saw a greater danger than is likely to come to pass.

Is this because we were paranoid?

I really don't think so. I think there was a force in the Bush administration working towards military-industrial dictatorship, as evidenced by the outrageousness of much of its regulation and legislation. I think that force has lost clout.

There was probably some behind-the-scenes compromise about which you and I will never know; the Obama administration will probably make far more compromises, even with regards to civil liberties, than I or any progressive will be comfortable with. But the bottom line, I think, is that the New American Century folks behind Bush were not subtle; they picked a front man not strong enough to withstand the onslaught of challenges; they have lost.

I'm relieved that they've lost, that the coup I hypothesized and feared no longer seems an immediate danger. But I remain cautious. Obama is a rational, considered intellectual and an excellent leader, capable of amassing an equally rational executive branch. But he's coming into a position that the Cheney camp filled with ludicrous, overweening, tempting power. Here's to his being strong enough to resist that allure.


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