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View Diary: Cheney Lied to Prosecutors; Fitz Suspects Emails Destroyed; Gonzales Withholds Emails (Poll) (269 comments)

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  •  THEY are going to knock themselves off (none)
    their perch. Use whatever other visual metaphor you like: painting themselves into a corner, out on a limb, up the creek, at the edge of a cliff, etc. In order to reach the pinnacle of power and dominance that they now enjoy, they've had to put themselves into a very rarefied, unstable and dangerous position, which requires constant and massive tweaking to perpetuate, at great cost and risk.

    Sooner or later--and I'd argue much sooner than most people realize--this is going to prove impossible to keep up, and/or something will happen to upset this very delicate balance, and it will all come crashing down.

    Theirs is not a solid, stable position at all, appearances notwithstanding. It might look so to outsiders who don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but behind the curtain lies a very sick edifice that cannot be maintained indefinitely. At least not without a massive transformation of the underlying political, legal and economic system that it rests upon--i.e. and effective overthrow of democracy.

    For example, their hold on congress and the senate, while currently near-absolute, is made possible only by massive intimidation and effective (and as we're seeing actual) bribery on the part of the white house. I.e. work with us and we'll agree to any and all earmarks that you want, even though it's all on the national credit card and completely unsustainable. Don't work with us and we will crush you politically, via either your next reelection bid, or using Karl Rove's undoubtedly massive intelligence folders on you (you don't really believe that the NSA and FBI have been spying only on Al Qaida, do you?).

    Well, this only works so long as those wielding this carrot/stick weapon are able to do so. If Rove, Cheney or others in the white house are indicted, as is likely, this comes apart, as it also does as election season gets fully underway and incumbent Repubs begin to fear for their political lives. And with just a few defections this thin majority completely falls apart.

    Or, take the press. While it clearly skews to the right and in many cases is dominated by it, it's still FAR from controlled by it to the extent that some people believe. The companies that own major media outlets are in it to make a profit, not advance a political agenda (with the possible exception of the News corporation, but they're in a whole different category). Right now it pays for them to promote a right-wing agenda. The moment this is seen as not being profitable, they will stop being so supportive of Bush & Co. And the signs are there, with rising public displeasure with incumbents and the possibility of a political turnover in congress and perhaps the white house, media companies will back the winning side.

    I'm not being blindly optimistic here. I'm just looking at various signs and to me they appear to be pointing towards a political change, brought about less by feckless Democratic oppostion or media scrutiny than by right-wing overreach. Basically, they've had to spend way more than is sustainable to stay in power, and those funds--economic, political, legal, public support--are running out, and in fact are now being obtained by massive borrowing that simply cannot be sustained for much longer. And when the credit runs out, their exremely fragile hold on power will also run out.

    As for history, you're right, tyrannical regimes have survived for long periods of time. But only those that knew what their limits were, and were wise enough to give the masses just enough to stay content. This regime has no such wisdom, or self-control, which, as I've argued, is what will be their undoing. There is no comparison between them and, say, Rome, or even the Soviet Union, except, perhaps, in their final stages. I'd instead compare them to the Nazis, who just didn't know when or where to stop, and so ensured their self-destruction (and, of course and unfortunately, that of large parts of the world as well).

    Had the Nazis said "ok, this is more than enough for now" after annexing Austria and the Sudentenland in 1938, they might still be around in some form. But no, they had to attack Poland and the west, and then the USSR, and that was their doom. Same with these Repubs. If not for Iraq and the totally unnecessary tax cuts, they might have been able to stick around for much longer. But by doing these and other things, they've ensured their downfall. Just give them a bit more time. It'll happen.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Fri Feb 17, 2006 at 11:19:32 AM PST

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