The Permanent War Paradigm
"Terrorism" is the perfect term to highlight the permanent war paradigm this administration has thrust upon us. The terrorism bogeyman card can be played, if not forever, well into the foreseeable future. And it's a trump card, as we're seeing so clearly in the domestic spying scandal and the new budget Bush has put out for 2007.
440 billion earmarked for the Department of Defense. And that doesn't include "emergency" allocations for Iraq or Afganistan (different budget) or military components of the Homeland Security and NASA budgets. No wonder they feel obliged to cut social programs.
In the permanent war paradigm, there's no money for New Orleans, and certainly no impetus for a new "Eco New Orleans." There's no money for alternate energy research, but there's 400 billion for Iraq. (That money goes to research, we don't need their fucking oil.)
The $63 billion education budget eliminates 42 programs -- including parent-resource centers, vocational programs and drug-free schools. (Sorry ma'am, no money for your kid's education, we've got to protect you from terrorists.) So these guys are creating a United States of America with rising illiteracy and poverty, less healthcare, no retirement funding and crumbling infrastructure. But BY GOD, THOSE TERRORISTS ARE NOT GOING TO GET US!
Terrorism also presumably justifies warrant-less spying. To listen to the Attorney General Gonzalez defense, he sounded much more like a Bush apologist than the chief interpreter of our nation's laws. With this crowd, the terrorism card means anything goes.
The war in Iraq was justified with the "T" word, to the point that millions of Americans are still convinced Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center. Often as the president brings up 9/11, it's never to shed light on the subject.
Plamegate and Abramoff. DeLay, Ney, Frist and a host of others. Boehner as the new Republican reformist. Alito as the new centrist Supreme Court judge. This is not the modality of a group that thinks they will have to "pay the piper." On the contrary, this is the group that's codifying the Permanent War Paradigm - and believes they'll be able to control the game for the indefinite future.
They may well be right. Democracy is tough. Corruption is easy if you're in power. The Permanent War Paradigm guarantees conflict for decades ahead, meaning continued profits for profiteers, and insulation for corrupt politicians.
The eventual success or failure of these outlandish plans depends on many things. One sign of hope is that events tend to outrun even the greatest strategists. (See Plamegate, NSA, etc.) Another positive is burnout. Many Americans are getting tired of the "terrorism trumps everything" modality this administration champions. And a third cause for hope - we, the People of the Blog. There is an undeniable progressive movement, typified by the blogosphere, that is shaking the fundamental assumptions of capitalism and cronyism.
Sometimes things have to fall apart so they can be reconstructed. "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." - from the Declaration of Independence.
Yeah, what he said.