"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Thursday, October 21, 2004

"Sucking Democracy Dry"



A hat tip to Power Line for posting this headline and artwork from the web site of the Village Voice.

The title of Rick Perlstein's article is "The End of Democracy". Subtle. As is the artwork.

The former head of the Arizona Republican Party and Christian Coalition, Nathan Sproul, in an operation paid for by the Republican National Committee, has set up "voter outreach" efforts that register Democrats, then allegedly shred their registration forms.
So charges Mr. Perlstein, without citing a shred of evidence to back up his implication that the Bush campaign was complicit in the alleged destruction of Democrats' forms.

(To be sure, there are myriad sleazy tactics pursued by both Democrats and Republicans at the state, county, and local levels. I was a victim of just such a voter scam. There is a man in my neighborhood who has been registering voters for years. I know I should have heeded that old dictum, Don't submit your voter registration to any guy in the subway who uses an old ironing board as a table. But I gave my form to this character, and when I showed up to vote they said I wasn't registered. It was only later that I found out the subway registrar is a Democrat, and he likely threw my form in the trash.)

To his credit, Perlstein writes, "George Bush is not a fascist. He really isn't." But then he goes on to say, "And thank goodness for small favors. For what if he were? The people who run Democratic campaigns might dismiss his suspension of constitutional provisions as yet another boring old 'process story,' not fit to upset the voters with."

Oh, sure. The same people who decry putting wiretaps on terrorists as an assault on our civil liberties would "dismiss [the] suspension of constitutional provisions" by a "fascist" government?

He goes on, quoting an anonymous divinity student he refers to, bizarrely, as "Deep Faith":
A coup? Deep Faith is convinced some might even welcome it. "It makes me wonder, if something really bad happened, and the Bush administration was able to have a coup and be in permanent charge," he tells me, sinking into his living-room couch, scaring the hell out of me, "who among my folk would seriously protest, if they could get a slice of the pie? 'We could go in there and reverse all this judicial precedent we don't like!'"

That Kingdom of God they keep talking about, he reminds us, the hunger for which is now the fuel of the Republican engine, "is not a democracy."
The "Kingdom of God" is the "fuel of the Republican engine"? And the Bush administration is desperately trying to introduce democracy in the Middle East while planning to eliminate it at home by "hav[ing] a coup"? None of this makes the slightest amount of sense. I don't even know what "sucking democracy dry" is supposed to mean, other than providing a slogan for a lurid picture.

The only thing to be said is that Perlstein and the cullies who believe this sort of tripe are deeply unserious people. And easily frightened. "Deep Faith" mentions his absurd fear of a Bush "coup", and Perlstein claims his source is "scaring the hell out of me." One wonders how such a fraidy-cat would have fared in Saddam's Iraq, where Baathist goons could come to your home, drag you away in the middle of the night, and cut off your hand (if you were lucky), if they felt you had crossed the regime.