Saturday, November 18, 2006


Ed Meese. Bleargh.

Oh. My. God. This is obscene -- and it tells you a lot about the conservatives, if they consider this clown to be their finest legal expert. Ed Meese is NOT a legal expert on anything. As a purely brainless political hack, he has no peer in the right-wing firmament. Remember when it was discovered that the Reagan administration had been involved in illegal weapons sales to Iran stretching back to 1984? When then-AG Meese was asked about it in a press conference, he said it was OK because the proceeds were being sent to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. This explanation would have been blindly accepted, had it been made in 2006. But it was made in 1986, back when the national press corps, though far more cowed by the GOP than they had been in the early 1970s, had yet to be utterly brought under Republican control -- and some reporters actually brought up the fact that until 1985, it had been illegal under US law to fund the Contras, a fact that Meese, to judge from the poleaxed look on his face, didn't know. But in the end, it didn't matter: The fascistic neutering of Congress, the courts and the press -- the goal towards which William Simon worked the last three decades of his life -- had already progressed to the point where Iran-Contra's architects escaped scot-free.

Very few Americans understand that Republicans have attempted to overthrow constitutional government six times in the last century. Each time was more serious than the last.

1. The coup plot against FDR, exposed by Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler.
2. The McCarthy Era, especially in regard to the attack on the Executive branch, notably the Army.
3. Nixon, in which Executive branch usurped judicial power.
4. Reagan, in which the Executive usurped Congressional powers.
5. The impeachment of Bill Clinton, in which the Judiciary attempted to overthrow the Executive.
6. December 12, 2000, in which the Judicial Branch usurped the fundamental power of democracy, the right of the people to select their leaders.
Just a couple of quibbles:

With regard to each time being more serious than the last; I would suggest that a coup attempt is pretty damn serious.

And with regard to #5; you do mean the Legislative, right?

But I agree that the Republicans are total bastards with contempt for the Constitution, which they view as an inconvenient obstacle to be punctured or subverted.
Eli, I don't think that the coup attempt was a serious danger. There are always idiots around, but as long as most people are sensible, they get nowhere. In any event, the Congress heard Maj. Gen. Butler's sworn testimony and did not act.

As for #5, no, I meant a judicial coup against the Executive. The Congress was ineffectual in damaging Clinton and when it came to voting out charges actually sabotaged the impeachment effort by voting down the two most dangerous charges. My guess is they wanted Clinton paralyzed, not removed. The actual coup effort was led by William Rehnquist, using his appointees on the DC court and Kenneth Starr
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