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Glenn Greenwald wrote a stunning and frightening blog article today on the naked claims made by Bush administration sympathizers that the US President should ignore the law to be a more effective leader. Read the whole thing here:

The right's explicit and candid rejection of "the rule of law"

This is probably the most important information I have read online since Bush was elected. It explains the endless evasions, half-truths, and lies that have characterized the criminal enterprise called the Bush Administration. Yet Greenwald does not raise the ultimate question. Who will defend our Constitution against a tyrant? Let us consider this issue:

To put Greenwald's case compactly, Ceasarism is the preferred method of government in right-wing circles. Courts, parliaments, commissions, petitions, and, above all, laws, are inferior to the vigorous "energy" of "one-man rule." Where the tyranny advocates differ with most students of history is in viewing the talents of the "prince" to be irrelevant. It is evidently their view that even a bumbler like Bush Jr., who refuses to submit to law, is preferable to a "weak" leader of superior talents.

It is not hard to imagine the current standoff between Congressional committees and the White House leading to court verdicts demanding White House compliance. What then? Andrew Jackson famously defied the Supreme Court and persisted in genocidal policies against native Americans. What if Bush defies the courts and Congress?

There is one final arbiter of physical power in the United States: the armed forces. These forces swear an oath, not to the President, but to the Constitution, and they will be the final check on the imposition of creeping tyranny on the United States. When the Constitutional crisis hits, we will find out if our Army has been undermined by right-wing fanatics. The intervention of the Army is unfortunately a frequent occurrence in politically unstable countries, but BushCo has brought this instability to America with its radical and grotesque vision of a "unitary executive" engaged in a perpetual war.

Just before Nixon left office, government officials consulted with the Joint Chiefs to make sure that Nixon would not be able to mount a military coup to remain in power. Such consultations are appropriate now to avert the worst possible outcome of the rogue presidency of Bush.

Originally posted to ANKOSS on Wed May 02, 2007 at 02:55 PM PDT.

Poll

The US Armed Forces will

14%17 votes
15%18 votes
24%29 votes
45%53 votes

| 117 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time to watch 'Seven Days in May' again? (6+ / 0-)

    Little bit different plot, but it was about who in the military would support the Constution, and who would not.  

    Events are in the Saddle and Ride Mankind - Emerson

    by deepsouthdoug on Wed May 02, 2007 at 02:51:03 PM PDT

  •  Answer: No. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, mcfly, annetteboardman, corvo, AllanTBG

    Recall the general who warned that Clinton should not be touring bases because his "safety" could not be assured.

    He did this in public with no repercussions I recall.

    No.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed May 02, 2007 at 02:54:08 PM PDT

  •  Army will stay loyal. Air Force maybe not. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexander G Rubio, kaye, david78209
  •  This question has been going through my head (9+ / 0-)

    for years now.

    And, the fact is, I don't know.

    The religious right is very high up in command.  Some, I believe, will stand with the Constitution, and some will follow their religious leaders to whatever end.

    By the way, enlisted in the military do solemnly swear to uphold the obey the orders of those appointed over them, not just the Constitution.  Officers only swear an oath to the Constitution.

    I know where I will stand, for what good it will do.

  •  the U.S. military will not lift a finger (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    to interfere with processes under Congress, SCOTUS, the Justice Dept or a special prosecutor.

    If you are interested in the politics of Proviso Township in Cook County, Illinois, visit Proviso Probe.

    by Carl Nyberg on Wed May 02, 2007 at 03:02:04 PM PDT

  •  They're all individuals. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carl Nyberg

    And it depends on the context and how far they're pushed.

    If someone comes up with a very specific scenario, then what they might do would be more predictable.

    Bush doesn't listen to anyone but the competing voices in his head. The winner he calls "God" and runs with it.

    by dov12348 on Wed May 02, 2007 at 03:06:44 PM PDT

  •  Will the US military defend the Constitution? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    With Stephen J. Hadley and his spook squad don't hold your breath.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Wed May 02, 2007 at 03:09:03 PM PDT

  •  OMG you MUST read the Greenwald (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, marina, corvo

    I don't read the WSJ but that content and commentary is extremely disturbing.

    Stomping on the constitution just so corporations can earn some filthy lucre.

  •  The problem... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexander G Rubio, willb48

    With putting any hopes in the generals or the military as a whole is that one part of them will think that they can do things better.  This isn't to say that some or even most of the military wouldn't stand against Bush trying to take total power.  The problem is that whoever would be at the top of such a move would have to give back said power.

    How often does that actually happen?  It's rare, if it ever happens.  Why would whoever's at the top give back power to a system that allowed a Bush coup to happen?  Of course, they may allow some form of popular governance on a local level, but nothing higher that maybe township govenment would be allowed (imho).

    In this scenario, you'd either wind up with Caesar Bush or Generalisimo someone.  Either one's bad.

    Trust no organizaton bigger than two, and even those are suspect!

    by rjones2818 on Wed May 02, 2007 at 03:28:55 PM PDT

  •  the WSJ has always been the voice of fascism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, bluewolverine, corvo, AllanTBG

    but it's refreshing to see it finally come clean and state their position so clearly.  the essay is amusing and in the classic WSJ editorial style; seemingly erudite but firmly rooted in 'reality' and 'common sense'.  the voice of american fascism lives.

    on a side note, if the WSJ were to be taken over by fox, their editorial page would become more moderate in comparison <shudder>

  •  Must consider the Evangelical aspect..... (0+ / 0-)

    Almost all of the graduates of the Air Force academy have experienced and accepted evangelical indoctrination.  A recent book, by Weinstein, whose son was there goes into detail.

    Bush, with his flouting of principles of separation of church and state, will have the support of the Air Force at the least.

    There is a large African American component in the other branches who tend to be democrats.  So it is not so clear about these services.  

    The other issue is the Secretary of Defense.  He is the conduit of any order to breach the constitution.  I would imagine that Gates would not comply, thus giving less legitimacy to his replacement.

    This would be a replay of Nixon's Saturday night Massacre.  He finally prevailed, but he never survived the political damage.

  •  Plan B for bushco (0+ / 0-)

    ...just in case the military decided to defend our constitution against a tyrant...is Blackwater.

    -7.25 -6.77 ...and the wheels on the bus come off, off, off...

    by Lovo on Wed May 02, 2007 at 04:39:24 PM PDT

    •  The military doesn't like Blackwater (0+ / 0-)

      The pay differential alone has guaranteed poor relations between Blackwater and the professional military.

      We are producing an increasing number of useful goods and services for increasingly useless people. -- Ivan Illich

      by ANKOSS on Wed May 02, 2007 at 05:31:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I honestly don't know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ANKOSS, Alexander G Rubio

    I want to say yes, and the disarray of our ground forces and the treatment of vets at Walter Reid leads my to believe that the Army would not support him in significant numbers.  Nor, I hope, would the Marines Corp, but marines seem to be more fanatical than Army boys and thus may side blindly with the Commander in chief.  

    By some accounts the Air force has been heavily infiltrated by evangelical Christians who might jump at the chance to establish a "Christian Dominion" in America under a Bush dictatorship.

    The way the Navy would go is a complete mystery to me, but it may not matter as they would not participate in ground combat in the capitol.  

    One could argue that if the Marines guarding the White House took their oaths to the Constitution seriously they would have dealt with Bush and his associates themselves long ago, so perhaps we need to narrow the question and game out a scenario.

    Scenario:  Congress demands records/testimony that the Administration refuses to provide on the basis of "executive privilege."  The courts hold, as in the Nixon tapes case, that Bush must turn-over the evidence.  Bush refuses asserting that the courts cannot compel the Executive to act against its prerogatives under Unitary Executive Theory of Constitutional interpretation.  

    The Congress at this point has two options:

    1. Attempt to impeach the President for violating the court order and defying Congressional subpoenas,

    or

    1. forcibly remove the evidence/witness from the White House.

    Assume for the sake of argument that Impeachment is out because Republicans in Congress will refuse to support the Constitution.  That leaves us with option 2.

    There are a couple of ways this could unfold.  Congress could demand the FBI enforce the subpoenas and raid the White House, or congress could dispatch the Sargent at Arms for the House or Senate, backed up by a squad of Capitol Hill Police, to retrieve the papers or person in question.

    The question then becomes, assuming the Speaker of the House or President Pro-tem of the Senate has the courage to order such an action, would the Secret Service or Marine guards at the White House block an FBI task force or Congressional Sargent at Arms from carrying out their duties?  And if such a confrontation occurred would the FBI/Sargent have the courage to simply place those members of the Secret Service/Marine Corps under arrest for obstructing an investigation?  

    Personally I have trouble imagining the Secret Service or Marine Corps Guards going out on a limb for Bush if the SCOTUS rules against him.

    Ultimately much will depend on the courage and determination of the Democrats in congress and on the courage and integrity of the Law enforcement officers charged with enforcing a subpoena against someone or something in the White House.  

    I believe that the harder the Democrats lean on the Administration the more likely it is to fall.  A call may go out for military support in that case but I believe it would be unanswered.  Not because the military is choosing to uphold the Constitution, but rather because they will be unwilling to defended an unpopular President from the consequences of his actions.  

    The military may not be willing to defend the Constitution, but they will be less willing to defend George W. Bush.

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