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[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

Much like Steve Soto, I did not find yesterday’s rejection on the Military Commissions Act a shining act of the good America ultimately triumphing yet again, but rather a depressing, disturbing sight of four fanatical Supreme Court Justices desperately holding up some tablets of bloody authoritarianism in their defiant dissent.  

Despite everything that has gone wrong with countries in ruins, hundreds of thousands dead for nothing but lies, millions of American lives wrecked from economic ruin on a warming planet these utterly impervious men still resolutely resolve to cast aside the most precious tenets of our Democracy at their mere stupid and twisted whims, the roaring howls of human pain and suffering deafening to us just meaning nothing to them.

The great Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings described the thought of just one more vote swinging the decision the other way as "terrifying."  Even after 225 years the path of Democracy is never safe from one of those rare total polarity human social moments of on or off, it seems; one is pregnant or not, rich or poor, democracy or despotism.  As a country we trudged along, came right up to the precipice of tumbling down into anarchy, and barely chose to not cascade down the cliff.

My great unease was only magnified with the knowledge that just recently our country walked right up to another precipice of survival, this time in an economic environment.  After a year of roiling turmoil in the financial markets from the real estate bubble the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke, became the great Socialist of our time in utter desperation, backing up the markets with the Federal Reserve, no questions or collateral asked.  Had he not done so, it is said, and the Second Great Depression would be engulfing us this very second.

Systems theory dictates that for complete failure naturally many sub-systems must fail; when one part or sub-system performs poorly or stops functioning altogether other systems will compensate and degrade, but as a whole the system still performs, just a lot more poorly.  Had Hilzoy’s nightmare come true, what kind of country is left without a Judicial Branch as part of the American system?  Not one anyone would call a Democracy, certainly, sort of a vanilla American fascism, one would guess, other parts of the country simply unable to compensate for a useless system of Law.

A country that claims Democracy must have many functioning systems and paths to trudge, one of which is a methodology for accurately counting votes that accurately results in the will of the people.  Obvious and simple to do, yet, but still absolutely vital.  Longtime readers know it’s my opinion that America walked up to another precipice of Democracy, this time counting votes in Election 2000, and deliberately threw ourselves down the cliff for a series of successive face-smashes we’re still going through.

We went to Off in 2000, we’re not in a Democracy anymore.  Know it or be in denial.

Some would state the rejection of the Military Commissions Act Thursday as a necessary adjustment of the system to sub-system failure.  On a dark day like yesterday I’m much more apt to see it as a process of the system breaking down, a sick sputter and clank of slow morbidity.  Heinous, atrocious acts have already been committed against innocent "detainees," Bush and Cheney still lead us blathering about the Chinese drilling for oil off Cuba and attacking Iran, while all the while the Nazgul of the Republican Party cackle and hiss at the Supreme Court, furious that their authoritarianism is barely denied, their Blue Dog allies planning furtive telecom amnesty in Congress.

Yet for all my fiery proclamations of a stolen election and Democracy Lost I cannot be totally, completely sure that this is in fact what has happened, of course not.  Systems theory states that Election 2006 is a natural response to a one-time failure of 2000 that we will see greatly magnified in 2008.  Naturally it’s my great hope to see the Democracy survive and thrive, so perhaps I’m projecting what I want to happen, but that scenario has to be one of a robust, functioning Democracy.

But still, two such looming canyons of disaster so closely missed into tumbles of anarchy in the last four months in such core central systems, Finance and Justice, that simply is a very ominous sign.  Will America continue to barely avert disaster in a succession of reeling failures from Bush to eventually recover with President Obama as Executive, or will we tumble down some other systems cliff of disaster, just the inevitable result of Bush vs. Gore thieves who started all this Bush insanity?

Is there ever really a way to know when a Democracy truly fails and stops?  There are many ways to possibly answer that question, but it’s absolutely certain that John McCain knows perfectly well how to show us.

Originally posted to paradox on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 11:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anyone know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, Hens Teeth

    ...when one actually starts?

  •  If Everything Were Black and White (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox

    We'd only need one Supreme Court justice.  The conservative idealogues on our Supreme Court got where they are legitimately, and none of the rulings they have made are any sort of a surprise to anyone who followed their careers or their confirmation hearings.

    It's odd when you think about it because obviously the "Founding Fathers" such as they were acknowledged that over the course of time, different aspects of the constitution might be interpreted differently.  In many ways the greatest strength of our democracy (its ability to evolve) can be its greatest weakness when the conditions line up in a certain away.

    I supposed it's "good" that conditions this "bad" are giving those of us on the ground the extra enthusiasm we need to work to win this one.

    ---- now they sit and rattle their bones and think of their bloodstone days...

    by TooFolkGR on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 11:42:03 AM PDT

    •  Pain promotes growth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila

      It is one way to look at it.

    •  We aren't talking about "everything" though... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paradox

      There's a great line in Terry Pratchett's book "Carpe Jugulum": "Well, you have to understand that there's two sides to every argument." "Yes? Well, what do you do when one of them is wrong?" "Well, not everything's black and white." "Of COURSE it is! There's no grey: just white that's got grubby."

      The problem isn't that we have conservative ideologues on the bench, it's that they saw this as something other than an open and shut no-brainer.

  •  Appears off topic, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, Hens Teeth

    but last night reading about this, I thought,  "We DO need to be fighting them here."  Somehow (I was tired) it connected to this then.

    Democracy is in danger of becoming a fading memory.  Especially to the people born since the 1980s.

    We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

    by Silverbird on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

  •  You nailed it, buddy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, Avila, Hens Teeth

    We're in the middle of a collapsing catastrophe curve and everything's gone all frothy. It's true the whole thing might sputter to a halt, but I think transformation is the most likely scenario. Suffice it to say, I'm not making any long range plans. There is absolutely no way to predict what the world will look like in five years.

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