Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

I May Not Be Paranoid Enough…

Posted by Gerald on May 30, 2007

Some friends of mine have recently written blogs about HSPD 20 and NSPD 21, which are Presidential directives dealing with plans for coordinating government functions in case of a major disruption of some sort. You can find those blogs here and here.

There are a couple of possible interpretations. One is that these are simply necessary contingency plans that, given 9/11, it would be irresponsible for the government not to have. Another is that here we see the blueprint for a Bush Administration seizure of power and suspension of constitutional government.

Before I go on, let me say something. I not only dislike the current administration, in the same way that I disliked the first Bush Presidency and came to dislike the Reagan Presidency (“Hello, my name is Gerald, and I am a recovering Republican”), I HATE this administration. I believe it has pushed the idea of an Imperial Presidency to heights that Richard Nixon couldn’t have imagined. The supreme arrogance this gang has displayed and their total lack of regard for any of the customary limits on Presidential power has done more, in my less-than-humble opinion, to damage the Republic than all of the scandals of the Nixon, Reagan/Bush, and Clinton years combined. Its foreign policy has turned most of the world firmly against us. Ido not like these guys, and I do not trust these guys.

That having been said, I really do not think that this is a plot from the “X-Files” film or from “Seven Days in May.”  My understanding is that this was produced in the aftermath of 9/11.  If we look at this from that perspective, we can see how typical this document is as a product of this administration.  Given the strike on the Pentagon and the widely held assumption that Flight 93 was on its way to Washington as well, making these sorts of plans is not only understandable, but quite responsible.

The plan itself though?

First, as Virushead pointed out in her blog, concentrating all of the decision making power in one place doesn’t necessarily make much sense.  It is, however, right in line with the demonstrated Bush worldview – heavily concentrated top-down management is the way to go.  Look at the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.  The immediate move by the administration was to centralize control in the name of efficiency.  Whether it is really efficient or not, I think it is clear that these guys THINK it is.

Second, we can see here once again the way in which this administration constantly seeks to expand the powers of the executive.  It uses the President’s administrative powers in a way that may not violate the letter of the Constitution, but which seemingly violates the spirit of the idea of a division of powers.  Again, here we see something this administration has done repeatedly – violate customary usage, but remain within the letter of the law.  For another example we need look no further than the firing of the U.S. Attorneys.  The President has the perfect right to do that, but previous Presidents have been more concerned with the effectiveness of the Justice Department than with creating a long-term political footprint.

Finally, we see here the arrogance of this White House.  Seeing themselves as holding a mandate from God to govern the country, they are unconcerned with the customary limitations and usages of electoral power.  They also do not think deeply – to what their actions can mean for the long-term stability of the Republic.  They have no historic sense.  The man at the center is unengaged and superficial and his closest advisers are only concerned with positioning the Republican party for the next election.

I almost wish these guys were trying to prepare for some Machiavellian plot.  I don’t think they are trying to burn the Constitution.  I’m afraid they are unwittingly eroding it in the name of simplistic solutions and short-term political expediency.

But then, I may not be paranoid enough.

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5 Responses to “I May Not Be Paranoid Enough…”

  1. bridgett said

    Hey, I’m digging the new digs. Welcome to WordPress!

  2. grbosch said

    Thanks. I’m much happier already.

  3. imfunny2 said

    And, no, sir, you are not yet paranoid enough…
    I have a feeling you’ll get there before 2009….

    Welcome to WordPress.

  4. Heidi said

    Nice blog! Great post! I look forward to reading more.

    Thanks for the mention, too.

  5. ClapSo said

    Oh Gerald, if we could just get more of the dem and repub addicts into recovery like you. We could move away from the drug of choice two party system.

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

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