On FB, the other day, someone quoted Sy Hersch's recent long, retrospective article in the New Yorker, on the 10th Anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, where Hersh is asking:
What’s up with our Constitution? How could a small group of hard-line conservatives around President Bush, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and a few neoconservatives so quickly throw us over the cliff? This included not only a war fought on false pretenses but also a system of torture and indefinite detention that, in far too many cases, ran against our laws and values (and was only partially checked by the Supreme Court). It’s not enough to blame it on the fear, anger, and confusion brought on by the 9/11 attacks. What happened to our press corps with its alleged independence and its commitment to the First Amendment and the values of the rest of the Bill of Rights? What about Congressional oversight—laughable in the run-up to the war, and even more laughable today, as American enters its twelfth year of its worldwide War on Terror. Is our Constitution that fragile?And the answer, of course, is YES. It is THAT fragile. and bringing it down was was EASY! Pitifully, painfully, predictably EASY! Piece of cake, in fact. And it could hgave happened at any time in the previous 230 or so years.
The Constitution, the Congress, the Executive, all of Government itself, existed on a knife edge from 1789 until about 1990.
It ALWAYS functioned on nothing more than a sort of "Gentleman's agreement" that the winners oif periodic elections would have won the right to govern until at least the next election.
But it was a tenuous 'peace.' It could have broken at any time. The particicipants coioperated to hold it together. Everybody knew it was fragile. So they were careful. They were polite. They were collegial. Because they new it all hung on an unenforceable agreement.
Until Reagan. Everything that is malign, evil, despicable, wrong, depraved, and foul about our politics today starts with "the Great Communicator," or more precisely, with his handlers and puppeteers.
The Raygunauts came into power on the basis of what, when Benedict Arnold did it, was called treason: Negotiating with the enemy.
Well BEFORE the election of 1980, the Raygunaut/GOPhux (Poppi Bush, and soon-to-be CIA Director Bill Casey), with the assistance of the CIA, met with agents of the Mullahs in Paris, and offered a separate deal to the Iranians holding the US hostages from the Tehran Embassy: If they'd hold 'em til AFTER the presidential election, and deny Carter his "October Surprise," once Jimmeh was gone and Ronnie was in, they'd sell the Iranians arms to fight off Saddam Hussein, whom the US was sponsoring in HIS war on Iran.
The Iranians bought it. Carter didn't get his October Surprise, Reagan "won," and as a token of the agreement, they released the hostages on Raygun's inauguration day. Reagan and the Conservoturds were victorious.
The damage was done, to the 'gentleman's agreement,' however.
It was always vulnerable, of course. It only EVER needed somebody to say: fuck it, I ain't playing by these rules anymore. Until the Raygunauts, however, nobody'e ever pushed the envelope that far. Then it was a done deal, and there was absolutely NOTHING anybody could do to prevent it, nothing anybody could do to UNDO it.
They shat the bed that was our form of government, defiled and befouled it, and beshat, defiled, and befouled it remains to this day.
Enjoy it! Or at least get USED to the stench. Cuz it's not gonna change...