A Thought

When I woke up this morning, there was a strange and persistent thought pre-loaded in my head, maybe from a dream but maybe not.

Later, I read this, by Tristero, over at Digby’s place, and re-read this, by Glenn Greenwald.

I just want to throw this into the general discourse, without, at this point, examining it very closely or crafting any arguments for or against it. It’s only a thought right now.

It’s that George W. Bush may have no intention of leaving the White House in early 2009, when his term expires.


Comments: 72


You just figured that out?

Here is what will happen. 30 days before the election ‘Al Qaueda’ will release a video of Osama bin Laden wherein he says:

‘The brave warriors of Allah have succeeded in emplacing nuclear device which we liberated from the vile god-deniers of Russia with the Los Angeles city limits in the Great Satan’s homeland. Unless the Great Satan acts immediately to remove every single one of its crusaders from Muslim lands we will detonate it. You have 24 hours to accede to our demand. Allah is with us!’

Bush immediately goes on TV and declares martial law. Has every Demcrat in the Congress arrested as ‘enemy combatants’ and leaves for Crawford saying from the steps of Air Force One: ‘I know many will feel the loss of Los Angeles is a terrible blow but we ARE AT WAR AND I AM COMMANDER IN CHIEF. I make the decisions and this is one that WITH GOD’S HELP I have made.’

FOX shows footage of the Democratic ‘leaders’ of Congress being loaded into paddywagons for the long trip to…

My question to you.

What will you do about it?


Not going to happen – the military would frogmarch his ass out if they even sniffed something like that out.


“the military would frogmarch his ass out if…”

some of them would, hopefully most.

See, Bush CAN make you hopeful about the future.


I have long thought he has no plan to leave. Bush has completely convinced himself that only he can protect Amurrika. I’m not sure that if democrats win one house of congress he won’t try to prevent that new congress from being seated. Delusional may not go far enough.


Well, being a sunny-side-of-life type of guy, I prefer to think of an incipient fascist society as the tombstone of American Exceptionalism.

It’ll make it kinda hard for those who took their elementary school history books a little too seriously to keep chirping about how unique and special and morally righteous we Murkins are, and hey, I’ll take my pleasures where I can find them at that point.


Remember, Bush is lazy. He barely seems to want the responsibility he has now, let alone for another several terms. Although, he may just delegate everything and play X-Box all day. Someone needs to investigate the work ethic of Pinochet or other banana republic dictators so we can draw a better parallel.


Bush is just a figurehead. His job is to play the part of Mr Ordinary Guy — who has a whole bunch of Mr Spocks to ask for advice but who ultimately is the Decider. He is an actor and thus replaceable.

If they are prepared to go as far as you think, the long term plan would be to make the voting entirely digital, so that any fraud is nearly impossible to detect. Much tidier and more refined.


I think that’s probably an overreaction. Folks on the left have been predicting some sort of power grab for years now, and while it made sense three years ago, I think it’s unlikely now. Shocking as it is, all the torture bill did was acknowledge something that the government’s been doing all along anyway. More significantly, this whole sick mess has made the military and intelligence leadership pull away from the White House. Given that he’s already lost the support of the CIA and FBI, I doubt the White House has the capacity to pull off a power grab like that.

Of course, you don’t NEED the military for an authoritarian regime – you can always use the angry mob and rule by the tyrannous majority. And frankly, Captain Sub-40%-Approval-Ratings isn’t going to be able to pull that one off, either.

At this point, Bush is sort of like Saddam Hussein in his last days in Iraq – he really wants to control the world, but it’s hard to do when you’re toothless.


Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government . . .

So it all comes down to definitions: what does “light and transient” mean? What exactly is a “usurpation”? Do we actually recognize “Despotism” when we see it? Most importantly, for how much longer are these “evils” going to be considered “sufferable”?

Just sayin’ . . .


I’ve long thought that if Hillary (or Russ Feingold, or ..) was looking to run away with the election, that GWB would figure out an excuse not to hand over these great new powers he’s won to (to him) the enemy.


My nightmare is that the next Republican President chosen by the Supreme Court will keep Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice for eight more years.


That’s funny. In 1992 I used to have the very same paranoid thoughts about Bush 41: will he really leave office to let Clinton take over, or will he declare a coup? And of course 41 was child’s play compared to his scion.

So, to answer the question, I can’t say whether 43 will actually leave. Anything’s possible at this strange moment in the history of our republic.


Given that a large number of current and ex-military brass (including generals) have expressed dissatisfaction with this regime, I like to believe that Bush would never be able to stage a coup. Also given that Bush’s angry mob support is in the low 40’s and many of them are fighting keyboarders, that makes that option less likely.

Like Dr. BDH, I am more concerned about the back-room boys who really pull the strings: they can dump Bush in a heartbeat and still stay in power. I keep thinking that sooner or later Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Perle, et al have to pass on, but then I remember they have no souls, so…


From where I’m sitting, it seems possible. It relies on two things:

1: A big enough attack on America that Bush can use to rally the sheep behind him long enough to make the demonization of liberalism and opposition an official and explicit platform, rather than an implied one through the punitocracy.

2: Repeal of the 22nd Amendment. Unfortunately, Democratic House minority Whip Steny Hoyer tilts at this windmill annually, pooh poohing fears of “Bush for life”. Great. Thanks Steny. So, Steny porposes, Republicans hem and haw long enough to look “principaled”, OMFG, AMERICA IS NUIKED!!! Bang, Republicans flip, Yellow Dog dems cave faster than an uninspected mine, and the bill is rammed through. Don’t worry, this fall’s election is not in the bag for Bush, and besides, FDR ran wartime elections, so will Bush. And thanks to Diebold and republican election officials, he will.

That’s all it needs, and every RINO/Republican and apathetic individual will never realize that democracy is gone. All they need is the flimsiest of shrouds to maintain their delusions, and it’s Good German time.

If that happens, it’ll end in war. Period.

That’s nightmare scenario #1.

I’m glad to see all the republican candidates imploding lately. George Allen was the Freeper Pick for Prez, and he’s not going to recover from his exposed racism. Unfortunately, I don’t trust even moderate republicans with the power the President now has. The _best_ we’re going to get is another Reagan that way.


First thing you would see is a movement in congress to repeal whichever admendment it was that imposed term limits. Pretend to play nice.
Then call for a halt of elections due to “security related concerns”. Put into place an “emergency parlamentry panel” in leu of Congress, of course establish a Homeland Security Emergency Overwatch, a Special Presidential Term Extention….

Yeah, i could see them trying that.


Well, one things for sure: The Republican Party doesn’t seem to think that there will ever be another non-Republican President, given all the power that Congress has gifted to the Executive. Give a Democratic president the power to torture, spy on American citizens, and hold people in indefinite detention without charge? Give me a break. It would have the wingnuts screaming totalitarianism, facism, and so on so loud it would cause the Internet to collapse.


I don’t buy it. First, as others have said, half the gov’t. and military hate Bush, which means they’d hate anyone who took Bush’s side.

Second, anyone and everyone could make the case that the “attack,” however real or faked, proves once and for all their incompetence. You don’t change horses in the middle of a stream, but you do if the one you’re on is drowning.

Third, Kyle’s point about Bush being lazy is exactly right. I think he can’t wait for this all to be over, so he can a) drink openly again, b) play golf forever, and c) work out an “arrangement” with Laura.

Plus, they couldn’t pull it off if they wanted to. I mean, just look at them.



I don’t know, Mr. W. The only thing they CAN pull off is getting elected and keeping office. I mean, just look at them.



Well, being a sunny-side-of-life type of guy, I prefer to think of an incipient fascist society as the tombstone of American Exceptionalism.

It’ll make it kinda hard for those who took their elementary school history books a little too seriously to keep chirping about how unique and special and morally righteous we Murkins are, and hey, I’ll take my pleasures where I can find them at that point.

Ha. Because, if we Americans are known for anything, it’s our dedication to a brutally honest accounting of our own history.

Oh well… An optimist under every bed.


I’d love to agree with you, MrWonderful, but what I see is this:

-Bush has been lazy all along. That never mattered; he’s never run things. The people who actually run things, like Cheney, don’t really need Bush in particular, but he sure is a handy lightning rod–the Dunce Duce.

-The parts of the gov’t that hate Bush are easily overruled, and their functions taken over by the private sector, who love the whole Bush bunch. The military is one of those parts of government, and contains revoltingly racist and retrograde elements who also love the whole Bush bunch (road trip to Fayettenam!). Lest this be seen as nutty burbling, count the private sector fighters already in place in Iraq, like Custer Battles and Blackwater, and the private sector prisons, law enforcement, and intelligence that are in place in the US (think Wackenhut).

-9/11 definitively demonstrated the incompetence of the Bush administration, and Joe Sixpack still seems to trust Li’l George. In fact, there appears to be a sizable chunk of the population that supports Li’l George no matter how badly he behaves. Add the Dieboldery of our electoral process to the impenetrable stupidity of that piece of Red America, and the persistence of Cheneyism in the Oval Office looks frighteningly real.

I think that we need to get out more than the vote here, folks.


1) I think we will end up with Jeb who will be “forced” to take the R nomination for “the good of the country” after a dirty campaign, outragopus voter suppression and bogus vote counting his pet Supreme court will appoint Jeb. aftyer another 8 years of another Bush no one will remember what this country was suppopse to be about.

2) the idea of the our mercenary military assuming the role of the Roman legions and Janissaries as the savior of the republic is disgusting and false. Military, espiacially mercenary forces such as we now have, cannot be counted as to caring about anything but themselves. If they had any principles they would have refused to obey illegal orders to pursue an illegal war. Since the generals were obviously more interested in thier pensions then the country they obeyed orders got thier pension for thier criminial activity and now try to be defenders of the constition while collecting thier dole from the government for the crimes they now decry.
The idea that we as a country are counting on a group of war criminials to save us is beyond the pale.


I don’t know. We have been in a strange and ugly time for some years now. Maybe it’s moving toward real political violence. I do not say that to be provocative. Think of the Bonus Marchers in Washington. Or the Civil War.

American political institutions have collapsed in the past, and sometimes the resolution has been required to be extra-political and decided in blood. I don’t welcome any such resolution to our current dilemmas, but neither do I see any signs of conciliation (or sanity) from our opponents on the right.


I think a lot of people here are giving way too much credit to the Administration. They’re not the Illuminati. I honestly believe that a lot of what the Administration (and the GOP in general) has gotten away with has been due to sheer dumb luck rather than some sort of political mastery.

Looking at it another way – we’re all in agreement that the GOP is currently in control of the federal government, right? What exactly have they done with this control? Very little. We’re in the odd position of having a political party that controls the reigns of power, yet is totally impotent in bringing about change. I think that can be chalked up to incompetence. Cheney and Co. may be evil, but they’re not smart, or at least not as smart as we’ve been giving them credit.

Even the torture bill – disgusting and abberant as it was – didn’t mean that much. The gov’t has been using “extraordinary rendition” and arresting people without habeus corpus rights since the PATRIOT Act came out. All that’s changed is that they’re no longer denying it. The fact that the Repub congressmen seem to be ignoring the possibility that a Dem president might gain control of these powers can be chalked up to shortsightedness. Remember: don’t attribute to malice what can be easily attributed to stupidity.

Here’s the bottom line – back in 2003, there were people spreading omens that the White House was going to suspend the elections, institute martial law and start rounding up dissidents. At the time, Bush’s approval ratings were in the high 70’s and people were still getting forced off the air for criticising him. If the above scenario didn’t happen then – arguably at the height of the President’s power – what makes you think it’ll happen now?

Sorry about the long posts, but you guys are really overreacting here.


Yeah – you just got that?


Drew Johnston, good post, although truthfully I cannot rule out a Bush 43 coup. Christ, we just gave that psychopath the power to decide which people, American citizens or otherwise, should spend the rest of their lives in jail, under threat of torture, without charges or trial.

I liked this from your blog:

Why is it that so many people still refuse to see that An Inconvenient Truth is not about partisan politics or campaigning for 2008, but about exercising our own moral responsibility to our planet before it is too late?

Whatever our moral responsibility to the planet may be, it looks like the planet may be shaking us miserable humans loose, sooner rather than later. And I can’t blame Mother Earth on that one.


Mr. Johnston–

I’m not sure where you live, but the “very little” that this Administration has managed to pull off or build on–remember, Bush didn’t come out of nowhere; he had Reagan and his dad laying the groundwork, with Clinton not rocking the boat–includes openly spying on citizens; defying the FOIA with impunity; gutting the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act; gutting labor law and workplace safety law; setting a precedent that presidents may defy Congress with no consequences; violating the Posse Comitatus Act…why go on ? All this has gone on against a background of corporations unregulated, with media access limited to a small number of large outfits, with military and police powers in private hands,

Also–there’s no need to seize power when one has high approval ratings–one just does as one wishes. Power seizures occur when you need to force the issue.

But hey, we’re only talking about repudiating habeas corpus, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments, the Geneva Conventions, any form of progressive taxation, any ecological regulation, and any public oversight of governmental function. We’re overreacting. It just ain’t that bad.


The military will never go against Bush’s commands. They’ve sacraficed their careers and destroyed their army in Iraq at his behest. They work for him in our system.

The only thing that stops my scenario is an enraged citizenry. And I don’t see that.



Boy, will my face be red if Bush doesn’t start the Fourth Reich before 2008. I’ve made such a big deal out of all the crimes the Bush administration has committted that my friends and family will laugh at me if nothing comes of it. So let’s get the party moving, G Dub.

The media might start freaking out if Bush arrests some white, middle class Americans. Brown Americans, furriners, and brown furriners are AOK, though.


Whew! Thank goodness I dropped in. I got here just in time.

One word. Fugeddaboutit. Seriously. Let your heads rest easy on the pillow. This is at least ONE nightmare scenario that will NOT come to pass.

Folks, the professional military takes their oath VERY fucking seriously. Oh, I know, there’s some folks at the very topmost levels who go political, but the Captains, Majors and Colonels do not. They believe in EXACTLY what they say they believe in. If the residents of 1600 tried it, it would be a brief, ugly standoff. And they would back down, or they would be taken into custody. Honestly, guys, you do your professional military a bit of a dis-service by even believing in the possibility of something like this.

Let me say it clearly. A whole bunch of VERY good people have sworn an oath to protect and defend the constitution, and they believe in that oath, and will offer their lives in it’s name. If you want to see the full wrath of a military that believes in civilian rule, go ahead, make my day. I’m not saying this administration isn’t detached enough from reality to try it, I’m just saying that they’d last 48 hours MAX before their little coup was shut down. Hard or soft, shut down.

Please. Seriously. Have a little faith in your uniformed bretheren. When they said what they said with their hand raised, enough of them meant it that no civilians are going to be allowed to do something like that. And don’t think they haven’t discussed it among themselves…



The GOP doesn’t need a coup. Even if they lose a presidential election or two, they have succeeded in pushing the whole country to the right.

They’ve already got another George Bush in line to do their bidding, anyway. His name is John McCain. He’ll be even more suited to their needs than Bush. He’s just as much of a whore as Bush but he’s not as stupid so he won’t be as embarrassing in public. The perfect successor. The “maverick” will give the military industrial complex all the wars it wants.


I hope mikey’s right and I know that JK47 is on the money. St McCain is a VERY large danger.


I’m just not sure how to say this. The military isn’t a bunch of Aliens or Argentinans that were dropped in from outer space. They’re your sons, your daughters, your dads and your aunts. You KNOW these people. It’s not special except in the sense that it is a VERY special job. You don’t just decide to try it. You invest a part of your life in your country and it’s values. Right Wing, Left Wing, it matters a lot less. You have a very clear set of rules, and those rules guide your life and your actions. You could have a Colonel who really likes bush, believes in everything he says, who would nonetheless lay siege to the white house and arrest the paticipants, simply because he answers to a higher authority than that. The constitution. Jeez, you guys, give these people some credit. They read, the news and history, they think, they’re your neighbors fer crissakes. Ask them yourself, you don’t believe me….



mikey is right.

Smiling Mortician

I hear you, mikey. I think one of the things that’s got everyone jumpy is that there’s this other guy who raised his right hand and swore to uphold the constitution, and, well, he just succeeded in getting a few hundred elected lawmakers who also swore to uphold the constitution — a disturbing number of them not in his own party — to pass a bill that retroactively legalizes many of the unconstitutional outrages he’s been committing for the past several years so that he can now continue to commit them until such time as a reasonable Supreme Court decides that the constitution was pretty good before they fucked with it.

Nobody here trusted Bush for five minutes, so I know it’s not the same. But still, when you watch the constitution get shredded like that, so quickly, so easily, so publicly, so casually . . . makes it seem that any abomination is possible.


Mikey, I’m really, really sorry, but I’ve got to disagree in part. Most of the military is indeed the face of America, with values to match–but they’re in a strict hierarchy, propagandized 24/7, and subjected to all manner of weird peer pressure. Normal people end up doing some very regrettable things under such pressures–as you have witnessed, Mikey.

In addition, jobs that offer access to weapons and explosives and life-and-death authority over others tend to attract some very bad individuals. Check out the SFPD for examples. There have been elements in the military who have been seriously talking about the unfitness of civilian authorities to command the military for a couple of decades now–these neo-Praetorians went as far as to make subtle threats against Clinton’s life, during that administration.

Most soldiers, like most Americans, go along to get along. If their heirarchial superior tells them to do certain things, they will. That was the point of the Stanford Prison Experiment; that was the point of the Milgrom authority experiment; that’s how the Whiskey Rebellion and the Bonus Army were put down. Add in the hard-core racist elements that have made a home in many military units over the years (North Carolina’s reportedly got a real problem with this one) and the non-accountable mercenaries of outfits like Blackwater, and I think this is a problem worth considering.

After this many years of meat-grinder in Iraq, you’s think that there’d be more large-scale mutiny. Its absence is not a reassuring sign.


Mikey, my father, a retired Major from Viet Nam, now stands perilously close to actually believing in ceding plenary power to the Exec. He also told me yesterday that the only difference between Al Qaeda and a democrat is the turban.

I’m very disappointed in him.


Doc: Maybe my memory is flawed, but I’m pretty sure most of what you’ve described happened during 2001-2002, when the Democrats still held one house of Congress. As you may recall, after 9/11 everyone was so shocked that the Dems let the White House have whatever they wanted. Still, this was BEFORE the Republicans grabbed both houses in November 2002. My point was that the GOP hasn’t done anything since gaining control. They certainly haven’t declared themselves rulers-for-life.

Apparently I haven’t said this with enough force: the President does not have military support. The President does not have popular support. Unless Dick Cheney has covertly replaced the Cabinet with the Justice League, I don’t think we’re in trouble.

Also, don’t imply that I’m bad because I’m not sounding the klaxons over some theoretical power grab that I’ve been warned is around the corner since 2002. The pariah complex doesn’t become you.


Most soldiers, like most Americans, go along to get along. If their heirarchial superior tells them to do certain things, they will

Sorry. Myth. Sqads follow their Sergeant. Platoons follow their Ell Tee. Companies follow Ell Tee or Captain. And battalions – well, you get it. If the Cap’n says take the white house, we’re gonna take the white house.

Please stop thinking of the American military as something “other” than us It IS us except it has a “duty” beyond a job. I’m tellin ya, it’ll never happen.

After this many years of meat-grinder in Iraq, you’s think that there’d be more large-scale mutiny

Not fair. For the most part, they have not been given illegal orders. They do their duty. Iraq is a policy nightmare, but there is no legal justification for dereliction. They haven’t been confronted, on a large scale, with that. But canceling elections? That’s going to get at least half the units out of their barracks and looking for instructions…



Unless Dick Cheney has covertly replaced the Cabinet with the Justice League, I don’t think we’re in trouble.

Oh, god, no. We’re in trouble. Desparate trouble. These asshats still have power. It’s just that we’re not in trouble THAT way. That’s all…



I work for a man who served as a Marine corporal in combat in Vietnam. In a lot of ways he’s a better liberal than me. His family was dirt poor in mining country, and he believes in organized labor in his bones. Yet he also believes in that asshole John McCain. I don’t believe without reservation that the military would oppose a Bush coup. Yes, this is paranoia, but these are paranoid times.


You think Mr. George “my finest moment as president was that stocked fish that I caught” W. “now watch this drive” Bush wants to president for another four years? No way.

And are we now looking forward to the military coup that will save our country? Say, wha-huh?


“I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

What if only thirty percent of the combat guys really believe this. You really believe they’d lose? Come ON, lets worry about something we NEED to worry about…



Oh, I realize we’re basically fucked, Mikey. I just think the scenario that’s being described here is perhaps a bit dramatic.

Here’s what’s really gonna happen; whoever the Republican candidate ends up being, someone from the current administration will end up working his/her way into the new one. It might not be the whole crew, but if the Repub wins, we’ll end up being run by the same pricks for another 4 years. It’s not as sexy as the President declaring martial law, but it’s a lot more likely. Hell, it’s already happened once – the only real difference between this White House and the Reagan White House is the personable doofus out front.


30-50 split, with 20% sitting it out or unavailable and mercenary forces supporting the 50%? Yeah, I’m still worried.

I’ve got plenty of friends who spent time in uniform–I work with some fairly high-ranking reservists, some of whom are likely to get mobilized fairly soon, alas. I’m no stranger to military people, and grew up in the Bay Area when Treasure island NAS, Oak Knoll Naval Hospital, Oakland Army Base, Travis AFB, etc., etc., were very large presences. I have no illusions about people in the service–and what the service often does to them. Friends of mine who have entered the military often scare hell out of me with the stuff that comes out of their mouths–I grew up with some of them, and know that the weird stuff they now say didn’t come from their formative years. I’m not sure what they’re playing on AFN these days, but it ain’t Pacifica Radio, y’know?


I’m sure Mikey is right. Anyway, my dad’s too old to do anything during a coup. And I still respect my Dad’s service, but I’m sorry he’s getting weird now.


1) Remember that the only people wearing the US uniform are MERC’s with the ethics of the same.

2) Most of the criminials wearing the unifoprm ( redundant statement) believe that Saddam was directly involved in 9/11. Really how stupid can they get.

3) The military has no other job but pulling a trigger with or with out orders. Hopw many massacres, torture of prisoners, rape and obscene behavior have we heard about from the prisons to Fallujah through massacred villages and raped 14 year olds? And that only what we have heard of. guareenteed there is a large multiple of these events that have gone unreported even though many in the military may know of them but since protecting thier brothers in atroicities is more important then ethics they are swept under the rug “for the good of the service”.

4) The Chinese military were the brothers, fathjers and relatives of those in Tianenmen but that didn’t stopp that massacre. Ask the Copper miners in Idaho who were murdered by US troops in the early 1900’s or the Bonus marchers who were slaughtered by US troops in the 30’s or the Labor movement as to how thier fellow cvitizens treated them. This doesn’t even talk about the African Americans who were lynched by the military in the south.
The idea that people who fight for the yankee dollar wouldn’t massacre americans is naive. Espiacially after years of polarization of US v. them from the right. With “good” christian ministers blessing them with across they would march on San Francisco ( as an example) with a song on thier lips and blood lust in what little shred of soul they may still have.

5) I do beklieve that the present junta will try to “legiotimize” there coup with an coprrupt election and that the bushhy’s don’t trust, or reward, anyone that isn’t blood so I still believe that Jeb will be forced upon us in 08 to continue the “royal” line.


I’ve thought a lot about this over the past couple years. I too would like to think he can’t do it, but then I never thought he’d be able to shred the Constitution the way he has. I think to stay in power past 2008, he’d have to engineer some kind of emergency.

Maybe the voting machines aren’t designed to rig the election. Maybe they’re designed to fuck up so badly that Bush can just invalidate the election. He’d schedule a new election for some later time. Maybe there’d be some big attack forcing him to delay further. Once he’s into it a bit, he can probably drag it out indefinitely.

Anyway, we’ll find out. For some inexplicable reason, even after the past 5 years, I’m optimistic he can’t pull it off, even if he does try.


They’ll blame Diebold

The sorts of fraud you have to use with conventional voting technology are so overt that you can’t switch more than a fraction of 1% without doing things that make the fraud obvious. You can’t get away with much unless the other side’s poll watchers have been corrupted or intimidated, which is usually possible only in select small-vote-total rural precints.

The beauty of e-voting, at least the forms we have now that lack an effective paper audit, is that there is no limit on the magnitude of the swing that is quite possible to achieve without any obvious cheating. The machines are black boxes. Their operation could be scrupulously observed by the most impartial of observers, but their software could have been tampered with so that they report results 50% off the true vote tally as easily as 0.5% off, and no one the wiser.

This is a win-win for the Republicans. For races that they are not too far behind in the polls, they can have their friends at Diebold slip in malware to give them the victory. Where a victory for their side would be just too outrageously at variance with polling results, they can have these same friends slip them plausible evidence that the software might have been tampered with. The results of these races would then be challenged, on grounds impossible to ever prove or disprove. They would do this sort of challenge in 2006 for enough House and Senate races that Dems apparently won, that control of both chambers would remain in their hands, once the challenged seats are subtracted. In 2008, they would do this for enough states that there would be insufficient electoral votes to make either of the candidates President, thereby leaving Bush in office until the matter was resolved by Congress. But since Congress would still be controlled by Republicans, somehow the matter would elude resolution indefinitely.


America is being liquidated; jobs, manufacturing, education, influence, military power, the middle class, values, et al., everything is for sale.


“the only real difference between this White House and the Reagan White House is the personable doofus out front.”

Shit, the only difference between this White House and the Nixon White House is that some of the players are now bald and a little thicker around the waist.

Oh, and the fact that after Nixon imploded they got together for a thorough debriefing on how to get it right the next time.

a different brad

Frankly, if you wanna break out the paranoid theories, I have a doozy.
Shrub gets assassinated, first half of 08.
Cheney is president, decides to run. Surfs shrub’s corpse to victory. Blames liberal bloggers aided by Al Qaeda, Iran, and Saddam. All fuck hell breaks loose.

I don’t think Bush staying is going to happen. It’d be too blatant. The particular figurehead acting as chief salesman doesn’t matter so long as the network now in place isn’t disrupted, so even McCain will work, considering how well they seem to have broken him in.


“Shrub gets assassinated, first half of 08”

I think they’d find it easier to rig a suicide.

Either way, same effect.

You’re right about the network thing, though. The puppet is much less important.


Laura Bush won’t let the cocksucker stay. She’s already close to a nervous breakdown “wandering the halls demanding Rumsfeld’s resignation.”


“Laura Bush won’t let the cocksucker stay.”

Why not? Sure let’s her off the hook…


I’m with mikey and JK47. I don’t think the military would stand for it. All of the people I know in the mlitary, save maybe two, do so because they want to serve their country, not because they want to serve their president. And when they saw the constitution being threatened like that, they’d remember their oath and be able to do the right thing.

Moreover, I don’t think Bush would want to stay in office. It isn’t fun anymore. Back when he first got elected and everybody loved him, he had the kewlest job ever. Even after 9/11, his approval ratings were high, everybody was totally nice to him, and all he really had to do was play a few rounds of Risk before retiring to his ranch to cut some brush. Now, though, people aren’t being nice to him, his administration is starting to be called on its crap, and his job is no longer awesome. I suspect he’s got January 2009 marked on his calendary with a big happy face sticker, because that’s when he can stop having to pretend to care about the country and start drawing government pension.

The scary thing to me is that when Bush is out of office, the real baby eaters – Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld – will remain, and they’re the ones who have been pulling the strings of the administration all along. And the fact is, Gary Ruppert, that they don’t need Bush after 2008. All they need is some kind of world event serious enough to get the American people scared, but not serious enough that the American people realize how the administration has fallen down on the job of truly protecting them. Once they’ve got a brand-new puppet in the White House (and I’m not sure it would be John McCain; he drinks the Kool-Aid, but I think in the end, he’d be too capable of independent thought for them to control him consistently), they’ve already got legislation in place to give him, and through him, them, the power of a king. Same old administration, brand new puppety figurehead.

So don’t worry. I mean, yeah, we’re screwed, but it’s not going to happen like you’re thinking.


Now that I think about it, maybe this is why the administration was so quick to deny allegations that Osama bin Laden has died of some kind of disease. Think of what it would mean for them:

1. The administration never brought him to justice and will now never get the chance.
2. There will now be no more videos with a tall, creepy tan dude reminding the American people that we’re in terrible danger and need the administration to protect us.

Does the Congressional Quarterly have a classifieds section?

Casting Call
One actor – video work for syndication. Non-union, uncredited.
Gender: Male
Age: 65+
Ethnicity: Brown
Hair: Gray
Build: 6’5″, lanky
Discretion a must. Firearms experience and fluency in Arabic a bonus. Send resume, head shot, classified security clearance to krove@whitehouse.gov.


I don’t think it’s quite as simple as just Bush staying in power, but I do think the neocon goal is toward a similar end, just with a different means.

There’s a thick stripe of idealism in neoconservativism. Probably comes from the roots a lot of them have in Trotskyist communism – Bill Kristol’s parents were both Trotskyites back in the day, for instance.

The stuff they peddle now is a creepy blend of Milton Friedman’s politics/economics and Leo Strauss’ contempt for the hoi polloi and peculiar ideas on reading and meaning (which could lead into an interesting tangent about why evolution-deniers from right wing think tanks like the Discovery Institute often sound like radical feminists, but that’s a story for another time).

Strauss is probably best known for his embrace of the “noble lie” – that political leaders are under no obligation to be truthful to those whom the govern, who couldn’t handle the truth anyway. Little people need little truths to keep them in line – like God, patriotism, and father figure leaders.

Now, please don’t misread me into saying that Leo Strauss was a Nazi, because that’s not what I’m trying to do here….Straussianism and National Socialism are two distinct trains of thought, with different origins. That being said….there is a good bit of overlap in this particular area of their ideas between what Leo Strauss thought and what the Nazi political machine did. Nazis embraced or created simple cultural myths for their people to follow – thus, the endless sloganeering: “Gott Mit Uns”, “Blut und Boden”, “Kuche, Kirche, und Kinder”. I’m not saying Strauss would have approved of their ends. but I don’t see how he could argue much with their means.

This, incidentally, is why people keep getting the creepy Nazi/fascist vibe from the current administration – it has nothing to do with Bush being like Hitler, and everything to do with Bush being surrounded by dangerous, anti-humanist idealists who hold the simple minded rabble of this country in a paternalistic contempt.

Sorry for being longwided here….utlimately, I think what the neocons want is a nice, proud father figure to run this country on their terms. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Bush…in fact, I don’t think he’d even work at this point; his popularity is too damaged. If they can’t get Bush to work out, they’ll keep trying until they find the right guy. I doubt Bush will care much; he’s not really an idealist like some of these guys are. If not Bush, then someone else. The end result will be the same.

Consider the current administration their test run. Then think how much worse it will be once they’ve tweaked their operations to be more efficient.

Notorious P.A.T.

FOX shows footage of the Democratic ‘leaders’ of Congress being loaded into paddywagons for the long trip to…

More like “FOX shows footage of the Democrats in Congress willingly entering paddywagons for fear of being seen as ‘week on terrorism'”.

Notorious P.A.T.

Mikey, I do have a lot of trust in our military personnel. But I also look at our military and see a broken, exhausted force, most of whom is currently deployed halfway across the world. I know they would LIKE to stop a Bush coup, but are they CAPABLE of doing it any time soon?


The military need not agree to a Shrub dictatorship in order for one to occur. Here’s how it could go: at some point in ’07 or ’08 (think October Surprise ’08), there is a major “terrorist” incident on par with 9/11 if not worse. If it happens to be caused by real terrorists, fine, but the CIA will do in a pinch. It would be even better if there were several incidents over a couple of days that added up to 9/11-like casualty figures. In any event, due to the “serious” threat to the very survival of our nation, the Chimp declares a “temporary” state of martial law, and that seems very legitimate to the majority of the military. After all, it’s only a “temporary” thing. A few may note that the Chimp-In-Chief is pretty vague about how long this “state of emergency” will last. The ’08 elections are “postponed,” once again for a nebulous amount of time, in the grand tradition of tinhorn dictators everywhere.
Congress hastily votes to allow the Preznit to enact law through Executive Orders. Arbusto immediately reinstates the draft. Eventually, Congress is either partially of fully dissolved. Shrub begins replacing state Governors with generals and admirals. A great many people begin to disappear, most of them die-hard administration critics. A severe crackdown is initiated on the interwebs, where left blogsylvainia evaporates overnight. Surprisingly, there are as many right-wing blogs and as much porn as ever–unless, of course, they have ever expressed a critical thought about the Preznit. Sully is never heard from again, but the PowerToolz are all safely accounted for.
By this point, the ones who might have wondered when the super-special state of emergency might actually come to an end have either been disappeared or sent to serve on the front lines of any number of seething colonial wars. Thirty or forty years go by before there is a rebellion, which goes fairly much unnoted as we had dragged the rest of the world down with us into barbarism.
And we all lived happily ever after. Teh End.


The Right doesn’t need to stage something as messy as a coup to stay in power. They can steal an election.

And regarding the military —mikey, I love you and agree with you 99% of the time, but doesn’t the oath cut both ways? If the military believes, or is led to believe that the power grab is legitimate, then their oath will ensure that they follow along like good soldiers.

What happens if martial law is declared? The military follows along, correct?

If some terrorist act occurs close to the election – staged or otherwise (I wouldn’t put it past them, but really, they don’t need to stage it because Al Quaeda will oblige them) – Bush and Cheney declare martial law and suspend the election, I think the military would support it. AFter all, it’s the Commander in Chief.


Hey, anything can happen, and given enough cover in world events, they could get away with it for a while. But I’ll make 2 points here. First, all it would take is a small subset of the military. An armored brigade and a fighter squadron would be enough. Our guys would not rush out to fight each other. They just wouldn’t. And the cover would have to be airtight – if it looked like a duck and walked like a duck, they would stop it anyway.

The second point addresses Marq’s nightmare scenario. The hole in your theory is just who, exactly, would carry out these ‘disappearances’ of Americans? You need too much complicity, too many bad people willing to do things they don’t believe in. I have complete certainty that, in this case at least, the good guys far outnumber the bad guys…


Smiling Mortician

I have complete certainty that, in this case at least, the good guys far outnumber the bad guys…

Agreed. Yes, I’m guilty of at least a small degree of eternal optimism — after all, doesn’t being a lefty mean that I believe people are inherently good rather than evil?

I do believe that W’s five-year pass has been more the result of ignorance, complacency and exhaustion among the people than actual support. Of the three, I think exhaustion is the most formidable obstacle we must overcome. The ignorance has been decreasing of late, owing to revelations that took their sweet time to hit the national stage (Woodward, anyone?), and the outrage in response to those revelations, or even just the quiet not of the head among those who secretly suspected it all along, does erode complacency.

A coup? I don’t see it, if only because I don’t think the true believers in the RoveCheney camp have the numbers. Stealing the election ala Diebold? That’s a much more realistic scenario, especially if enough distractions muck up the radar screens so that we forget to police the damn elections . . .


There will be a sign. That sign will be the replacement of the Biggus Dickkus. If the Biggus Dickkus is not replace by the future corrupt pro torture overlord, then I expect W to continue as the corrupt pro torture overlord in charge.


[…] Gavin of Sadly, No! posed this thought: I just want to throw this into the general discourse, without, at this point, examining it very closely or crafting any arguments for or against it. It’s only a thought right now. […]


You call it leaving the White House when his term is up. He calls it Cutting and Running.


I think the intended plan is a hand-off to John McCain. I wrote more about this a week ago or so: Bush’s designated successor.


I think that there’s a key element that everyone’s forgetting in calcuating their doomsday scenarios: the reaction of the world community.

In order for the Rethugs to successfully pull off a coup, two things absolutely have to happen:

1) They must seize absolute power somehow. The GOP controls all three branches of government, yet they constantly whine that they don’t have enough power to enact all the Reich-wing wet dream policies. They can do this in one of three ways: a) the good old-fashioned military coup, b) a V for Vendetta scenario where a terrorist attack (either gov’t-produced like in the movie, or genuine A-Q strike), or c) steal the election. Secnario A is iffy at best, since our military still consists of soldiers who take their oaths to defend the Constitution seriously (Lynndie England and her ilk excluded). Although it could potentially bring the military in on the side of the Bushies, Scenario B seems more likely to backfire at this point than succeed, now that Hurricane Katrina has exposed the Bush regime’s utter incompetence, corruption and cronyism (though if you ask me, 1000-plus dead seems an awfully heavy price to pay to achieve that exposure). So we’re left with Scenario C: Steal the election. The tools are already there (shred enough Dem registrations in key districts, intimidate voters in heavily Dem districts, and if all else fails, the Diebold option is always available), but in order to work, Scenario C relies on the other unspoken assumption.

2) Getting the world community to believe that the election is legit. Unless the Rethuglicans allow impartial election monitors (ha ha ha…that’ll happen – AND PIGS MIGHT FLY OUT OF MY BUTT!!!!!), the world community will be reluctant, at best, to go along. More than likely, out of a desire to avoid blowing up the world, they’ll treat it as a fiat accompli, since there’s not much they can do until we’re blatantly threatening the world. However, at the first sign of fascist movement in our country, they’ll start to organize a coalition to stop our mad quest for world conquest. Whether that means a new Cold War with the U.S. cast in the role of the Soviets, or just outright WWIII, complete with nookyular nuclear exchanges, is up in the air.

So what form will that tell-tale sign that triggers a response from the world community take? Hard to say. But watch for the prompt court-packing that will almost assuredly follow a stolen ’06 election, so as to minimize the chance that Reich-wing wet dream policies will be struck down by the courts. That will be the first warning that the world should take notice. After that….well, my rather limited prognostication skills aren’t capable of that.


Sometime prior to the 2008 elections, there will be …

(1) A terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

(2) A declaration of martial law.

(3) A cancellation of the 2008 elections.


It seems clear to me that this bunch has no intention of giving up power. There are way too many skeletons in the closet to allow anyone else to have the keys. Whether it’s Bush redux or another puppet, the front man is not important, only the puppet masters. This explains their support for an infinite expansion of executive power — they have no fear of Hillary or any other Dem taking power because they can ensure that won’t happen. Face it, absent the big economic crash (which is going to happen, but we’re probably a couple of years away from that) the American people will do nothing … it’s too hard/boring and look, American Idol vote is up next. And if you are pinning your hopes on the military to step in and save the day, your kids must have been awfully disappointed on Christmas day when Santa Claus failed to deliver their presents.


I really don’t think it will happen. He could not get away with it. You have to remember that he would have to order the military to confiscate firearms from citizens, and that ain’t gonna happen. Hell, in Michigan alone, there are a million hunters with firearms. Think of all the militia types that would cry out “see, we told you so”, grab their’ guns and fight the military. It would be an all out civil war between the militia types, the hunters and conservatives like Charleton Heston who state that the only way their’ guns are going to be taken away is from their’ cold dead hands. Bush would have to FIRST get the congress RIGHT now to pass some law outlawing firearms, or order it by declaring martial law …and we’re back to square one….citizens fighting the law enforcement. You think the russians had a hard time with Afghanistan and lost that one, imagine our military trying a hundred thousand people in this country. One big bloody civil war.


I had this very thought and came to this site because of this same thought


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