Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Voluntary public service equals scary totalitarianism. Plotting to use the military to void sections of the Constitution? Silence.

If you've been watching Glenn Beck lately - and I would understand if you haven't, since it takes some degree of masochism to subject oneself to such undiluted idiocy - he's grown increasingly paranoid that President Obama and his sinister, secret shadow army of community organizers -in Beck-speak, "community organizer" seems to be synonymous with Nazi brownshirts - are getting closer and closer to installing their nefarious liberal fascist Marxist capitalist/anti-capitalist environmentalist one world regime.

Tuesday's "The One Thing" segment was particularly exquisite in tying together a delusional conspiracy about Obama and his dark forces of community organization, but I suppose that it's grown so routine that Media Matters didn't even put the clip on their site, so I'll just give a segment from Monday's show which is nearly as demented.

And from the same episode, there is Glenn Beck seeing the creation of a fascist army of community organizers in Obama calling for the expansion of the Peace Corps, Americorps, and the Foreign Service.

Yet meanwhile, we now know that during the administration of the previous president, Vice President Cheney argued for actually using the United States military to end Constitutionally guaranteed liberties.

[T]he Yoo memoranda were almost certainly prepared in order to support a case for the domestic use of the military and in the hopes that by deploying the military, the Constitutional limitations on police action and arrests could simply be avoided. The Yoo memoranda set the stage for a military dictatorship, following exactly the sort of phased introduction that occurred in the cone of South America in the seventies and eighties. As Yale law professor Jack Balkin puts it, “This is not a debate about whether the army would have to read Miranda rights to suspects captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan. It was a plan to have the military arrest people in the United States in order to get around civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.” A large number of memoranda written by Yoo appear to be a quest for a “state of exception” to the Constitution. Effectively, he was looking for a way to make the president into a dictator.
And as Scott Horton point out in that link, President Obama is still contemplating claiming some of the same powers of detention that were argued by Yoo (and others) and put into practice by Cheney and Bush.

What Beck is doing with his fear-mongering distracts his audience from the issues they ought to actually be concerned about when it comes to their liberties. As I've said before, this kind of cultivation of reality-detachment is destructive to the democratic process.

Having citizens criticize and denounce Obama for continuing Bush policies that endangered civil liberties is invaluable. Having citizens view Obama as Hitler because of some imaginary world that Glenn Beck lives in, not so much.

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