Tag Archives: dictatorship

Conservatives Line Up to Join Progressive Lynch Mob

Administration continues its attacks on BP, while stalling on cleanup operations.

It is frightening to see how many conservatives have climbed aboard the progressive bandwagon to “bash BP”.  At this point, no one knows the amount of culpability British Petroleum has in the Gulf oil spill. That will only be known after future investigations whose results will be tried in court.  Propaganda from Congress, White House and the media, far exceeds the facts available to the American people. However, we do know that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. When we cease to be a nation of laws, we also cease to be a nation of liberty.

Following the strategy of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Obama Administration has seized on the Gulf catastrophe as an opportunity to ramp up its attacks on capitalism and increase its power over the American people. The rhetoric of Obama since the spill has been the rhetoric of a dictator, not a President. He has brazenly defied the restraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution and appointed himself as the judge, jury and executioner of British Petroleum.

America has not witnessed a political climate like today’s anti-big-business one, since the turn of the Twentieth Century, when progressive politicians attempted to ride the populist tide against the “Robber Barons” of industry into elective office.  For many, that strategy proved successful, however, it ultimately culminated in the market crash of ’29 and Great Depression of the thirties.

This week Obama arrogantly announced he had ordered BP to place 20 billion dollars in an escrow account to cover the cost of mitigating the damage caused by the Gulf oil spill.  When a reporter asked a member of Congress whether there was legal authority for the demand, she answered, in effect, “if not we will pass a law”.  In addition, Pelosi is pressing for legislation to remove the liability cap on oil companies.  Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act currently in place, oil companies are obligated to pay all cleanup costs, but liability for damage to local economies, natural resources and livelihoods is capped at $75 million.

The threat of retroactive laws and laws targeting a particular party violate a number of constitution prohibitions.  Article 1.9.3 forbids the passing of ex post fact law or bills of attainder. Amendment 7 guarantees the right to a trial by jury, and Amendment 14.1 forbids the taking of private property without due process of law.

While Obama has been bullying BP and its executives for political points, his administration seems to be doing everything in its power to obstruct clean up efforts.  The latest example occurred on Thursday when the Coast Guard pulled all the tankers used in skimming oil from the water, off the job for inspection. Believe it or not, the inspection was to make sure the tankers met specifications for the number of life preservers on board.  If there were any doubt, it would have made more sense for the Coast Guard to load up a boat with life preservers and distribute them to the tankers, where necessary.

Obama’s obvious attempt to use the Gulf spill disaster for political advantage could prove to be his biggest mistake to date.  In trying to deny Gulf Coast governors any credit in controlling the damage caused by the spill, he is alienating the American people and increasing the political stature of his number one political threat, Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana. His administration has stalled on Jindal’s request for permission to build barrier islands, for request for more booms to contain the oil, and now the incident with the Coast Guard.

Obama’s actions place Jindal in the position of “underdog” in a David and Goliath type of struggle. The American People love underdogs. The more Obama resists the efforts of Jindal the less popular he becomes and the more Americans who are rooting for Jindal. Every event of history has its own time. Now is the time for action, not finger pointing and foot dragging.

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The Self-Deception of America

minute-man-2-lithoIf a suggestion is made to someone that a dictatorship is possible in America, it is met with derision and the assertion that “it could never happen here, the American people would not stand for it”.  The average person clings to this belief even as they continue to witness an increase in the tyranny of government over their lives with every passing news cycle.

I am not suggesting that we are on the verge of dictatorship.  I am saying that we close our mind to the possibility at our own risk.  George Washington in his Farewell Address gave us some insight into how dictators come into power.

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight)…”    ~George Washington (1796)

Paul Brooker, in his book, “Non-Democratic Regimes: Theory, Government and Politics”, describes the process this way.

“The characteristic feature of the modernized, twentieth-century dictatorships was their possession of an official ideology and political party… many … examples were produced by an ideologically committed political party seizing power and establishing a dictatorship, as in the case of the Communist regime in Russia and the Fascist and Nazi regimes in Italy and Germany. …The most blatant shift to personal dictatorship occurs when an elected civilian president stages an autogolpe and uses this self-coup to misappropriate the public office and powers he has acquired by democratic, constitutional means”…

The point both Washington and Brooker are attempting to make is that whenever a fervently ideological political party gains overwhelming dominance over competing parties, the conditions are ripe for tyranny to flourish.

We are not at that point yet, however, recent events indicate that we should not delude ourselves into thinking such a development is not possible in our country.