Monday, August 6, 2007

Headlines call for annual irony award

Three headlines conspired last week to recommend the institution of US government irony awards. These are:

Senate OK's eavesdropping measure for Bush administration
The Senate voted to approve a White House-backed measure that extends the power of the government to eavesdrop on foreign terror suspects without the need for a court-ordered wiretap beforehand.


Congress Enacts Bush's Anti-Terrorism Spy Measure
The U.S. House completed congressional passage of anti-terrorist legislation that gives President George W. Bush more power to conduct electronic surveillance for the next six months.


and

Bush To Mandate Aid To End Tyrannies
WASHINGTON — President Bush today is scheduled to sign a law mandating that America develop strategies to help tyrannies and police states to make the transition to democracies.

The irony here of course is the fact that, we have just witnessed our own opposition-gorged democracy devour itself (through the impact of threat and fear- "we might get blamed if anything bad happens while we're on vacation, we better vote for warrantless wiretapping even though we have ranted about the forsaking of constitutionally guaranteed civil rights") and disgorged legislation found in tyrannies and police states!

That democracy has blessed us with Hamas, Ahmadenijad and others, and partisan politics creates two votes giving a secretive and imperial executive added powers, has to force thinking political scientists to question the sacred devotion evoked with every utterance of the word democracy.

1 comment:

Eugene said...

Frank, You give us some good things to think about. Let me just say, if we goggle too much at the word "democracy," we also are lightly equating "tyrannies."

I hope you are not thinking the U.S. has adopted tyrannical practices by wiretapping known subversive enemies. It's likely incumbent for the most benign governments to seek to know the secrets being played against it, much more so for America, the big ugly ape of a country, who can't tap a jig w/o being unduly noticed.

Also, democracy in America has come with long fought squirmishes to secure freedom of association and thought. Not so as of yet in the highly experimental and controlled stages of democracy (ala tyranny with loose chain) where Hamas and Ahmadenijad were inducted.

So, equating democracies across such diverse governmental states as you mention, and also equating tyrannies in similar avantguarde fashion cuts me up into fragmented laughter. Come on. Do you really believe America has lost the ability to distinguish between the democratic ideal and the tyrannical mindset?