Wednesday, September 13, 2006

[Election 2006]

The (GOP) Fascists Wobble.

Fascism is the word of the day. On the right, you got your Rummies talkin' about defeating the Islamo-fascists. On the left, you got--well, people like me, calling the modern GOP fascist. Bush invokes the fight against fascism in the 40s as a comparison to his virtuous wars; lefties talk about "the Hammer" and the rigging of Congress as modern-day fascism.

Of course, the left has a better argument. Fascism emphasizes a nationalistic militarism and autocratic rule. It is possible to make the argument that Iran, via Ahmadinejad, is akin to fascism, though it is obviously more a garden-variety theocracy. The terrorists, lacking a nation, can hardly be called fascist. On the other hand, nationalism, militarism, and autocracy? Yeah, that fits Hammer and Co. pretty well. But everyone loves to compare and enemy to Hitler, so everyone's a fascist.

We don't have a fascist government, however--not by a long, long shot. Never mind the torture and NSA spying, we still have a pretty functional democracy. It has the flu, but mostly it's functional. How do I know? Because GOP-backed Lincoln Chafee won the Senate primary in Rhode Island yesterday.

He was running against a classic pure Republican, all teeth and no brain, who took every opportunity to slander Chafee with personal invective. He's the kind of guy the GOP have been running since '94, for whom no position is too fantastical, no slur out of bounds. In other words, a perfect match for the GOP. But because he could not win in RI, and because losing Chafee means potentially losing the Senate, the power brokers decided to back the incumbent.

There are, in fact, many GOP politicians who are essentially fascist. They despise democracy and have done their damndest to reduce us to an autocratic state run by the Executive branch which will invade and eviscerate our enemies. They dislike two-party rule, never mind actual citizen democracy. Their crimes are well-documented.

But it's hard to actually seize the government, and we are now seeing how difficult it is to hold it. The support of Chafee demonstrates the dilemma: allow moderates back into the fold who will not back fascist policies, or keep the purity tests in place and lose power. Either way, the fascist wing of the GOP is done.

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