Actually-Existing Fascism

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“For the first time in more than thirty years, and to a greater extent than even then, our constitutional form of government is in jeopardy.” That’s what Elizabeth Drew recently wrote with regards to George W. Bush’s unprecedented use of “presidential signing statements” during his tenure in office, as first documented by Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe. Over the past six years, the president has tacked addendums onto over 750 laws passed by Congress noting that he has the “right to ignore numerous sections of the bills.” L’etat, c’est moi and all that.

And the kicker is that, as Dan Froomkin points out in his column today, very few reporters have bothered to follow up on this story. The president has openly stated that he’s above the law, and no one seems to care. It’s apparently of no interest whatsoever to find out what laws Bush “hasn’t felt like” obeying. Meanwhile, conservatives seemed to have collectively decided that this week’s the week to chuck away whatever last scraps of rationality they still had and suggest that Bush prosecute the New York Times for treason because of a story it published. In the midst of all this, it would take a very daft commentator indeed to worry about signs of incipient fascism in the blogosphere of all places.

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