Sunday, January 15, 2006

The H Word

I've never been one to invoke the "H" word - you know, the one that ends with "-itler." But listening to radio coverage of the Samuel Alito hearings, all the references both in his testimony and in the subsequent debate and discussion of "the unitary executive" creeped me out. It's bad enough how many parallels to Orwell's "1984" there are in current events, but the constant Bush Administration emphasis on the power of the "unitary executive" is truly frightening as precedent. Is Bush "-itler?" Of course not. Is Samuel Alito "-itler?" No, that's silly. The latter in particular is clearly a qualified, reasonable man, even if I find some of his views unreasonable. But a lot of the precedent being set by Bush and one must surmise ratified by Alito truly sets the stage for an even more powerful chief executive, which unfortunately leaves the opportunity open for future generations of leaders to exploit and make more forceful the incremental steps toward Fascism (and not in the hyperbolic, metaphoric sense) we're witnessing today.

Will this happen? No, probably not. But surely that's what Europeans thought in the '30s as well, no?


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