3 thoughts on “1/20/09”

  1. It is an intriguing thought that has crossed my mind a few times. The sheer audacity of it would be debilitating to so many people. Which by its sheer force of surprise would enable many of the machinations that the administration would undertake in the process. The situation would be very fluid, and create very exciting(ed) times. I suspect riots and massive protest followed by some and violence would be part of the equation which could be used to further justify the “state of emergency”. This would create a cycle that for many has been unseen in the history of this country. And as the the video seems to point out thinking through this scenario ahead of time might very prepare for things unseen.

    My gut says massive violence, and many domestic deaths from protestors and loyalists to the status quo, assassinations, and a general ungovernability of the nation. The optimist in me is not sure what the current administration gains in this scenario but a kind of pyrrhic victory. But the real question remains what kind of power does the presidency hold in this scenario? There are degrees of commitment throughout the circles of power. A government is more than just one person and people would defect inside the administration. Can’t we imagine rivalries erupting and morphing into agents of some sort of transition?

    What does it mean for a man to hole up inside the oval office while the rest of the nation goes about its daily affairs? How is this much different than today? I think this paranoia assumes a peculiar and univocal view of power and motive to secure that power. But perhaps there are extenuating circumstances that might keep the president bent on maintaining power, perhaps the president really just likes the sandwiches his staff makes for him. Perhaps it is mostly these little pleasures that excite the president. I just get this sense from a few interviews where the president demonstrates with glee how he enjoys all the trappings of being president. Almost like an small child playing pretend. Which in a sick way makes his presidency even more scary.

    A corollary to this question that has been asked in the past is what if a truly insane president decided to use nuclear weapons defying all protocol, where it comes down to the key man in the nuclear silo? We assume there are countervailing safeguards in place but they are not very much discussed.

  2. Of course this could happen, but not without a massive excuse (not htat they wouldn’t construct one). A nuclear explosion in the U.S. say. But if they just said no, the armed and police forces would obey the Supreme Court and the new C-i-C, and not Bush and Cheney. They don’t have supernatural powers. They’d have to be undertaking a massive restructuring of the military hierarchy right now to do this, and they aren’t. If they were I’d be actually scared.

  3. Agree with the above comments. It could only happen in two scenarios: we’re at war with Iran and/or Pakistan, or there’s a radical Muslim strike that makes 9-11 look mild by comparison. Either scenario is possible, but at some point we’d be looking at a top-down military revolt — generals would start quitting the military, or disobeying orders, and soldiers would follow suit. The military is already pretty disgusted with Iraq, whether or not they all openly admit it, which is why it’s been necessary for the neocons to use PMCs. Draft and kill too many soldiers under tactically ambiguous terms and suddenly the bloom is off the patriotic rose.

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