Thursday, October 28, 2004

"The Triumph of Anything Goes" by David Greenberg

Not new, but still highly noteworthy analysis from historian David Greenberg (Harvard '91):

"Bush and his team have shown contempt for many of the bedrock elements of liberal democracy, including public access to information; a press that interrogates its leaders; a give-and-take between parties that represent different interests; a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the preference for reason over the use of force; and the support of legal safeguards to prevent the arbitrary exercise of power by the executive. They have routinely violated the bounds of acceptable political behavior in a democracy.

... the anything-goes attitude comprises
more than the sum total of these instances. It's a philosophy, a set of premises
and prejudices, that scorns deliberation and dissent, exalts brute power, drips
with disrespect for the spirit (if not the letter) of the law, stiff-arms
compromise, and mocks the popular will."

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