In Administration tells Congress (again) – We won’t abide by your “laws”, Glenn Greenwald lays it out:
The reality is that the Administration has been making clear for quite some time that they have unlimited power and that nothing — not even the law — can restrict it. … As I have documented more times than I can count, we have a President who has seized unlimited power, including the power to break the law, and the Administration — somewhat commendably — is quite candid and straightforward about that fact.
I think this is the key line:
And the media continues to fail in its duty to inform the country about the powers the Administration has seized, likely because they are so extreme that people still do not really believe that the Administration means what they are saying.
This is the key. Maybe, just maybe, they mean the things they are saying. And I think this warning about the extreme things the Right is saying is a big part of what political blogging is about.
Blogs are an Internet phenomenon. So bloggers tend to be people who spend a lot of time online, and political bloggers read a lot about politics. So political bloggers are more likely than others to be visiting websites and forums where right-wingers more openly discuss their ideas, or are more likely to be listening to Limbaugh and others on the radio. And what we are reading and hearing is frightening. The things they are saying to each other are DIFFERENT from what they are saying to the public. The things they are writing and saying are extreme and violent and subversive. It is not like what we as Americans are used to reading and hearing.
The things the Republicans are saying and doing are so extreme that regular people refuse to believe it when you try to warn them about what is happening. For example, several years ago I had been reading the right’s newsletters, forums and websites, and I was trying to tell my moderate-centrist aunt that the conservatives were talking about getting rid of public schools. She called ME an extremist for saying something like that. It’s a natural reaction. But now, years later, we know that this is what their agenda has been all along, and like the frogs in heating water it no longer seems so extreme. Bringing this back to Glenn’s post, if today you try to tell someone that an American President is asserting that laws do not apply to him, they think YOU’RE the crazy person in the room.
Bloggers are trying to warn the public that what is going on in America is DIFFERENT from politics-as-usual. The bloggers have been trying to get the Democratic leadership and the media to understand this. We are seeing something new to America forming, something dangerous to democracy. The “pendulum” is not swinging back. It is right there in front of your eyes if you are willing to see it, but it represents something so radical, so different from what we are used to, that it is difficult to believe this could be happening to us.
Yes, the President of the United States is asserting that he is above the law. The nature of American government has changed. The question is, who among us has the courage to stand up and say that we do not accept this? Who among us is willing to speak out, beyond the blogs? When will the media begin to understand what is happening, and start to warn the public? When will the Democratic leadership begin to realize that the extreme things the Republicans are saying might be what they mean to do?