So we're here. No more shilly-shallying about whether America is beginning to resemble a fascist society. We're now plopped right down into it.
The slide into our particularly American brand of fascism is not total. There still are areas that, at least for a time, remain relatively free. And dissent is tolerated -- up to a point. (That point, by the way, is when that dissent starts becoming effective; watch the number being done on MoveOn.org, for example.)
On the issues that really matter, America is fast moving itself into an authoritarian, militarist, imperial state, one that has more in common with Stalinist Soviet Union and Hitlerian Germany than with traditional American society. There are show trials planned, massive propaganda assaults on the populace, a huge bureaucratic system designed to pry and violate personal privacy (including phone calls, emails and institutions from where you get information, be it libraries or bookstore or websites), and a constitutional system of laws that simply are ignored or violated whenever the federal government chooses to do so.
Bush has ignored past rulings by the courts, indeed even had his rubber-stamp Congress pass laws that forbid the courts from assuming jurisdiction over certain laws passed by the Legislative branch. And, of course, most American citizens had no knowledge of this movement toward authoritarianism because the corporate mass-media never told them, preferring instead to pass on the Administration's spin on events without much second-guessing or investigative reporting.
But now, with the passage by the Republican-controlled Congress of laws authorizing torture, domestic electronic eavesdropping and military tribunals -- with no opposition Democrat stepping up to filibuster any of these desecrations of the Constitution and human rights -- America has gone into an unknown world of unconstitutinal rule, might-makes-right and lie-back-and-accept-it. Habeas
corpus? Eight hundred years old -- it's "quaint" now, and no longer applies.
Molly Ivins yesterday, Bernard Weiner today. We're going to hear those two words - fascist and Nazi - more and more.