I know, by the time you finish reading this, if you get that far, you are going to think I’m a serious crackpot. I promise I’m no more crazy than anyone here in the U.S. (which may not be a ringing endorsement after Tuesday night), but in my life I have never feared for the future of the Republic before now. What I’m about to suggest has no basis in fact, and is merely something I believe could be a possibility, but some of Bush’s recent behavior does support the possibility.
Let’s look at some of what he’s done in response to 9/11. First, there’s the Patriot Act. No one who takes a serious look at the powers given the federal government in this act can see as anything other than a major erosion of Constitutional protections. The Bush administration wants to expand those powers. George Bush has effectively suspended habeas corpus for people that he (and he alone) categorizes as "enemy combatants." The U.S. Supreme Court, as conservative as it is, has rebuked this position, but the indications are the Administration is simply ignoring the ruling.
With four more years, the Administration will get to stack the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court. There are clearly some extreme reactionary crackpots elected to the Congress.
I think we all realize there will most likely be another terrorist attack. I think we all know its more a matter of "when" than "if." When it happens, I am genuinely afraid that Bush will declare Marshal Law, and perhaps even suspend habeas corpus. It is not totally out of line with some directions the administration has taken, and it is not without precedent in the U.S. Remember that Lincoln did it during the Civil War.
Now, the little knowledge I have about it is that Lincoln did it with anguish, and restored the government as quickly as possible. Given that George told Bob Woodard that a Dictatorship was a good thing so long as he was dicator, I don’t see his Administration being in any hurry to restore rights, and Bush seems to brag about how he doesn’t anguish over decisions.
So, like I said, you’ll probably dismiss me as a crackpot, but I only offer this as a warning. It is something we need to vigilant about, especially when there is another attack.