Coup de votingCould there be a coup in the United States? Is it imaginable?
Some believe the ingredients are there. A ruthless government, which has shown no regard for democratic process, which has increased executive power to the point at which there are few checks on the president, which has stolen two elections by using an array of means, from disenfranchising voters who would likely oppose it to using black-box means of voting that do not leave records, which has shown itself to be aggressive in pursuit of corporate interests. An executive order -- similar to a decree in its unchallengeability -- that permits the president to seize sole power in an "emergency" (one is reminded that Julius Caesar became dictator of Rome in an "emergency" -- he created it himself, one also recalls -- and then remained in power even after any hint of an emergency was over). A mercenary army, operating beyond the law in Iraq, where its soldiers -- the "contractors" you often read about in the news" -- murder civilians for sport, which has already been deployed on the streets of an American city (in New Orleans, where it also indulged in a fair amount of gunplay).
Some believe we can expect a "terrorist incident" in 2008, perhaps involving either a nuclear weapon or a "dirty bomb". They believe that the big training camps being built by Blackwater, or other facilities that are springing up across America, will house "traitors". After all, the "terrorists" in Guantanamo Bay were locked up first, given a trial afterwards, or at least we're told they are going to have trials some sunny day. And with Jose Padilla, we've seen that being an American citizen will not help. Anyone locked up can expect to be "interrogated" to the point that they start to believe they are traitors. They may not retain enough sanity to know what they've betrayed though.
Some believe that the Republicans, or the criminals that currently bear that name at least, will not surrender power, and will use whatever means necessary to retain it.
I believe that all of this is possible, but it will not happen. Bush is very unpopular but America remains fairly evenly split between people who like people and people who hate people. There are only a few swing voters. I know the media makes out that there is a "centre", which can swing either way, but in truth, it is only quite small. I think that 2008 will run fairly close, particularly if the Dems pick Clinton to run against, hmmm, Giuliani, let's say. I think choosing Clinton would be an error, but one that the Dems could easily make. They have entirely mistaken how politics works in the States. They focus on playing to the centre, because they think it worked for Bill Clinton, and they don't realise that that reads not as pleasing to all but as inauthentic. The Republicans do not give a fuck about the centre. They get their base out to vote and cheat. I think they'll do that again. Rudy, if chosen, will throw crumbs to the fundies -- "whatever my personal views, I intend to govern for the people; I will appoint strict constructionists to the bench and not activist judges (IOW, I'll let the boys overturn Roe vs Wade)" -- and someone will get the churches onside -- "brothers and sisters, Rudy is misguided on babykilling, but he's not going to oppose our wishes on that subject, and he's not bringing in any progay measures", and he'll get enough votes that the election will be stealable. And they'll steal it.
But if the polls are showing a landslide for Clinton? Expect Boston to get nuked. I'm kidding. I don't think Clinton will be bad for business. They probably feel they can work round her and get her out after four. They doubtless have something juicy lined up to take her down or embroil her in, just as they did Bill. But if Edwards or Obama gets the nod, or Gore goes for it, expect to see men in black on the streets of American cities the autumn after next.