Meanwhile, in Looming-Dictatorship News...

Reliable mad hatter Gore Vidal says that Barack Obama, sadly, will not be able to halt the U.S. slide into totalitarianism:

"Ask an American what they know about Sweden and they'd say 'They live well but they're all alcoholics'. In fact a Scandinavian system could have benefited us many times over." Instead, America has "no intellectual class" and is "rotting away at a funereal pace. We'll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together. Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn't realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is. Benjamin Franklin said that the system would fail because of the corruption of the people and that happened under Bush."

Even more insane is this already-memory-holed Newsmax column from one John L. Perry, allegedly a former Lyndon Johnson/Jimmy Carter lackey, advocating a military coup against Obama (update: full text here). Excerpt:

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

Anyone who thinks we are headed for a Marxist state either A) hasn't ever lived in one, B) hasn't bothered with the hard work of separating hyperbole from fact, or C) both. Far too many people making limited-government criticisms of Obama cry wolf about Soviet communism without having a clue of what they're talking about. It's not a recipe for persuasion, IMO.

UPDATE II: Newsmax's Paula Pradines sends along this statement:

In a blog posting to Newsmax John Perry wrote about a coup scenario involving the U.S. military. He clearly stated that he was not advocating such a scenario but simply describing one.

After several reader complaints, Newsmax wanted to insure that this article was not misinterpreted. It was removed after a short period after being posted.

Newsmax strongly believes in the principles of Constitutional government and would never advocate or insinuate any suggestion of an activity that would undermine our democracy or democratic institutions.

Mr. Perry served as a political appointee in the Carter administration in HUD and FEMA. He has no official relationship with Newsmax other than as an unpaid blogger.

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  • Alan Vanneman||

    You don't want "skilled, military-trained, nation-builders" taking matters into their own hands? Sounds like John L. Perry has already dropped trou and started reaching for his ankles.

  • Xeones||

    Nah. The version of totalitarianism we'll get will be much stupider and more generic than Marx or the military could have come up with.

  • JB||

    Matt, there is indeed much hyperbole, but what do you think happens if the dollar becomes nearly worthless? That is not as remote a possibility as it used to be.

    I think anarchy is much more likely than Soviet communism.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Sounds like a job for ECOMCON.

    Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

    Dust off Rod Serling's script for "Seven Days In May."

  • ||

    On the other hand, "Salary Czar" is exactly the kind of thing we'd see in soviet style communism.

  • ¢||

    "More insane?" Not so fast.

    Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: "Bang bang." He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. "Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital," he says in a wry, dreamy way.

    FAP FAP FAP

  • ||

    His problem is being over-educated. He doesn't realise how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is. Benjamin Franklin said that the system would fail because of the corruption of the people and that happened under Bush."

    Holy

    Fucking

    Shit.

    I'm jealous; Vidal's fantasy world is obviously much cooler than mine.

  • Hottie 16||

    What are the main differences between Anarcho-Capitalism and Libertarianism?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Too bad William F. Buckley, Jr. is dead. He would have a nice response to this too.

  • ||

    Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

    Dear Mister Friedman,

    You were right!

    Please accept my sincere apologies. I prpomise never to make fun of you again.

    yrs trly

  • creech||

    We won't need the cartridge box as long as we have the ballot box. Sweep the statists away in the election and keep the troops in their barracks.

  • ||

    Benevolent dictatorships are still dictatorships. A lack of secret police and gulags does not mean we're not on the slow slide to a full fledged police state, even one where there are checks and balances. I mean, look at Great Britain. They are "free", but tightly controlled by the actors of the state. And that control keeps getting tighter, while being wrapped in a veneer of law.

    And we're doing everything we can to keep pace with the Brits. Does that mean that we're all doomed to be taken away under cover of darkness and locked up for posting "I hate Obama" on Facebook? No. But it does mean that Freedom will continue to be re-defined as "whatever a majority of your neighbors is willing to let you do".

  • Mad Max||

    Perry has conjured up a scenario in which I would feel compelled to side with Obama. If some right-wing nuts put me in the position of defending President Obama, I will be really annoyed.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It would take a lot to justify a military coup- something a lot worse than the internment of Japanese-Americans.

  • Kevin||

    Best Buckley quote ever: "Anyone who lies about Gore Vidal is doing him a favor."

  • Spartacus||

    After reading as much of that Vidal article as I could take, I conclude that Gore Vidal has finally lost that small particle of brain that was lodged in his skull and he should now be committed to the Medicare ward in some asylum to live out his remaining days. To show my respect for his literary legacy, I will personally contribute $5 toward the cost of buying him a pewter drool cup.

    Oh yeah: John L. Perry is batshit insane. Where do you find these people, Matt?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people.

    Because, of course, this president is all about educating the kids.

    (Sorry, but any reference to Obama and education in the same sentence triggers this Pavlovian reaction from me.)

  • Abdul||

    Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution

    Because nothing restores respect for the highest law of the land like a military overthrow of it's legitimately elected leader!

  • ||

    If Gore Vidal did not exist, it would not be necessary to invent him.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Best Buckley quote ever: "Anyone who lies about Gore Vidal is doing him a favor."

    I was thinking more along the lines of: "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddam face." (not sure if the video is as advertised, can't preview at work)

  • Rich||

    The version of totalitarianism we'll get will be much stupider and more generic than Marx or the military could have come up with.

    But will it be funnier?

  • ||

    Because nothing restores respect for the highest law of the land like a military overthrow of it's legitimately elected leader!

    Depends on whether the elected leader shows any respect for the law of the land, and whether the coupers do after they boot his ass.

    If nothing else, it might instill some respect for the Constitution in the master class currently resident in DC.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Depends on whether the elected leader shows any respect for the law of the land, and whether the coupers do after they boot his ass.

    If nothing else, it might instill some respect for the Constitution in the master class currently resident in DC.


    To justify such a thing would require something gravely serious- like herding people into gas chambers because they are (place religious or ethnic group here).

  • freeforall232||

    "...That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."

    I think we can look at our current government's shunning of the Constitution and brazen corruption as justification for a coup.

  • ||

    I agree, Michael, although I think violent overthrow of a government can be justified short of a Holocaust. Geez, its just a government after all; if you get rid of one, you can be sure you'll have another before you know it.

  • ||

    I certainly lean towards the end of the spectrum of clear evidence of corruption, and disrespect for contractual documentation between government and the people, is sufficient reason to rid ourselves of the offending government. Saying that it would take something seriously horrible, like killing off people for religious, ethnic or political reasons, seems to me to be entirely to late in the game for an uprising.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I certainly lean towards the end of the spectrum of clear evidence of corruption, and disrespect for contractual documentation between government and the people, is sufficient reason to rid ourselves of the offending government. Saying that it would take something seriously horrible, like killing off people for religious, ethnic or political reasons, seems to me to be entirely to late in the game for an uprising.


    The only method I could think of would be to destroy the food and potable water distribution networks. Such a thing would cause millions of people to die, and the state would die along with this.

    The Jews during 1940's Germany would have every justification to contaminate the potable water supplies and destroy the roads and rails needed to bring food to the cities, which would bring down the Nazi state. That is why I cited that something gravely serious would be necessary to justify such a course of action. The only way to overthrow the government would be to kill millions of people.

  • ||

    Because nothing restores respect for the highest law of the land like a military overthrow of it's legitimately elected leader!

    The secretly Kenyan-born Muslim occupying the white house?

  • Craig||

    Anyone who thinks we are headed for a Marxist state either A) hasn't ever lived in one, B) hasn't bothered with the hard work of separating hyperbole from fact, or C) both.

    Or they've already seen Obama increase federal spending by about 50%, take over the auto industry, begin the de facto takeover of the financial industry, and threaten to take over the health care and energy industries.

    Okay, I haven't lived in a Marxist country (yet), but I think those are facts, not hyperbole....

    Still, it looks more like fascism than Marxism.

  • Craig||

    Why all the "libertarian" cheerleading for a military coup to install a new national government? Why not just call for a peaceful and legal Constitutional convention, bring the 220-year-old document up to date (Jefferson thought it should be re-visited every generation), and add a clear method for any state to withdraw from the union if it chooses to?

  • ||

    Why not just call for a peaceful and legal Constitutional convention, bring the 220-year-old document up to date (Jefferson thought it should be re-visited every generation), and add a clear method for any state to withdraw from the union if it chooses to?

    [slaps forehead]

    Why didn't I think of that?

    Maybe, Craig, because the powers that be that will actually have to call the convention are quite happy with the unlimited power they have under the current one, and will never in a million years call a constitutional convention?

  • ||

    If nothing else, it might instill some respect for the Constitution in the master class currently resident in DC.

    I've seen examples of circular logic before but, I must say, that one is absolutely spectacular.

  • Mike Laursen||

    I see a future with a club of corporate/government cronies running D.C., wars against weak enemies to keep the military contracts flowing, bailouts and regulatory capture, inflated currency, lots of liberal/conservative political bloviating ignored by most people, states occasionally quietly ignoring Federal law, and regular peole who actually need to get things done in the real world ignoring all of it as much as possible.

    Basically, the future that we've had for a long time now.

  • @||

    Newsmax's Paula Pradines "wanted to insure that this article was not misinterpreted"

    Newsmax's Paula Pradines doesn't know the difference between insure and ensure.

  • Snorri||

    'They live well but they're all alcoholics'

    That's England, not Sweden.

  • ||

    I think we all could use a little more alcoholism right about now.

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