Thursday, May 26, 2005

Elitism, fascism, and the GOP

From today's WaPo.
The campaign to prevent the Senate filibuster of the president's judicial nominations was simply the latest and most public example of similar transformations in Congress and the executive branch stretching back a decade. The common theme is to consolidate influence in a small circle of Republicans and to marginalize dissenting voices that would try to impede a conservative agenda.
House Republicans, for instance, discarded the seniority system and limited the independence and prerogatives of committee chairmen. The result is a chamber effectively run by a handful of GOP leaders. At the White House, Bush has tightened the reins on Cabinet members, centralizing the most important decisions among a tight group of West Wing loyalists. With the strong encouragement of Vice President Cheney, he has also moved to expand the amount of executive branch information that can be legally shielded from Congress, the courts and the public.
Those who cross party leaders often pay a price, usually by losing positions of influence.
Bush created a top-down system in the White House much like the one his colleagues have in Congress.
Bush has essentially turned most of the agencies into political arms of the White House. "It's not just weakening agencies but strengthening political control of the agencies," he said. Major policies such as Social Security are produced in the White House, while Cabinet heads and their staffs are tethered. After the 2004 election, the White House began requiring Cabinet members to spend as long as four hours a week working in an office near the West Wing.
Bush has demanded similar loyalty from GOP lawmakers -- and received it. Republicans have voted with the president, on average, about nine out of 10 times. Critics and some scholars charge that the Congress now seldom performs its constitutional duty of providing oversight of the executive branch through tough investigations and hearings. This has coincided with a dramatic increase in overall government secrecy.
"We have never had this kind of control over information," said Allan J. Lichtman, a professor of history at American University. "It means policy is being made by a small clique without much public scrutiny."


  1. ummm, you forgot to mention one little-bitty fact, that article is an OPINION piece.

    leftists need to learn to untangle facts from opinion!!

    this is one persons OPINION!!

  2. I didn't present anything as "fact." this is my site. i can express my opinions how i want. and anyway, there is truth to it.

  3. those darned old facts ..........

  4. YOur site is full of opinions.

    Anyway, Ronald Reagan was the one who said "facts are stupid things." You know, the god of the gops.

  5. my title includes the word "Commentary"

    see how that works?

    p.s. why is the "One" banner still there? thought you wanted it gone

  6. I don't want the One banner gone. I want the blog this banner at the top to go across the page instead of being bunched up on the left side... or does it look right to you?

  7. it looks fine on my end. i sent you a screenshot.

  8. ohhhh, i see. i use firefox (as most thinking people do). internet explorer has it bunched. let me check, mine is fine in IE. i will look at your code..

  9. the thing is messing up your header