April 27, 2004


A Vision of Power (PAUL KRUGMAN, 4/27/04, NY Times)

There's a deep mystery surrounding Dick Cheney's energy task force, but it's not about what happened back in 2001. Clearly, energy industry executives dictated the content of a report that served their interests.

The real mystery is why the Bush administration has engaged in a three-year fight — which reaches the Supreme Court today — to hide the details of a story whose broad outline we already know.

One possibility is that there is some kind of incriminating evidence in the task force's records. Another is that the administration fears that full disclosure will highlight its chummy relationship with the energy industry. But there's a third possibility: that the administration is really taking a stand on principle. And that's what scares me. [...]

What Mr. Cheney is defending, in other words, is a doctrine that makes the United States a sort of elected dictatorship: a system in which the president, once in office, can do whatever he likes, and isn't obliged to consult or inform either Congress or the public.

They had private meeting to formulate public policy--that's dictatorship? Well, this is a guy who thinks Bushonomics has caused a Second Great Depression...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2004 8:31 AM

A government that has a chummy relationship with the energy industry? The horror!

Posted by: Peter B at April 27, 2004 9:08 AM

What's particularly silly about all this is that the proposed law -- the endpoint of all the "secret" (meaning non-public) meetings -- is public. After all, the whole point is to get Congress to pass, the agencies to work to it and the courts to interpret it. If on its face, it is too considerate of big energy, then Congress can change it or not pass it. How does it matter who first suggested this clause, or that safe harbor?

Posted by: David Cohen at April 27, 2004 9:38 AM

Krugman probably thinks Harold Ickes is a saint.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 27, 2004 10:13 AM

along with Harold Ickes, i'm sure Krugman loves him some David Icke

Posted by: poormedicalstudent at April 27, 2004 10:29 AM

I find your title for this post hilarious. I do call it fascism a lot. I'm generally referring to the government being used as an instrument of the wealthy and powerful to secure their own positions.

In the same vein, I am waiting for the orders to come down that firebombing fascist news sources is legal.

Posted by: JSN at April 27, 2004 11:02 AM

Again, Krugman misses the painfully obvious. The Bush team took office dedicated to restoring executive power. It shouldn't be a mystery to him that they're doing exactly what they said they were going to do. It's certainly not fascism.

Posted by: kevin whited at April 27, 2004 11:42 AM

It shouldn't be a mystery to him that they're doing exactly what they said they were going to do.

Yet, it is OJ's thesis that the simple & straightforward implementation of ideas is what is actually confusing GWB's enemies. I am beginning to believe it.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at April 27, 2004 11:56 AM


Hasten the day.

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Posted by: at September 14, 2004 11:20 AM