I realize that not everyone shares my taste for quasi-apocalyptic political scenarios, but John Quiggin’s look at what would happen if Palin actually became president in 2012 (something I think is much more unlikely than Quiggin thinks it is) is worth a read:
Given the starting position, four years of unfettered power for Palin would be enough to move the US a long way in the direction taken by Russia under Putin, with a compliant media, an oligarchical ruling class subject to rapid reprisals for any display of political independence, and dissidents are subject to all kinds of harassment up to and including assassination.
As I’ve said before, irrespective of Palin, I think this is what the country would be headed towards were it not for imminent demographic changes (i.e. a shrinking proportion of white voters). White voters, as a group (I’m not saying all of *you*) would vote in an autocratic right-wing strongman in a heartbeat.
I hope we do manage to avoid full-on Putin-style oligarchy, obviously, but I have to admit that it would be fun to watch Charles Krauthammer and Ross Douthat defend it all.
Isn’t this what they are already doing?
Not quite, Palin hasn’t started assassinating journalists yet.
Though not for lack of advocation for such, if the Wikileaks stuff is any measure.
There is a reason why the super-rich have generally preferred a democratically elected government in the 20th century over highly centralized and entrenched unquestioned government power, except in cases where soshullist etc. forces threaten to take too much power:
The monster can always turn on them and take their money, too.
That’s what frightens me most at the prospect of a Palin presidency: her personal vindictiveness. I’m not sure the demographic changes will happen quickly enough to stave off our fate. Russia is also ethnically diverse and it hasn’t helped them any.
True. But she’s locked and loaded.
And her craziest supporters would get quite a chuckle if she sprayed some buckshot at some of the “librul media.”
I’m a big fan of post apocalyptic political scenarios, as long as they have happy endings.
What he said. Those demographic changes didn’t help much this year and things aren’t going to change much in two years. If the economy still sucks in ’12, I could see Palin winning 44-43-10 in a three-way with Bloomberg. Once she’s in office, demographics won’t matter.
See, I don’t think we need President Palin for that, I think we are getting it already. Maybe more slowly under President Obama but still getting it.
Hmm … wonder how she’d react if the epithet “Sarah Putin” got traction?
@Jose Padilla: Bloomberg was on MTP this morning insisting that any talk of a run for the presidency is strictly a media creation. The fact that he got to tell it to jackwipe David Gregory’s face was one of the high points of my morning.
@beltane: Yeah, but Russia doesn’t have the immigrant inflows we do… which is largely why the Republicans rail against “illegal aliens”.
Short Bus Bully
We always end up turning ourselves into that which we fear the most.
It would be sweet revenge for all the dumbshits to find themselves suddenly in the ex-Soviet Union if only for the fact that I don’t want to live there too.
@kdaug: Actually they DO have the immigrant inflows that we have, and they have a more crude and violent way of dealing with it. It isn’t uncommon for the police to go in and bust everyone in an outdoor market for the crime of being a little too brown (i.e. Central Asian or Caucasian) and the Yellow Peril is a constant terror to Russians in a Siberia that is inhabited by 8 million Russians bordering China.
Skinhead gangs and drunken teens roam Moscow beating people they perceive to be foreigners pretty much at will without much impediment from the police.
If it makes you feel better, Doug, I think that the country is one major event away from It Can’t Happen Here.
The right wing is vastly more prepared to take advantage of a catastrophe. It doesn’t really matter what.
I have to admit that it would be fun to watch Charles Krauthammer and Ross Douthat defend it all.
You must have been having an absolute blast the past decade+ …
I’ve already decided that if Palin gets elected president, I’m moving to somewhere like Oz or equivalent. Not just because I’m dubious of what Palin would do to the country, but also because I don’t want to live in a place where a majority of the inhabitants support her. The woman is dumb, vicious, can’t speak in coherent sentances, and lives in a cuckoo-cloud-landscape within her head, rather than dealing with reality.
I have two things to say:
2) I for one welcome our new Soviet overlords.
I do not fear President Palin. It’s more people like Huckabee or Romney – who “appear sane” that can do far more lasting damage to the country. Look at St. Ronnie – we’re still living his legacy.
@Tim F.: But you need a lunatic leader to go along with powerful but clueless business interests for it to work—and Palin is not that leader. Indeed, Palin and Beck are kept around, imho, precisely to keep such a leader from emerging. (Bachmann, for instance, might be such a leader.)
Hmm. If this were inevitable, wouldn’t it have happened already over the long stretch of our history when white voters were the only voters?
Palin is not Putin, more like Medeyev. She will be the puppet while someone else pulls the strings.
Palin’s touring style is really that of a Columbian drug lord or something akin to that.
She’s the most autocratic elected politician I have ever seen in my life time.
Given lots of power I think she’d truly turn into a monster.
I’m sanguine about all this because I would bet the ranch that turnout in 2012 will exceed that in 2008, probably in the range of 140 million, and you simply run out of stupid white people. Too many of those 140 will be of an inconvenient coloration.
For God’s sake.
The stringpuller is Todd, along with his secessionist beer hall buddies.
You heard it here first.
I fear a Palin presidency, but am also intrigued. Would she disband the White House press corp? (or at least ban everyone but Fox?) Who would be in her cabinet? Whomever is on the list Bill Kristol gives her? or would she “go rogue” and appoint her current group of idiot groupies that she trusts to be loyal? Can she even give a state of the union address? Would she quit half-way through her first term?
I’m not saying they would have done it in the past, only that they would do it now.
She wouldn’t complete it. She’d go into some idiot cycle of nuclear brinksmanship with Putin, with the willing connivance of the Holy and Apostolic Servant of Jesus Christ’s Air
Force. At that point, ballistic missile submarines belonging to the UK and France would park off the Chesapeake, and quiet entreaties would be delivered to the Navy and Army, which would then have to engage in a fratricidal combat with the Holy Air Force.
The civil war would be short lived and nuclear in a limited sense. Chinese, French, Indian, Indonesian and South African peacekeepers from the UN would have to patrol and monitor for several years. I look forward to cooperating with them in helping to identify, re-educate and stomp out individuals who belong to conservative Christian congregations and to help man the confiscation brigades and to assist the rape gangs in seeking out the homes, nubile wives&daughters and resources of the Masters of the Universe.
@gogol’s wife: Yes well what part of what alwhite said is wrong? And show your work please.
@beltane: Seriously. Sarah Palin makes Nixon look like Mr. Rogers.
As somebody with some Russian relatives, let me just say that:
1. This is the direction we are headed in regardless of who is elected president. And I think I feel fairly confident in saying that our next president will not be Sarah Palin. Too unstable for the oligarchs to trust, you see.
2. We should be so lucky as to end up under a Putin-style government. Putin has proven to be extraordinarily competent and good for Russians (so long as they keep their mouths shut). No, we’re likely to end up with a bumbling idiot like Yeltsin, who was essentially a George W. Bush with more sense but no sobriety.
What he said demonstrated that he has no connection to reality.
I don’t need to show my work. I’m sick of all you people and wish you would go away.
This didn’t used to be a blog where lots of commenters could make statements equating President Obama with a President Palin, or statements like this beauty from Earl, #31: “Putin has proven to be extraordinarily competent and good for Russians (so long as they keep their mouths shut).” I love what you think is “good for Russians.” What idiots.
@MaximusNYC: Because during most of that time blacks couldn’t vote, were oppressed and not seen as a threat, and immigrants – ie, brown people from South of the border – were a small fraction of what they are today in this country. The white folks got the pants scared off of them in the 50s and 60s just because blacks were winning the right to vote and attend school with white kids. Just think how scared these same folks (the people who were in their 20s and 30s in the late 50s/60s) are that a black dude is president and that they – white people – will be the minority in the very near future.
That said, I think it would take some event to bring this about…but it could happen. Say, for example, a terrorist group from Mexico blowing up a federal building in Texas or a gang of black Muslims taking out a group of synagogues in NY and Long Island. An attack by Arab/Persian/Central or South Asian Muslims won’t do it – those populations in the US are too small to totally freak out the old white people. They’d still go for more torture and more wiretapping and all that stuff, but they wouldn’t go for the full-out Putin.
Wikileaks? Ha! Ann Coulter advocated murdering the New Yotk Times reporters and editors who broke the warrantless wiretapping story back in 2008. “The only question,” she opined, “is the method of execution.”
Short Bus Bully
That is all.
And what, pray tell, is the difference between a Colombian drug lord and the president of the United States?
Aside from the fact that the president has more resources, I mean.
So maybe you’re joking, or something, but rape jokes? Lame.
Not quite, Palin hasn’t started assassinating journalists yet.
Fortunately for them, most journalists are somewhat more difficult targets than caribou.
I think this is what the country would be headed towards were it not for imminent demographic changes.
I am no longer so confident about this. Look at Susana Martinez and Marco Rubio. Conservative whites plus enough conservative Latinos elected two Repukes who will probably be as pro-oligarchy as any 8th generation cracker.
If you thought Nixon’s enemies list was impressive, wait till Palin is President. It’ll be a whole stimulus program in itself – database administrators, programmers, advanced technologies, hit teams, etc. Something for everyone.
Hrrrm, not buying it. Russia never had any democratic institutions ever. What feeble shoots of democracy occurred under Yeltsin were easily snuffed out even before Putin took over.
I think to assume autocracy in the US, you have to wade neck deep into the cynicism. Remember, it was the conservative Supreme Court who shot down most of Bush’s most egregious executive over-reaching. And Bush went along with the rulings, because you have to. Even Nixon handed over the tapes eventually.
While I agree that the Rich play by different rules than the rest of us, there are still rules. McArthur, Father Coughlin, Huey Long…they couldn’t win the Presidency in darker times than this. Same goes for Palin.
Rule of law runs as deep in this country as anywhere.
The fascist wet-dreamers at RedState are no more representative of the broader American right in this regard than the haters at Daily Kos are representative of the American left.