Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Enabling Act?

Remember the Enabling Act?

"The Enabling Act was a 1933 amendment to the Weimar Constitution that gave the German Cabinet – in effect, Chancellor Adolf Hitler – the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag. It passed in both the Reichstag and Reichsrat on 24 March 1933, and was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg later that day."

By destroying the power of another branch of government, Hitler made the biggest move required to seal his position as absolute dictator.  Even Hitler, however, did not have the gall to do this on his own, so he had the captive Reichstag vote for its own dissolution, and then had the bill signed into law by the (by then) deeply senile Paul Hindenburg.  Still, the passage of this bill has come to be seen as one of the most cynical acts of destruction of democracy ever seen.

Well, the United States may now lay claim to having one-upped the worst dictator in history.  No,not the "imperial Presidency" of Obama, but on a smaller scale, in the lamentable State of Kansas:

"On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that threatens the entire state's judiciary with destruction if it rules against a law he favors. Brownback has spent much of his tenure attempting to curb the state supreme court and consolidate power in the executive branch. Thursday's startling maneuver suggests the deeply conservative governor has no compunction about simply obliterating separation of powers when another branch of government gets in his way.
Now the court has an opportunity to strike down the administrative law, which probably violates the state constitution. And that's where Brownback's insane new law comes in. The law declares that if the supreme court strikes down the administrative law, the entire state judiciary will lose its funding. Brownback and the legislature are essentially bullying the judiciary: Uphold our law or cease to exist."

No laws to do this; no approval of the branch of government which is to be led to the gallows.  Instead, just a display of the naked power to destroy the rule of law, and deprive the people of Kansas of any way to stop Brownback from carrying out his most malignant  whims.

I have suggested before that, in the last year or so, I  have seen signs that Republicans are so convinced that they have utterly destroyed the power of ordinary people to control their government, that they are now in the process of taking their gloves off and openly working to destroy the government of, by and for the people which has always been supposed to be the central tenet of American rule, and replacing it with a vicious oligarchy.  This act by Sam Brownback is by far the worst of this behavior; it is not in any way an exaggeration to describe this as naked, unvarnished fascism, for that is what it is.  It looks like Sinclair Lewis was wrong when he suggested that, when fascism came to the United States, it would come dressed in religion and the flag.  No, it looks like it will march in wearing the same jackboots it has always favored; because once the people have been crushed, no need to waste energy putting on a show for them.

1 comment:

igd said...

"Wrapped in the Flag and carrying a Cross" sounds like a fair description Gov.Brownshirt and his running mates, both in Kansas and the rest of the GOP