BP escrow account a harbinger of Nazi-like dictatorship?

In a far-off time now almost lost to memory, John McCain was a maverick, John Edwards was the champion of the little guy and, ever farther back, Thomas Sowell offered conservative thought with some intellectual rigor behind it.

For all three, that era ended a long time ago. Here’s the latest from Sowell, under the headline “Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?”

“… during the worldwide Great Depression, the German Reichstag passed a law “for the relief of the German people.”

That law gave Hitler dictatorial powers that were used for things going far beyond the relief of the German people — indeed, powers that ultimately brought a rain of destruction down on the German people and on others.

If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.

The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP’s money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed “czars” controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.

Those who cannot see beyond the immediate events to the issues of arbitrary power — vs. the rule of law and the preservation of freedom — are the “useful idiots” of our time. But useful to whom?”

Sowell will be 80 years old in another week, and is clearly past his peak. But it’s troubling that many continue to see signs of brilliance in work such as this.

34 comments Add your comment

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
1:43 pm

First abortion and now Nazis….wheee! What more could a reactionary like me ask for! :-)

Repoooblitard

June 23rd, 2010
1:48 pm

In the name of freedom, it’s much better that citizens whose livlihoods are destroyed by the carelessness and greed of a giant international conglomerates spend 15-20 years paying lawyers to file motions before receiving a dime of compensation. Freedom!

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
1:58 pm

On a more serious note, the first real step toward what could easily turn into a police state in no time flat was doing away with habeas corpus.

Outhouse GoKart

June 23rd, 2010
2:01 pm

“rain of destruction” I like that one!!

Obama is a Rain of destruction.

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
2:06 pm

“McChrystal out; Petraeus picked for Afghanistan”

Headline

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100623/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_mcchrystal

Jefferson

June 23rd, 2010
2:09 pm

Who’s going to provide all the “under the table” income these folk were getting and skipping out of the taxes if it were documented.

stands for decibels

June 23rd, 2010
2:18 pm

the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed “czars”

oy. You actually read past that line, Jay?

Reality

June 23rd, 2010
2:19 pm

Isn’t it Democrats that were openly wishing Obama could be made dictator for a while so he could enact his changes? No sympathy for BP, but that’s a dictator level move, too. Dictators come to power when people are desperate and angry, and that description is starting to fit us.

NowReally

June 23rd, 2010
2:19 pm

Actually, when Senator Obama became President Obama; I expected a lot of PARANOIA. However, these guys have moved up a notch on the PARANOIA charts, but not at the level I expected. Nevertheless, everyday they move up a few more notches. : )

ByteMe

June 23rd, 2010
2:21 pm

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
2:22 pm

“Dictators come to power when people are desperate and angry, and that description is starting to fit us.”

To which we might add, and society becomes polarized. We are headed THAT direction pell mell.

Midori

June 23rd, 2010
2:22 pm

Yet the below sentiments were applauded and cherished by the right:

You don’t get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier.” Describing what it’s like to be governor of Texas.
(Governing Magazine 7/98)

“I told all four that there are going to be some times where we don’t agree with each other, but that’s OK. If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator,” Bush joked.

“A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no question about it, ” [Bush] said.

thomas

June 23rd, 2010
2:25 pm

Midori

June 23rd, 2010
2:22 pm

Words- vs. Actions….

Which one is more troubling?

thomas

June 23rd, 2010
2:26 pm

Also Midori,

who applauded those staements?

Did anyone actually come out in approval of those statements? Or are you just going for effect?

thomas

June 23rd, 2010
2:27 pm

sorry!

statements… with a T.

some can be odd about that

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
2:28 pm

midori
Just keep in mind when watching, though, that dictators are just as likely to come from the left as from the right…Castro, Chavez come to mind…

And, no, I don’t think President Obama is in the market to be dictator and neither do I think Bush was…

getalife

June 23rd, 2010
2:29 pm

Hi Midori :)

They made the President angry.

Watch out Arizona and Louisiana.

Citizen of the World

June 23rd, 2010
2:35 pm

I can remember when I thought Thomas Sowell made some good points every now and then. But in recent years, he’s gotten more and more simplistic and partisan. The scary part is, he still comes off as the voice of reason when compared to right-wing mouthpieces like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 23rd, 2010
2:38 pm

I didn’t realize the blog hit count was so low this week.

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
2:42 pm

Hillbilly

“I didn’t realize the blog hit count was so low this week.”

No doubt the cause of the abortion thread below… :-)

More topical upstairs, though….

DebbieDoRight

June 23rd, 2010
2:44 pm

josef: On a more serious note, the first real step toward what could easily turn into a police state in no time flat was doing away with habeas corpus

How was habeas corpus done away with? Just asking….

Moderate Line

June 23rd, 2010
2:53 pm

I have very little sympathy for BP but I have to wonder if our court system is inadequate for dealing with tort cases in this situation, it can be adequate for dealing with tort cases in general. Especially, since in the case of BP the plaintiffs would seem to be at a considerable advantage considering the publicity.

Are our courts as bad as this seems to indicate?

Paul

June 23rd, 2010
3:05 pm

I’m always skeptical of historical comparisons, especially of the “Rome declined when….” variety.

Having said that, I’m all for checks and balances. Congressional oversight. There’s a big, big difference between a presidential adviser and one given policy-making or funds disbursement authority. I really don’t care what the Executive calls them, once they go past the advisory role they should be subject to Congressional approval and oversight.

I’m not sure the appeals process for Feinberg’s decisions is set – or even if it’s set. But, a hearing before a judge would be a good idea – checks and balances and all that.

reasonable

June 23rd, 2010
3:08 pm

First, a point; I have long disagreed with Thomas Sowell’s editorials and writings In this country, however, everyone has the right to express his opinions, no matter how wrongheaded I may believe them to be. Where I have a problem is that the AJC printed one of his editorial columns that contained what can only be seen as an advertisement for his book on the irresponsibility of intellectuals. In that column, he actually wrote that the reader should refer to his book on intellectual irresponsibility to find more information on the topic. Whatever his political opinions and whatever his current status, it was the AJC that did not exercise discretion and decide that maybe that this was over the line on an editorial page.

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
3:19 pm

Midori

June 23rd, 2010
3:33 pm

Hi there, Getalife.

Josef/Hillbilly: I wouldn’t touch that abortion thread if Jay paid me :)

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
3:45 pm

midori

Me either!

DebbieDoRight

June 23rd, 2010
3:49 pm

Hi Midori!!

josef – i NEVER (or hardly ever) rely on wikipedia as a “credible” source – mainly because they allow anyone to post anything they feel like.

Midori

June 23rd, 2010
3:56 pm

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
3:57 pm

DDR
And neither do I, but this does sum up the process by which it was accomplished…there’s a great deal of commentary both legal/scholarly and punditry on this subject…

josef nix

June 23rd, 2010
4:00 pm

DDR–
As you know this fellow can get on my nerves with his drama queen antics, but this is one place where I was definitely in his choir…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15220450/

MAC

June 23rd, 2010
4:53 pm

It all depends on how the BP money is allocated and spent.

And if the full $20 billion is directed to damage recipients or does some amount fund government “administration” costs.

joe matarotz

June 24th, 2010
6:50 am

Jay, maybe you should read William Shirer’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’. There are a lot of very scary parallels in it.

Granny Godzilla

June 25th, 2010
10:07 pm