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I find history worthy of remembering in and of itself, but I'm not to into looking at it for 'lessons'.  

American democracy is in the worst shape it has been in my memory. But is it really worse than during the Cointelpro era, or Germany in the seventies? It depends on how exactly you define things, what you focus on.  Certainly not worse than McCarthyism, or the Red Scare of the post WWI period, or France in the late fifties.

So yes it is bad, yes we should be upset, yes we should be worried, but we also shouldn't exaggerate. This is not Poland c. 1970, let alone Germany in 1933 or the Poland of the first postwar decade.  There is significant pushback from the media, not enough, but much more than there was at the start of the 'War on Terror' when a WaPo frontpage story about the US adopting a torture policy sank without a trace. We are also seeing some resistance from Congress - remember that the Patriot Act originally passed with only one negative vote, last week over forty opposed it. I don't expect that to have any practical effect in the immediate term since the Administration has made its utter contempt for the law crystal clear, but it may well over the next decade. So I'm actually much more optimistic than I was just a year or two ago. The way I see it each of the periods of government overreach in America was followed by greater freedom. Let's hope it will this time as well.

by MarekNYC on Tue Dec 20th, 2005 at 05:34:10 PM EST
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