Thursday, March 09, 2006

The people understand the need for a strong leader

Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post experiences an unpleasant bit of synchronicity:
Two Leaders' Power Failures

... "The powers of the presidency have been eroded and usurped to the breaking point. We are engaged in a new kind of war that cannot be fought by old methods. It can only be directed by a strong executive who alone is not subject to the conflicting pressures that legislators or judges face. The public understands and supports that unpleasant reality, whatever the media and intellectuals say."

These words came from a White House aide defending U.S. policies on Guantanamo Bay prisoners, secret renditions and warrantless eavesdropping in a conversation with me. A few days later, I heard a Russian official use nearly identical terms to defend his country's coercive merging of private energy and media companies under state control...
Ahh yes, the "media" and the "intellectuals" are the problem. The people understand the need for the strong leader.

Gee, there's something familiar about that phrasing. I'm sure I've heard it somewhere before ....

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