Friday, January 27, 2006

He just does not get it

Juan Cole identifies the inherent danger with shrub.

Jan. 27, 2006 | The stunning victory of the militant Muslim fundamentalist Hamas Party in the Palestinian elections underlines the central contradictions in the Bush administration's policies toward the Middle East. Bush pushes for elections, confusing them with democracy, but seems blind to the dangers of right-wing populism.

Emphasis mine. The point is, shrub sees no danger to democracy as long as we have elections. This is, of course, bullshit considering it is probable shrub hasn't really been elected.

Democracy depends not just on elections but on a rule of law, on stable institutions, on basic economic security for the population, and on checks and balances that forestall a tyranny of the majority. Elections in the absence of this key societal context can produce authoritarian regimes and abuses as easily as they can produce genuine people power.

Ah! There's the rub. Without "rule of law", the elections can easily produce dictators as well as effective, decent, democratic leaders. Shrub doesn't realise this. He doesn't equate his lawlessness with a threat to democracy. Oh yea, that "checks and balances" thing is probably important to a democracy too.

Or I could be completely wrong and shrub just doesn't really care.


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