In what reads like something out of High Castle-era Philip K. Dick, David Swanson describes what the American landscape might have looked like under a third Bush administration. More warrantless spying, escalating military budgets, formalizing policies of preventive detention, Swanson’s list is long—and grim. That’s just the set-up, though, to a far scarier punchline:
This dark fantasy of a third Bush term is also an accurate portrait of Obama’s first term to date. In following Bush, Obama was given the opportunity either to restore the rule of law and the balance of powers or to firmly establish in place what were otherwise aberrant abuses of power. Thus far, President Obama has, in all the areas mentioned above, chosen the latter course. Everything described, from the continuation of crimes to the efforts to hide them away, from the corruption of corporate power to the assertion of the executive power to legislate, is Obama’s presidency in its first seven months.
David Swanson is the author, most recently, of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.