America, it seems, is on the brink of fascism. Certified futurist Sara Robinson gives the alert in the link provided above. Eh... whatever. Historically, the effort to set fascism in motion is the panic-stricken response of an entrenched, wealthy elite that's facing a strong challenge to its power from a democratic social movement. There is no such challenge at this time. The entrenched, wealthy elite are getting everything they want from the Democratic administration in power. There is no challenge to that process from within the Democratic party. The useful idiot health care hecklers from the party of permanent, unappeasable resentment are providing cover for another massive looting, sold to the public in complete sentences by a rhetorically gifted salesman. The hecklers are, if anything, a gift from heaven. A collegial courtesy. Very little nutpicking need be done to make them all look deranged. While the rubes are gawking at the barking mad wingnuts, the insurance industry is happily toting up future returns on their wise investments. Any principled, nuanced opposition to that from the few real conservatives is not going to be heard. The left, needless to say, has already been evicted from the debate.
I'm hardly breaking new ground, or conceding anything to Robinson's argument, when I acknowledge that the Republican base consists of authoritarian followers. They'll work overtime for increases in private privilege and increases in the police powers of the state. They live in perpetual moral panic over trivia. They are highly vulnerable to white collar crime and the least stable of them make good recruits for thuggery in support of it. This has been studied in great detail by, among others, Jay Taber. It is a sad irony that this research performed in pursuit of the public good is being used to form the propaganda basis for the moral panic of another set of authoritarian followers, the merit stooges of the Democratic Party, who are also highly vulnerable to white collar crime, who are differentiated from the Republican base by the conviction that thuggery in support of it is A) the sole prerogative of the state, provided the state is managed by Democrats, and B) should be done through humanitarian wars managed by Democrats.
The state characteristics of fascism that were so troubling to Democrats during the Bush regime are still in place. The Patriot Act and Patriot II, affirmed by Barack Obama when he was a senator, are not going to be repealed. The torture hierarchy is not going to be prosecuted. The occupation of Iraq continues on the Bush plan, with a withdrawal to the "enduring" bases. The overseas contingency operations are on the rise and the war in Afghanistan is spilling over into Pakistan. The racist war on drugs is still popular. The power to police the internet is being increased. The secretary of state and the vice president are still rattling sabers. Private privilege remains lavishly funded and, now, also gets to speculate directly with tax payer money. Etc. etc. So, fascism? Oh no indeed. Perhaps we're supposed to take comfort in the complete sentences.