The Republic has died. Let’s decide how to commemorate those responsible. Post your ideas!

Summary:  Here we discuss the hidden history of our generation (hidden to us, obvious to future generations). At the end we announce a contest.  What kind of monument best commemorates the two men responsible for killing the Constitution?

The Constitution has died.

It lived only in our hearts.  At first government officials moved beyond the Law in secret (organizations such as the CIA were explicitly setup to do this).  Then they leaked their deeds, testing for acceptance.  Now they boast, rewarded by our applause (enthusiastic acceptance).

The Presidential campaign provides its wake, as candidates boast how they’ll take us into the post-Republic era.  Obama has an advantage, as he can boast what he’s done to destroy the Constitution.  About killing by drones, about the execution of bin Laden. As we see in yesterday’s advertisement pretending to be news in the New York Times: ”Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will“.

We’ll see the movie later this year of a heavily-armed special operations team executing a old man.

The November election will provide a plebiscite ratifying the death of the Founders’ dream, as we passively choose between two candidates each devoted to building the post-Constitutional America.

But if you are most people in the United States, your reaction is much more likely to be, good, I’m glad they are killing the bad guys, and I’m glad they’re thinking hard about who they’re killing and why before they do it. Clearly the administration wants to get across a message to the public that there is a serious process, even if the circumstances for making targeting decisions are novel.
— “The Secret ‘Kill List’ and the President“, Kenneth Anderson, Volokh Conspiracy, 29 May 2012

This quiet coup was done quietly.  Without force, without public opposition.  Each step has been in the news. If there was a conspiracy, than we are the co-conspirators.

The book argues that the Madisonian system of separation of powers has eroded beyond recognition and been replaced with a system of executive primacy (which others have called the “imperial presidency”) in which Congress and the courts play only a marginal role.
—  Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic, Eric Posner (Prof Law, U Chicago) and Adrian Vermeule (Prof Law, Harvard). You can download the first chapter at Amazon.  Here is Posner’s summary at the Volokh Conspiracy.

On another day we will discuss what we can do next.  Today we can commemorate those most responsible for this historic event, the two men who changed the course of a great nation:  George Bush Jr and Usama bin Laden. Partners in crime; perhaps some day Hollywood will made a action flick with them as odd couple buddies.

Bin Laden staged what might be the most effective single military operation in western history.  Perhaps in world history.  For details see:

Bush Jr was the President who most strongly changed America since Lincoln, second only to FDR (who navigated America through the Great Depression and WWII, laying the foundation for the awesome successes of the next two generations).  He seized the opportunity bin Laden created, bringing bin Laden’s dream to fruition.  The US destroyed as a beacon, rebuilt as a tottering over-extended enemy of Islam.  At this rate we might unify the Islamic peoples — against us.

These men will be remembered for a thousand years as the political power hitters of the 21st century, along with their counterparts of the 20th century — Lenin, Hitler, and Mao.  Historians will ask why the top guns were all evil.

Now for some fun

We should remember these men who destroyed two centuries of work and sacrifice.  What kind of monument do they deserve in Washington DC?  Please post your ideas in the comments!  Here are two ideas to start the contest.

  • A giant marble hand, center finger thrust into the air — a pillar higher than the Washington monument.
  • Statues of both men, arms clasped, staring out to the horizon — seeing we know not what.

For more information

There are dozens of posts documenting the fantastically rapid decline and fall of the Second Republic.  See them all at the FM Reference page America – how can we stop the quiet coup now in progress?

A few of the recent red flags:

  1. Tearing the Constitution is a bipartisan sport!, 4 April 2011
  2. Watch the Constitution die right now as we burn a 2452 year old vital legal precedent, 11 October 2011
  3. RIP, Constitution. The Second Republic died this week. Of course, we don’t care (that’s why it died)., 5 December 2011

43 thoughts on “The Republic has died. Let’s decide how to commemorate those responsible. Post your ideas!”

  1. I think a Rodin’s “Burghers of Calais”-oid large sculpture of the “founding fathers” wearing gitmo orange jumpsuits, with goggles and earmuffs, hands and legs chained, in a little chain link fenced area… With a plaque reading “US 1st and 4th amendments, 1791 – 2008”

  2. Check your consistency. Text describes Bush the younger; both photo and tag are Bush I. Otherwise an insightful article. Perhaps a clad coin depicting Lady Liberty on an Army cot taking a nap…

  3. At the center, the American family, the mother, the father, and the children — all healthy, clean and looking to the future, standing proud, while surrounded below by the Falluja dead from phosphorous shells, those tortured at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the corpses of those killed by soldiers, by drones, by bombs, all of them, twisted with pain of their final moments. Our enemies, their spirits broken, shivering and cowering in fear and despair.

    The title reads “Secure at last!”

    1. I go the other way.

      At center an American family looking healthy and clean but terrified and uncomfortable, surrounded by guards facing inward, their weapons are out but not pointed directly at the family. The title would be “Secure at last?”

  4. I’m young and I’m angry, but It’s not just the elite that we need to worry about. It’s them that need to worry about us. As long as they continue to take away our rights and push us further and further into indentured servitude, the more of us will make it our priority to not support such a system. And as more and more people continue to wake up the less people the elite will have as support for keeping this empire standing. If America falls, where can these elites go?

    And if you say a sort of Tyrannical Oligarchy/Plutocracy will be able to run without the people’s support, how long will it take before a revolution springs up? I tend to believe that Americans will only be able to take so much before before we throw a fit – I mean we are used to having it our way all the time. I guess I still have faith in the American people somewhat. They may be lulled/sedated by modern media/entertainment, but at least we tend to get emotional when one of our own are severely mistreated by government (I think). Am I too hopeful?

    But anyway, as for the monument: I say have a statue built with Usama behind his wife pointing a hangun (doesn’t matter what kind) at Bush Jr. with a burning constitution popped out of the gun!

    1. I don’t see any evidence of what you describe. Time will tell if you are correct. The closest thing I see to active anger is crotchety delusional libertarians, a strain of Americans native to the USA. As in this quote

      “But you call this a free country when I can’t shoot my nigga when I like?”
      — An incident in America from William Stanhope Lovell’s {Vice-Admiral, Royal Navy) Personal Narrative of events from 1799 to 1815

  5. Dubya in a TSA uniform, gloved hand in the air, with index and middle finger pointed straight up; in front of him is a man, belly protruding from his T-shirt (which reads ‘USA #1!!!’), bending over and grabbing his ankles. The inscription on the bottom reads ‘MADE IN CHINA’

  6. How arrogant to assume the epitaph of the United States will be ascribed to (y)our blog. And, to completely ignore the LBJ and Nixon contributions to enhancing non-elected federal power shows the FM affinity for histrionics.

    “Bush Jr was the President who most strongly changed America since Lincoln, second only to FDR (who navigated America through the Great Depression and WWII, laying the foundation for the awesome successes of the next two generations)”

    The reactive opinions on FM are truly going down hill.

    1. Aesop,

      (1) It is never “arrogant” to speak the truth. That is an in alienable right of all men and women.

      (2) “will be ascribed to (y)our blog.”

      No such thing was said or implied in this post. Why don’t people reply to quotes?

      (3) “to completely ignore the LBJ and Nixon contributions to enhancing”

      This is an announcement, like those for weddings, births, and deaths. All assume that the event was preceded by other events (unmentioned) that led to it. That’s obvious, isn’t it?

      As always, there are links at the end to posts providing detailed analysis, for those interested.

    2. Aesop, you are right that LBJ and Nixon vastly expanded non-elected federal power but you forget that LBJ flamed out because of Vietnam (richly deserved) and Nixon was not only caught but punished for his crimes, which firmed up the republic for a while longer.

      Bush is unique because he did it in plain sight and got rewarded for it, thus blazing the trail for future presidents. Another unique factor about Bush is that he is a very moral man in many respects but so astoundingly clueless about other people and their intentions that he was easily manipulated. As near as I can tell, he finally started realizing in 2006 just how badly he had handled the situation and tried to repair some of the damage but was very ineffective. Probably the best that can be said of him in his last two years is that he stopped actively trying to do harm.

      The sad thing is that Obama seemed like a reasonable counter to Bush in 2008 but has proven to be a secret partner in evil instead. The NY Times article has proven what I have grown to suspect, Obama is a remarkably amoral man who is far more concerned with preserving all of his options than in the morality of any of them.

      I am beginning to think that electing Mitt Romney is our next best step because Obama has grown more cynical as he has learned to master Washington politics. Obama in his second term will likely be more effective (as George Bush was, even after he sent Cheney to the cellar) and I don’t think we need even more amoral cynicism in the White House than already exists there. Admittedly Romney is no treat but at least he will be relatively ineffective.

      1. I agree with Pluto, but would state it more strongly. Nixon went too far AND got caught, sparking a counter-trend movement. Lots of reforms, and perhaps more important were the revelations (eg, the Church hearings) exposing dark deeds of the government. The system worked, in a ramshackle sort of fashion. Most important, it proved that even an Imperial President could be taken down by our Constitutional machinery (the term became common in the 1960s, and clearly that’s how Nixon saw himself).

    3. “Another unique factor about Bush is that he is a very moral man in many respects but so astoundingly clueless about other people and their intentions that he was easily manipulated. As near as I can tell, he finally started realizing in 2006 just how badly he had handled the situation and tried to repair some of the damage but was very ineffective….Admittedly Romney is no treat but at least he will be relatively ineffective.” — Plato

      Upon what evidence are these claims of yours based, Plato? At least in my opinion, Bush was far from being a moral man (I’m far from being the only person who thinks so) — and although I do think he was “clueless about other people and their intentions” in many ways, I frankly refuse to believe that Bush was the sort of naive and innocent victim that your words seem to portray him as being.

      Granted, Bush was probably not “the Decider” that he portrayed himself to be and there was probably a fair amount of manipulation going on behind the scenes from the likes of people such as Cheney and Rumsfeld — I’m not disputing that — but I very much doubt that Bush was so oblivious that this went on without his awareness and consent. I also see very little persuasive evidence that Bush “finally started realizing in 2006 just how badly he had handled the situation.” Signing the Military Commissions Act in October of 2006 was not the action of someone who was trying to “repair some of the damage”(!)…especially considering the ruling by the US Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush that the MCA’s suspension of habeus corpus was unconstitutional.

      If Bush came to any realization of his mistakes in 2006 (and I’m not entirely convinced this is so), it was most likely forced upon him from outside by the drubbing which the Republican Party received in the election that year (which he himself later described as a “thumping”) — for the first time in the entire history of the United States, not one Republican managed to unseat a Democratic incumbent at the federal or gubernatorial level — instead of coming to him as the result of greater self-awareness.

    4. Here’s evidence that Bush the Lesser finally did begin to learn a thing or two: “U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site“, New York Times, 11 January 2009.

      So it only took the man-child eight years to figure out that while it’s easy to waltz into a war, getting out is a whole different thing. Precocious!

      My vote’s with the Bush-bin Laden sculpture. I can’t think of any historical examples of two adversaries who worked out such a mutually beneficial symbiosis. I also have to sadly agree that Bush was one of the most profoundly transformative presidents ever. Even without his imbecilic wars, the vandalism he inflicted on public finances will be felt for a generation.

    5. Aesop remarks: “How arrogant to assume the epitaph of the United States will be ascribed to (y)our blog.” I don’t believe FM ever made that assertion. What FM did say was that “There are dozens of posts documenting the fantastically rapid decline and fall of the Second Republic” and that they can be seen at the FM reference page. That appears to be a demonstrable fact. But FM didn’t say that he was the only person making such posts. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll notice that FM frequently references Glenn Greenwald, Tom Englehardt, Chuck Spinney, and many others who’ve been saying essentially the same thing.

      More recently, better known pundits such as Arnaud de Borchgrave have joined the chorus. See “Commentary: Alarm Bells in the U.S.”

      My own suggestion for a monument to 21st century America’s decline would be a giant statue of a riot-armored SWAT police officer wiping his ass with the constitution of the united states while he beats an American citizen to death, even as the American citizen licks the SWAT offer’s boot. The American should be morbidly obese, clutching a giant economy-sized bag of Cheetohs and wearing a T-shirt that reads FREEDOM ISN’T FREE!

  7. Hi Fabius,

    Look at the finger in the link. In Italy we have already made this gift. This statue is placed right before Milano Stock Exchange…

    The deeper the crisis the more I like it.

    L.O.V.E. by Maurizio Cattelan (2011). Of Carrara marble, 11 meters high (including base).

    L.O.V.E. by Maurizio Cattelan (2011)

  8. Great article and comments!

    However, no one has suggested a monument that would be as significant nor as catastrophic as the destruction of the constitution. As I contemplated the likely culprits of this dastardly act, I considered a collective guilt associated with myself and my fellow citizens. Since it will always be debated on who the two largest villains are, the monument would again need to be proportional to the crime. Indeed, the monument would need to be the larger than all the other memorials in Washington DC combined.

    The monument would transform the Mall. As I propose it, the Washington monument would be decapitated at 1999 inches ~ 166 feet, 7 inches, The top spire, all 389 feet, would be airlifted by our best military aircraft, 2001 feet over the state capital building, positioned horizontally, and dropped onto the dome. Having destroyed the halls of congress, the building would be left to the elements and age like the Pantheon and Colosseum of ancient Rome.

    Members of congress would adjourn in a revamped treasury building turned dorm where legislators would share bunker rooms and use a new pedestrian bridge linking the representatives “commons” to the white house, where they would all work together. Meetings would be held around the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials until the JFK memorial auditorium had been retrofitted into an off season capital headquarters for citizens to address their elected leaders.

    But We The People would not stop there. There have been citizen combatants, in the future known as traitors, who through greed and misplaced ambition practiced within their respective trades the destruction of democratic ideals. On either side of the decapitated Washington monument, there would be built two nationalized Guantanamo style prisons constructed and accessed through a secret tunnel with it’s entrance at the Washington DC Holocaust museum. One prison would be for the media and the other for corrupted politicians. Cherry blossoms and an aviary would be built just outside the view of the prison cells so that the traitors will “get a whiff” of freedom but be denied the sight of it.

    Of all things, the monument would offer citizens of the United States something Obama/Bush/Shrub/Reagan and his advisers have denied us. Poetic Justice.

    1. Rather than an enduring stone or metal monument, I’d suggest that the Oval Office be commandeered for an ongoing act of performance art, in which generations of reenactors portraying our last two presidents discuss the transition of the country from democracy to oligarchy while doing lines of cocaine from the presidential desk. The actual executive office would then be in a New York brokerage, or a location similarly inaccessible to the average citizen.

  9. The monument to Bush and Bin Laden should obviously be a Janus – Bush on one side, Bin Laden on the other – a gateway into the new American century

  10. I’ve always been partial to the photo of Bush with a thumb up on the aircraft carrier with the Mission Accomplished sign as a symbol of the era. Not sure how to encapsulate it in art, but someone I’m sure has a good idea.

  11. Or perhaps we should simply chisel Voltaire’s words on a stone plinth a mile tall and light it with floolights:

    “Il etait digne de notre nation de singes de regarder nos assassins comme nos protecteurs;nous sommes des mouches qui prenons le parti des araignées”

    (It was worthy of our nation of monkeys to regard our assassins as protectors; we are like flies taking the side of the spiders.)

    1. A similar and equally good sentiment which would be worth carving on a memorial would be Juvenal’s famous question “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (which could be roughly translated as “who polices the police?”)

  12. I am not quite so certain that our “founding fathers” would be all that surprised. Andrew Jackson literally ignored a SCOTUS ruling in favor of Native Americans. Earlier he had been given orders (which everyone knew he would extend) to roust out the Seminoles in Spanish-controlled Florida. He went on to basically take Florida (this was during Monroe’s time, I think).

    Meanwhile, the idea of killing someone without trial is not all that new. FDR targeted Yamamoto (and succeeded). We took Hawaii from the Queen. We fomented rebellion in Panama so that we could build the canal (immediately recognized the “new” government and supported the separation from Colombia).

    As for a memorial…how about the tomb of the unknown soldier? Remember, these plutocrats used the military to accomplish their nefarious ends.

    1. “I am not quite so certain that our “founding fathers” would be all that surprised.”

      Agreed, but not for the reasons you give. Rather I believe they considered the Constitution a gamble against history. I don’t agree with the rest.

      (1) “Andrew Jackson literally ignored a SCOTUS ruling in favor of Native Americans.”

      That’s not accurate. You probably refer to the 1832 Supreme Court decision of Worcester v. Georgia), that Georgia could not impose its laws upon Cherokee tribal lands.

      1. It didn’t apply to Jackson.
      2. It’s a myth that Jackson said “Let Justice Marshall enforce it.”
      3. Jackson got some Cherokee leaders to sign a Treaty for their removal; objections were ignored by the Court and Congress.

      (2) “FDR targeted Yamamoto (and succeeded).”

      You must realize that’s a daft comparison. Yamamoto was a uniformed member of the armed forces of Japan, with whom we were at war, flying in a military aircraft. We’re killing unarmed civilians, of nations with whom we’re not a war — and even US citizens. Is there no claim, however bizarre, that people will make to defend our government’s actions?

      (3) “We took Hawaii from the Queen.”

      Yes, the US has done bad things. Especially, as have most nations, we’ve taken neighbor’s land. Does mean that every expansion of government evil is “not all that new”? Do you draw no lines, no boundaries beyond which we say our government has changed in nature, justifying citizen action?

      (4) “how about the tomb of the unknown soldier? Remember, these plutocrats used the military to accomplish their nefarious ends.”

      I feel sorry for you. And for us, for it’s such people that made possible the death of the Constitution. Such a comment suggests that you will easily adapt as a subject in the new Regime. You’re almost there already.

      1. Concerning your vitriol on my comments: We targeted Osama Bin Laden, although we did not declare war (formally) on Al Qaeda, they did declare war on us. That they do not wear any distinguishing uniforms is not the fault of the US, nor does it exempt them from combatant status. Thus, one could easily argue, OBL and many others, by their actions and words made themselves legitimate MILITARY targets.

        When I suggested the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a memorial, it was a suggestion that Bush and Bin Laden both caused lots of deaths, many of them probably not even acknowledged, and that such a tomb would be a fitting slap in the face of both individuals. They were responsible for the deaths of many people who will likely not be remembered–thus any memory of the two miscreants should fittingly have to include one of their greatest crimes.

        As for my easily adapting to a new, problematic-laden government, would I be reading or commenting here if I was all that easily satisfied? Perhaps if I wanted to troll, but that is not me (and I happen to comment on other blogs as well including, quite often, Rubini’s and The Moderate Voice).

  13. Lady liberty, lifts and turns over a heavy page in a giant bronze book, as big as she is. It’s the same book she holds in the statue of liberty, just bigger so everyone can see.

  14. The idea of a fuck you monument has precedents in the comic book universes. In the (DC) Vertigo comic Preacher by Garth Ennis, a minor character devotes the remainder of his life to carving the words ‘FUCK YOU’ into the landscape of the American desert via explosives on such a scale that they would be visible from outer space.

    From Grant Morrison’s Supergods: “In a move that seems prescient, [artist] Jones and I had him [the main character Noh-Varr of the title Marvel Boy] attack Manhattan, burning the words FUCK YOU into the street grid, big enough to be read from space.” (p 316)

    Considering these examples in light of suggestions for monuments commemorating W and bin Laden in the form of middle fingers – What’s going on? Seriously.

    I’m not necessarily knocking the idea, and perhaps this is off topic for “what kind of monument they deserve in Washington DC?” I don’t know what they, or I (although for the most part innocent of inflicting myself on others on such a scale) for that matter, deserve.

    Here’s an idea for what sort of a monument Ground Zero and citizens of the world deserve, though:

    That’s ok if you don’t watch it, it’s not going to be built anyway. But it sure beats my own idea of constructing 4 replicas of the world trade center towers in place of the 2 that were destroyed- like when you’re playing a video game and shoot an enemy and it grows like a hydra.

  15. Question: Should comments appear in chronological order, or reverse? That is, with the most recent appearing first — or the oldest appearing first?

    1. I don’t think it matters since all replies to a person’s comment are indented. But I would recommend a reply tab on your comments of comments that way it is easier to keep a debate/conversation/argument going and easier for readers to keep track of them.

      Just an idea.

  16. Great comments.And it means the US, the real US, is not quite dead yet. Plus, contrary to what some people think, there are some people in the US with a sense of humour, irony, black humour .. etc.

    US Citizens never seem to grasp the impact their actions have on the rest of the World. Especially their greatest things.

    In the second half of the 20th century the 2 things that had the greatest impact of all were (not the military, not the bombs, not the.. you get the idea):

    (1) The civil rights movements, which created a wave of change around the world. The recent (now being hit upon hard) Arab spring is simply a recent echo of that.

    All the long fought human rights movements, with all their sacrifices can all trace their origin to then.

    This was revolutionary stuff, yes ordinary people could make a difference, yes they could change things. And many have and continue to do.

    (2) Nixon and (yes FM it was a bit ramshackle but it still worked) a President was brought down by the forces of the law. That is another one of the most revolutionary things that has ever happened. Though by the standards of today, Nixon was a saint.

    ‘Top people accountable’? Never happens. Taxes … and laws … are for the little people. But there was the US, with all the issues it had (as everyone else in the World knew), brought a powerful President to heel .. as it should.

    I originally come for the UK and remember watching the TV (telly as we called it) late at night of all the hearings in Congress. This was a true democratic system in action. The US at its peak. Something we could only dream about in the UK.

    There are a lot of idealists in the US, possibly more per head of population than anywhere else. And by and large they are good idealists (though quite a few are a bit ignorant about the rest of World, but they can learn pretty quickly when they have to).

    And they will be, in the end, the ‘engine of recovery’, from the time the US finally hits the bottom and starts to rebuild again.

    Sadly the bottom is yet to be hit. But ‘keep your powder dry’, that time will come again. It will be the idealists and the competent (of which the US has an abundance even now) that will start the rebuilding .. just got to avoid the interim period of domestic drone strikes and ‘camps’ first of course.

  17. seems like you have to elect Mitt to save the constitution:

    The Mormon White Horse Prophecy: “the time would come when the Constitution and the country [USA] would be in danger of an overthrow; and … if the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the elder of [the LDS] Church”

    P.S: this is sarcasm.
    From the Wikipedia entry for the White Horse Prophecy:

    The White Horse Prophecy is a statement purported to have been made in 1843 by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, regarding the future of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the United States of America. The Latter Day Saints, according to the prophecy, would “go to the Rocky Mountains and … be a great and mighty people”, identified figuratively with the White Horse described in the Revelation of John. The prophecy further predicts that the United States Constitution will one day “hang like a thread” and will be saved “by the efforts of the White Horse”.

  18. Clone them both!

    This will outsource the need to use taxpayer money for public monument construction. If you want one (a B/B) you can buy and reproduce one through a tax incentive buy-back of B/B’s DNA giving you a 5% reduction on overdue tax -or leniency by the Courts on tax evasion charges – or permanent citizenship [The B/B Act]. Fund raised by the sale of their DNA would be used to support Vets and their famillies. I would recommend further legislation later though, to protect these off-spring, because there could be thousands of them walking around in 40 years. That could prove a human-rights challenge (but it would be a monument).. [this is a satirical post by the way]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top