Blogs > Liberty and Power > Banana Republicans?

Oct 2, 2005 1:38 pm

Banana Republicans?

Far more disturbing than the Bush administration's decision to give away the store with regard to Katrina relief are the increasing calls to weaken the Posse Comitatus Act, the longstanding federal statute that restricts the federal government's ability to use the military as a police force. That statute embodies the traditional American distrust of the use of standing armies to keep the peace domestically. But President Bush, Senator Warner, and others want to see it abrogated for the purposes of disaster relief. That could lead to collateral damage of civilian life and liberty. Worse, it could lead to further domestic militarization. Once we normalize the idea that when civilian institutions do a lousy job, the proper response is to call in the troops, we've undermined a fundamental principle of republican government. Small r, of course. For more on this issue, see here and here.

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