Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Beyond Byrd

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:13 PM |  

There are plenty of people commenting Robert Byrd’s remarks on the Senate floor comparing Republican political maneuverings to maneuvers of Hitler. Bad comparison. But in rejecting the logical connection Byrd is trying to make, let’s not ignore the premise in his remarks.
"Hitler's originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions in modern conditions are carried out with, and not without, not against, the power of the State. The correct order of events was first to secure access to that power of the State, and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality. He never abandoned the cloak of legality. He recognized the enormous, psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made his illegality legal.”
Compare Byrd’s remarks with the opening paragraphs of Frederic Bastiat's classic work The Law.”
The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.
Remove the Hitler card from the deck, and all of a sudden, the cards we’re being dealt, by those holding all the cards, might not always be coming off the top of the deck.

Cross Byrd and Bastiat and you get a pretty frightening picture of the way government -- right and left -- operates today. Could we be just be one charismatic demagogue away from a full deck?