Thursday, September 10, 2015

Is a Coup Unimaginable?

Catherine Rampell @crampell
what?? 29% of Americans overall, 43% of Republicans could imagine a situation in which they support a military coup?

There was a fair amount of attention paid to the above tweet yesterday. First to mind is to echo William Buckley and ask of the other 71% "what accounts for your lack of imagination?" Or to put it another way I’ve been able to imagine all sorts of exploits in my own life which have had a low probability of actually occurring. But it does touch on something I’ve been pondering for awhile.

As the Annales points out the outward structure of government can remain while the political system is being fundamentally altered. Something like that is, I think, occurring in the U.S. where a system predicated on the main governmental bodies, House, Senate, Executive, Supreme Court jealously guarding their own power has given way to party.

While the match isn't exact, it seems to me that the U.S. system is evolving, particularly on the Democratic side, to something like a parliamentary system. The House, Senate, and Executive have merged into the House of Commons with the President as Prime Minister. What is being lost in this change is the checks and balances that the Constitution assumes without the addition of break points, like votes of no confidence, that exist in the English system.

How does all of that relate to the tweet at the beginning? Well, I think that in by far the most likely House and Senate election result outcomes the removal of a president via the impeachment process is a dead letter. If the party of the president holds together, the president won't be removed. That makes other scenarios and actions easier to imagine.

No comments:

Post a Comment