Sunday, February 12, 2017

Would Trump's Fan Boys Accept A Sultanate Without A Throne?


You know what's not really funny? It's not really funny that the low IQ/prescription drug-addled Trump supporters use Kellyanne Con-man's fictional Bowling Green Massacre-- a typical Trumpist #alt-fact-- to justify their belief that Trump should seize dictatorial powers. Yes,most Trump fans-- not all, just most, including every single one I've ever met-- are morons. That they have the right to vote is as horrifying as the German voters in 1933 who made the Nazi Party the biggest party in Germany. Same people-- completely and utterly the same people. You want to see a Nazi moron? Go talk to a Trump supporter. You probably watched this Alexandra Pelosi video before. Watch it again... these idiots have put our country in very great danger:

For whatever reason-- whether the abuse of heavy debilitating drugs or just innate-- or cultivated-- stupidity or Hate Talk Radio/Fox News brainwashing-- the Trump supporters can't seem to distinguish from fake news and reality. Nor do they want to. That's how Trump won and that's how Trump maintains even his puny 43% approval rating. Yes, Trump is already the most detested president in American history, but he does have his supporters. (And nothing's going to change their minds-- short of, perhaps, detox regiments and starting overrun the 3rd grade. Just look at that video again.)

When I warn people that Trump is another Hitler or Mussoliini or perhaps another Putin, I always get pushback reminding me that Trump is more like Turkish would-be dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan than like these more classic examples of modern day tyrants. And we've compared Trump and Erdoğan even before Putin managed to install Trump in the White House. Friday, the BBC predicts that after the April 16 referendum in Turkey, Erdoğan will no longer be a would-be dictator, but a bona fide dictator.
On the surface, it might seem a proposal that would enjoy cross-party consensus: modernising Turkey's constitution that was drawn up at the behest of the once-omnipotent military after the coup of 1980.

But instead it's arguably the most controversial political change in a generation, becoming in effect a referendum on the country's powerful but divisive President Erdogan.

The plan would turn Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential republic, more akin to the United States. Among the numerous changes:
The role of prime minister would be scrapped. The new post of vice president, possibly two or three, would be created.
The president would become the head of the executive, as well as the head of state, and retain ties to a political party.
He or she would be given sweeping new powers to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree.
The president alone would be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
Parliament would lose its right to scrutinise ministers or propose an enquiry. However, it would be able to begin impeachment proceedings or investigate the president with a majority vote by MPs. Putting the president on trial would require a two-thirds majority.
The number of MPs would increase from 550 to 600.
Presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on the same day every five years. The president would be limited to two terms.
The government-- and, principally, President Erdogan-- argue that the reforms would streamline decision-making and avoid the unwieldy parliamentary coalitions that have hamstrung Turkey in the past.

Since the president is no longer chosen by parliament but now elected directly by the people, goes the argument, he or she should not have to contend with another elected leader (the prime minister) to enact laws.

The current system is, they say, holding back Turkey's progress. They even argue that the change could somehow end the extremist attacks that have killed more than 500 people in the past 18 months.

A presidential system is all very well in a country with proper checks and balances like the United States, retort critics, where an independent judiciary has shown itself willing to stand up to Donald Trump and a rigorous free press calls him out on contentious policies.

But in Turkey, where judicial independence has plummeted and which now ranks 151 of 180 countries in the press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters Without Borders, an all-powerful president would spell the death knell of democracy, they say.

Mr Erdogan's opponents already decry his slide to authoritarianism, presiding over the world's biggest jailer of journalists and a country where some 140,000 people have been arrested, dismissed or suspended since the failed coup last year. Granting him virtually unfettered powers, says the main opposition CHP, would "entrench dictatorship."

"The jury is out," says Ahmet Kasim Han, a political scientist from Kadir Has University. "It doesn't look as bad as the opposition paints it and it's definitely not as benevolent as the government depicts it. The real weakness is that in its hurry to pass the reform, the government hasn't really explained the 2,000 laws that would change. So it doesn't look bright, especially with this government's track record."

The governing AK Party had to rely on parliamentary votes from the far-right MHP to lead the country to a referendum. For long, the MHP leader, Devlet Bahceli, opposed the presidential system: "The Turkish nation has never allowed a Hitler," he once said, "and it will not allow Erdogan to get away with this," calling it the recipe for "a sultanate without a throne."

But arm-twisting and rumours that he could be offered one of the vice presidential posts has prompted a spectacular U-turn. The question now is whether he can persuade his party to follow. The party's deputy chairman and several local MHP officials have already resigned over Mr Bahceli's stance.

"It seems this is not going Bahceli's way," says Dr Kasim Han. "But the naysayers may not feel able to go against the party culture by contradicting the leader."

Opposition to the reform is led by the centre-left CHP and the pro-Kurdish HDP parties, the latter of which has been portrayed by the government as linked to terrorism. Several of its MPs and the party leaders are now in prison.

AKP and MHP voters who oppose the reform may feel pressured into voting in favour, so as not to be tarnished as supporting "terrorists," especially since the referendum will take place under the state of emergency imposed after the attempted coup.

"Holding the vote under this state of emergency makes it susceptible to allegations that people don't feel free to say no," says Dr Kasim Han. "It casts a shadow over the outcome."

Polling has been contradictory and Turkish opinion pollsters are notoriously politicised. But all signs point to a very tight race.

With the detail of the constitutional reform impenetrable to many, the referendum has become focused around Mr Erdogan himself: a president who elicits utmost reverence from one side of the country and intense hatred from the other.

The decision as to whether to grant him the powers he's long coveted will determine the political fate of this deeply troubled but hugely important country.

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At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A presidential system is all very well in a country with proper checks and balances like the United States..." ?!?!?!?

The us hasn't had proper checks/balances since WWII. Since that time, when paranoia about the "red menace" made voters eagerly transfer warmaking powers from the senate to the executive (often using the UN as a cudgel) to today when voters have enthusiastically forfeited first and fourth amendments and have ceded NEAR absolute power to the exec... then elect a series of worse and worse abusers of those powers, we've left ourselves with barely ANY checks/balances. Indeed, as soon as the money gets gorsuch on the sc (and drumpf fills the 100s of empty seats that Rs refused to allow obamanation to full), the constant stream of 5-4 decisions giving more personage to corporations and denying it from humans, at some point very soon there won't be any left.

The power grab in Turkey is more overt... but at least voters there have a chance to repudiate it.

The chance the American electorate will ever repudiate the galloping tyranny is ZERO. And, yes, a majority of voters (who vote) would probably affirm tyranny as their preferred gummint.


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