Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 3, 2005
POP CULTURE: The Real Sith Lord?

With Mickey Kaus, Jay Tea at Wizbang and Dale Franks at QandO still kicking at the politics of Star Wars, let me note the one contemporary parallel to Palpatine that should be jaw-droppingly obvious (one other blogger has noticed the same thing). Just think:

*Rises to power in a weak, corrupt and dysfunctional republic in a time of civil war.

*Gradually consolidates extraordinary executive powers, mainly with popular approval if not entirely legitimate assent, to deal with security threats.

*Assumes direct control over the regional governors to consolidate his power outside of the purview of the legislature.

*Possesses civilization-destroying weapons.

*Is, to public appearances, warmly embraced by the leading power for good.

*Isn't above using assassination attempts as a political tool.

*Ruthlessly dispatches corrupt oligarchs who had supported his rise.

*Was trained by an old order now thought extinct, and stuns observers with nostalgia for its accomplishments.

You don't have to be the biggest critic of Vladimir Putin to see a parallel. I assume Russian audiences will pick them up. Will Putin? This is a man, after all, who complained that Dobby the House-Elf from Harry Potter looked too much like him.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:14 AM | Pop Culture | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Crank, I thought you were talking about George Stienbrenner.

Posted by: Rob M at June 3, 2005 11:29 AM

Funny, Other than the first item I thought you were talking about W.

Posted by: jim at June 3, 2005 12:15 PM

Ditto to Jim. And W. kinda looks like Dobby himself.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 3, 2005 1:44 PM

Wait, President Bush ha extraordinary executive powers? Also, since when has he had direct control over the states' governors? Who has he assassinated? What corrupt oligarchs has he dispatched in a ruthless fashion? What old order was he trained by? You people are out of your minds.

Posted by: Richard at June 3, 2005 4:41 PM

Even though I'm a Democrat, I have to agree with Richard on this, Bush isn't QUITE that bad. Personally, I'd nominate Bud Selig. I assume he's got Youppi's head mounted on the wall of his office.

Posted by: Devin McCullen at June 4, 2005 12:20 AM

Richard,

"Gradually consolidates extraordinary executive powers, mainly with popular approval if not entirely legitimate assent, to deal with security threats."
- Ever hear of the Patriot Act?

"Assumes direct control over the regional governors to consolidate his power outside of the purview of the legislature."
- Most recently today's ruling by the Supreme Court on Federal Jurisdiction over state medical marijuana laws. Not to mention the Patriot Act once again.

"Isn't above using assassination attempts as a political tool."
- Technically illegal I'm sure, but I can't believe EVERY President hasn't at least seriously considered, if not OK'd an assassination.

"Ruthlessly dispatches corrupt oligarchs who had supported his rise."
- Maybe this is more indirect, but let's see:
The USA has invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein for being linked to a vast terror network, most specifically Ossama Bin Laden, a member of the Saudi royal family who has gotten his money from the royal family. The same royal family who has very close ties to the Bush family.
Iraq is now occupied and its corrupt leader deposed. Occupation of country includes widespread civilian deaths.

*Was trained by an old order now thought extinct, and stuns observers with nostalgia for its accomplishments.
- Dad. (OK, I never really thought of George the 1st as extinct.) Nostalgia for accomplishments - Gulf War 1.

Out of my mind? No way. too many people have their blinders on if they don't see this parallel.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 6, 2005 1:27 PM

Having been away for a bit and this is now near the end of the pile no one will likely ever read this (a sad but unavoidable consequence of boards like this). I must say I love it though when it ends with a great post like Jonathan's. Way to go. Even though this will eventually slink off the bottom of the page and into cyber-abyss getting the last word is not a bad thing.

Posted by: jim at June 11, 2005 4:02 PM

Um, no. That post wasn't worth responding to. I mean, do you guys actually know anything about the Patriot Act?

You actually believe Bush has direct control over the states?

The other stuff is too silly even to respond to.

Posted by: The Crank at June 11, 2005 10:10 PM

Err... Bush does not have legitimate direct control over the states, that's right. Informal but effective control of Florida through his brother was quite enough.
Still there are similarities between Bush and Putin -- both are acting Sith style. The scheme is similar: unpopular leader -- terrible terrorist acts against civilians -- enemy named -- rise of nationalism -- atmosphere of xenophobia/islamophobia -- gaining extraordinary executive powers 'to fight terrorism'. Playing on fear and ignorance. Clearly the Dark Side.
And Putin even looks 'sithy'. Besides, aren't KGBists the Sith?

Posted by: ET at June 13, 2005 4:54 PM
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