Or, why the Empire has become a dictatorship:
Congress is a cesspool of legalized bribery and influence peddling. The big players with money prevail time after time. The cast of characters may change, but the same game is still played over and over. Bush and his minions have done more to expand the power of the US presidency than any executive since Nixon, to the point that the executive can successfully flout the laws of the nation without any penalty whatsoever. (Reserving the right to torture or spy on citizens without warrant, hold them without charges or trial, take your pick). Surely the right to disregard whatever laws the leader deems necessary is the essence of dictatorship. Unbelievably, none of this is secret; it can be read on the front pages of the national newspapers without protest or comment. The somnolent public has long ago ceased to listen or care, content to indulge in mindless shopping, celebrity-watching, and binge eating. It might be enough to observe that the public has traded civil rights for security, except that this would imply some sort of conscious decision, of which it is obviously not capable of rousing itself to make.