Can we put the inmates back in the asylum?

There is some nuance necessary, I think, but this Frank Rich editorial is pitch perfect on the situation in Pakistan and how it too closely mirrors the United States. There’s too much goodness to excerpt any particular part as the key. However, I like this:

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.

This is most apparent in the Republican presidential race, where most of the candidates seem to be running for dictator and make no apologies for it. They’re falling over each other to expand Gitmo, see who can promise the most torture and abridge the largest number of constitutional rights. The front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, boasts a proven record in extralegal executive power grabs, Musharraf-style: After 9/11 he tried to mount a coup, floating the idea that he stay on as mayor in defiance of New York’s term-limits law.

This is exactly why I will not vote Republican in 2008, even though I’m ready to not vote Democrat. As detestable as I find the possibility of President Hillary Clinton, she has the polarizing chance to cause Americans to vote for gridlock in 2010. President Guiliani would laugh at gridlock, as if it mattered one iota to his ability to do whatever he pleases. He wouldn’t even raise himself to Bush’s level and pretend that he cares about the Constitution. No thanks.

Link via John Cole.