Actually-Existing Fascism

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“For the first time in more than thirty years, and to a greater extent than even then, our constitutional form of government is in jeopardy.” That’s what Elizabeth Drew recently wrote with regards to George W. Bush’s unprecedented use of “presidential signing statements” during his tenure in office, as first documented by Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe. Over the past six years, the president has tacked addendums onto over 750 laws passed by Congress noting that he has the “right to ignore numerous sections of the bills.” L’etat, c’est moi and all that.

And the kicker is that, as Dan Froomkin points out in his column today, very few reporters have bothered to follow up on this story. The president has openly stated that he’s above the law, and no one seems to care. It’s apparently of no interest whatsoever to find out what laws Bush “hasn’t felt like” obeying. Meanwhile, conservatives seemed to have collectively decided that this week’s the week to chuck away whatever last scraps of rationality they still had and suggest that Bush prosecute the New York Times for treason because of a story it published. In the midst of all this, it would take a very daft commentator indeed to worry about signs of incipient fascism in the blogosphere of all places.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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