The republic effectively ended today with the signing of the "Military Commissions Act." This law made into a farce the "Great Republic" as Winston Churchill described the United States. The forms continue but the substance is gone.
Bonaparte styled himself "Emperor of the French Republic" but he was still king.
With this new law the country became a place in which the president/commander in chief can classify whomever he likes as an enemy combatant beyond the reach of habeas corpus. This means that the executive branch can arrest and hold without trial anyone in the world (including American citizens). He can also hold that prisoner indefinitely without confronting the detained with the case against him/her or the evidence involved.
Americans, you are now "subjects" and not citizens. Accept your new role.
If you watched Generals Hayden and Pace who were artfully positioned behind the sovereign at the signing, you saw a lot of blinking. They know what they have done.
At the end of his program tonight Keith Olberman said to Professor Jonathan Turley, who had commented on the import of the day, "I’ll see you in Guantanomo."
Maybe we can start a chess tournament.