As in the Roman empire, we maintain the outward structure of a republic.
Rome under the emperors had a Senate, tribunes, consuls etc to the end. They went through the motions of doing their ancient duties, when in reality they existed to rubber-stamp the diktats of the emperor. He kept senators wealthy and they more or less gladly did his bidding. Rich and alive beats dead every time.
We are very near the same situation. Congressional hearings that deal with major issues have been replaced with talks between party leaders and Chairman Obama. The world's once most deliberative body is a petty collection of demagogues whose interest goes no further than continuance of their wealth and noble status.
Hussein and his despotic successors will never get rid of Congress or the courts; they are/will be essential to sanction and legitimize the coming hard tyranny.
And the ostracised conservatives seen as a threat to the socialist usurpers have been painted the backward barbarians undermining their New Rome.
So be it.