May 03, 2006

Reading Out and About

What craziness we are seeing spreading throughout our land these days. Former liberals who are at war with liberalism. Black scholars who decry how "white guilt" is hurting our war making. And conservative patriots?

It seems that Christopher Hitchens is once more turning his acid pen at smearing anyone who doesn't understand we are in the battle for the soul of civilization. Yes, Hitchens has become enamoured of war and hate, and believes that this is what "civilized" people do. And Juan Cole, who is Hitchens' target today, fights back by exposing the sickness of the personal attack in a fine rant which ends with a passionate anti-war pledge. As he says:

Because Hitchens's dirty tricks and lies against me are only the beginning. Whoever stands against the Perpetual War machine will be attacked, slimed, marginalized, and destroyed if the warmongers get their way. I don't care. Thus far and no farther.

One, two, three, four. We don't want your stinking war!

Combine that with Shelby Steele's screed where he takes up the old Vietnam canard: we aren't winning the war against the enemy in Iraq because the soft and effete people (disarmed by their white guilt) who are running the war are trying to fight it with one arm tied behind their back. Oh yeah. We should just wipe out whole cities. That would teach them a lesson. Besides, that's a great way to win the hearts and minds of billions of people. The warmongers' bloodlust is certainly ratching up as you can see by the reaction of the rightwing blogosphere.

And who do you think might have written this?

In recent judicial confirmation battles, President Bush has repeatedly—and correctly—stressed fidelity to the Constitution as the key qualification for service as a judge. It is also the key qualification for service as the nation's chief executive. On January 20, 2005, for the second time, Mr. Bush took the presidential oath of office set out in the Constitution, swearing to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." With five years of the Bush administration behind us, we have more than enough evidence to make an assessment about the president's commitment to our fundamental legal charter.

Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power. In its official legal briefs and public actions, the Bush administration has advanced a view of federal power that is astonishingly broad, a view that includes

  • a federal government empowered to regulate core political speech—and restrict it greatly when it counts the most: in the days before a federal election;
  • a president who cannot be restrained, through validly enacted statutes, from pursuing any tactic he believes to be effective in the war on terror;
  • a president who has the inherent constitutional authority to designate American citizens suspected of terrorist activity as "enemy combatants," strip them of any constitutional protection, and lock them up without charges for the duration of the war on terror— in other words, perhaps forever; and
  • a federal government with the power to supervise virtually every aspect of American life, from kindergarten, to marriage, to the grave.

President Bush's constitutional vision is, in short, sharply at odds with the text, history, and structure of our Constitution...

Would you be surprised to know this is the introduction to a recent Cato paper? Evidently the Republican cult hasn't blinded all conservatives to the dangers of the unitary President. Perhaps Cato can help with the Impeachment of this lawbreaking administration?

Posted by Mary at May 3, 2006 12:31 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |