Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Idiot politics, part two

From today's Washington Post editorial page: "FOLLOWING THE Senate's burial last week of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, foes of same-sex marriage are back with another radical proposal. This time they are pushing a bill that would prevent federal courts from hearing challenges to a federal law that limits gay marriage. The bill, scheduled for a vote tomorrow, is an attack on the basic function of the courts in American society. Making this attack all the more ominous is House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's stated intention to promote similar bills to bar court challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance and, potentially, on other social issues. This is as wrong as wrong can be. The House should not strip courts of their authority in order to protect bad policy -- or even good policy -- from constitutional scrutiny."
Well, we are now seeing a new low in the crazy right wing of the Republican party. I hope to God their moderates are cringing at this one. Quite simply, the Constitution prohibits this behavior. The Supreme Court is around to judge the constitutionality of ALL laws passed in the United States. The only way they could not rule on such a change would be if it were ratified as an amendment to the Constitution. The congressional leaders know that they would lose this battle, but they are pandering to extremists in this case. I cannot fathom that the majority of Americans would want their courts to be barred from hearing civil rights cases.
This is power gone mad. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. While this law would not hold up, these ambitions need to be stopped now. They are trying to take away the things that make us a democracy. Our justice system is a model for the world, and a few INSANE people leading the Republican party would like to throw it over a cliff because they are not getting their way.
I never thought I would say this, but this is how democracy turns into dictatorship. When the rule of law is being suborned, or even attempted to be suborned, by the few, the many will lose their rights. Coming off the heels of the Patriot Act, this is something to be scared about. I hope Congress shows some courage and votes this one down.

Idiot politics

Could somebody please tell Dennis Hastert (who once upon a time was a reasonable guy) and Tom DeLay (who NEVER was reasonable) to please shut it about Sandy Berger? Let's think about this one for a second. Berger allegedly took copies of documents that he helped write while Clinton's National Security Adviser, along with notes he made from the National Archives while preparing for his testimony. Forgoing the notes issue, since I think the 9/11 commission would appreciate that he was trying to come prepared, and concentrating on the documents issue, this is what needs to be said.
One, there is conflicting stories as to how the documents were removed, and what was lost. Secondly, he is not the first or the last cleared official to mishandle classified information. Sen. Saxby (who named this guy?!) Chambliss said that he's ALWAYS careful with his documents. I'm sure he is, but then again, he's one of those guys who'll then turn around and leak to a reporter snippets of certain things, some of which are probably classified as well. Third, and this is really important, so listen up, fools. THEY WERE COPIES!!! No original document was lost, stolen, destroyed, whatever. Tom DeLay had his head up his ass when he said this could be a national security crisis, and Hastert as well for suggesting that Berger was trying to keep secrets, sinister ones, from the 9/11 commission.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. THEY WERE FUCKING COPIES!!! There is no way Berger could POSSIBLY have, or even thought of, destroying evidence, since the originals would still be available and safe for more copying. This is nothing more than mudslinging by the more irresponsible members of the GOP, and they need to stop resorting to such disgusting attacks. They are trying to slime John Kerry with this one, since Berger has been advising him, by playing the "Democrats hurt our security card." See Terry Holt's remarks, asking if Kerry benefited from Berger's lapse. HOW COULD THE MAN BENEFIT???
How in the HELL could he benefit from old documents about an old situation, something in which Kerry, in his Senate position, would already have known about, been briefed on, etc. It's an all-out attack on something nonexistent. There is no scandal in this one, but God knows some people just can't help playing every card. If Bush and his cohorts are resorting to this to try to hurt Kerry, they must really be sweating out this race.
Once again, I'm reminded of how much better off this country would have been with John McCain as president, perhaps with intelligent men such as John Warner, William Cohen, Arlen Specter, etc. in his cabinet. Hell, I wish Bob Livingston were still around. He was an honorable man, and would have made a good Treasury secretary in a different administration. There are lots of good Republicans, people I admire, even if I don't always agree with them. The sad thing is that none of them is in a leadership position, and that's sad not for me, but for our country's future.