Posts Tagged ‘Constitutional Legitimacy’
A sobering look at Republican issues and the Tea Party’s assault on their elitist aspirations to continue to fulfill their mandate as God’s Ordained People. Glenn Greenwald seems to think this movement has legs. If so, then there is ample evidence of what we can expect in American’s future. Maybe another French Revolution American style.
- Thursday, Sep 16, 2010 08:17 ET
The “tea party” movement is, in my view, a mirror image of the Republican Party generally. There are some diverse, heterodox factions which compose a small, inconsequential minority of it (various libertarian, independent, and Reagan Democrat types), but it is dominated — in terms of leadership, ideology, and the vast majority of adherents — by the same set of beliefs which have long shaped the American Right: Reagan-era domestic policies, blinding American exceptionalism and natavism, fetishizing American wars, total disregard for civil liberties, social and religious conservatism, hatred of the minority-Enemy du Jour (currently: Muslims), allegiance to self-interested demagogic leaders, hidden exploitation by corporatist masters, and divisive cultural tribalism. Other than the fact that (1) it is driven (at least in part) by genuine citizen passion and engagement, and (2) represents a justifiable rebellion against the Washington and GOP establishments, I see little good in it and much potential for bad. To me, it’s little more than the extremely discredited faction which drove the country into the ground for the last decade, merely re-branded under a new name.
[UPDATE Below – “Pig in a Poke”]
From the moment the first plane hit the twin towers this country has self-destructed. Just look at what the latest blue-ribbon fiasco has produced. Let start with Charles Krauthammer’s slide into a black hole: How to modernize Miranda for the Age of Terror – Op-Ed column for the Washington Post newspaper.
Then you have the latest fiasco attempt to bomb New York Times Square and Joe Lieberman’s end around Constitutional Law with his Citizenship stripping bill reported in the Washington Post. Here’s some more on this: Lieberman’s Citizenship-Revoking Law Slammed As ‘Draconian’ in the Huffington Post.
Another similar situation after the Fort Hood shooting: Army: Fort Hood Gunman in Custody After 12 Killed, 31 Injured in Rampage by Fox News. He’s linked to an Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Yemeni scholar, another “radical” and President Obama issues an order for his shoot on sight summary execution. Reuters reports: U.S. targets American–born cleric in Yemen: officials as some sort of “America’s top terrorist threat.”
This commentary is typical and growing: “Staggering Hypocrisy.”
Then you Arizona’s new laws assaulting and criminalizing ethnic minorities, non-whites and indigenous peoples. And the internal isolation that goes along with the growing boycott. Now a new law: In Arizona, just say no to Latino heritage -“It’s really about fear and denial.”
The world is fast learning that America, a country ruled by Law is a joke. The literal physical lives of American civilians killed by terrorist bombs, bad as that was, is totally insignificant to what these paranoid Dark Age government officials have done, continue to do and promise to do to America’s legitimate right to exist as a constitutional country. The bleeding of America’s Essence has already won them the War.
America’s enemies are not some “rag heads” holed up in a cave or some mud out in some barren desert hut with an AK47 or an equivalent stone-age club. America’s enemies our their corrupt elected leaders. The betrayers, the complicit, the enablers, the corrupt, the gutless, the arrogant, the morons and that list goes on.
If you want real proof from an outside source substantiating the above observations and conclusions, read (below) “The President of Cant.”
[UPDATE :: Thursday, May 20, 2010 — Even better when it’s a “Pig in a Poke.”]
Modifying who has the right to a Miranda warning is a political solution to a national security problem that doesn’t exist. | Adam Serwer | May 20, 2010 |
In my lifetime I was often told: “Talk is cheap.” It’s what you do that tells the truth. For whatever reasons, American’s bought into that cheap suit, “Hope.” Tariq Ali lays out a rather stark assessment of President Obama’s agenda.
If there was ever something to put on this blog worth reading, it is this:
PRESIDENT OF CANT by tariq ali
A year since the White House changed hands, how has the American empire altered? Under the Bush Administration it was widely believed, in both mainstream opinion and much of the amnesiac section of the left, that the United States had fallen under an aberrant regime, the product of a virtual coup d’état by a coterie of right-wing fanatics—alternatively, ultra-reactionary corporations—who had hijacked American democracy for policies of unprecedented aggression in the Middle East. In reaction, the election to the Presidency of a mixed-race Democrat, vowing to heal America’s wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad, was greeted with a wave of ideological euphoria not seen since the days of Kennedy. Once again, America could show its true face—purposeful but peaceful, firm but generous; humane, respectful, multi-cultural—to the world. Naturally, with the makings of a Lincoln or a Roosevelt for our time in him, the country’s new young ruler would have to make compromises, as any statesman must. But at least the shameful interlude of Republican swagger and criminality was over. Bush and Cheney had broken the continuity of a multilateral American leadership that had served the country well throughout the Cold War and after. Obama would now restore it.
Rarely has self-interested mythology—or well-meaning gullibility—been more quickly exposed. There was no fundamental break in foreign policy, as opposed to diplomatic mood music, between the Bush 1, Clinton and Bush 2 Administrations; there has been none between the Bush and Obama regimes. The strategic goals and imperatives of the us imperium remain the same, as do its principal theatres and means of operation. Since the collapse of the ussr, the Carter Doctrine—the construction of another democratic pillar of human rights—has defined the greater Middle East as the central battlefield for the imposition of American power around the world. It is enough to look at each of its sectors to see that Obama is the offspring of Bush, as Bush was of Clinton and Clinton of Bush the father, as so many appropriately biblical begettings. Read the rest of this entry »
Is this a joke? Who says America is a country governed by law? The reality is something else!
America is ruled by the lawless. These guys, from President Obama all the way down to the most junior congressman or woman swore an oath before God and man to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Instead they gut it.
Is there any wonder why Americans are so totally disillusioned with the current state of governance?
1. Thomas Geoghegan on the Case for Busting the Filibuster – Democracy Now
2. The Unconstitutional Filibuster – Mother Jones
Here’s the interview with Thomas Geoghegan on Democracy Now on “the Case for Busting the Filibuster.”
Below is a post titled : “Death by Accusation.” The title probably should have been: Assassination by Accusation. The following is an addendum to that article by the same author. I’ve attached an excerpt, but the whole article is worth reading and considering.
Anyone with a clear understanding of conflict and war knows that military might with the inherent threat to annihilate the earth is no guarantee of victory. Yet America is going broke morally, ethically, legally, and financially by continuing to fight a war based upon lies and no legal, might I say legitimate constitutional
basis. War is about will. Illegitimate corruption degrades or disempowers the will. The so-called terrorists at 9/11 attacked an illegitimate government with the intent to attack this country at its weakest point — WILL.
The fact is, America’s response was and is “by the numbers.” This issue defines our destruction – the sickness from within. Here’s what Mr. Greenwald says:
BY GLENN GREENWALD
Far beyond the specific injustices of assassinating Americans without trials, the real significance, the real danger, is that we continue to be frightened into radically altering our system of government. In Slateyesterday, Dahlia Lithwick encapsulated this problem perfectly; her whole article should be read, but this excerpt is superb:
America has slid back again into its own special brand of terrorism-derangement syndrome. Each time this condition recurs, it presents with more acute and puzzling symptoms. . . .
Moreover, each time Republicans go to their terrorism crazy-place, they go just a little bit farther than they did the last time, so that things that made us feel safe last year make us feel vulnerable today. . . . In short, what was once tough on terror is now soft on terror. And each time the Republicans move their own crazy-place goal posts, the Obama administration moves right along with them. . . .
We’re terrified when a terror attack happens, and we’re also terrified when it’s thwarted. We’re terrified when we give terrorists trials, and we’re terrified when we warehouse them at Guantanamo without trials. If a terrorist cooperates without being tortured we complain about how much more he would have cooperated if he hadn’t been read his rights. No matter how tough we’ve been on terror, we will never feel safe enough to ask for fewer safeguards. . . .
But here’s the paradox: It’s not a terrorist’s time bomb that’s ticking. It’s us. Since 9/11, we have become ever more willing to suspend basic protections and more contemptuous of American traditions and institutions. The failed Christmas bombing and its political aftermath have revealed that the terrorists have changed very little in the eight-plus years since the World Trade Center fell. What’s changing — what’s slowly ticking its way down to zero — is our own certainty that we can never be safe enough and our own confidence in the rule of law.
This descent has certainly not reversed itself — it has not really even slowed — with the election of a President who repeatedly vowed to reject this mentality. Just consider what Al Gore said in his truly excellent 2006 speech decrying the “Constitutional crisis” under the Bush presidency:
Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?
If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?
If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can’t he do?
Here we are, almost four years later with a new party in power, and the President’s top intelligence official announces — without any real controversy — that the President claims the power to assassinate American citizens with no charges, no trials, no judicial oversight of any kind. The claimed power isn’t “inherent” — it’s based on alleged Congressional approval — but it’s safeguard-free and due-process-free just the same. As Gore asked of less severe policies in 2006, if the President can do that, “then what can’t he do?” As long as we stay petrified of the Terrorists and wholly submissive whenever the word “war” is uttered, the answer will continue to be: “nothing.” We’ll have Presidents now and then who are marginally more restrained than others — as the current President is marginally more restrained than the prior one — but what Lithwick calls our “willingness to suspend basic protections and become more contemptuous of American traditions and institutions” will continue unabated.
In the real world, America has already lost the “war” by becoming what it is fighting.
ADDENDUM :: Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Democracy Now interviewed Rep. Dennis Kucinich and blogger and attorney Glenn Greenwald. Dennis Kucinich affirms the legal protections granted all American citizens and wants to know by what authority The President of the United States can murder an American citizen on his say-so alone. Dennis Kucinich’s most distressing comment regarding legal justification had to do with presidential declarations “declaring three states of national emergency,” “one relating to 9/11, another one relating to the war on terror, and a third one relating to Iran.”
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, Congress has the authority, under a joint resolution, to challenge any presidential directive. It’s not widely known, Amy, but there are at least three states of national emergency that we’re operating under right now by presidential declaration: one relating to 9/11, another one relating to the war on terror, and a third one relating to Iran. You know, this idea of being governed by an edict, of being locked into this war on terror, poses all kinds of challenges to our Constitution. I take an oath to defend the Constitution. And when I see in the Fifth Amendment where it says that no one should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, I want to know what’s the constitutional basis for suspending this provision for anyone, even for a moment, because if this is—if this, in any sense, can be set aside, then we are on a slippery slope to anti-democracy.
Kucinich points out why this should be important to all American citizens no matter where they live:
***** And what’s happened is that the Constitution is being vitiated here. The idea that people are—have—if their life is in jeopardy, legally have due process of law, is thrown out the window.
And, Amy, when you consider that there are people who are claiming there are many terrorist cells in the United States, it doesn’t take too much of a stretch to imagine that this policy could easily be transferred to citizens in this country. That doesn’t—that only compounds what I think is a slow and steady detachment from core constitutional principles. And once that happens, we have a country then that loses its memory and its soul, with respect to being disconnected from those core constitutional principles which are the basis of freedom in our society.
If you consider the possibility that this, the destruction of America’s soul, was the real target on 9/11, then you would have admit they’ve rather successful.