Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Above the law

Boingboing has a link to a column in the Miami Herald that says it all about BushCo's trampling of the Constitution. Quoting from the column:
Are we agreeing, then, to give the king unfettered privilege to defy the law forever? It's time for every member of Congress to weigh in: Do they believe the president is above the law, or bound by it?

Bush stokes our fears, implying that the only alternative to doing things his extralegal way is to sit by fitfully waiting for terrorists to harm us. We are neither weak nor helpless. A proud, confident republic can hunt down its enemies without trampling legitimate human and constitutional rights.

Ultimately, our best defense against attack -- any attack, of any sort -- is holding fast and fearlessly to the ideals upon which this nation was built. Bush clearly doesn't understand or respect that. Do we?

This column by the Herald's Robert Steinback (here is the link to the whole thing) not only asks the question we are all asking about whether and why BushCo appears to think it's above the law, but also touches on a few other key BushCo tactics we've all had enough of:

1. Twisted semantics. For example, war on a concept, a war that can never be won. Like David Cross said, "that's like declaring war on jealousy." Pretty convenient if you always want to be in a state of war, a state of war that somehow justifies the attack on civil liberties. Other examples are "freedom," "liberal," "activist judge," "liberal media," "christian," "family." In each case look for a recent shift, flip-flop, or addition to a term's meaning. Look for the term to appear in popular media, usually beginning w/ right wing propapganda-spouters, and watch as the twisted term appears more and more in popular debate without any comment on the term's confusing vagueness or political slant.

2. Sheer outrage as a tactic. Steinback's column lists a whole pack of horrible things Bush is responsible for: An invasion of Iraq over lies, admitting the lies & saying the "war" would still have been started anyway. Torture, secret prisons, locking people up w/o charges for years. Warrantless searches and domestic spying against the U.S. population. All marks of a political organization that is going to do things it wants to do, lie about it, get found out, and do it anyway. Need I remind all you Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens out there that this is not a dictatorship we live in? That we are looking at an administration with no respect for its own people, no respect for law or our Constitution? What we are looking at is NeoCon strategy, a private organization trying to run the government, terrified of its own people, terrified we are going to say no to NeoCon aims and motivations. Hence the drive to destroy civil liberties. It's not about terrorism, it's about preventing people from speaking out, from opposing BushCo policy.

3. Backstabbing, punishment & character assasination. The Plame affair, the organized attack against the veteran who questioned BushCo policy, are two tangible examples. Add to this countless rhetorical examples directed against any opposition. Add to this, given the NeoCon penchant for secrecy, countless other examples of dirty tricks, harm and ill intent directed at those in high places who speak out.

4. Distractions. Is there a campaign out there saying "Happy Holidays" is somehow an attack against "Christianity?" I didn't hear about it but it wouldn't surprise me.

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