?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Beowabbit
Now mostly on Facebook (and rarely caught up even there)
Garrison Keillor on the rule of law, habeas corpus, and evil. None… 
5th-Oct-2006 08:34 pm
Pol: chimp dressed as Napoleon
Garrison Keillor on the rule of law, habeas corpus, and evil.
None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea. Mark their names. Any institution of higher learning that grants honorary degrees to these people forfeits its honor.
And he follows that with a list of names.

(To be fair, I think legislators who vote to allow people accused of crimes to be tortured and held incommunicado indefinitely do still get to look down on bureaucrats and politicians who sent millions to their deaths, but it was several years between the Ermächtigungsgesetz and the Holocaust, and frankly I don’t want to see what this particular bunch of tinpot dictators do with another ten years. In any case those legislators certainly don’t get to speak about the rule of law or lecture me about American values.)
Comments 
6th-Oct-2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Do I get to say the same thing about the "people of concsience" who march shoulder to shoulder with people who hold up signs calling for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, or with ANSWER, or with the Maoists (things I've seen with my own eyes).
6th-Oct-2006 02:01 am (UTC)
Of course you get to say those things. And if the government thinks you're a terrorist for believing them, I promise to write letters demanding to know your whereabouts, that you get regular visits from the Red Cross, and that you get a fair and timely trial (for all the good it will do).
6th-Oct-2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Absolutely; you may say what you please about them. But I will point out that said 'people of conscience' have not taken an oath to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic"; the Senators mentioned have done that. And IMO, they have failed in their oath utterly and shamefully.

(And for the record, although I've mentioned this before, I've taken that oath as well. And I feel that having done so, I am obliged not just by my conscience but by my sworn word to do my damnedest to turn the named yahoos out of office).
6th-Oct-2006 03:31 am (UTC)
Do I get to say the same thing about the "people of concsience" who march shoulder to shoulder with people who hold up signs calling for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews, or with ANSWER, or with the Maoists (things I've seen with my own eyes).
I’m not sure, but I’m guessing that’s a response to this particular phrase of mine:
[...] frankly I don’t want to see what this particular bunch of tinpot dictators do with another ten years.
On your own dime, and with your own printing press or your own voice in the public square, you get to say any damn fool¹ thing you like, just like those protesters do. If I disagree with you (or them), I might argue against you, or I might tell other people I disagree with you, or I might just smile to myself and shake my head. But I will not consider it a step down the road to a totalitarian dictatorship that private citizens say wacky things in public, or stand next to people who say wacky things, or go to the same churches or mosques or temples or synagogues as people who say wacky things.

I will, however, consider it a step down the road to a totalitarian dictatorship if you, or those protesters, get elected to the upper house of the legislative body of my country and pass legislation that purports to strip people of their right of habeas corpus, their right not to be tortured, their right to a meaningful defense, and their right to contest the assertions under which the government detains them. And I will consider it a step down the road to something awfully scary if you, or those protesters, took control of the executive branch of government, including the civilian leadership of the military, and through grotesque incompetence and insane, penny-wise-pound-foolish overoptimism, sent more of my countrymen to their deaths than Al Qua‘eda killed on September 11, 2001, and spread the military so thin that it was no longer a credible deterrent elsewhere.

And if you think that no liberal can be credible because sometimes crowds with lots of liberals in them also have antisemites in them, I will point out that sometimes crowds with lots of conservatives in them also have racists and homophobes in them. (In fact, once in a great while, crowds of racists have conservative senators in them.)

By the way, apologies in advance if I don’t keep up in a timely fashion with this discussion; life is busy these days.
¹ or sensible
6th-Oct-2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for passing this along; I was glad to see it.

Garrison Keillor is so mild-mannered most of the time that when he gets angry, it feels more potent than when your average always-angry activist gets angry.

I'm amazed that there doesn't seem to be more comment about the fact that The United States of America has more or less ceased to exist and has been replaced by a different country with the same name. Habeas Corpus isn't just a little frill beloved of liberals; it's the very foundation of any kind of just court system.

I'm really sorry that McCain caved. How did they bring around a former prisoner of war, for god's sake?

Maybe they'll start throwing people into the pond, and if they sink, they're innocent (but drowned), and if they float, they're guilty (and slated for execution).

I can't talk about this anymore; it hurts too much.
This page was loaded Feb 23rd 2018, 6:23 pm GMT.