­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­It seems Republicans have decided the U.S. Constitution isn’t so great after all. It’s been bothering them a lot these days, and they’re betting the farm this November that you don’t like it much either.

Evidently, their ongoing call to muddy the First Amendment’s protection of political speech with a flag-burning amendment, their 2006 habeas corpus slight of hand (Article 1, Clause 2), and their ongoing attempt to chip away at the wall dividing religion and government with demands for prayer in public schools, official designation of America as a Christian nation and the overturning of Roe v Wade on religious grounds were just warm-ups for the frontal attack on the Constitution Republicans are now waging.

Fourteenth Amendment

The GOP’s “We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ Constitution Month” began with House Minority Leader Boehner’s call to hold a hearing on the possible repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment and its guarantee of birthright citizenship. Talk about throwing the “Anchor Babies” out with the bathwater! The Fourteenth also contains some rather important protections, like our guarantee of equal justice under the law–the basis for the historic Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, and sure to be the foundation for future rulings on same-sex marriage.

First Amendment

It’s the First Amendment, however, that always seems to be the thorn in the GOP’s side. The amendment that protects dissent, the press and freedom of religion just doesn’t seem to work well with traditional Republican ideas, like “You’re either with us or with the terrorists,” the “liberal” press as enemy, and the current Republican opposition to the building of a New York City mosque and community center. Their opposition to the mosque, of course, begs the question, which part of the Constitution’s “…prohibiting the free exercise of religion” do Republicans not understand?  They do understand it, of course, but who cares about the founding principles of our nation when there are people to scare and votes to be had? Tragically, with the help of Fox News, Republicans have managed to whip half of the country into a lather about this non-issue, enlisting them as accomplices in undermining one of America’s most cherished tenets.

Palin to the Rescue

Republicans did have one defender of the Constitution this month: Sarah Palin. In response to the sad saga of Laura “N-word” Schlessinger, Palin tweeted Dr. Laura: “don’t retreat…reload! Steps aside bc (because) her 1st amend. rights ceased 2 exist thx 2 activists trying 2silence. isn’t american, not fair”

Someone ought to tweet Palin back: “b4 u run 4 pres. sb (somebody) shd tell u 1st amend. rights only apply 2 restriction on government.  activists cn (cannot) give or take them aw (away)”

The GOP assault on the Constitution is the clearest sign yet that Republicans are in the throes of a power lust unprecedented in modern American politics.  While 14% real unemployment continues to cause untold misery to millions, a stubborn recession teeters on the brink of full-blown depression, and our education system graduates half of its high school students, the Grand Old Party sits smugly on its hands, hoping the country’s ills will be blamed on Obama and the “Democrat” Party [see “How the ‘Democrat’ Party Lost its “ic”]. Too bad about those American tears in the meantime.

Check out ‘Ten Biggest Republican Lies #2: The Party of “Family Values”’

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Comments
  1. zorach says:

    I think this is unnecessarily inflammatory rhetoric. “Hate the constitution?”

    Are you here to spark legitimate debate between people of diverse perspectives, or do you just want to rant to an audience of people who already agree with your own particular views?

    You have a legitimate point of criticism here but the way you present it makes you come across like you are just setting out to insult or disparage people who disagree with you. Where is the integrity in that? How is writing this post making the world a better place? You seem to want to influence the world through your writing…but how is your writing ever going to reach anyone you wish to influence?

    Step up to the plate and offer intelligent criticism in a framework of respect. If you really believe that you are inherently more open-minded and respectful than the people you are criticizing, then how about demonstrating it by being open-minded and by being respectful, even when those you are criticizing are not? Otherwise you are just like Palin–your remark about “hating the constitution” is exactly the sort of dirty and disrespectful tactic that Sarah Palin or Laura Schlessinger or Newt Gingrich would use.

    Write so as to actually be heard and listened to by people who have diverse viewpoints. Respect those who disagree with you. People often rightly criticize the Republicans for being unnecessarily divisive and engaging in inflammatory rhetoric. This sort of rhetoric, whether it comes from liberals or conservatives, just shows weakness and cowardice deep down.

    Why stoop to that level? Stand tall and be confident. Say your criticism and make it clean and respectful. There’s no need to weaken your words by staining them with disrespect.

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  2. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hi Zorach,

    First, thank you for your thoughtful and well-written comment.

    Let me clear up a few misconceptions, however. Unlike a number of my posts, the purpose of “Do Republicans Hate the Constitution–or What?” is not to “spark debate” with opposing viewpoints or influence anyone who might find the current Republican tack anything but deplorable and injurious to our country. Nothing I could write in these pages would change these folks’ minds. Rather, this piece was written out of my disgust for the GOP leadership and a mounting fear for my country. I hope the piece reinforces and puts into words what many Americans are feeling.

    Rather than repeating my post’s complaints, however, let me just say, there is not only room for inflammatory rhetoric, anger and ridicule in effective political discourse, it has a long and colorful history and is quite necessary at times.

    If you sensed anger and a certain lack of respect for my subjects in this post, you were right. My country has never needed solid leadership more desperately than it does right now. From the economy, to education, to the global erosion of American hegemony, the stakes are the highest I’ve seen in my lifetime. So, how do the Republicans answer the call? With silly wedge issues, a complete abdication of duty, and the potential presidential candidacy of one Sarah Palin, a woman who hasn’t taken the time to discover the actual function of the Constitution she would be swearing to uphold.

    Regarding Republican hatred of the Constitution, perhaps “Constitution” should be changed to “an unbelievably large number of provisions in the Constitution.” Pick an issue: Gay rights, Ground Zero Mosque, Miranda, school prayer etc. The Republican wish list for our country reads like the Anti-Constitution, excluding the 2nd Amendment (or, at least, their spin on the 2nd) of course. That today’s Republicans use “ACLU” (an organization singly dedicated to upholding the Bill of Rights) as a pejorative speaks volumes.

    There are many issues upon which reasonable people may disagree. The base motives and anti-Constitutional designs of the current crop of Republican leaders, however, do not qualify.

    Thanks again, Zorach. I welcome your comments.

    Russ Buchanan

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    • zorach says:

      I agree with you that Republicans have disregarded the constitution and imposed on people’s constitutional rights. You gave some examples, and I would go farther and point to the Patriot Act.

      But I think that there are many points in which liberals have been just as guilty. Examples:

      Patriot Act – Many liberals voted for this bill. Only one senator, Russ Feingold, voted against it.

      Kelo vs. City of New London – the famous eminent domain case in which private property was seized and given to a private developer, in the interest of “economic development”. The 5-4 decision on the supreme court was such that it was the 4 “liberals” + Kennedy voting in favor of the City of New London. I think this is a very creepy, decision that sets a bad precedent that could justify all sorts of land-grabs…basically it says that a city is able to forcibly change property from one private hands into another in the interest of increasing their tax base.

      Another example would be the Obama Health Care Reform. Now, while personally, I support the idea of Universal Health care (inspired by the way it is implemented in Canada, Europe, etc.), I think that what we have ended up with is probably unconstitutional–in that we have forced people to purchase something from a private corporation or face a fine. Given how corrupt and unethical our current healthcare system is, I have a huge problem with this. I think there’s a fundamental difference between offering a government option (which now, under Obama, is NOT available to me), and forcing me to buy private insurance or face a fine (which s now my option).

      Those are just a few examples. What I wanted to point out though is that Democrats and Liberals are just as guilty as stepping on the constitution. It’s not that one side or the other “hates” the constitution. It’s that people focus on (and ignore) different aspects of it. Also, people have different interpretations. For example, I don’t think that the 2nd amendment is about private gun rights — I think it’s about local militias, run by local communities. But other people disagree with me. Do I respect that disagreement? Yes, even though I don’t agree with them, I think my interpretation is more historically grounded with the original intention. But I’m not going to claim that they aren’t being true to the constitution, because I think it’s subtle…and I can see the concern people have, especially given cases like Kelo vs. City of New London. If my property was being seized by the government and given to a private developer, I might start thinking seriously about owning guns.

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  3. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hello again,

    You’ll get no argument from me regarding weak-kneed and/or opportunistic (read: on the take) Democrats who are either too busy vote mongering (Reid’s latest pronouncement on the N.Y. mosque) or servicing their corporate sponsors (Max Baucus on the Public Option) to perform their sworn duties to Joe-American and his Constitution.

    However, I do not agree with your assertion that there is parity between the two parties in the deliberate undermining of constitutional principles and dictates. In my view, there is no contest. This is hardly surprising when one considers that the modern Republican Party owes much of its success to the Great Dixiecrat Migration–a move based on bitter unhappiness with Democrats’ attempts to implement equality under the Constitution.

    You cite Kelo v. New London, Obamacare and the Patriot Act– a sop to big business, a sop to big business, and world-class demagoguery, respectively. Though I’m not a big fan of the Kelo decision’s interpretation of the 5th, reasonable minds may disagree. As you recall, tax revenue was not the only consideration; the potential for a considerable number of local jobs were also part of the deliberation. It’s the principal of taking property based on IFcome that bugs me. I think the standard should be much higher.

    The healthcare fiasco was a direct result of insurance companies and their very own legislators, on both sides of the aisle, dancing to the corporate tune. [read: “None Dare Call it Bribery: Is The Public Option America’s Political Crucible?” http://wp.me/pClhD-1t ] in these pages.

    The Patriot Act was a result of Republicans voting ideologically, and Democrats voting cowardly (voters might think we’re as soft on terrorism as the Republicans say we are!).

    What I’m discussing in “Why do Republicans Hate…” is the pattern of anti-constitutional sentiment and action apparent in the Republican congressional (and executive, during Bush/Cheney) leadership. Bush supported no fewer than six amendments to the Constitution during his tenure, including bans on flag-burning and same-sex marriage. Toss in the N.Y. mosque, creationism in public schools, the current assault on the 14th, and, well, you get the picture. In contrast, Democrats are clearly the underachievers when it comes to savaging our most precious document.

    Again, thank you for your refreshingly well said commentary,

    Russ Buchaanan

    PS–I’m with you 100% on the 2nd Amend.

    Like

  4. Orwell's Dreams says:

    Probably for the same reasons Democrats hate it. Time to get beyond the left right divide.

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hello Orwell’s Dreams –

      Thanks for the comment. I’m always happy to hear from those wishing to bring a little civility to the knife fight known as “American Politics.”

      Ah, to rise above the partisan divide; wouldn’t it be nice. But, the reality of living in a deeply polarized nation with both camps circling the wagons for November makes that admirable goal rather elusive at the moment.

      However, one step toward non-knee-jerk-partisanship we can take would be the abandonment of claims, like “today’s Dems are just as enthusiastic about savaging the Constitution as Republicans”…for the same reasons, no less. Just because we say it, does not make it so.

      Boehner and crew’s positions on gay marriage, the 14th Amendment, the N.Y. Muslim community center, school prayer in public schools, Roe v. Wade, and a slew of other blatantly unconstitutional items on the GOP wish list strike at the very heart of our liberties and make the GOP the hands-down winners in the “Undermine the Constitution Sweepstakes.”

      The Dems attempts at undermining the Constitution pale in comparison (their nearly unanimous vote-along with Republicans for the Patriot Act notwithstanding). Democrats attempts to give legislative representation to Washington D.C., limit corporate political free speech (read: mmmmoney to politician lackeys), mandate the purchase of health insurance (as drivers are now mandated to buy car insurance), and the Supreme Court action taken by the Court’s more liberal faction (minus O’Connor) on the eminent domain case in New London can certainly be seen as unconstitutional (if you squint), but are also open to honest differences in interpretation. Whereas the Republican attacks on religious freedom and equality under the law stand as direct challenges to our liberties and the Constitutional precepts we regard most dearly.

      Anyhow, that’s the way this partisan sees it.

      Again, thanks for the comment,

      Russ Buchanan

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  5. Rosemary says:

    I found a good explanation for you.

    There are few investigative journalists who compare to Jane Mayer. She has written a very interesting report on the two billionare Koch brothers who are using their vast wealth to fund their “libertarian” agenda ( including the tea parties) that just happen to align neatly with their personal business interests…

    You want to know why the Repugs hate the Constitution? Here is a good example… it cramps their style… Read it and weep. This is but one example of the damage being done in this country by abuse of wealth for political and personal gain .

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

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  6. D / DM says:

    Russ,

    You’re right, in part, and Orwell’s Dreams and Rosemary are both wrong. Both parties hate the Constitution equally, but they hate different parts of it. Democrats hate the free exercise clause, Republicans hate the establishment clause. Democrats hate the second amendment, Republicans despise the eighth.

    A load of the constitutional law, however, is wide-open to debate, as it is not textual constitution but judicial interpretation. And while a lot of us really like certain of our jurisprudential “constitutional rights,” there’s always the very real possibility that they will eventually be taken away. Or that new affronts to personal liberty will be judicially approved (e. g.. Kelo). The worst offenses of the GOP are those tendencies toward pandering, especially when it appropriates the names of things it doesn’t actually agree with (e. g. libertarianism) and smashes them together with the expectations of the religious right, making a shit stew that breeds ignorance of the issues on both sides.

    But they’re not the only ones. Democrats, too, participate in the inappropriate discussion of irrelevant issues. When I hear a presidential candidate saying anything about abortion or gay marriage, it really makes me not want to vote at all.

    Religious freedom is not even worth talking about, either. It seems modern Republicans want religious freedom for no one but Christians, and modern Democrats want it for everyone but Christians – and that causes the religious right to make ludicrous claims about Christians being persecuted (I’m pretty sure it takes more than the political power available to any group in this country to persecute a majority of the population.)

    It’s disgusting all the way around, and pointing fingers at one side doesn’t make it any better.

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hi D/DM –

      First, about this “hate” thing. It’s a meaningless word in this context, and only used by shameless bloggers like me to draw readers and whip up word riots by crazed Tea Party types.

      Instead, I get thoughtful, well-communicated comments like yours.

      Actually, we agree that Dems and Repubs have traditionally taken issue with different parts of the Constitution.

      But Dems against Free Exercise? I don’t buy it. When the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses butt heads, however–like prayer in public school–the Dems tend to favor the Establishment Clause. But, hey, that does not mean they are against Americans’ Free Exercise of religion. It only means they believe in the 1st Amendment.

      Regarding the 2nd Amendment, I can’t speak for all Democrats, but as a skeet and trap shooter myself I don’t want to take guns away from my countrymen. I just want (“demand” would be a better word) common sense regulation on these dangerous devices. The raging paranoiac approach by the NRA does nothing but muddy the waters, promoting an “us v. them” sensibility that makes compromise virtually impossible. And yes, zillion-round clips in assault weapons and the weapons themselves have no place in the America I want to call home.

      I’m not sure what you mean about the irrelevance of Democrats talking about same-sex marriage in a constitutional context. But, if you can’t see the connection between the 14th’s guarantee of equal protection and the practice of denying a large segment of our population the same rights and protections enjoyed by the majority (heteros), then I suppose you never will.

      Lastly, “pointing fingers” is what I do best. And, if ever there was a group that deserved to be pointed at for trying to undermine that amazingly prescient document, it is the current crop of Republicans and their Tea Partying pals. The mosques, the 14th (birthright citizenship), warrant-less wiretapping, extrajudicial criminal proceedings, habeas corpus, same-sex marriage–the list goes on and on. By comparison, the Democrats are mere pikers when it comes to hating, I mean “disagreeing with” Constitutional protections and guarantees.

      Think of it: that the ACLU–an organization dedicated solely to defending the Bill of Rights, whether they’re being denied to lunatic neo-Nazis or commies–is characterized by today’s Republicans as an anti-American organization, speaks volumes about how Republicans view the Constitution.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Russ

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  7. Rosemary says:

    Well Well Well….

    Again with the silly parity arguments. It is similar to the idea that there are two equally worthy sides to every argument… NOT!

    I too have had enough of the spineless Democrats, including the President I voted for, pandering to the right wing agenda, afraid of the Fox pundit attacks they will suffer from at the polls on important issues like DADT, Gay marriage, Health care ( single payor/universal) among other things. But along with Russ, I completely agree, there is no parity between the mortal sins of the Republicans against the Constitution and the go-along compromises of the Democrats.

    I think that the errors Obama made from his lack of experience, not his good intentions, was in thinking that any partisan divide could be bridged, with compromise. The Republicans smell blood in the water and consider it the “liberal” achilles heel when they hear the words “compromise,” “for the good of the country,” “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Blood , blood and more blood…

    Of course you can find lies and distortions made on both sides of the aisle. But never in MY lifetime have I seen a political party so devoted to fear mongering, outright lies and distortions, and using pure hatred and bigotry, to win elections and power, since the Kuklux dixiecrats and I will also include the sainted Ronald Reagan who used Lee Atwater’s infamous “southern strategy” to win his election.

    My son was a victim of hate crimes after the 2004 eection, because he is gay, and I nearly was, because some old white bigots, and bikers thought I was a lesbian because of my appearance and my recently short cut hair. when I was traveling in right wing conservative country- in particular Cheney’s home state.

    If there is one thing that Republicans excel at, it is dividing and conquering. Newt Gingrich taught his PAC seminarians that if you told an outrageous lie that appeared on the front page, people would believe it, because the retraction would always appear days if not weeks later on page 10 in a small paragraph. Gee– does anyone recall the outrageous Swiftboat campaign? Try and find a “true believer” that knows that it was discredited. How many Americans still insist that President Obama is a Muslim, A socialist, and was not born in America? HOW many people think that First Lady Michele Obama is “scary” and hates America?

    How many Democrats accused dissenting Americans of being unpatriotic and aiding and abetting the terrorosts?? How many people did they “chill” from ever expressing their disagreement, for fear of violent reprisals from their own family or neighbors or former friends?

    Republicans have written the book on the dirtiest politics, of our generation, at the very least. It is interesting that Barry Goldwater ( not an idol of mine, but like most humans–at times was very wise) near the end of his life, was NOT happy with the direction of Republican politics, thanks to the Falwell types ( who he DESPISED) influence on the Republican platform and agenda. He said it “didn’t matter if a soldier was straight– only that he could shoot straight.” he felt their Christian agenda had no place in Republican traditional “conservative” politics who supposedly stood by a strict reading of the Constitution, about keeping government from dictating to people’s rights of religion, sex, speech, etc. He would not recognize the party today– the party that wants to control a woman’s body, to control a person’s right to love and marry who they will, to control a person’s right to serve his country because of his sexual preference.

    The Arizona Republicans even introduced a bill to delay divorce, and extend the waiting period to a year, to “encourage” adults to stay together… talk about a “NANNY STATE!” All the while Arizona is going broke, they cut hundreds of thousands off the state’s health care program, including hospice, we have the most uneducated population of 50 states, and THIS is the thing some conservative Republican thinks they must do– interfere with divorce.

    Even his Imperial Highness, Richard Nixon wanted a form of universal health care. (As did Teddy Roosevelt.) The Republican party has purposely through the leadership of the extreme right , drummed out nearly every moderate (liberal) Republican, who might find compromise, for the good of ALL Americans, a necessity, instead of a “weakness.” All those Republicans I once appreciated, for their public service even as a former Democrat, are GONE. NOW we have corporate lackeys or religious wingnuts, who belong to a pseudo-religious network documented by Jeff Sharlett ( “The Family” and “C-Street…”) trying to best each other with massive disinformation/hatemongering campaigns that have made it all but impossible for this President or the Democrats with backbone to do what they were elected to do…

    Even John McCain, for the sake of his reelection has gone right wingnut on issues he once was intelligent and reasoned about, telling lies and imparting misinformation to a frightend , bigoted, ignorant population here who sees a Mexican drug lord wielding a knife, behind every corner, and headless bodies in the desert, in their dreams. It doesn’t matter that these lies he tells along with the governor and this hatemongering has HURT the economy of Arizona, as well as the hard working, law- abiding people who have lived here creating jobs and contributing to the economy of Arizona for many many years.who long to be citizens like every other immigrant from OUR backgrounds.

    Do you know who is fighting the Supreme Court Case against he Employer accountability act ( hiring illegals=penalties to the business)?? It is the US Chamber of Commerce( Republicans) and mostly the building trade industries(Republicans) who have the most to lose from illegal/slave labor. So who is fighting immigration reform? The Democrats? I think not Follow the money.

    But as Russ so eloquently has pointed out, you need not go any further than the last administration to see the severe damage that has been done by and administration, who neither had respect for the American people nor the Constitution. You can start with Cheney’s secret Energy Commission meeting, that was upheld by the Supreme Court. Then we can move on to the two illegal wars, massive illegal wiretapping and surveillance, the Patriot Act, suspension of ‘habeus corpus,” the abuse of the”material witness statute” and illegal detentions and horrible treatment of innocent Americans,( see the Human Rights Watch report) the renditions and torture that no one will ever be held accountable for, ( Thanks to this administration’s Department of INjustice) the wonderful color coded terrorism warning system that always went to ORANGE whenever a Republican scandal or other dirty laundry was uncovered, or an election was imminent.

    Then we can discuss the campaign against gays, causing untold hate crimes in this country. The hatemongering against Muslims, also causing many hate crimes. Including the recent BS over the Muslim Community Center in NYC.

    I am sure I can come up with many more if you want to compare lists. A few courageous judges tried to stand up to the government, but had a difficult time, considering that if they spoke of the abuses, or if they ruled in favor of our Constitutional rights, they would be the victim of horrendous attacks if the hawks could implicate their decision by the slimmest threat to any terrorism attempt.

    The Right wing Supreme’s tended to side with the Executive branch “just in case,” even when considering that their original states secret decision in “Reynolds” was based on lies and untruths perpetrated by the military and the Executive. They espouse the idea of ‘stare decisis” except when it conflicts with their political agenda. Sandra Day O’Connor has expressed regret at leaving the court, seeing even her work overturned by this court. And now Thomas’s lovely wife has her own Tea Party organization… but she is an anti-feminist– go figure.

    Conservative Republican appointee judges, refused to even consider the illegality of the Executive’s actions in many instances in the rendition, retention and torturing of innocent people. The few Republicans in the Department of Justice who stood up for the Constitution could not survive the Office of Legal Counsel and David Addington ( Darth Vader to Emperor Cheney) who are permitted to make legal rulings, that stand as law even though they are not in the Constitution. The Cheney/Bush Administration GREATLY expanded the powers of the Executive Branch, OVER the original intent of the Constitution. And the Congress gave up their Constitutional MANDATE to the Republican President to do so, despite the 60 Democrats who voted against it. ( I also fault Clinton for assisting Bush with his propensity for signing statements. Precedents have consequences, as the door swings both ways.)

    And now we have a Republican party of NO, filibustering every effort to reform and properly regulate the greedy criminal element behind the Wall street and the banking industry collapse, the insurance companies who are bleeding Americans dead, and the oil industries, who are killing us slowly with their smog.

    Where are the AMERICAN Republicans who give a damn about this country as a whole, not just the wealthier part that will reward their fealty? What do the children, the poor, the unemployed and uninsured , the exploited migrant, have to reward the Democrats with? Tell me.

    They keep telling the American public that TARP was a failure and we are in terrible shape because of it… a complete and utter lie. Not to mention, trying to hang the current doldrums on Obama, despite their creating this mess, and the two wars we will be paying for a generation’s lifetime.

    Ultimately, I blame the ignorance and gullibility of the American people. I am sad to say, we have become soft population, who values our possessions, over our rights, who permit lying politicians to manipulate their irrational fears and prejudices, without being skeptical and demanding the truth, from the fourth estate and their elected officials, for wanting “theirs” and not wanting to share with those who need a boost, because of past wrongs, or current legitimate disabilities. Americans often just do not do their homework. They remain hypnotized by the FOX pundits and believe what they say, like lemmings.

    My experience, is that the older “cold war” generation who grew up accepting the bigotry of their generation, who believe every brown skinned person they see, or hear about, moving into their neighborhood, or walking toward them on the street is a threat. Those who may have contributed much, have also benefitted and taken much ( medicare, social security) want to keep theirs, and not give/share any portion to anyone else– unless they look like them.
    ( Oh and my the way, the so-called “Greatest Generation” people seem to forget were the reason why many black veterans( and other people of color as well as women) were discriminated against when they returned from the war, and why the voting rights and civil rights movements were begun… to counter their hatred and bigotry and vile stranglehold over the Constitutiona rights of others, not just in the Jim Crow south, but also the North.) And now the Republicans and people like Rand Paul want to denigrate and repeal parts of those efforts that people were beaten, tortured, lynched and shot to achieve?

    So tell me where I am “wrong.” Where are your FACTS?

    From my point of view, the Democrats may not be anywhere close to perfect, they screwed up the health care reform by bowing to the industry ( Baucus supporters) but the Republicans we have had since 1994 are more destructive to this country than at any other time in my lifetime, even including that criminal narcisist Nixon.
    NO, in my books, there is NO parity… maybe the word you needed was DISparity. Go back and take a look at photographs of the people who attended the Republican and Democratic Presidential Conventions… Just look over the crowds and tell me who best represents America as a whole?

    P.S. Russ… you really wrote beautifully… thank you. I love you man!!! 🙂

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  8. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hi Rosemary –

    Good lord, I wish you did still write your blog! That was one elegant, heartfelt piece of writing. Needless to say, I am with you on every single point…and points I hadn’t even considered.

    Your reference to our “soft population” is so apt, and is probably the saddest and most deflating/dangerous part of today’s political landscape.

    You knocked the cover off the ball with this one, Rosemary.

    Thank you.

    Russ

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  9. Rosemary says:

    P.S. What a coincidence– I just read a commentary about the Al-kidd v Ashcroft case regarding the abuse of material witness statute I mentioned.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/al-kidd-v-ashcroft-justifying-innocent-arrests/64806/

    Lo and Behold… Obama’s Department of Justice wants the Supreme’s to revisit the case in which the 9th Circuit told Ashcroft he could not have immunity in a lawsuit brought by an American who was destroyed by the FBI and the government’s abuse of this statute after 9-11, which in fact did not make us any safer.

    Below I copied the conclusion of the 9th Circuit to John Ashcrofts appeal that he be granted immunity, thereby ending Al-Kidd’s ability to sue him in civil court.
    This is what he hopes the Supreme’s will overturn.

    All Americans should be wary of of the power of the government to detain and hold without trial, suspending habeus corpus, for anyone who has not committed a crime, or is suspected of committing a crime, with absolute immunity for the lawbreaking government officials who declare a “national security emergency” to cover their actions. This precedent is not limited to Arab Americans. This is the kind of arbitrary government power that this country and this Constitution and Bill of Rights was created to counteract.

    And if anyone thinks that this Conservative supreme Court is going to rule against the Executive, I have news for you… just look a the previous cases involving the detainment and torture and rendition of innocent people. O’Connor is gone. She can no longer knock any sense into Kennedy’s atrophied skull muscle is gone. All Americans’ freedom from a tyrannical police state is at risk with cases like these that are decided in favor of a strong Executive police powers that chip chip chip away at the Bill of Rights… remebering that NO person aspires to be President of the United STates to reduce their their power– Not even Obama and his Justice Department, who have a sworn duty to protect the power of the Exectuive, no matter how anathema to the Constitution. This is the residual effect of permitting the government to set dangerous precedents out of fear ( Patriot Act.)

    “CONCLUSION
    Almost two and a half centuries ago, William Blackstone,
    considered by many to be the preeminent pre-Revolutionary
    War authority on the common law, wrote:
    To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate
    his estate, without accusation or trial, would be
    so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must
    at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the
    whole kingdom. But confinement of the person, by
    secretly hurrying him to gaol, where his sufferings
    are unknown or forgotten; is a less public, a less
    striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of
    arbitrary government.
    1 WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS oF
    ENGLAND 131-32 (1765). The Fourth Amendment was written
    and ratified, in part, to deny the government of our then-new
    nation such an engine of potential tyranny. And yet, if the
    facts alleged in al-Kidd’s complaint are actually true, the government
    has recently exercised such a “dangerous engine of
    arbitrary government” against a significant number of its citizens,
    and given good reason for disfavored minorities (whoever
    they may be from time to time) to fear the application of
    such arbitrary power to them.
    We are confident that, in light of the experience of the

    Framers of our Constitution would have disapproved of the
    arrest, detention, and harsh confinement of a United States
    citizen as a “material witness” under the circumstances, and
    for the immediate purpose alleged, in al-Kidd’s complaint.
    Sadly, however, even now, more than 217 years after the ratification
    of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, some
    confidently assert that the government has the power to arrest
    and detain or restrict American citizens for months on end, in
    sometimes primitive conditions, not because there is evidence
    that they have committed a crime, but merely because the
    government wishes to investigate them for possible wrongdoing,
    or to prevent them from having contact with others in the
    outside world. We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution,
    and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious
    chapters of our national history.
    For the reasons indicated in this opinion, we AFFIRM in
    part and REVERSE in part the decision of the district court.
    Each party shall bear its own costs on appeal.”

    I leave you with some wise quotes of Judges and Justices who got it, unlike those Republican/conservatives on the court today who have an elitest/right wing agenda to protect and expand.

    “Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker,
    it breeds contempt for the law.”
    Justice Louis D. Brandeis
    Source: Olmstead v. United States, 1928
    Emergency Power

    “Emergency does not create power.
    Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish
    the restrictions imposed upon power granted or reserved.
    The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency.
    Its grants of power to the federal government and
    its limitations of the power of the States
    were determined in the light of emergency,
    and they are not altered by emergency.”
    Justice Charles Evans Hughes
    (1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
    Source: Home Building & Loan Assn v. Blairsdell, 1934

    “The Constitution of the United States is a law
    for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace,
    and covers with the shield of its protection
    all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances.
    No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences,
    was ever invented by the wit of man than
    that any of its provisions can be suspended
    during any of the great exigencies of government.
    Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism,
    but the theory of necessity on which it is based is false;
    for the government, within the Constitution,
    has all the powers granted to it,
    which are necessary to preserve its existence;
    as has been happily proved by the result
    of the great effort to throw off its just authority.”
    Justice David Davis
    (1815-1886) U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1862-1877
    Source: Ex parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866) DAVIS, J., Opinion of the Court

    “Men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government
    except that the executive be under the law. ”
    Justice Robert H. Jackson

    Like

  10. Rosemary says:

    Speaking of dirty tricks and misinformation: Look at this article about what the stealthy Repug Dick Armey and Swift Boaters are doing under cover of “darkness”:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/19/latinos-for-reform-swift-boat/

    Encouraging Latinos not to vote… by misleading them to think they are going to help with immigration reform.

    I rest my case. How underhanded can you get? I am sure the Repugs will continue to top themselves.

    Like

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