Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Durbin's Strange Historical Ignorance
Does Durbin believe what he is saying or does he believe that he can convince most Americans that he does?
There is also the issue of personal privacy when it comes the executive power. Throughout our nation's history, whether it was habeas corpus during the Civil War, Alien and Sedition Acts in World War I, or Japanese internment camps in World War II, presidents have gone too far.
The Alien and Sedition Acts were the doing of Congress in 1798; Jefferson's election is commonly considered to be partly the result of the citizenry's displeasure. History does repeat itself: in March of 1942 Congress passed an Act giving the President authority to declare special zones and fine or imprison unauthorized people for being in the zone. What followed was a decision to inter Japanese Americans for no reason and on no suspicion, and the future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, was one of the primary men behind the act. Warren, of course, is the great love of the liberals.
Let's not fool ourselves. The exercise of arbitrary governmental power is a thing terribly to be feared and has in our history been committed by each of the three branches of our government. Our best protection against it is the independence of the three branches of our government established by the Constitution. The person who believes they have the right to inter citizens of Japanese heritage for no reason other than that he believes it is necessary for the public good was the same person who believed other provisions should be by fiat written into the constitution for the public good.
If the Constitution can be changed by the will of the court than it is nothing but the collective conscience of those nine men and women. This would be the end of liberty as we know it. Only a legal philosophy which believes that the court itself is constrained by the words of the Constitution can protect our liberties. The only question for me is whether Alito does believe that he is constrained by the law and the Constitution. We know he is intelligent and scholarly, but an intelligent and scholarly man who believes himself constrained by nothing but his own logic and conscience would become terribly dangerous if appointed to the Supreme Court.
Durbin is either a fool or a liar. He may be both. That does not mean that we must accept this nonsense or must be respectful of it. He is misusing his high office, and as a people, we deserve better than this.
Fortunately this was covered in my fourth through sixth grade history classes.
I think we all should be angry. This is truly important. It's important to us and to the next generation. We should not be playing political football with issues of this magnitude. It makes me very angry that these people feel they can do that with no fear of a backlash.
I agree. The best among them will receive an uplift; the careless and the foolish among them will get their comeuppance. The internet is a huge educational tool. It levels the playing field in a number of ways. It's no accident that as the citizens become more adept at exploiting this resource for their interests that the drive to shut it down or regulate it grows by leaps and bounds.
It depends on the meaning of "is."
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