Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's not assault when they do it

And speaking of the Republican National Convention, Jeralyn Merritt of TalkLeft is blogging about a fascinating trial regarding a protester accused of kicking a security guard at the Republican National Convention. (Your blogstress's readers will recall this as the convention that called for round-ups of protesters who were held at a nasty building on the Chelsea Pier and not charged with anything.)

Jeralyn rightly calls her readers' attention to the incident inside the convention hall, witnessed by many, of a young female protester getting roughed-up inside the convention hall for standing while wearing a garment that featured anti-Bush slogans.

Sphere: Related Content

Terror been berry, berry good
to Karl

Nine-eleven is the best thing that ever happened to Karl Rove, and he apparently knows it.

With the war in Iraq wearing thin on the national morale, Rove, in a speech before the Conservative Party of New York State, chose to launch a weapon of mass distraction by virtually accusing Democrats of treasonous behavior in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Patrick Healy of the New York Times reports:

"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Mr. Rove, the senior political adviser to President Bush, said at a fund-raiser in Midtown for the Conservative Party of New York State.

Then he really got mean:

Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

While Durbin's comments were over the top, he apologized on the floor of the Senate, which is more than Tom DeLay has done in the House after practically condoning hits on liberal judges. But don't get distracted by the Durbin piece of this; it's the libel on "motives" that takes the cake.

Scott McClellan, spokesman for President Bush, stood by Rove's comments, saying that the latter was only distinguishing between two philosophies.

And what philosophies would they be? Why, patriotism and treason, of course.

Flailing in Iraq and trailing in public opinion polls, Rove thought he'd shore up his man with that winning formula he used so cravenly at the Republican National Convention in New York City last year: If you're scared you won't beat 'em, then just traumatize 'em.

Let's hope the Dems stay disciplined and not issue any Durbinesque rebukes; leave that work to the blogstresses of the world.

So far, so good: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has called for Rove's resignation, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has, according to the Associated Press...

...called on Bush to ''show some leadership and unequivocally repudiate Rove's divisive and damaging political rhetoric.''

Hillary Clinton used the occasion of a Senate hearing at which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld testified to offer the Pentagon chief the chance to repudiate Rove's remarks. Not surprising, the not-so-demure secretary demurred.

Sphere: Related Content

Gay-basher, freedom-hater
leads Office of Special Counsel

Hans Johnson's latest column in In These Times is a must-read, especially for anybody who doubts that the most freedom-hating, ideological bunch of thugs to ever staff the executive branch are running amok over the Constitution.

Check out Hans's piece, Scott Bloch’s Sad Saga.

Sphere: Related Content

What's at stake

As a public service, your net-tĂȘte here displays the text of the First Amendment. Commit it to memory please, because it soon may be redacted:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Sphere: Related Content

Constitution burning

Who knew that the First Amendment posed such a threat to the republic so as to require its stamping out in the guise of a burning flag?

Yes, the flag-burning amendment is back, having passed the House yesterday afternoon. Though the passage of such expressions of contempt for the Constitution has been standard-issue in the House for some time, in the past, the Senate could be counted on to do the right thing. Alas, not this year. (Long live Terri Schiavo.)

When it comes to the trampling of rights via the Patriot Act, the rationale is always the need to deter terrorists before they inflict another wound on the order of 9-11. So what is the rationale for stomping the First Amendment at its root, in our nation's founding document? The sacred nature of the flag, we're told. Your blogstress does not recall a single Founder writing of the sanctity of the U.S. flag. In fact, your cybertrix seems to recall that the Framers were extraordinarily careful to avoid words like "God," "Creator" and "sacred" in the text of the Constitution.

The current amendment effort in the Congress has more to do with matters temporal than sacred, of course. It's about the 2006 congressional elections. Republicans love to harangue Democrats for an alleged lack of patriotism during election campaigns. No voice votes on this one--everybody will surely be on the record.

If the Democrats had the guts, they'd be out there haranguing the Republicans for their obvious lack of patriotism. After all, what is more sacred to the American experiment: the flag or the Constitution?

Your Webwench would like to see a protest on the steps of the Capitol whereby 214 copies of the Constitution, one for each year of the Bill of Right's existence, are burned. Because that's just what these craven, power-consolidating fear-mongers in the House are doing--moving us ever nearer the tyranny of which Jefferson warned.

Sphere: Related Content