succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, June 30, 2006

Better bloggers than I have already tackled this, but of course, why would that stop me from throwing in my two cents? If you haven't already heard/read about the SCOTUS decision re: Hamdan, well, crawl out from under your rock. While by and large this is a good thing, I can't help but focus on the three dissenters (Thomas, Scalia, and Alito; Roberts abstained). What kills me is that the key finding hinged on the President's failure to obtain Congressional authorization for his actions. The court didn't come out and say you can't detain potential terrorists, you can't investigate potential acts of terrorism, you have to immediately release these people or anything even remotely drastic (and obviously unreasonable) like that. They said a) follow US laws and let Congress do its oversite thing and b) follow US laws and give these people a fair trial. I mean, really, how dare the Supreme Court put forth the crazy idea that the president is not above the law!? And yet three justices still found fault with this line of reasoning. As a commenter over at unfogged puts it, "Personally, I don't know whether to be elated that the Constitution survived the day or deeply depressed that four members of the Supreme Court were willing to throw it away. And the Scalia and Thomas concurrences (at least; I didn't get very far with Alito's) appear to be not just wrong but profoundly dishonest pieces of work."

And this is what disturbs me most of all in a broader sense about this administration and its supporters. While they wrap themselves in the cloak of false patriotism they seem to have so little faith in the actual functioning of the republic. They are so unwilling to allow and fearful of the balance between branches of government and the participation of the masses. It blows my mind that they are able to simultaneously blather on about the flag and its sacred representation of freedom and the American way and then act in support of a dictatorship. How they are able to hold two such contradictory notions at the same time I may never understand.


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