Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit. This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence.
As Senator-elect Scott Brown says, we should be spending taxpayer dollars to defeat terrorists, not to protect them.
I am frankly appalled that candidates and officials continue to score points with this rhetoric. Back in the heat of the 2008 campaign, Palin got cheers for making a quip of it, and Obama responded:
"The reason that you have this principle is not to be soft on terrorism. It's because that's who we are. That's what we're protecting."
Here we are some 16 months later, and they've elevated this dangerous ignorance to their party platform statement following the State of the Union. And again it draws cheers. This time, though, the event was not just a local rally, but a nationally televised event "which cost about $30,000 and was paid for by the Republican Governors Association and the political action committees of McDonnell and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell." According to Ben Smith of Politico:
Scott Brown's aides believed this was a key wedge issue, and its inclusion here suggests that the campaign to keep terror suspects, even ones arrested in America, out of civilian courts, will be central to Republican campaigns this year.
As Decius wrote that same day in 2008:
If McCain's VP pick were just as boring as Obama's I might not care at all about this election, but Palin is an existential threat that demands an awakening from apathy. I don't know what's more fearsome, the fact that she was selected, or the fact that the American people have bought it and she has given McCain a huge boost in the polls.
I feel like I'm living in an insane asylum.
Whether it's the open attacks on ancient principles such as Habeas Corpus or the fact that we are in the midst of a nearly unprecedented economic cataclysm one cannot escape the conclusion that the people in charge have absolutely no idea what the fuck they are doing and that the people who do know what ought to be done have been totally marginalized by our corruption. Palin personifies all of this. She is the slick corporate VP who is all image and no substance, and they love that about her because they have convinced themselves that if they do away with substance it will free them from the problems that substantial people attempt to address.
This is the road to despotism. This is the fevered dream of theocracy. This is America.
From Cormac McCarthy via Joel and Ethan Coen:
Wendell: These boys is all swole up. So this was earlier: getting set to trade. Then, whoa, differences ... You know: might not of even been no money.
Bell: That's possible.
Wendell: But you don't believe it.
Bell: No. Probably I don't.
Wendell: It's a mess, ain't it Sheriff?
Bell: If it ain't, it'll do til the mess gets here.
Bell: That man that shot you died in prison.
Ellis: In Angola. Yeah.
Bell: What would you a done if he'd been released?
Ellis: I don't know. Nothin. Wouldn't be no point to it.
Bell: I'm kindly surprised to hear you say that.
Ellis: All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. After a while you just try and get a tourniquet on it.
I surely do hope somebody's carrying the fire ...
Bob McDonnell's Appalling GOP Response