I caught a few minutes of Dan Abrams’ broadcast on MSNBC where the heads were flapping about the differences in attitude between Barack Obama and John McCain on the recent US Supreme Court decision to restore habeas corpus to detainees held at Guantanamo. McCain even trotted out Rudy Guiliani, Mr. 9-1-1, to underscore his point.
The way they framed it was like this: “Obama would allow Bin Laden to appeal to the US Courts.”
Well, yes, provided the following circumstances existed:
- Bin Laden would have to be brought to the US
- Bin Laden would then have to be arrested in the US
- He would have to be charged under US law
Why? Because that’s how things work. If Bin Laden is caught in Afghanistan, he falls under international law.
Let’s just say the perfect Bin Laden storm exists and all of those conditions are met. Why would we rape the United States Constitution in the name of revenge? Of COURSE he’d have the right to appeal his case to the US civilian courts, because our Constitution says he has that right. And like it or not, John McCain is not going to be able to legislate this away.
In case anyone is interested in what Barack Obama (via surrogates and then again on the video below) really said, it’s this:
“The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that they have those rights,” he said. “If John McCain were president, he would have to give them those rights.”
It might be worth a reminder here about what our elected officials in Washington DC (particularly the President and Vice President) swear when they are elected to office.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Maybe it’s more important what it doesn’t say.
It doesn’t say “preserve, protect and defend the PREFERRED PEOPLE of the United States”.
It doesn’t say “preserve, protect and defend the elected officials of the United States.”
It doesn’t say “this is open to interpretation depending upon who my enemies are today”.
The Founding Fathers understood this much: Binding the leaders of our country to uphold the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded and operates and holding them to a sworn oath to uphold the rule of law meant they could not act in their own self interest or in the interests of people, but were first and foremost to uphold the guiding principles upon which all other pillars are built.
John McCain should understand this well. It’s a pity that he’s selling out to the Republican hardliners instead of applying his knowledge and experience to interpret a clear-cut case of Constitutional Law.
This is one of the main reasons I’m such an ardent Obama supporter. Our constitution is supposed to be the guide by which our government operates, not something that they plot to subvert. Because if it is subverted, our democracy is doomed, and George W. Bush and his merry band of neocons have very nearly done exactly that.
- Jeffrey Toobin: In McCain’s Court
- Pentagon Announces Troop Deployments Of 42,000 To Iraq, Afghanistan
- Why Republicans Might Attack Iran Before the General Elections
For example, one of the strongest scenarios among neo-conservatives is based on the hypothesis that in the case of any military attack against Iran — even a limited air strike — the greatest beneficiary among the three presidential candidates would be John McCain. The reason for this is that the American people’s first priority would become national security instead of the economy, and since there might be a “perception” that McCain would deal with foreign policy issues better than economic ones, he would have a stronger chance of winning in November.
- Clinton Puts Up A New Fight
Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not. And she circles back to the sexism. “The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head,” she said. “It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”
(My aside: No racism? REALLY? Yes, there has been sexism on the part of the media, the pundits, some Obama supporters and bloggers. But to say there’s been NO racism? That’s just a lie.)
Might he really be a “maverick” when it comes to the Supreme Court? The answer, almost certainly, is no. The Senator has long touted his opposition to Roe, and has voted for every one of Bush’s judicial appointments; the rhetoric of his speech shows that he is getting his advice on the Court from the most extreme elements of the conservative movement. With the general election in mind, McCain had to express himself with such elaborate circumlocution because he knows that the constituency for such far-reaching change in our constellation of rights is small, and may be shrinking.
Today is the day that Barack Obama will tip over the majority of pledged delegates. He will need less than 100 total delegates for the nomination. I would once again encourage the women profiled in the last article to consider the facts in the first article.
Because you know, it’s all about Hillary Clinton and how victimized she’s been.
- The possibility of a Supreme Court appointment that guarantees an overturn of Roe v. Wade
- Privatized Social Security, which will hurt working women more than men, since women tend to undercontribute to 401(k) plans
- A serious deficit in the area of economics. By his own admission, he is not as informed about economic policy as he is about military and security policy. Given that, he is spouting the GOP talking points without regard to any grounding in reality.
- An attitude toward women that dates back to pre-feminism days. He has no compunction about bullying women in order to dodge their concerns. If you don’t believe me, listen to his response to Erin Kotecki Vest when she asked a reasonable question during his open conference call. And as much as I utterly despise Michelle Malkin, she’s not the only blogger who has been hostile to McCain, but she is the only blogger on his side of the aisle that’s been excluded from blogger conference calls.
- A complete lack of moral compass in exchange for the realization of ambition. The thing about McCain that has been most shocking to me personally is how he has turned his back on issues he was always solid about and instead embraced the Republican party line, even if it is worth less than a bag of dog food aging on the shelf.
I totally understand how Clinton voters feel, because every time I hear her claim she’s won the popular vote, can attract working white voters, calls the dog whistle for racism, and chooses to ignore caucus states, I feel the same thing. When I discovered that the madrassa story could be traced directly back to her campaign, when her campaign released the photo of Obama that had been in the public for 2 years prior of him in African garb, reinforcing ignorance, when she squandered an opportunity to categorically clear the record with regard to Obama’s religion, when she pushed Reverend Wright, when she pushed Ayers at the press, when she danced around after winning those “swing states” as if there hadn’t been a clear effort to feed into people’s dark fears that a black guy might be dangerous, yes. I get it. I totally know how they feel.
When that happens, I start chanting. Supreme Court. Social Security. Iraq. Economy. Military-industrial complex. $4/gallon gas.
After awhile, I calm down. Clinton supporters, I hope you’ll start chanting too, because 4 more years of the nonsense we have now will surely ruin this country for us, for our children, and for their children at a minimum.