Friday, June 12, 2009

Standard's Trentelman: Hatch needs to get back to defending the Constitution.

Charles Trentelman responds to Senator "Hit and Run" Hatch's book report predictable op-ed on Guantanamo (insert standard talking points, and you've got the gist):

Sen. Hatch seems to forget that the protections of accused in the Constitution are not the result of some liberal cabal at the original Constitutional Convention trying to introduce weeny liberal ways for the guilty to get out on a technicality. They are the deeply conservative result of the very well founded fear by the Founding Fathers that government will, if given the opportunity, throw its enemies into dark holes and lose the key. Certainly Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush saw nothing wrong with that. The Power to toss some poor schmuck into jail is very heady, the Founding Fathers knew, which is precisely why the put so many restrictions on it.

History tells us that the first thing every power-drunk megalomaniac says is ”trust me, I’ll only do this to really bad people.” He/she then proceeds to toss all his/her political opponents into jail. Richard Nixon clearly wanted to do just that in assembling his “enemies list” during the Watergate scandals, and it lurks constantly.

That’s really my main problem with Sen. Hatch. Even if he were right about these prisoners (and I have no way of knowing if he is) he expects us to support the continuation of an enterprise that confounds that most basic of American rights: The right to not be imprisoned unjustly by government.

Sen. Hatch expects me to believe that these men need to be held just because he says they need to be. That is not a power I trust Sen. Hatch, or President Obama, or anyone else to have.

Guantanamo represents an astonishing abuse of power and needs to be shut down. Sen. Hatch needs to get back to defending the Constitution.
And how.

The only thing I object to here is the implication that defending American principle above all else has ever been a goal of the Senator who ran on term limits and then never went away. Or any of our Republican delegates for that matter. Constitutional principles coming from these mouths has become no more valuable than smoke being blown up the proverbial ass.

No comments:

Post a Comment