Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dean's Scene and Bush's Push

In the spirit of Jenn-catching-up-on-all-the-blogging-she-didn't-do-last-week: A week or so ago, Howard Dean got some flak from Republicans and fellow Dems for saying that the Republicans were basically a white, Christian party. He also called them dishonest and mean. I never liked Dean when he was running for president, I still don't think he'd make a very good president if he ran again. And it may not be good politics -- but Dean's not wrong. Sure, there are some pretty visible tokens up there in the party ranks of the Right, but by and large, the Republican party does tout the ideals of rich, white Christians, whether through natural evolution of political ideology or a hijacking by the Christian Conservatives. I'm not hating on Dean for telling it like it is. Frankly, I kinda wish more Dems would follow his lead. Meanwhile, caption contest part 5(?): Bush: God, Albie, I haven't worked so hard to screw up America in as long as I can remember!! I'm exhausted... shall we retire to Camp David for the next eight months and watch the country discombobulate from there? Gonzales: Great idea, Mr. President! I've got a bunch of copies of the Constitution that need burning... Bush: Splendid! Today, Bush went to Ohio to advocate the renewal of the Patriot Act to make it a permanent fixture of American law. As much as some people might be terrified of terrorism, I find the idea of the FBI getting greater freedom to wire tap whomever they feel like without authorization and greater federal approval for whisking someone who looks a certain colour away to a foreign country to be tortured for three years not a good sign for the continuing civil liberties of America.

The Patriot Act bolstered FBI surveillance and law-enforcement powers in terror cases and increased use of material witness warrants to hold suspects incommunicado for months.
R., who used to work at the ACLU, told me plenty of horror stories which could rival the tall tales told by the president today -- stories of young men of pseudo-Arab descent disappearing, being held at length by DHS, being forced to sign false confessions of being terrorists and being deported -- all without anyone seeing a lawyer or having a family member notified. Like one day, you fly to Salt Lake City for a business conference, and on your way home with your wife coming to pick you up at the airport, you are abducted from an airport by two big guys in black suits and red ties, kept in a jail for two years without a single opportunity to contact the outside world and returned to some foreign nation you have never been to other than the day of your birth, with nothing to your name. Think I'm making it up? It has happened. Repeatedly. But really, everyone, including myself, have already ranted at length about the Patriot Act. At this point, I don't even blame Bush -- he's just doing what he can to secure his legacy. I blame the Red States. All 51% of you voters who gave Bush his laughable "mandate". Keep touting his integrity and faith all you want -- he certainly doesn't seem to have enough integrity to stick to the foundation upon which this country was built.


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