It's Just a Goddamned Piece of Paper

We read a blog comment about the passing of Eugene McCarthy the other day that posed the question, "Where are the McCarthys of today?" One response might be, "Do you mean Gene or Joe?" Of course, it's extremely sad there is no modern day Gene, but even sadder that we seem to have a whole boatload of modern day Joe's over at the White House.

In a rare case of good sense overcoming the odds, the Senate today dealt a blow to an extension of the Patriot Act. The Act - which in a Bushorwellian feat of doublespeak is about as unpatriotic as they come - has been a pox upon our country since Bushco ramrodded it through Congress shortly after the 9/11 disaster. The usual Constitutional checks and balances fell far too easily as Congress handed Bush and the terrorists a victory by passing it. In the intervening four years it has done little to protect us and much to harm us. But, it's still heartening seeing common sense take hold again. At least we've stepped back from the steps of the beer hall before the real putch began.

It's also heartening to see the truth is finally trickling out about Georgie having more intelligence than he originally claimed about invading Iraq. Despite his many claims that Congress had "the same intelligence", it now appears otherwise. His protests of "they voted for it too" are now giving way to, "the intelligence was wrong, but I was still right." It seems in Bushylvania the Emperor can do no wrong.

The administration's penchant for secrecy and collecting information began with Cheney's infamous - and still poorly understood - Energy Task Force and continues today with revelations that Pentagon databases contain information on US citizens along with Bush's signing of an executive order allowing the NSA to do some snooping on some folks on the home front.

Bush's contempt for the Constitution is obvious. Encouraging spying and torture and avoiding due process for the detainees are just a few of the examples we're aware of. Listen to this little exchange that took place in a room full of Republicans meeting with the president as they worked out their strategy for dealing with the Patriot Act:

Republican Aide: "Mr. President, there is a valid case that the provisions of this law (the Patriot Act) undermine the Constitution."

The President, who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution: "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Well Mr. President, it IS just a goddamned piece of paper, but it is also more. It is the document that you claim our soldiers in Iraq are dying to defend. Mr. President? Can you tell me how you, and a good number of your supporters, have the unmitigated gall to call those who oppose you traitors and cowards when they are doing so with the expressed approval of the Constitution? Something that decidedly cannot be said of your actions. If those soldiers are not dying to protect that "goddamned piece of paper", what then ARE they fighting for?

What are you the President of Mr. Bush? The Crawford, Texas Chapter of the Benedict Arnold Fan Club?

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, December 16, 2005

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