August 10, 2007

Our Glorious Police State

Recently, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been ruminating on the possibilities of a Democratic loss in the 2008 presidential election. Although, as we mentioned, the current political climate favors their victory, we have a hunch that the Democratic presidential contenders may just blow their chances, chiefly because the American public will find their views on foreign policy insufficiently serious.

But we don’t think that Democratic dovishness serves as the only impediment to a win in 2008. Rather, a letter to the editor in the August 7 number of The Boston Globe demonstrates another way in which the Left in this country seems fatally disconnected from the political mainstream.

The missive in question was penned by one Nancy Murray, whose tagline informs us that she’s the “director of education at ACLU of Massachusetts.” Pertaining to the new congressionally-approved surveillance law, the epistle reads as follows:

If we want to preserve what is left of our civil liberties, we may have to keep Congress in session year round. Not that the legislative branch is doing a good job preserving checks and balances -- far from it. But it appears that all it takes is an impending recess and cranking up the politics of fear for the executive branch to get its way.

As Charlie Savage pointed out in yesterday's Globe, the last time Congress gave the president what he wanted so that they could stampede out of town for a recess, we got the Military Commissions Act of 2006. An amendment that would have preserved the 500-year-old right of habeas corpus lost by just a handful of votes. Ten months later, with the Democrats "in control," we still haven't reversed that decision.

If it takes fear to motivate Congress, maybe each member should be sent a DVD of the 1998 Hollywood film about the National Security Agency, "Enemy of the State." That may be the only hope we have of saving our fundamental freedoms.

If you ask us, this letter speaks volumes about the paranoid delusions of the Democratic base—delusions that may prove off-putting to many moderate voters. First, you’ll note the histrionic tone of the missive’s introduction: “If we want to preserve what is left of our civil liberties….” Ah, yes: So few of our civil liberties remain. Big Brother is upon us. We inhabit a proto-totalitarian state. No wonder we all walk around under constant police and CIA surveillance.

One also has to enjoy Ms. Murray’s take on constitutional checks and balances—a take that demonstrates a curious ignorance of the workings of the American government. According to Ms. Murray, the legislative branch is not “doing a good job of persevering checks and balances” because it is agreeing with the executive branch.

You see, to Ms. Murray, our system of checks and balances requires that the legislative branch incessantly stymie the executive branch—or at least when Republicans make up the executive branch. An odd view of American democracy, is it not?

Yet perhaps nothing’s as delicious as Ms. Murray’s warning to Congress to view some lame Hollywood flick in order to jumpstart their hatred of the Bush administration. This is the advice of ACLU Massachusetts’ “director of education”? No wonder she seems so strikingly uninformed on our Police State.

Posted at August 10, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack