Friday, April 01, 2005

Not news

AP put out a news item yesterday stating that "sometimes" Republicans must put aside their "belief" in states' rights to support federal governmental intrusions, as in the Schiavo case. This is, of course, not news at all; most Republicans abandoned any pretenses they might have had favoring states' rights once they gained power in Congress in 1994. In 2000, let us never forget, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the vote-counting should continue and the Republicans protested to the national Supreme Court (and won, unfortunately), even though at no other time in our history had the Supremes claimed jurisdiction over a state's election laws. Now that they firmly control all the branches of the government, however, they've just gotten more obvious and arrogant in trying to have it both ways. Does anyone actually still think that the Republicans in power have any intellectual or political theory integrity? Their two central ideologies--evangelical (messianic in the case of Smirky the Chimp, at least) Christianity and anti-New Dealist, pro-business, social Darwinism--override any other potential considerations when Republicans assess the positions they take on any issue.
These are valid, if ruthless and offensive to many, political platforms on which to stand. The problem is that the Republicans in power are not honest about these stances: clearly they feel/know that if they came clean about their true goals, the majority of their support among the non-wealthy would evaporate overnight. Every poll ever taken shows that a vast majority of Americans support the New Deal programs/agencies that still exist (mainly Social Security, the FDA, and to a lesser extent, the FCC), as well as those Great Society programs that were passed in the 1960s (Medicare/Medicaid, Head Start) in order to flesh out our meager federal safety net. Opposing these programs openly would be politically suicidal, so Republicans instead pay lip service to them while working to gut them from behind the scenes. In the short term, the Bush Administration has underfunded these agencies (all the while, Bush has naturally proclaimed his unyielding support for the beneficiaries) in each federal budget passed. In the long term, the exploding deficits Bush has foisted off on the public threaten the very existence of all "non-essential" services in a cynical attempt to overspend our government into insolvency.
It's not states' rights that are being threatened by these dishonest clowns, it's the rights of every American alive and yet unborn that are imperiled.

5 Comments:

Blogger Rosemary said...

Hello. I am one of those Republicans, but I enjoy reading articulate thought from each side of the aisle.

I believe that in the case of "states rights," we have to remember the 14th Amendment which Democrats are always saying we ignore. Quite a turn around, huh?! Second paragraph. Due process (6?). All I wanted was for a different judge to look at the evidence anew.

Yes, I've heard the 19 judge theory. Are you aware that each of the justices deferred to Judge Greer? The case was decided on process, not justice. I have seen more people get upset over a serial killer...so I don't really think that is fair.

Yes, I am a Christian. You do have a nice blog. You state your case (even though I don't agree with some of the pretences) with clarity of thought. Good job!

11:25 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:16 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Thank you for your kind words. As far as the 14th Amendment goes, my take on it is that the United States gov't must prove (in the absence of an extant and applicable federal statute) that "due process" was ignored by a state in its execution of a particular law for it to intervene. If the US Attorneys can't prove that due process was ignored, the state's actions are by definition legal. The point of this was to make sure that the newly reincorporated ex-Confederate states could not simply pass laws to re-enslave the Freedmen--the 13th Amendment made slavery illegal in the nation as a whole, the 14th bound the states to follow the 13th. The due process clause was inserted to make sure that even if there was no specific federal statute covering some action, any citizen's Constitutional rights ("life, liberty" etc.) could not be violated by the various states because of its absence.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous eta said...

Your argument about the original intent of the 14th Amendment is made more interesting by the theoretical (but unfortunately, all too soon real) idea of a Scalia led court following his "originalist" doctrine. If indeed, the 14th amendment under Chief Justice Scalia only does what the intent of the framers said it should do, then all of the liberties that have been awarded under it are deeply undermined. Of course, the Patriot Act already does a lot of that for Justice Scalia and his clones (Thomas and everyone W appoints).

4:45 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

On the other hand, since the notion of a corporation's status as being "an individual" is buttressed by the 14th Amendment's enumerated clauses, stripping the 14th A "down to size" won't be too kindly assessed by the business community, either . . .

6:05 PM  

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