FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Compassionate Conservative Pedophiles

Do you remember the claim made by Republicans asking people to vote for their party in 2000? The claim was that they were going to restore a moral White House. Bill Clinton had diminished the stature of the Presidency. The Republicans would start a new era. Bush swept into office–many people still believe, illegitimately, unlawfully . . . and immorally–and fired all Clinton’s White House staff. Republicans (and we are made to believe, Americans) were heartened.

Considering the amount of tax-payer millions spent on cleansing America of a philandering president, one would think Republicans would have some consistency with their own.

But what now? Do we have to ask what Foley was up to as he “aggressively” pursued boy pages down the halls of Congress? What about Scooter Libby, writing erotic novels?

What about all the people Rumsfeld took down by accusing them of sexual improprieties? Like Guantanamo chaplain Captain James Yee. Or General Kevin Byrnes.

And let’s go back a bit to Abramoff. No sexual shenanigans there, right? Nope. I guess it is no longer considered obscene to defraud others of millions of dollars, including one’s own Native American constituents.

Nor is it considered immoral for the President to reserve the right to torture, when he feels like it. Now–as one of my colleagues has frequently said–he can roast babies over a fire in order to gain what he deems necessary intelligence. But he wouldn’t do that, would he? I wonder who is on record saying it was time to “take the gloves off”? (Hint: He’s the VP.) Who authorized the extraordinary renditions? The CIA black sites? The sexual torture at Abu Ghraib? Wasn’t it Rumsfeld? Or was it Gonzales? Or was it Bush? Oh, I forgot: despite the fact that they have gone on the record repeatedly, authorizing extreme procedures, they’re not responsible for what their underlings do.

Ever hear of “command responsibility” or the Nuremburg Principles?

And let’s take a look back for a moment at the time when this moral White House was bucking to get into office. What about the outrageous and immoral tactics used in that election? Intimidating voters, threatening recounters.

Or, for that matter, the legal strategies used by the Republicans to bring suit before the Supreme Court of the United States to stop a recount on completely frivolous grounds. Oh, the irony. A court that had repeatedly refused to consider an equal protection claim that did not prove discriminatory intent now was perfectly happy to decide that the Emperor-to-Be-with-no-Clothes really DID have clothes on, really did have an equal protection claim, even though he could not prove ANY discriminatory intent whatsoever. In fact, the laws Bush challenged were nearly identical to those he had signed into law in his home state of Texas while governor.

But the Supreme Court was perfectly willing to let him make the frivolous and insulting equal protection argument to their faces despite the fact that Bush didn’t even have any standing to make the claim. He was, after all, bringing the claim for his voters, who couldn’t be expected to speak for themselves, so the High Court decided that the naked Emperor-to-Be had a legitimate claim to challenge the laws that affected those he didn’t yet electorally represent.

Naked, yes, and already clothed with illegality and impropriety. And astonishingly, nobody noticed a thing!

Now, fast forward to Abu Ghraib. Isn’t it immoral to torture? Isn’t it immoral to sexually humiliate someone? What would Jesus do? This is compassionate conservatism? But this IS what the President wants the freedom to do, isn’t it? Isn’t that what the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), just passed by Congress, about?

No, I forgot. Torture is only part of what the DTA allows. It also allows Bush to declare anyone he pleases an unlawful enemy combatant and detain him for as long as he wants. It also suspends habeas corpus for aliens, although the Constitution says habeas corpus may only be suspended during insurrections or rebellions. Habeas corpus. Remember that thing? It’s also been called the Great Writ of Liberty.

Now the President has succeeded in garnering exemptions from the War Crimes Act for his torturers and extraordinary renderers, as well as for himself and his Cabinet. That’s real moral, isn’t it?

And what about Iraq? Was it moral to invade Iraq on the basis of lies?

And where are the moral standard bearers now? Hiding their heads in the sand? Where are your morals now? How could you let this happen to your country?

JENNIFER VAN BERGEN, a journalist with a law degree, is the author of THE TWILIGHT OF DEMOCRACY: THE BUSH PLAN FOR AMERICA (Common Courage Press, 2004). She writes frequently on civil liberties, human rights, and international law. Her book, ARCHETYPES FOR WRITERS, about the characterization method she developed and taught at the New School University, will be out in 2006. She can be reached at jvbxyz@earthlink.net.

 

 

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
Jess Franklin
Globalizing the War on Indigenous People: Bolsonaro and Modi
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What the Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
Thomas Knapp
US v. Sineneng-Smith: Does Immigration Law Trump Free Speech?
Winslow Myers
Turning Point: The new documentary “Coup 53”
Jeff Mackler
U.S. vs. Iran: Which Side are You On?
Sam Pizzigati
Braggadocio in the White House, Carcinogens in Our Neighborhoods
Christopher Brauchli
The Company Trump Keeps
Julian Vigo
Why Student Debt is a Human Rights Issue
Ramzy Baroud
These Chains Will Be Broken
Chris Wright
A Modest Proposal for Socialist Revolution
Thomas Barker
The Slow Death of European Social Democracy: How Corbynism Bucked the Trend
Nicky Reid
It’s Time to Bring the War Home Again
Michelle Valadez
Amy Klobuchar isn’t Green
David Swanson
CNN Poll: Sanders Is The Most Electable
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Dire Need for “Creative Extremists”—MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Jill Richardson
‘Little Women’ and the American Attitude Toward Poverty
David Yearsley
Watching Star Wars in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail