Update: Just in case you thought all this ta-do about torture and civil rights didn’t apply to you. Surprise.
I am a political conservative. I’m in favor of local control. A smaller federal government. Fewer laws. Individual freedom. A balanced budget.
Historically, this is the song and dance of the Republican party, and truth be told, I’ve been registered as a Republican for many years. Admittedly, this has more to do with Oregon’s “no independents can vote in the primary” law than any sort of party allegiance and I don’t frankly vote for very many Republicans generally, but there it is.
Well, no more. Any group that will vote in lockstep to suspend habeas corpus rights, allow torture of suspects, and so forth is just morally repellant. Never mind their terrible tax-cut and spend philosophy that’s leading us off a financial cliff. Forget for a moment about how they’ve expanded the size of the federal government with one wasteful and useless program after another. Set aside the widespread incompetence almost guaranteed by their good-ol’ boy hires with FEMA, the USDA, and Homeland Security. I won’t even go into the disaster than is Iraq.
Instead focus on this simple fact: If the president says you’re a terrorist, you can be imprisoned, tortured, barred from seeing a lawyer, denied the right to hear the charges against you, and so on. Should you actually get to court (more likely a military tribunal), you’ll find that hearsay evidence is permitted and that if they tortured you in violation of the Geneva Conventions—which the President now has the power to define—you are barred from protesting those violations in court. In short, the Republicans today voted to shred the Constitution. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either. Here’s another. And another.
The New York Times calls this law “our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.” They’re not wrong.
I don’t know who’s running in what races necessarily for the mid-term elections, but I can tell you this: I will vote a straight Democratic ticket regardless of the race. I could fill out the ballot now. I’m not saying the Democrats are great. Mostly I think they’re dismal. But there is no more important task this November than getting the Republican right-wing, Christianist, freedom-hating party out of power.
[If you’re in Oregon and would like to change your Voter Registration status, do it here.]