So which do you want first? “Good Republicans” are as rare as four leaf clovers, while “Bad Republicans” are as common as three-leaf clovers in a dung-filled cow pasture. So let’s start with the good:
First, I feel vindicated in my support of Robert Gates for Secretary of Defense. I took some flack from more than a few people on various blogs when I recommended President-elect Obama retain Bush’s new Secretary of Defense after Bush leaves office. President-elect Obama had vowed to include Republicans in his cabinet, and I recognized the fact that the war was going to be THE issue by which Republicans would judge the performance of the Obama Administration. It would be difficult for his critics to argue that Obama was pursuing a losing strategy if he was being advised by the same SoD picked by President Bush, so if any position were to be filled by a Republican, Secretary of Defense would win him the most Republican support. But “why on Earth would Obama trust Bush’s pick to head the DoD?”, was the response I heard most. So I’d point out that Gates worked in Carter’s CIA and NSA, and, as Deputy National Security Adviser to George HW Bush, he was one of the people that convinced him to NOT go on into Iraq and invade Baghdad following the 1991 Gulf War.
Saturday, Secretary Gates took the incredibly gutsy position that, despite being in the midst of not one but TWO wars, our military budget is WAY TOO BIG, larding up the military with more pork than they know what to do with:
Gates also recently came out against DADT, and supports getting out of Iraq. I feel more than vindicated in my earlier support for Secretary Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense.
Second on our list of “Good Republicans” is one on his way out the door… Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT), who came in third in the Republican primary behind two Tea Party darlings. Bennett’s 18-year tenure as Senator is coming to an end “because he voted for (President Bush’s) TARP bailout”. Bennett called the current Tea Bagger frenzy “a toxic environment” for moderate Republicans, proving the point that there is no room for “Moderates” in the GOP anymore. And with the way the GOP has alienated blacks, Mexicans, gays, women, Muslims, Indians, etc… their “tent” is getting smaller by the day. So naturally we can expect HUGE sweeping victories for the GOP this November as all those people stay home on election night rather than vote for the Democrats currently in charge (though definitely NOT running-the-show in the face of unprecedented Republican obstructionism that prevents the Obama Administration from doing anything of any significance to get this country moving again.
To paraphrase Willy Wonka, two “good” Republicans down, two nasty wretched Republicans to go.
First, we have former Federal Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani (appointed by Reagan in 1981 according to “Dickipedia“, the “Wikipedia” of complete and total dicks), who wants to do away with Miranda Rights for terrorism suspects. During ABC’s ThisWeek, Mr. “No attacks on Bush’s watch” Giuliani claimed (once again) that “[the Obama Administration] is more concerned about the rights of terrorists than the rights of Americans” when they Mirandize terrorism suspects. You see, because in Right-wing world, simply being accused of terrorism makes you guilty, and therefore, justifies denying you your rights. Rudy came out in support of Joe Lieberman’s bill to “strip citizenship from terrorists“… notice that wording there. It doesn’t say “convicted” terrorists. No, Joe and Rudy want to strip the citizenship of people “accused” or “suspected” of terrorism so they can interrogate them without their “rights” as an American Citizen getting in the way. No question they are referring to suspects before they are convicted because once you are “convicted” of terrorism (aka: Treason), there’s no need to strip them of their citizenship. You’re sentenced to death and are going to jail.
A few things need pointing out here: One, reading someone their rights doesn’t GIVE them any rights. They ALREADY HAVE those rights. Mirandizing someone is not to benefit criminals, it is to protect the evidence collection process and safeguard the prosecutions’ case against them. If you DON’T Mirandize a suspect, their case can be thrown out of court. Why we wouldn’t want to Mirandize a suspect is beyond me. You would THINK that A FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR would know that. Do I want terrorism suspects Mirandized? You’re DAMNED RIGHT I want suspects read their rights! One has to ask, “Why do Republicans want terrorists to get off on a technicality?” Whose side are they on?
Just as with the putrid Arizona anti-immigration law, my concern is not for the criminals, it’s the harassed, marginalized, and falsely accused innocent American citizens who are certain to be swept up in their super-Constitutional dragnet on a daily basis, in their quest to incarcerate every brown person that makes them uncomfortable (pasty white guys like myself have nothing to worry about… that is, until the first blond-haired blue-eyed WASP is arrested, then no one is safe).
Joe and Rudy use a WWII era ruling to “strip the citizenship of anyone caught fighting for the enemy” as the basis for their proposed law. Sounds perfectly reasonable when you put it that way, no? But the one huge honking hole in their WWII analogy is that the law pertains to Americans captured on foreign soil on the field of battle where there is NO QUESTION of their guilt or innocence because they were caught red-handed fighting for the enemy. The WWII law was NEVER used (as far as I can tell) against an American citizen captured here in America (the law did not apply to “spies” or acts of espionage, which came under an entirely different set of laws).
Okay, let me pause for a moment here because I don’t want anyone suggesting I am “defending” the failed “Times Square bomber” (sticking to my rule to never reward terrorists by repeating their name. They should die in obscurity). There is no question of his guilt at this point, and he probably should have his citizenship revoked. But THE RIGHTS OUTLINED BY MIRANDA ARE NOT LIMITED TO AMERICAN CITIZENS. The Constitution says that “all persons” have the rights of “due process” and “Habeus Corpus”. That includes non-citizens, visitors and the like, to our country. Stripping a person of their citizenship does NOT also strip them of their rights as human beings as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. So the bill itself is nothing more than symbolic at best. You can’t suddenly “black bag” a person, hustle them off to Gitmo in the dead of night and torture them until they tell you what you want to hear simply because they are no longer American citizens. But Republicans have such a “Junior High School” understanding of the Constitution, they they don’t even know how the laws they seek to change even work in the first place.
Moving on… “Bad Republican” #2 is Liz Cheney. Making her upteenth appearance on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday, Cheney labeled the Obama Administration’s counter-terrorism policy as “relying on the incompetency of the terrorists” to keep America safe (because, as we all know, no one EVER tried and failed to attack us during the Bush Administration ["the shoe bomber", "the Miami terrorist plot", "the shampoo-bottle bombers", the "Fort Dix" keystone cops crew, ad infinitum]. Nooooo.)
So, anyway, after Dick Cheney’s fetid offspring accused the Obama Administration of “relying on the incompetency of terrorists”, she then argued in favor of suspending the reading of Miranda Rights to terrorism suspects, (falsely, natch) claiming that “it makes no sense to stop in the middle of interrogating a suspect to remind them (yes, she actually used those words) of their ‘right to remain silent’”, implying that at that moment they would clam up and stop providing valuable information.
As I mentioned above, Mirandizing doesn’t suddenly bestow rights on a person, it simply informs a suspect of the rights they ALREADY HAVE. Now, a savvy terrorist might know this, refuse to talk and demand to see a lawyer even before they are Mirandized. And as anyone who has ever watched a cop show on TV can tell you, “the moment they ask for a lawyer, the interrogation is over until you provide them with a lawyer”. So, my point is, ISN’T CHENEY ALSO “relying on the incompetency of terrorists” not to know they already have “the right to remain silent” before they are Mirandized? Nice double-standard there, Liz. Of course, I didn’t expect you to see that given your “Junior High School” understanding of the Constitution.
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