Friday, September 29, 2006

Here I Am - In the Center

"What the heck is he talking about?" "He's about as left as they come, what 'center' does he think he represents?" I'll tell you what center; my own damn center.

Okay, I'm not getting all new-agey on you, I'm just trying to make a point here. The reactionary right wingers who have seized control of our country over the last decade have done it NOT by responding to what Americans believe or want, but steadfastly refusing to compromise.

Instead, they simply declared themselves to be the center. The did it loudly and repeatedly and effectively. They knew full well that they were out of step with America, but they claimed their positions represented the great center ground, and through shrewd communications skills forced the country to re-organize around them.

And so now, even with a failed president whose approval rating is a dismal 43%, most Americans still believe that the Republicans represent "the center" and buy the crap that anybody who opposes the administration is un-American and out-of-touch. (Read What's wrong with America.)

And so we deal with the consequences. The latest being the passage of the 'detainee bill' that sets human rights back about eight hundred years. Sure, there was a bit of a show of "opposition" and "dialogue" to assure us that Congress did still have the power to check and balance the president, but the end result is a "compromise" that is an insult to all civilized people.

And, yes, I said eight hundred years. While much of the mock debate on the bill revolved around conflicts with the Geneva Conventions, the final bill still allows the president to put an indefinite hold on any person suspected of being "an enemy combatant." Not proven to be an enemy content, but suspected. That, I'd say, is a bit of a conflict with the grandaddy of all common law, the Magna Carta:
No free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised, neither will we attack him or send anyone to attack him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land. (39)

To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay right or justice. (40)
Oh, yeah, and in conflict with the Geneva Conventions and a few other modern laws as well. Oh, and the U.S. Constitution. Oh, and with democracy.

Not that any of that matters anymore. After all, Bush represents the might center and anybody who disagrees is an out-of-touch extremist.

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