Friday, September 29, 2006

Long live King George?

With yesterday's passage of legislation that apparently gives Bush dictatorial powers to ignore the U.S. Constitution and imprison without charge anyone he deems an "enemy combatant," we appear to have come full circle.

Back in the 1790's, the Federalist party controlled Congress, the Presidency, and the federal judiciary. They used this power to enrich themselves, shut down the opposition press, rig elections, and imprison their enemies. The Federalists seemed to regard the recently ratified Constitution as just a piece of paper, much like Bush does now. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a modern edition of the Alien and Sedition Acts to appear before much longer. Of course, there was a backlash against the Federalist tyranny in 1800 that helped elect Thomas Jefferson, and the Federalist party faded away soon after. Lucky for us the Federalists didn't have access to electronic voting machines back then. One of Alexander Hamilton's descendants would probably still be king.

What I cannot fathom is the willingness of Congress to ignore the plain language of the Bill of Rights and the 6th amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The real problem is that a federal court will quickly find this legislation unconstitional on its face. Then, the drumbeat will begin about those horrible, liberal, activist judges who condone terrorism and hate America. The GOPers will use that as another stick to beat up the gutless Democrats in Congress, who are still more concerned about getting re-elected than they are about saving our country from a Bush dictatorship.

Speaking of gutless Democrats, I cannot begin to express my disgust with Colorado's own Ken Salazar, who voted for this heinous legislation. I thought he was an honorable man. I guess I was wrong. Believe me, I will never vote for him again, no matter what.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Two hundred and thirty years ago we declared our independence from the last King George to rule America. Maybe it's time to declare independence from this one.

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