November 26, 2007

The Most Important Thing of 2008

Hatched by Dave Ross
The central tenet of my life and the universe-- at least this week-- is that the most important thing in the world is to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president. Although from the standpoint of my personal profit and reputation it would be a good thing if Hillary become president, since I am working on a 1984ish dystopian horror fiction knockoff about the beginning of her fourth term in office entitled (tentatively) "Nanny" I consider it hardly an exaggeration that a second Clinton presidency would be the beginning of the end for freedom and civil liberties as we know it, but probably also the American way of life. Yes, it's that bad. It's so bad that I would vote for virtually anyone else, Hugo Chavez and Alec Baldwin possibly excluded, to ensure her defeat. Oh yes, there is one other person that I wouldn't be able to vote for, and that's John McCain. If, by some twate of fist they are both the nominees next year, I would have to sit out the first presidential election of my adult life, or else vote for the libertarian. I include Mr. McCain because both he and Hillary are grave enemies of the Bill of Rights-- specifically the First Amendment. Hillary, because anything that stands in her way, including pesky things like civil liberties and the constitution, is just a piece of paper, and the most convenient place for inconvenient pieces of paper is underfoot. McCain because he is probably the most authoritarian Republican of our generation. He really thinks that defeating "corruption in government" is more important than freedom of speech and press. I'm not bending his words in any way. In April, while on the Don Imus radio show (ironically as it turned out), shortly before Imus committed ritual seppuku using a rusty blade of political correctness, McCain answered the charge that his McCain Feingold campaign finance legislation attacks the First Amendment by in essence saying, "So what?"
I work in Washington and I know that money corrupts. And I and a lot of other people were trying to stop that corruption. Obviously, from what we've been seeing lately, we didn't complete the job. But I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government.
Columnist George Will wondered how McCain would be able to hold that opinion and also carry out his oath to uphold the constitution if he is elected president. Hillary Clinton's point of view about freedom of expression is, if anything, even more chilling than McCain's. Most defenders of the sanctity of the Internet recall this quote from her when the Drudge Report first reported Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky:
"We are all going to have to rethink how we deal with this, because there are all these competing values ... Without any kind of editing function or gatekeeping function, what does it mean to have the right to defend your reputation?"
But the average voter has no idea that Mrs. Clinton favors prior restraint, something that the U.S. Supreme Court has never authorized, even in the name of national security. Of course, the average voter doesn't support the Bill of Rights either, when the individual rights are put to him in the form of questions such as "Do you think people ought to be allowed to say anything they want, even if it makes the job of the president harder?" or "Don't you think the police ought to be able to enter the house of a suspect without a warrant if they have a good reason?" So, as the people of Venezuela seem prepared to exercise their rights to "one man, one vote, one time" and legitimize a dictatorship, the American people might under certain circumstances allow Hillary to create a "gatekeeper" to guard against abuses of the freedom of the Internet, or talk radio, for that matter. I am becoming just a little bit optimistic about the inevitability of the Hillary coronation because cracks are starting to appear in what has up until now been an impenetrable wall: the absurd claim that Hillary is the "most qualified candidate." A column by Maureen Dowd, who will, once the nomination is secured for Hillary return to her slavish devotion to the Democratic party and attack whomever the GOP nominee is, demonstrated that when she is at the top of her game she has the sharpest claws in the pundit business, applauded Barack Obama's witty observation that he couldn't recall that Mrs. Clinton had served as her husband's treasury secretary after Mrs.Clinton turned her regal gaze on the upstart and tried to turn him to stone by ridiculing his inexperience. That crack is the sort of thing that could become a canyon if enough the of the media reflect on the absurdity of the claim that Hillary makes that she acquired all of her husband's abilities and experiences in sort of a political contact high. It's an "emperor has no clothes" moment. It brings up all sorts of interesting questions. If, as she implies, Mrs. Clinton was "co-president" then why doesn't the 22nd Amendment apply to her. Or, if it doesn't, can we at least ask that she or Bill produce some memos or documents that have her fingerprints on them to demonstrate what policy decisions she was responsible for-- and to what degree? As they have ever since they entered public life, the Clintons are trying to have it both ways. Mrs. Clinton wants to take credit for all of Bill's positives when he was president, but claim deniability when the party wing nuts squawk about NAFTA. Like Janus, Mrs. Clinton wants to look both ways at once. Ooops! Did I just call Hillary "two-faced?" Oh dear, how sexist of me!

Hatched by Dave Ross on this day, November 26, 2007, at the time of 12:07 AM

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The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr

Don't you think the police ought to be able to enter the house of a suspect without a warrant if they have a good reason?

Well... Yes. Current case law supports "hot pursuit" as an adequate reason, for example. There are many other adequate reasons, but no coherent theory behind them -- although in the olden days of constitutional jurisprudence, the phrase "unreasonable searches and seizures" in the Bill of Rights was considered to imply the existence of "reasonable" searches, against which citizens were not secure (in theory, an official performing a search without a warrant could be held personally liable if the search were found "unreasonable", whereas if a warrant were involved, the warrant would have to be found to be not "issued upon probable cause", and the government rather than the officer would be liable).

In theory, I like the old version... The current one simply has no solid underpinnings; there are too many loopholes a bad cop can jump through and a good cop can get stuck in. In practice, I'm not educated enough to opine.

Perhaps you intended to imply that the average answer was correct, though, and I merely missed the implication.


The above hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 26, 2007 11:13 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dale Gribble

Not to mention McPain has announced his fealty to one world socialist government(they're calling it global warming now).

The above hissed in response by: Dale Gribble [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 26, 2007 12:24 PM

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