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6/14/08

my mom watches the news for me

On Thursday, my mother called me, all a twitter with "news." I wanted to ask her if she was pregnant, because whenever I have "news" that's what she asks. But I didn't, and that my friends, is called opportunity lost.

Anyway, her news was that the Supreme Court recently ruled that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay do, in fact, have a rightto habeas corpus (reversing a law the Bush administration passed in 2006).

She was very happy because

1. The decision made conservatives mad.

2. Any sign that the xenophobic, checks-and-balances -eschewing Bush administration is struggling to keep the sh*# from hitting the fan (when your own hand-selected conservative supreme court goes against you.....) is a good sign in her book.

3. Mostly, it made the conservatives mad. Because only good, Christian, white people deserve the right to a fair trial.

I am similarly pleased, because I recently got in a little class argument with our friend mccommenster about how most people view civil rights as a convenience. It is good to support civil rights, such as the right to a fair trial, when the people affected are guaranteed non-terrorists. It is less convenient when you have to give those rights to someone potentially threatening. Conservatives, such as McCain, see it as a waste of time, because, "These are bad people."

It is easy to see things that way, but consider how easy it also is to decide that someone is a threat. An Islamic man can be detained in the airport simply based on his appearance. I'm never a fan of slippery-slope arguments, but if we start taking away the right to habeas corpus from some people, where will we stop? With people that "look" like terrorists? With Muslims? With people who look different? As dangerous as it may seem to give potentially terroritsts a trial, it seems more dangerous not to.

Of course, Mr. President is none to pleased. The Bush administration will ``abide by the court's decision,'' the president said following the ruling, during a news conference in Rome. ``That doesn't mean I have to agree with it.''

Of course you don't. Civil rights aren't really your thing. Now please return to revamping the Patriot Act so that you're legacy as our president can be legalizing the right to listen to my telephone conversations.

And mom, um, is there something else you want to tell me?

-quotes by mccain (funny how that sounds kinda like mccomm,) and the president were provided by an article I found on bloomberg.com

4 comments:

James McOmber said...

Hooray for dumb laws being overturned.

Steeps, I think you ought to specify that "McCommentster" is not me. It's too darn close to my name and every time I see that, I think for split second, "I WHA-- oh." I don't want my good reputation going to smithereens because dumb people think you dissed me on your highly powerful and influential blog.

Lisa Louise said...

that actually is fantastic news, I would have to agree. So does mccommenster also have a love of the Bush Admin??

bonz said...

Great rant! I am thrilled that the Court had the, er, spine to hold that way. Turns out, contrary to popular belief, sometimes the Constitution still applies. When we start acting like fair trials are inconvenient and therefore unnecessary, we're on the fast track to losing all semblance of democracy. Sure, due process is inconvenient, until it's your trial. Sheesh.

Seriously, so blessed! said...

What are you talking about?