Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Political Silly Season

Tractatus Theologico-Politicus

This has been the strangest primary season in memory. Well, in my memory anyhow. The Republicans are intent on recasting political argument into theological dispute. Giuliani is seriously asked, during a national debate, if he believes in the literal truth of the bible. Shortly thereafter Romney argues that his position on the crucial political issue of the divinity of Christ (he believes He is the Son of God) entitles him to the support of people who otherwise consider him a cultist.

It’s pretty clear the Republicans now believe that not only religious belief but a particular sort of religious belief is a precondition for public office.

Then Huckabee turns out to be in favor of the submission of women to the benevolent and loving leadership of their husbands.

Habeas Corpsed or Fun In The Star Chamber

The principle of Habeas Corpus is being argued before the Supreme Court. The Republican administration is twisting and turning in the attempt to convince the court that the Guantanamo prisoners have no such right, no right to see the evidence against them, and no right to a speedy trial.

The argument proceeds with the political nicety one would expect. Sadly, one argument is lacking and it is this: Americans believe that the rights being denied the Guantanamo prisoners are the very preconditions of fairness in judicial proceedings. It has always been a source of pride to us that we have extended these rights to everyone, citizen or non-citizen, regardless of the crime of which they are accused. No rights, no justice, and we are no longer a government of laws and not men.

It was because we were strong that we extended these rights universally in the past. Are we now so weak, or fearful, that we can no longer do this? If so, then shame on us.

Terminal Boredom

I went to a party recently where the festive crowd was largely composed of political activists. I circulated asking folks how their favorite (Democratic is here assumed) presidential aspirant was doing.

I got pretty much the same answer. “Well I suppose I like so-and-so, but I’m not really terribly excited by anyone.” One woman, who I knew as a perfectly ferocious partisan and activist, simply said, “I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat, I’ll vote for whoever they put up.”

Wow! Talk about excitement. If the faithful are this excited by the primary debates just imagine how glassy-eyed the Independents must be.

Here are some links you probably hit upon--- but on the chance that you haven’t, click on these: What Mormons believe, Why the Democrats could lose.

Finally, Melissa McEwan says it all.

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