Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Due Process and the Constitution

First, this Brian McFadden cartoon (click to enlarge (I hope!)), or link here:

Then some somber words from a great leader in the middle of the last century, Winston Churchill:

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
All of this is part of a lengthy interview/discussion between John Cusack, actor and political activist, and Jonathan Turley, constitutional law professor, entitled Obama's Constitution, here

A couple more quotes, but you should really go read it yourself.  I for one an very uncomfortable with Obama's disregard of the Constitution when it's inconvenient to follow it...but weighing against that is the option of a Mitt Romney presidency.

CUSACK: And if he takes an oath before God to uphold the Constitution, and yet he decides it's not politically expedient for him to deal with due process or spying on citizens and has his Attorney General justify murdering US citizens — and then adds a signing statement saying, "Well, I'm not going to do anything with this stuff because I'm a good guy."– one would think we would have to define this as a much graver threat than good or bad policy choices- correct?

TURLEY: Well, first of all, there's a great desire of many people to relieve themselves of the obligation to vote on principle. It's a classic rationalization that liberals have been known to use recently, but not just liberals. The Republican and Democratic parties have accomplished an amazing feat with the red state/blue state paradigm. They've convinced everyone that regardless of how bad they are, the other guy is worse. So even with 11 percent of the public supporting Congress most incumbents will be returned to Congress. They have so structured and defined the question that people no longer look at the actual principles and instead vote on this false dichotomy.

Now, belief in human rights law and civil liberties leads one to the uncomfortable conclusion that President Obama has violated his oath to uphold the Constitution. But that's not the primary question for voters. It is less about him than it is them. They have an obligation to cast their vote in a principled fashion. It is, in my opinion, no excuse to vote for someone who has violated core constitutional rights and civil liberties simply because you believe the other side is no better. You cannot pretend that your vote does not constitute at least a tacit approval of the policies of the candidate.

I still gotta vote for him but issues like this make it very uncomfortable to do so.  I'm tired of the question always being reduced to settling for the lesser of two evils. 


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