Thursday, May 13, 2010
As something of an authoritarian when it comes to the waging of war, even a shadow war, I rather enjoyed the opening paragraphs of Ann Coulter's column this week. Eric Holder, I imagine, would have a rather more ambivalent opinion on the small chance somebody calls his attention to it.
Americans can thank the Supreme Court for the attempted car bombing of Times Square, as well as any future terrorist attacks that might be less "amateurish" and which our commander in chief will be unable to thwart unless the bomb fizzles.
Over blistering dissents by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, five Supreme Court justices have repeatedly voted to treat jihadists like turnstile jumpers. (Thanks, Justice Kennedy!)
That's worked so well that Obama's own attorney general is now talking about making massive exceptions to the Miranda warnings -- exceptions that will apply to all criminal suspects, by the way -- in order to deal with terrorists having to be read their rights as a bomb is about to go off.
Let's be clear: When Eric Holder thinks we're being too easy on terrorists, we are being too easy on terrorists.
Then there is this:
We are at war. The Supreme Court has no right to stick its fat, unelected nose into the commander in chief's constitutional war powers, particularly in a war against savages whose only reason for not nuking us yet is that they don't have the technology. (The New York Times hasn't gotten around to printing it.)
I don't care who you are, that's funny.
Because I am nothing if not fair-and-balanced, ships-passing-in-the-night counterarguments here.
If you are reading this late, permalink to Ann's column here.
Where am I wrong?
Miranda Warnings have nothing to do with the Time Square Bomber. The Supreme Court has nothing to do with the Times Square bomber. Miranda Warnings are irrelevant to terrorism, 99%.
Holder is often asked by Obama-Axelrod to go public on things like Waterboarding and Closing Gitmo to create a Spin Cycle in media. These are usually good for a week of distracting ledes and ensuing indignant commentary. Holder was especially active last year, and got bonus points when he could bait Ogre Cheney to come out from his lair.
Holder's now saying he wants to go Jack Bauer on terrorists is just another example of this. It's both laughable and pernicious. Ann is playing along -- some may find her funny on this -- I don't. She's doing exactly what Obama-Axelrod expected people like her to do.
The Department of Homeland Security yesterday announced cuts to funding for NYC-area security measures, which is today driving another round of stories. Coincidence? .... Once again, we're being played.
"We are at war." No we're not -- at least it's not your Daddy's war. We need to handle it accordingly. We don't need to shred the Constitution in the process -- else the terorrists win. We need it more than ever. The Constitution -- and our sports leagues -- is what will hold the country together.
I mostly wrote the following before seeing TH's cross-link to the New York Times op-ed piece, which is worth reading:
Criminal Law 101: You don't have to give a Miranda Warning to convict someone. You just can't use a "confession" without a prior Miranda Warning. In almost all terrorism cases -- including for the Times Square Bomber, you won't need a confession to convict. Before Miranda Warnings, police would too often intimidate suspects into too easy confessions -- sometimes false. Today, most police will tell you that Miranda Warnings aren't that big a deal -- they're more significant as a plot device for TV writers ... and political commentators.
Where you stand on constitutional protections for the accused is an example of what separates little "l" libertarians from the Big State elements of the Republican party -- the little "f" Fascists.
Anne has truly perfected the fine art of using sarcasm and ridicule to denude pompous leftists.
Her effectiveness is clearly demonstrated in the sputtering rage that she bestows upon our comrades of that persuasion.
She has no cohort on the Left. The closest they could come was Al Franken, who now says all the same things he always said, but expects to be taken seriously.
Sadly, he is funnier now than he was when he was actually trying.
Slightly off topic, but for Republicans hoping to make gains among independent women in the next few electoral seasons, having Ann as the pin-up girl of the rightwing pundit world and Sarah as a king-maker on the political right is not exactly appealing for a large swath of women. Remember, I'm talking about the ladies' opinions here, gents, before you get your boxers bullocked.
Interesting. Both of these women are highly driven, successful and have no issues playing nose-to- nose with "the boys".
Both are anti-abortion and openly religious.
So, what exactly is it that alienates women from these two, and what is it that appeals to independent women...and who is their standard bearer??
Does abortion and religion define a "feminist"?
Ann is someone who realized early on that being blonde and saying extreme things would get her lots of attention and money.
In any event, as to TH's post. Holder's claimed new reading of Miranda isn't new at all. It's settled doctrine, under the heading, exigent circumstances:
I used to do a lot of criminal appellate work as a federal prosecutor (10 years ago) and I read the post, then said, hey, wait a minute, that reminds me of a case a friend had in D.C. in 1994....
Sorry Ann. You should have paid attention when you took criminal procedure at Michigan Law School....
"Interesting. Both of these women are highly driven, successful and have no issues playing nose-to- nose with "the boys"."
- I would say both of these are huge pluses for the independent women's vote.
"Both are anti-abortion and openly religious."
- Probably both negatives, on balance, since independent women poll as higher supporters of free choice than the average woman and certainly higher than republican women. Religion, hard to say, since lots of people "wear" their religion differently. With both issues, however, which seem to be highlights of their "platforms" it is probably a turn-off since, I'm guessing, women would rather hear about other things as defining characteristics since, notably in the case of religion, we are talking about governing, not praying.
As to who is the standard bearer? Beats me. That's why the Republicans (or the Dems for that matter) would have an opportunity if they could find some candidates who didn't elicit such negative reactions. Fiscal responsibility without preachifying.
Ann Coulter is an entertainer. She's Don Rickles for Old School Republicans. You like her shtick -- or not. She's much closer to a Steven Colbert than a Charles Krauthammer.
Sarah Palin is a real political force -- and will be even if she never runs for anything ever again. She's a king maker, a softer counter to Rush Limbaugh, a better money-raising machine than the DNC, and a potential Presidential candidate.
To win the White House, Sarah needs the "BomberGirl" vote. Today, Sarah doesn't have it.
When our politics work well, the "Man in the Middle" decides. The Man in the Middle isn't always right, but is more likely to be right than those from the extremes. Right now, re "Sarah as President" ... the "BomberGirls" out there are the Men in the Middle -- and I'd bet more so than 90% of the readers here.
I can't figure out whether Sarah can ever win over the BomberGirl vote. Women's Rights figure in this, obviously -- but Sarah is in many ways a non-traditional woman. More so than Hillary Clinton -- think on that for just a second. I don't know that I've heard Sarah preachifyin' -- but maybe I'm not listening -- I suspect a lot is a MSM construct overlay. I'm against religious tests for candidates -- that doesn't mean I want religious people excluded as candidates. The USA wasn't meant to be a theocracy ... South Carolina maybe. Render unto Caesar ....
To me, Sarah's best qualification right now is that she's the only name out there who can credibly claim to be an outsider taking on the political class. Nice legs too ...
Very nice, Anon, you have put the issue in perspective...if not putting enormous pressure on Bomber Girl.
True...Palin is religous...but she does not "wear" it on her sleeve...the state controlled media does that for her.
Sooner or later, the soporific trance of government goodies will wear off and people will begin to crystalize what is really important for them in government.
If that happens before most of us are on the Federal Teat...we win.
If not...we are Greece.
I do not spend much time with the MSM but I have read Palin's book. Her pride in her anti-abortion position is very loud. I read the book months ago but still remember (grossly paraphrasing) her comment about "I marched right up to that Pro Family booth at the Alaska Loves Family Fair and put my dollar in the collection can and didn't care who was looking". Ok, I gagged. For the record, my own belief about "conservatism" is that government does not mess with people's personal choices. If you complain about Obamacare about to control your health life, give me a break, what is more intrusive on women's health than telling them what to do with their bodies? I can support any candidate who supports the current laws as they stand - which are the best we are going to get for an issue where there is only black and white and no middle ground (the foetus is either dead or not). If no one on the extremes is happy with the laws, maybe that is what works.
Her religious beliefs were mentioned frequently in the book - as they are in her own talks/speeches but not in a way that I felt would affect her ability to govern in "a secular way", but more of a place she looked to inwardly for strength. We all need to find strength somewhere.
And, for the record, IF I am speaking for BomberGirl independent women (which I am not....but maybe I will organize it as a new movement as an alternative to tea parties, since BomberGirls drink IPAs and decent wine - and Coffee), I would say these are not the issues that move us most except when we think that is a KEY focus of candidates...We want competent people who don't spend money we don't have on expanding entitlements which make us all lazy or, well, entitled. Pay the soldiers, teach the kids (debatable, I know, but we have to try)...build the roads, send a man (or Girl) to Mars. Forget tax deductions for mortgages and everything else. But lower tax rates.
Egads. Did I say all that?
@BG. David Bradford's work is very good on the subject of the type of tax system we should have, including deductions, etc.
@Everyone. If Palin and Coulter are the best Rs can put forward, they will have trouble in a Presidential contest.
An interesting feature of Ronald Reagan was not his positions on the issues, but his way of presenting his positions. In fact, it was defining and dis-arming, as his two national elections show. In fact, I don't think he lost a general election.
I once saw a clip of him on American Experience. He was asked about the death penalty. From the first 7/8 of his response, as measured by words spoken, one had no idea what he was going to say .... he almost seemed to empathize with those on both sides of the issue. He had a bit of subtlety in his understanding of issues for which he is often not given credit.
Palin and Coulter are as "subtle as a trainwreck." [Btw, remember that phrase, TH, from junior high??]
We spend such a huge amount of time talking about abortion...as though it is an intimate issue with a majority of families.
Maybe it is, but I doubt it.
My personal feelings are that a pregnancy is not a parasitic illness. It is an elemental event no less wondrous than the Big Bang. As such it is clearly (IMHO) not a mother's prerogative to "choose" whether the incipient life will develop or not.
To reduce that event to such a choice is to cheapen the event...and cheapen life.
We don't really need any more of that in this world than we already have.
The choice should be whether to use effective contraception...gametes are potential lives, their fusion is a biological entity.
Not to start an argument, I'm just stating a personal position. Arguing with me will not change it.
So, if the litmus test of a candidate is whether they are for or against goverment sanctioned abortion...I (and a whole lot of other people) will side with government keeping their nose out of it.
It should be neither sanctioned nor prohibited by government. It should be a decision with social consequences, however.
Again, IMHO, a "healthy" society will regard casual abortion as a taboo.
An "unhealthy" society will accept is as a personal choice, without social consequence.
Which is where we are now...and that's too bad.
So, Palin and others should not be judged as neanderthals because of their position on abortion.
We desperately need to refine our understanding of this issue.
JPMcT, we seem to reach the same conclusion although we get there different ways. I think Santayana said, when men and women agree it is only in their conclusions, their reasons are always different. Can't say that's 100% true but there may be something to it.
One comment I would add, however, is that I think boys and men underestimate how much girls (since teens are often sexually active) and women worry about getting pregnant, even using proper birth control. As they say, accidents happen and methods are not 100% effective. So while the actual situation of being in such a terrible position may not ever happen - the possibility is always out there. It definitely affects one's thinking about the issue.
I was the Anon Fri 8:38. Meant to sign.
I didn't mean to put pressure on BomberGirl -- actually the opposite.
My point was that if Sarah ever runs she needs to win over the BomberGirl vote. It's Sarah's problem -- not BomberGirl's problem.
BomberGirl gave a great response. She knows more about Sarah than I do -- I haven't read Sarah's book. See if this is fair: it's not out of the question that BomberGirl could vote for Sarah someday, but not today. Which reflects where Sarah is today: strong in her base -- big pockets of weakness out of the base.
Meanwhile, give Sarah credit for continuing to stick with "drill, baby, drill." She may make herself radioactive by 2012, but she's got strength in her convictions. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is off secretly perfecting his Monte Carlo simulation of multivariate possible positions to take come 2012. Once a Bainie, always a Bainie.
Today, I'd bet that Sarah won't be the 2012 nominee but will have a huge influence on whoever is. Not bad for the former mayor of Wasilla.
TTIOT, I was not feeling pressure, no worries!
Re: Sarah and future electability, she would have gained more cred on her resume by finishing out her governing job - doing all those things she says she does - since many people, not just BomberGirls, felt her qualifications to be prez (if an untimely demise of McCain would have happened), fell short. I can certainly see why she would opt to be a national kingmaker rather than a "local" politician but it does not provide any more governing experience for voters to judge or latch onto if she does run again. Again, I can't blame her, how ya gonna keep them down on the farm once they've seen Paree? But she would get more credit from me if she made headlines as a great governor, not as a FB friend.
A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. They start talking and it gets around to the question of "when does life begin?"
The priest says: At the moment of conception. It's a little miracle, every time.
The minister says: At the quickening. Around 40 days after conception -- when the fetus starts moving on its own.
The rabbi says: You're both wrong. Life begins when the last kid goes off to college ... and the dog dies !
The "Man in the Middle" idea doesn't work well on the abortion question, I grant. I suspect "abortion" is a factor in why we'll soon have six Catholics and three Jews on the Supreme Court.
But there is an uneasy political truce that can be had -- and JPMcT and BomberGirl just outlined it.
Does anyone think Roe v Wade is going to get overturned? It's not going to happen.
On the other hand, public funding of abortions is anathema to too many. Folks like Barbara Boxer should be turned out of office for their gross insensitivity on this.
ps re Sarah not finishing her term. She was driven out of office with bogus ethics claims. Her enemies exploited a flaw in Alaskan law, to do so. So like the Marines once said, we're not retreating ... we're attacking in a different direction.
re: ethics claims....Seems like they wouldn't amount to a hill o'beans and probably most voters with any common sense could figure out the motivation there...That said, it doesn't change the fact that without a "real job" she is not building up her governing or policy CV. Although she is certainly learning a lot about fundraising which may, sadly, be the only job requirement in our current political arena.
"An interesting feature of Ronald Reagan was not his positions on the issues, but his way of presenting his positions. In fact, it was defining and dis-arming, as his two national elections show."
What a load of crapola coming from the left, falsely claiming nostalgia for Reagan only as a means of putting down Palin. When Reagan was alive, all you heard was "failed B-movie cowboy actor" etc. ad nauseam.