Monday, December 19, 2011

Arrest Them All

As if we need reminding of his instability, Newt Gingrich has once again untethered his massive ego from reality, taking flight ever further from grounding in our Constitution. The man is a megalomanical nutjob. To imagine Newt Gingrich as president is to be scared shitless, or depressed motionless. Were it to happen, he could well become the first ever to be impeached and removed from office. By his own party. (One can hope.) Unless, of course, he managed -- and I bet he'd try -- to declare martial law and somehow make it stick. Given the evermore evangelicalization of our military, it's not beyond possible.

There’s “no reason the American people need to tolerate a judge that out of touch with American culture,” Gingrich said on CBS’ Face the Nation, referring to a case where a judge ruled that explicit references to religion were barred from a high school graduation ceremony. And Gingrich recently has said judges should have to explain some of their decisions before Congress.

Host Bob Schieffer asked Gingrich how he planned to enforce that. Would you call in the Capitol Police to apprehend a federal judge, he asked.

“If you had to,” Gingrich said. “Or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send the U.S. Marshall in.”

Really? Does it need to be explained? You know: separation of powers; judicial review; rule of law, even when unpopular? Especially when unpopular, ferchrissakes! One might well ask of this man who claims our president is trying to destroy America: how does the idea of eliminating the judiciary at the metaphorical point of a bayonet square with your professed (!) desire to take America back to where it once was?

More than anyone who's ever sought or occupied the White House (Dick Cheney excepted), Gingrich's wet-dream is absolute and unfettered power, unrestrained by any piece of parchment, any branch of government. What, after all, goes better with omniscience than omnipotence?

But Newt's insane grandiosity -- or is grandiose insanity? -- isn't really the issue. It's that a man like him could, even for a second, become the darling of the Republican electorate: the latest in a steady stream of deliberate liars, intellectual lightweights, religious fanatics, or combinations of all three, to be the next not-Mitt. Or, for that matter, the Mitt. How riddled with Obama-hatred and paranoia, how brainwashed by the RWS™ and the propaganda mill known as Fox "news," how dumbed-down and polluted by magical thinking, how ill-informed about our democracy do you have to be even to consider such people, much less refrain from throwing them off the field like a streaker? Are there no thoughtful conservatives left? If so, for gods' sake come out of hiding and stand up for yourselves. Let it be known that knowledge and reason aren't automatic and universal disqualifiers on your side.

These people are an embarrassment, and Newt tops them all: his self-exceptionalism exceeds even the brain-stoppage of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, the craven malleability and corrupt prevarication of Mitt Romney. Except to those within it and too blind to see, their party has become a laughing stock. Which is not to say they'll lose. Because the whole damn country is on the verge as well. When fully half the population has happily and deliberately taken leave of reality, considers this crew credible contenders for the highest office in the land, unless more people start paying attention, what hope for the future can there possibly be?


Frank Drackman said...

Hey Sid, I know its Jesus Christ-X-Mas, but how come your rerunning something from 1980?
I can see you now, comin home from the hospital, stylish sansabelt slacks, wait, back then you guys worked 300 hrs a week, had "MD" license plates, and gave people Hepatitis, I mean transfusions just for grins...
Anyway, sittin in your office, kickin back with a cold Olympia, bangin out your Screed on an IBM Selectric, putting a 10 cent stamp on it, and eagerly lookin in the Post/Examiner every day for the next week to see your words in black & white.
Anyway, they said the same thing in 1980 about the greatest President of the 20th Century, OK, the second half of the 20th Century,
Ronaldus Maximus I.
He was too right wing, dumb, would probably get Alzheimers in office and sell guns to the Iranians...
And I don't care if his light in the loafers ballet dancin Son doesn't like him, I don't get along particularly good with MY dad, which is the only thing I have in common with Ronald Reagan Jr.
In fact if his name wasn't "Ronald Reagan Jr" he'd be an even bigger nobody than he already is, like me.
Anyway, my Dad said I waa an idiot, throwin my first vote away on someone who couldn't get elected, like the guy he supported, Bob Dole.
And when the Gipper bitch slapped that blue blood George Bush 73-13 in the Georgia Primary I said to my old Man, "IN YOUR FACE OLD MAN!"
which wasnt really smart cause he was only 41, 6-2, 220, and we replayed his favorite Scene from "The Great Satini"
Not the Banging-the-basketball-off-the-sons-head scene,
the dangling the PFCs head over the toilet one, I believe its called a "Swirly" now.
Back then we hadn't totally homogenized our culture, so we just called it Dad-dangles-Sons-Head-over-toilet-bowl-for-being-a-smart-ass...


Anonymous said...

hey We got through John Adams
he of:
Depend upon it, sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation, as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters. There will be no end of it. New claims will arise. Women will demand a vote. Lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to, and every man, who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks, to one common level.
and the alien and sedition acts.
We'll get though the current scene

Anonymous said...

That crazy Newt! What a crazy idea!
He's like the Honey Badger; He just dont give a $--t.

Wanna hear two more Honey Badger-ish crazy ideas?

1.) Detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely without trial:

2.) A President ordering the assassination of U.S. citizens:


p.s. In case you haven't met the Honey Badger:

Sid Schwab said...

Well, as usual, your answer to an undeniable point I make is a "I know you are but what am I" type of response.

Rounding up judges and arresting them just because you don't like their opinions seems to me an order of magnitude greater constitutional threat than detention of suspected terrorists. Especially since the latter is still (unless Newt were president) subject to judicial review; ie, the very protection against presidential over-reach which Newt would brush away.

But I don't deny it's shocking and shameful.

Fact is, the things you mention are high on my list of Obama's actions that have deeply disappointed me. (I think the assassination of Awlaki, whose pre-mortem video urging US Muslims to join al Queda has just surfaced, is grayer than you suggest, in terms of laws regarding treason. But it's not cool.)

It's not hard to find criticisms by me of Obama in this blog. It's harder to find criticisms of your side in any of your comments. Of course, I'm a liberal thinker...

Anonymous said...

You're doing a thorough job of chucking Army-Navys at Republicans heads(both deservedly and undeservedly) with this blog. I never felt a need to pile on.

I suspect we may actually find common ground on many issues.

I'll start my New Year's Resolution (Affirm agreement with Dr. Sid occasionally) today:

Newt kinda creeps me out. The Constitution doesn't extend power to the Executive branch to lock judges up for decisions with which they disagree. Even stating such an intention is asinine.


p.s. punctuating your posts with "of course, I'm a liberal thinker" is the internet equivalent of sniffing your own colonic colgne.

Sid Schwab said...

Yeah, well, except that my "liberal" comment, like much of my stuff, was said ironically.

There was a time when we had comparatively civil conversations; even, as you suggest, finding common ground in some areas. I don't claim innocence of tone at all times.

I don't expect to tone down the nature of my posts; but I'm always happy to have actual discussions in the comments. I think you can tell I'm nearly as frustrated with Congressional Ds as with Rs, although for entirely different reasons. And I find it impossible that I'd vote for any of the R candidates against Obama, even with his sometimes grievous mistakes in my view. There's just too much at stake; namely, our survival.

We can't sustain ourselves as a country if we fail to find the means to pay for basic needs: education, infrastructure, research, energy alternatives. And the R agenda would (and already is) end all that, as I see it. In the name of maintaining the lowest tax rates on the wealthier in many decades. It's slow suicide, in the name of disproved economic theory.

I guess we'll never agree about it: but there's a wealth (for some) of historical evidence that I'm right about that much.

Sid Schwab said...

P.S: I guess I find the idea of a Ron Paul presidency sort of intriguing, in some areas at least. Maybe he'd not be the disaster of any of the others, and it'd be interesting to see what his own party in Congress did with him.

But that's more in terms of an intellectual exercise than a desire.

Sid Schwab said...

Update on the detention policies, PT: it'll be interesting to know what this entails.

Sid Schwab said...

And I guess I should take back what I said about Ron Paul.

Sid Schwab said...

Because of this, too

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