Friday, March 13, 2009

Bacon Brothers

I have a couple of things to discuss briefly tonight. I'm going to resort to the Colbert Report format of a "Wag of the Finger". My first WOTF is to Governor Sanford of South Carolina. He has stated that he will take the stimulus money that should be targeted for education and instead spend it on debt reduction. His justification is that the state should be fiscally responsible and not spend money (even federal money) that it does not have. The funny thing is that I don't remember him turning down any other federal money while the Bush administration ran up the largest deficits in US history. Did he turn down the money that went to defense contractors because the US government was running at a deficit? Of course not. But now that a Democratic president is offering his state money for education (which according to the governor is clearly not as important as paying off the state debt), he has all of a sudden decided to pray at the altar of fiscal responsibility. Governor Sanford is clearly trying to position himself for a run at the presidency in 2012 and he is trying to step over the bodies of the almost 8,000 teachers who would have to be fired if the stimulus money is not used. As I stated in a previous post, I expect the state legislature to over rule the Governor. However this stance is on its face so ridiculous that I think along with over ruling the Governor, the state legislature should also look into starting impeachment hearings. If purposefully denying your citizens of critical services such as education does not rise to the level of high crime or misdemeanor, then I don't know what does.

My second WOTF goes to the Obama justice department. Today they have done away with the "enemy combatant" label. Basically, by applying that label to individuals, President Bush was allowed to indefinitely detain any individual without charges. His justification being that those detained individuals posed an imminent threat to the health and welfare of America. Of course they never had to charge those people with anything, the president and the president alone had the power to apply that label. You would think that getting rid of that label would mean that those so designated individuals would now have to be charged with something and would have their day in court. Of course you'd be wrong. Those former "enemy combatants" are now just indefinite detainees. The still have not been charged, there is currently no plan to charge them, they still have no court dates, they still have no rights. One of the "enemy combatants" is a US citizen. One of them has a green card. My main desire for this presidency was that we would have an Executive branch that acts in accordance with and respects the Constitution. Where the hell is the man who said the choice between safety and our ideals is a false one? When our government stoops to the level of a Central American dictatorship (and I know that may seem harsh, but what do you call it when the government can basically make any of it's citizens disappear), we are all in danger. I for one expected more from this administration. I take that back, I expect more. I expect them to reverse this decision in the coming days, weeks or months. I expect them to do more than just try to put lipstick on a pig, because as the president told us during the campaign, it's still a pig.

2 comments:

Jack Jodell said...

Hey---great having you guys back! Gov. Sanford is a typical modern-day self centered Republican. He doesn't give a damn about the teachers, students, or people of his state except to use them as vehicles to further his career. As for the Obama administration's stance on the detainees, I am with you 100%, and I only hope this is a work in progress that they will take up next week and correct. To not do so would lend implied justification to the unconstitutional and dangerous precedent the Bush/Cheney regime tried to instill. God forbid!

Anonymous said...

Jack,
Thanks for the comment. I've been slacking off lately. It's not due to lack of topics. In fact there has been so much to write about, I can seldom settle on one topic. Hopefully my output will get back to normal levels. Anyway thanks for sticking with us. I think Sanford and Perry and the rest of their merry crew aspire to reach the level of their souless saint Dick Cheney. As far as the Obama administration goes, the last I thing I want is for them to become all about window dressing. There have been some troubling signs during the first 50 days. I'm willing to cut him some slack because the mess left by the previous administration is so overwhelming. However, I do not appreciate half-measures. Lobbyist reform is fantastic, except if it doesn't apply to the Obama administration. Ending torture is great, unless you put together a commission to study implementation of alternative interrogation methods.Saying that you ending the enemy combatants designation is fantastic unless you don't change the status of those who were given that designation. It's certainly not enough stuff for me to regret my vote, but it is troubling enough for me to point it out. I believe it would intellectually dishonest for me to ignore the abuses in the Obama administration after being so vocal about the similar actions of the previous administration. As I said in the piece, I do expect it to get better. We are a nation of laws or at least we're supposed to be. Let's at least try and act like we are.