Monday, October 09, 2006

Another Voice on the Military Commissions Act

You've heard me talk enough about the catastrophic impact upon American liberty of the Military Commissions Act, a new law that both major candidates, Republican Ray Meier and Democrat Michael Arcuri, say that they support and would have voted for, if they were now in Congress.

It sounds too horrific to be true: Revoking habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, legalizing torture, allowing the President to imprison whomever he wants without explanation, show trials at which the defendant cannot even see the evidence used against him. How could Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri support such a law, you're probably asking yourself. You may well conclude that it's just not possible, and that I must be making it all up. After all, the TV news networks aren't talking about it any more, ever since that Mark Foley scandal came up...

I'm resolved to try to bring this issue to the attention of voters any way that I can, until either Ray Meier or Mike Arcuri renuciates their support for the law. But, I'll give you a break from my voice. For the next few days, I'll bring you what others are saying about the new law, adding their voices to mine in the hopes that readers will pay some attention to this historic moment that has grown so dreadfully quiet.

Today, I'll quote what Robyn Blumner, who writes for the St. Petersburg Times, has to say about the Military Commissions Act that Arcuri and Meier support:

When the people’s representatives collude to collapse the separation of powers into one omnipotent executive, our nation becomes defined by that act...

Bush will be free to determine what abuses by interrogators do not rise to the level of “humiliating and degrading treatment.” Then detainees will be barred from court to challenge that treatment.

The law is a true abomination. It is our fault. We let this happen. We allowed them to draw the false dichotomy between security and freedom. We accepted Bush’s Torture Nation and his untouchable island prison...

Americans no longer understand what liberty means. They think it has something to do with tax-free shopping and their right never to be offended by others’ opinions.

E Pluribus Unum be damned. Here’s America’s new motto: If we can’t pronounce your name, we don’t care what happens to you. Now let us get back to our Happy Meals.

5 comments:

Curious said...

I like this voice better:
http://www.sltrib.com/old/opinion/ci_4433433

24 Independent said...

Oh, I second that. I second especially the part in which he says, "None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea. Mark their names."

and I add to that the names of those candidates like Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri, who said they would vote for it if only they were in Congress.

Thanks, Curious.

Anonymous said...

dear johnathen,
before i read the stuff that you and my dad made about Acuri, i realized something.
Acuri is a democrate and yes he supported that "horrible bill" but if people read what you are saying, they are going to want to vote for the republican that supports the bill. which one woud you rather have a democrate or a republican???? i thought you were a democrate!

24 Independent said...

10:31 - I think both candidates are bad choices for our district, so we voters are in a very hard spot. Note that neither the Republican voters nor the Democratic voters had the opportunity to actually vote for their own choice of candidates. Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier were chosen by corporate sponsors and county committees, and now we're seeing what garbage that process gets us.

I never say to vote for Ray Meier. I just say that if Democrats have a conscience, they won't vote for Michael Arcuri either.

That leaves a few options:
1. Write in a candidate of your choice
2. Vote for Mike Sylvia, the Libertarian
3. Choose to not vote in that particular race, while still voting in other contests

I am a Democrat. The question you ought to be asking is: What kind of Democrat is Michael Arcuri? Mike Arcuri turned his back on us and joined forces with George W. Bush when he gave his support to the Military Commissions Act. What kind of Democrat would do such a thing?

Michael Arcuri calls himself a "Boehlert Democrat". Boehlert is a Republican, so essentially, Michael Arcuri is promising that, if he's elected, he'll vote like a Republican most of the time.

In my estimation, Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier would be equally bad.

Sometimes, we just don't have good choices, and the best choice is to choose none of the above. If you had an election between Hitler and Stalin, for example, would you vote for Stalin just because he wasn't quite as bad as Hitler?

Both Ray Meier and Michael Arcuri have done something unforgivable in supporting the Military Commissions Act. Neither is fit to serve in Congress. Will you give one of them your support anyway, and send the message that it's okay to support laws like the Military Commissions Act?

Anonymous said...

Jon, I can assure you that Republican die hards will vote for Ray Meier even if he supports shooting people in the streets. That's how they beat us every time. They don't even care if there's a pedophile among them, they make excuses for these bums. They go out en masse and vote the most vile people into office while we democrats parse, chewup and spit out our own candidates. We pull ridiculous levers for guys like Sylvia and write in Donald Duck and the republicans laugh all the way to the finish line.