Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wouldn’t It Be Great If The Law Really Mattered?

A judge has ruled in favor of journalists, lawyers and scholars (you know, left fringe types) being represented by the ACLU in a suit challenging the NSA domestic wiretapping program. How quaint, using the legal process to halt the Bush administration’s power grab, does anyone really think that Bush/Cheney give a shit what some district court judge in Detroit has to say? Of course not, judges are “activists” overstepping their authority, that is unless their rulings help spread the virus of intelligent design, halt critical scientific research on stem cells or further expand Rumsfeld’s torture program. This administration has no respect for judges that use existing law to make legal decisions, only rulings that validate their criminal behavior are worth complying with, everything else falls under “executive privilege”.

The upcoming elections have given us hope that there might be a light at the end of this tunnel, that if the Democrats can take over at least one chamber of Congress, there will finally be some real investigations into the lies that led us to war, the unconstitutional usurpation of executive power, the illegal surveillance and detention of American citizens and the corruption that runs rampant in the GOP controlled halls of power. But what happens if the scales of power are not tipped come November?

There isn’t any reason to believe that the Republicans will be able to hold onto power, but there also wasn’t any reason to believe Bush would be “re-elected” in 2004. One thing we have learned over the last six years is that reason is irrelevant. This band of criminals make up their own reality and all they have to do is sell their particular brand of crazy to just enough people to make any outcome seem plausible. I’m afraid that elections have become something altogether new. The winner doesn’t have to get the most votes, it just has to appear possible that they could have, however remote. Until we address that, I will continue to hope for positive results in the midterms, but I’m not exactly counting on it. Our best bet at this point is working diligently to make Republican wins implausible. The good news is, that's still possible.

9 Comments:

Blogger thehim said...

Mollie, you're right that the Bush Administration likely won't follow this ruling (and they might even get a stay on the ruling until the appeal). All we can hope for is that the American people make themselves heard in November and give us a Congress that can force Bush to obey the law.

4:35 PM  
Blogger jae said...

I can't help but think the plan to stay in power possibly has something to do with finding a way to declare nationwide martial law and suspension of national elections.
I am of the mind that the administration were complicit in the events of September 11, 2001. If they 'are unable to stop' another 'attack', their past actions make it clear that would be all they would need to bring about a stranglehold on power.

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that we can get the war loving Repubs out as much as you do, but I hope just as much that we don't spend anymore time or money trying to "blame the past" or identify "fault." Who cares - let's move on and FIX the PROBLEMS.

5:47 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Hi Mollie- great post about the Ruling yesterday- your post was better than some of the write ups I saw in the Papers today...( very dissappointing mostly). This Ruling is Critical and if it Opens Up Impeachment Proceedings we should view it in the Critical Light it needs to be seen.... And yes, it is good news for Journalists, Activists, and ALL of us....( too bad the Jon Benet Ramsey case seems more important to MSM...sad..) Have a great weekend...Keep Blogging it...

9:32 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

In Ohio, we appear to have made the ascension of Ted Strickland to the Governor's Office a certainty. But the best estimate is that Blackwell will lose by 11% (other polls make the gap as high as 22%) so the "implausible" theory of elections certainly applies here.

2:10 PM  
Blogger grog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 PM  
Blogger SM Schwartz said...

Hi Mollie ...

The bad news is that the Judge seems to have done a bad job n ocnstructing her opinion and Congress ... indluding the Dem seems loathe to come up with better legislation. This means there is double danger ...
Bush could win on the most important part of the Judsge's ruling ... she ruled that the taps restrict free speeach. My reading of legal opinions is that this won't survive, not because she is wrong but because she did a bad job of maing the claim.
Bush will lodr on the law, that is the violation of the act. But, with everyone in Cingress agreeing we need a new law, he will just paint this as Congress' fault.

What is needed is a REAL Democratic leadership that can create and enforce an alternative.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

SM Schwartz,

The appeals court (the 6th circuit?) that will rule on the Judges decision is, from what I read, a fairly conservative court. But that does not necessarily mean that they will rule according to political ideology and overturn this ruling. Glenn Greenwald has a post up on Crooks and Liars with a quote from Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe that shows that Tribe feels fairly confident that this decision will be upheld on appeal.

I’m not an attorney but it seems that, from what Glenn has posted at C&L and on his own site, that the Appeals Court basically rules on the correctness of the ruling and not on the quality of the justification that the Judge uses to decide the case.

One question I have is whether the President will even obey the court order. The way it stands right now, based on this ruling, the warrantless domestic eavesdropping program is both illegal and unconstitutional. Justice has asked for the Appeals Court to review the decision but absent a stay of the current ruling (by either the presiding Judge or the Appeals Court) the Judge’s opinion is the law of the land. Is the Bush administration currently continuing to eavesdrop without a warrant on American citizens on American soil in spite of the ruling by a Federal District Court Judge that it is both illegal and unconstitutional? I’m not typically a man taken to wagering but in this case I would make an exception and bet the mortgage money that they are.

7:47 PM  
Blogger SM Schwartz said...

Jonathon,

I did not hear or read Tribe. He is a very bright man ... seoe of us believe Clinton should have appointed him.

I di hear Jonathin Rosen of the New Republic. he is a frequent writer on these topics and said that the curt would probably suport the decison in re Congress but not the Constitutional issues.

As for Bush, I agree. What is he gaining by this foolish behavior? Even if he feels he is doing the right things, what is going to say when the next President is as far to the left as he is to the right? Suppose Barbara Boxer is elected (jut for fun) and she decides to audit all commercial traffic between US corps and theit foregin offices in SA?

I used to think there was some grand plot behind Bush, now I think there is no one behnd the curtain.

12:39 AM  

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