January 20, 2010

Headline of the day

Brown Wins Mass. Race, Giving GOP 41-59 Majority in the Senate

Roy Edroso [followed by a train of comically irony-deficient commenters "correcting" Mr. Edroso's sardonic ingenuity]
And let me say this, with respect to those who wish to harm us, I believe that our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation — they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.
Then Senator Brown's first order of business should be either to draft a formal declaration of War or else repeal the Sixth Amendment. Because terrorism, at present, is a federal crime.

Even if the so-called underwear bomber were adjudged an "enemy combatant" and placed within the military justice system, he would still be entitled to the Assistance of Counsel (although it's not clear to me how the son — albeit an apparently estranged one — of reportedly one of the richest men in Africa gets to be found indigent by a federal court).

It may be that the Framers hadn't contemplated — indeed, were historically situated so as to be incapable of contemplating — the peculiar circumstances of international terrorism we face today which blur whatever line exists between criminal and war-like activity, but for the time being, the Constitution says what it says.

What the Framers did envision, however, was the inflammation of populist sentiment and it was to countermand the effects of that sentiment that they put in place the protections which Scott Brown complains about now.

But Brown is free not to like what he finds in the Constitution.*

* Others may not like what they don't find in the Constitution, such as forty-plus-one percent majorities for garden variety legislation.


Grant said...

Here's my top-self political commentary:

It's one thing to treat voters as if they're easy. It's quite another to not even bother coming up with a good pick-up line.

Ordinary Jill said...

Do you really think the framers couldn't imagine international terrorism in which crossed the line between criminal behavior and acts of war? What about Jefferson's campaign against the Barbary pirates?

illusory tenant said...

Good question, but didn't that all take place overseas? Did they bring any pirates back in custody?