Monday, September 1, 2008

Obama's Lost Opportunity- The Rule of Law

First of all, I've been on the record as saying Obama "hit the ball out of the park" with his magnificent nomination acceptance speech. That being said, I feel one area that was not adequately addressed was just how radical the Bush adminstration's view of executive power has corrupted our Republic and undermined generations of countervailing views on the balance of powers within our government. The fact that McCain supports this radical view of republican democracy should alarm anyone concerned with the health of our republic.

It is instructive to remember, that our founder's rebellion against monarchical authority was based in part on a fear of too much power held in the hands of one person, unaccountable and undeterred by the will of the people. It wasn't base tax burden, but taxation without representation, that infuriated American patriots to rebel from the monarch whom they had sworn allegiance to.

The radicalism of the Cheney/Addison/Yoo doctrines of unfettered powers in the executive branch during undeclared wars, against un-nation states is so radical, that even many conservative legal experts have cringed. The willingness to abrogate the Geneva Conventions, conventions we not only supported as a nation, but helped frame, shows that a fundamental shift has occured in our Republic. The lack of noise from people other than those labelled radical liberals and right-wing libertarians (Paul supporters) indicates that many Americans are willing to surrender the basic foundational republican structures of our nation in order to gain a measure of security. To me, this is an appeasement to terrorism. Those who have taken these measures, have surrendered our foundational freedoms and institutional structures to a bunch of radical, islamic fundamentalist, who in my mind, are first class idiots.

The willingness of this adminstration to justify spying on it's own citizens outside the parameters of FISA, is alarming, but perhaps no mention of this was made because Democrats have been complicit and share the responsibility for this surrendering powers to the executive. Our willingness to accept torture and detainment without recourse, shows that as a nation, we have descended to the morals of third world dictators, not constitutional government which respects the rights of the individual.

At some point, Obama needs to define the difference between someone committed to the rule of law, and someone committed to unfettered executive power. Americans must be able to rid themselves of the green pod at their side, that says, so long as I'm granted the illusory perception of safety, I'm willing to have people spy on me or detain me if I'm considered a threat to the government.

The moral high-ground surrendered by this administration leaves us vulnerable. It leaves us short of allies and short of ammunition against those who would use force to impose their will on others. Though Obama needs to speak to the general populace, he also needs to awaken them to the tragedy that has occured under his would be predecessor. He needs to lead us through enlightenment, not pander to us based upon what his pollsters and out of touch political consultants tell him.

I support Barack Obama. Barack and his amazing abilities to communicate with the citizenry can and should be used to convey both our loss and our hope for restoring what we've lost these last 7.75 years. I know I sound like I'm preaching, but I truly fear for the Republic my old mentor J.D. Williams advocated to me as a remarkable institution of checks and balances and devotion to liberty for individuals. Barack is clearly better than his opponent, but I want him to show a commitment to our basic, fundamental beliefs in the rule of law. Barack, "yes you can."

8 comments:

kneedeepinutah said...

Obi,
I read a lot of your entries and I see a lot of ad hominem comments. You call people stupid, fat, Neanderthals, etc. Your blog would be more interesting and credible if you lightened up on the personal descriptives of people you don’t like and provide a bit more analysis and meat.

Speaking of the “rule of law”, Glenn Wright is quoted in the paper yesterday that he doesn’t want any immigration laws enforced. So much for believing in democracy and the rule of law. So either Glenn believes in anarchy or the kingdom of Glenn.

Thank you.

Obi wan liberali said...

What ad hominem comments are you referring to? I had some people make absurd comments and I called them what they were. I don't know where you have been blogging, but I challenge you to find someone who has analyzed such wide ranging issues such as tax policy and illegal lawbreaking with as much meat as I have.

My experience, is that apologists for nonsense usually start out claiming that reasonable arguments are in fact ad hominem attacks, not actually understanding what ad hominem actually means. It's like Radar O'Reilly stating "speaking of Tolstoy", and "aww, Bach", as if that will make him sound intelligent.

In your case, it didn't work. Better luck next time.

kneedeepinutah said...

Obi, I enjoyed your M*A*S*H reference. One of my favorite episodes.

Here is one ad hominem comment to which I refer:

“…I had to listen to these neanderthalic ditto-morphs dig into Barack Obama…”

ad ho•mi•nem
2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument.

By the way, thank you for wishing me luck. Apparently it worked this time.

Obi wan liberali said...

My reference to these neanderthals regarded their disdain for Obama without articulating any idea why they held such disdain. The depth of their disdain was at odds with their reasons for it. I therefore surmised that they were not overly intelligent and may have made it to our time in a neanderthaiic stage. Such an analysis wasn't engaging in ad hominem attack, but in a sound basis for ridicule.

Speaking of Tolstoy....

kneedeepinutah said...

Obi,
Calling them Neanderthals is prima facie an ad hominem description. You could have criticized their comments without the deragatory moniker.

pri•ma fa•ci•e
2. plain or clear; self-evident; obvious.

Obi wan liberali said...

When I hear some guys call Obama an "arrogant elitist pussy", their words tell me they are "neanderthalic ditto-morphs", and I base it based upon sound observations. I was more concerned that some "neanderthalic ditto-morphs" might be embarrassed to be lumped with these two idiots.

Just saying.

bekkieann said...

Obi Wan, don't listen to this guy/girl/thing. Don't change your style. You are about the least guilty of ad hominem comments of any of the left or right bloggers in Utah. Period.

kneedeepinutah said...

Obi,
I agree that these two guys may indeed be "neanderthalic ditto-morphs". I will even grant you for arguement's sake that they are unambiguously "neanderthalic ditto-morphs". I even agree with you that your observations and reasoning are sound that they are "neanderthalic ditto-morphs". Nevertheless, it would be more effective if you were address what they said without actually calling them "neanderthalic ditto-morphs".