Even Bill Clinton Favors Sex With Interns!

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When civil libertarians argue against the Patriot Act, one of the notes we like to hit is that a lot of the law was just warmed over proposals from the Janet Reno era. Now I see National Review editor Rich Lowry mustering a new argument for the Patriot Act: that "even" Reno supports it!

Lowry adds that Reno was "not generally known for her taste for aggressive law enforcement." Seems to me that she could get pretty aggressive when she wanted, but I'm probably some sort of extremist.

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  1. I said it then and I’ll say it again:

    If an alleged sailor is hiding in a closet with my son, the Feds can go in armed to get him out.

  2. Wow, so Republicans now use Reno’s endorsement as a badge of pride?

    As far as Elian, that is actually one of the VERY few places where I won’t criticize her. Say that some relatives have your kid at their house. And you call them and say “Thanks for taking care of him when you found him, but, um, I’d like him back.” And they say “You have to come here and then we’ll decide if you can have him or not.” And then an angry mob gathers around their house and vows not to let the kid leave.

    By all means, send in the SWAT team.

  3. hee hee, nice slams on the AG Renbo, Jesse. Turns out, ole Jackboot Janet has a history of “aggressive” perse… uh prosecution

    Pre AG Reno

  4. I don’t see Rich telling the whole story in his article, probably why I don’t bother reading NRO

  5. Thoreau: I was unaware that Elian was Janet Reno’s kid, or that she had any claim to have him “back.”

    There is no reason to return a fugitive slave.

  6. garym-

    Elian Gonzalez’s father wanted him back. His Miami relatives were refusing to return him. Seen in that light, it’s only appropriate to send the cops. And since it was an international custody dispute it seems reasonable to have the feds involved rather than local authorities.

    Thought experiment: Say I see a kid on the street who’s lost. Maybe a kid belonging to a Chinese tourist who got separated from his parents by accident. I bring the kid into my house, and I refuse to let his father have him back. Would the police let me go about my business, or would they send in a hostage rescue team and charge me with kidnapping? What if there was an angry mob surrounding my house and refusing to let the kid go? Would the police mount a heavier response due to the angry mob?

  7. To my eyes, most of you can’t see the forest for the trees.
    To your eyes, I’m guilty of not seeing the trees for the forest. (HDTV is not worth it when you’re observing from the planet, Blypton, as I happen to be.)
    The Patriot Act is the details justifying the new Homeland Security Department.
    The big picture of this is the closing of barn doors after the horses have already escaped. That is, turning a formerly perfectly good barn into a useless one.
    Capitalism is creative destruction. Government lowest common denominator knee-jerk reaction is destructive destruction.

    Last, but not least: Reno/Waco.

  8. Bullseye Jesse!

  9. MAybe Rich wants to get invited to the Janet Reno dance party.

  10. Love that SNL reference!

  11. No moshing! Dance party kids HATE Waco!

  12. thoreau,

    “a chinese kid lost in the street” is same as “a kid whose mother died trying to save him from a prison, and succeeded in getting out of the prison”

    you want to return both of them to their parents? how nice!

    try this:

    you and your wife are being held in a walled village. your wife decides her son should have a better life. fortunately the city nearby will provide what she wants. she tries to escape with her son, and dies; but the son reaches the city.

    you can ask and answer whatever questions from this point onwards – whether the father was forced by Castro to ask for the son, etc. But, don’t sanitize the situation in Cuba to support Reno.

  13. Anybody know how Elian is doing these days? Is he in fact living a slave’s life, or do we merely assume so because he lives in Castro’s Cuba? SOME people have to be doing relatively well over there. Is Elian one of them?

  14. I’ll get torn to shreds for saying this, but…

    I’m glad that the boy is with his father. It sucks that the boy is in Cuba, and if his father had said “I want my boy to stay in the US” I totally would have respected that. But the fact remains that I’m glad he’s with his father and grandparents.

    I know that people here will associate me with those idiots who spout nonsense about Cuba being some sort of paradise. Well, I’m not one of them. I have not said one single word about how “I’m glad the boy is enjoying the wonders of Castro’s economic experiment” because I’m not glad of that. That nonsense is only spouted by people even dumber than me. All I ever said is that I’m glad the boy is with his father and grandparents.

    And I won’t apologize for that sentiment.

    Zorel-

    There’s a reason why I used a Chinese kid in my example. China ain’t exactly a free country. I live in an apartment complex with Chinese students, and some of them plan to return to China after grad school to be with their families. (Although I hasten to add that a whole bunch of them are hoping to stay in the US, for obvious reasons.) And if I took one of their kids to ensure that he doesn’t go to China the police would have every right to bust down my door. And if my house was surrounded by an angry mob, the cops would have every right to show up heavily armed.

  15. Or, Ricky, maybe the reasons we trade with China should be applied to the Cuba situation.

  16. “I’m glad that the boy is with his father. It sucks that the boy is in Cuba, and if his father had said “I want my boy to stay in the US” I totally would have respected that. But the fact remains that I’m glad he’s with his father and grandparents.”

    Given that his father was a Cuban citizen, it is reasonable to assume that he wasn’t exactly free to say whatever he felt–at least not without repercussions.

    There is also some question about how close the father was to the son while they were in Cuba. IIRC, the father and mother were seperated or divorced.

  17. “Or, Ricky, maybe the reasons we trade with China should be applied to the Cuba situation.”

    That’s brilliant Mo. We can start purchasing their slave labor goods and spend money there on vacation and while were at let’s get them some modern missle technology. Maybe they will become a big promoter of capitalism and everyone can talk about how Cuba is becoming such a great nation. Of course the Cubans still won’t be allowed to talk. But as long as I got my cigars, who cares.

  18. Ricky,
    The embargo obviously hasn’t helped the Cuban people. All it has done is given Castro greater control and a convienent excuse for Cuba’s misery. The only country where a political embargo has worked is South Africa and Cuba ain’t exactly South Africa. Allw e’re doing is preventing the Cubans from getting anything and enriching Castro. Castro is the problem, not trade.

  19. James: Elian is regularly trotted out to appear with The Beard.

    As a general note: Janet Reno was picked by the Clintons for several reasons, but one of them HAS to have been her lousy record of prosecuting public corruption cases.

    And one more “for what it’s worth” note: Reno lives within 3 miles of another Miami celebrity, O.J. Simpson. Who’d you put your bets on in THAT Deathmatch?

  20. As zorel noted, there is no similarity between being “lost in the street” and making a desperate and risky attempt to flee a dictatorship. Why should the mere fact of biological relationship trump that attempt?

    Elian Gonzales being with his father and his being trapped in the wonders of Castro’s economic experiment are one and the same thing. Suppose that Elian’s father had been sentenced to jail for life, and inisted that his son be with him — which is not far from the actual situation. Would you applaud as a SWAT team came to kidnap the kid and make sure the father got his way?

  21. It’s like Solomon decided to go ahead and cut the kid in two.

  22. My hope is that someday Elian will fully understand what happened to him and become a major reformist in Cuba. If Castro lives long enough, maybe Elian can become a grand resistance leader, fighting for freedom for his people.

    Ah, who am I kidding? Elian’s gonna get the best education Cuba can offer to pay for, a cushy state job, and show up in Oliver Stone’s next movie as the poster child for how well people have it in the Carribean paradise.

  23. Don’t worry, Castro will drop dead one day, and his whole government will go with him.

    Unless he’s an immortal, in which case we’ll have to send Duncan McLeod after him.

  24. I think Lazarus Long would make short work of him.

  25. My money was on Van Helsing.

  26. “Given that his father was a Cuban citizen, it is reasonable to assume that he wasn’t exactly free to say whatever he felt–at least not without repercussions.”

    So we’ll let Don let us know what Mr. Gonzales was really thinking. And whatdya know, Mr. Gonzales’ true thoughts just happen to coincide with the political program advocated by the organization of which Don and several of his family members are members. What are the odds?

    I can’t believe libertarians are arguing in favor of abrogating parental rights based on the parent’s politics.

    During the 1950s, should Massachusetts have taken African American kids away from their parents if those parents intended to move back to Mississippi?

  27. thoreau,

    Why give the example of a chinese kid when you can directly talk about Cuba? You are diluting the situation and arguing against your imaginary benign scenario. I don’t want to waste time refuting the chinese kid ‘thought experiment’

    Cuba is a special case w.r.t US immigration laws. it is a country we have a trade embargo with (not so with China)

    Elian’s father has re-married and had family in Cuba when he came here to demand his son go back to Cuba with him. Do you honestly believe he could state his desire without fear of retribution (to his family back home)?

    If so, you are no better than Oliver Stone or Jimmy Carter (who questions Cubans in front of Castro, and are satisfied with the response).

  28. WTF???!!

    I’ve got the feeling that this “even” Reno stuff, and the BS about her “disinclination” to “aggressive law enforcement” will cause some rare dissension among the Kool-Aid drinkers at Free Republic.

    What was Lowry thinking, trying to draw a line of continuity between Jackboot Jen and Ashcroft? It seems almost calculated to remind freepers that they actually *feared* federal law enforcement not all that long ago, and alienate them enough to stay home on election day. Incredibly stupid move, from the Bushite point of view.

  29. On the other hand, maybe this is a lesson in the power of cognitive dissonance. Four years ago, the freepers’ alleged love of the Constitution and fear of government, and their hatred of Clinton, were all mutually reinforcing. Today, their adulation of Ass-crack and USA Patriot, coupled with their continuity from the Reno regime, come into conflict with their earlier loathing of Auntie Jen. So Auntie Jen must be rehabilitated to make their support for Ass-crack tenable.

  30. I don’t think a connection between Cuba and China is made often enough. Perhaps the reasons why we have a trade embargo and special immigration laws with Cuba should be applied to China also.

    Elian wasn’t abducted from the street. He was with family that wanted to care for him. He will probably live a long healthy life in Cuba but he will never have the freedom he could have had here.

  31. “During the 1950s, should Massachusetts have taken African American kids away from their parents if those parents intended to move back to Mississippi?”–Posted by joe

    Those Massachusetts folk were always free from the taint of racism, as anyone who knows the history of school busing can attest. I like the sentiment, but the example needs refocusing.

  32. joe,

    “I can’t believe libertarians are arguing in favor of abrogating parental rights based on the parent’s politics.”

    since when does it matters to the Dems what libertarians think? if it did, the Dems would be for school choice, low taxes, small govt. etc, right?

    (the above was under the assumption that ‘joe’ is a liberal Dem – apologies if this is a different joe)

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