Whose Constitution Is It Anyway?

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If you're in D.C. you can mosey down to the Capitol grounds and hoot along at the Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice.
These events have been getting more and more ideologically diverse lately, which makes it surprising that the most prominent—and only—conservative scheduled to speak is David Keene of the American Conservative Union. No Bob Barr, no Grover Norquist, no Ron Paul. Not on the itinerary. But accompanying the group of liberal Democrats and civil libertarian activists will be Greg Proops of Whose Line is it Anyway?

The whole thing's viewable on the ACLU's site.


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  1. These sorts of events have been getting more and more ideologically diverse lately,

    Who are you kidding? Unless it involves a fetus, conservatives don’t go to protests. That’s for liberals and their papier mache puppet brigades.

  2. Of course they don’t want a guy like Ron Paul or Bob Barr there – their whole premise is we need MORE government to “protect” us from these abuses; nevermind that such government is easily abused (cf Patriot Act, any random Supreme Court decision you’d like).

  3. OK, Bret, you have the floor.

    Explain to us how Senator Dodd’s efforts to repeal the Military Commissions Act represent an effort to increase the size of government.

    Ready?…Go!

  4. I’m surprised Greg Proops couldn’t get Drew Carey, a noted libertarian, to join him.

    Greg: So, Drew, can you make it?
    Drew: Make what?
    Greg: Haven’t you heard?
    Drew: Heard about what?
    Greg: Isn’t there a big event called the Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice?
    Drew: How should I know?
    Greg: Because… oh, shoot!

    BUZZZZZZZZ

    Drew: OK, Ryan, you fill in for Greg.

  5. Democrats? Increase the size, scope, and power of government? Never! The era of big government is over!

    Unfortunately, the other guys are into big government just as much these days, even dropping the small government rhetoric. Well, except for Ron Paul, anyway.

    If you’re a Democrat and don’t like what this administration is doing, just consider whether reducing the power of the presidency and the federal government might be a better and safer way of achieving your goals. Rather than lusting for “your turn”. The latter mentality is what is getting us all into trouble.

  6. Explain to us how Senator Dodd’s efforts to repeal the Military Commissions Act represent an effort to increase the size of government.

    It isn’t…

    Now explain how Hillary’s war on video games is not an effort to increase the size of government?

  7. Pro Libertate,

    OK, go: name me some government-expanding proposals that Democrats have come up with in response to the expansion of state power under the “War on Terror.”

    I’ve seen a lot of suggestions from Democrats about what to do about thet USA PATRIOT Act, the Unitary Executive nonsense, the Military Commissions Act, domestic spying, etc etc etc. Every single one of them has been about limiting the government’s power.

    Your counter-examples are…?

  8. joshua corning,

    Would it be too much to ask you to stay on topic?

    I’m sure there will be video games thread soon enough.

    Do you have anything to add that is relevant to the discussion?

  9. Your counter-examples are…?

    Hmm…how about calls to raise taxes, reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” and resurrect the byzantine and useless ban on aesthetically unpleasing firearms?

    Always remember, a barrel shroud is the thing that goes up.

    BTW, joe, perhaps you can give us an update on how the democrats are doing with their effort to repeal bans on smoking marijuana.

  10. Would it be too much to ask you to stay on topic?

    Joe, you asked for examples of democrats expanding state powers.

    Democrat legislators working to make it a crime for a teenage clerk at walmart to sell certain video games to minors is most assuredly on-topic.

  11. No, you’re right, the Democrats want to expand in other areas, which is why they can’t have the GOP expanding the parts of government it likes best. And vice versa. I don’t feel any better, and your team has proven just as willing to play national security games over the years. Just so long as the war or crisis du jour is its, not the Republicans’ or the People’s State of Judea’s.

  12. Did someone just equate proposed video game restrictions to actual habeas corpus restrictions?

  13. See, I think this is where we get in trouble. Rather than parsing some liberties as “okay for infringing upon”, we should view liberty as a package deal. Leave them all alone, please. I’m not saying that we should have absolute freedom to do anything, but we could at least consistently deny the government the right to continually whittle away the recognized fundamental rights. That’s not all I want by any stretch, but just getting that would be nice.

  14. See, I think this is where we get in trouble. Rather than parsing some liberties as “okay for infringing upon”, we should view liberty as a package deal. Leave them all alone, please.

    Agreed, but I see it here as a choice similar to that when someone takes a kick at your crotch. You can either take the kick square in the nuts, or shift your leg over to take it in the thigh.

    I’ll fight the video game restrictions, too, but they don’t have quite the stomach-turning, eye-watering impact of a kick in the habeas.

  15. I’m not meaning to equate one infringement with the other. It’s just that the government growing and liberty snatching seem to continue unabated regardless of who is in power. Time for a change, if you ask me.

  16. mediageek,

    “Hmm…how about calls to raise taxes, reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” and resurrect the byzantine and useless ban on aesthetically unpleasing firearms?”

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

    “Joe, you asked for examples of democrats expanding state powers.”

    No, I did not.

    The question was about how Democrats’ efforts to roll back security-state infringements on liberty amounted to expansions of state power.

    So, no, your snipes about taxes, gun control, marijuana and whatever the hell other irrelevancies you’re dragging in don’t count.

  17. So, basically, denouncing Democratic efforts to reign in these abuses on the grounds that Democrats want to expand government in other, unrelated areas is foolish.

    Returning habeus protection restricts the power of government – EVEN IF Hillary Clinton, who talks a lot of smack about video games, suggests that we return habeus protection to accused terrorists.

    Removing the President’s authority to hold people indefinitely as enemy combatants restricts the government’s power – EVEN IF Christopher Dodd, who wants to enact a publicly funded health care program, argues in favor of eliminating that power.

  18. In the sucking contest, both major parties win.

  19. the biggest threat to liberty in america today is militarism. anyone ought to be able to see that. promoting minor expansions of the welfare state, and promoting the power of government to imprison and torture people indefinitely without charges, are not comparable infringements of liberty.

    the republican party as it is now constituted – with some exceptions, like ron paul, who are shunned and isolated by the mainstream party – is the party of endless, mindless militarism. the fact that the democrats are not perfect defenders of some platonic ideal of liberty does not make the two parties equally wrong. the willingness of cynics to say “they’re all the same”, and in so doing, tacitly endorse the worst behavior of those in power, is how we got to this point in the first place.

  20. So, basically, denouncing Democratic efforts to reign in these abuses on the grounds that Democrats want to expand government in other, unrelated areas is foolish.

    No, joe, it’s cromulent to the big picture of what is going on in this nation right now. You can certainly try to re-define the terms of the debate, but it doesn’t change the fact that the democrats are just as big a bunch of statist assholes as the Republicans. If they get the White House in 2008, no doubt their abuse of power and governmental expansions will be epic.

  21. Oh, and joe, speaking of reigning in abuses, how’s that whole “We’re going to end the war” thing going for ya?

  22. mediageek,

    ME redefining the terms of the debate? ME?

    Before you got here, this was a thread about a rally on Capitol Hill, calling for the restoration of certain Constitutional protections that have been eliminated by the Bush administration.

    YOU started on about how terrible the Democrats are on a host of completely irrelevant issues.

    Don’t accuse me of changing the subject – I’ve been trying to get the subject back on track from your threadjack.

    Oh, and joe, speaking of reigning in abuses, how’s that whole “We’re going to end the war” thing going for ya? Very well. The entire debate about the war has shifted dramatically, those who want to continue it are on the ropes, and a number of Republicans, led by Dick Lugar, jumped ship to the anti-war side today. The only question remaining is whether the Republicans who join the unified Democrats on ending the war will constitute a small majority of that party, or a significant one.

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