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Don't Mock the Constitution...

Biscuit's picture

I know-I know!!!!  I am really trying hard to stay out of the political wars here.  But this - this made me more determined than ever to vote for him.  It's things like this - this thoughtful intelligence - that McCain just can't match him on.


Barack Obama
Obama to Palin: 'Don't Mock the Constitution'

By Peter Slevin
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- Sen. Barack Obama delivered an impassioned defense of the Constitution and the rights of terrorism suspects tonight, striking back at one of the biggest applause lines in Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech to the GOP convention.


It was in St. Paul last week that Palin drew raucous cheers when she delivered this put-down of Obama: "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights."


Obama had a few problems with that.


"First of all, you don't even get to read them their rights until you catch 'em," Obama said here, drawing laughs from 1,500 supporters in a high school gymnasium. "They should spend more time trying to catch Osama bin Laden and we can worry about the next steps later."


If the plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks are in the government's sights, Obama went on, they should be targeted and killed.


"My position has always been clear: If you've got a terrorist, take him out," Obama said. "Anybody who was involved in 9/11, take 'em out."


But Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade, said captured suspects deserve to file writs of habeus corpus.


Calling it "the foundation of Anglo-American law," he said the principle "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe you've got the wrong person.'"


The safeguard is essential, Obama continued, "because we don't always have the right person."


"We don't always catch the right person," he said. "We may think it's Mohammed the terrorist, but it might be Mohammed the cab driver. You might think it's Barack the bomb-thrower, but it might be Barack the guy running for president."


Obama turned back to Palin's comment, although he said he was not sure whether Palin or Rudy Giuliani said it.


"The reason that you have this principle is not to be soft on terrorism. It's because that's who we are. That's what we're protecting," Obama said, his voice growing louder and the crowd rising to its feet to cheer. "Don't mock the Constitution. Don't make fun of it. Don't suggest that it's not American to abide by what the founding fathers set up. It's worked pretty well for over 200 years."


He finished with a dismissive comment about his opponents.


"These people."


**************


I'm not starting a fight, just posting in case anyone wants to read it and consider it, and if you try to start a fight with me about it, I'm not listening. 


Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Frankie's picture

(post #50832, reply #1 of 127)

Let's go to the video tape -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqE3j10keLc

What is written in the article begins around the 3 minute mark.

Frankie


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt.
Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon.
Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


Marie Louise's picture

(post #50832, reply #2 of 127)

Wow. I just love this guy.

RuthWells's picture

(post #50832, reply #3 of 127)

LOVE IT!!!

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com


http://walk.pkdcure.org/goto/ruthwfischer

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

AnnL's picture

(post #50832, reply #4 of 127)

No fight here!  I just hope enough of the people on the fence see this.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

thecooktoo's picture

(post #50832, reply #5 of 127)

He's probably right, I don't necessarily agree with him, but he may well be right.  But that's not the point.  The people that go to work every day in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania...all across the rust belt...are sincere, dedicated Americans that believe totally in their country.  They could care less whether or not we read rights to terrorists...all they want is to see them dead.  Give them a gun and they will help you insure that the deed is done. 


Obama will not win this election based on his argument that terrorists have rights.  He may win, but that sure won't be the issue he wins on.


Jim


 

Biscuit's picture

(post #50832, reply #6 of 127)

Okay - I'm not going to fight with you.  But - please go back and RE-READ what he said.  You just said what he said.  Terrorists - take them out.  But captured people?  They deserve habeus corpus in case we GOT THE WRONG PERSON and besides - it's a founding pricipal of our Constitution and you don't spit on the Constitution. 


Please - honestly - re-read.  It won't change your miind on  him, and that wasn't my intent in posting it.  But at least you'll stop seeing him as a bleeding heart who just wants to save terrorists, because that isn't him and it isn't fair.



Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain


Edited 9/9/2008 5:13 pm ET by Biscuit

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Florida2's picture

(post #50832, reply #7 of 127)

What a great speech!


Unfortunately, I still speak to people who say they arent going to vote for Barack because he is a Muslim-- This is the state of education (and smearing)  in America that so many ordinary people would think this. Geesh. (a) he is not Muslim and (b)even if he was, why is that relevant?


Edited 9/9/2008 5:17 pm ET by Florida2

Biscuit's picture

(post #50832, reply #13 of 127)

It shouldn't matter.

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

roz's picture

(post #50832, reply #14 of 127)

"Unfortunately, I still speak to people who say they arent going to vote for Barack because he is a Muslim"

Not so. LOL! According to my DH Barack Obama is really Barry Obramowitz. That is DH's take on the Muslim issue. I can laugh at my DH's sense of humor, perhaps some could not.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
thecooktoo's picture

(post #50832, reply #12 of 127)

I did go back and re=read what he said.  My point was not what I believe, but what I think those in the "flyover" parts of the country believe.  Based on the turn in the polls, it's apparent that a lot of people are beginning to rally around McCain for some reason, and I suspect this is one of them.  And I also agree that if he can't improve his performance over what he did with George on Sunday, he's going to be dead anyway.  That was a pitiful example of getting your point across.


Now, go back and re-read what I said before.  You know that I mortally fear an Obama win, but this is not one of the issues that would swing my vote either for or against him.


Jim

smslaw's picture

(post #50832, reply #19 of 127)

I did go back and re=read what he said.  My point was not what I believe, but what I think those in the "flyover" parts of the country believe.


Liberals are frequently criticised for looking down on those in the "flyover" states as unsophisticated dolts who just don't understand the subtleties of important issues.  If your observation is accurate, aren't you guilty of the same elitism?  Are the people you reference too stupid to grasp the concept that accusing someone of being a terrorist doesn't make him a terrorist and that perhaps there should be some sort of process that requires some proof before we lock him up forever? Or, even worse, do they understand, but just don't care?


It is a sad commentary that Obama's support for the rule of law is seen as a negative. There are plenty of valid reasons to support or oppose Obama (or McCain).

Biscuit's picture

(post #50832, reply #20 of 127)

Interesting article -


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/09/AR2008090903727.html?hpid=topnews


Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
- Mark Twain

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

thecooktoo's picture

(post #50832, reply #22 of 127)

>If your observation is accurate, aren't you guilty of the same elitism?  Are the people you reference too stupid to grasp the concept that accusing someone of being a terrorist doesn't make him a terrorist and that perhaps there should be some sort of process that requires some proof before we lock him up forever? Or, even worse, do they understand, but just don't care?<


How would making an observation qualify me as an elite or one who practices elitism?  Just curious.


Second, I would never refer to fully half of my fellow countrymen as to stupid to grasp a specific concept about terrorist.  You might feel comfortable doing that, I don't.


And no, I don't have any problem at all with locking up a potential terrorist untill we know what he is up to...no matter how long it takes.  If someone had locked up Mohammed Atta, 3000 of our fellow citizens would still be alive and we would not be having memorial services all over the country tomorrow.


Jim

smslaw's picture

(post #50832, reply #23 of 127)

How would making an observation qualify me as an elite or one who practices elitism?  Just curious.


I took your observation to mean that you believed that the people in the "flyover" states either didn't care about whether an accused terrorist (as opposed to an actual terrorist) was given any rights at all or that they didn't understand the basic concept of providing some sort of due process to anyone accused of terrorism.


And no, I don't have any problem at all with locking up a potential terrorist untill we know what he is up to...no matter how long it takes. 


There is a difference between locking someone up until we know what he is up to and just locking someone up, period. 


If someone had locked up Mohammed Atta, 3000 of our fellow citizens would still be alive and we would not be having memorial services all over the country tomorrow.


But if Mohammad Atta had been locked up, presumably there would have been evidence against him that would have justified keeping him. Would locking up Mohammad Otto or Billy Atta have saved anyone? Did keeping Hamdan locked up for 5 years save anyone? Would locking up you or me?


I think basic American values, embodied in the Constitution, are important enough that we should encourage their application in difficult cases.  Otherwise, what are we?

StevenHB's picture

(post #50832, reply #30 of 127)

And no, I don't have any problem at all with locking up a potential terrorist untill we know what he is up to...no matter how long it takes.  If someone had locked up Mohammed Atta, 3000 of our fellow citizens would still be alive and we would not be having memorial services all over the country tomorrow.


I think that it's sad that we have this beautiful document describing the basic ideals on which this great country is founded and that so many are so willing to toss them out as soon as the going gets a little tough.  It may be true that if Atta were locked up that 9/11 wouldn't have happened but it's the stability fostered by the Constitution that has allowed our democracy to operate effectively for 232 years.  An unstable government would lead to a lot more than 3000 deaths (see The Civil War for example).


I do agree with you that few will make a voting decision based upon protection of the Constitution so Obama probably shouldn't push this point.  I find this reality extremely disheartening.



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
MadMom's picture

(post #50832, reply #32 of 127)

I just think it's amazing that some people believe they can KNOW someone is a terrorist, without charges, without a trial, without anything, except maybe the word of a paid informer (and Chalabi showed us how much that was worth!)  I keep coming back to the idea that someone could come to my door, pick up myself or my DH, toss us into Guantanamo, and that would be the last anyone would hear of us.  Surely even thecooktoo thinks that is wrong, or perhaps he would agree?


Edited to add that Mohammed Atta was not only allowed to enter the country, but his application for permanent residency was approved AFTER the 9/11 attacks.  How's that for a bureaucracy that is able to identify who is and who isn't a terrorist?




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!


Edited 9/10/2008 11:12 am ET by MadMom

StevenHB's picture

(post #50832, reply #39 of 127)

I just think it's amazing that some people believe they can KNOW someone is a terrorist, without charges, without a trial, without anything, except maybe the word of a paid informer (and Chalabi showed us how much that was worth!)  I keep coming back to the idea that someone could come to my door, pick up myself or my DH, toss us into Guantanamo, and that would be the last anyone would hear of us.


Exactly why we need the Constitution to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority (and institutions like The Supreme Court and the ACLU to defend the Constitution).



Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible

Without coffee, chocolate, and beer, in that order, life as we know it would not be possible
MadMom's picture

(post #50832, reply #40 of 127)

Amen!  To quote once again, those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!


Edited 9/10/2008 12:21 pm ET by MadMom

evelyn's picture

(post #50832, reply #33 of 127)

The United States locked up a whole lot of Americans, of Japanese origin, during the Second World War. 


It was not your country's finest hour.


I would think you wouldn't want that kind of history to repeat itself.



There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley


Edited 9/10/2008 11:19 am by evelyn

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Gretchen's picture

(post #50832, reply #34 of 127)

Did you ever read Snow Falling on Cedars?  Wonderful.

Gretchen

Gretchen
evelyn's picture

(post #50832, reply #36 of 127)

I haven't read it, but it's now on my next order list.  Thanks Gretchen.  Love to read about history - so I can learn from it.

There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it - it is like falling in love.  Christopher Morley

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Lee's picture

(post #50832, reply #51 of 127)

It's a beautiful book.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #50832, reply #37 of 127)

That is one of my all-time favourite books. (And just to be fair about this - Canada also rounded up Japanese-Canadians and shipped them off to detention centres - we're far from innocent in this!)





"lucky in love; unlucky in metabolism"
unknown

AnnL's picture

(post #50832, reply #38 of 127)

Yes,  that was a wonderful book.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #50832, reply #35 of 127)

>>And no, I don't have any problem at all with locking up a potential terrorist untill we know what he is up to...no matter how long it takes.<<

That philosophy has led to real human beings being sacrificed to no apparent purpose except that they belong to the wrong ethnicity, or were born in the wrong place. I don't think it's too great a leap of imagination to think that in only slightly different circumstances, it could be you, or one of yours, or me or one of mine who gets renditioned by some over-zealous, would-be defender of the American Way. An example that springs instantly to mind:
http://www.maherarar.ca/
http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/arar-v.-ashcroft





"lucky in love; unlucky in metabolism"
unknown
AJ12754's picture

(post #50832, reply #41 of 127)

Not only that -- if you had to show a judge why you were holding the terrorist you just might figure out a whole lot sooner that he wasn't your guy and could turn your attention to finding the real ones.

The trouble today is that almost everyone is famous and almost no-one is interesting. (paraphrased Tina Brown)

Cave obdurationem cordis

TracyK's picture

(post #50832, reply #105 of 127)

If someone had locked up Mohammed Atta, 3000 of our fellow citizens would still be alive and we would not be having memorial services all over the country tomorrow.


Man, if you believe that you're either stupid or criminally naive. If Mohammed Atta had been locked up, Terrorist Number Two would have taken his place and a lesser Terrorist Flunky would have climbed onto the bottom rung. At best, we'd have been memorializing October 3, or November 21, or any of a hundred other dates that could have been the number-two choice.


Anyone who truly believes there was anything anyone on earth (other than Osama bin Laden) could have done to prevent that attack is fooling him- or herself, as are the folks who think it couldn't possibly happen again, no matter who's propping his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office.


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #50832, reply #106 of 127)

Delete was mine - nothing much, just decided it was unimportant post.

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).

SallyBR1's picture

(post #50832, reply #107 of 127)

You got it right. Unfortunately it is correct.

we can keep a country reasonably safe, but not untouchable. Any country. ANy place.

"Her green thumb was so black, she couldn't even grow zucchini"



(Glenys, August 2008).
Gretchen's picture

(post #50832, reply #108 of 127)

I am not convinced of that Tracy--and we will never know of course.  But those cells were very close to being revealed in toto.  I do agree that al Quaeda would have continued to try--and do now have the world under their thumb of terrorism.


And by the way, there are many many Middle Easterns who believe that WE did ourselves. There was an article in the Times a week or so ago about Egyptians being quoted as such.  It is the reason it is SO scary now--there is so little way to deter these attacks. At one time it was only targeted against "infidels" but now (since the late 90's) this radical Islamist movement has interpreted many Muslims as worthy of being killed also. 


Gretchen
Gretchen