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Habeas… what?

June 17, 2008

A telling quote from John McCain:

We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material. And we are going to be bollixed up in a way that is terribly unfortunate, because we need to go ahead and adjudicate these cases.

Is it possible, is it even conceivable, that United States Senator John McCain doesn’t know what “habeas corpus” means?  Because his statement certainly suggests that he does not.  He sounds way too ignorant to be voting on Supreme Court justices, let alone appointing them.  He’s a perfect example of how far an engaging smile and a heroic story will take you in American politics.

The right wing keeps using the word; “Freedom”, but I do not think it means what they think it means.  Our whole country was founded on the notion of limits to power.  The king had a nasty habit of dropping people into black holes of imprisonment without a trial.  They might be bad, bad, horrible people or they might just be an embarrassment to the king, with the same result and there was no recourse.  It had nothing to do with prison conditions.

It fascinates me that people on the right wing distrust the government so much in everything else, yet they’re willing to let the government have unlimited powers to “keep them safe”.  When did our government become so trustworthy that it could operate without oversight?

Categories: Law, Politics
  1. June 17, 2008 at 10:29 | #1

    It truly was a sad quote to see. These are the kinds of statements a politician will apologize for, or write a speech to re-explain what was meant. I don’t need either. Off-the-cuff statements can be really telling at times.

  2. June 17, 2008 at 20:51 | #2

    Does anyone know McCain’s previous position(s) on this?  I’m willing to guess this is another flip-flop, along with his flops on coastal drilling, tax cuts for the rich, torture, campaign financing, etc., etc.

    The trouble is, all elections in the US have become voter bribe-fests.  Tell Joe Six-Pack what he wants to hear to buy the votes.  I’m actually apprehensive that Obama will slip into the trap, though I hope I’m proved wrong.  If not, I’ll be working hard for Kucinich in the next cycle.

  3. June 17, 2008 at 21:17 | #3

    So far Obama has shown an admirable sense of purpose when he speaks.  I have seen him tell automakers to stop whining and build better cars.  On fathers’ day he told the black community and black fathers in particular to stop using past injustices as an excuse.  He is not afraid to face our enemies across a table.  He told the voting public that the US Constitution is a secular document.  Balls of steel, that one.

    I am afraid to hope that a thin majority of voters have had enough of being pandered to.

  4. June 17, 2008 at 22:31 | #4

    I wanted to add that my comment above is a bit tangential … what I stated doesn’t rise to the level of abrogation of the Constitution.  I didn’t intend to go off-topic and dilute the import of your comment/entry on McCain’s idiotic statement.

    There are two additional threats to security that are getting short shrift however, and in one sense they are nearly equal to Constitutional preservation in importance:

    1… The environment
    2… Heatlh care

    I’m planning an entry on my blog to stake out my perspective.

  5. June 18, 2008 at 08:19 | #5

    Poor Mr. McSame. He understands nothing at all. I get a wry smile when people refer to him as a “maverick.”

    By the way, is a desire to keep court dockets lighter a good reason to imprison people convicted with nothing at all indefinitely? From my point of view as a career trial lawyer, judges whine about “overloaded” dockets, but are just about the laziest slugs on the planet. All the work is done by lawyers and court administrative personnel. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the “crowded docket” whinerw.

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