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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

John McCain's Heart of Darkness—"Rights? You ain't got no stinking rights!"

The hallmark of tyranny The central characteristic of tyrannical rule is this: the citizen is replaced by the subject and rights are replaced by priviledges allowed by the tyrant. And so we see the tyrant displayed in McCain-Feingold, where a right once specifically ennumerated by the Constitution (free political speech) has now become a regulated priviledge. The blogstorm this last week over the proposal to apply McCain-Feingold to blogs by re-defining political speech on a blog as a "contribution in kind" to some politician/political party or other political entity so that it can be regulated (controlled, stiffled, etc.) by our political masters indicates that the pols' goal of complete subjugation of what was once the American citizenry is not quite yet complete (except in airports, where the Thousands Standing Around can command complete servility from us all). Despite (or perhaps in part because) of his lapse into vulgarity, Kim du Toit sums up a very proper response to such action here. I suspect that attempting to enforce "consequences" for practicing what the First Amendment guarantees against such as Kim might well carry consequences of its own for those petty tyrants stupid enough to try it. Good. More (and a bump): Since all most people hear about the First Amendment to the Constitution is what the Mass Medua Podpeople choose to represent, I think that every time I discuss a First Amendment issue in any way, I ought to post the thing. Heck, any time I mention anything regarding the Constitution, I suppose I ought to include whatever relevant clause applies. Of course, if I happen to be commenting on any recent Supreme Court decisions, I might just have to post a blank, since so many seem to have revolved recently around ruminations over goat entrails rather than the Constitution... Herewith, Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. There. It's written in plain language in a vocabulary easily accessible to sixth-graders of my generation (which means most college graduates today can grasp its plain text. Most. I do not count people with advanced degrees in English majoring in textual criticism. Those so blessed generally can't parse their way out of an oatmeal carton.) Now, tell me: what part of "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." did our congresscritters, President Bush (he signed the damned thing—and I'm speaking theologically when I say "damned"—and the Supreme Idiots not understand when McCain-Feingold was passed, signed and affirmed? (The one dishonorable thing Bush did in his first term was sign thisabortion of a bill, thinking the Supreme idiots would surely knock the pins out from under it. Shoulda vetoed the thing... It's one honest answer he could have given when asked what mistakes he has made, apart from trusting apointees to be honorable, that is.)