Sunday, May 20, 2007

Calm down everyone...Ashcroft is not a moderate!!!

If anyone had told me five years ago that people on the left would be not merely defending John Ashcroft, but pining for the days when he was the Attorney General, I would quite possibly done myself an injury, so raucous would the laughter have been. And as soon as it subsided, I would have initiated the steps to start your involuntary commitment to a secure mental health facility.

So what did he do that is so rare and unique, that has his former political opponents fawning all over him like he was the second coming? He upheld the rule of law and the Constitution when he was the Attorney General.

That we are all gaga at the very notion is a sad commentary indeed on the tenure of the hapless, inept Gonzo.

Pardon me, but I’m supposed to get all atwitter about this? About the fact that the cabinet level appointment constitutionally charged with overseeing the Constitution actually drew the line somewhere short of total Constitutional abrogation?

Is the bar really that low after two years of the feckless and faithless Alberto Gonzales? I am afraid the answer to that query is a resounding “yes.”

Before we enshrine the portrait of John Ashcroft with a square halo on the stationery of the ACLU, let’s remember that Ashcroft oversaw the widest expansion of government power over the lives of ordinary Americans than this country has ever witnessed.

He was a primary force behind the USA Patriot Act, which was used to snoop into the lives and reading habits of ordinary Americans. In the days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 he pushed the INS to use their power to deport foreigners, and he cast the die for the “harsh treatment” of detainees – who had no rights to due process, thanks to Ashcroft.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, John Ashcroft was willing to err on the side of public safety at the expense of the Constitution and diminish our Civil Liberties to a footnote.

Begging John Ashcroft’s forgiveness for all the mean things you said about him is not the appropriate reaction here. The appropriate response is outrage at the perfidy of the Gonzales department of injustice. Outrage that the department has been so sullied by his banality and fecklessness that his predecessor – John Ashcroft!!! – looks like a card-carrying member of the ACLU by contrast…

[Cross-posted from the blog you should be reading, Watching Those We Chose]

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